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Not sure where you stand with your drinking? Are you feeling overwhelmed with what to do with yourself instead of drink? You are not alone!
My guest today, Casey McGuire Davidson, is here to help you understand Gray Area Drinking and identify any roadblocks holding you back from sobriety. Casey will teach you what anchor activities are, and how to use them in early sobriety.
Gray Area Drinking is simply the space between being a social drinker and a heavy drinker.
When you're in the gray area, you may be worried about your drinking, take breaks from drinking, and hold back from sobriety because your drinking is not that bad...yet.
The good news is, you don't have to wait for rock bottom to quit drinking!
What You'll Discover
♦️ What Gray area drinking is
♦️ Casey's experience with drinking
♦️ How anchor activities can help in early sobriety
♦️ The importance of finding community
♦️ The roadblocks that hold some women back from quitting
Casey McGuire Davidson is a certified life coach and the host of The Hello Someday Podcast. Casey helps busy, successful women reevaluate their relationship with alcohol, quit drinking, and create lives they love without their nightly glass (or bottle) of wine.
To learn more about Casey, please visit:
- Jane Fonda Article
- The Hello Someday podcast
- The Sobriety Starter Kit
- Casey's Resources: Facebook groups
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Casey: [00:00:00] Hi, I'm excited to be here.
Lori: I'm so excited that you are back for the second time.
Casey: Welcome. Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Lori: Yes. I know that you were on. Gosh, what did, what did we do? Those interviews back to back? We did your podcast and then my
Casey: podcast. Yeah, it was back for me. It was, you were on episode 41 talking about aging and women's wellness over 40 and giving up alcohol.
And that I'm, I'm now well over a hundred episodes. So it's gotta be over a year ago that we last talked
Lori: congrats. Congratulations. It's a huge milestone.
Casey: Yes, it was very exciting.
Lori: Yes. So before we get started in talking about gray area drinking, we're gonna talk about what it is, what signs to look for and how women can get started from there.
Once they realize, you know, this may be where I am, which a lot of women [00:01:00] are realizing that. And it's a good thing. We're gonna talk about that, but I would love to have you reshare your story and what led you to quit
Casey: drinking. . Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think it's always helpful to hear from other women who have chosen to give up alcohol and try life as a person who no longer drinks.
And for me, you know, I always love drinking from the first moment that I tried. I, I honestly didn't really start drinking until I went to college. But, um, it was mostly because I was like a quote unquote, good girl. Like I was a gold star girl sort of really didn't wanna get in trouble and like to add to that, I went to boarding school.
My parents happened to be diplomats who are living overseas in like Africa and south America. So. At my boarding school, you couldn't drink, you would get [00:02:00] sort of suspended for your first offense and expelled for your second offense. And I literally felt like a, my parents would kill me. I mean, not literally, but they would be like, what is happening.
But also that I had nowhere to go. Like other people, if they were suspended would go home for a week, but that was not an option for me. So I was very afraid of getting in trouble, but then I went to college. and, you know, I moved a ton as a kid. And so I put all this pressure on myself to like make friends right away.
I mean, we moved every two or three years. So when I went to college, I was like, I have two weeks to meet everyone and become friends with everybody before they find their groups. Right. I was, I was very conscious of this. So I went to college and I was like, dude, I'm gonna drink and this is gonna be awesome.
And I did, I went to all the keg parties. I met everyone, you know, the movie animal house, if anyone's ever seen it, I was like, I'm [00:03:00] Casey McGuire. And I'm damn glad to meet you, you know, like going from person to person. I made a ton of friends and I loved the way it made me feel. I was like, this is great.
And then I joined the rugby team. I played field hockey and lacrosse in high school, but didn't want to have that. Hard of a schedule in college. Like I was like, this is gonna be fun. So rugby was like, in my mind, the best of all worlds, right? There was a women's rugby team. You got to play sports, you got to be on a team.
You had practiced five days a week in games. And. It was a huge party culture. So you're like in this group, but I mean really big ritualized, binge drinking with the songs and the rituals and the, the, you know, everything. Plus you got to party with the men's team and the men's team was really cute. And I was always kind of nervous around guys.
So I was like, Is the best [00:04:00] thing ever. And we used to have practices where they would like, quote unquote, surprise us with keg runs, where they would literally put a keg in the back of a car. And we would run after the car and stop at various moments and chug. And we were like, this is awesome. You know, in the afternoon, before dinner and after games, we would drink with the other team and with the men's team, you know, your games at noon two in the afternoon, you're drinking and.
I just like, I loved it. I was always kind of a, a happy. Chill drunk, who also tended to gray out, pass out, whatever. So like, if this tells you anything, like in my co-ed dorm, I would like come home from the rugby thing, take a shower. And then I would like sit down in the hallway. Because and like kind of fall asleep because I was afraid if I was in my bed, like my friends wouldn't pick me up to go to the party.
So like when they walked by, [00:05:00] I was right there on the ground. So they'd be like, all right, Casey, wake up, come with us. And yeah, I thought that was like really good planning on my part, you know?
Lori: Yeah. You didn't wanna miss out on anything, right?
Casey: No, I was like, this is awesome. And I did have a lot of fun. I, you know, definitely on a regular basis was like, yeah, that probably wasn't the best idea, but I kind of liked not making the best choices.
