When I first tried to stop drinking, I couldn’t get much more than 4 days alcohol-free, so the idea of 90 days of sobriety seemed impossible.
Looking back I now realize that part of why staying sober for 90 days felt so hard was that the first week was miserable and I had no idea what to expect for the next 3 months.
Would I feel better? Or would I be irritable, tired, sensitive and desperately wanting to go buy a bottle of wine for 90 days in a row?
I didn’t know that the hardest part of sobriety was those first two weeks that I was doing over and over again. And I had no idea how to get through them.
So I want you to have the information I didn’t have when I was in the drinking cycle.
I asked Courtney Andersen, a Sober Coach, Podcast Host, and Author of Sober Vibes, A Guide To Your First 3 Months Without Alcohol to help me break down exactly what to expect in your first 90 days of sobriety.
In this episode, Courtney and I discuss:
- What to expect and how you might feel in your first three months of sobriety
- 5 strategies to set you up for sober success in your first 90 days
- How to navigate discomfort, especially when the novelty of alcohol-free life fades
- Why women sometimes drink more after becoming a mother
- How a gratitude practice can help you rewire your brain from resentment and negativity to appreciation and joy
- Why taking a 30-day break from socializing can help you build a solid sober foundation
- How your physical and social environment can set you up for success or self-sabotage
- How to find support for your sober journey
Courtney’s recommendations for what to do in your first 90 days sober
1. Know Your Why: Understanding why you’re pursuing sobriety is most important. Regularly revisit this reason to maintain your resolve.
2. Clear Your Space: Remove alcohol from your living environment to eliminate potential triggers.
3. Seek Support: Reach out for assistance. Whether through friends, family, or online communities. Support is vital in challenging moments.
4. Establish Routines: Set up healthy morning and evening routines to anchor your day and promote positive habits.
5. Practice Gratitude: Embrace gratitude for even the smallest joys, which helps rewire your brain away from negativity.
3 Ways I Can Support You In Drinking Less + Living More
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Connect with Courtney Andersen
Courtney Andersen is a Sober Coach, Podcast Host, and Author. Courtney is the founder of Sober Vibes, an online community for the Sober, Sober curious. She also founded National Sober Day, celebrated on September 14th.
Learn more about Courtney and how she can support you on your first 90 days of sobriety, head over to her website www.courtneyrecovered.com
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
What Can You Expect In Your First 90 Days Of Sobriety with Courtney Andersen
alcohol-free, empowered relapse prevention, sober curious, practical tools, choose, early sobriety, change, process, ingrained beliefs, automatic, habits, alcohol, valid, feelings, recovery, how to socialize sober, how to talk to people, expand your social circle, how to say “NO”, learning process, personal development, meditation, gratitude journal, First 90 days sober, stay connected to your why, cope with life, rock bottom, when you do quit drinking , your world opens up, full potential, self-sabotage, Coach, limiting mindset, mindset shift, limiting beliefs, good enough, trauma, shame cycle, PTSD, journal prompts, clean out your home, stop hoarding wine or beer, spruce up, sage the area, create a calm environment, candles, aromatherapy, make your living space a sanctuary, makes you feel good, stopped drinking, essential oil, sober treats, new habit, rewiring your brain, routines, practice, present moment, hangover, support is key, support group, 12 step programs, online communities, 1-on-1 Coaching, behavior change, quit drinking, Atomic habits, James Clear, behavior, reward, acceptance, positive feedback, pick yourself up, Sober Vibes, 90 Days, sobriety, Alcohol-free, how to socialize in sobriety, empowered relapse, let go of shame, learn from it, move forward
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Courtney Andersen
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 buzz, 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. Today we are talking with Courtney Andersen, a Sober Coach podcast host and author of the new book, Sober Vibes, which came out on August 15. So, if you’re listening to this, on the day it launches, it’s available now and it released just two days ago.
Courtney is the founder of Sober Vibes, an online community for the sober and sober curious. She also founded, National Sober Day, celebrated on September 14. And today, we’re going to of course be talking about Courtney’s book, but also about
The first 90 days of sobriety
and what to expect, which I know is so relevant for so many of you who are interested in going alcohol-free, but are finding the first couple months, the first couple of weeks really difficult. And trust me, I was there for years and years.
She’s going to talk about empowered relapse prevention. And we’re going to chat about how to socialize in sobriety.
So, if you are in the early phases of going alcohol-free, if you’re sober curious and wondering what to expect if you’re looking for useful, practical tools. This episode is for you.
So, Courtney, welcome.
Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here and excited to talk to you again, because you were on my podcast. And we had a great conversation.
Casey McGuire Davidson 02:53
We did. We did. It was great to talk to you. So, I was excited to have you on one because love your book. I actually wrote a little blurb for your book. So, I read it and I love it.
And the beginning of sobriety is so hard, right?
That’s very hard. It’s very hard because you’re doing something new. And anytime you choose to do something new, and it’s a change. It’s a tough process.
Casey McGuire Davidson 03:25
Yeah. And we have so many decades of ingrained beliefs in, sort of, like automatic habits around alcohol.
I was texting with a client this morning. And she was like, you know, she’s doing great. She’s at 40 days, she’s feeling incredible and then had like three bad things happen to her at once. And she was like, Oh my God, I want to drink, and she didn’t. She used all the other tools, but it is just that automatic, almost unconscious, you know knee jerk reaction of these three bad things happen my solution is grab a drink.
Absolutely. And that’s it’s normal. It’s also normal to miss, you know. Miss alcohol, but not want it in your life. Because eventually down the road you do you have that where you’re like, oh, like kind of romanticize it, but then be like, Well, no, I don’t want that. But I miss the old me from time to time and I missed that relationship that I had with the drink.
Casey McGuire Davidson 04:26
Yeah, I mean, it definitely is like sort of a love-hate relationship or toxic boyfriend. Right? And as you get further away, you remember the highlights, and not how much you wanted to change sort of the rut you were in.
