Emily Lynn Paulson’s book “Highlight Real” was one of the first books I read in my early sobriety. It’s message that you don’t have to hit rock bottom to stop drinking really resonated with me. That’s why I’m so excited to have her join me today for a chat about sober parenting and how it changed her life!
Emily hosts the community Sober Mom Squad, a place for sober and sober-curious moms to connect and lean on each other.
If you’re wanting to find community and connection in sobriety, come and join 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/
If you’re looking for a community of wonderful sober moms to support you while you build your own sober life, join us inside The Sober Mom Life Facebook group!
The Problem with Mommy Wine Culture
Speaker 1 (00:04):
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.
Hi guys. Welcome to this episode of the sober mom life. I am so excited. I have another exciting interview for you. So today I talked to Emily Lynn Paulson. She is an author of highlight reel. So it’s one of the books that I read very early on in my sobriety when I was just devouring, everything, you know, quit lit and just social media. Her page was one that I always went to. I love her message about sobriety. The idea that you don’t have to hit rock bottom, that there’s a stop before that she did go to AA for a while, but then also found her own path. And she also created the sober mom squad, which is something just for moms, a place that moms can go to talk about and connect in sobriety. You know, that is the whole purpose of this podcast. It’s very near and dear to my heart. I loved this conversation so much. I think you will too. Emily is just so real and candid and honest. And I just, I love her so much. I could have talked to her for hours. So I feel like we need like a part two, a part three. Yeah. I think you guys will really like it. So I hope you enjoy my conversation with Emily Lynn Paulson. Hello, Emily Lynn Paulson. I am so glad you’re here on the silver mom life. Thank you so much for being here. So
Speaker 2 (02:23):
Happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me.
Speaker 1 (02:26):
Yes, of course. So I, I have to tell you, I think you were like one of my first kind of sober Instagram follows that when I first decided to cut the bullshit and stop the drinking in January, 2020, I like dove into Instagram and audiobooks and podcast. And you in your book were one of the, the first, it gave me a place to land in this like very weird world of no AA and doing it kind of on my own. So this is a very, very cool moment for me having you on here because I’m like, oh wow, this is it’s amazing. I mean, I mean, I I’m so honored.
Speaker 2 (03:09):
Aw, thank you. Well, and I, I have to say like, what I appreciate so much about you is that you buck that narrative of the black and white, right? Like you have to hit the rock bottom, you have to do all the things. And I’m one of those people, like I was the rock bottom person, but it’s because I didn’t have anywhere to land before that. And it’s so important to talk about that aspect.
Speaker 1 (03:35):
Yeah. Yeah. So like not waiting. Okay. Before we get into this, I have to say, so you are on Instagram. We normally say this at the end, but I wanna say at the beginning, because for people who are listening, they might wanna go on while we’re talking. You don’t like that. I think that’s so, oh yeah. on Instagram. Are you at Emily Lynn Paulson? Yes. Right. Okay. And then you also have sober mom squad. Yep. Which is a place for sober moms, which is just amazing. Okay. So you guys, while we’re talking, go on there, like check out her stuff. Okay. So you said that you did hit rock bottom and I do remember from your book, tell me, I think in order for us to understand your, your sobriety story, we do have to go back and talk about your drinking story and you’re all of, all of your experience with alcohol and how that led you to where you are now.
Speaker 2 (04:26):
Yeah, for sure. So, you know, I, I feel like I, my drinking was always, I could hide it very well. Like it always matched what everyone else was doing. I started drinking very early, you know, I was like 14 or 15. And when you’re, when you’re that young, you’re already doing something wrong. And so you’re not comparing yourself like, oh, is this problematic? Like it already is, you know?
Speaker 1 (04:50):
Yeah, totally. It already feels a little bit like, oh yeah, this is, yeah, this is, I’m not supposed to be doing this. This
Speaker 2 (04:55):
Is like rebellious. And yeah. I mean, you know, it’s the teenage like angst and all of that. And I have discovered very early that alcohol numbed feelings that I didn’t wanna feel, you know, whether it was insecurity or trauma or whatever it was. So I ingrained that very, very early. And of course I didn’t put two and two together until years later, but I used it problematically, but again, it was hidden when I was in college and I would binge drink on the weekends. There were a heck of a lot of other people binge drinking.
Speaker 1 (05:28):
Yeah. Like that was not rare. Right. Like that. Yeah. That was college. Yeah. Where, where did you, you’re in Oregon now? Is that right?
Speaker 2 (05:36):
Yeah. I’m in Oregon now. Yes.
Speaker 1 (05:38):
Okay. And is that where you grew up?
