Sisters in Sobriety

Interviews, Podcasts, Sobriety

July 11, 2022

Katy Olson isn’t just my best friend of 40+ years, she’s practically my sister. So who better to talk to about the journey to sobriety than someone who’s been beside me every step of the way? 

After decades of social drinking, Katy’s last drink was in December of 2019. She didn’t intend for it to be that way, but through a deepening yoga practice she found herself motivated to remove things in her life that were causing her body harm. 

Join us for a non-judgemental chat about how shame, responsibility, family and life events affected our drinking habits and eventual sobriety, and how we see our relationships with alcohol now. 

You can find Katy at @mindful.librarian on Instagram. 

Want to connect with Suzanne and other like minded moms? Follow @thesobermomlife on Instagram! 

Announcing the Sober Mom Life Cafe! For $15/month, join other sober moms inside the cafe for weekly meetings, bonus episodes, a Discord chat, a monthly book club and so much more! Learn all about it here: https://mykindofsweet.com/sober-mom-life-cafe/

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Sisters in Sobriety with Katy Olson

Speaker 1: 0:04
Hi, welcome to the sober mom life podcast. I’m your host, Suzanne of my kind of sweet and the sober mom life on Instagram. If you are a mama who has questioned your relationship with alcohol at times, if you’re wondering if maybe it’s making motherhood harder, this is for you. I will be having candid, honest, funny conversations with other moms who have also thought, Hmm , maybe motherhood is better without alcohol. Is it possible? We’ll chat. And we’ll talk about all things sobriety and how we’ve found freedom in sobriety. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. You don’t have to either, and maybe life is brighter without alcohol. I hope you will join us on this journey. And I’m so excited to get started.

So on today’s episode is my best friend of almost 42 years. So I’ll be 42 years old this month and Kate, or as I call her Katie and I have been best friend since I was, I think I was six months old and she was three months old. So it goes beyond friendship. She is like a sister to me. She is my sister and we, interestingly enough, became sober within months of each other without telling each other. And we also didn’t talk about it for a while . And so we go into that in the conversation about why we didn’t talk about it, about the shame around that and the fear of judgment. Um, and we just talk about what her sobriety means to her. I love how she talks about her link to yoga and sobriety. It’s so meaningful. I think that you will enjoy her. She’s one of my most favorite people. She is my soft space to land when everything is hard and tough. And I just love her so much. And I know you will too. So I hope you enjoy my conversation with Kate Olson and you can find her at mindful librarian on Instagram. I hope you guys enjoy it . Thanks .

Speaker 2: 2:25

Okay. I am so excited. We’re finally doing it my best friend of 41 years, 41 years. It’s been a while . <laugh> it’s been a while . We’ve got to , we’ve finally made it happen. You’re on the sober mom life. So , okay . In case our sweet listeners don’t know , don’t know who you are. What I , I hate this question. Uh , how do you , I don’t know how you answer that. Like who are you tell , tell us about yourself, but so you’re a mom. Okay . Yes. I’m a mom. Why do we , we always start with that. Do we always start like, well, because you’re talking to moms about sobriety, right? So like that’s why it matters. Right? Okay . Yeah. Right. Yeah . Okay . So it’s not how I define myself, but you know how I live my life, but I , I live in Wisconsin and I am married. We live out in the country. Three dogs, three, well, three dog kids and three human kids to clarify . Yes . Okay . So I really six kids and let’s see, I’m a teacher I’ve taught lots and lots and lots of different things that definitely doesn’t define me, but it does define how I get to live my life. Yeah. So I, yeah, I’ve known Suzanne since we were born in the same town in 1980 . That’s right . We were born in Hillsborough, Wisconsin. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I think so our moms were best friends, so I was what circumstance? Yeah . Through like they got thrown together. <laugh> yeah, they did. And so I was like, I mean, we’ve literally been besties since we were six months old, which is mm-hmm, <affirmative> pretty crazy to think about. So we’ve never lived in the same city since mm-hmm but more like sister besties versus like, I mean like, yeah .

We had some knockdown .

Oh yeah . You know , drag out fights on the tennis courts. Oh yeah . Crying in the rain . Oh my God . When we were like 10 , 12 it’s it’s definitely more like, best friend feels like it doesn’t quite cut it because it is , it’s like sister, I don’t your name yet ? This is Kate Olson . I call her, I call her Katie . I call her Katie <laugh> with a Y Katie with a Y Katie with a Y no, but it is, you’ve just been, you’re just a constant, it’s not a question. This isn’t a like, oh, are we, are we okay? It’s it’s like a sister relationship where it’s like, you are part of my life and yeah. You always have been, you always will be. It’s just like, we, we have seen each other through everything. You know me better than anyone. I know you. I mean, we just it’s like a sister, so yeah. I mean, I , I feel super blessed to have you in my life and I’m so glad you’re I’m here . I’m here . Okay . Well then let’s talk. Let’s just get right to it. Then stop yapping. <laugh> .

So let’s talk about sobriety. Okay . Before we could talk about sobriety, I think we have to talk about alcohol because I , I wanna kind of understand and share a little bit about your relationship with alcohol. Like growing up in high school, college, all of that stuff. Like what was, what was that like? Oh boy. Okay . So for a Northern Wisconsin, small town girl, I came to drinking rather late. So I didn’t start until my oh the summer before my senior year of high school. And let me tell you that late, where I , where I’m from. Totally. So, yeah, so I started , um, the high school drinking life then, and I don’t need to describe it cuz I think most anybody who drank in high school can understand what that was like parties and yes, yes . I mean, it wasn’t drinking red solo cups. I didn’t drink by myself, but there were lots of like just me and a friend kind of thing.

