Today we’re bringing you a Real Sober Moms double header with two interviews – Jaime and Lauren!
Jaime grew up in a drinking culture and by the end of high school she felt like drinking was part of her personality. This lifestyle continued into college when she attended a party school, and followed her into her marriage since drinking was the main way she and her husband would connect. Things became harder once she had kids, and she began drinking more to cope with the stress. As she neared 40, Jaime began worrying about her health and she realized that she had developed a worrisome dependency on alcohol. It was finding the sober moment online that led her to realize she could quit even if she hadn’t been rock bottom! The benefits she’s found in her newly sober life – better skin, lower stress, enhanced quality time with her kids and more – has made it so easy to never want to go back.
Lauren, a Harvard and MIT grad, is a great example that anyone can be lured in by mommy wine culture. Lauren was an anti-drinking DARE representative in high school who began drinking when she entered college as a way to mask social anxiety. Drinking was also how she and her future husband bonded, but Lauren never knew how her body would handle drinking. After many blackouts and an incident at a resort pool that left her with a lot of shame, Lauren decided it was time for a change. Lauren comes chock full of great advice on how to handle friendships and social events in your transition to sobriety!
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Speaker 1 (00:00):
I wish more people would listen to our podcast.
Speaker 2 (00:02):
I know. I feel like this is why we need to do an ad. So this is an ad for brand new information, a pop culture and political podcast.
Speaker 1 (00:10):
We’re a couple Gen Xers who talk about pop culture and political stuff on the brand new information pop culture and political podcast.
Speaker 2 (00:19):
Okay. But we’re not a couple we’re siblings. It sounded like you said we’re a couple <laugh>. That was so gross. No, we’re siblings. That’s my brother. I’m his sister. Listen to us wherever you get your podcasts.
Hi. Welcome to the Sober Mom Life podcast. I’m your host Suzanne of my kind of suite 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.
Speaker 3 (01:29):
Hello, happy Monday. I am so excited we have a special episode this Monday. So as you know, I’ve been releasing bonus episodes every Friday with the real moms and they’ve been sharing their stories. These moms are from our sober mom life group on Facebook, and I put out a call, I wanna say a couple of months ago to see if anybody wanted to share their story on the podcast. And I got so many responses I was blown away. And I have talked with so many of you and I have loved each and every one of our conversations. I’m pushing out two conversations today. You’re gonna hear about Jamie and Lauren’s stories. Those are the two women you’re gonna hear from today. I want to get a lot of these conversations out before the holidays because I think, I don’t know, I think just we could use some extra support going into the holidays.
I know the holidays can be tough and if it’s your first sober holiday, you might be feeling a little bit anxious and I want to support you in any way that I can. So I think hearing these stories will help. I hope you enjoy this. And just as a reminder, if you want to go join our group, it’s the Sober Mom life on Facebook. Come and follow me on Instagram sober mom life, and on TikTok sober mom life pod. And yeah guys, we got this. Keep going. And I hope you enjoy these stories from Jamie and Lauren.
Speaker 2 (03:02):
All right guys. We have Jamie here. She’s another real mom from our sober mom life, uh, Facebook group. I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you.
Speaker 4 (03:11):
Thank you for having me. So excited to be here. This is great. I
Speaker 2 (03:15):
Know, I know. It is exciting. Okay, so let’s just jump right into it. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Speaker 4 (03:21):
All right, so my name’s Jamie. Um, I’m 40 years old, just turned 40 in March.
Speaker 2 (03:26):
Oh, happy birthday Forty’s.
Speaker 4 (03:28):
Good. Oh, thank you.
Speaker 2 (03:29):
Forties. Better than thirties, I gotta say.
Speaker 4 (03:31):
I agree. I love 40. I just feel like, I don’t know, I’m just, you know, I don’t deal with like the BS anymore. I’m like not worried about little stupid things anymore. I’m just, Yeah, it’s just, it’s feeling good. It’s feeling good. But I’m the in Seattle area, so born and raised in this area. I have a husband, I have two kids, uh, five year old Edward who just started kindergarten. He’s on the Yeah. And he’s a little sweetheart. He’s on the spectrum. And then I have Charlotte who’s like 20 months, so she turns two in January. So a lot going on. Okay.
Speaker 2 (04:03):
Also, yeah, you’re busy.
Speaker 4 (04:04):
Yeah. And I also, uh, work full time, so most time I’m at home. Yeah. So super demanding job. So I’m pretty much just at my desk all, all hours of the day.
Speaker 2 (04:13):
Okay. Yeah. But you have a lot going on.