Speaker 2 (05:40):
No, I actually, I’ve been all the heck over the place. So I grew up in Montana and actually that’s part of, kind of my story is the geographic. I pulled a lot of geographics trying to get away from issues. Right. That were all caused by alcohol anyway. So I ended up, I was in college in California, which is where it got, you know, got really bad, but then like, I’d move again. And then it’s kind of slow down for a while and then I’d just pick up again. So I consistently was trying to like, you know, take breaks and that it never fixed the actual problem. Right. Cuz I was using it problematically.
Speaker 1 (06:15):
Right, right. Cuz it’s a, a problematic substance. I mean it’s right, right. Like that’s the thing that I, I love that you, you know, you also have like your TEDx talk and a lot of your message is about the substance rather than the person. And I love that so much.
Speaker 2 (06:33):
Yeah. And that’s what something I wish I knew because for so long, I thought like there was something wrong with me that I kept making these terrible choices and kept, you know, realizing, oh, I feel better. Oh, I’m gonna start drinking again. It’s not anyone’s fault for getting addicted to an addictive substance. We don’t expect anyone like, oh, you can’t just smoke one or two cigarettes. What the hell’s wrong with you? Like we don’t expect that of anything else.
Speaker 1 (06:58):
Yeah. Like that sounds bat shit crazy. Like of course you can’t, it’s crazy right. With alcohol. We’re just not, we don’t think of it that way when it 100% should be that way. I mean, that’s, it’s a, it’s the same thing. So then you had your drinking, you hit it. Well, which I think ties into your, your first book highlight real. Right. Which it, it looked on the outside, everything looked pretty. Everything looked just as it should be. Right. But you were hiding that you were hiding your drinking.
Speaker 2 (07:27):
Oh yeah. And even the times when I would question it I’d do the Google searches. Like, am I drinking too much? Am I an alcoholic? There were enough things to tell me. I wasn’t, there were enough things to cling to. Or if I talked to friends about it, you know, they didn’t necessarily want me to stop drinking nor did they know how bad it was. They didn’t know I was drinking before we went out drinking. When I got home drinking drink. Like they didn’t of course I wasn’t disclosing that. And I had one friend, like my very best friend suggested like, Hey, if you ha, if you think it’s an issue, why don’t you go to an AA meeting? And that to me was like, oh no, that, that means I’m done. Like that to me was like, Ooh, no, that’s not what I’m asking. I’m I’m asking for a way to make this work.
Speaker 1 (08:10):
Yeah. There’s gotta be an in between. Like it can’t just be like all or nothing. Right. There’s gotta be an in between. Right.
Speaker 2 (08:16):
I was looking for the third door, like to make this square peg fit in this round hole. Right. I, I was looking for a way to make a substance that’s problematic, not problematic. And that just, it wasn’t gonna work for me.
Speaker 1 (08:28):
Right. Yeah. That’s so interesting. Cuz I think a lot of women, especially moms, I think a lot of them are there. I think most moms fall into that bucket, especially now, especially after the pandemic of well I’m I definitely don’t wanna go to AA.
Speaker 2 (08:47):
And again, for anyone listening, like I am not anti AA either. I, I love that it exists. It was a landing place for me cuz I, I honestly I had nowhere to go. Yeah. Yeah. That’s where I started. Cuz again, by that time I got to that point where I had the DUI and I’d done all the things. Right. And so I fit, but, but a year before that, a year before that, like I wouldn’t have fit there and there’s a lot of great things about it. There are there’s, it’s a community it’s a place where you can feel not alone. You know, the step work. There’s a lot of validity into realizing like your own part in things like I see so much good in it, but I will tell you that, that the reason that I’ve kind of stepped away from it. And again, I think everybody should do whatever works for them is, you know, the founder, one of the founders, bill w when he was on his deathbed, he asked for whiskey and they didn’t give it to him. Like, you know, they didn’t give it to him, but I thought if I’m still wanting alcohol at that point, I’m not fixing the right thing. Because if someone told me, Hey, you’re gonna die tomorrow. The last thing I’m gonna wanna do is drink because I know I know too much about it now. Right?
Speaker 1 (09:59):
Yeah, for sure. And, and I think so when I first decided I’m done and I had no idea what the hell that even meant as it was coming outta my mouth, I’m like, holy shit, what am I ruining my life right now? You know like, oh, I’m fucking everything up by doing this, but I just needed to say it. I needed to get it out there. My first thought was, well, I don’t wanna go to AA because that does feel like I would be more tied to alcohol in AA than I was in my regular life. I wasn’t drinking every day. My problem was, I mean, I, I could moderate sometimes, sometimes I couldn’t. And so then it would be just, it, it was just, I couldn’t count on myself. I didn’t know what was gonna happen if I was gonna moderate or if I wasn’t. And so, but I still wasn’t thinking about alcohol every day. And so I didn’t wanna put myself in a situation where I would have to think about alcohol every day. And now I talk about sobriety every day, but I’d rather talk about sobriety than alcohol.