One thing that I think’s really interesting that my husband said to me when I had him on the podcast, was because I was like, yeah, it just made me feel X and Y and Z and I loved it. And he was like, yeah, how much of that was the alcohol? If you’re missing, or how much of that is you missed being 27, before kids and adulting, and a mortgage and your schedule, and I was like, Who? Yeah, really must be 27. Right?
Oh my god. Absolutely. And again, I just want to keep saying it, that those feelings are all okay, and are all valid because I think too, when you start saying stuff like that, it’s like people all of a sudden will suddenly be like, Well, are you going to drink? Are you going to drink? And I talked about this in the book where it’s like, no, you’re not listening. Like, I’m just stating a feeling. And just because you have a feeling one doesn’t always mean that you that it’s true, right, like, so.
And the second thing is that you don’t have to act upon that feeling.
Yeah, you can take the PAWS. But yes, and that’s why it’s to, you know, at 19 years old when I started drinking, because I waited till I was 19. Because for so long, I was like, no, no, no, I don’t want to become an alcoholic, you know, like family members. And then, of course, at 19, I, I live in the suburbs of Detroit. So, we could go over to Windsor. And that was about a 20 minute drive in Windsor, the drinking age is 19. So, like, I fell in love with him. And as soon as I drank, I was like, Oh, this is great. But I didn’t start at 19 to be like, I have a problem right off the bat, it eventually grew to something that was darker, and evil.
Casey McGuire Davidson 06:29
Yeah, yeah, I feel you so well.
So, let’s talk about the first 90 days of sobriety and what to expect.
So really, what to expect the first 90 days is, probably people aren’t going to want to hear this, but this is the truth. Because people need to be truthful when it comes to sobriety and recovery. And the first 90 days are going to be uncomfortable.
So, you can expect a lot of uncomfortableness, a second thing you can really expect, especially to if you do not get the pink cloud. And if you’ve heard the term pink cloud before, and you haven’t experienced it yet. It’s really where you feel euphoric. You quit drinking, and you’re like, Oh, my God, this is great. But I’m going to tell you something, that cloud and that bubble will burst in time, whether you’re 120 days in, or you know, 1200 days, and it will eventually burst.
So, what’s great if you don’t get it, those first 90 days, you go through that uncomfortableness and almost where then you’re like, Okay, I’m dealing with this. This is uncomfortableness, I’m not in this euphoria, yet, but you will get into your own type of euphoria down the road. The first 90 days to as I, as I wrote about, you know, it’s very good as well, to understand that you can say no to social settings, you don’t have to say yes to everything. And I actually highly recommend for people to take like a 30 day social socialization break.
Okay, I know some people are probably listening. Like, that’s not possible. It actually is. You know, I understand that sometimes if you have a, and I’m not talking about like your daughter’s soccer game. That’s not what I’m talking about. Like, the going out after with the parents where all you used to do was sit there and drink IPAs and get fucked up, right? Let’s not go there. Go to the soccer game, call it a day, go home.
You know, even to work events. You don’t have to go to those unless, of course, they’re mandatory. But I don’t know that a lot of after work events are mandatory, right. And so, a lot of those events, it’s okay to say no to because what you want to do in those first 90 days is really build a nice solid foundation, especially when you’re getting through that uncomfortable stage. Yeah.
Casey McGuire Davidson 08:57
And also, eating, or worse, right, like, right at the beginning. I mean, you want to drink and that’s muscle memory. And that’s habit. And that’s how you have fun and comfort yourself. And that’s also, you know, you’re in physical withdrawal. I mean, I didn’t really go out my first 30 days. And for me, it was easier because I live in Seattle, it was February. I had two little kids, right? So, it’s not that I didn’t do anything that was fun or for me, but like, I got takeout. I got pedicures, I had a massage on Saturday afternoon. I went to the gym and sat in the Steam Room and did laps I exercised in the morning, and I’ve been found that TV and read novels like that wasn’t a terrible time other than navigating my entire life without drinking which was really hard and being like Oh my god, what am I going to have for dinner? And what am I going to do? And what is this mean? And am I not going to drink for the rest of my life? Right, but not going to bars and happy hours? It doesn’t mean your life’s going to suck, it means you’re actually expanding the universe of things you do that you enjoy that you’ve ignored for a long time? Oh, yeah.
100%. And that’s the thing too, like you, I mean, for almost 90 days, I, I sat at home, because a lot of my drinking and for women, it’s one of two ways you’re either very social with it, or you’re sitting at home, drinking Chardonnay on your couch and cry. And to the women who go out and be social, usually you end up back at home crying,
Casey McGuire Davidson 10:44
I was going to say, I didn’t vote. I drink seven nights a week. So, I was yeah, really social and home on my couch with my computer, open drink, right.
So, but when you saw those, like, first 90 days, because I didn’t have hobbies, I had a Google hobbies, which I still laugh about to this day. And then when I first quit drinking, which was back in 2012, so it wasn’t like there was all of this social media boom, I had a as my option. And so also, just because that is there that can’t make up your whole entire life.
Casey McGuire Davidson 11:19
How long ago? Did you stop drinking out of curiosity? And how old were you?
August 18, 2012, of SNAP stroke. Yeah. So, and I was 29 years old, and I was about six weeks shy of turning 30. Like, I was going to go to Vegas, it’s still to this day, I’ve never been to Vegas. So, I think the universe did not want me and Sin City and my drinking days. And so, all I knew was work and drinking. Drinking was my hobby. If you’re listening to this, and you resonate with that, it is okay, that’s okay. But there’s somewhere inside of you where there are, you’re going to find that there are things that you like to do, and you’re going to pick up a hobby. So, during that time, and this was when streaming started on Netflix, and so I had to stream, Friday Night Lights, I will forever love that TV show. Because I had to watch something wholesome, I had to take a pause on The Real Housewives and I Mod Podge picture frames, I had to keep my hands busy. And I had to sit in my house. Because again, all of my drinking, a lot of it was social. So, I had to get very comfortable in my own skin and my own house and be okay, just sitting still.
