How will you feel in your first year alcohol-free?
What happens in your first year alcohol-free?
- How will you feel in your first 30 days sober?
- What changes should you expect after 100 days of not drinking?
- How do you navigate your first holiday, party, friendships, relationships, Halloween, Oktoberfest and football season without alcohol?
Today we’re going to talk about all of that and more.
My guest is one of my private coaching clients, Christy, who called me on Day 1 and started working with me on Day 4 of not drinking.
She just hit one year alcohol-free and is sharing what worked for her, why she stopped drinking, what tools she relied upon to get through wine o’clock and how she feels now.
Many women I work with are successful, high achieving working moms who also struggle with alcohol. They drink more than they want to and more often than they want too. They’ve tried to moderate in the past and haven’t been successful. And they are tired of being in that really difficult, painful place of questioning their drinking, trying to stop, getting a few days or a few weeks without alcohol and then saying screw it and drinking again.
That’s where Christy was when we first talked a year ago.
She is going to share what she had tried before to stop drinking, her feelings about being a working mom and drinking, what she struggled with in early sobriety and a whole lot more.
In this episode we discuss everything that happened in Christy’s first year sober.
- How Christy felt in her first 30 Days without alcohol
- What helped Christy get through the witching hour and weekends without drinking
- The ways Christy tried to control and moderate her drinking before we started working together
- Why reaching 100 days alcohol-free was a turning point in Christy’s relationship with alcohol
- The positive changes Christy saw in her health, weight, mood, anxiety, memory, weekends, work and productivity once she removed alcohol
- The hardest part of stopping drinking
- How Christy navigated her relationship with her husband when he didn’t stop drinking
- What changed in Christy’s relationship with her kids when she gave up alcohol
Here are 4 ways I can support you in taking a break from alcohol
- Reach out to learn about private coaching and schedule a Free 30-Minute discovery call.
- Join The Sobriety Starter Kit. It’s the private, on-demand sober coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle.
- Grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free
Want to connect and talk about this podcast?
Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!
Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.
READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
Your First Year Alcohol Free: Part 1 With Christy
drinking, drinking, work, alcohol, life, sober, Christy, feel, reached, Quit Lit, podcast, accountability, women, day, hangover, people, wake, big, stop, thought, sobriety, talked, coaching
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Christy
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. This is a bit of a different episode because it’s with one of my one on one private coaching clients. And if you’ve noticed, I’ve never done an interview with one of my clients before. And that’s because when I work with women, it is completely confidential. I do not share anything about you or our work together with anyone. Now you’re able to share the things we work on the fact you’re working with me how we work together or not with anyone you choose to. But on my side, it’s completely confidential. So I’ve never asked one of my clients to come on the podcast to talk about their story in their experience. But Christy, who you’re going to meet soon, actually approached me She said that she would love to share her story as she was finishing her 1st year alcohol free. And there is so much about Christy story that I’m sure you’re going to relate to in terms of how she felt before when we first started working together. What she had tried before to stop drinking her emotions around her feelings about being a working mom and her partner and drinking, what she struggled with in early sobriety, the tool she used that worked for her. And what’s different now how she felt in the beginning in her first month, at four months at six months. And now it over a year alcohol free. So, this year is about your first-year alcohol free, how you might feel what you go through what works, what to expect. And just to give you a little bit of context because it’s going to come up in the interview. I’m going to tell you about how Christy and I work together and how I work with other clients 1-on-1.
Now, you might know I have the podcast I have a free guide that anyone can access, which is the sober girls guide to your first 30 days. I have a free masterclass available to anyone that’s five secrets to taking a break from drinking. I offer an online sober coaching course that’s on demand, which is the sobriety starter kit. And I work with women one on one like I did with Christy. Most of the women I work with are really successful, high achieving working moms who also struggle with alcohol, who drink more than they want to more often than they want to who’ve tried to moderate in the past and haven’t been successful. And they are tired of being in that really difficult painful place of questioning their drinking, of trying to stop of getting a few days or a few weeks of saying, screw it have started and again of beating themselves up and that’s where Christy was when we first talked. Now when I work with credit clients, I only take on four new clients a month, because it’s pretty intensive at first. And that’s because we work together really closely. We have a joint goal of getting you to 100 days alcohol free, which you’re going to hear when I talk to Christie. But obviously the goal is not to get to 100 days and then say screw it and drink again. The goal is to do all the math. Set work, all the boundary work, all the challenges of early sobriety in those first 100 days, the really predictable ups and downs, so that by the time you get to that point, you say, I feel so good, I like myself so much better, I like my life better. I want to see how good I can feel at 180 days at six months, and keep moving those goals, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
So, we kick off with an hour and a half session that is all about you about your life and your kids, your partner, your triggers your schedule, what you drink, why you drink, what you want in your life that you’re not having right now, what’s been holding you back, and all the rest. And we come up with a really concrete practical blocking and tackling plan to get you through day three, and day five, and day 14. And then we have calls weekly, for about the first four or five months, I really want to get you through that first month, those first five weeks, because so much comes up for women not just about alcohol getting through the witching hour, but about relationships about things they’re noticing about their boss, and their office and their colleagues and their friends. And my job is to hold your hand through all of that the women I work with who get the most out of private coaching, we text or email or both. Every single day, I’m the person who when they wake up in the morning, they reach out to tell me how good they feel. And during the witching hour or after dinner, when they really want to have a glass or a bottle of wine, they reach out to me we text back and forth over dinner. If they go out to their first dinner party or a date night with their husbands. We plan ahead I hold their hand through that they check in with me sometimes from the restaurant sometimes after we talk on the weekend. So basically, I am your person to support you through this process. And then as we work together, we typically work together for about four or five months, sometimes six months, through the process of private coaching. Some women decide to check in with me monthly after that. Some women like Christy feel great, after we work together, they feel solid in not drinking, they’ve done a lot of work. They’ve dug into what was underneath and behind their drinking, and they’re ready to move on to other things to therapy to new initiatives.