Like I felt like if I. Got drunk, anything could happen. And I was such a rule follower. I, I thought that that was a very good thing. A very fun thing. Like it was a big adventure and still got straight. A's still, you know, got a job outta college. And then my drinking kind of shift, I felt really nervous about performing well, my first job outta college, I was on my own.
And then I kind of drank every night. I shifted to wine thinking. That's what [00:06:00] adults did. It was fun. It was sophisticated. And we're talking like me in my basement apartment at 22 opening, a bottle of red wine with like Mac and cheese for dinner. I was like, I am such a grown up. And you know, it just kind of went on from there.
Like I sort of shifted what I drank based on. The phase I was in life, you know, out to bars in DC, in my twenties, and then, you know, wine with my boyfriend when we were living together and then big dinner parties with our friends before we had kids and then the mommy wine culture and the happy hour after work culture.
And then, you know, just kept going. I kind of always. I kind of always drank a lot. I kind of always drank seven days a week. I always, I, you know, did all the things, but it woke up at 3:00 AM, had really bad anxiety. You know, didn't quite follow through on things, but I thought it was [00:07:00] stress and I thought it was my job.
And you know, I'd go to my therapist and be like, oh my God, I'm so stressed out. And I wake up every night at 3:00 AM with this crushing anxiety. And she would prescribe me anti-anxiety meds and ambient, and I would drink a bottle of wine and take 'em both. And it was, you know, and I truly. Was clueless at that point in my life.
And then I, if you were
Lori: drinking alcohol, I'm sorry. I'm have to, I have to interrupt you for a minute. Yeah. Did she ask you if you were drinking or did you tell her you were
Casey: drinking? I think I gave her the usual, like, oh, I drank a couple glasses of wine a couple times a week. You know, I, I knew enough to be like, I'm not gonna fucking tell her I'm drinking a bottle of wine every night.
Like that will make me sound really bad. So I kind of, you know, when I went to the doctor, that was my standard line. And, you know, I remember even after my first child, I wanted to get back in shape. I wanted to lose weight. And so I, [00:08:00] you know, was logging all my food and seeing a personal trainer and like literally would be like egg whites, omelet for breakfast and salad for lunch and asparagus and salmon for dinner and six glasses of wine.
And I would log it, thinking this. Okay. You know, like, and she would be like, I'd be like, I'm in my calories. And she'd be like, what the hell? You know, like maybe cut out the alcohol. And I'm like, okay. And I'd kind of try to cut it down to three classes and that would work for a couple days. And you know, but like, In my life.
Nobody said anything about it. Like that was, you know, I was a red wine girl, all my friend's drank. My husband was pretty used to it. I mean, he'd known me since I was 22. It wasn't anything that anyone really commented on. I mean, sometimes when I was sort of opening bottle two on a Tuesday night, my husband would be like, what the fuck are you [00:09:00] doing?
You know? And there were certainly conversations. I didn't remember that. I. Sort of tried to play off like, oh yeah, of course. You know, I remember that I was, you know, near, before I stopped, hung over a lot and hated putting on my eyeliner with my bloodshot eyes and feeling like the, by that point, I was worried about my drinking, but it was.
You know, literally my worst case scenario to have to stop, cuz I loved it so much. So I, you know, thought for a long time, like I really have to get this under control so that I never have to stop. So I did all the things that everyone does. I did everything except stop drinking. Like I joined a running club, so, you know, I'd run from seven to 8:00 PM at night so that I wouldn't drink.
And then. Come home at eight 30 and drink a bottle of wine. I signed up for five 30 in the morning workout classes, so I wouldn't drink too much. And that [00:10:00] worked sometimes. And other times I'd do burpees with a bottle of wine in my belly and a throbbing head. Oh, I'd go on diets. That specifically you couldn't drink on, you know, all the things,
Lori: all the things.
Do you feel like that was more work? Than it was gonna be to quit drinking?
Casey: Well, I never wanted to quit drinking. That was my big. Issue. I mean, and also I think it was so tied into my identity, how I had fun, what I thought made me exciting and interesting and cool. I mean, this is pathetic that I felt that at 35, but that, you know, I was the one who like arranged the wine tasting weekends and arrange the happy hours.
And when I'd go on dates with my husband, we'd go on like pub crawls, where we'd sit at the bar and do like apps and drinks at like five different bars like it was fun. And I would say those moments were about 20% of my life. The drinking [00:11:00] highlights, 80% of my life was waking up with a hangover. My husband not being able to wake me up off the couch, feeling like garbage, worrying about my drinking.
Wondering if I had enough time to stop at the store and get a bottle of wine because I didn't have, you know, quote unquote enough at home before I had to get my kids at daycare that was 80% of my drinking. And yet I was really holding on to that 20% hard, you know, mm-hmm .
Lori: Yeah, thanks for breaking it down like that.
Cause it's good to look at the percentage of that. That's, it's a huge percent when we look at how much time we are spending in the drink and it's not just the actual drinking, it's so much more than that. It's the after effects. It's the thinking about it? It's the planning it, and it is a common myth that I think I had when I quit drinking.
Like people that quit drinking really want to quit drinking their doctor told them to quit drinking or they did something that, you know, Scary. They should [00:12:00] quit drinking, but it wasn't like that for me either. You know that. And so when you get to this place where you decide, yes, my identity is really wrapped up in this.