Casey McGuire Davidson 12:32
Yeah, and I know a lot of people too, they drink in their house, which I did as well. And so obviously, like going out to a bar or restaurant with my girlfriends who always ordered multiple bottles blind, I needed to avoid that. But even when I was home, I had to change my routine. So, I would try to like, get dinner out of the way pretty quickly, pretty early. And then I would when I put my daughter was super young she was to I would go rock her to sleep and instead of, you know, getting out of there as quickly as possible to get back to my wine on the couch. I would just stay up there with her and hold her and rocker and listen to audiobooks or super podcasts in my earbuds. And then I go to my room and put on like the essential oil diffuser and like, read a book and binges show I think binging shows is a legit way to get through early sobriety like a really good one.
Oh, yeah. 100%. And like, No, you’re not when it comes to that too much to talk about. Because then people are like, well, you know it because I am. I’m a huge supporter of rest, you need to rest to those, those first 90 days you don’t understand. Because you do you don’t understand how much damage you’ve done to your body. And that’s not to say to scare you, it’s just the reality of the situation when you’re drinking poison every day or five days a week for a period of 10 years, or plus, right. So, you are going to go through that detox, and you are going to go through withdrawal which you should talk to a doctor about first before you just quit drinking alcohol. But then you hit PAWS. And PAWS, which is, post-acute withdrawal syndrome, you will experience being tired and then you know, and a lot of people always ask me like, when is this tiredness going to be over and it’s like when your body is not tired anymore? You can’t. Not every one person hits the like, not everybody hits the same marks. And that’s what people don’t understand. It’s like it’s your body is completely different than my body and how it processes things in the rest that it needs. I don’t I am a mother of an almost two year old so like, I’m sure quitting drinking alcohol when you quit drinking alcohol that you weren’t hires than having two kids and one being a 2-year-old. Like, there are a lot of words.
Casey McGuire Davidson 14:58
Yes. And I started going to bed really early versus drinking on the couch and not having the 3am wake ups. And not being hungover in the morning. Like, I feel like it evened out, like I wasn’t more tired than I was when I was drinking every day. I slept a lot more though. And like I actually allowed myself to nap on the weekends, because I wasn’t worried that my husband would think I was hungover, you know? But yeah, I mean, your body is exhausted from the constant ups and downs and highs and lows you’re putting it through. So, you’re going to need to rest I think listening to your body is so important like that. The silly thing is, it’s like, Oh, my God, I’m so tired. And it’s like, rest. That’s the answer, like you’re actually taking care of yourself.
Casey McGuire Davidson
Hi there. 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. And 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
Yeah, and for people who have a hard time with, like, I’m resting, I got to be doing this, this, and this, you know, you little high achievers, you, you need to rest, because resting will be the most important. One of the most important, “tools” you can start doing for yourself, you have to also understand that in your drinking days, you were never getting a proper night’s sleep. And alcohol actually did the opposite.
So, you so even though if you were like, Oh man, I passed out last night, I had great sleep, like you really didn’t. So that plays also into effect of when you start getting sober and living a life without alcohol. But yeah, and to go into bed early, start get your circadian rhythm, like, get it going down. The one thing that I worked super hard on was that because I worked in the restaurant industry for years and years and years, so the last night I stopped drinking with my last bar shift. And so, I was like a person who came home at 2am. You know, party through the night slept most of the day, I was that person on that schedule. So, it took me a really long time then to flip it to get myself on the quote unquote, “9-5” I just got.
Casey McGuire Davidson 17:13
This is really interesting, because your life, in your schedule, was very different than mine was. And I actually think it’s super helpful to have different people talk about how they did it and what their life was like. So, you were bars, restaurant industries, drinking out, too am, I was a decade older than you. So, I stopped drinking a few months after my 40th birthday. And so, I was work hard work, get home at 6pm with the kids open a bottle of wine. You know, drink it sometimes open a second, the past out on the couch by 10:30. And then up, I would get up still sometimes at 5:30 to go work out with like a bottle of wine in my belly, which was a fucking nightmare doing putting your head below your arm. So, you know, yeah. But if not, I was scrambling myself out of bed at 7:30 to get the kids ready and wandering into work like with a huge smile and a brutal headache. So very different. And yet the emotions and the physical things you’re going through are exactly the same.
The same and like here’s the thing, so you had your like five o’clock itch, right? Okay, of wanting that alcohol, I had mine at like, nine o’clock, like, so in, we all have the same image. It just, it hits us differently on what our schedule is. And that’s why to like, that’s why in in the process of sobriety and recovery, you really have to tailor your sobriety and recovery to you. And that’s what I tried to do in this book. That’s why there’s journal prompts in there, like, you have to really figure it out for yourself. You cannot be like, Okay, well she did this, this, and this. And it’s like, well, that’s great. But like I said, you don’t know what that person’s schedule was. You don’t know what they have on their plate that sugars are.
Casey McGuire Davidson 19:14
Exactly, yeah, a lot of women who drink at home, they actually leave their house around 530 to 730 or whatever it is, whether it’s switch off with our partners, I mean, they might not be able to do it every day, but maybe twice a week. Or get really easy dinners like in the summer get take a picnic to a park with your kids just pick up sandwiches and you know a drink and stay out there you know, for a little while or start eating earlier and then going into an evening workout class or you know, whatever it is so, I think that’s great advice to tailor you know, don’t just imitate what other feel like there’s a universe of things that would help you? What are some of those journal prompts in your books that as someone getting started with this process and trying to figure out what they need?
