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Wine O’clock With Lotta Dann

Have you ever questioned why alcohol is put on such a pedestal in our society?  

It occupies a unique place of privilege, one in which it is almost universally positioned as good, fun, harmless and required for a good time, despite the fact that it negatively impacts the physical and mental health of millions of people.  

My guest today Lotta Dann, recovery advocate, blogger and author of three books: the best-selling memoir Mrs. D is Going Without, her second book Mrs. D Is Going Within, and the just released The Wine O’clock Myth

Lotta’s personal memoir of drinking, quitting drinking and living alcohol-free in a drink-filled world is witty, funny, and uplifting. 

Today Lotta and I talk about The Wine O’clock Myth, and why alcohol occupies such a privileged position in our society.

It’s almost universally represented as a magic elixir to all our problems which makes life both fun and glamorous.

And the fact that alcohol also negatively affects the lives of millions of people is practically invisible in conversations about or representations of drinking in popular culture.

In this episode, Lotta and I discuss:

  • The truth that if you are struggling to moderate drinking, you are not alone and you are not the problem: alcohol is the problem.
  • The way the liquor industry has targeted women and the damaging ‘Wine Mom’ social media culture.
  • The importance of reframing the treat and reward concepts we’ve been taught (and internalized) around wine. That drinking is our treat at the end of the day and a much needed reward for hard work.
  • Why after the initial hit of dopamine wine is a depressive substance that is numbing and cuts you off from yourself and the people around you.
  • How to find other rewards and ‘sober treats’ that will nourish and ground you and that will actually make you feel better.
  • How to intentionally create a social media feed that inspires you to see all the awesome ways to enjoy life without alcohol rather than one that glamorizes drinking at every turn.
  • Why it’s critical to tap into a positive sober support community that shares the full picture of drinking – not just the one marketed to you. One that highlights both how good life can be without alcohol and shares truthfully the messages you will not see in popular culture, marketing or your social media feed – that drinking isn’t always harmless and fun. It can be dangerous and suck a lot of women (and men) into an unhealthy and unhappy cycle.

About Lotta Dann

Lotta built a successful career as a TV reporter, producer, and director, while simultaneously developing a remarkable aptitude for drinking a lot of alcohol.

Lotta began an anonymous blog called “Mrs. D is Going Without” when she was first stopping drinking  – as a way to work through her thoughts and feelings, and keep herself accountable when she was starting her journey without alcohol. 

On her third day sober she writes her first ever blog post to herself  – in it she tells the full story of her final night of drinking and how she’s had enough of this boozy madness. 

And then she writes

I’ve reached a tipping point and from now have decided to remove alcohol from my life. 

I’m scared. It’s going to be hard. 

Our family all drink. Our friends all drink. And I’m going to try to do this without any outside support. Just this blog. 

So stay posted and I’ll let you know how I get on. 

Love, Mrs. D xxx

Through her blog she found like minded people in the sober blogosphere, and they supported each other and cheered each other on and commiserated through the process. 

Eventually Lotta turned her story and blog into a best – selling memoir of the same name – Mrs. D Is Going Without. She worked to found Living Sober – a website in partnership with the New Zealand government that takes the powerful aspects Lotta found in online recovery and makes it available and accessible to thousands of people in a place of tolerance and kindness, understanding and support. 

Lotta wrote her second book Mrs. D Is Going Within – touching on mindfulness and the tools she uses to navigate life from an emotionally healthy place after putting down the wine bottle. 

And her new book, The Wine O’clock Myth, Lotta takes an in-depth and eye-opening look at women’s drinking habits. Written through the lens of her own story and her work in the field of addiction and recovery, Lotta explores the privileged position alcohol holds in our society, the way the liquor industry targets women and the damaging ‘Wine Mum’ social media culture. 

She reveals the damage alcohol is causing to women physically, emotionally, and socially, and the potential reasons why so many women are drinking at harmful levels. 

Lotta now lives sober with her TV-journalist husband and three sons in the hills of Wellington, New Zealand.

Shownotes: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com/26

Grab your  Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking

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Get the Guide to The Best Quit Lit For Women (Including Lotta Dann’s Mrs. D is Going Without) 

Connect with Lotta Dann

The Wine O’Clock Myth: The Truth You Need To Know About Women and Alcohol: https://www.amazon.com/Wine-OClock-Myth-Truth-Alcohol/dp/1988547229

Mrs D is Going Without: A Memoir: https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-D-Going-Without-Memoir/dp/1877505390

Mrs D is Going Within: https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Going-Within-Lotta-Dann/dp/1877505862

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrs_d_alcoholfree/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrsdisgoingwithout

Lotta Dann’s Blog: http://livingwithoutalcohol.blogspot.com/

Mrs. D’s Blog on Living Sober: https://livingsober.org.nz/category/mrs-ds-blog/

Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson

Website: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Instagram: Casey @ Hello Someday Coaching (@caseymdavidson)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelloSomeday 

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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW

The Wine O’clock Myth With Lotta Dann 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

drinking, people, alcohol, sober, feel, book, wine, life, women, quit, emotions, moderate, bottle, problem, drinker, marketing, good, buying, night, sobriety, Wine O’clock, myth, blog, Mrs. D, stopping drinking, thoughts, feelings, keep yourself accountable, journey, without alcohol, sober, boozy, remove alcohol, outside support, love, mindfulness, tool, navigate, life, emotionally, healthy, place, sippy time, fun times, good times, habitual, laid out, booze, relax, learning, worse-case scenario, motivating factor, resonated with me, privileged place, society, research, growing, becoming, established, environment, blame, struggling in silence, addicted, addictive, substance, spectrum, anxiety, soothe, mental health issues, childhood trauma, freedom of choice, reflects, cocktail, date night, book club, human connection, dopamine, withdrawal, stable, content, cope, honest, better, build, ability, comfortable, manage emotions, transition, getting used to, feeling your feelings, cliché, strategies, socializing, extrovert, introvert, adjustment, accepting, authentic self, sober treats, self care, acknowledging, herbal tea, retreats, journals, reframing, treat, reward, numbing, depressant, nervous system, nourish, feel better, allowing, wise part of you, sit with, uncomfortable, phase, process, empathetic, real, tender, compassion for yourself, support, family, husband, inside job, relationship with myself, improved, grateful, modeling, emotional, intentional. social media, Facebook, Instagram, Sober Bloggers, big difference, mindset, messages, social media, Quit Lit, audiobooks, The Bubble Hour, indoctrinated, need other people, online community, peer support, growing, emergence, recognition, guilt, craving, nonjudgmental, empowering, kindly, brave, belly laughs, truth, turning point, resonates, documenting, coping strategy, healthy skills

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Lotta Dann

00:02

Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a bus, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.