Speaker 2 (10:57):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. This just that idea of being powerless over it. I don’t agree with that.
Speaker 1 (11:02):
Right. And the idea that you’re powerless to something that’s not a part of your life just doesn’t make sense. It’s like, well, N no, no, I actually am very powerful.
Speaker 2 (11:14):
Exactly. It’s to me, that’s not freedom, right. Like to, and I know that’s what you talk about a lot is like the freedom of not thinking about it anymore. Not planning around it, not worrying the next day about what you said or just the mental energy that goes into it. I don’t wanna replace that mental energy with thinking about how to avoid it. Right,
Speaker 1 (11:35):
Right. Yeah. With thinking about just still having it weigh you down, I guess, and that weight of, of alcohol and kind of sitting in the shame, cuz I have felt shame I’m I’m sure you have. I mean, well, we’ve all felt shame, but I mean shame around alcohol and I feel like to me, there’s a difference between dealing with that shame and working through it and then just sitting in it and, and I just don’t wanna sit in it.
Speaker 2 (12:04):
Yeah. And, and I think that’s one really important thing to note about alcohol too, which is why so many people get stuck in this cycle of drinking over things is that we really believe that it fixes something. We believe that, oh, it unwinds me at the end of the day. Oh it reduces my anxiety. Oh it helps me sleep. Oh it helps me deal with, you know, fill in the blank on a million other things. And I believe those things to be true as much as the sky is blue. Like I believed those things.
Speaker 1 (12:36):
Right. Cuz we’re told them, I mean, as moms we’re told that the solution to our motherhood struggles is wine. Yep.
Speaker 2 (12:46):
Yeah. This will fix everything. So this will make you feel better. I mean, I really believed alcohol made me a better parent I really did.
Speaker 1 (12:53):
I wanna hear about that? Like talk about, talk about that. Cause I, you know, we’ve all been tricked, like that’s big alcohol’s goal is for us to think that. And so you’re definitely not alone in that. So talk about that.
Speaker 2 (13:06):
Yeah. Yeah. So I guess yeah, just picking up like, you know, drinking through college drinking is a young adult. Again, my drinking always matched other people and even though sometimes bad things would happen when I drank. Sometimes they wouldn’t and , you know, it was like I could easily kind of come in and out of it, I would go have periods where I wasn’t drinking that much I’d have periods where I was drinking more. But when I became a mom, it increased a ton and, and I can even see the difference. My oldest is 17 and my youngest is 10. And even the difference in those seven years from having both of them, how mommy wine culture, infiltrated, like all of a sudden wine was at play dates at 10:00 AM. And you know, with my oldest, it, it wasn’t that bad. Right.
Speaker 1 (13:51):
Really. So you couldn’t even see the difference in the culture.
Speaker 2 (13:54):
Oh, I saw culture culturally, how it changed. And of course by that point I was drinking more and more. And I think that’s another thing that keeps mom stuck too, is that most of us can stop drinking during pregnancy.
Speaker 1 (14:06):
Exactly. I was gonna ask you this because you have five kids, five kids, first of all, you’re a, that’s amazing. You are a wonder woman, five kids. I with 3:00 AM, like just a shit show most of the time. And that’s so interesting that you say that because right. So when we’re pregnant, we don’t drink, you know, some people don’t drink when they’re breastfeeding and that tends to be yeah. A sign, like, see, I I’ve gone, you know, the last five years I’ve, I’ve gone three years without drinking. It’s like, well, well you had two kids well, you were pregnant. You couldn’t, but that does kind of yeah. Make you feel like you can go without
Speaker 2 (14:39):
It. For sure. And I think it also is it’s this whole other like thing we could talk about for hours of this whole selflessness, you know, aspect to being a mom that, well, the reason you can give it up when you’re pregnant is cuz it’s not for you. It’s for somebody it’s for your child. It’s for somebody else. And for some reason, as soon as that baby comes out or as soon as that baby’s weaned or whatever, we forget about that, we’re like, oh my drinking doesn’t impact my kid cuz they’re not attached to me. And it actually really impacts them a lot. Which of course I can talk about forever. But so as a mom, so as I was pregnant, like I could quit easily, but yet every time I would go back to it, it escalated and escalated. And when my last child was born, that is really, really when the wheels fell off the bus, when he was about a year old, we knew we were done having kids. And I sort of felt like, okay, here I am. What’s my next thing. Like I’m done having babies. I, it was like kind of looking for this remedy to, you know, loneliness, which, which sounds strange. It’s like you have five kids. How are you lonely?