What are some of the things that they might journal about? Well, one journal prep that I have been there multiple amount of times, because it’s the most important of what you have to stay connected to the reasoning of why you quit drinking, not the reason of what brought you to drinking, because that’s a whole nother thing, you’ll figure out down the road. Don’t rush that, because once you figure it out, you’re going to be like, mind blown, I need to binge watch some television for two days, and healthy, disassociate. But the one constant journal prompt that I have in there is probably I think in there about four times, because it takes you through the process of the first three months without alcohol is what is your wife quitting drinking. And that is something and this is, you know, as I will hit 11, on the 18th of August, my Y has continuously changed. So, in the beginning, it was of course, like I was getting tired, I lost my rescue cat for the second time, I, you know, told my boyfriend million times I wanted to kill him. The last night I stood over bad and threatened his life. And it was the failed opportunities. It was the 10 year cycle of just being in the shame and guilt. So that was a why in the beginning, and then as life continued to move on, and through the process, it’s like my why change? Yeah, when I had my son, and when I had my son, so that was almost two years ago. And then when he was born, because as you know, as being a mom, those first like four or five months are wonky. I started getting walking, because I was sleep deprived. And as I said earlier, I worked really hard to get my sleep in a certain
Casey McGuire Davidson 22:03
extraordinarily kind word for what you said, I told my girlfriend, who was like, Oh, my God, she, and her husband, she thinks he walks on the moon. They’ve been together since they’re 18, or whatever. And I had my son four months before she had her son. And I was like, just see, no, everybody wants to get divorced at six weeks. Like that was actually my personal experience. I was like, we’re going to viscerally hate your husband. Now if you guys didn’t go through this listening, God bless you. But I was just, you know, your first child. You’re like, What the actual fuck? Like, my life has shrunk by 80% You know, and I’m doing all this stuff. And the kid screams at me constantly. And you’ve like, somehow modified your life 20% And think you’re a hero. And you know, and she was like, Absolutely not Mattie’s incredible, whatever. And then six months in, she was like, I fucking go into my parents. If I knew I’m going to be a single mother, I would have done XYZ and I was like, All right, good luck. Good. But I was like, this is a face like having your first child is brutal, brutal.
And I will say because he was. He came at 36 weeks and 4 days. So, he came about a month early. But if you, anyone listening to this, if you have had a baby early. So, he woke up. He woke up around my, when I say that, like he started crying like a month on his due date, which was my husband’s birthday – was September 25. He, we, were at his grandparents’ house and then all of a sudden, the witching hour started coming and I was like, What is going on? He was, you know, he’s, he’s still perfect. But I was like, this baby was quiet, like slept. So yeah, so like, I was getting wonky in my sobriety there. And I had to get myself back together in a sense of because it was about 4 months. I stopped my personal development. I stopped my meditation. I stopped my gratitude journal, which was all okay, because when you become a new mom, your world is turned upside down. But I started getting a little wonky and the thought of drinking alcohol sounded really good.
Casey McGuire Davidson 24:19
A lot of women ramp up their drinking even more after kids and oh my gosh, they’re just like, I don’t know what happened and I’m like I do.
But I have to say that in that moment, I will never forget it. There was one night and yes, my husband and I, we were like, 3am yelling, “fuck you!” down the hallway to one another like, try like, having the vacuum on. Trying to get CJ to sell my gun.
Casey McGuire Davidson 24:44
What is with the husbands that they lay there with the baby screaming, pretended they’re asleep of, like, anyway, movie night. That was many moons ago.
Yes, it was. I was up with him at like two one. One night, and I was sitting there rocking him. And I just remember, I was like, This is why women drink. And it like, broke me in a way because for the first time in a very long time, well, for the first time ever, I could empathize towards women, moms in particular of why they drink more than they do. After becoming a mom. I got it. I got it. And it only took me You know, I think at that point, it was like, I think he was like around 3, 3 months.
Casey McGuire Davidson 25:35
Yeah, it’s hard. It’s hard. And all that is to say, if you drank more, when you had a baby or after than you did before, a lot of us feel like oh my God, what’s wrong with me? I’m the worst mother ever, XYZ. There’s nothing worse than waking up with a baby, a toddler, a little kid crying when you have a brutal hangover or not waking up when they’re screaming and having your spouse be like, dude, what was up? You know, you couldn’t wake up and you were not pretending like your husband is just getting by, but it happens. And it’s warm on it’s understandable. So, there was a little bit of a tangent, sorry.
So, first 90 days, stay connected to your why. So, my why. I did the same thing. And I think a lot of people do it when they’re still drinking, or at least I did. I don’t know if anyone listening has written themselves the letter after they drank the next day when they feel terrible. And my why was, I think less, more boring than yours. You know, meaning mine was like, I want to stop feeling shaky. I felt like I couldn’t cope with life. I felt like, I literally could not cope with one more thing between work and house and kids in life.
I wanted my husband to stop asking me how I was feeling in the morning because I wanted to stop not remembering stuff that happened at night and trying to pretend that I did. I wanted to stop passing out. I wanted to stop having bloodshot, watery eyes, I wanted to 3am wakeups. So, it wasn’t meaning externally dramatic like, you were like, I tried to kill my boyfriend twice. But it was still like a death of 1,000 cuts. And to me, that was still really meaningful. I mean, this, I felt like I was going to fuck up my life and my marriage and my kids and my health, and it was going to be my fault.
Yeah, well, and that’s the thing. And you know, I know a lot of people have a hard time with the word, rock bottom. But this is how I look at the word rock bottom. It’s when you finally say enough is enough. Whether enough is enough with alcohol. Do I want to continue of just what you said? Like, yeah, it wasn’t the, you know, threatening your boyfriend’s life, which I just want to add, he is now my husband. I know. I know.
So, like, it just comes to the point of like, how do you want to live this life? Do you? How do you want to show up? Do you want to keep showing up like a pig person like I was? Or do you want to keep showing up late with, if you even just have increased anxiety or like, fear this is holding me back from my full potential?