Hi there. My guest today is Lotta Dann. She’s an author from New Zealand whose third book, The Wine O’clock Myth is being released in the US on October 16 in paperback, but I’m betting that many of you know Lotta as I did, as Mrs. D from Mrs. D is Going Without.

 

Lotta had a successful career as a TV reporter, a Producer and a Director, while also developing a remarkable aptitude for drinking a lot of alcohol as I did too. And I’m sure many of you listening have a lot of began an anonymous blog called Mrs. D is Going Without when she was first stopping drinking as a way to work through her thoughts and feelings and keep yourself accountable when she was starting her journey without alcohol.

 

And on her 3rd day sober, she writes her first ever blog post to herself. I loved this. When I was reading her book Mrs. D is Going Without, she tells the full story of her final night drinking and how she’s had enough of the boozy madness. And she writes, I’ve reached a tipping point. And for now, I have decided to remove alcohol from my life. I’m scared. This is going to be hard. All our family drink. All our friends drink. And I’m going to try to do this without any outside support. Just this blog. So, stay posted. And I’ll let you know how I get on love, Mrs. D., and I’m going to talk with Lotta about that book she wrote. A second book Mrs. D Is Going Within about touching on mindfulness and the tool she uses to navigate life from an emotionally healthy place after putting down the wine bottle. And her new book, the Wine O’clock Men. So, a lot of thank you for being here.

 

03:16

Hi, thanks for having me.

 

03:18

Yeah, I love hearing your New Zealand accent. That’s awesome.

 

03:22

Yeah, we swallow our eyes. So, we don’t say bass. Bass that swim in the sea.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  03:30

Oh, instead of fish.

 

That’s it.

 

Yeah. I was like, What word? Is that? Okay. Cool. So, I want to talk all about your book, The Wine O’clock Myth. Because I know that so many of us, I mean, I always am like, is it sippy time? It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Wine o’clock, all that stuff. But just to start in case people haven’t read your blog or haven’t read your book. Will you tell us a little bit about why you decided to stop drinking?

 

04:00

Oh, I had to. I mean, you know, alcohol brought me to my knees literally. I had been a habitual drinker for all of my adult life from the age of 15. I started drinking I think I was a daily drinker by 18 through to the age of 39. And while there were a lot of fun times and good times, you know, there was a lot of sadness and dangerous times and sad times and vulnerable times and things progressed for me and I got, you know, heavily addicted and spent a good sort of two or three years at the end really, really trying every trick in the book to moderate and control and corrupt and things just got worse and worse to the point where I had to take it away because I was starting to be deceitful. I was hiding bottles like it was bad. So yeah, I made the terrifying, absolutely terrifying, decision to remove alcohol completely.

 

05:03

Yeah. And I know that as part of that, because I read Mrs. D. And I also came to the same place, right? Where you’re constantly like, I’m not going to drink today, I’m only going to have two glasses, I’m going to take some time off. And then you’re just so irritated, so annoyed, so wanting, you know, do I have enough, you’re breaking down drinking, and then at 3:00 a.m., coming back to the same place where you feel so ill and so defeated. And, you know, I don’t think anyone who loves to drink or sees themselves as a drinker, like you did, I know, like I do, who doesn’t have tried to moderate for years and years and years before they finally sort of throw in the towel.

 

 

And what I loved about your book is that you take people through each day, through day 3 through day 5, because there’s such a similar cadence for what we go through in different phases. I mean, day 5 is so hard for everyone, you know, day 16, somehow, it’s really difficult. And you didn’t even intend to document that. Right. It was just for yourself.

 

06:14

Yeah, that was and as you said, in your intro, you know, I set out to do this on my own, and my blog was gonna be my only tool. But the thing about that first book, which is based around the blog is it’s not really a drinking book. I mean, I talk about my, my drinking, but it really is a sobriety book. It’s a book about that first year of recovery, because it’s hard. And I wanted people to have those, sort of steps of this is what it’s like, this is what it’s like, when you go to your first wedding. This is what it’s like, when you got him and you, everything is so strange and foreign. And I now know as you do, you know that there are similar steps along the way for people. And I think it’s really good just to have that laid out. Because there are a lot of people that embark on it, and you know, quitting, and they’re terrified, understandably, because our world is awash with booze. And we’re convinced that it’s the only way to have fun and relax and everything. And so, learning how to live without it is massive.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  07:14

Yeah, I mean, it’s so hard. It’s sort of like the coping skills that we should have learned at the age of 16 1820 to 25. And we never did, because any time we were happy, sad, frustrated, upset, socially awkward, we just drank.

 

07:30

Yeah, and the reason that a lot of us try for ages to moderate is because we have the misguided belief that it’s possible for everyone to moderate only I do this and that and the other, then I’ll be okay. Because we don’t have this kind of dialogue, open dialogue in our, you know, social parlance that accepts that this is an addictive drug, and that many, many people can’t moderate it because of the way we’re wired. And it’s that’s one of the, you know, issues I have right now is with this lack of kind of openness about how not everyone can moderate I believed, if only I did this, that and the other they know, then I can moderate and you feel like a failure when you can because you can’t achieve it.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  08:16

I mean, I just could not moderate. Could you know?

 

Oh, god, no, I mean, no, I drank like you, did 365 nights a year. I mean, every day, I thought, every trick in the book to quit.

 

08:26

I mean, every trick in the book, and not to quit or to moderate.

 

Yeah, I mean, to not have to quit like literally quitting was my worst-case scenario in my life. So, I would think to myself, literally, you have to figure out how to get a hold of this so that you’d never have to quit. Like that was the motivating factor. And my husband used to say, you just don’t have an off switch. You drink basically until it’s gone. Or until you pass out. And that’s on a Tuesday night. And I also drank like a bottle of wine a night, 365 nights a year, somehow functions. Somehow, I had two kids, somehow got to work and did my workouts, which by the way, suck at 5 in the morning, 5:30. When you’ve got a bottle of wine in your belly, and yet I thought I was holding it all together. I did not realize how hard I was making it on myself until I quit.

 

09:26

Oh, it’s amazing what we can manage and still sink an absolute ton of alcohol. I mean, if I think of it now, I was studying to do my masters. Parenting 3 children going to the gym, you know, feeling awful rolling my sick guts over a Swiss ball.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  09:45

Oh my god, I remember you writing that. Like oh, I did burpees at 5:30 in the morning with a bottle plus and wine in my belly. Just, I mean, even putting your head down below of your legs. When you have that. I mean, Oh my God, I was killing myself.

 

10:02

I know. And there are still so many people doing this. That’s what breaks my heart. But anyway, yet we managed it. And then it’s not until you take it away. I mean, that’s a wonderful thing. I mean, jumping ahead now, but wonderful thing about being sober. Not only do you feel better, and you manage everything better, but you start to realize it’s just not true, that you need this stuff to live. Yeah, I was so terrified. Right?