So now what did it look like for you after you quit drinking? As far as cause I heard you say you're a red, red wine girl, right? Like I was a party girl, like, you know, we all have these, these identities that we've created for ourselves that have to do with alcohol. So when we remove it.
Casey: Feels really awkward. Yeah. Right. I mean, for me, what worked for me was I had to ease into it. I mean, I kind of stopped for four months at one point when my son was five and then I got pregnant with my daughter and I kind of stopped the first time because I was sort of having a really. Difficult time in my life.
And I couldn't figure out was it my job or my boss or being a working mom or my husband or my marriage. And I also knew I was drinking too much. [00:13:00] So I was like, I cannot sort this out and figure out kind of, what's gotta go until I stopped drinking to get clear, to kind of have a leg to stand on. So I went to therapy for.
Quote, unquote anxiety, but I made sure the guy also dealt with addiction and said, oh my God, my boss, my marriage, my life, my kid. And by the way, I'm drinking a bottle of wine at night. And he was like, oh, let's talk about your drinking. And I was like, no, no, no. I told you I need to talk about my boss, you know, but he helped me take a break for four months and then I got pregnant and I sort of backed away from all.
You know, drinking issues that I wanted to back away from, and guess what? My life got way better. And I was happier, and I was less stressed, and my marriage was better. And so, I decided that it was situational that. I drank too much, right? It was, it was the factors in my life. So when my daughter was born, I was very excited to go back [00:14:00] to, you know, quote unquote, a couple of glasses of wine once every two weeks on a date night with my husband, which in no time turned at to be a bottle of wine and night every night again.
And. It took me 22 months to stop again. But that entire time I knew more. I was no longer clueless. Every hangover, every missed conversation, every, you know, everything. I was like, this is because my drinking. So at that point I knew it was unsustainable to keep drinking. I knew that the anxiety, I felt that the depression, I felt that all the crap.
Was me drinking and I knew it was gonna have to stop. And I tried to take a break. I was still trying to moderate and I just kind of was like, I don't wanna stop yet. I can probably play this out for a couple more years until one day I just, another 3:00 AM. Wake up. Anxiety. [00:15:00] I was like, I can't do this anymore.
And someone on one of those groups, those not drinking, Facebook groups recommended a coach. And I went into work at my desk. 10:00 AM signed up with her. And that was my last day, one, six plus years ago, gradually ago. Congratulations. Thank you. And by the way, I feel way better, way better. Thank you. But when, when I stopped, I never said forever because I just, I never would've gotten started.
So I started out with like, I'm gonna do an experiment. I'm gonna do a hundred days without alcohol. And I knew my goal was to keep going, but I just had to break it down. Cuz at that point I wasn't getting more than four days, you know? Yeah. And then drinking. Yeah,
Lori: we all have to decide what is best for us because we can get so caught up in the, the mindset muck and forever thinking and, and saying, well, this is forever.
I mean, it, it freaks you out for sure. I mean, it freaks me [00:16:00] out for sure. Then I also find like women who go into the 30 day dry challenges and, you know, the hundred days also, they feel like, well, okay. So I'm just counting days. I I'm counting to get to this point. And then after that day, you know, on the, the next day I'm gonna start back up again.
Do you find that with women who are, who you're working with, who I'm curious about this, are they going through what? A hundred days?
Casey: Yeah, the women, I work. When they sign up with me, we have a joint goal to get them to a hundred days, alcohol free. And I have an online course, the sobriety starter kit, where that is the same framework.
And I do that for a reason. I believe that 30 days is great if that's what you start with. But what I find is that typically the first two weeks. You feel like garbage, right? That's what alcohol does to you. You're in physical withdrawal, emotional withdrawal, habitual withdrawal. [00:17:00] You legitimately feel less happy and more irritable than you were when you were drinking.
That's the substance. But the next two weeks, the. You're just counting down the days until you can drink again. The reward at the end of 30 days is to drink. So someone described it to me as the difference between doing a short commuter flight, like DC to New York, where you just get on the flight. And you're just waiting for it to be over.
They don't even serve you a drink. You don't, you know, you don't recline your seat, you don't download a movie, nothing. You're just like I'm getting on and waiting for it to be over as opposed to a cross country flight that you're like, you're gonna enjoy it. Right. You bring your neck pillow. Maybe you like download your shows.
You get a book, you, you bring snacks. Like you're there to enjoy the ride because. You're gonna be on it for a while. And I think that's what people with a hundred days get to do. You go through the ups and downs, but it's long enough that you actually have to [00:18:00] figure out how to bring new things into your life.
How to find joy, how to get through tough times, how to negotiate, telling people without alcohol. And that's when you're like, wow, my life is better. I love
Lori: that analogy too. I may use that, do it, the, the airplane analogy. Cause it's so true. And it it's really great too, for people, of course, who are visual learners and who could just, I know that you could just feel that when Casey just said that it's kinda like settling in, okay.
I have no choice. This is what I'm doing. This is where I'm going. This is my destination. I can't fly the plane any faster. Right? Like I'm just gonna settle in.
Casey: Yeah. And I do it for my kids too. Right. You're like, all right, let's, it's six hours. Let's download all the shows. Let's bring the snacks, you know, let's do the things and, and to make it actually an enjoyable experience, not one you endure and.