You talked about it earlier, when you do quit drinking , your world opens up. It’s like the gates open up where you’re like, oh my god, I lived a very limited life for so long because I put limitations on where I went out, who I went out with. But you know what? I watched whatever the case may be, that you limited it because what had the most control over you was alcohol and alcohol stopped from you. You know, being able to do things whether it’s because you couldn’t, you didn’t want to drive. Or you were nervous to go into a new place because it made you feel uncomfortable, and you were fine. Just hanging out at the restaurant down the corner of the street like whatever.
Casey McGuire Davidson 29:22
Like am I order another glass of wine? Is it weird? am I drinking too much? I just you know, I’m going to leave and go home and open a bottle of wine there or can they tell or for me like coming home for a date night like how much do I pay the babysitter and my calculating it? I don’t want to underpay her, so I would always overpay her and like didn’t want her to, but she loved you. Oh god. Yeah. Like, mom comes home drunk and pays me way too much like, right? How embarrassing, right? But like, Yep, I was like, I’m sure she can’t tell. Oh my god, she could totally tell.
You might have been to with alcohol like a failed relationships or shots you didn’t give because you were under the influence. And we’re like, No, I mean, even this kind of gets a little bit deeper, but like, even like, you know, of what a person has experienced or like always going towards those bad girls or bad boys and not giving, not giving a nice guy shot because you were diluted with alcohol.
Casey McGuire Davidson 30:26
Yeah, or I was hungover at pretty much. I mean, I drank all the time. But like every job interview I ever had, I was kind of hungover because I was like, “nervous” the night before. So, I would actually drink more the night before, which is so messed up. Like, in my mind, it was just a self-sabotage.
Yeah. And that’s what it is. Because a lot of it, it’s, it’s at some point in our life, because as you know, as a Coach, too, you know, a lot of this has to do with limiting mindset and a mindset shift. And there’s, at some point in your life, you picked up these mindsets and these limiting beliefs where you don’t feel like you’re good enough, because your mom or dad told you, you weren’t or your brother told you, you weren’t. Or you had a teacher in the fifth grade, who told you weren’t smart enough. And then the story stuck. And then also too, if you add in trauma, everybody’s got their own type of trauma. And then you believe alcohol helps you? Yes, but the thing is then to once you start getting into that drinking mode, and once alcohol as you hit the point of no return, because there are people who can drink normally. Good for them. But for millions upon millions upon millions of us for years, and years and years and decades. We cannot and then you start experiencing. You start creating the drinking, the trauma drinking, and the trauma that goes in devolve involved in your drinking days. I mean, because you were under the influence, you know, where it’s like, oh, okay, like that happened. Would that have happened if I wasn’t drinking? Yeah. You know what I put myself into that situation. So, and to just the shame cycle, when you live that over and over and over again, again, I’m just throwing this out there. It’s almost like you’re creating like Complex PTSD. And then you have to go through that as well, each day. Like, Oh, I feel like this every day. Yeah.
Casey McGuire Davidson 32:25
So, the first thing, the most important thing in the first 90 days that will help you is knowing your why and you have journal prompts around, figuring out what that is, what else is helpful in terms of like getting, getting clear on why you’re doing this?
Well, I definitely think sometimes you can’t over analyze it, right? Like, you just have to go day one, like, Okay, I’m not going to drink today. What else is going to help with that is it’s, it might sound easier said than done. But I just want people to stick with this in their mind of the simple fact of how to stop future tripping. And in that meaning that I don’t want that you have to stop thinking of your brother’s wedding that’s going to happen in Italy, five years down the road, when currently, in this day, your brother doesn’t even have a boyfriend or girlfriend or fiancé, you know, there’s, there’s none of that. But you’re thinking of all the scenarios that’s going to happen down the road and how you are going to be without alcohol. So, with that, we have to stop that type of thinking. Because it’s very helpful. And it’s just very important for everybody to take it a day at a time.
Also, to help start in the first 90 days is also clean out your home. Stop, stop, stop. Because a lot of people do this stop hoarding wine or beer that you still have in your house. Throw it out if you’re living with somebody who is a drinker, because this will happen. You need to ask them like, Hey, can we please not have alcohol in the house anymore? Until I’m comfortable with it down the road. And I have to say this, my husband gave up drinking with me. Matthew did not have a problem. But he just got to a point in his life where he was just a Psych and on he would have two drinks and have a hangover. So, it didn’t really it didn’t really impact him like it did me. And to this day, you know, I’m like if you ever want to go back to drinking you can have Franks. I was like, but at this point, I don’t want it in our home. Like that. Even at 11 years. I don’t want it in our home. I just don’t and so I think that that’s fair to ask a person and if they’re like, well, NO. then be like, okay then. Can you just hide it from me? Yeah. Or put it in the garage where I cannot see it but like stop with you know, letting go of the couple bottles wine that you have in the fridge or the Jameson bottle you have up in the cabinet that like your grandma gave you five years ago,
Casey McGuire Davidson 35:07
my recommendation just because my husband still does drink is very similar to yours, which is get the alcohol out of the house. Because you are going to have a weak moment. Like, I feel like it’s the elephant in the room, you know where it is, at every moment, even if you white knuckle it through the first week, the first two weeks, you know, like my client, you’re going to have three bad things happen, you’re going to want to drink. And if it is not at arm’s reach, you will get through that moment. If you have to actually get in the car and drive somewhere and buy it and just have all those moments to like, pause in between. I asked my I didn’t tell my husband all the stuff about oh my god, I’m worried about my drinking, yada, yada, yada. I just was like, pretending that it was like one of my million health kicks. So, I was like, I’m not drinking for X amount of time. I need to not have wine in the house. Because it’s really hard for me, you know, I love it. Please don’t bring you on home. And can we not have it around. And he really annoyed me when he drank around me. But to this day, I don’t have wine in my home, because I don’t drink wine. And he was a beer guy. So, he could. It didn’t like, kill him to not have wine at home, he basically drank wine with me. So, he was like, alright, we don’t have wine in our home, he still has beer, I have my NAB. Or if you’re able to get all the alcohol out of the house, great. You know, in my mind, like, when I went on my million, like, oh my god, I’m going to eat healthy and workout six times a day, like my husband ate salmon and asparagus and salad. And he really would have preferred a burger and fries. Like your partner does stuff for you all the time. So, it’s not too much to ask.