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  10:27

Well, and one thing that I loved about your book, and what you’re looking at, and what really resonated with me is he said, basically, we need to take a critical look at why alcohol has such a privileged place in our society. And that, you know, it is, it is put out there like the best thing since sliced bread. It is, you know, a rite of adulthood, it is your favorite thing, your best thing you know, and so tell me about that privilege place and how, you know, from your research, you saw that growing and becoming established.

 

11:05

I think it’s happened really slowly over time to where we have lost sight. And you know that there’s a fable about frogs and apart, if you put a frog in a pot of cool water, and slowly heat the water up, he doesn’t realize he’s cooking. I think we’re frogs in the pot. And we’ve been in this environment with alcohol, and it slowly got liberalized to where the marketing’s quite frankly, you know, there’s a few sort of restrictions around Marketing and Sales, but not a lot. I mean, in my town and my country, you can buy alcohol in the supermarket, it literally sits next to the bread and milk here.

 

11:45

Yeah, and it’s advertised right through social media, and always is a good thing.

 

There’s no warning labels telling you, you know, this may be harmful to your health, like there is only if

you’re pregnant, only if you’re pregnant, you get that.

 

11:59

So if you walk around our environment, there are no outward signs of the danger inherent in this product like, and, you know, the problem is that the industry has gotten so big and so powerful, and has such access to our policymakers, you know, through lobbyists and what have you. And they’re so good at what they do, at making themselves look like they hear, you know, they’re always putting out information about how to moderate how to how to limit your drink sizes, all the stuff that looks good on the surface. But actually, it’s disingenuous, because, as we said before, this is an addictive drug that many people can’t moderate.

 

So, we’ve just, there’s a combination of factors that have led to this crazy situation. And the bottom line, a lot of people are struggling and they’re struggling in silence, because they feel they are personally flawed. You blame yourself, and that’s what breaks my heart. Because, you know, I’m not a bad person, you’re not a bad person, we’re not weak. We know people that got addicted to something that’s addictive.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  13:06

That is exactly how I believe and look at alcohol and becoming addicted to it. Like, of course, with enough prolonged exposure, you become addicted to an addictive substance. It’s, I feel like it’s a spectrum of, you know, slow dependence on this addictive substance. And you know, anyone with enough exposure will go down that trail, and a lot of that is societal it is where what you grew up with who your friends are, how much you drink, how often you drink. A lot of times, of course, it’s what’s underneath why you drank right?

 

I had a lot of anxiety. I had a lot of never really figured out how to self soothe without alcohol. And once I found alcohol in college, it was like, Oh, my God, this is amazing. And just wanted more and more and daily. And, of course, it’s addictive. But you’re right. There is, you know, there is this line where people say they think that only a really small proportion of society has a problem with this drug. And we know from talking to people from being a member of groups, there are thousands and thousands and thousands of people and women out there struggling with this. Who never talked about it with each other.

 

14:34

And yeah, and that’s the other problem I have with the statistics that show, you know the number of people that are drinking to hazardous levels. It’s people. It’s self-reported, and often people don’t tell the truth. I mean, I didn’t if I was ever asked, and so I really believe the problem is bigger than what is being reported. But you know, you’re right about there being things behind, you know, why some people get addicted and others, you know, you mentioned things like mental health issues.

 

And also there’s childhood trauma plays a huge part of you’ve had tricky stuff go on. But the bottom line is, there are also a lot of people who can moderate and control the struggle, right, they can actually use it and not use it hazardously. The problem is, we’ve moved our environment way too far in the direction of thinking that everyone’s fine with it. And alcohol is not going anywhere, nor should it, people are allowed to use it if they want, right.

 

Freedom of choice. We’re not talking about prohibition here. But I think we just need an environment that reflects more honestly, the dark side reflects, my experience of struggling with it, and has a bit more caution placed around this product, so that it’s not hailed as an amazingly good thing everywhere.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  16:07

If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule.  You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.

 

I think you’re completely right. And I kind of hope for the arc that cigarettes have taken right where originally it was seen as the way to be cool the way for women to be empowered the way to be independent diagnosis prescribed.

 

17:28

Doctors prescribe it. I mean, I know that, you know, even people talking to their therapist, their doctors, they’ve been like, Oh, well, you know, just have a glass of wine at night. It can relax you, It could like they have their own, they’ve been brainwashed to. And it’s being held up in the same way cigarettes were. And yet now everybody knows cigarettes are addictive and harmful and cause cancer and aren’t healthy at all. They’re still sold. But if you tell someone I used to smoke, and I decided to quit, and it was hard, everybody’s like, good for you. Thank you, God.

 

18:06

Right? That’s so true. I do think that it will happen. I really do. There will come a time when we look back at this environment, we’re living in.

 

Yeah, because humans are smart. I mean, this is just the logical way that we’re going to go because it makes, I mean, it’s the right things that happen, it will happen eventually. But it’s just starting to be chipped away at now. And there’s a lot going on at the moment in the world a lot. You know, we are dealing with a pandemic. I mean, hello, wins that ever happened. You know, we’re dealing with some really extreme political situations like alcohol, alcohols time isn’t here right now. But I do believe it will come I really do.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  18:45

So, what do you think are the biggest changes need to be to sort of, get away from the wine o’clock wine mom culture?

 

18:55

It’s like Marketing, has to be massively curved. I do not think that liquor companies should be able to put out big glossy images of happy, healthy looking people drinking, because those images are powerful. And they just, they’re just telling lies about the reality for so many people. So, I think put curbs on Marketing big time. And so, the public health experts will tell you the 3 things that really change habits are, price availability and marketing.

 

So, at the moment, it’s very, very cheap. It’s available everywhere, and it’s marketed everywhere. I’m kind of saying let’s leave price alone for now because I don’t want to make the drinkers grumpy. Right.

 

I just, like, let’s not hit them in their pocket. But let’s at least put curbs on where it’s available. Take it out of the supermarket, because that just sends a message that it’s harmless and it’s not. And then, put the kibosh on marketing. I think you know, heaven license stores that uh, you know, you have to take a special trip. Do just would lead treat it like it’s a bit more calling me a bit more cautious.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  20:04

Yeah. And I think that you know, it’s this circular feedback loop that we’ve all bought into like we have been conditioned and truly bought in to the idea that alcohol, that wine, that a cocktail, is the be all, end all. It is required for any dinner party. It is required for any date night. It is required for any book club. You know, baby showers by Moses, you name it, you name it.

 

Yeah, like people are drinking, you know, at the soccer games at the football games, you know, where their kids are playing, you know? Yeah.