And the goal was always 100% to get drunk. Totally .

Like there was no like, and I did not like to back up though. Like I grew up around lots of alcohol, but I did not grow up in an alcoholic environment. Right . If that makes sense, like my , yes . So like you felt safe. Yes. The adults in my life drank mm-hmm <affirmative> socially. I saw adults around me get tipsy. I was one of the few people in my social circle who didn’t once we got our licenses get called to drive their parents home from bars. Wow . So lots of my friends did that and that was just part of their life of their parents were drunk all the time kind of thing. Socially drinking to the point of inebriation to the point of either driving home drunk or their kids having to come pick them up. Yeah . But even when I was drinking in high school, I was always the caretaker. I was the one who made sure no one was like, we weren’t driving drunk . So that was one line that I have, I think once in my life I’ve driven tipsy. Yeah. But I don’t think I knew I was tipsy until afterwards, if that makes sense. Yeah, totally.

But I also anybody who knows any gram , I am a type one and I am more afraid of getting in trouble than just about anything else on earth. That’s my big fear. My underlying fear. See, I still haven’t done the engram thing. I need to do it . Oh my , okay . So any gram one, this and this all like hit me so hard when I did the, and I read all that Agram stuff. Yeah. Because, so even when I was drinking against the law in high school, I was petrified of ever getting in trouble for it. Okay . And so I was I’ve NA I was always been very, very, very careful mm-hmm <affirmative> . And even when I drank at parties in high school, I always had an escape route. I knew, you know , I wast driving or something, not your mom, but like if the, yeah. So lots of high school drinking, almost all the alcohol at all. These parties was provided by people’s parents. Yes. That was like the culture though. It was like, if you’re gonna drink, you drink under my roof. And it’s like, yeah . Okay . And I mean, there , there were a few older people who might buy stuff, but this was like, like we would go , we went to country Fest one year with my friend’s parents. They provided everything. And like, one of my friends got two underage tickets while we were there , whatever. Anyway. Oh my God. So, I mean, this was all sanctioned by all adults. Except my parents, my parents were the only, my mom was the only one who wasn’t okay with this. Yeah.

So anyway, that was high school college, but so I actually drank way less at college in college number because you had to like pay for things. Yes. And in high school it was always free cuz somebody else buying it and I didn’t have any money in college. Yeah. And I was kind of lonely. And so I didn’t drink as much at college if I did, it was like in somebody’s room or in a basement kind of thing. And whenever I went home or whenever you came to green bay to see me <laugh> yeah , my Lord . Yes . Oh my God . Literally just came across that picture.

The other day of we , we were drinking out of a Mabu. Was I wearing my overall? Yeah. I think it was in , yeah. I think we were both in overalls and there were like, there was years splattered on our overall. Oh yeah. And we were drinking out of our , and we Mabu bottle, but I also remember when the Malibu was done, we put beer in the Malibu bottle and that drink . Yeah . And that’s the , yes . It’s this like the crazy thing about all of this is that like we were with these two guys, neither of us even liked, like we had no, totally , no you , I don’t . Right. Like this wasn’t like people we liked, we didn’t these people, I think one was my , B was my boyfriend at the time, but I didn’t like, well, we didn’t talk to him. So it wasn’t like I put this guy . No , no , no he wasn’t. So do you really liked, he might have been your boyfriend, but we didn’t like him. That was the kind of drinking I did then where it was like, not like, oh yay . I’m hanging out with my friend. Like we drank just to get drunk total binge 100% . I mean Wisconsin. I , I just, I just think, I , I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere else, but Wisconsin is such a binge drinking. I mean, it , it didn’t seem weird until then I grew up and moved away and then I was like, well , oh wait a second . Yeah .

And then once I turned 21 , again, drinking gets really expensive once you can go to the bars. Totally. And so, you know, and so I really didn’t drink as much then, but then I met my now husband the next summer and our whole relationship when we met was totally centered around drinking. But I think that’s not rare . Like that’s, I mean, especially in Wisconsin, but I think everywhere, like in those early days when you’re nervous and you’re like meeting somebody and you’re dating and you’re just like, you think that connecting, like alcohol’s gonna help you connect and kind of that fast forward to like, let’s get to know each other and bond over drinking. Yeah. Yeah. And it totally did. Yeah.

And coincidentally, or not so much, I was working for a brewery at the time. That’s right. I forgot about that. Yeah . And at this brewery, they didn’t just brew like their own beer. They bottled for tons and tons of brands from all over , including Erna ice. Mike’s hard lemonade and such yummy things like that. And Arizona iced tea, Arizona iced tea was good too. But so what happened was when they had like misprints or overruns, they’d have huge semis full in the employee parking lot. And we could just go fill up our trunk . So had this porch , this entire enclosed porch on this house that was attached my bedroom full of Mike’s hard lemonade, this beer, they brewed smearing off . And then, and this brewery also sponsored Jeff’s softball type at the time. So I was at like, cool, cool younger chick with a trunk full of alcohol. Yeah . So that was something. And I remember distinctly driving to Madison and delivering a trunk of alcohol to my brother and sister-in-law who I won’t name in case they ever run for office . And then I was like , I was just that few years . I’m like , oh my weird .