And then when you get to 50 or 60 days, we do core energy coaching together, which is an online assessment that you answer about how you feel in different situations, what your typical thoughts and behaviors are. And we do an hour and a half session digging into that to see how you are responding to people and opportunities and, and situations both as you navigate life in general. And also in times of stress. And the reason we do that is if you’ve been drinking for a while, if you’ve been going to alcohol to celebrate, or for stress, or just because it’s a habit and you’re bored. Women typically have a lot of the same ingrained thought patterns and responses and fears.
And once you stopped drinking, you actually don’t need that anymore. It’s not necessary. And so at that point are sober coaching, transitions to life coaching, we transition to your goal being to not drink because it drags you down and keeps you stuck. And the main goal is to do all the things you want to do in your life that you haven’t done because you’ve been stuck in the drinking cycle.
And for every woman, that life coaching portion looks very different. And that’s the part of working with women one on one that excites me the most that I love because for most women, if you’re high achieving, if you’re navigating life, keeping most of the balls in the air, and yet you’re drinking a lot and worried about it and waking up hungover. You get rid of that ball and chain that’s been around your ankle, you let go of all that physical load and emotional load and mental load of drinking and not drinking and you can achieve anything.
So jump into this conversation with Christy. I am so excited that she reached out to me that she said I would love to share my story. And I hope you enjoy it. get something out of its things you can apply now and take away some inspiration that you can do. There’s two, and that life is better on the other side.
Well, hey, Christy, welcome to the podcast.
Hi, Casey, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here and talk with you live.
I know, I know. We’re just saying that we’ve actually we talked so much we emailed so much we texted, and we actually had never done a zoom call where we see each other’s face, which is kind of crazy.
It is crazy, like you were the voice on the other end of the phone. But you know, what you look and, and your gestures are exactly what I pictured in my head. Like it’s the exact same thing. So, and since we’ve worked together, I actually do video calls with some of my clients, like, I don’t know why we didn’t think of it or do it before. But then some of my clients, they take calls when they’re going for a walk or in their car, or somewhere private away from the computer. So it’s kind of works both ways.
Yeah, I think in the beginning, it would be like quiet and a secret of place where you felt like you could be really honest. And then probably towards the end of the 100 days, when we were really digging in deep. It probably would have been better to like to see your face when I’m throwing things on you and seeing what your reaction is. Yeah, I’ve been really helpful.
Casey McGuire Davidson 11:18
Well, so I gave a quick intro about you and how we work together just for context. But why don’t you introduce yourself and kind of say where you are now?
Yeah. So I’m Christy. I live in the Midwest. I’m an HR professional. I’ve been doing it for a number of years. I’m a mom. I’ve got three kids, three teenage kids, and I’m divorced. So I’m a single mom, which I wasn’t when you and I first started talking. So we’ll probably dig into that. I’m sober. I have been sober for 13 months. And you know, my life is big. I do a lot of things. I started a new job recently. And so I’ve been really growing my career and focusing on that and really getting out and enjoying the last five years I have with kids in the house, which is crazy. That’ll be an empty nester, but you know, trying to make the most and be as present as I can for those last few years. You know, this is my son’s last summer my senior sons. So I want you to go out have adventures, make memories, do all of those things. So it’s a lot of camping and hiking and snowshoeing and enjoying the Midwest and the fall and things like that. Even with all the craziness that is happening, and things being shut down, we still find things to do.
Well, I remember that like you are a big hiker, an outdoor person. So like in the very beginning, you’re like anchor activities and sober treats. Were all around, getting out of the house getting away from like the alcohol that used to drink after dinner, whatever. And getting out in nature. And that was awesome. And I think a god, I can’t imagine having my oldest go off to college soon. I think I’d be so sad. Because he’s 13. So when you said you have like five years left with him, I’m like, are with I know when you think about it that way. It’s terrifying. But what’s so great is like your oldest, as they get ready to exit the house. Like he’s got so much confidence and who they’re going to be in the world. So it’s beautiful to see that.