 

20:37

Okay. See, tell me how long since you’ve had a drink?

 

20:40

Four and a half years?

 

20:42

And, how is your life? Now when you go out and you go to events and socialize? You know? Are you having a terrible time? all the time?

 

20:49

No, not at all. I love it. I love the thing.

 

20:53

That’s why we need people like you and me to be saying, Oh my god, guys. Yes. Guess what? Yes, it’s not true that you need this magic liquid in your glass to make everything fabulous. Like we now just live, right? We go to parties, we go to weddings, we go to events, and we don’t have a terrible time. Sometimes the parties aren’t great. That’s just because it wasn’t our party. Yeah, not about what we’re drinking or not drinking. Like, it’s all of these events are about human connection.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  21:24

Yes. Well, and not only that, I mean, I always think like, if you want to drink to tolerate an event, it’s or a situation or something, it’s the event or situation that needs to change. Not that you need to drink. Because clearly, there’s something underneath that you want to check out of. And so, when you remove the drink, you know, you’re, I mean, you’ve talked about the dopamine hit, and then the withdrawal.

 

I mean, it is physical in the way that it’s i affecting your pleasure centers, it’s, it’s messing with your memory, it’s making you physically ill, it’s up in anxiety. I found once I removed the alcohol, I felt more stable, I felt more content, I felt more able to cope with my life and my job, I didn’t want to jump out of my own skin, the self-hatred went away. I was more honest and open my relationship with my husband got better. I was no longer asking my kids on Saturday morning to be quiet or not jumped because mommy didn’t feel so good. I mean, all of that was better, every part of my life was better. And but I what I needed to do is build, build the ability to get comfortable with not drinking and to have fun and to manage my emotions. And, you know, feel life and cope with it in a healthy way. Because we still get angry, frustrated, bored.

 

22:51

Yeah. And there is a transition and getting used to that. There’s no denying it, you know, it does take a few months to just get used to feeling your feelings. That’s so cliché, but it’s true. And learn strategies. But the other thing I think it’s worth mentioning is, you know, in terms of socializing, going out and having fun.

 

I’m actually naturally quite extroverted. So, I don’t have any social anxiety or trouble with small talk, I just don’t. And it is worth saying that for a lot of people, they do get sober and realize I’m actually quite an introverted person, I’m not comfortable in big groups, I find small talk difficult. I’m at my most happy when I’m either in one on one or very small groups or on my own. And that can also take a bit of adjustment, accepting who you are naturally. And so that’s not a bad thing that you don’t want to go to big parties, you know, and that you find them hellish. It’s part of that transitioning into your authentic self. And trust me, once you do that, and you accept who you are, even if it means you’re at home, more on your own with the comfy pants on watching TV, drinking tea and petting the cat. You’ll be happier.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  24:02

Yeah, absolutely. And so, I wonder one of the things that I love, you’re a big fan of it. I am, too, because I think it’s absolutely critical in quitting drinking is sober retreats. I talk about them all the time. So, tell me about how you look at sober treats, you know, both in early sobriety and now?

 

24:21

Yeah, so in early sobriety, they were very, very important, especially Friday evening, because Friday comes. This Friday, magic feeling that you feel you need something and so, I’d often, I’d go out on a Friday and I’d buy myself fresh flowers, a magazine, a scented candle, just treats for me.

 

And the thing about sober treats is, it’s not so much the actual, physical, you know, item that you’re buying, although all of those things are lovely. It’s the act of doing it, and the message that you’re sending yourself as you’re doing it. You’re saying I deserve this. This is for me, because I’m looking after myself. It’s a little act of self care.

 

I mean, it might be just running a bath and lying in it with your book for an hour, that’s a sober treat. And it’s just a way of acknowledging, you know, to yourself, the incredible job you’re doing turning your life around. So, they are really, really important – these little acts of self care and these treats.

 

Nowadays, it’s, it’s honestly, it’s all about the herbal tea. I’m so, so addicted to tea, it’s like, I don’t like fruity tea or peppermint tea. But I really like strong flavored and herbal teas, you know, with Cardamom or turmeric or, or and there’s so many out there. And I love nothing more than going to a tea store, chatting with the person behind the counter sniffing a million teas buying myself 3. And I never feel guilty about that. I spent $50 on TV the other day.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  25:59

Well, you spend so much money on alcohol, right? You’re healthier?

 

26:04

Yeah, although 9 years after my last drink, I was like, I can’t keep saying, well, let’s see equivalent of a bottle of wine. But I do that.

 

26:12

Yeah. Well, and so I love that too. And I actually when I work with women, I suggest that they literally make a list of things that they’re excited about that might bring them pleasure, comfort, joy, that are not alcohol, because when I first quit drinking, I could not think of anything that I actually enjoyed more than wine, like my mind was blank. When someone said that I’m like, I like a lot of things, but more than wine. So, I walked through this like store and took pictures of things that could possibly be so retreats. Like there was a flyer for a Saturday farmers market, I took a picture of that there was fresh flowers and orchids took a picture of that there were journals that were beautiful, and magazines, I took pictures that I bought some too, but I was like, I need to remember all the beautiful good things in life that are not found in a bottle.

 

27:11

Yeah, and a big part of this is reframing the whole treat and reward concept. Because for years, we have told ourselves especially as women, that wine is our treat, it’s a treat, it’s a reward for a hard day, it’s a reward for being hard working women. And so, we take away our ultimate treat and reward. We feel really bereft. So, it’s about reframing that because ultimately wine is not a reward. It’s a numbing, you know, did nothing once you’ve had that initial dopamine hit, but basically, it’s a depressant. So, it depresses your central nervous system, it cuts you off from yourself, it cuts you off from the people around you.

 

If you’re stressed, it does nothing to alleviate the stress other than a temporary numbing. And then the stress comes back, usually with even more anxiety added on top. So, it is a really flawed treat and reward. But you know, we all believe it. So, no judgement there. And no surprises given our environment. But yeah, reframe that concept. And really think about what is a really good treat, or reward for you, that’s going to nourish you ground, you actually make you feel better.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  28:24

Yeah, I mean, I always say when, when someone is having a really strong emotion, they’re really upset. They’re having a hard day, they’re stressed at work. And they’re like, I really want to drink. I’m like, there, you are stressed, angry, frustrated, you need help. You need to do things to actually alleviate those emotions, versus breaking a bottle of wine over your head and knock yourself unconscious. Like when you It’s like if you have a really bad migraine, and you decide to slam your hand in a car door so that you won’t have your migraine anymore. Like that is sort of my comparison to I’m trying to quit drinking, I’m on day 16 this really true emotion is happening that is negative. Let me drink a bottle of wine and sort of dive back into that drinking cycle.