Speaker 1 (15:47):
Any moms? I think, totally understand that because you can be lonely even if you’re never alone.
Speaker 2 (15:53):
Yeah. That’s ironic, isn’t it? Yeah. You can’t pee alone, but you’re alone.
Speaker 1 (15:58):
Yeah. You can’t do anything alone, but I think motherhood’s very lonely. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (16:02):
Yeah. So you’re clinging to any kind of life raft you can find. And for me going out, going to happy hour, going to mom’s nights out, going to parties, those felt like things I could control. And I was like, I was fun. I, and I clung to that like, oh wow. Look at Emily, she’s got five kids. And she’s so fun. Like that was sort of wine became a personality. It was sort of bad. Yeah. And of course the more I drank, the more I addicted I became and you know, over the next couple of years, you know, I just started, I started having more consequences. So I was in this place again where I was questioning it. I was like, gosh, I was doing the Google searches. I was wondering if I was drinking too much. I knew that it wasn’t serving me, you know, at, at the heart of it. I knew it was not good for me. And yet everything around me told me that it was okay. I wore all the stupid t-shirts I had all the stupid mugs you know, everything told me was okay. So I, I kept doing it.
Speaker 1 (17:06):
Yeah. You weren’t alone. You weren’t alone in the drinking. Like everywhere you look, moms are drinking.
Speaker 2 (17:12):
Yeah. And, and so even when I started having those consequences, I had, I started having health problems. You know, my liver liver enzymes were off and instead, and this is another whole thing with like the medical community and, and whatever. Like it’s still not a red flag necessarily. Like how much are you drinking? Well, I never actually told the truth on any of those questionnaires. Right. I never said how much I was drinking. So why would a doctor pick it out? But it was also never suggested I drink less.
Speaker 1 (17:40):
Are you serious? Okay. So even when your liver enzymes were elevated.
Speaker 2 (17:44):
Yeah. And, and so it was more like, you know, I think maybe it was suggested, oh, watch, watch how much you drink. But it wasn’t like, wow, you’re drinking too much. You should lower. It was just kind of a checklist of things. Right. I mean, I be, this is how serious I was. I became a vegan for two years.
Speaker 1 (18:01):
Speaker 2 (18:02):
Instead of reducing alcohol,
Speaker 1 (18:04):
That is so much harder.
Speaker 2 (18:06):
Like I was willing to do anything to keep alcohol in my life, anything. So, so finally, you know, I ended up, I got a DUI, I had very many very unsuccessful attempts to moderate my drinking. And it finally got to the point where, you know, I ended up in the hospital and I just, I, I knew the next place was, I mean, it was gonna kill me. Like I got to that point. And so I, I just, you know, I, I went to what I knew was out there and that was AA. And that’s really when I could start kind of unraveling how I got to that point, start healing from there and figuring out, you know, where to go next.
Speaker 1 (18:44):
That’s incredible. It was there for you when you needed it. And then, you know, way kind of led onto way. And you decided what you liked of it and what you didn’t like. And now you have silver mom squad, which is probably what you needed at that time that wasn’t there. Right.
Speaker 2 (19:02):
It’s exactly what I needed, honestly. And, and it, and what came out of the pandemic obviously, was it, it just created a need for itself. It’s funny cuz you know, I had, I, so I wrote my first book and you know, came out at the end of 2019 so I’m like, okay, here’s my new, my new thing. My, you know, I wrote a book and you know, I’m gonna do speaking public speaking and all of these things that require travel and, and then the pandemic hits and, and then it was just, I heard from lots of moms who, who were saying things like, you know, I never questioned my drinking before. I never, I always considered myself a social drinker. That’s what I, I heard a lot. And then now everyone’s at home, they’re with their kids. They’re not being social and they’re drinking more than ever and they’re freaked out about it. So that’s when I’m like, we gotta do something.
Speaker 1 (19:52):
I was thankfully, you know, I stopped January 19th, 2020, but I could totally understand moms who are turning to alcohol when they’re village overnight had just vanished. Like you can totally get it. Moms are just searching. Like we’re just searching for connection. We’re searching for belonging. We’re searching for, you know, just like feeling okay, we’re searching for help with anxiety, like cuz you and I always take on mommy, wine culture online. I always know you’re my cohort in that taking on Molly since oh the worst. But you know, I get this pushback, like you’re shaming moms and I’m like, no, first of all, I will shame Molly Sims because she has almost a million followers and she is literally encouraging moms to drink, to cope with motherhood. I mean, she says it clearly right on there, but I don’t judge moms who drink even a little because first of all, I was one and the thing that I wanna do, and I think you too is BR the, the word that moms have been tricked by big alcohol and by, you know, celebrities like Molly Sims who I’m sorry, but she needs to do better.