Yeah, and it’s not. And I think people get very, you know, they get scared to ask because that’s also part of a conditioning of where they don’t want to fully also to admit that they had a problem, or it was never about them. So, asking for help, is very difficult for people to do so. But if you live with a person, even if you live with a roommate, like Hey, David, this is just, this is what I’m doing going forward. And also like, clean up your house, in your surroundings. Even if that’s just going out and using the money you would have spent that $50 on alcohol, go buy yourself a pillow and put it in the chair that you used to drink in and spruce up that area. Sage the area, like create more of a calm environment because I will tell you that go buy some candles at like some aromatherapy but make your living space a sanctuary because it would be it will be easier then to be able to not drink and that into something that makes you feel good.
Casey McGuire Davidson 38:07
Yeah, I used to only go to my bedroom to like, pass out. I had done every other room in the house except my bedroom. And so, after I stopped drinking, I, you know, got new bedding. And I got cute little turquoise lamps. And I got curtains that were lovely. And I got an essential oil diffuser. And I just like, you know, like the nice sheets, the really nice sheets. And those were like buy sober treats. And so, I went up there and I’m like, Oh, this is so I mean, especially in February where it’s dark, I mean, dark anyway, I was just like, Okay, I’m not doing my favorite thing in the world, which is drinking on the couch, watching TV shows I won’t remember. But I’m in this lovely space and I’m sleeping through the night and my skin looks better, you know.
And then you start feeling good because you want to do each day you want to start doing things that make you feel good each day. And that doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy all the things. Even if you just take your ass out on a walk and walk for 30 minutes, your mood will instantly change. Like, so what you know even to this morning and nighttime routines are so wonderful, because it’s helping you get into a new habit, a new way of living. It’s rewiring your brain also, but it’s doing things that are going to make you feel good. Like all of those creams and face washes you have bought throughout the years and drunken nights on the internet. Or if you’re a QVC person, whatever the case may be, or you went on a drunken shopping spree to make yourself feel better. Start using that stuff. Start using it in sobriety and like, again, use it up and be like, Oh, okay, this this does feel good or the nights where you didn’t even take off your makeup like last Friday. Right? Like, people are like, I’m really intimate. Evening skin routine. That’s amazing.
So, what, give me a couple of examples of like, Good evening routines and good morning routines that that you like to recommend. Yeah, and in because I wrote this book when my son was about eight months old, and then just a couple months after he turned a year, so I give examples of pre child and post child because that’s, yeah, I was not so far away from you know, I wasn’t like 10 years into motherhood, I could still remember. But morning, good morning routine. This is where to I find people get a lot tripped up because they think that they have to spend hours upon hours on their morning routine. And that’s just not the case. Good morning routine, what to get out of bed, make your bed. If you want to wash your face, brush your teeth, then put on your clothes for the day. Do some I know people discomfort people out meditation, look into it. Some personal development, read some pages, like 1010 pages a day. And then write in your gratitude journal, just three things that you’re grateful for. You don’t have to write paragraphs of things that you’re grateful for. I just write you know, 5 things. I do it now 5, but then I did about 3. And that can be your morning routine. And then go off and have your coffee or have your coffee during that time. And or if you need to work out like then work out, and then get on with your day. You know, don’t spend five hours on what you think a morning routine could be a nice nighttime one. This is really good too. For anybody who, especially as an empath, or highly sensitive person, take a shower at night, stop showering in the morning times take a shower at night. And then it feels so much better just to kind of release that energy that you collected on the day. And so you can shower, put your jammies on a light your oil diffuser or your incense. And then you can watch some shows, read a book. And then meditate if you want to do your meditation at night and get yourself into bed, obviously turn your phone off about an hour and a half before you go to bed. So, so just easy also to I have to say with the nighttime routine for me, I always clean the kitchen before I go upstairs, that really starts my nighttime routine. Yeah.
Casey McGuire Davidson 42:25
And when your kids get older, my son’s in charge of all the dishes. Like a lot of times, we do everything ourselves like start outsourcing that stuff. They may not do it the way you want to do it, but at least they’ll give you a 75% start on it. Love the morning routine. I was never a meditator or reader in the morning myself. So, my morning routine was sort of like, some days a week, I would get up and work out. I’m a big sort of class workout person with coffee. And I always used to love walking in the house in the morning feeling like I’d already done that. I mean, I’m sure I was super annoying to my family because I had been up for an hour. So, I was like, hey, coffee is ready. You know, like all that. But trust me, I was never that way when I was hungover. And then the second thing, I’m sure it was super annoying coming into the house and being all perky. On the days, I didn’t do that. I would just get up in the quiet house and drink my coffee on the couch and just sort of revel in a quiet and in feeling good. So that’s good. I love the gratitude. I did the gratitude stuff, especially when I came home from working out. I just sat down and wrote down three things. But I stopped doing that. And I always know I should get back to a Do you still do that?
Yes. But when I first got sober here’s the thing. I didn’t I wasn’t I wasn’t into to that but into writing in a journal. But what I did was I woke up every day. And I said thank you for another day of sobriety. Okay, so that’s what I before my feet even hit the ground. That was like, because then it would be like it made us. Yeah, but yes, I still do it the only time and I’ve been doing consistent meditation and prayer and reading and personal development and that stuff. I’ve been consistently doing that since about 2015 The only time that I took a break from it was of course for those couple months with my son but yeah, I still do and even to like, if I don’t, if some reason I can’t do it in the morning time, I’ll do it at nighttime like it’s almost because that’s what happens with habits. It gets so ingrained in you where it’s like even if you do it that you don’t do it that morning. It’s like something’s off.