 

29:19

Yeah, now here’s the other thing, right? So, a bottle of wine does the job right? That’s why we do it. It does give you the temporary release that you’re after from the tough emotion. A bubble bath doesn’t do that. Neither does a scented candle or a bunch of flowers. However, what I have learned in 9 years of being sober, is that actually sitting with the uncomfortable feeling, letting yourself feel the stress, the tension, the exhaustion, whatever, maybe you know, chipping away at the edges with a bubble bath or a cup of tea. But then just allowing you to feel it, as uncomfortable as it is, that’s actually the most helpful thing as time goes on. Because once you allow yourself to feel it, you know, there’s a reason those emotions are there. And you need to acknowledge what those reasons are. And also, let the wise part of you respond, the wise part of you that is gonna respond when it’s forced to, by actually leaving it there.

 

So again, it’s a cliché, but as uncomfortable as it is, and it always happens, I’ve just been through a really uncomfortable couple of weeks with some really gritty, tough emotions. And I’m just coming through it now in the last week, I’m starting to lighten up a bit. And I can look back now on those weeks, a couple of weeks ago, and I feel kind of resolved about it. It’s very hard to explain this, you have to live this way and experience it to really understand but I’ll try. Just looking back at those tough weeks and knowing that I felt it, knowing that I sit with it, knowing that I kind of understand what it was about. Knowing that I own it, the feeling actually feels better. And now I’m lightening up and things are starting to feel a bit more easeful. I just feel better. I mean, it’s, it’s such a much better way to live. But it is a different way to live. Because you have to allow yourself those uncomfortable phases.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  31:30

One, realize, too, that you have bad days, life is hard, life is life, regardless of whether you’re drinking or not drinking. It’s not that you’re going to quit drinking, and you are never going to have a hard time again. It is that you’re actually going to be able to process it and move through it and cope in a healthier way.

 

31:53

Yeah, and it makes you more empathetic as well. Because you’re just more in touch with being human. Not mean being human. It’s hard. Life is hard. Stuff happens all the time.

 

Yeah, I mean, especially 2020. Hello. I mean, look at what we’re all dealing with. Like, it makes sense that we’re struggling. Yeah. And so, it’s just being connected into that. I mean, I, gosh, I spent 20 years trying to avoid feeling anything, especially sadness, that is my big emotion that I really, just didn’t want to feel. And I’ve had to learn how to be sad, and I now know that I’m actually naturally a very watery person. I’ve just, that’s, that’s my kind of go to emotion. If anything hurts me or I, I don’t get angry, I get sad. That’s just who I am. And it’s taken me a while to get used to that, but I actually feel quite good about it now, because it’s, I don’t know, it’s just real. And I feel kind of tender. towards that said part of me and it’s, it’s, it’s lovely.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  32:55

Well, you have compassion for yourself instead of blaming yourself.

 

33:00

Yeah, and that’s just who I am. I just feel okay about who I am. I just tried to not be that I tried to be fun, upbeat Lotta. All I ever wanted to be fun. Lalalalala let’s have fun. And that’s still there. But it’s balanced out now by that watery said part of me that sometimes just retreats and needs to kind of snuggle and be sad.

 

33:27

And have you felt like you’ve gotten more support now that you’re, kind of, more honest about how you’re feeling?

 

33:36

Yeah, I have. You mean, from people around me?

 

Yeah.

 

Yeah, I mean, I, I’ve always had pretty good people around me with my family and my husband. It’s mostly it’s an inside job, honestly, mostly, it’s the relationship with myself. Because we really need to rely on ourselves. I mean, it’s lovely having someone who is understanding and supportive, but it’s about how we respond to ourselves. We’re the ones with ourselves at 3 in the morning.

 

You know, 10 at night, it is that relationship with ourselves.

 

That is crucial. And that’s the one that’s really improved. And I’m sure that all the people around me benefit from that. And I’m just so grateful also that I’m modeling to my children.

 

Being okay with being emotional.

 

34:24

Yes. And I, yeah, yeah. I love that too. And also modeling that mommy doesn’t need to get drunk every night to cope with life.

 

34:36

Yeah, this isn’t just what all adults do. I know.

 

Oh, my gosh, I mean, my children. My eldest is 16. Next week, he’s gonna start drinking soon. I mean, that’s just what will happen. I have to accept that. But I’m just so grateful that he doesn’t have a mom who’s opening a bottle of wine every night at home. It’s just not as reality and it got to be.

 

34:57

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I remember It was, it’s one of my cringe worthy moments. And of course, we made a joke about it because that’s what you do. But I was my son was like, I forget whether he was three or four. We went to go see my in-laws in Florida for Christmas. And we, his Grandma, my husband’s mom, and I went to the grocery store. And his Grandma picked up a bottle of wine. And he said, Oh, for mommy. And she said, Oh, for mommy and me. And he said, we better get another bottle. Like at 3 or 4, like, oh, and it became the joke, right? It became, but, you know, one bottle for two people. That’s not enough for mom. Yeah.

 

35:46

yeah, I had a similar thing with my toddler, the soon to be 16-year-old, who was sitting in the back of a car when I jumped back in the car with a bottle of wine. And he said from his car seat in the back, mum’s juice.

 

36:00

Mm hmm.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  36:02

I know we’re not the only ones, right? I mean, so many women cringe or make a joke about it and post it on social media, when you know, their kids are asked in kindergarten to draw pictures of their family or what mom loves or what mom does, and it’s them with a with a glass of wine, right? That’s a thing. And that’s why mum culture,

 

36:23

Of course, and it’s all over social media and glossy images on memes and cartoons. I mean, it’s everywhere. That kind of imagery and like it’s a funny Haha, and it’s not. And it’s isolating. If you’re struggling and you see that material floating around your Facebook or Instagram. It has a does a little you know, dig into how you’re feeling. If you’re if you’re worried about your drinking, then you feel outside of the joke and it’s not nice at all.

 

36:53

And one thing I think is actually really helpful, is to edit your social media feed or to be really intentional about your social media feed. Like on Facebook, you can actually block alcohol ads, like that’s something you can do. unfollow, you know, of course, I followed a ton of wineries around me we have winery, we have 90 wineries, three miles for me, wine tasting. I think that’s the reason I moved here. But you know, I unfollowed about six of them. I started following you know, things like Hello Sunday Morning and you know, the other things.

 

On Instagram, there are a ton of Sober Bloggers and Sober people, who post about real wonderful things about not drinking and also just other people. You can follow people who you wish to be like, who aren’t alcohol centric, right? So many cool women don’t drink. Glennon Doyle is Sober. Abby Wambach is sober. Brittany Brown is sober. I believe Elizabeth Gilbert is sober. Likea all these fabulous women don’t drink. And so, in their social media feed, they are living really interesting, exciting, thoughtful, intelligent lives. And you’re not going to see the wine memes on there. And that really helps shift what is normal.