Speaker 2 (21:13):
Well. And what options are we given? Right? Like what options are we given in the world where you know who we don’t get enough maternity leave and who, you know, when I don’t know about you, but I’m the reason my husband can go to work because I take care of the kids. Right. And, and what options do we have? We’re not given a lot of options. So then you throw a pandemic on it. And no wonder if your coping mechanism was a glass of wine every night to unwind, what are you gonna do to deal with a pandemic? You’re gonna drink a hell of a lot more. Like I completely understood. And I would’ve been right there in with everybody. If I were still drinking,
Speaker 1 (21:48):
Like just to escape, like there was literally no escape, you know, like we didn’t have anything. And so yeah, I, I think what you’ve done with sober moms squad. So tell us a little bit about that. Like how do, how do moms find it? Because it, it is a community of moms and you have like health coaches and, and alcohol coaches and everything like sobriety coaches. So tell us about that.
Speaker 2 (22:10):
Yeah. So it started obviously with the pandemic, you know, I, I was working as a recovery coach, one on one with women and it was typically women whose stories were like mine, that they did have some rock, bottom consequences. Maybe they went to AA, maybe came out of inpatient, you know, therapy or treatment. And then all of a sudden, again, I was hearing from women. Who’d never questioned their drinking before. And so I thought let’s do just like a meeting, let’s do a meeting. That’s just moms. Because one thing I also found in the recovery community was a lack of resources just for moms. And there is a difference, like there’s a lot of women’s communities, but there’s also this underlying message that like, you have to be eternally grateful for your kids. And so there was always these caveats and, and disclaimers like, oh, I know, you know, I still love my kids, but.dot dot. Oh,
Speaker 1 (23:02):
Which also I hate that because like my husband owns a business and that was his choice to own a business. And I let him complain about days of owning a business because owning a business is hard and I’m never like, well, you chose it. Like you wanted this. It’s like, no people can vent and, and you could hold many different feelings at the same time.
Speaker 2 (23:25):
And by the way, nobody signed up for a pandemic when they became a parent.
Speaker 1 (23:29):
Thank you. Yes. Such a great yes, yes. Such a great point. I mean, yeah.
Speaker 2 (23:36):
So that’s what I was seeing was, you know, I was in, I was helping with women’s recovery communities and it was that underlying, like there was no place for moms to talk, talk about how horrible it was to teach your kids at home and how your wifi connection couldn’t hold up with all your kids. And you didn’t, you know, you had to quit your job and all of these horrible things. And oh, by the way, I’m drinking too much. My kids are talking about how much I’m drinking and it was just all of these things conflated at the same time. So a few of my friends in the recovery community on Instagram, again, people admit on Instagram, Celest Devon, Michelle Smith. Jessica landed Jen Elizabeth. I, I basically post on Instagram like, Hey, are you guys seeing this? And if so, do you wanna help me?
And they raised their hands. And so we started just a free weekly meeting every Wednesday. And like so many women showed up. I mean, we had no idea how many women were, were dealing with this silently. And it was just, it just was so refreshing, you know, looked forward to it every week and open to Facebook group, you know, from that just so people could, you know, connect and then women were just asking for more like, Hey, would you offer coaching? Would you ever offer classes? Would you ever offer more meetings? And so that’s when I went to a membership model we still have the free meeting every week, but we have, you know, drug and alcohol counselors. We have certified coaches who do coaching. And then we have volunteers who lead meetings and we have three to six meetings a day. So it has just grown from there.
Speaker 1 (25:07):
It’s a resource that is so needed. It’s so needed. And I love that. It’s something that you needed and now you’re providing it for other moms. Like that’s, I, I love that so much.
Speaker 2 (25:20):
And there’s always pushback. You know, I will say to having a paid recovery community, especially from, you know, again, probably the same people you get pushback from, from the AA, like old brothers
Speaker 1 (25:33):
well then, then it’s not for them. I mean, that’s,
Speaker 2 (25:36):
It’s not for you. Exactly. There’s tons of stuff available, but it was really important to me to, first of all, recognize that recovery coaching is an actual, you know, job that requires a lot of training. And I wanted to recognize the women who I have in their coaching and pay them well. Right. Which the money has to come from somewhere and, and just recognize that we pay for lots of things. We pay for gym memberships and all these things to improve our health. And how do we not put a price tag on, on something as important as, you know, living this alcohol free life. And by the way, how much were you spending on alcohol? That’s what I always say. Like, this is a drop in the bucket.