I think having a goal like a hundred days when you're like, God, I'm 45 days [00:19:00] into a hundred day challenge. No, I'm not drinking. You know, I'm proud of myself. Fuck that. Of course I wanna drink, but I'm 50% of the way through something that I have not done. Maybe ever since I started drinking, I. Yeah,
Lori: I love that.
I, I love that you do that. When women come to you, what is their biggest pain point that they are going
Casey: through? Yeah. I mean, I think that for a lot of us who drink that has become our main hobby in some way or another, it is intertwined with every season, every event. A lot of friendships. It is how we deal with every emotion, right?
It's our easy button to change our state really quickly. So, I mean, I drank. Happy bored, irritated, resentful, celebrating, you know, to make the good times more, more good, more exciting, more special. And I [00:20:00] didn't know anyone who didn't drink. Right. I thought if you didn't drink and this sounds bad, but this is where I was.
You were pregnant, lame or an alcoholic. Literally those were the three categories. And. It was just, you know, I didn't wanna be in any of those categories. Trust me, especially pregnant. No, I'm kidding. I have two kids, but I was like, if I ever didn't drink, people were like, oh my God, are you pregnant? And I was like, hell no.
And today's my daughter's eighth birthday. So I love my children. but happy birthday, happy birthday, Lila. But I was. You know, in that idea. And that's why I wanted to talk about gray area drinking because gray area drinking describes people who consume more than the moderate amount of alcohol. And dude, I was in that category, but don't meet the criteria for dependence.
And I honestly, you know, the term alcoholic, I actually really disliked that term [00:21:00] and it is not even a medical term like that term. Does not exist in science, right? It's called alcohol use dependency and there's a spectrum of mild, moderate, severe. So I was absolutely on the spectrum, but in my mind, I was like, well, I'm not an alcoholic.
And therefore I don't need to stop. I just need to moderate it. And the, the, the gray area drinking, what I like about that. I swear, almost every woman I know, and most men are on that spectrum because it is so ingrained in us that alcohol is required for a good time. You walk into a restaurant. Very first thing on the table is the wine list.
The cocktail list, right? That's the first thing they ask you when, you know, when you, when they come to your table, right? If you're an adult, they ask you, would you like a glass of wine, a beer or [00:22:00] something else? It, you know, you tell your friends, you had a bad day. They're like you need wine. Immediately, you know what I mean?
That is I've had people be like, oh my God, I'm going to a dinner party. What do I bring the hostess? Literally mind is blank other than alcohol. So of course we drink a lot and by the way, the substance is. So addictive. I mean, it is like nicotine. It's like cigarettes. It is designed to make you consume more and more often you go into physical withdrawal until you have the substance again.
So I feel like everyone who drinks enough, whether because of their social atmosphere, that they're in their, their groups, their underlying anxiety or other. Things that have happened in their life. For me, it was anxiety, right? The substance works to temporarily pause, whatever it is you're dealing with, [00:23:00] because it does.
You know, take you out of where you are until it makes it worse. You're gonna become dependent on it slowly or, or quickly. And so gray area drinking it lets you say, okay, I consume more than a moderate amount of alcohol. I clearly could not take it or leave it. But. I, you know, if I took that quiz, you know, I had sure I had some of the, you know, are you in alcoholic shit, but I didn't drink in the morning.
I didn't have a DUI. I hadn't lost my job. Nobody had really said anything to me. I was still high achieving. So I'm like, well, I'm not that. And I love that the conversation now is, Hey, lots of people are stopping drinking. It's a health choice or they, you know, you have more energy and less anxiety and better sleep, or, I mean, I truly actually believe like sober is the new black, like all the [00:24:00] kids are cool.
Kids are doing it right. It's like anti it's, like can counter culture. Like if you look out at all the non-alcoholic beverages beers, wine spirits out there. People who are coming out and stopping drinking. I mean, drew Barrymore just came out. Jen garner was talking about evaluating her relationship with alcohol over the pandemic.
Adele's talking about it. Like this is a thing that women are now being more open about it. And there are so many women in the gray area.
Lori: Yeah. And after, because I was just on your podcast, we just we've spent a couple, well, we're gonna be on two hours together this morning. Yes. Super fun. And you mentioned Jane Fonda.
So while I was waiting for you to get back on this call, I looked up the article. It's fantastic. I'll link it here in the show notes, cuz I think it's just, it's great to hear her in her eighties say that I don't wanna spend another day, half masked and what she was talking about. Just one drink for me.
Is that, and it didn't used to be [00:25:00] that way. So it is never too late. Whether you like Jane or not,
Casey: it's never too. . Yeah, absolutely. And she used to, I mean, if you ever watched her show grace and Frankie, like every evening, she had a cocktail in her hands. So, you know, part of promoting that drinking culture, where if you watch that, you're like, oh my God, how can I not drink?
It's shown as being fun and sophisticated and Hey, you're 80 years old, but you're still partying. And yet. Behind, you know, the highlights of the TV shows or the movies clearly not feeling so good.
Lori: Mm. Yeah. And we just get to that point in life where we realize it and we wanna keep trying, like you said, I wanted to make it work.
And so that becomes a job. You know, making alcohol work becomes a job because it's just takes so much time. It takes a lot of research. How can I do this? It takes a lot of pressure and it always winds up [00:26:00] with the disappointment. In ourselves because we can't make it work. Not only can we not make it work, we don't want to.