Casey McGuire Davidson 44:53
Yeah. And I also think that for me the gratitude is you know Everyone’s, like, quote unquote, supposed to. And it’s totally true. To be like think I think, you know, I’m grateful for healthy children. And I’m grateful for like, a roof over my head, which is fabulous and wonderful. I thought it was really helpful to focus on the little things. Like, I’m really grateful that that mom is picking up a kid today, I’m really grateful that the coffee was amazing. I’m grateful that I had that really nice conversation with my friend. At my morning workout. I’m grateful that my son said, I love you and gave me the biggest hug this morning. Like, the little, small things. And I think that noticing those things, like making sure to notice those things, because you’re writing them down actually rewires your brain from resentment from defensiveness to something else. Yeah, you know,
I mean, I can’t even tell you how many times warm coffee hot coffee has been on my gratitude list, you know, right. It’s and sex like, you know, that my son smiling at me, a warm house in a in a Michigan winter. Yeah, so it can be very big. And it can be very just because what happens to you with gratitude is eventually it becomes like that, where it becomes smaller and smaller little things where you’re like, oh, and then once you start writing it down and making a practice of it, then when you’re actually in a present moment with a child, or a loved one where you’re like, you say to yourself, I’m so grateful for this moment, and that you don’t take advantage of shit anymore. You know, I really think that people, the first couple of years of sobriety should be writing down that they’re grateful for their sobriety every year, or every day because it keeps sticking in your head and in your soul. like I am, I am a person living without alcohol. I’m sober.
Casey McGuire Davidson 46:56
And I did it a slightly different ways. So, the way I did it was it my coach taught me this was like sober treats, and rewiring sort of romanticizing sobriety because we spend so much time romanticizing alcohol. So, the idea was more like when I would drink coffee in the morning, without a hangover in this gorgeous, quiet house. And with little kids, you guys know that any quiet moment alone is gorgeous. I would be, like, this is my treat for being sober.
Like, you were like, I’m grateful for sobriety.
So, I would just, this is my treat for being sober. No headache, no hangover, up early. This moment drinking coffee, this moment of peace. Or, you know, getting a massage at work taking the money I would spend on alcohol and in and having that be my reward. Instead going this woman came in twice a week to my office, she would be like, Oh, do you want lavender? Or do you want X and give me a massage? And I would be on the little massage chair. And I would be like this, this moment is my treat for being sober. So, you know what I mean? Like they’re different system. But the same idea? Absolutely.
Because that is the thing because drinking becomes a very, it becomes a very dysfunctional reward system. Yeah. So, you do have to look at like the mornings, a hangover free. And again, being almost 11. It’s like, to this day, every Saturday, I have woken up. I’m like, I am so grateful I am because Fridays ended up towards my end of my drinking days, Fridays were my drinking days. And I’m like, I am so happy to not be like a bag of dicks. on a Saturday afternoon where I’m like sticking to x keeping and dry heaving on the floor like because when you do this in a healthy way. Each week, I used to reflect upon a part of my drinking days. And usually, one of the negative experiences because that helps me push forward to a place that I wanted. I never wanted to go back to, and I think that’s important for people like don’t sweep your drinking days under the mat. Remember where drinking alcohol took you? Because when, you know I just said a quote the other day on supervise, like when alcohol shows you who it is and how it impacts your body. Believe it it’s not it’s not changing. It’s not changing. It will never go back to how it was when you were 19 years old drinking it for “funsies”, in Windsor, Ontario.
Casey McGuire Davidson 49:40
Yeah, I feel oh my god, but even in the beginning when I drank I was like pretty quickly blackout hungover. Yeah, growing up like that was that was what I did. But you can recover from that a lot easier at 18 and 19. Then you can it like 30 and 40.
Yeah, like and it was for me at 25 My hangovers change. I remember that because that’s when I started to get panic attacks. After a night of drinking and where I was in, it happened more and more. And I was like, what happened to me because I used to be fine and like be able to continue to drink like no problem. But like, after 25. For me, that’s when those hangovers changed into just like death.
Casey McGuire Davidson 50:26
Yeah, well, so I want to make sure we get to cover all the good stuff. Is there anything else that you think in the first 90 days people, it would be really helpful to know what to expect that we?
Well, I wanted to say that of naughty with the no of expectation to expect, I also want people to understand that support is key. Yes, you can do it by yourself. But it’s going to make it a lot easier. Everybody can do hard things. But nobody really has to do hard things alone. And to find a support group around you. Whether that’s you decide to go to 12 Step programs, whether that’s you decide to join online communities, you decide to do 1-on-1 Coaching with person or you have a friend who is sober, and you guys get on a weekly meet up to go get coffee, or your spouse or roommate decides to quit drinking with you, you need some type of support. So that is a huge expectation that you should find someone or something or group or whatever, to help support you. Because it is night and day difference. If you’re talking to your husband, who still drinks there, he’s never going to understand your desire, your romanticism with alcohol, that toxic relationship, that thinking where sometimes those thoughts lasts all day long. He’s never going to understand that. But if you have someone like yourself or me or a group of people who have been where you are, and like yep, yep, that sucks. It fucking sucks.
Casey McGuire Davidson 52:16
But and plus, like, that’s a key component of behavior change, too, like I love the book, Atomic Habits. So, A, you need someone to be like, Oh my god, this is so fucking hard. And this sucks. And I want to cry because I want to drink so hard. You need people who say, Oh my God, you’ve gone 9 days alcohol-free, and kind of get that. That may be longer than you’ve gone in 2 years. And that’s incredible.
And you also, you know,
with behavior change, James clear says that,
If you surround yourself with drinkers, which most of us do, there is a huge poll, just as human beings to fit in and be accepted.