Casey McGuire Davidson 13:24
I know, I know when you’re supposed to do right raise them to be independent adults. Yeah, I know. I know. So I was looking back through my notes, I know you were as well. And first I want to say thank you for contacting me and actually suggesting this I mentioned in the intro that I have never asked any of my clients to come on the podcast. And that’s because when we work together, it’s totally confidential. I wouldn’t want to put any of that pressure on you or have that be like an expectation that you would ever share your story publicly, you reached out to me and said as something that you’d like to do.
That’s right, I’m sharing my story have been a big part of my journey because I learned so much in the last year and one of the largest barriers to me stopping drinking was that I didn’t know another sober person. There wasn’t someone in in my orbit that also didn’t drink and so there was no one to model how that life could look for me or what I could do to get there. So now you know doing a podcast. You know I put a social post out on Facebook when I made one year to let people know like you can live a sober life you can do this and it’s beautiful. And the reason behind that is now every single one of those people that I’m connected with socially, they know one sober person me and if that’s what gets them from, you know, hey, I think I want to reevaluate my relationship with alcohol. Maybe I have a drinking problem, or maybe I just want to quit drinking and see what it feels like. There’s someone else in the world that they know that did it. And it turned out okay. And so that was kind of the, the reasoning behind reaching out to you and being really social about my sobriety.
Casey McGuire Davidson 15:19
Yeah, I love that. And when you said that I was nodding my head, because that was the exact same thing for me. Like, I literally didn’t know another person who drank like I did was like me had stopped and said it was better, and they were happier. And I was so secretive about my internal worries about alcohol, like I didn’t want anyone to know, because I desperately didn’t want to stop that. I did the same thing once I got to a certain point. And I don’t think it was actually at a year everyone in my life, knew I had quit drinking, like everybody knew, like, Oh, yeah, I used to drink a lot. And I stopped. But social media, right, all my ex bosses are on there, and my ex colleagues and like, my friends from high school, and college, and whatever. But one of the reasons I actually put it out there is because I used to drink with tons of people like I was in a big drinking crowd, at work and in college. And I was like, actually kind of curious if anyone else had quit to that I knew. And so that was cool. And I did have people reach out to me to be like, Hey, I’m also stopping, or I’m working on it, or I quit a year ago. And that was really cool to get people from different parts of your life kind of be like me, too.
Absolutely. The people that reached out, I would have never guessed that they were struggling, that they were thinking about quitting drinking. And some of them were, like old ex bosses that were pretty established and careers. And I was like, wow, that that person reached out. But that’s the that’s the beautiful thing about sobriety is that there’s this whole underground network of people that thinks the way that you do that maybe have eliminated alcohol from their life or thinking about it. And even with my silver sisters group that I have, which we can talk about a little bit later, but all of these beautiful women that were in my community that I didn’t know existed that didn’t drink that, if I met them at a football game, I would never think oh, that’s a silver person. They’re fun. They’re funny, they’re outgoing, they, they’re just regular women like me who have jobs and kids. And, you know, they’re not like the trope of under a bridge with a, you know, paper bag with alcohol, they, they’re just regular women that have made a decision to make their lives better, to improve their health and be present. And how they’re my friends, you know, we’re very similar goals.
Casey McGuire Davidson 18:01
Yeah. And I was curious, I wanted to ask you, when you said, I never would have suspected these people. Tell me why. Like, why you because everybody’s like, I just want to drink, quote, unquote, like a normal person, like, how come? Other people can take it or leave it or have two classes? And I’m always like, dude, you don’t know, like, you know, they may just have two glasses out with you and drink before a drink after or, like, there are so many smart, loving, high achieving women who you would never suspect are waking up at 3:00 am and having the same crap thoughts that you are. So, you said, I never would have suspected? And was that kind of why they looked like they had it all together? Or another reason? Yeah, absolutely.
They had it all together, I’d been out with them in social settings. I’ve seen their posts on social media, which of course is always the best part of your life, and not really the honest part of your life. But I would have never thought and drinking with them or you know, working with them every day that internally they were struggling with something. It’s just so insidious that and you get really good at hiding it. I mean, I was really good at hiding it. I was great at putting out into the world, that everything was okay with me. And I knew I knew that there was an issue and I knew that I wasn’t meeting my full potential and, and that something needed to change. And so I feel like that’s probably what’s going on with those people too, is that they’re having those internal struggles and they’re starting to identify and put those pieces together. of, Oh, am I drinking too much, or some of the things that are going on with me because I’m drinking too much is it because I got blackout drunk on Saturday. You know, like you kind of start and that’s such a great area you know, when I look back at when my drinking became problematic and when I became aware that there might be an issue you know, it’s such a gray area of When was I drinking normally and when was it not impacting my life and then when did it really start to take a turn and I was one of those drinkers that drink very, very normally for a long, long time. And then about four years ago, something just switched, and I started using alcohol as a coping tool to deal with the stress of a growing career of a failing marriage of raising three children. It just started to work, and it became problematic, so you know, some people have drunk forever, and they drink a lot and they never have a problem but for me, it just got it just got out of hand.