Speaker 4 (04:16):
I do. It’s crazy all the time. It’s literally like wake up with the kids early in the morning, get them like out the door, sit at my desk all day, pick ’em up
Speaker 2 (04:24):
And then do it all
Speaker 4 (04:25):
Over again. Yep, exactly. It’s like groundhogs day every day.
Speaker 2 (04:27):
Yeah. Oh my God, I bet. Well, okay, so tell us a little bit before we can talk about sobriety and where you’re at with that. So tell us a little bit about your relationship with alcohol and your past with it.
Speaker 4 (04:40):
Absolutely. So, you know, I’ve always been a big drinker and you know, it’s just always something just part of my life. And I think it just started like growing up. Alcoholism does run in my family, like grandparents and there was just always like beer around, even when I was a little kid. I just like remember it always being like, just part of every day. But also I have three older brothers, so like, and I was, you know, and so partying was their saying. They were super popular growing up. We were in a very small town in Washington state and I wanted to be like them, you know? And like I remember when I was like, in the eighth grade, I came home early from like basketball practice and my brother was having a party and I was like, This is so cool. And all the older kids like wanted to talk to me. And then after that I was just like, Okay, like this is like, you know, like just drinking. So I, I remember taking like one beer outta my parents’ fridge and going over to my girlfriend’s house in like eighth grade and we drank the beer and we were laughing and we thought it was so fun. And then just after that it was just kind of part of who I was. Yeah. Which is crazy, right? I
Speaker 2 (05:38):
Mean, I also feel like it was such a different time then though too. Yeah. Like I, I, I think your, your story’s common, especially with an old, I have an older brother too, and there’s just something about like trying to be like the older kids. Like drinking was like the cool thing.
Speaker 4 (05:52):
Yeah. And then even in high school, you know, like I was always like, you know, good grades and just like a good kid. But then like I started just getting into the partying and I was hanging out with the grade above me and we were like on the weekends we’d go up into the hills and be drinking beer and it was just, but I was cool cuz you know, I hung out with like the older class and yeah. And I just took that into college. So like I went to Wazu, Washington State University go Cougs and that’s a huge party school and was just drinking nonstop. So it just kind of just, and then just, that’s all we did. And then after college I met my husband and he also went to the same school. Just drinking was what we did together, like for years and years. And you know, we’ve been married for 11 years now and that’s just pretty much what we had in common and that’s what we did to relax. Yes. Yeah,
Speaker 2 (06:38):
Totally. As I, I think especially in like dating and stuff and when you meet someone new, like, I don’t know if it was like that for everybody, but definitely for me it was like you would bond over drinking. Cuz I think people think that drinking and alcohol is like a way to connect, which when you’re nervous and you’re scared and social anxiety and like all of that stuff. Yeah. It feels like you need it for sure.
Speaker 4 (07:03):
Yeah, exactly. I mean, and we started dating like 24, 24 years old. So yeah, that’s all we did. Totally. And you know, Totally. And, and back then I swear I could go to work hungover no problem.
Speaker 2 (07:12):
Oh my, yes.
Speaker 4 (07:13):
Yeah. And it didn’t even matter now if I was hungover, it’s like three days.
Speaker 2 (07:18):
Seriously. So then it was just kind of normalized in your life. Okay. So how did motherhood factor into that?
Speaker 4 (07:24):
Yeah, so that’s a really great question. So, um, had Edward about five years ago, um, and I remember after I had him, I was like breastfeeding just a little bit. Only did it for a few months, but I was like, okay, like I need to get back into drinking. I was totally fine pregnant, not drinking, like not a big deal. Yes. But then I was like getting the, you know, the testing strips and like making sure. And then we started just taking, um, him, like on the weekends we’d, we lived in this neighborhood in Seattle where you could just walk everywhere. So we’d go, you know, get lunch and get beers and that was our thing. But I was doing the testing strips so I’d be like, Oh. And I was always a light beer drinker. Coors Light was my thing. But then I started switching to IPAs because I could get a buzz faster, which is just ridiculous when I think about it.
And then, so just like with him too, like, you know, it’s just hard, just being a parent was hard. So like just even maternity leave was just always like drinking and always just a part of what we did. We just always would take him to restaurants and walk around and just drink. So it was just kinda part of that. But I think like it really, I started really like feeling like just bad about it. Like with Charlotte when my second, my daughter came and I don’t know if it’s, cuz I turned 40 and I was kind of like just starting to like think more of like, okay, I need to get it my shit together. Like, you know, I’m 40 now, like let’s focus on it. But just like over the last year, cause I essentially was just kind of really feeling bad about it.