So then where do we go from there? And it's, it's a tough place to be in. And just like you were saying, being wrapped up in that identity, everybody on the outside sees me as this woman who drinks. So it really becomes more of this external pressure and this, this thought of what are people gonna think about?
Casey: Well, I was, it's so crazy because I literally was going to work quasi hungover. I mean, I had a pretty high tolerance because I drank a lot every single day and yet, you know, and would go on business trips and like stumble walking home from dinner. And like, you know, when I was younger, a couple times, my coworkers had to help me to bed.
I mean, honestly, this was, this was not the best look for a professional and yet I was worry. If I stopped drinking that people would think I had a quote unquote problem. Right. I was worried if I stopped drinking, it would hurt my career progression, [00:27:00] which is so skewed. In terms of the way you think about alcohol and sort of the stigma that's attached to stopping, you know, when you stop drinking, everybody's like, Can't you have won.
What happened? Did you have a problem? And I truly, honestly, completely believe that is changing. You know, when you look at the stats of the number of people in the us who participate in dry January, I mean, it's gone from like 10% to 25% to 33% of drinkers. I. That is huge. That's one outta three. You're saying, fuck, I better take a month off.
You know? Yeah,
Lori: absolutely. And like you were saying, sober is the new black. It it's getting out there and it's nothing to be ashamed of, but it takes a while to work through those feelings and they're completely normal. We all experience those feelings, but they're not enough [00:28:00] reason to
Casey: keep drinking. Yeah.
Absolutely. And I just went to literally got back two days ago, the she recovers conference in Miami and the coolest part. I mean, it was beautiful hotel. There were great speakers. The coolest part was the 500 women there who. Are on the alcohol free path. I mean, some of them are sober, curious. Some of them are in the early days.
Some of them, you know, like me had six years, some of them had 20, but they were smart and intelligent and had a, had some depth to them. Cuz you have to do some good work. You don't spend a lot of time talking. Posturing and trying to pretend that your life is perfect. You get vulnerable, but you have a lot of fun.
Oh my God, women who've stopped drinking. They have the best stories. Like I never laughed so hard and just being surrounded by so many of 'em and laughing so much, we had a silent disco. We were dancing for [00:29:00] hours, zero alcohol involved. Like that is amazing. So you are not alone. Yeah, not
Lori: alone. And like we said, it, it's never too late to start this journey and to freeing ourselves from alcohol.
What do you find though? As far as like the women who are coming to you and, and you know, that struggle, what is it that they are doing? Are they having multiple day ones? Are they experiencing roadblocks and they can't seem to make it work? What are you finding in your clients or in your. life what was
Yeah. I mean, most of the women I work with are high achieving working moms. That just tends to be, I mean, I've certainly worked. Women. Who've never had children, women who haven't had children, yet women who are single, but a lot of the women I work with are, are sort of mid forties, 35 to 55 working women, um, who have a lot on their shoulders.
And typically they haven't had any big [00:30:00] bottoms. But damn, they're making it hard on themselves by drinking a lot. You know, they are, you know, I, I love it when we tell ourselves that we have no discipline and no self-control and no willpower, because I gotta tell you being a working mother and holding it all together, when you're hung over.
For weeks and months and years, damn, that is willpower and discipline, right. That shit's hard to do. And yet we do it every day. So typically the women I work with have been trying to moderate, right? They've done all the rules, all the things switched to all the different drinks. They've tried to take a break.
Maybe they've gone two weeks or 30 days or three months without alcohol. And yet. They keep coming back to it and they're tired of the constant debate in their head. And they've realized that they just need support and a positive path forward. And that's kind of what I do. I, you know, [00:31:00] similar to what you do, like I.
Provide structure and a framework, but also encouragement and real time tips and tricks and changing some of the mistakes that they've been making in the past. And I think a lot of women who fall into the great area of drinking, make some of the common mistakes. I mean the first one. is debating over and over again.
Whether they not, whether or not they have quote unquote a real problem, right. Do they have to stop drinking? Are they an alcoholic? Do other people drink more than they do? Right. All of those questions are just gonna trip you up. I mean, I think it is enough to say, I know what drinking feels like, the good and the bad, the 80% and the 20% I'm curious.
How good. I can feel what I will do, how I will look if I take a longer period of time without. You [00:32:00] know, I think that is where you start. You don't need to think about forever. Forever will just trip you up. You will look at a woman next to you with a glass of red wine and be like, oh my fucking God. I am never gonna have that again.
No, you are doing an experiment. Trust me. If you get to the end a hundred days and you don't feel better, the wine is not going anywhere. I promise you it will still be there, but the women I work with, if you do the mental work, if you actually add things to your life, when you remove the alcohol, if you focus on joy and curiosity, They feel so much better after a hundred days.
They're like, I don't wanna go back to that. That feeling hungover, the what, what is wrong with me? Get it together. Do I have enough wine at home? They're like, I wanna see how good I can feel at six months. So you just kind of slowly move. The goal posts as you incrementally get more [00:33:00] comfortable with telling people, yeah, I'm actually not drinking or I'm taking six months off or, you know, when I got to a year was the first time I said, I think I'm done.
And I think I'm done drinking. I feel way better without it, but it wasn't until I got to a.
