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I’ve talked about why I quit drinking several times throughout episodes over the years, but I’ve never recorded one episode where my WHY lives.
I’m dedicating this episode to folks - women and men in the middle of life and beyond who are pondering sobriety. For some of you, it may be something you are hyper-focused on, like I was for a couple of years, and for others, it may be a curiosity.
For whatever reason, I’m glad you’re here.
If you are experiencing decision fatigue on whether or not to quit drinking or take a break from alcohol, this episode may help you gain a different perspective on going alcohol-free later in life and ease some of your worries about FOREVER!
What You'll Discover
- The lead-up to my decision to stop drinking
- My rock bottoms and the night that was the last rock bottom
- The answers to three questions I get often: How did you know it was time to quit? Did you go to AA? and How did you make it stick?
- The journal entries I wrote at 8-weeks sober and 11-months
- How the stigma of sobriety held me back
- Why forever thinking doesn't work for most (and what to do instead)
If you like this episode, you'll enjoy these too!
No Rock Bottom Required with Casey McGuire Davidson
Coming to Terms with Sobriety
10 Ways to Get in the Habit of Living Alcohol-Free
I've talked about why I quit drinking several times throughout episodes over the years, but I've never recorded one episode where my, why lives. I'm dedicating this episode to folks, women, and men in the middle of life and beyond who are pondering sobriety. For some of you, it may be something you are hyper focused on.
Like I was for a couple of years. And for others, it may be a curiosity for whatever reason. I am super glad that you were here today. I will share my story of why I quit drinking at 45. Answer three questions. I get often. Number one. How did you know it was time to quit? Number two, did you go to AA and number three, how did you stick with it?
I'm going into my journal today. My $5 Walmart journal that I started in may of 2013, to share just a couple of entries with you to get a better look at where I was in my first year of sobriety. I will do my best not to get clumped. I love that word, but I can't promise anything. If you were experiencing decision fatigue on whether or not to quit drinking or take a break from alcohol, I know how you feel.
This episode may help you gain a different perspective, ongoing alcohol free later in life and ease some of your worries about forever. Let's start. Shall we? Hello, and welcome to two 50 and beyond a podcast that helps you find joy and confidence in living alcohol free later in life. I am Lori mascot, your host I'm super pumped that you are here.
I'm a certified life recovery and nutrition coach who decided to quit drinking at 45 on August 11th, 2013. And started talking about my drinking openly in 2015 on an anonymous Instagram. Two 50 and beyond. I created the account for accountability as I started a whole 30 and I had a goal to get in the best shape of my life.
When I turned 50, which would've been 2017, I value honesty in myself and others. I value humor. I. Knowledge and learning and authenticity and showing up for you every Wednesday, either through solo episodes, like today's or interviews with guests who share their wisdom and their story and their strategies with you.
So you can rock your very best self two 50 and beyond. If you are new here. Hello welcome my new friend. And if you're returning, man, I appreciate the heck out of you. We are starting a new chapter of the podcast today, and I'm excited to be here with you. I took a couple of breaks this year, which were needed to come to you as my best self.
In the past few months, I've reassessed the podcast. I've learned some new lessons, life lessons, and podcast lessons, and I've identified the mistakes I've made, which has really helped me clear the road ahead of me. It was getting a little murky because. Really focused on what I should do and have to do and need to do, or what I thought I needed to do for the podcast, not on what I want to do, which is where I was when I started it.
When I started the podcast, I had a mission to talk about the things we don't talk about, like our drinking and aging and menopause and sobriety. And that's still my mission today. I didn't have anything figured out when I started. And I know that is why I was able to start. I'm an overthink. A warrior and I am recovering from trying to be perfect like everyone else.
And my personality is definitely, let's just do the damn thing and see how it goes. I resist that side of me a lot, which is what I've really learned. The big life lesson. I resist that side of me because I always think that somebody knows how to do something better than me, which there are a lot of people that know how to do things better than me, especially when it comes to podcasting.