And so that poll will also often bring you back to drinking, you can supplement that by adding people to your social circle, even online, right?
They don’t have to be in person where the behavior you want to institute is the behavior that is rewarded with acceptance and positive feedback. And that can be anything from like, I’m not a CrossFit person, but like joining a CrossFit group where you’re like, Oh, my God, I did XYZ. And they’re like, Oh, you are fucking badass, like, you are incredible. That’s awesome. Or you see someone else doing it. And you’re like, I want to be like that person. So doing that with alcohol free life is so helpful to where you’re like, Oh, my God, I did XYZ for the first time, I went camping with a group of friends alcohol-free, and they’re like, you fucking rock. You’re a badass, you inspired me. And that is so different than your friends when you’re camping, being like, oh my god, were you drinking like that pole for acceptance? And validation is real. And you need that from a group.
Right? And keep in mind, too, that like attracts like, and that yeah, you might be the only friend who’s not drinking, but give it time, because then you will start attracting people into your life who are alcohol-free? Or you’ll have a friend who are like, can you help me get sober? Yes, it all but it all happens within time. So, you just have to stay the course. And even to you know, getting into just another thing of expectations is nobody at well, it’s very rare. I don’t want to say nobody, but it’s very, extremely rare for someone to say, I’m going to quit drinking alcohol and they don’t have a relapse or a bump in the road. So, it’s about 80% of people who enter in sobriety will relapse and you are not. Because I think for a long time there’s been like shame Round of relapse in pointing the fingers and like you got to go back to day one like, and whether you’re a counter or not day counter, you just learn from the relapse, learn what happened? Did you not have support around you this time? Were you hanging? Did you decide to go out to a happy hour with coworkers and you just weren’t mentally strong enough to handle that environment. Just because you aren’t that day doesn’t mean that you won’t down the road. And you have to look on what happens and learn from it. Pick yourself up that day and continue to move forward. You don’t let it take you down a rabbit hole, don’t shame yourself. Don’t say I failed. There’s no pass fail in the sobriety and rotary recovery.
Casey McGuire Davidson 55:48
I mean, people relapse after five 710 15 years of not drinking it, people think they can go back to it. And it’s going to be different this time. And it never works out that that way. So, the Empowered relapse, is to let go of the shame of it, and learn from it and move forward. Yeah. And I personally, like don’t even use the word relapse, right? Because it’s such a like, for me, it’s loaded. But I’m like, okay, either you slipped, or you went back into the drinking cycle. Like those are the two ways that I think about it. And at the same time, I completely agree with you like shame and blame, totally doesn’t work. But you need to learn from it, right. And it’s the idea of like, I want to build this new behavior, I want to build this new habit, it is the person that I want to be. And something drew me back to like, self-sabotage from this goal. I have this important goal this why I have and so like, what was it? What was it that I didn’t have enough support? What was I feeling? What was I wanting that I went back to this like old habit?
So, I completely and totally agree with you. Like, it’s a learning process? I think I’ve read that like, most people who are sober, curious, are worried about their alcohol, believe they need to stop want to take a break? It takes on average seven years from like that first, like, oh, no, damn, this isn’t working out so well, to like, sustaining that behavior long term. And that, by the way, if you’re not, if it doesn’t take you that long, thank God, you’re a badass. Like, you are, like springing ahead of everyone in, you’re going to feel better, and do more, etcetera. But I think I had 10 years from when I first was like, yikes, do I have a problem with alcohol? Is this a thing that I really, you know, trying to control it trying to moderate? Taking my first attempts to stop getting the first support to like, the last time I drank seven and a half years later? So, it’s a learning process? And I love that you said that?
Yeah, it took me from 25 to 29. I tried. I tried making it work, no shots. I’m not going to drink whiskey anymore. I need to. I need to eat something because we know Courtney gets fucked up if she does not eat. You know, it’s just like, all of the things I tried.
I tried taking a week off. I think the longest I went was 3 weeks. I was like, See? I don’t have a problem.
Oh, god. No, it was always, I always ended up where I left off.
So yeah. So, it takes some time. And that’s the whole thing. And I’ve just seen it too many times where people beat themselves up and shame themselves. And it’s like, that’s making it worse. Right, yourself. Well, right. Right. And it’s just like, you know, it’s so easy. It’s so easy on how much alcohol is embedded into ingrained into our society. It’s everywhere like so you just have to give yourself some more love and yeah, you know, there’s people out there who believe in you and that that know that you can do this.
Casey McGuire Davidson 59:11
Yeah. Well, I know I could talk to you all day. I thank you so much for everything you’ve covered. I think we dug a lot into your
First 90 days of Sobriety
- What to expect
- Tools you know
- How you can handle relapse
- A slip going back to the drinking cycle in an empowered way
and touched a little bit on
- How to socialize sober
- How to talk to people
- How to expand your social circle
- How to say “NO”
- What not to do
- Other ways to socialize
Your book is incredible. You know, we could talk about all the tools for like four hours but since we can’t, I highly recommend people buy Sober Vibes. It’s out.
Will you tell everyone how to get the book has Find you how to find your podcast all the good stuff?
Sure. So, you can get Sober Vibes: A Guide To Thriving In Your First 3 Months Without Alcohol. You can get on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. You can visit my website, courtneyrecovered.com and it has other places where you can order it from.
I hang out. I party most on Instagram @sober.vibes.
My podcast is Sober Vibes on all of the podcast apps. And then of course, you can visit my website, courtneyrecovered.com. And then you know, I also do have a Facebook group for females only. So that is something to you can look into. And if you’re interested in Coaching, you can fill out an application on mobile site.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:00:43
Perfect, perfect. I am so glad you came on. Congratulations on the book. I know that is a huge effort and a huge accomplishment and a really useful, accessible way for people to get information and tips and tools to start their journey. So, thank you so much, Courtney.
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.