Casey McGuire Davidson 20:58
Yeah, I think that’s so common for so many women. I mean, I was always a big drinker that was you know, that was just sort of my jam since college and obviously it like escalated over the years but I think I was always sort of a 365 nights a year kind of girl but I talked to so many women where they you know, previous in their life it was just fun and casual and not like this big looming thing that takes up so much of their thoughts and sometimes that can hold them back from stopping because they were like well it used to be really good any you I used to be able to take it or leave it and I just want to go back to that place. But you said so for about three years before you ended up stopping a year ago. It took sort of a darker turn and what did that look like? Because it’s a little bit different for everybody.
Yeah, so I think when it when it started to get to be a problem I wasn’t having as much fun when I was drinking so like I wasn’t getting like fun drunk I it took a lot more alcohol for me to feel you know the numbing effects of not caring about the world and not caring about all my problems and just the hangovers were so intense you know moral hangovers you know the next day stupid’s? I couldn’t think clearly you know sometimes I couldn’t remember my password to get into my computer for work which you type in 1000 times a day my decision making my memory I was anxious I was uncomfortable and I you know, it was really just every day that I would wake up with a hangover I just wasn’t functioning and I also was starting to not starting to like I’d always been a binge drinker so I wasn’t an everyday drinker. But like, on the weekends, I would drink a lot like with my husband and my neighbors and we’d all have a fire in the driveway and just annihilated and I was blacking out a lot and not able to piece things together the next day and so I you know, I’d wake up and how much did I drink? What time did I go to bed? What? You know what? How late was I up it and what did I do? And I would find like text messages on my phone that I had sent in a blackout? I text message my pastor one time. No, what did you say? I just I don’t know. I asked him about like something in the Bible. It’s so embarrassing. I don’t even know. But I mean, it wasn’t bad. But it was like, I don’t remember doing that. You know, and I would I gosh, this is a good one. I subscribe to Playboy magazine. Why? Why would I do that? Like I don’t know what led me to come up with air Jay showed up, put me name on it. And I was like, why did why did this come to me and I share it. Sure enough, looked back in my phone history and my browsing history. And I did a it was like 2:00 am and I subscribed.
Casey McGuire Davidson 24:17
Sure there was some reason that you’re like, this is gonna fix things like whatever. Yeah, I don’t know. And it was things like that happening where I was really truly in blackouts. And you know, sometimes it was funny, but sometimes it wasn’t funny. Like, one night. In a blackout. I helped my son rearrange his fish tank. He’d been asking me to do it forever. And then the next morning I went in to wake him up and I was like, oh look, you rearranged your fish tank like good job. And he was like you did that mom. And he looked at me like I was crazy. I had no memory of it. And I felt horrible. And I just pretended like I remembered I was like oh, I was just messing with you, but I really didn’t remember doing it.
Yeah, and So just not being present and losing that control while I was drinking was starting to really get scary. And then I started to have health consequences. So I developed like gastritis. So my really bad stomach problems and I was on medication for that I developed an author, I had to have my gallbladder taken out. So I kept having all these like stomach and digestive issues, I put on a lot of extra weight, without my highest weight, even counting pregnancies that I had ever been at, because I was consuming so many calories and alcohol, but also like all the junk you eat when you’re drinking, you know, you just eat all the things. And I was starting to like I was falling. So I fell a couple times and hit my head bruised my leg, you know, is hurting myself and then waking up like what happened? How did I hurt myself and my husband at the time would say, Yeah, you feel last night you fell off the chair and you hit your head. And I was just not okay with that. You know, it was I was hurting myself, I was destroying myself. And I had never thought that like I would be there that I would be the kind of person that was doing those things. And I knew it wasn’t aligning with who I knew I was and what I wanted to be. And I knew it was alcohol. Like I was getting drunk and doing those things. That’s what was happening. So that’s when I started going down the road of Do you know googling? Do I have a drinking problem? Yeah, what maybe I’ll try moderating, maybe I’ll try. Let’s list the 1000 things that we tried to do before we actually decided that the only thing to do is quit drinking. Right?
Casey McGuire Davidson 26:42
Well, so you also said that nobody kind of knew or that you were really good at hiding it. Like, is that true? Even with all of those things going on.
Yeah, because I was able to play it off, I was able to piece things together. It was a lot of work. But I was able to piece things together so that people didn’t really know that I was blackout. I was able to drink so much that I really didn’t come across as drunk when I was as drunk as I was. And I hung out with people that drink too. So most people that were with me when I was drinking, were also drunk, you know, so they, you know, we would talk about the next day and everything was great. And then I was hustling to be a great mom and be a great employee and be a great wife and have a clean house and do it with a hangover and it was costing.