Lori: Hm. Yeah. I think that's one of the biggest things too, that women pressure themselves with is what do I tell people? Like you don't need to tell them anything, just continue on until you're ready, because that's just another added layer of pressure that doesn't need to be there.
But it's real. I it's totally normal. I
Casey: felt it. Yeah, I didn't even tell my husband anything until I got to a hundred days about how worried I was, about how much I was drinking. I told him I was taking a hundred day break. I think there was zero chance. He thought I'd do it. I mean, I'd said I was gonna not drink a million times before.
Um, but. I had hired a coach. I didn't tell him about my coach. I [00:34:00] didn't tell him about all the books I was reading. I just like didn't want him to watch me. I didn't want to, if I decided to go back to drinking for the rest of our marriage, for him to look at me every time I opened a bottle of wine and, but I needed to do it.
And as I went along, I told him more and he had no idea. I mean, he knew I drank a lot, but he had no idea the sort of inner torture I was going through every day because he didn't get it. He was a normy, right. He couldn't figure out why he had won beer. And I had three glasses of wine at the restaurant, but after I stopped, I asked him what he noticed and he said, Our house is a lot more peaceful.
It's more even you don't get so riled up about work. You're more consistent with the kids. He also said I'm a cheap date and it was kind of nice for me not to be completely useless. When he was driving me home and like, quote unquote, [00:35:00] fall asleep in the car, you know, but mostly peace. And he said, I felt a lot happier.
He, he thought I was happier.
Lori: Yeah. You gotta keep that to yourself in the beginning. I feel, I mean, you know, it's your choice to who you tell, but I always say that people were on a need to know basis. Mm. But I think for the main reason is cuz we really don't know what it's about. We can't even tell what it's about.
I think a hundred days. Some of us a year, some of us even longer, there's no timeline, but if we don't know how can we explain it to other people, but yet women try because they want their people to understand and support them. And, and most of them do, but there's a lot who don't and I feel like that's, that's another one of those things that women tend to focus on is how do I make my husband or my wife understand?
Or how do I make my best friend understand that I can't drink? We're going out or I'm going over to her house, you know, how do I make them
Casey: understand? Like you don't have to. When I [00:36:00] think that we put so much pressure on it, I think that. You need to find people who get it. Like, that's why I love finding other people who, who have struggled with drinking, who get it, who get that you deserve a parade when you hit day 16, like that might have been longer than you've gone in five years.
You know, like that is incredible and amazing. And when you hurt th hit 30 days, you are like a freaking badass. And the people who don't get it, I feel like you have to communicate what you're doing and you can tell them what support you need. But for me, that looked like I told him I was doing a hundred day challenge of no alcohol as a health kick.
I told him I need to get all the wine outta the house. Like, please don't ask me if I want you to pick up wine at the grocery store. Please don't bring any wine home, because this is hard for me. I love wine. [00:37:00] I told him that I was gonna start working out in the morning. So I was gonna go to bed really early.
I started going to therapy and I asked him to take the kids, pick 'em up and get 'em dinner once a week. So you can ask for support in the same way you ask for support. If you were going on a food health kick, right? You're like, dude, don't put the birthday cake on the counter and can we not go out for donuts in the morning and you know, whatever it is, I'm not big on dieting.
So I'm not promoting that, but God knows in my. That's what I asked him to do. You know, he would prefer not to have asparagus and salmon for dinner, but damn, didn't I cook it, you know?
Lori: Yeah. And it's so hard for us to ask for help too. And especially when it comes to no longer drinking, but you have to make it your mission.
You have to make it your mission to do this for yourself and whatever you need, you gotta
Casey: speak up. Yeah. What
Lori: other roadblocks are you finding that [00:38:00] women are up against right now?
Casey: Yeah, I mean, not thinking about forever, not just not thinking that you have to decide that you are quote, unquote alcoholic or have a real problem.
Not treating this as a punishment. Like you are not a 16 year old who has lost your car keys, right? You are a grown woman who is deciding to do this for your health. I think not drinking for a period of time is like deciding to run a marathon. Like your husband doesn't need to run the marathon with you.
Your best friend doesn't need to, but. You need to find a running group. You might do a couch to 10 K to get started. You'd print out a plan. You would plan out your weekends, you'd plan out your runs. And by the way, I feel like all of us who've quit drinking. You deserve that 26.2, like sticker on the back of your damn car for the rest of your life.
You know what I mean? Like this is something to be proud of. [00:39:00] I also think, you know, in the same way, you're not grounded. You're not 16. Like treat this as a time when you are truly, really finally taking care of yourself for the first time in ages. Like we think drinking is self care. It is a cheap substitute for actually taking the time and energy and resources you need.
Lori: Yeah, I agree. We think we need a drink. What we really need is legitimately self care, self love, self-compassion self respect, all of those things. And that is our birthright
Casey: for sure. Yeah. Yeah. So like enjoy, you know, like settling into the cross country flight, like, all right, I'm not drinking for a hundred days.
I'm gonna get my bike tuned up and plan out a bunch of long bike rides. I'm gonna go on. I'm gonna join a yoga class. I'm going to take guitar lessons. I am going to hire [00:40:00] babysitter every Sunday afternoon and just read a novel. I am going to eat the good food. I am not going to diet when I am removing. A highly addictive substance that I crave.