But anyway, so anyway, that whole first summer, especially, it was just like, yeah , we were drunk like all the time kind of thing. Whenever I wasn’t at work and I’d stay out all night and then Jeffrey could be right home in the morning and I’d go to work and then I’d come home for an hour lunch and nap. Yeah . And so that, then we could go do that again the next night anyway.

So that was college and after college and that’s kind of like all our whole social life revolved around pretty much binge drinking. Totally. Now it was just the way of life. It was not, it was not a weird thing to drink Thursday through Sunday. You know what I mean? And , and then to recover Monday, maybe start back slowly, Tuesday, a little Wednesday and then really hit it Thursday. Like that’s, that was just a way of life. Yeah.

And I think the only thing that changed our way of life was when we moved, cuz we moved. So every, like we live like a half hour out of the big town . And so once you can’t just get a ride home or stumble home or whatever, it makes a big difference because then both of us were growing up a little bit and we’re like, oh yeah, we don’t wanna drink and drive kinda thing like you were saying, like, I , I don’t think that might not have deterred a lot of people, you know what I mean? Getting caught like, and your hard line of no drinking and driving too. And also Jeff is a professional driver by train , like that’s his, his life’s work. And so like we can’t, we couldn’t afford for him to lose his job. Cause we brought this house before we were married. So we couldn’t really , and I wasn’t working cause I was going back to school again. And so yeah , we couldn’t really afford to have him lose his job because he lost his license and I was going to school for teaching and this is a whole nother podcast, but like, I don’t know as much for moms, but like with teachers there’s this whole like morality thing where it’s like as a teacher, the thought of having my name in the paper as being pulled over for like a drunk driving ticket, like the shame of it . And for moms, like, I can’t imagine like for moms that would feel awful. You know what I mean? And that’s, I think so much of it for me, like when I did start cutting back and everything or why I was always so controlled about things, even when I was uncontrolled, was that type one that shame, that fear of shame driver kind of thing. Like, yeah , it’s okay to get falling down wasted, drunk, but to have my picture in the paper or my name like associated. Yeah . So I guess like the whole dare program or whatever really, you know? Yeah .

Drunk driving is a big like no, no for me kind of thing. Yes .

And so I took my fear, like my thoughts about that and applied it to my own life. And so then even after we had kids, like when our older two kids were babies, not baby babies, but when I would decide to go out like Jeff and I never went out together anymore. Okay . Cause I was also like, I think we came home once kind of tipsy to a sitter and I was mortified. Right, right, right . And again, this is my fear of judgment. Yes . Right. Yes . Like I have this instilled sense and I’m again, no judgment, anybody . I have this instilled sense that mom should not come home drunk to the sitter. Right. Right . And so then I felt so shameful of that, that I never let it happen again. And yeah. There’s some sort of governor in there because I think some moms, I , I don’t think that there’s a lack of shame in moms who do that, but I don’t think a lot of times it stops them from doing it again. I think it can go the other way where shame can kind of cause you then yeah . To like drink and kind of escape , cuz shame is a horrible feeling. Right. I think like you all felt it and I’ve come home drunk to the babysitter and I adore our babysitter and she, you know, I yeah, just to like face her the next time you’re like, oh my God horrified. It’s hard. Like to have to deal with like, holy. Like I am acting in a way that I wouldn’t act it when I was sober or like I right . What’s going on, you know? Yeah. So that right . I could fuel it for sure.

So then it was to the point where like Jeff and I would never go out to gather and drink . Yeah . Because one of us would have to drive or whatever. So like if I went out with my friends who at the time I had this group of friends who drank a lot, very functional, had lots of fun. They’re a big partiers, but so I would go and then stay at my friend’s house, you know? Okay . Like overnight mm-hmm <affirmative> like, we’d go out with that group of friends. So this is , cause I had my first baby , when I was just turned 25 , like that’s the thing just turned 25 . You were a , yeah. You were a young mom. And so you were kind of having to navigate, like my twenties were all about like super selfish. I mean partying hard and like, but you were kind of having to navigate that with then being a mom too. Yes. Yes . So I did it way younger than a lot of people are now. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and so I was kind of at the stage, especially when our older two were toddlers where it was kinda like, I never got that, you know what I mean? I never got that time in my life. I wanna do it. And so right again, like I would go out with my friends and spend the night at my friend Nikki’s house because then I knew everything would be safe. You know what I mean? Like it , so then would be safe. And so I was, I mean, I don’t have any, I don’t feel bad about that at all. It just was like, it just meant that it was kind of then, and we had a, like a rule, like if either of us Jeff or I ever went out, it was you, you rallied the next day. There’s no bad hungover. Yeah . You do not ever show your kids that you can’t function. I’m not saying putting that on other people that’s in our, that was yours. Yeah . Was yes. That was ours. Like you could never show the kids that you can’t function. You, you take , pay the price for what you did. Totally . And you pull , yeah . You gotta buck up . They’re still a life . But not again, not our friends who we used to go out with a ton. She was telling me one time. And again, this is something I couldn’t do. But she, for her, it was totally normal where yeah . She’s like, oh my God. Like when their kids were toddlers and she’s telling me this , like these super dangerous things, their toddlers did while her and her husband were still passed out at 1130 the next day. And they had never gotten up with the kids. Right . But like, and again, she got their normal life. Yeah . And I couldn’t do that. It’s hard to hear, you know what I mean? And, and it’s, that’s , it’s not judgment or anything like that, but it’s hard to hear. It’s hard to hear with love and try not to say anything judgemental because you don’t wanna be a jerk. Right . And you don’t wanna put judgment on anybody else. You can’t relate to it because right . It’s not the choice you would make. And so it’s hard. Yeah . And that , that’s why some friendships kind of not end . Yeah. Dis not anything dramatic, but just kind of went their natural ways because we were living such different lives. Yeah . Yeah.