I like to do things for myself as myself, because that's the only way that it works. And I've made so much progress this year and stepping into more of that imperfect side of myself and really having fun. I can create so much easier when I'm not shutting all over myself. And the motto that I've had since I started this podcast is I'm not for everyone and everyone is not for me.
So if you're here, chances are we are. For each other. I'm sharing this backstory with you after four plus years of podcasting, because it is a lead in to this episode, a reminder to you. We don't have to have anything figured out to start something new for ourselves, whether it's sobriety a podcast, a workout regime, a nutrition plan, I believe 100%.
The only way that we figure out how to do something is by doing it and seeing how it goes. Also. I want you to. You're listening to this episode at the same time another gal or another guy is listening. And you are both here for similar reasons. And I want you to find comfort in that this podcast is what I needed when I quit drinking.
Ultimately, that is why we are here together. You are not alone. We are here together. Let me give you a little backstory about my drinking. I was mentally and emotionally attached to alcohol. I used alcohol to escape my reality to socialize. Celebrate the good times, have confidence in myself. Date, have sex grieve and make my life seem better for just a very short time.
I can describe my relationship with alcohol as my ride or die. I counted on the drink to get me through many life experiences and leading up to quitting drinking. I was focused more on how in the heck I would not drink. After 30 years of drinking, not so much on why I didn't want to drink. I mean, when we think about it, if you were like me or, you know, someone like me who started drinking at 14, that's when I started.
And it's very interesting that I meet so many women who come to me and say, I started drinking at 14 too. Is that the magic age? I don't know. Maybe back in whenever you started drinking, uh, you know, for me it was 1982, but we were never taught. The outcome of drinking, right? We are never taught what it would lead to.
I mean, my 14 year old self who got drunk for the first time and just found this magic solution for myself, for my social anxiety, for my awkwardness, I was unaware about how really F and hard it would be to quit. In midlife. The belief I had about drinking alcohol is that it was what everyone does.
That's what I started at age 14 in 19 92, 82. Oops. And my drinking is just like everyone else. I hung onto that belief. That was my belief. I will never have a problem controlling my alcohol. It's what I do. And I actually wore the fact that I could drink like a badge of honor. So the first question. I get often is how did you know it was time to quit drinking, which reveals why I chose to quit, or I also get asked, was there a rock bottom?
Like, did you get scared straight? And we all have our own rock bottoms, right? In my experience. The why always comes before the how. And there were so many rock bottoms, the first ping. Of like, Hey, like somebody's tapping on your shoulder. Hey, maybe you should take another look at your drinking. Maybe you should reframe this type of drinking that you're participating in was when I heard the term alcoholic or the word it's a word alcoholic.
And it was presented to me from a family member while we were drinking in a. In the middle of downtown Disneyland in, uh, 2011 a day at Disneyland with my family often turned into drinking. In fact, when Disneyland started serving alcohol, we would go, my son was very young and I would be focused on when I get to drink rather than being present with my family and enjoying the day.
So I was really looking forward to being able to take a break from Disneyland and go on over to the bar and get some. Alcohol and drinking consumed my mind for decades. It's what I did. So this identity that I created in 1982 was very much the party girl. I did take a lot of pride in that identity. And even though I wasn't out partying so much at 45, I still clung to that vision of myself, the gal with the perm who had that first taste of pink champagne at a party.
And I felt so much relief. That alcohol existed. It calmed my nerves, my hives on my neck. And it turned me into someone who was more confident. There was no filter. I didn't have a lot of filters when I drank, I didn't turn into really like a mean drunk. I, I was, I was mean later on in life. And I would say after I had my son in 2001 things started to change for me.
I was unhappy in my career. In my body, in the vision of my future, there was tension in my marriage. I was a new mom and I became extremely anxious at just the thought of a family get together or a friend gathering and don't even bring up work. Mixers, work mixers were torture for me and it just brought on another level of my drinking.
So I think it started to really get dark and. My early thirties and then towards the end of my thirties is when I know now looking back as I was starting to experience more of the perimenopause and that's when it started to get very dark. And then at 42, my mom passed away. And after that, it just woo.