Casey McGuire Davidson 27:36
It’s so exhausting. Keep that up. Yeah, don’t even realize how hard you’re like I’m drinking because my life is so hard. My work is hard. My bosses stressful. I don’t have any time for myself, my kids like all this stuff and you don’t realize till you stop drinking and get away from it. You’re like, holy shit, it’s actually not as hard or stressful or difficult. I mean life happens life is hard, but the degree to which drinking makes it harder is almost unimaginable while you’re drinking.
That’s right, and just the dishonesty that comes with drinking you know that’s hard to swallow too. So while I’m running around and making excuses and pretending like I remembered what happened that weekend, and pretending that I’m fine that I’m healthy that I have everything together it’s just the dishonesty just weighs with you because you know you’re hung over you know you don’t feel good you know that you probably let your kids down the night before said something stupid to your husband or to a friend or offended someone and you’re always playing catch up there and it weighs on you just not only physically feeling hung over like that, but just emotionally it was heavy to carry.
Casey McGuire Davidson 29:01
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.
Yeah, I did all of those things. Like, you know, my husband would in the morning kind of say something like we talked about this and I literally did not know if you fucking with me or not, like I just was like, and then I’d be like, Oh, yeah, we’re just so busy. And even this suspicion that he would be fucking with me. I mean, that just shows how much it skewed my mental state and my negativity and my resentment. And when you were talking about, you know, rearranging your kids fish tank, I remember that one. My you know, really, it sounds stupid. But like one of my low moments, and I had a couple was my son was five, and my husband was out of town, and it was St. Patty’s Day. And you know, in kindergarten, they do this big thing. Well, at least they kind of do here that you like, build this leprechaun trap. Yeah. And with gold points in it, right. And he had like, set it out. And it was this big thing. And he was really excited about it. Of course, my husband was gone. I drank after I got him to bed on the couch. It was a workday. And I woke up with him coming into my room crying. Just so upset. And the leprechaun hadn’t come. The coins were still there. And I just completely forgotten about it, like no recollection, even when he woke up. I’m like, what is he upset about? And just how heavy that is on your heart. And like trying to like make shit up to comfort him. I was like, Oh, he must have gotten caught. And other than another house. Like it’s just so like cover case. Right? And then we went to his before school care. And before he goes to kindergarten, and they had like, all of the little leprechaun feed, and like the totally blow was like, dyed green. And I was like, Oh, thank God first thought second thought I am the worst fucking mother that ever, you know.
Yep. I’ve said that to myself. Lots and lots of times. Yeah. doesn’t feel good.
Casey McGuire Davidson 33:18
Yeah. And it’s not always the big things, right? Like, it’s not always like the big consequences. It’s like that death of 1000 cuts. That just weighs on you.
Yeah, yeah. One night, I’ll tell one more. And one night, I had a conversation with my daughter about, you know, a boy that she was dealing with. And I didn’t remember any of it. She just told me the next day that, you know, we kind of carried on the conversation and I was like, I had this really meaningful conversation with my daughter about something that was really important to her. And I don’t remember any of it. And I just missing out on all of that those little things just make you feel not only like a bad parent, but like I’m missing it. I’m missing all of these big moments in my kids’ lives because I am COVID
Casey McGuire Davidson 34:11
li like shit, right? You wake up emotionally. also have the hangover and like the pounding head and you know all the things
yeah, my stomach was a disaster and, and also you just you feel so crappy physically, and you feel so crappy emotionally. And I just remember waking up every day. And the first thought that came into my head was, I hate myself for doing this to myself. Like I hate myself. That was really the first thought that I thought every single day when I woke up hungover was, I hate myself and that’s such a horrible vibe to step into your day with you know, and you’re always like, Yeah, but I desperately want my like glass of wine at 6pm I deserve it. And you know, it’s funny. I end interviewed my husband on the podcast and was talking to him about it. He had no idea I mean for me, yours was I hate myself mine was get your fucking shit together like that was that I would like to walk down to the kitchen. And like from behind you know the coffeemaker pull out bottle number two, this was like before I quit at the end. And I would look to see if I had like, a quarter of the bottle left or like three quarters left, because I didn’t remember to kind of know how shitty my day was gonna be.
How bad dude, he’s gonna be.
Yes, I’ve done the exact same thing where you’re like looking in the trash. Like, okay, how bad mine was my Fitbit. Because it would tell me when I fell asleep, so I could check my Fitbit and see what time I fell asleep. And that’s how I knew how bad my day was gonna be.
Casey McGuire Davidson 35:49
Yeah. To get you go to work, right? And you try to play it off and you smile, and you hold your shit together. And like I used to get the big Starbucks like breakfast sandwich, because I just needed that to like, walk into work in the morning because I was like shaky.