And so then that kind of just started petering out. I think, as I got a little bit older and then our youngest we had when I was 30, I did have a brief period. No, that was before her <laugh> OK . Like the time that I was as the time with kids as an adult where I was like drinking. Yeah. The only time I ever felt like it was becoming a , a dependency was right. A super stressful time at work. Right before I got pregnant with her super stressful time at work. And we lost a family member and it was like the saddest time in my life. And so I was thinking a lot of just like the mommy wine. Yes . Do you know what I mean? Like, I’d be , I’d be having a glass of wine while I was cooking dinner every single night and then another glass of wine after the kids that was only for like two, three months . And so what made you like stop that you got pregnant? Yeah. Because like the catalyst for getting pregnant again, was this family member dying and kind of like sometimes when people die, your , all your life priorities change . Totally .

And so I dropped outta my master’s program and decided to have my I U D taken out and get pregnant again. <laugh> yeah . Yeah. So then I trying to get pregnant because I was trying to get pregnant and then pregnant and then do you know what I mean? Like it just , and so I think honestly, because at that funeral , uh, family members , funeral, the way my family coped with it is we all got together in a hotel room and just drank ourselves to like OBL. Yeah. Honestly looking back, like I can’t like even as sober as I am now dealing with what we dealt with right. Then I can’t say I wouldn’t do that again. Yeah. Do you know what I’m saying? That reminds me of with the grief and sobriety and alcohol and everything.

And my dad passed away in 2021 in March and we hadn’t you and I hadn’t seen each other because of the pandemic and we hadn’t seen each other sober yet. And then you came to his celebration of life and I kind of just collapsed into your arms and started just sobbing. And it was just a , such a relief to see you. And I still hadn’t drank and I wasn’t, I had decided I wasn’t going to cuz I had been sober, like I think just over a year at that point. Yeah . And , and you said to me, you know , driving here, I thought, well, if she’s ever going to drink now is the time. And that would be okay . Yeah . And I was like, it’s so crazy because it just wasn’t on my radar. Even though I saw everyone around me drinking. I mean, that’s generally how you cope with something hard. Like you see people just turning to alcohol, like you said. And then I quickly realized that if I did that, if I decided to drink, it might numb this grief a little bit in that like sharp edge of grief. Like it might blunt that a little bit, but not only would it make it so much worse with a hangover, like I couldn’t imagine grief with a hangover <laugh> like, that sounded to me and three kids and three kids and a full life and still having to, you know, function. But also I , I knew it would numb any sort of like memories or joy I had of my dad too. Like you can’t selectively numb, you know what I mean?

And so like I was holding onto all of that stuff for dear life. Like I wanted that joy and so I didn’t, and I’m so glad I didn’t, but I just, that reminded me of that, of you saying that, which I totally , yeah , I get it. You know, I get the appeal of drinking while you’re grieving. I, I just remember so distinctly like Jeff went up to bed and we were in my uncle’s room at the hotel and we are , he went to , he got sick of us early kind of thing. And because as one does, <laugh> when a grieving family is getting wasted together, bringing up memories from 60 years prior. I mean, you know, that’s not fun for anybody really <laugh> .

But anyway, I remember like trying to go back to my hotel room and it was in the sketchy hotel in Rockford that my mother, dear lover, she picked out for us. And uh , anyway , <laugh> anyway, I couldn’t get in our hotel room cuz Jeff had like gone to bed and I didn’t have a key or whatever. And I was wandering around the sketchy hotel and my aunt finally found me and like, so her and I like crashed in my uncle’s hotel. Right . Ever like, yeah . And this is, I mean, yes, I was only, I was only 28 . Yeah . But I felt, you know what I mean? Like I don’t, well , we had two kids at the time and they weren’t with us things would’ve been different if they were with us. But that was, that was the last time I was super, super, super drunk. Yeah. Was then, and then, you know, end during the whole week of military funerals and all that stuff hung over from drinking the entire time. Wasn’t amazing.

But I definitely still drank as a mom. I never let myself get to the point though, except for like that kind of occasion anywhere near my kids where, and I say this because I don’t think they could tell. Right. Do you know what I’m saying? Right. But I say that because a lot of people think no one can tell. Right, right. Do you know what I’m saying? But like when we’d have like social stuff or even I’d come to your house and we’d have a few glasses of wine, stuff like that. Yes . I never let it get so like I couldn’t be the exact same mom. I was normally. Yes. Yeah . Even it’s an effect way that you, you mothered. I don’t think it did <laugh> . Yeah .