Speaker 1 (26:18):
So good point. Also I doubt like a group of dads or men would be sitting around and being like, I don’t know if we should charge for this. You know what I mean? Like they’re not gonna, they’re not gonna think that. So yes, like you, you pay for people who are professionals and like, that’s just you charge. That’s good. .
Speaker 2 (26:38):
Yeah. And, and honestly the fact that I do charge for people who can afford it again, allows me to offer scholarships to people who can’t. So that’s the other thing is if you can’t afford it, like we turn nobody away. And so if you are listening to this and you’re like, I seriously cannot afford it, but I need this. Please reach out. Like we offer scholarships. So I just have to put that out there.
Speaker 1 (26:58):
That’s such a good thing. That’s amazing. Okay. Also your TEDx speech, I listen to that, like, I, I love that reframing of, you know, what our kids are seeing and H how we’re teaching our kids about alcohol, even without saying anything.
Speaker 2 (27:14):
Yeah. In a lot of ways, what you say is so much, even more important than what you do. Like even me being a sober person, you know, them watching me not drink isn’t necessarily enough. Right. Because I grew up with parents who didn’t drink and I still became a heavy drinker. And so what are we saying?
Speaker 1 (27:32):
Oh, so your parents didn’t drink.
Speaker 2 (27:35):
No, no, not at all. Not at all. No. Yeah. And it’s, you know, there’s this idea too, of like, oh, you know, I didn’t come from alcoholics, quote unquote. Like I, you know, it’s a genetic thing. Some people have it, some people don’t. And, and I think I wanna challenge that narrative a lot too, because yes, there’s a ton to be said about, if you grow up in a family where alcohol is used problematically, you know, you’re going to have a tendency to do that yourself, but also what are we saying to kids, if we behave one way and say another thing, another thing, you know, if we’re including alcohol at every function and showing kids that it’s necessary, you know, at a kid’s birthday party and at, you know, like, what are we showing kids? It doesn’t matter if you don’t drink it. It doesn’t matter if you only have one, it doesn’t necessarily matter if you only drink once in a while, but what are you showing your kids? And, and what messages are you sending and also about their own worth, right. That mommy needs to drink because I’m difficult
Speaker 1 (28:37):
Because you’re hard. That’s a very damaging message. I, alcohol is just so normalized that it just seeps in, it seeps into just everything. And we don’t even realize what our kids are seeing and hearing every day.
Speaker 2 (28:52):
And, and it goes into the, the informed consent piece of it too, again, because I don’t, I’m not a prohibitionist. I don’t care if alcohol’s legal, legal, like, that’s not, I don’t care if you drink or not. That’s not my thing. It’s, it’s, let’s understand that it’s a carcinogenic dangerous substance and let’s treat it that way instead of like this lifeblood. And, and again, like we serve it at the end of marathons, we serve it during yoga. Like, like, what are we doing? It’s, it’s the informed consent that people don’t understand that, you know, they don’t understand that it’s how dangerous it is that it’s the most dangerous drug and, and make. And if you still decide to pick up a drink, good on you, who cares go for it, but let’s just show, make sure we’re, we’re telling the right story about what it actually is.
Speaker 1 (29:43):
Yeah. Let’s call it what it is. Let’s stop pretending that it’s, it’s a way to escape and to help anxiety and to help moms unwind. I mean, I mean, if, if moms still wanna drink, like go out and drink that’s yeah. Like you said, like, that’s, that’s fine, but let’s not continue to perpetuate this message that it’s a way to make motherhood easier. I definitely don’t think so. Motherhood is hard enough, dude.
Speaker 2 (30:09):
It is hard. And again, like, like I said, I, I thought it made me a better parent. And the reason I thought that is a, everyone around me was telling me that. And B it was numbing all of the joy because you can’t, you know, I think it’s Brene brown who says like, you can’t numb the bad and not the good. She says it way more eloquently, but something like that.
Speaker 1 (30:29):
Yeah. Like you can’t like, yeah, you can’t selectively numb. So you can’t just be like, Y yeah. I wanna, I wanna not feel the hard parts, but I wanna remember the good parts. And I, I, I think that you don’t even realize what small moments you’re missing until you stop drinking. And then you really start to see those. Like, I remember that on my first sober 4th of July, just looking around on my kids, like playing with sparkler and like all these little tiny moments that would, are just gone in a second, that I would’ve completely missed that. Now I just will remember forever because I just soaked them in and they were just so, so full of joy and yeah.