Oh, yeah. And all those like, supplements, you know, I had so many vitamins that I would take that would help with hangovers and digestion and headaches and calm you down. Because the anxiety. You know, I was just trying to throw everything at fixing the hangover, except for preventing the hangover from happening. You know, which is clearly the best answer. Yeah, don’t get hung over.
Casey McGuire Davidson 36:36
Well, so it usually takes a bunch of years and a bunch of attempts to moderate and a bunch of attempts to quit or to like, you know, changing what you drink when you drink where you drink all the things before you finally really tried to stop because that’s like the worst case scenario for most of us. But you said you tried a bunch of things. So tell me what some of those things were.
Definitely moderation, right. So I’m not going to get hammered tonight. That’s something I told myself that didn’t work. I would try two different drinks. So you know, I had a favorite and I was like, okay, instead of that, I’m going to drink something else that I’ll definitely drink less of drinking rules. I tried lots of rules, like only drinking on certain days of the week, only drinking maybe like two days a week. And I could pick the days they were like cheat days, kind of. But then something always came up. I tried a 12-step meeting. I tried a couple of them actually. That was when I got a little bit further into, I think I have a problem and I think I need to stop. I’m obviously quitting on my own I would say okay, I’m never drinking again. And it would last like two days, three days maybe. You know, I the 12 step meetings just they weren’t like me, like, I see now as I’m further in my sobriety. How people that have drinking problems do have a lot of similarities, but where I was that I was not connecting with the message or the people in the in those meetings, like it just wasn’t for me, it didn’t feel like I belonged there. I listen to podcasts, so many podcasts Quizlet I read tons of Quizlet. You know, I was really it was really trying everything and exhausting all my resources. And I talked to my doctor, I talked to my therapist. They both did not think that there was a drinking problem, or they would suggest that I cut back.
Casey McGuire Davidson 38:37
Oh, really ever when you actually said I’m worried about this.
I’m worried about this. Yeah, I said, you know, I really am worried about my drinking. And you know, that would suggest one time my therapist suggested a 12 step meeting and I went to one and like I said, it didn’t resonate for me and I kept trying just to quit over and over and over again like to stop to stop, follow the things that you hear on podcast, follow the things you read in Quit Lit. And I just didn’t have any accountability. I didn’t have anyone else in the corner, cheering me on and telling me to do it. And so I just kept failing over and over and over again. I can’t even count how many times I tried to quit. Yeah, me too.
Casey McGuire Davidson 39:24
Me too. I did all the things. And I was looking back over our notes from so we actually like you signed up for a call with me like I do free 30 minute discovery calls with anyone who’s interested on your day one, which you know, I didn’t know and you didn’t know at the time it was going to be a year later that was going to be the last day that you drank the you know when you set up the appointment on my website and we had our call the next day on your day to it. You signed up right away. And we did our first session on your day for and now you are at 13 months. So how did you find me? And what were you thinking about at that point?
Yeah, so I, I found you, and I’ll back it up a little bit. I was listening to podcasts, and someone was interviewed that lived geographically close to me, like, in the state of Wisconsin, and it was the closest I had ever gotten to knowing a sober person. So I reached out to that person. And they invited me to a Facebook group of other women in the area that were also sober. And I had been a part of that group for a couple months, and was not pulling together any days without drinking, of significance. And I woke up that morning, I was so hung over, I felt so horrible, I posted, hey, I’m so hung over, I have got to quit, I need some help. And someone, I think a client of yours reached out to me and said, here’s the here’s a guide, like to your first 30 days, it was like a free guide. And then I went to the site, and I got the guide, and I started to read more about silver coaching, which is something I had never even heard about before. And I thought, okay, you know, okay, like, maybe this is how I do it, maybe this is what I need, everything else has failed. I need accountability. I need someone to be there and to show me how to do this. And so I reached out, and I was desperate. I had tried everything I was so tired of being hung over. So that yeah, that’s how I can do.
Casey McGuire Davidson 41:51
I mean, that’s kind of what I did with my coach, too. I woke up at like, two, three in the morning, just on a random Tuesday that again, I was like hurt racing, feeling like garbage, couldn’t sleep, terrified about how it’s going to pull it together for the day for work for meetings. And I was scrolling through one of the secret private Facebook groups that I that I was a member of that I love. And someone had, you know, someone else posted about their day one, someone else said, Hey, you should look into this sober coach. Who for me was Belle, it tired of thinking about drinking. And I went to work, and I remember at 10am at my desk, going to her website and signing up. And that turned out to be my last day one. And I don’t know what was different than but I think part of it was just having that one person who could tell you what was going to what to expect on day two and day seven and day eight and kind of give you those little micro pushes to get over a hurdle or try something new or you know, all those things, that that kind of help you get through it.