But, and then, so then my last drink that I had was at my graduation party for my master’s in December, 2019, but I didn’t plan on it being my last drink. I had two glasses of champagne, I think. Yeah. And I think the last drinks I’d had was at that music festival out in Colorado. I went to with my sister and my family and stuff and yeah . At that, where everyone was wasted, cuz it was this music festival in Colorado and right. Everyone was wasted. We weren’t also drinks were like $15 each. So if that was expensive, but yeah , good . NA I remember I had one like, oh , but NA I can’t do that. But like I had one little thing of wine I think. And my sister and sister-in-law and I shared a hard seltzer and that was it. And again, my daughter was there. Right. And yeah , my family was there and stuff. So that might have made an impact on it. But cuz then when I didn’t drink after the graduation party, and then I started reading all the books that you and I have talked about a lot. Right . Yeah. So what we are, the luckiest, we are, the luckiest was the first one . Yep . And then the Jessica Simpson, Jessica Simpsons book , which that , that was so that one really made , yeah. That one really made an impact on me. But then , um, the one that was kind of the kicker for me was quit like a woman. Yes. H Whitaker. Yes.

And so quit like a woman is the one and this was after in the fall of 20, no fall of 2019. When I had decided I was going to get my yoga teaching certification and I started really exper like exploring, like I didn’t start exploring it then. But then when I read, quit like a woman cause she’s, and then I started into yoga and she right. She’s a yoga more instructor and yeah. And she’s, she was just a lot about into the harm it does to your body. And then she started getting into like the harm, lots of other things due to your body too. Right. And so I read that. That was all, so this was like, at the same time you were stopping drinking too, but we didn’t know it. Right. So your last drink was December, 2019. Yeah . But you didn’t know it was gonna be your last drink. No, you did not decide . Yeah. So it wasn’t this proclamation like yes, I’m done. There’s a problem. And I’m done it wasn’t that? No , it was just, Nope . It was the , I honestly had no other occasion to drink and then I started reading all this stuff and then the pandemic hit and yeah . Then I, I guess I had, there was enough, both of us decided this at a time when we had enough of a head start before March, 2020 . Right, right. That then do you know what I’m saying? Yeah. I , I don’t think I probably would’ve decided it. Yeah . Just randomly after that. Does that make sense? Like I don’t . Yeah. Like if we had known what was coming, so you stopped in December, 2019.

I stopped in January, 2020. We didn’t talk about it really until, I mean, shortly into the pandemic, I wanna say it was a few months later, which I thought was really interesting because we talk about everything. Like there’s nothing really off limits with us and we , but we also didn’t com we were communicating about these books. I remember texting about the books and stuff. Yes. But you and I honestly, once the pandemic hit, like our lives were in such chaos, both of us between totally you being home with multiple kids and me being home with multiple kids in my teaching job and the whole world being a cluster that you and I just didn’t communicate a ton then, because what could we even say? I remember you saying later that you kind of were careful around the topic because you didn’t wanna seem judgemental . Yes. Yes. I forgot about that. Yes . Right. Like, and so I thought that was interesting because there it is such a loaded conversation that even like two sisters, like we are, can’t really talk openly about, you know, like, Hey, what’s going on with the drinking or, Hey, here’s what I’m doing with my drinking without fearing that there’s gonna be shame or judgment 100%. Because honestly, like when you and I used to drink together, I was your caretaker. Right , right . Yes . And I was, and I knew like, and you, especially like on your Instagram platform and all that kind of stuff, you used to share lots of pictures of like your, a wine before bed and like, right again, or like going out with your girlfriend. Yes . And stuff like time to be totally off between the two of us, I for sure was the one open arms to the partying lifestyle in Atlanta, in Chicago, before I got married and had kids like, that was definitely if either one of us was gonna be the one to be like, yeah, come on. Let’s have another one. It was me. Yeah . For sure.

And also you, when I was with you, you had no control. Sorry . But yeah , you weren’t having control. And then I became the caretaker again kind of thing. Right . And always because I always worry. I’m always worrying about things and people and making sure everybody’s okay. And so like I remember at your bachelorette party <laugh> can I say this? Wait, do I remember? I remember my bachelor’s . Oh , it’s nothing. That’s go . It’s nothing. That’s going to get you outta political office.

No, but I just remember we’re me and some of your friends, like we are at this club. Yeah. And you were like wanting to like start like bottle service and you like gave him your credit card and all this stuff. And we’re like, dude, like, no, I don’t think she’s gonna want to actually do this. You know what I mean ? Like, it’s that kind of stuff that I was always , I was that person for so many friends who was like, no, you can’t give your credit card to the bartender for a round for this entire 400 people at this. Like , like that kind of thing. So no, you didn’t do anything terrible. But I just remember being like , no , but it was definitely like the, I , that was the party. You know what I mean? I loved, I loved the party. I loved the loud. I loved losing myself in that. I, you know, I worked in a cl in a club at a nightclub in college. <laugh> I forgot about that before I was 21 . I was 20. I danced in a cage. I mean, come on guys . There are all I remember.

So it was, I, I had that probably like decade of just being like, yeah, I’m going to party. I’m gonna party now as an, almost 42 year old woman, like look back. And you’re like, I see what I was doing. Like, it’s very clear that I was trying to escape, but then it’s interesting because, so you had kids so young and that kind of was like thwarted that kind of, you know, the , the drinking and like the softball that Wisconsin’s drinking scene that was kind of cut short. And so then you kind of still try to figure out how alcohol can play a role while you’re still a mom. How does it fit into that life? And that’s what I ran into once I got married and then we had a baby pretty quickly after that. And it was like, wait, so I no longer want to party. Like you no longer wanted to stay out and drink, but is there a role for alcohol and motherhood? Like how does this fit into it? So I think that kind of trying to figure that out is interesting. And I think that that’s where that mommy wine culture comes in, because I think EV I think all moms are trying, especially with the pandemic are trying to be like, well, I , I kind of grew up turning to alcohol to escape. Right.