It went through the roof with darkness. So going back to hearing that word presented to me alcoholic for the first time in my life, I defended myself. I don't drink every day. I had all the reasons why I wasn't. The view that I had of an alcoholic at the time was not mine in alcoholic is someone affected by a alcoholism and a alcoholism is not something I had or did.
According to alcohol.org alcoholism is when one can no longer control their use of alcohol and compulsively abuse. Alcohol, despite its negative ramifications, emotional distress and or experiences. Okay. I had so many blind spots when it came to my drinking it total denial. That belief that my drinking was like everyone else.
So if it's like everyone else I'm okay. Right. And I had no knowledge of what alcohol really was or did to my mind and my body, a complete lack of knowing how much was too much and a lack of knowing about alcohol abuse. I was not educated. I just drank. And I had so many rock bottoms from my teens to my forties.
That should have been red flags, but weren't the last one being a kid rock concert in July of 2013, just a couple of weeks before I ultimately quit. I went to see kid rock in orange county, California with my friends and my husband. And I ended up getting into a big fight. Now I was the instigator of all fights.
Um, I lost him. In this huge crowd of kid rock fans. if you've ever been to a kid rocker concert, you know, and I mean, I was scared. I lost him. I wasn't familiar with the area. We were staying in a hotel. I had no way to get back to the hotel. And so was that a rock bottom? Yeah, I really think that was the, the one time out of all of these rock bottoms that I actually identified it as that, like, that was scary to me.
I was very scared. My husband and I ended up, we got back together. We found each other, we stayed up. Most of that night talking. I felt so bad. Oh my gosh. Makes me emotional. I felt so bad about what had happened. And after that, yes, it was about two weeks later that I ultimately quit. And from that day at Disneyland hearing that word, I started questioning my drinking behaviors.
I was aware. That I was not a woman who wanted just a little bit of wine. I wanted bottles. It didn't matter if I wasn't drinking every day, I drank enough a couple times a week for a week's worth of moderate drinking. And there was a time in my life where I was drinking every day and that was in my twenties.
And again, Party girl. That's what we did. I tried to moderate, I tried to place rules on myself and I did that on and off for about two years and decided that it wasn't for me because I didn't wanna moderate. I had no desire if you've ever heard the quote. If one is not enough, have none that best describes my thought process, leading up to quitting drinking.
One was never going to be enough. And I became so consumed with the word alcoholic and it became ingrained in every thought and the meaning of that word, scared the poos outta me. It became something I could not face as a new identity. And so I started taking the online quiz. Am I an alcoholic?
Absolutely. Uh, fudged a little bit on some of the answers. I still got the answer. Yep, you are. It went on and on. I was testing myself for a couple of years and I took 30 days off in January, 2012. And I started conversing with people around me about drinking and my drinking. I asked my husband repeatedly.
Do you think I'm an alcoholic which he always responded with? No, you're not. And then on August 11th, 2013. The day. I decided it didn't matter what anyone else thought of my drinking. It didn't matter what kind of drinker I was, what mattered more than anything is what I was going to do about my drinking and really ultimately what I was going to do about my future.
I had a vision on myself at 75 living the same life as I was at 45. I knew that I would regret it that kicked my butt into gear. The thought I had the night I quit drinking really came from a voice that I heard. And I am legit. When I say this, there was like a voice swirling around me that said, Lori, you've had enough alcohol to last two lifetimes.
And from that message, I decided there was never going to be a right time to do this. There was never going to be a time where I wanted to do this. I was thinking maybe there would be a time where I would like go to the doctor and actually tell them about my drinking. And they would say, yeah, you have to stop.
And that was gonna make me do it. Like I had all of these thoughts, like I knew. I was the one that was going to be able. And the only one that was going be able to do this for me. And so again, my personality was like, let's just get this done. Let's get this done at 45 and see what happens. It was definitely that, that took me to that point of, yes, I'm going to quit drinking.