 

38:15

Yeah, and just raw, in a real, raw lives. That’s what we want as women and men, but especially as women because we’re such emotional creatures. But you’re right that the sober scene online has exploded. And I say the same thing. I say you got to make your feed your own. If you’ve got a friend who keeps on posting, you know, I deserve this. And that and it hurts you. Then you can block or not block you can mute. You can move freely. One No. Yeah. And it’s not mean. I mean, I’ve had to mute family members. It’s not mean. It’s just self care.

 

38:51

And then also they won’t know they weren’t on it and unfollow it. And also fill up your feed with the good people.

 

You’re right. This… there are so many accounts now. I mean, even in the 9 years since I started blogging, it has really exploded. That’s why I feel positive, because I do think a slow change is coming. It hasn’t filtered into the mainstream yet. But you can find that recovery sobriety stuff. Just, it’s quite easily. Yeah. And once you’ve… once you find one, look at who they’re following, because you’ll find more. And you just fill up your feed with all the good stuff. And it’ll make it really will make a big difference.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  39:27

Changes your mindset. It changes your idea of what is normal. It changes your idea of what is self care and what is fun. I mean, when you see people going on a hike every single weekend and posting these images, gorgeous places. You say, I need to hike more, as opposed to people sitting there clinking their glasses taking pictures of their alcohol. Then if you’re not drinking, you’re saying why do they get to drink it? It activates that part of your mind that romanticizes it you know so you really do believe that messages that you’re surrounded with. And I that’s why I love your blog, the books, the podcasts because we’re recovering out loud. But we’re sharing the wonderful parts of not drinking and telling people who are alone in their houses at 3:00 a.m. Feeling guilty, feeling sick.

 

Hey, I was just like you. And I’m telling you, it’s better on the other side.

 

40:24

Yeah, I mean, sometimes I worry that my social media is really boring, but because all I’m doing, but it’s just illustrating here. I am out at a bar and I’m having a lime and soda.

 

40:35

And it’s not boring to anyone who is in the process of reevaluating their relationship with drinking or stopping drinking, I remember that I needed to inundate myself with the Quit Lit books like yours, I need you know, I read everyone.

 

I listened to them on audiobooks at night, when I was rocking my daughter to sleep. I listened to; I know you’ve been on The Bubble Hour.

 

I have to, I listened to the bubble hour on walks constantly, you need that because you really are deconditioning yourself from, you know, like you said, alcohol has been put on this pedestal that we’ve been sort of indoctrinated into believing that it’s the be all, end all. So, the work that that you were doing, you know, long before it was common, is so important, because you’re giving other people the idea that it’s okay.

 

One of my favorite things that you wrote in your day 3 post is, I’m going to try to do this without any outside support. And what I love is you said, the first time someone commented on your blog, it was like a light bulb went off, you didn’t actually do it without any outside support now.

 

41:54

No, and I think, I now realize it was foolish to sit out to try and do it by myself, because you do need other people. And I found them through my blog. I found this amazing online community. And the first comment, Oh, my gosh, it was like a hug. And then, they started coming more and more. And that’s when I realized there’s a whole lot of people just like me, and we need that peer support. And there’s a growing, emergence and recognition in the addiction sector of the power of peer support.

 

We need clinical people as well. We need the trained people, especially if we’ve got underlying mental health conditions or childhood trauma or things that we need to address. But, just in a general sense in terms of learning how to live every day without alcohol.

 

Definitely, need people who understand what it’s like, and my husband, he wasn’t that guy, you know, he’s a normal drinker. He doesn’t understand that internal struggle I had. And the minute I was connecting with people who got it.

 

Oh, yeah, that 3:00 a.m., you know, guilt or all that craving, where you’re debating in your head for hours about whether or not to drink, no one can hear that. But if other people know what it’s like, it’s so empowering. And I’m a huge proponent of peer support. And that’s why I’m, you know, I now run this online community, which is free for people to join, because it’s funded by the New Zealand government, we’re very lucky. It’s all about peer support. We are just ordinary people talking to each other kindly, and nonjudgmental ways, supporting each other as we go ahead with this. Because, yeah, you do need, you do need to have people around you doing it on your own.

 

43:33

Yeah. And I love that, you know, you were showing and you were showing early, and I know so many people, I found it as well, that there is not just a one size fits all way to recover, you know, a you don’t have to hit bottom and be court mandated to go to meetings, you also, you know, 12 step meetings are not the only way they are wonderful, but they are not the only way I ended up quitting drinking with a sober coach. But I also, you know, so I emailed her every day, I actually recorded my first 30 days of emails to her, which is similar to your you know, I was like day three, day four, here’s what I’m thinking. It’s my first weekend, you know, and it’s amazing to have those I wrote her five days a week for a year. So, I’ve got a year of emails to her about what I was thinking, but that real time feedback, like what you got on your blog, I was critical. And then, similar to living sober, which we’ll link to it’s the site in New Zealand that you run, I found all these sort of secret Facebook, Sober Support Groups, that you know, I remember the first time I posted my story 25,28 women said, My story is just like yours, and it’s going to be okay and I felt like you felt, and I won’t drink with you today. A night, and you’re really brave. And all of that. I mean, I was in tears. I was in tears when I had that come back to me because my husband didn’t get it. My friends didn’t get it, or they weren’t ready to stop.

 

45:13

And we don’t forget, we felt isolated for years, like we were the problem, like we were floored, because we live in this environment that says we should be able to moderate. And so suddenly, when you feel like you’re not alone, it is huge. It’s so empowering and exciting. That’s the thing I just remember. I remember the moment where it all turned for me. And I suddenly started realizing this is what I’m doing is actually really exciting. And interesting. And yes, it’s gritty. And yes, it’s hard. And yes, I have to feel sad. And I’ve tried not to feel sad my whole life. But Wow, something big is happening here. And I’m into it. And once I got that curiosity, that kind of open mindset and that curiosity and that sort of slight bit of excitement sounds weird to say it’s exciting, but it is on a level, you know, that’s when you can really start to embrace the process. And that’s what I always encourage people try and have a really open, open and curious mindset, because what you’re doing is, you know, it’s gonna blow your socks off. And if you’re in the early stages, right now, you’re right on the cusp of making that terrifying decision. Know that there’s gonna come a day when you’re gonna look back and just be like, thank you for doing it. I mean, I look back at that version of me who said on the low at three in the morning on the sixth of September 2011, and floods of tears, utterly wrecked. And I’m like, thank you, you amazing woman. Because you did something that’s got me here. And I’m so grateful.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  46:48

Yeah. And I love how positive you are about quitting drinking and how it’s changed your life and, and how empowering it is. Because I do also. I feel like quitting drinking is a brave thing. And it is a badass thing today. And we’re really cool.