Speaker 2 (31:09):
Yeah. I mean, there are photos that I, you know, photo memories. I have photo books. I look at with my kids and I’m like, I, I legitimately don’t remember being there. Like I, a lot of my me joyful memories are in photos and, and be able to actually experience them now. And, and I think that’s something that I think moms really don’t realize is, you know, the anxiety, the joy, the, all of those, those opposite feelings, you don’t necessarily have to do anything with those. Right? Like we, we’re in this, this world where we’re like instant gratification, like, oh, I’m bored. I need to get on my phone. Oh, I’m feeling crappy. I need to drink. Like, a lot of those feelings are just part of being a human being and you don’t have to fix them. And there’s nothing wrong with you. Like, at the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with you for being irritated when kids are being irritating or being annoyed, when your kids being annoying, like those are natural human reactions. Like,
Speaker 1 (32:05):
Oh my God. Yes. Especially for moms. And like, literally by, I wanna say five 30 every day. I am like, no one touched me. . I mean, I, I love the hugs, but not at five 30. like, by then, I’m just done. And you have to be able to like, say like, that’s okay. And you’re strong enough.
Speaker 2 (32:25):
Yeah. And that’s a good point too, is, is having that, knowing like, you know, at five 30, you’re touched out. And so part of what that process is of like, oh, I need a drink when you think I need a drink. I need a drink. Actually. No, I don’t. What do I need? Well, I need space. And so you realize like, instead of the wine, you need some space, you know, maybe it’s a walk around the block, whatever.
Speaker 1 (32:46):
Yeah. Yeah. Like I said before, like, I don’t think I would’ve known that until I stopped drinking until I was like, oh, I just get really pissed off at five 30 and like, that’s okay. It doesn’t last all night. I, I know it’s gonna go away. Like, I need, like you said, I need to go outside with the dog, throw the Frisbee and just like, everyone leave me alone. And they know that and they know that now they’re like, you know, everyone just leave mom alone right now. And that’s okay. Like, I it’s okay. Not to wanna spend every moment with your kids. Okay. So how has sobriety changed motherhood for you?
Speaker 2 (33:21):
I mean, honestly, it’s, it’s changed everything in the best way. I, I really wasn’t experiencing it until I stopped drinking. I’m again, I’m able to be more present. I feel in alignment now with the way I behave and what I tell my kids, like, I don’t say one thing and do another, I can walk in integrity and, and not feel ashamed of the things I say or do.
Speaker 1 (33:47):
If I had to name one of the best things about sobriety, that would probably be at the top of the list.
Speaker 2 (33:52):
It, and I think we don’t, again, like I said, the mental, the mental energy that goes into alcohol, I didn’t realize until I wasn’t drinking anymore, how much time I spent thinking about, okay, do I have wine in the fridge? Do I need to order some, you know, I should probably stop at two. Oh, I should probably start drinking water now. Oh, how I’m gonna drive home? What about tomorrow? And then waking up in the morning, did I say something weird? Did I text somebody? I shouldn’t have, like, all of that was gone. All of it was gone.
Speaker 1 (34:21):
Yes. And look at, look at everything you were able to do then. I mean, you are, you’re working on your second book. Like that’s amazing. You created sober mom squad. Like you, you you’ve created all of these things with that brain power. That, that was so tied up in alcohol.
Speaker 2 (34:39):
Yeah. Oh, a thousand percent would not be able to have the life I, I have now, if it wasn’t for quitting drinking and, and removing that one thing again, just removing ethanol from my life, allowed me to see a lot of things that I was involved in or relationships I was in or, or whatever systems I was upholding that I was numb to. It, it really awakened me to be able to, you know, to use my power in a different way. Does that make sense?
Speaker 1 (35:11):
Yes, completely. It makes so much sense. And I love it so much. Okay. Also, I wanna talk about just really quick, your, your next book. Hey, hun, that sounds amazing. I can’t wait. So tell us about that.
Speaker 2 (35:26):
So I was in an MLM, which of people listening, don’t know what those are. They’re the people who come into your DMS and ask you to join their team, et cetera.
Speaker 1 (35:35):
And it’s always, Hey, hun, that is so funny. It’s like the perfect, oh, it’s the perfect title. I love it so much. Like even when I first saw the title, I was like, I know what that’s about. I get those like every day
Speaker 2 (35:47):
You do not even have to add. It’s like, oh, yep. I’ve gotten that, that direct message before. So the, it really honestly ties into my sobriety because again, this is something that I was involved in, because again, I was a mom who was lonely and clinging to some, to any life raft being, being thrown to me. And I, all of a sudden I was like, oh, business opportunity, community cult. And so this was something I joined and my drinking escalated a lot when I was in this, this company.