I never thought I would be a non-drinker. I did not want to quit, but I couldn't imagine going on with my drinking, I was exhausted. I was anxious. I am a very anxious person and I was in the thick of perimenopause, which heightened my anxiety and my fatigue. I wanted to feel better. And I had an inkling that it would be easier to quit than it would be to try and make alcohol work.
So why I quit drinking was layered. It was really, I wanted to feel better. I didn't want to feel like crap anymore. I had had. I was very aware of this. My future self wanted something different. She was tired of the same old shit, the same old excuses. It was a cycle of trying to get different results by doing the same damn thing over and over and over again.
Like I really wanted to make that work where I could figure out how I could be a normal drinker. And I was really tired of the quick fix I wanted long term gratification, better. I was thinking maybe I would be happier. Did I think sobriety was going to be the answer to everything? No, I thought it would help me because I wouldn't be spending time hungover.
I wouldn't be spending those days hungover because as I got older, the hangovers were. Longer. They were really, really tough. There were so many sleepless nights and they would just drag on for days. So what I did next was I decided that I'm going to figure this out on my own. So I will address the second question I do get often, did you go to AA?
No, I did not. And back in 2013, that is all I knew of as far as if you have a problem with alcohol, this is where you go today. It's different. You have several different options. Even though that online quiz told me, I was in fact an alcoholic, I wasn't convinced. So I didn't go for a few reasons. Number one, my social anxiety, there was no way I was gonna go into a room full of people.
And the fear of getting up and standing up and saying anything about my drinking or how I felt at that time. No, it wasn't going to happen. Number two, I wasn't sure if I had the right to be in that room and I'm being completely honest with you. I wasn't sure. I didn't know what that meant. I didn't know if that room was for me.
And number three, it was the shame I felt about my drinking in particular. Not knowing that it was more than just casual and social. That was, and still is really hard for me to face at times. Like, what the hell were you thinking? I felt like that. And I was so shameful. Like you're an adult. You should know better.
That's the voice that was going on in my head. So if you feel like that, let me give you a hug. You're not alone. It's okay. We're adults. We're still growing. We're still learning. There is no end game with that. Well, I guess until we leave this earth, right, there is no age limit to when we learn things in life.
I understand if you need an identity and a complete understanding of your drinking. Before you do something about it. I felt that way too. And some people that works for them, they need to align to something to get started. So I'm all for that. I realized that when I was going through all the decision fatigue, I felt like it was coming from a place of, gosh, I'm not sure if I need to quit drinking.
what if I don't, but if I don't need to quit drinking, I quit drinking what what's gonna happen, then I'm gonna, what have to go back to drinking? You know, I just had all of those thoughts. So if you have those thoughts, Again, you're not alone. My friend, there is pride in being a human who overcomes using alcohol as a life management tool.
I have friends, family and guests who have been on this podcast who have attended and are in AA and part of the program today. And it has changed their lives. I know it's so confusing at the beginning to figure out what to do and where to turn in hindsight, I will say that having people to talk about my drinking would have helped me immense.
And you must decide for yourself, what is the right choice for you? I share my story, not to persuade anyone to go it alone or to do what I did, but because it's my story. It's what I did. I can't talk about AA as an experience cuz I didn't attend. I'm all for anyone's approach to reducing their drinking.
Taking a break or quitting as long as it works for them, because if it doesn't, it won't work. And that's when we wanna make it a me problem, that program or that plan, I followed it didn't work. It's me. I'm not disciplined. I don't have what it takes. I can't do it. And that's not true. You have what it takes to go after what you want in life.
Sometimes you just need a reminder. Just because something works for others doesn't mean it works for you. I need that reminder daily. Also you can try a program like AA or many other online and in person programs to get help and decide if it is for you. And if it's not, you can quit. Yes. I said it. Let's normalize quitting here, quitting something that isn't aligned to, who you are, honors, who you are.
There are sober folks who were casual drinkers and decided it wasn't working for them. Folks who have dedicated taking 30 days or a hundred days or a year off from drinking. And there are sober folks like me and others who were physically, mentally and emotionally dependent on alcohol for years who have gotten sober.