And right . Do we still do that? And I, I think that everyone comes to their own conclusion. Mine and yours were no <laugh> well, I think too, given that I am always trying to take care of everybody and making sure you know, that kind of thing. Yeah .

And I think for me, one of the big reasons I ever even started drinking and why I would binge drink was to fit in because I’m not naturally someone who can stay out late. I’m not naturally one who can just lose all my inhibitions. Cause I’m too worried about yes . Feeling controlled and, and taking care of myself and not getting in trouble and all that stuff. So alcohol is the only way I could do that. Yeah. And so I can, you know, and then eventually I think I just, I think I grew into the age. I always was, if that makes sense. Totally . Like totally . I think you were always a , a 40 year old. I was always a 40 year old . And so thank God. I can finally just be one now. Yeah. Yeah . And , and then I’ll still like, from now on, I’m gonna be young at heart . And so that’s right . Yeah . You have just remain 40. I’m always going to be 40. I’m never like, oh, I always feel eight at heart. Nope . No , I’ve always been 40. And so, yeah. So I think that truly, it’s just like finally it’s at , I’m at a life stage by surrounded by contemporaries where not partying was finally something that wasn’t acceptable choice. Yeah. Does that make sense? Like totally finally, like you were like actually , right .

Because I , I remember even like when I first tasted beer, I’m like, I remember being like, I hate this so much. I have to drink at least four before I cannot taste it anymore. Which is like the most disgusting thought ever tastes mean . Even just the idea of just like drinking when you’re not thirsty. Like that always like caught me, like, I’m like, oh wow. So I’m gonna have like five drinks, but I’m not even thirsty. <laugh> can you imagine that , like my spin slamming my bubbles to , to cut back, I gotta cut back on my best bubble. Well, but I mean, like, if you didn’t want them, like, that’s no point you’re thirsty. Yeah . Like you’re starting to feel sick cuz you have too much carbonation. You’re like no drinking more don’t and then it’s like, you don’t wanna pee cuz then you break the seal. So you’re gonna drink a lot, but not pee. It’s insane. And you’re not thirsty. I don’t get it. No . So, okay .

So getting back to when I quit getting more into yoga stuff and then I read, quit like a woman and then like pandemic and then you have lots of time to go in your head, right? Yeah . Cause like what the hell else are you supposed to do anyway? And then I started reading a lot more books about living your yoga. And one of the things that really hit me, cause a lot of people who find yoga are coming out of addiction because it’s a way it’s one of the many things that lots of people recommend as a way to try to center yourself. Right. Totally.

And what I just found like with yoga, just to hop in real quick for a tip. Yeah . Like yoga has taught me cuz I think part of drinking is not wanting to feel, you know, social uncomfort or any sort of uncomfort. Right. And, and just trying to escape that being uncomfortable. And that’s what yoga’s taught me is to like literally sit in being uncomfortable discomfort . Yeah , yeah , yeah . Discomfort. That’s the word discomfort I’m like sitting and being uncomfortable or discomfort . What did I did I say no sitting and being uncomfortable I think . Okay . Yeah , yeah . Brain .

So with that, just the whole like being present . So that was what I was really grasping onto was like in that hole of 2020 and everything and like sitting in that discomfort and sitting in like, and it was highly uncomfortable. Right. And yeah . So looking much more like past the physical aspect of yoga and looking at the spiritual part, I guess. And one of the words I grasped onto is a he sauce where one of the definitions of it is like doing no harm or no harm. Yeah. And you can look at that. A lot of people use that as their rationale for being vegan. Right. A lot of people look at that as their rationale for lots of different things and why they donate to charities and right. Like, yeah . And like so many different things yeah. In the medical community. Right. Like that’s what doctor’s supposed to like do no harm, like yeah . Right. Okay .

And so I , yeah, but so then in yoga it’s it can be harm to others. It can be harm to our natural world and it can be harm to one self . Right . And so when I read, quit like a woman and like all the scientific stuff about what alcohol does to your body and I’m like, yes. Yeah. Right. And it’s one of the O and it’s it’s, I think one of the only things that doesn’t also nourish you in some way. Right. Cause I have a male , like I hardcore love sugar and I’m not planning to stop loving sugar. Right. Same. But that one, like there is a nourishment aspect of sugar as well. Right. Yeah. And so, and it’s also, but then put like a woman is also because my body was starting to react to caffeine adversely. Right . And so I’m now I started slowly weaning myself off of caffeine because I realized that when I was pregnant so hard to wean myself and then I was like, oh, that’s another kind of form of like addiction kinda thing in the sense . Totally . Yeah . Whereas, and for me again, caffeine, didn’t nothing gets caffeine. Cause I still drink some, but like there wasn’t a nourishment factor in the caffeine itself. Yeah . And so now I’m down to just a cup . I drink a cup of half, half in the morning. And then after that it’s no caffeine . Cause my body was telling me like, yeah , it was like lots of tremors and stuff like that. And it’s like, okay . So I’m actively doing harm to my body. I know. Okay. But this is, is also, you know, that this is my , like, I’m like, like I refuse even though my body tells me all the time, it’s like, I’m tired but faster. You know what I mean? It’s like, I’m tired, but my heart’s like, it doesn’t wake me up. It doesn’t make me feel better, but I still want it <laugh> . Yeah . Well, and I think if here’s the thing, cuz sleep is like my be all and end all like I need sleep. Yeah . And so when caffeine, like after certain time was starting to impact my sleep at night, like even a caffeinated drink at 10:00 AM. Cause that didn’t used to be how it was. I used to be able to drink caffeine all day and night and have her habit affect my sleep. I think just age makes a difference. Yeah . And so alcohol made alcohol was getting to the point where like, if I had even two drinks, I would wake up in the middle of the night and never be able to go back to sleep. Ah , the worst . And , and that was the same as caffeine.