Trust me, you will have energy and your metabolism will work better. You know, you will feel better and look better without alcohol, regardless of if you go on any other health kick. So. You know, it's a time to explore. It's a time to feel joy. I remember waking up at 7:00 AM on a Saturday and going to see a friend, which by the way I never did, are you kidding me?
I was like waking up with one eye open being like, oh my God, you know, I can't believe the kids are up. And I drove across. This bridge over the water in Seattle. And there were all these people running and biking and this sunshine was out. And I literally was like, holy shit, do these people do this every weekend?
Like, it was an entire universe of things that I [00:41:00] never saw. And I was like, oh my God, could I go biking at 7:00 AM on a Saturday and bike to brunch? Like I was just like, that was cool. Yeah, it it's
Lori: really odd when you start going out. I remember going out and just thinking people actually are eating. At night and they're not drinking, like just looking around and you just see things differently, you really do.
And, and that analogy of being on the plane, like, look out the window. What are you seeing maybe for the first time in your 65 years, you know, what are you seeing right now? What does that, how does that make you feel?
Casey: Yeah. Yeah. What about
Lori: in the evenings when you would come home and you would normally drink, what did you do after you?
You stopped drinking. What
Casey: helped you? Yeah, I'm a big fan of anchor activities, which is what I call planning ahead for the time when you would usually drink, because especially in the beginning, like if women are like, oh, I didn't even wanna drink in my first two weeks. I'm like, I don't believe you does not happen.
You are going to wanna drink [00:42:00] in the beginning. Of course you are. And you need to plan ahead to kind of get through that and distract yourself. So I highly recommend like mapping out your week, taking events off your schedule that either stress you out, that you don't wanna do. Cuz we do a lot of things we don't wanna.
And any events where alcohol is gonna be served. And I know you're like, but I wanna go and you will be able to go, but not right now, it is like torturing yourself for no reason. So like maybe on Monday, you, you know, Do a super easy dinner and then take a bubble back and then do a nighttime skin routine and go to bed early.
Maybe on Tuesday, you, you know, get sushi, takeout and walk in a park with your kids, or do a picnic instead of coming home to dinner, maybe on Wednesday, you start binging a movie or a show. Maybe on Thursday, you get a pedicure. I always tried to get a [00:43:00] pedicure or massage on Friday after work. Cause that was a big drinking time for me.
And then I would get sushi takeout that was like my jam and that was my treat. And then I could come home with my kids, cuddle up on the couch, watch a movie. And on Saturdays midday, that was a big drinking time for me, like three or 4:00 PM. And I would go to a garden store and wander around. Get the plants and plan out a veggie garden.
And by myself, you know, a journal or something. And on Sundays, I'd go to my gym that had a kids' club. I quit when my kids were two and eight, I'd put them in the kids' club and I'd like, go in the hot tub or do laps in the pool, or just sit in their very nice lounge area with a novel. and then get the kids out after two hours.
And there was a smoothie place there and we would get like smoothies with like peanut butter and chocolate. Bananas. And that would like fill [00:44:00] me up with like protein and, and that, you know, sugar hit and it tasted like a milkshake. And so that was my week. And I swear that got me through early sobriety.
Like that was good.
Lori: Yeah. And just hearing you describe that, the feeling, because what you're talking about is that was your alternative to spending hours drinking and hours being hung over. You're putting so much time back on your life.
Casey: Yeah, you.
Lori: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I love that. And it sounded like that shape filled you up more than just the protein, right?
Casey: Just like, well, and then I could come home and just be like, I did something for myself. I had time for myself. I'm not starving. I mean, please eat something around 4:00 PM. You do not wanna go into the witchy hour or your commute home starving. That is just a recipe for disaster. I used to drive home, listening to a sober podcast or a book on.
About quitting drinking, just to remind me that I'm not alone to [00:45:00] remind me that this is good for me, that this is something that's important to me, cuz I used to always stop at the grocery store for wine on the way home, you know, a couple times a week. And so, you know, just keeping, not drinking as your priority, but as something you are doing for yourself as a positive health change.
Lori: Yeah, it's true because that is what it is. Any other tips to get started?
Casey: I think finding support, wherever that is, is really important because there are tips and tricks. And so many of us stumble around in the dark for way too long. Just beating ourselves up. When you know, you are not the first person to ever do this and you can make it easier on yourself.
Lori: What is the best way to find support? Do you think
Casey: so many ways? I mean, I love podcasts. I mean, I feel like when you start flooring, this alcohol free life, you like there, you [00:46:00] find bread crumbs and you're like, oh, I found this thing. And then you like pull this string and you find so many other. Things that you're like, there was this whole universe of, of people out there who don't drink and, and all these resources.
And I never knew they existed. So, I mean, obviously I have a podcast, you have a podcast. We bring on guests. There are so many groups and coaches and quit lit books. And resources. So I'm a member of the BFB, which is the booze free brigade I've been on there for, for nine years, which is crazy. I quit six years ago.
So if that tells you anything about my timeline and just the most incredible supportive, loving, smart, fun people who don't drink anymore. And, you know, there are people there on day one and day five, and there are people there with five years. So that is my, where is that?
Lori: Oh, I'm sorry. Let me, oh, let me just pop in here real quick.
Where is that located? Is that [00:47:00] Facebook?