Speaker 1 (36:19):
Do you say which one it is or no,
Speaker 2 (36:21):
I don’t. You could definitely Google and find out just hot tip, but
Speaker 1 (36:25):
I think I know cuz I think we’ve talked about it. I think we talked about it when that LuLaRoe documentary came out.
Speaker 2 (36:31):
Oh yes, totally. Well, and that again, if you’ve seen that, like if you’ve seen that you, you totally know. Yeah. So I realized that I was again, drinking really numbed my, my intuition. It numbed my inhibitions and made me do things I wouldn’t have done normally, which that’s why we drink alcohol, right. To, you know, whatever liquid courage, blah, blah, blah. So when I got sober, I really started realizing, you know, a lot of the things I was doing saying repeating copy pasting. I realized when against what I actually wanted, I realized I couldn’t talk to people the same way because I didn’t have alcohol in my system. I, I didn’t feel good about what I was doing. And I stepped away and I really started critically at what I was doing at what I was saying and realizing that I was in effect in a commercial cult.
Speaker 1 (37:24):
Wow. That’s insane. I mean, it’s not insane that you were in it. It’s just crazy when you take a step back and you’re like, hold on. Was I in a cult? Like, and, and how that is so normalized. I mean, you guys, this is, this is a, it’s a big one. That’s all over the place.
Speaker 2 (37:39):
And honestly it’s just like alcohol. It really is. It’s like, it’s, it’s believing something that if you really look at it, all statistics, all studies, all signs, point to the fact that it’s not sustainable. Not good for you, all of this stuff. Right. I stepped back. I, I started really critically thinking, researching, looking at my own experience, looking at the experience of people on my team. And once I was out, I realized that I, I couldn’t not say something. I mean, it was a lot like how I feel about alcohol and, and being involved in something like I was complicit. I, I was completely complicit in selling this dream that didn’t exist in pulling people into this cult. And I felt like at that point it was my amends, my, my you know, my duty, my apology, my, it was really just what I had to do next to share what I learned.
Speaker 1 (38:32):
Okay. And when does that come out?
Speaker 2 (38:33):
It comes out next may. And it’s already ruffling lots of feathers, which I love.
Speaker 1 (38:38):
That means you’re on the right path. That means you’re doing what you wanna do. Like that’s amazing. I cannot wait. I’m so excited. Oh, well this is so good. Okay. I always ask everybody cuz I always get this question and, and I don’t never have a good answer. What’s your favorite mocktail? I’m always like, I don’t know this sparkling water cuz I, I am just not that creative with it.
Speaker 2 (38:58):
I have drank all the things, all the pre-made things and I’m I was never a person who like made myself a cocktail. So I, so for me to mix myself a mocktail doesn’t really make sense, but my go-to is hot LA LAR hot tea. Oh my God. It’s so good. And they have different. So it’s hops and tea, like hop, obviously that’s it’s in the name, but it’s so good. And if you were ever a person who, you know, drank happy beer or whatever, it, it has that like same kind of flavor, but doesn’t taste like beer. It’s super refreshing. I just love ’em. I drink, ’em honest to God all day long. They’re my favorite.
Speaker 1 (39:33):
Speaker 2 (39:34):
Yeah. And I’m not sponsored by them. Like there’s no affiliate.
Speaker 1 (39:38):
I feel like you should, you should get a sponsor. you should get a sponsorship with them cuz you sold me on it. I’m ordering it right now. Oh, that’s awesome. Well, thank you so much. I am so glad that you’re here. And I, like I said, this is, you were one of those, you know, when I was searching for direction and connection and, and just what the hell, this sobriety thing meant you were one of, one of my go-tos. So I wanna thank you for that and just thank you for, for everything you’ve given the sobriety community and continue to I’m so glad you were here.
Speaker 2 (40:14):
Yeah. I’m so glad to talk to you and just, I appreciate you helping change the narrative and not, and not being quiet about it.
Speaker 1 (40:22):
Yeah. I’m definitely not quiet about
Speaker 2 (40:23):
It. No, seriously. It, it matters. It does matter. It really
Speaker 1 (40:27):
Does. Thank you. Okay. And tell everyone where to find you again. Let’s run down real quick.
Speaker 2 (40:31):
So Instagram, Emily Lynn Paulson. My website is also Emily Lynn Paulson and then of course sober mom squad on all platforms.
Speaker 1 (40:41):
Okay. Well thank you Emily.
Speaker 2 (40:43):
Yeah. Thank you Suzanne
Speaker 1 (40:44):
Guys. Check her out. Okay. Bye
Speaker 2 (40:47):
Speaker 1 (40:52):
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.