The last question I get often is how did you make sobriety stick? When I quit, I went into sobriety thinking this would be the end of fun dancing, outdoor concerts and all of the holiday festivities. I was hyper focused on what people would think of me. If I didn't drink, I had more of a negative outlook than a positive, especially in the beginning, but I was also looking forward to not being hungover.
I thought I would save thousands of dollars. And I wanted to lose weight. So I focused on the highlights that kept me going. I created a mantra, whatever it takes, whatever it takes to not drink today is what I will do. Sometimes it took a lot of journaling, a lot of crying, uh, eating sweets and lots of emotional workouts with loud music and weights that got me through times of cravings and drinking associations.
The real reason I believe that I was able to make sobriety stick is. I took it off the table completely. It was forever for me. There was no plan B. And I knew that if I took another drink, I would delay the inevitable for myself because I had that vision for my future. And quite possibly never get sober forever thinking is what I needed.
It wasn't easy to think in forever terms, it took up a ton of brain space for a very long time, but that worked for. For you. And many of my clients who can't stop drinking because of the thought of forever. Give yourself a break, take it one day at a time and know that the progress you are making is found really in those days where you just wanna say F it and drink, but you don't.
And the days when you focus on, I'm not drinking today, I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. None of us do. I'm not immune to drinking again. I'm human, just like you. And I take it one day at a time. The forever thinking has gone away for me because my life is better without my drinking. I act better. I sleep better.
I think better. I have found the positive side of life, the right side, even though I'm experiencing a lot of downside and I just can't predict the future. And if I will ever drink again, but today I won't, I'm gonna give you my word on that. I'm gonna give you fist. Today I won't. So I wanna share just a couple of entries that I wrote in this journal, and I did buy it at Walmart.
It was $5 and I bought it in may of 2013. I actually started at May 18th, 2013 to track my perimenopause experience on a safe symptoms experience. And it says, please don't take my sunshine away on the cover because I was feeling. Bad. I was feeling really bad in perimenopause. I was feeling like I was the only one.
And because I was asking friends around me, are you experiencing these things? You know, I had the heart palpitations. I had, like I said, a ton of anxiety, um, skipped periods, all of it. So I wanted to really document my perimenopause. And on a side note, if you're in Perry menopause, I think it's a great tool to have.
So you can keep track of your cycles, especially. So I did start it on May 18th, 2013. And the first note that I wrote to myself after I quit drinking, I wrote these notes and I would tear the page out and fold them up. So I have about, I don't know, 12 maybe, uh, note number one, it says, Lori always remember this.
I would rather be proud of myself than buzzed and hungover be consistent. And then I wrote always, remember you feel no regret when you don't buy or drink alcohol, don't do it. And I wrote, remember how you felt all day Sunday, please do not drink. Put the money away and stop wasting it. Please be strong.
Be tough. Be smart. Don't waste. Any more days hungover you are better than this. Spencer deserves a better life. That was my son, who is 12 at the time. And so that was one of those notes that I really was trying to highlight. Don't waste any more days, being hungover, don't waste your money. And then I'm gonna pull out this one here.
14 weeks. Almost. This was written on November 15th, made it through my first birthday in a long time without alcohol. This is a milestone, even though it was so hard, I'm at the point where I know I won't ever go back to think about being hungover would never be acceptable to me. It sucks. I'm stronger and more energized.
Keep it up. Then I wrote a note to myself. Oh, let me read this one. I'm gonna backtrack a little bit, but this is from eight weeks. Always remember almost eight weeks since my last drink. It's hard, but I know I will never drink again. I'm ashamed that I have done it for this long. I feel so much better and stronger.
It is like a cloud was lifted. Always. Remember this, I'm looking forward to this new phase in my life. I'm happier than I have been in a long time. Yay me. So I wrote that at eight weeks. I don't remember that. Honestly. I really remember the hard stuff cuz I think that's what we wanna do. I think I wanted to remember like, oh my gosh, that first year it was so hard.