Casey: It's on Facebook. Right. If you go to my website, hello, someday coaching. I have a guide to my two favorite private free Facebook groups for women who are quitting drinking. Lori has group the alcohol free habit, which I know is amazing. Thank you for promoting that.
Thank you. Sure. I love community. I love coaching. Obviously I'm a coach. You could work with a coach. One on one. I have. You know, a, a self study class. There are groups out there. So many groups that you can find people who are like you Instagram, if you follow any hashtags, you know, sober, curious, hashtag or alcohol free life hashtag or anything, right?
Sober sobriety, sober mom, you will find people and groups and inspiration out there to support you. I mean, you are not alone. [00:48:00]
Lori: Nobody is alone in this. Talk about your course.
Casey: Yeah. Thanks. Well, the first thing I wanted let people know is I actually have a completely free one hour master class. That's called five secrets to taking a break from drinking, even if you've tried and failed before.
And I think that's a great. Place to start. I mean, it is, has costs you nothing. You can sign up for a time that works for you and really helps address some of the things that you should do that trip up women who are in that great area of drinking from even getting started. And you can find that on my website, which is hello, someday coaching.com.
And I also. Free 30 tips for your first month, alcohol free. That's on my website as well. And you know, you just sign up, you'll get it in your email box. And it's really comprehensive of like, what should you expect on day three and day five and day seven. And. Things you should do on day [00:49:00] 16 and, and all that.
I do have a course, which is totally self-study. It's called the sobriety starter kit. And it is my entire coaching framework. I work through with my private coaching clients, but, you know, for you to access. On your time. It's on an app, lots of resources there, everything from navigating sobriety challenges to how to talk to people about drinking, to sober retreats, to, you know, basically breaking the habit of drinking both from an emotional standpoint and practically.
Hmm. So good.
Lori: You have so many great resources. What app do you use for your course? It's called
Casey: Kajabi. That's where I host it. One of the reasons I like it is that, you know, nothing on your phone says sobriety starter kit. It just, it just says Kajabi. And you can just log on there with one touch and, and get into [00:50:00] the materials.
I think my iPhone and my EarPods was literally the best sobriety support I had in my back pocket. At all times, cuz there, you know, I had my podcast, I had my groups, I had books, everything I could just plug in when I needed to. And no one would know. I love
Lori: that. Yeah, it is true because we have to think of everything and a lot of women do get really terrified of having any kind of app on their phone.
I mean, I didn't, I had this sobriety counter app back in 2013 that I put on my Kindle. And I hit it on my Kindle, like anybody who was gonna open my Kindle, but I just thought, oh, I need something like this. So every now and then I would just look at my Kindle and I wasn't like reading on my Kindle at the time, but it was just like, I need
Casey: to tuck this somewhere.
oh my God. I, I get that fear. Like when I first started. Thinking about this, the fir very first book I ever read when my son was like six months old, [00:51:00] was drinking a love story by Carolyn nap. And I literally was reading it on my Kindle and reading it while drinking red wine , which is insane. And then I would, every time I was done open up like five other books on my Kindle, so that drinking a love story was like pushed down in my queue in case.
This is how ridiculous it was. My husband would pick up my Kindle and look at what book I was reading. I mean, that's how deep I was in not wanting anyone to know, but I get that. If you're in that place, I really do. I used to have my day counter that's called, I'm done drinking, and I had it on like the third screen of my iPhone in a folder called health.
Like, so if you are there, we get. That's okay. You are on the path to. Knowing that this isn't working for you to taking steps, to add resources, to make [00:52:00] changes in your life. And if you're not ready to come out to the world, like that's okay. Yeah. We gotta remove
Lori: the pressure from that. We have to, yeah. It's too much, and we do know exactly how you feel.
Thank you so much, Casey, for being here again, I of course will have everything linked in the show notes to find Casey and all of her wonderful offerings. And then also the first episode where you were on last summer. Here. And we will link that in the show notes. That's a great episode to go back to and listen all of Casey's story and just hear where she is coming from, because I know how much inspiration and motivation we all get from hearing these stories from women who are doing this.
Just remember you could take action and you can start creating your own story. And I just I'm, I can't wait to hear it. Right. Don't you ever think about that?
Casey: Like all of the women, like the women that you work. I just feel like.
Lori: I'm having a moment here where I'm having a lab. So I wanna think about [00:53:00] this for a minute, because it's important when, when my clients start to tell other women in their lives, like this is what I'm doing and the chain reaction of that, because we don't wanna, we don't wanna talk about it.
Right. But the chain reaction of that is inspiring other women. I mean, I've had it happen several times, just recently with my clients. I finally opened up and this is what happened. Like we all have that story to share and you don't have to share live on a podcast or anything like that, but share it with yourself first.
Casey: Yeah, completely. I, I think it's amazing. And you will be amazed when you start to open up when you're ready. How many women. Come to you and said, oh, I've been kind of worried about that too. How did you do it? Or I've been thinking about that or I have to watch my drinking too. I've had to take breaks. I mean, there is no question that so many women in the world like struggle with alcohol and yet we don't [00:54:00] talk about it.
Lori: Yeah. Well, we're talking about it now. Yeah. Thank you,
Casey: Casey. Thank you so much.
Lori: Let me pause it real quick here.
Casey: Oh, that was so good. Was that okay?
Lori: Oh yeah, it was great.
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