And so it’s like kinda one of those things, it’s like, okay , I am actively doing harm to my very favorite thing on earth, which is sleep right. <laugh> right . Yeah . Totally . Yeah. I like the idea of do no harm to yourself and you are applying that to like yourself and your body and your mind and your spirit. Like that’s where it all should start. Right. And so it’s not, again, this is it’s it’s and I think for me, one of the reasons it was easier to stop was because I wasn’t drinking yeah . That much in the first place. Right. Yeah. And I think it was also easier to stop because I could recognize the harm, the physical harm that I felt, not just like, cuz there’s a lot of physical harm that we do to our bodies, but you can’t feel it. So you just keep doing it. Right. Like totally like my sun damage. But yeah , if that doesn’t physically hurt, but I can tell it’s bad for me. Um , anyway, so I wasn’t drinking that much. It felt like when I did. Right. Yes . Yeah .

So I under I fully recognized that was way easier for me to stop than someone who felt great when they’re drinking and was having a lot of fun when they’re doing it and did it a lot. Right. So like that’s where my that’s why I didn’t even feel like telling anybody I wasn’t drinking for so long. Cause it felt like such a non thing. Like do you feel like there are people who like, feel great when they’re drinking? I used to be able to have two to three glasses of wine and feel fine the next and feel fine. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like back, like when I was younger. Yeah.

In like your twenties, I have such a hard time when it’s like, and this is probably a different podcast, but like when you talk about not you just, when we talk about like, if there are problem drinkers and non problem drinkers and it’s like, but instead we should look at the substance, that’s actually a toxin and horrible for everybody. Right . You know what I mean ? And like actually like does harm to every single person. And so, and the longer you drink it, the more you want it. And so it’s not right .

I hate when the ownness is on the person rather than the , the substance. Right . Oh , and that’s , I think it’s just whether I think it’s easier. I shouldn’t say this because it’s not true for people who are severely addicted. Right? Yeah. This is not this whole podcast really isn’t for like addicted. I can tell you right now it’s a lot easier for me to not eat foods that no, no. And I mean, I used to be able to not, I used to be able to eat certain foods like nonstop and feel fine too. Right, right . But now it’s a lot easier to not eat them. Cause my body’s saying hard pass . Right. You know? Right. Yeah. And so I think that’s just, but that I think is why that I didn’t make a big deal. I didn’t tell anybody for a really long time that I wasn’t drinking because it was such a non-issue because of COVID that I didn’t go anywhere. Like we did , COVID like hardcore, we didn’t go anywhere. See anyone do anything for a long time. Right .

And so I had no opportunity like, like just randomly with , well , I’m not gonna be like, Hey, I’m not drinking. Like why would I say that to 99% of the world? So it was more just like, it didn’t come up rather than were you a little bit te did you feel tentative to say like I’m never drinking again, like as you sit today, can you say confidently, like I’m never drinking again or that’s just not, that’s just not important to you to say, do you know what I mean ? I don’t , it’s important for me to say necessarily , because I can say that if I had a friend who I’m just saying, like, I was like, if I had a friend , like my mom’s friends with like people who own like brew pubs and like wine restaurant and stuff like that in her little town. And like, if we went there and they’re like, oh, this is the best whatever. And I felt like I should like tasting it would be polite. And I kind of wanna know what it tastes like. I wouldn’t feel guilty about doing that. Right . Right . Like just tasting it and being like, like appreciating a taste. Right. Totally.

I , I always like to, to think about this, cuz I think this whole movement of being sober, not calling ourselves alcoholics, not forever being tied to alcohol and in this battle with alcohol, I think it’s kind of a newer thing and it’s kind of like a , it’s a movement. It’s, it’s something other than AA. So I think that that’s yeah.

I think that’s healthy just to think about how your body wants to feel and then do that. I don’t think I’m going to go drink a whole glass of anything again. Probably. Yeah . I don’t think I will. Yeah . But I’m saying like having a taste that I don’t think is, I don’t think if I had a taste for, if somebody’s like, oh, taste this and I’m like, okay . Like I don’t think that’s going to undo anything. Yeah. No, that makes sense. Do you know what I mean? Yeah.

I have two more questions. So how do you think sobriety has changed motherhood for you? If it has. I think as a mother, I feel a lot more secure. Like if we are out doing social things and everything, I don’t have to monitor myself to make sure that I’m being a good mom kinda thing. Yeah . Makes sense. You could trust yourself. And I also feel like, yeah. And I also think I have, I , I , I’m not saying my kids aren’t going to drink and I’m not saying my kids aren’t going to be alcoholic . So I’m not saying my kids aren’t going to do anything. Yeah . You can’t say anything about your kids. Cause you have no idea what the hell’s gonna happen. But I think, think my husband and I are setting a healthy example of how we’ll have a , yeah . They see us doing social things and they see us being out and they don’t see alcohol as needing to be a part of that. Yes. I, I think that’s a valuable viewpoint for them to see. Totally. I think that’s huge. Especially since we’re, they’re inundated with alcohol everywhere else.