It sucks so bad. But these notes to myself, when you document or you keep a sobriety journal, Man, you can go back and remember these things. I don't remember what I did last week, most of the time. So that's really cool note. And then I wrote one on June 30th. This is the last one I'll read almost 11 months, alcohol free.
And I'm questioning and thinking about my drinking a lot. It seems like I spend too much time trying to figure it out. When in my heart, I know I can't drink again. excuse me. I have to swallow. I see, in my mind what will happen if I drink, I would feel really bad about. It was too much time spent buying it, regretting it, buying it, drinking.
It always keeping tabs on how much I had left to drink and then saying things or doing things I would regret later losing sleep and then being hungover too much time wasted, but I still miss it and crave it. Why? I guess anything in life that takes that much from you is worth giving up no matter how hard for once in my life, I'm learning to be disciplined and.
Note to self keep going next year, when you read this, you will be really fucking proud of yourself. Those are my journal pages. You know, if you're new here, I do get emotional. When I talk about this, I am, uh, coming up on my nine year sober anniversary. And I still feel it. And I guess that is the ultimate way.
I can confirm the fact that I can't go back to drinking because it did take so much from my life. And, and I have to show up here as myself for you. So you know that you are not alone, cuz I did feel so alone. Don't fear. The stigma, anyone who gets sober is a badass. There is pride in sobriety. I am proud to be a sober woman.
I take great pride in that. I know that it's not for everyone to say sober or sobriety. You could say alcohol free, create whatever works for you. Please do that. Please do that for yourself. Know that you can change your mind, know that you can quit. Something, know that you are human, know that you deserve.
And if you don't think that you do work on accepting that for yourself, work on taking that first step. So you could see for yourself that you do, cuz that's the only way we are gonna figure it out. I would never figure out my drinking while drinking would never figure out what I really wanted in life or who I really was while I was numbing myself and escaping myself.
It's not easy admitting to yourself that it may be time to do something about your drinking. Start with you, give yourself a chance to figure things out, not a timeline. Give yourself the respect you deserve to be human and the right. You have to make choices that work for you. Not others. Be compassionate with yourself.
Be really kind. Stop kicking your ass for being somebody who likes to drink alcohol and who needs to drink alcohol? Stop it. Just stop it. If you are in a moment of despair, please reach out to someone you could talk to about your drinking, your doctor, a close friend, a family member, someone in your church, or always email me to let it out at hello, [email protected]
I will respond to you. I will listen to you. And I know that where you are is where you are. Doesn't have anything to do with where you go from here and your past man that builds you something to be proud of. Something to reflect on and even feel the shame and even feel the regrets and the guilt and move forward.
I am so thankful to you for listening today. Thank you for being here coming your way are some really great interviews. I'm super excited to kick off fall, man. I'm ready for fall. The Halloween decorations will be coming up very soon. Not Halloween. I'll do fall first, then Halloween, probably in September.
I'm in the mood for it. How about you? Uh, next week I have an interview with Eileen green. She's a TEDx speaker. She's a life coach and get this. She's a woman who got her masters. At 75. And I won't tell you how many years ago that was, you'll have to tune in my group coaching program. The alcohol-free habit is opening for early enrollment on August 24th.
I am super pumped to kick off the fall session. Early enrollment will be open for 72 hours only to the wait list only for a limited amount. Of spaces go to the alcohol free habit.com to join the wait list. Or I like to call it the get excited list today. And I have a private podcast that is totally free coming your way.
The alcohol free habit kickstart for those who want to explore a 30 day break from alcohol's. So excited for new things that I'm working on, not just for the end of 2022, but for 2023 and, and where I'm going in my life personally and in my business. So, Hey, thanks for being here. I appreciate you. If you need me, I'm here.
Take care of yourself this week and I'll see you next week.
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Hello, I'm Lori Massicot! I'm a certified life coach, podcast host, and advocate for sobriety in women in midlife and beyond. I'm on a mission to help you find joy and confidence in living alcohol-free later in life. I'm happy you're here!
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