Yeah, I think another big thing was that it was an investment. Right? And there were two pieces to that. Number one, it was an investment that I was making in myself. And you know, I wanted to get the value out of it. Right? Like, I can’t do this twice. You know,
Casey McGuire Davidson 43:24
yeah, it’s not you know, it’s an investment. It costs money, you know, exactly. It’s not small. And so that definitely is something that you’re like, Okay, if I get
I’m gonna do it right. And I think the other thing was, because I am a people pleaser, or at least I was I’m recovering is if I wasn’t paying to do it. If I didn’t have a coach, I would have felt bad reaching out to you all the time. I would have felt like I was bothering you every thought every time I went into a bathroom in a restaurant and said everyone’s drinking and I’m sending you a text message from the stall. I would have felt like, why am I harassing this person? She has a life, but I’d never felt that because I’m like, She’s my coach. I’m paying her like this is what we’re meant to be doing. And this is her job. And so it like eliminated that guilt. So when I was reaching out, texting calling, or you know, however we were communicating, whatever time, even on the weekends, I never felt guilty about that and I needed to eliminate that barrier because I needed that help when I needed it. I needed to be able to reach out and have someone on the other side saying you can do this. Try this. You can say no, like whatever it is that I needed to hear at that point in time. You know, I was able to get that.
I know and I always tell women who I’m working with one on one like I will worry about you more like you will take up work by Mindspace Whatever if I don’t hear from you, then if I do, like, I want you to send me a picture from your walk or to text me when you’re going out to dinner or, you know, let me know that your kids are being a nightmare and you know you’re at the end of your rope or Fuck, I want to drink so bad and I am jealous of other people who are doing it or whatever it is. Because if you know if I’m working with you one on one, and its day 18 and you go silent for five days, or whatever, I’m like reaching out to you. I’m worried about you. I’m like, do we need a call? And hopefully you feel this? It’s not like something you have to do. Like, I care about you. We’re friends. We’re buddies. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, I want to hear from you.
Yeah, no, I definitely I definitely agree with that. And it never you know, I reached out to you quite a bit, I need a lot of help. I reached out to quite a bit but I would if I if time passed and I hadn’t reached out to you, I would start you know, I would think about it like I need to I need to talk to Casey I need to let her know how things are going. And you know, drinking dreams like anyone that has been sober for a while you have dreams where you accidentally drank and my drinking dreams are always about you, Casey it was always like, I have to wake up tomorrow and tell Casey that I drank and I don’t want to and like that was my big thing is like I just I didn’t want to let you down you know, you’re in my corner. And I didn’t want to let myself down either. But in the beginning in those first 100 days, you know, you’re really just day by day by day. And so if what kept me from drinking was Don’t let Casey down. Okay, that’s fine.
You know, I didn’t say weighing like I on my day. 16. I think that was like my absolute hardest day in the last five and a half years like it just was. And I remember I had talked to my coach that morning, like in my car on a break from work, like I blocked off my calendar, like I had a meeting and told her I was good. Like, it was a Friday. I’m like, I feel good, I feel strong. This is great. I’m proud of myself, whatever else. And then she’d happened, right work happened. There were issues with my boss, that project was falling apart, like whatever it was. And it was Friday night, and it was day 16. And I really wanted to drink. And that night when I was driving home, I was like in tears. I was so angry, that I couldn’t drink. I desperately wanted to run into the store and grab a bottle of wine, all the things. And the one thing that stopped me was like, I cannot fuck email my coach tomorrow and say, I talked to you in the morning and said I was great. And then that night I said screw it, and drink. And woke up the next morning on Saturday, and I had my morning run group. And it was beautiful out and I was on day 17 and I’m like, oh my god, I feel amazing. So yeah, whatever it is that gets you through those really tough first days. Like, go with it doesn’t matter.
Go with it. You didn’t drink five stars. You when you get your gold checkmark or Yeah, you’re calling it. Yeah, today.
I love that.
Casey McGuire Davidson 48:21
Well, so what? First of all, your husband drank a lot. And you would talk to him about being worried about it. But he was not really supportive of you stopping drinking, like he wouldn’t get the alcohol out of the house. Is that right?
That’s right. Yeah. So he, he did not like my drinking towards the end, you know, he would make comments like, aren’t you? Aren’t you tired of being shit faced all the time? And why don’t you just slow down. And so when I confronted him and said, I really do think I have a drinking problem. And I think I need to quit drinking. He was like, No, you just need to drink less, you just need to control your drinking. And I’m like, I tried that, and it didn’t work. So I don’t know what to do. And so he was really stuck in this mindset of you can control this and you’re just choosing not to, and I was in my harder unicity to try harder.