We were just kind of always drinking all the time. My husband and I started drinking in like five days a week and it was just like what we were looking forward with. Yeah. And my kids are really hard. Like really hard. Yeah. Like, it was just like so stressful and it was like the only thing we started looking forward to. So like, I think with the kids it was like, this is the only break that we get. Especially like working from home all the time. I’m around them all the time. And honestly I’m never by myself. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (09:05):
Yeah. Right. Oh, I know. Especially coming off the pandemic, like, I mean yeah. Moms like, we had it so hard and then to try to work from home too. Like how do you even do that?
Speaker 4 (09:18):
Yeah. And honestly, and I don’t know if you want me to talk about the pandemic, but we were drinking so much, it was ridiculous. And we, I was like, I remember talking to coworkers and we were like so stressed that had kids and we were like, we were just talking about how much we were drinking every day and like, it was the only thing we looked forward to. And it was, you know, it was dads and moms and it was just what everybody was doing just to cope.
Speaker 2 (09:41):
Yeah. You weren’t alone in that. I just happened to stop drinking in January, 2020 before the pandemic. But I can almost guarantee that if I had been drinking through the pandemic, my drinking would’ve ramped up because like yeah, we were always alone at home. Like, what else do we do? Like that? That’s what it felt like for sure. I, I’ve heard so many stories about Yep. People’s drinking definitely ramped up during the pandemic.
Speaker 4 (10:07):
Yeah. And you know, and for that specifically, like my dad passed away like the November before the pandemic and like I didn’t really think too much about my drinking until recently. And so I started reflecting, but he died of cancer. He, for seven years he was fighting a esophageal cancer. Oh, so sorry. Yeah. But then we, yeah. And you know, and then we went to the, the pandemic happened and all of a sudden we had to work from home and Edward at that time was three. He wasn’t diagnosed yet. And it was a nightmare. I don’t even know how I of stress constantly. And we were just drinking so much. And then I ended up getting pregnant actually during that time. But then I ended up having a miscarriage on my birthday in March. Oh. Which was like, my God. And I think some of it was for the drinking that I was doing.
Cause I was being so unhealthy, I was like so stressed out. It was just terrible. And then like the month of April, it was like we were just drinking crazy. And I think it was just like the pressure and like the miscarriage was super sad, you know? And like never dealt with that before. And then the day after Edward’s birthday, on April 25th, I was, we were pretty buzzed the day before. Like I was being obnoxious and stuff, which is not like me. Yeah. And I looked at my husband and I said, This has to stop like right now. And then, so I was like, this is bad. Yeah. Um, and he’s like, Okay. And I’m like, I’m like drinking like 10 beers a night, like Coors Light, which to me I was like, this is nothing cuz it’s Coors Light, you know? Yeah.
Speaker 2 (11:24):
Uhhuh, which, but
Speaker 4 (11:25):
It’s a lot for like an average person. But then I ended up, we ended up taking a break and then I got pregnant again at that point. So like, I think I made it about 45 days and then I ended up getting pregnant again. Crazy. But then we had Charlotte and everything, and then I just picked up the drinking again. Okay. So it was just like, Yeah. Yeah. So that’s a lot there. But that’s kind of like what all happened during it? Yeah,
Speaker 2 (11:48):
No, but I, I mean there’s, there’s so much there. There’s motherhood, there’s pandemic, there’s working, there’s stress, there’s loss, you know, that like, it all makes sense. Like Totally. Yeah. And so what kind of led you to, you were questioning it, you took a break for 45 days before you got pregnant and then you went back to it. And what made you kind of start thinking about your relationship with Call again?
Speaker 4 (12:12):
Yeah, so I’m actually on day 93 right now. So it, so, and I feel like fantastic but so like over, I guess the last year, so one of the things too, during the pandemic, we got a little beach house up in Woodby Island to like just get away on the weekends. Yeah. And so over the last year, every weekend we go there, that’s our getaway. So we were going to the brewery, we were drinking. And then every weekend I was just kind of feeling guilty and more shame was coming and just little things here and there. And it’s like what we were just drinking and drinking. Um, and then, you know, on the 4th of July weekend, um, I actually, I think I listened to your podcast after that weekend, but on July, like July 5th, I woke up and I was hungover and I was just been thinking about it a lot.
I bought like quit like a woman in the last year. I was like reading some other books, but never like, just did it. And I was hungover and I was like, this is not cool. So I was like, you know what, I’m gonna take 30 days off, but I’m just gonna see how it goes. But there was some other things that happened. Like I took a big 40, like a big trip with my girlfriends from college. We went to Palm Springs. It was like the first time we could all be together. We were moms. Yeah. But the, like, even before I went, I was like, I don’t think they’re gonna drink as much as me. Like what am I gonna do? You know, like, like I, I wanna be drinking the entire time and I, I was joking, like I’ll probably be drinking in my room.