 

Yes, like countercultural men. You know, I was a rebellious teenager. And now I’m a rebellious woman in their 40s. Because I’m saying to the world, stuff there. Yeah, sorry. But no, I’m gonna push against the grain. And I’m going to do it my way. And that really appeals to the rebel and me It’s incredibly countercultural to be a nondrinker. Yeah. And you know, we are the cool ones, trust me.

 

47:32

I know. And I also feel like when I’m talking to people, like at a bar, even coworkers, they’re like, Oh, you don’t want to drink? And I was like, Oh, no, I quit drinking, like f4years ago. And they’re like, you did and like, Yep, absolutely. I used to drink a lot. I decided it wasn’t working for me. I quit. And I feel like I’ve got a story there. There. People are like, wow, that’s probably an interesting story.

 

47:54

Yeah.

 

47:56

Yeah. Like, when you talk to former drinkers, too, you get into those stories, and they’re really interesting. You know, they’ve got some stories to tell.

 

48:07

Yes, we’ve got fabulous skeletons in our closet. But everybody does. But you know, as you go through life, trying to put on the happy, pretty, I’ve got it all together version, and you’re sort of dying of isolation inside. You don’t. You don’t tell those stories. And we laugh. I laugh more with women who quit drinking than anyone in the world. Like you’ve got a sense of humor about yourself, you. You just look back. I mean, stuff is funny. That happened. It’s sad, but and I know people who are in the drinking cycle do not believe us. But when you get some distance from it, you’re able to both feel compassion for where you were, but also, when you get around other women who’ve been where you are. You laugh like you’ve never laughed before.

 

48:58

Yeah, that’s true. And that’s and that’s in its proper, happy endorphins, not chemical chemically induced, you know, happy endorphins. It’s actually genuine belly laughs.

 

I agree with you. I’ve had such that’s the thing about sober emotions, they’re so much more intense. You know, they can be harder to come by because you’re not finding them in a bottle every night. But when you have those really good belly laughs with people, it just feels joyous, doesn’t it?

 

49:28

Yeah. And I also feel like I’ve been able to go back to, you know, when I was a young girl, I loved going I went on 6-week backpacking trips with people and it wasn’t the backpacking, trust me, that I loved. It was sitting around the campfire and having really honest conversations with people and feeling like singing campfire songs and feeling like my heart is so full, I’m going to cry. And I get to do that.

 

Now that I’m sober. I mean, I go to yoga retreats, and we sit around during sharing circles, and people play their guitar and we go on long walks and paddle boarding and skinny dipping. And I swear, I feel like I’m 16 again.

 

50:09

I love that. So ,what did you find in sobriety that had been squashed so much by the alcohol for you? What’s really risen up in terms of your authenticity?

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  50:21

So, I think that my biggest issue was that wine was becoming more and more and more important to me, it was occupying so much more of my mind. And I was so concerned with both wanting it and trying to really control how drunk I got, when I drank, you know, I was drinking more at home, like I’d have a couple of drinks out, and then I come home and open another bottle. And I just had this big secret, like, I used to go up to the bus stop in the morning, and my eyes would be watery, I’d be a little jittery. And I would want nobody to look too closely at me, I didn’t want them to stare at me for too long or have too much of a close conversation. And I am naturally a very, very open person. I mean, I always tell people, I’m a hugger. I want to share; I want to hear from you. I want to, you know, go sit and talk for hours and just closing myself off from people because they didn’t want to look. I didn’t want them to see what was behind the curtain. I didn’t want them to see how watery my eyes were. That was the biggest thing that I had blocked out.

 

51:36

Mm hmm.

 

51:37

That said, So, you were just closing yourself off and isolating yourself?

 

Yeah, I mean, I, I just I keep thinking of all the people who are right now, still in that place where they’re not allowing themselves to really be and really feel and those are the people I want to reach. That’s why I keep doing what I’m doing. Because I just know that there are people who are right now feeling like we did all those years ago, you know, not being themselves, having shame, having isolation, feeling guilty, beating themselves up, feeling stuck, feeling terrified all of it. It’s just like, Oh, God, I just oh, you just want to give him a hug. Right?

 

52:18

I just really want to just drag them into sobriety, because it’s so worth it.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  52:24

Yeah. So, what would you say to those people? Like, if you could tell them two things, right? Now, if they’re listening, what would it be?

 

52:33

Can I have three?

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  52:34

Yes, you can have three.

 

52:36

Okay, number one, be really honest with yourself, because you know the truth, you know the truth, you are waking up at 3 in the morning, you know the truth, to be honest, number two, know, really know deep down in your bones, that change is possible. And that you will get to a place where you don’t miss that stuff at all. And number three, reach out and connect with people who understand what you’re going through. Because that will really help turn things around. And you can do that in person. You can do that online anonymously. You can completely hide who you are online. At first, you know, to feel protected, but connect with others, because that will really empower you.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  53:20

And I’d add one that I know I found from your writing, which is you are not the problem. It is the alcohol. That is the problem.

 

53:31

Yeah, absolutely. And that was my big turning point that last morning that I said on the low on the 6th of September 2011 was that little thought where I had the problem isn’t me. The problem is the alcohol

then is so powerful. The problem isn’t me. The problem is the alcohol and when you’re diminished, and you’re feeling stuck and low and miserable, and you’ve got no self-worth and no pride, you know, being able to tap into that little bit of strength. It’s not me it’s the alcohol that is what might lift you up and out of the problem.

 

Absolutely. And when you say find other people who get it, I really think that it is very important to choose intentionally where you get your sources of sober support.

 

My husband, like your husband, is sort of you know, what you call a normie right he doesn’t get the “no off switch”, get the back and forth. That was torturing me for years about being terrified to give up alcohol because I loved it so much and yet feeling like I was doomed. And I was going to ruin my life and my kid’s life and his life because I was drinking so much and he couldn’t be the one who supported me through it, nor could my best friends from high school and college because either they drank a lot too, or they like him just didn’t get it and the women you’re going to find on the sober blogs, the women you’re going to find through podcasts, the women you’re going to read their stories. To quit with the women, you’re going to feel find on places and men, like living sober, like on the secret Facebook group, they can be your source of sober support, because they do understand.

 

55:13

Yeah, and they’re also lovely.