And I was in the space of I have tried so hard, and I can’t and I need to do something else and I am going to do something else I’m going to stop drinking and so he was not supportive, but like he took it he dealt with it. And that was the hard part like him still drinking, you know is a big trigger for me. Not because I saw him drinking and also wanted to drink but I felt like I wasn’t meeting him there. So I really felt that he was you know gearing up for a great Friday night and we were just heading in two separate directions for the evening like he was going to tie went on to hang out with the neighbors and I was going to watch TV and then go to bed early and so we just weren’t meeting anymore where we used to and that was really difficult and isolating and you know, having the alcohol in the house wasn’t that bad because I really had made up my mind that that I was not going to drink but also just like seeing him dealing with hangovers and being in a bad mood and being late to work or missing work or getting sick because he drank too much like I witnessed all of that sober and it was very reaffirming for me so even though I do not recommend getting sober with another person drinking in the house like that kind of helped a little bit in cash I’m really glad I don’t feel like that I’m really glad that I didn’t make the choices that he made last night.
A lot of my triggers were built around kind of our habits so we would watch TV together every night and have drinks well I got to a point where I could I just couldn’t do that anymore because I needed to change a habit so the solution was instead of watching TV on the couch with my husband I was gonna put a TV in my room which he was not happy about and it was a big fight because he didn’t want to television in the bedroom he just thought that that was horrible It was horrible for intimacy and you know then we just lay in bed and watch TV. So, like, faced and be brutally hugged over adopt remember it stuff was cool, but like a TV in your bedroom. Like, that’s horrible.
That was horrible. Yeah.
But you know what, I did it anyway, I bought a TV and I set it up and he did mad about it. But guess what, that I had a place to go where I wasn’t surrounded with people drinking and I watched TV in my bedroom and I just did it and you have to do stuff like that, you know, you have to build a life around you that supports not drinking instead of expecting everyone around you to change and that it was a tough lesson to learn and you know, either they’ll come along with you or your paths will separate. And unfortunately ours separated quite a bit.
Casey McGuire Davidson 52:34
Well, so what do you watch?
I watched all the shows that I watched when I was probably blackout drunk for the second time, but this time I remember them. The Handmaid’s Tale and she it just so many.
Casey McGuire Davidson 52:48
Yeah, I have so many women, like binge watch shows through like your first month. And I think it’s totally cool. Like, I definitely did it and you just kind of need that like anchor activity for the evening after you drink. And if you’re really into a show, and you’re looking forward to that, and that’s like, giving you the dopamine hit like awesome. Like you won’t always need to do that you absolutely won’t. But it’s really good in the beginning of it. My husband like teases me. He’s like, how what percent of your coaching would you say is recommended television shows. So that was like, babe like 5% tops, as much as it needs to be right? Like whatever your silver treat is and for you. I know it was a lot of hiking, which is so cool.
Yeah, I wanted to ask you what are the tools that helped you get through, especially that first month. Alright, so it turns out that Christy and I had a lot to talk about when we were diving into her first year without alcohol. It really is a transformational time. You get off autopilot, you start taking care of yourself, sometimes for the first time in years, and you take a look around your life with clarity and energy and optimism.
So we needed to break up this episode into two parts. This was the first part of our conversation with Christie. In next week’s episode, we’ll dive into part two. We will start by talking about the tools that helped Christy, especially in her very first month without alcohol, which can be a really hard one. And we also talk about a whole bunch more. We touch on sober treats and anchor activities for weekends and evenings for Christy what worked for her, so she didn’t have nothing at all planned and all that free time. We talked about what strategies helped Christy when she was going to drinking events. Christy did this great thing of Creating a seasonal bucket list that I actually recommend to all my clients now. So as you’re approaching the holidays, or the Fourth of July weekend, the fall or the summer without alcohol, you have a concrete list of really specific things that you want to do that you’re really excited about. Maybe the things that you never got around to when you were drinking.
We talk about Christy’s friendships, both old friends and new friends she’s gotten closer to since she made the change to remove alcohol, how those friendships grew and morphed. In her first year, we talked about sober first Christy’s first concert, first Oktoberfest, first vacation, first holiday first company, golfing event without drinking, and how she navigated those. We talked about her family, and how they initially reacted to her decision to stop drinking. And what changed how much more of her cheerleader they became, when they saw all the changes and transformations in Christy. And in her life as she went along.
We talked about what actually has changed in her life, in her first year since she removed alcohol. She really took a look at what she wanted to say yes to and no to. She sets a bunch of boundaries that she hadn’t in the past, dug into who she really likes to spend time with. And what does she like to do and started feeling her feelings without numbing them out for the first time. We talked about how Christy felt both after her first 30 days of sobriety. And after her first 100 days and what it felt like to get past both of those milestones. we dive into how Christie talked to her teenage kids about why she stopped drinking, and their concerns about what other people might think. And then also how Christy tells people right now that she stopped drinking and what the feedback has been.
In part two of our conversation, we talk about Christy’s marriage and what actually led her to the decision to end her marriage after 16 years, and what her life is like now, and Christy actually shares with us what she wrote to herself before she stopped drinking what she wanted in her life, and says that every single one of them has come true. So as you can see, there was no way we could fit this whole conversation about her first-year alcohol free into one episode. So, if you enjoyed this, I really hope you tune in next week because it’s going to be a good one.
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 Free 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking – 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free, 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 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.
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