So what what’s something, it , someone who has just like stopped drinking who doesn’t know what the hell’s going on. Doesn’t know how long this is, how long it’s gonna last, just she’s in her first month. Like a mom who’s just finally like, you know what, I’ve decided I’m gonna do it. None of my friends, you know, have decided this with me and kind of on my own. What would you tell her? Like what do you wish you would’ve known in that first month of stopping? I think I’m having to almost address myself 30. Yeah . Versus me when I did it. Or do you know what I’m saying? Yeah . Because I don’t live a life now where it was exceedingly yes . Difficult. Yes . You know what I’m saying? And yeah. Your , your drinking kind of petered out. And I think it would’ve been so much harder when I was 20 something or whatever. And I think the hardest part for me, would’ve been with people I used to always drink with. Yes . And then how do I still have fun doing the things I used to do? And I don’t know if I could have, like, I don’t think that I would find it in any way fun to be out at a bar till midnight that time . Right . I think it would suck. Right . Right .

So think that’s what I would say. I’m like, if something’s not fun without alcohol, it’s not fun. Like if you alcohol to be with people or to be with your friends or to make things palatable, like you might, I mean try it without, just to see it could be, it could catch you by surprise, but yeah.

It might be worth kind of expanding your circumstances and seeing like, and I think, what do I actually wanna spend my time doing? I think, and I think that’s a huge part of it. It’s like, I don’t think it makes sense to just say, okay, I’m gonna go out to clubs and bars or whatever else with these people while they’re all drinking and I’m not. Yeah . I think that’s just a recipe for misery. Cuz I remember being pregnant and trying to do that with my husband and his friends and it sucked and I hated it. Right.

But I think finding different things you can do with your friends is really important. And meeting for coffee, meeting for lunch, meeting for an early dinner meeting with your kids meeting, you know, go for walks, you know, go for walks together, go to shopping together, do anything, but go to a bar. And I think that if they’re your friend, they’ll change their activities with you. If they’re not, if these are just like mom, people at school that are and you’re feeling super anxious around them , my advice I give all my friends right now, when they throw back at my face is does this serve you? Is it good for your mental health? And if it’s not, then screw it. Don’t do it. It’s so true. Like if, if someone’s not supportive of your sobriety, if they’re kind of cutting you down, even in little ways, making snide comments, like take, just put ’em on pause, you know? Yeah .

Maybe, maybe you can revisit that when you’re a little bit more comfortable in your sobriety, but you don’t need that. You just don’t need that. Especially early on. And then just like on the flip side of that, I , I have found that it, I still go to parties where people are drinking, not really bars, cuz I don’t really hang out in bars at all, but you know, go to parties where people are drinking.

I think that people are scared. They’re gonna be judged. Like why aren’t you drinking? What’s going on? What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you drinking? And it might be that for like the first five minutes. And I always say, just sit with that five minutes, just like go in knowing you’re probably gonna be uncomfortable for five minutes.

That’s it though.

Because then I promise you, they’re gonna forget, they’re gonna start drinking. And then you will be fine with your favorite mocktail, your sparkling water, your iced tea, whatever it is . But they are gonna forget that you’re not drinking because they are gonna be drinking. And so you just have to know you’re gonna be uncomfortable for a little bit, but that like five minutes of discomfort is way better than deciding to drink and then dealing with everything. That means what’s your favorite mocktail? What’s your go to mocktail ? If I’m out somewhere, I always just get like a Sprite or something. I don’t like get mocktails when I , but when I’m at home and I feel like something like , yes , that might make me feel like I’m drink . Cuz I was always big into bubbly wine. So I love like the, what is the blood orange spin drift . Oh , with orange juice. So like a mimosa essentially. Oh yeah. That’s my favorite. Like cuz then it makes me feel like it’s like a spritzer kind of thing or OSA . Totally. Yeah . So just adding a little bit of juice, right? Yes. Yes. Like if you put into a glass yes . Around other people, no one will know. No one will know. I feel like anything in a fancy glass is just fancy. And if you were at a bar and you wanted seltzer with a little bit of cranberry juice, like yes.

No one knows. Totally well.

Uh , I’m so glad we did this. Thank you so much. I love you.

And um, I’m glad that we’re sober together. Yes. And I love what you’re doing with kind of like smashing the whole mommy wine culture thing because hell yeah. I think it needs, it needs to happen. Yeah, it does.

Let’s smash that right outta here. <laugh> and do you know what back to the whole quit like woman? Cause I’m always about smashing the patriarchy and talking about smashing mommy, one culture , that’s all developed by the patriarch. So then it brings the rage and that helps me not drink because I’m like, you . I’m not drinking your juice. No , that’s right . That a whole , yeah . It all . That’s a , that’s a new podcast title. them all. I , I have so much to say on that. Okay .

Well then you’re coming back . You’re coming back for the mommy wine culture for real mommy wine culture . them all podcast. Yes.

Speaker 1: 50:47

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the sober mom life. If you loved it, please rate and review it wherever you listen. Five stars is amazing. Also follow me on Instagram at the sober mom life. Okay. I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat my coffee. Bye.

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