 

55:17

Like, we’re also afraid that there are going to be drama or problems or it’s like the best side of the internet, honestly. And we, especially over this community I run, I mean, all we do is talk about gritty, you know, I mean, that’s not all gross. A lot of raw emotions and tricky stuff and childhood stuff and problematic family members and all manner of stuff you can’t even begin to imagine. And yet we never and I kid you not, we never have any tension. There are never arguments, there’s never snappiness. Maybe once a year, someone might be slightly off, but the community pretty quickly lets them know we don’t, we don’t deal like that here. And it’s just kind and that alone, especially in this day, and age is gold.

 

56:08

Well, and part of that what I love is when you go on those groups, when you go on like living sober. My favorite secret Facebook group is the booze free brigade. It’s, you know, when you say that it bothers you, in your book, that it bothers you that only one side of the picture is unveiled is visible, that it bothers you that you’ve created an environment for people that admit their truth, that, you know, alcohol is celebrated, as this, you know, great elixir for everything it is in those groups, that you see the other side and not just the problems, but also how much better and life is without alcohol and that alcohol isn’t required. And that is where you’re going to find the other side of the story and that you’re not alone.

 

56:59

Yeah, and that’s what we need. Because as we’ve said, you know, throughout the environment we live in outwardly, doesn’t tell you that stuff that just doesn’t and all you’re seeing is happy people drinking. You genuinely think that everyone’s having a great time, and you’re the only one who’s not. And that’s just not true. It’s a madness. I mean, I just get frustrated sometimes because I just get frustrated because I think this is crazy land, crazy land and harmful crazy land. But I have to kind of calm myself down and just accept that we don’t always get everything right. And at the moment, this is just a big problem. That’s one day that we fixed. But right now, we do live in crazy land. And we have to somehow remind ourselves, we’re not crazy.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  57:44

I have to say that the books you have published have such staying power. I know you published Mrs. D Is Going Without, a number of years ago. And to this day, it is touching people and helping them I did a Podcast on The Best Quit Lit For Women. And I asked all these women I know, what are the books that helped you through that period of when you needed help when you needed support, what helped change your mind about what drinking is and what sobriety is or life without alcohol is and a friend of mine. Kylie recorded an audio about your book. And she said that she read it when she was 3months sober. And at the time, she just needed something funny. She needed to be uplifted. She said that she read many memoirs that were raw and gritty, and she needed something different and that your book Lada was wonderful and witty and charming and real and funny. And she really needed your approach to the sobriety path. And she needed it when she was 3 months into the process.

 

So, what you were writing, resonates and helps women for years and years and years. And I just wanted to thank you for that because it’s important.

 

59:06

Thank you, that it actually means a lot, because I sometimes need to be reminded of that, I think. Because you know, putting out a book is a very strange process. It’s very lonely when you’re writing and then, it’s very heady when you’re actually releasing it and then it goes very quiet. So, it is a bit of an emotional minefield, but I do. I do feel good about them and I do know that you know they’re out there to live on and have their own lives out in the world and the first memoir Mrs. D is going without which was 6 years ago. Now we released it does trickle away, reaching people. So yeah, I do feel good about what I’ve done and what I’ve seen. And even if I move on now with work or whatever it is, I know that if anyone is ever wondering what I think it’s all written out there, in black and white.

 

59:57

Yeah, and just by documenting your process not only of giving up drinking and those early days, but also with Mrs. D Is Going Within and how you, you know, needed to go beyond that, right? You give up this really maladaptive and addictive coping strategy. And then you’re left with your feelings, and you need new coping strategies, and you need new ways to navigate life. And those are the healthy skills that are going to serve you forever.

 

1:00:29

Yeah, and that comes later. because like you said before, so brilliantly, when we first quit, we need to really throw ourselves into that just that process of reading Quit Lit, joining groups being really busy and active, just learning how to not drink. And then as time goes on, we don’t need to do so much of that work anymore. Because becoming, being a nondrinker is just normal, right? We’re not actually having to concentrate every day on not drinking alcohol. And that’s when the other stuff needs to come in. Because the emotions come the tricky things happen. And that was when I realized I just didn’t really have any go to tools in my toolbox. So that’s what that second book is all about me developing those. And that’s still ongoing that work and things shift and change over time. That’s the other thing. I find what worked for me and my first sort of three, four years of sobriety, maybe doesn’t anymore, and I’ve had to kind of relook at what tools I have in place to help me cope with things. There’s a lot of time that’s freed up by not so much time. My latest obsession is jigsaw puzzles.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  1:01:34

Uh, huh. I am not a puzzle girl at all. I never had that. So, I maybe, when I get to year, year 8, year 9, I’ll develop it. But I’m not sure. It’s sort of like Scrabble. It’s not my jam.

 

1:01:47

You’ll find your own things, Casey.

 

1:01:49

Yes. Yeah. And one last thing I know, we talked about really consciously taking a look at the Marketing messages that you’re surrounded by taking a look at how much of that is funded by the alcohol companies how much they’re targeting women, I’m you know, see bottles of wine that are that are, you know, mommy’s happy hour or mommy’s timeout, or, you know, all those things. And we talked about editing your social media feed, which I feel like, is so critical and diving into sober support communities that tell the other side, both the good of not alcohol, not having alcohol in your life, as well as the truth that it is not harmless. Do you have any other piece of advice for women who are really trying to get out of really buying into that mummy white culture that wine is the magic elixir?

 

1:02:49

Just know that the liquor industry is, is really targeting you heavily. They know what they’re doing, and they are trying to get your dollar. So, they all of the marketing and branding and pushing around alcohol and the pinking of liquor that they do is very clever and targeted. And so just know you’ve got to try and remember and remind yourself constantly that you are being manipulated. You know how Jen is having a resurgence at the moment. And there’s gin clubs, and there’s botanicals and organics. And that is a specific push to get women back into gin. And it’s worked. And it’s all come from boardrooms and liquor companies. Let’s make gin nothing. And sure enough, in my neighborhood, there’s women going to gin clubs and buying books on gins and doing mixing and it’s just, it’s just very, very specifically targeted to you, you are being played. So, no. That just try and put a filter on. And every time you see something you know, in your Facebook feed or in a magazine or anywhere that’s trying to tell you that your life’s gonna be better because of this sort of alcohol. They just want. They don’t actually care about your life. They want your money. It’s a business. So, try and just have a really clear filter on it.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  1:04:16

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. Thank you so much for coming on. And for your books. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

 

1:04:24

Oh, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for having me. Made me feel really good today.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  1:04:29

All right, I think I’m actually going to go have a cup of tea because I have to say I’m a coffee girl but when you’re talking about tea and all the the kinds of tea you love I I do have a lot I feel like everyone who quits drinking buys the massive tea collection and I actually you know, for years and don’t dip into it very much. So I’m going to go do that. Um, great.

All right, thank you.

Okay, bye.

So thank you for coming on here. I couldn’t appreciate it more. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 

ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST

The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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