I was doing that. I was like drinking beers and it’s not like I get like blacked out or anything, I just like to drink, study, study. Right. So I was like drinking in my room and then I was like hiding the cans in the closet and then putting them in the garbage. Which like, I was joking about that to like my husband, but that is not normal behavior, you know what I mean? Like that’s kind of, that’s concerning. Like, and I was so focused on that. Like, I wasn’t even like, I’m with my girlfriends. We just came from Chicago, like Chicago DC all around the US and like, I was literally so focused on that the entire time. So that too was kind of like, ugh, like that’s not okay. Like
Speaker 2 (14:04):
Yeah. It kind of raised flags in your head of like, wait a second, this might not be funny and this might be a thing.
Speaker 4 (14:13):
Yeah, exactly. And there was that, and there was just like kind of drinking like so many days a week like, and I’m like, I would wake up and like be fine at work, just, you know, no big deal. Yeah. But I still felt like garbage. Like, but I was powering through, I’d get up and work out and it was just like, just feeling like crap all the time. Like, and I was kind of over it and starting to just really worry about my health too. Like just little things. But it was just getting in my head and I was just like, this just doesn’t feel right. I need a change.
Speaker 2 (14:39):
Yeah. And so you did the 30 days. Like you, you were like, let me see if I could do 30 days. Yeah. And how did that go?
Speaker 4 (14:46):
So it was good. So what I started doing is like on that day after the 4th of July, I just started like looking at stuff on Instagram and I got lost in this vortex of like the over movement. And that’s where I found you like, so I think I started with like a sober girls guide and then I found you. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (15:00):
Oh, I love her. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (15:01):
Yeah. And then I just started like looking at like your page and listening to podcasts and then I found like other podcasts and I just got like kind of obsessed about it. Like, this is really cool, totally. Like, I don’t wanna be a part of this. And then I just just said like, I’m just doing it. And then I kind of knew I was just gonna continue cause like the benefits I have been feeling have been amazing.
Speaker 2 (15:21):
Ooh, let’s talk about those. What have you been? Yeah. What have you noticed?
Speaker 4 (15:24):
My skin is so much different. Like, yeah. So I’m on calls all day long at work and like I now I’m like catching myself looking at myself like, cool, okay,
Speaker 2 (15:32):
Good. You’re like, I look good,
Speaker 4 (15:34):
I’m looking good. Like, and I just see the difference. Like not puffy, My stress is like I’m handling things way better with my children. I’m not like just getting super irritated with them like all the time. Yeah. Like I’m exercising patience and I’m also spending more quality time with them. I feel like a lot of the time I was kind of like rushing, especially on the weekends and be like, Ooh, like shoots go to the brewery, or let’s go get dinner. Like, I was more looking forward to that and spending time with them. I love them more than anything. Yeah. But like those little things, like I’m not doing that. Like, and we’re just doing more things on the weekend, things for them and getting ’em outside more and things like that, which is really great. I’ve lost weight very quickly, so that feels really good. That’s not something I’m focused on, but I’m noticing it so I’m like, oh, my
Speaker 2 (16:18):
Clothes are fitting better, my
Speaker 4 (16:20):
Product. Yeah, for sure. And like, reconnecting with old friends too. Like, I had like two really close girlfriends that gave up drinking a few years ago and I kind of like stopped talking to them, like really good friends. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think part of me was like, Oh, well I don’t wanna be friends with them like anymore because you know, they’re not drinking and that’s boring. So like one of my girlfriends, she’s almost at a thousand days and she was the drinker like me and now we’re meeting every week and we’re, you know, doing fitness together and she’s a big runner now. And like, so now I signed up for a half marathon, which I’m doing in a couple weeks. That’s crazy stuff.
Speaker 2 (16:55):
Oh my god. Yeah. Is that your first one?
Speaker 4 (16:57):
No, I used to be a runner, so, um, Okay. Like I’m a jogger. I’m like a very slow jogger. Like not Yeah. Fast by any means. I did a couple marathons back in the day, so the last time I did a run was like 2015. But it’s crazy. I used to do marathon training and like I would go on longs runs and then I’d just drink all day after. Like, it’s like, it’s
Speaker 2 (17:16):
So funny though, like yes. Like even I’ve done a marathon and a and some Hals and it is like, beer is always like the reward for like the run. I’m like, and that never was weird to me until you stopped drinking and then you’re like, Wait a second, can I have water? Or Gatorade? Maybe, maybe not a beer.
Speaker 4 (17:33):
It’s so interesting. So I’m very excited to see how this goes cuz it’s uh, in, in a few weeks to see just if I feel better, I mean I should feel better. Right. So that’s really cool. Just like, in really reflecting on like why I just stopped kind of like disconnecting from these people, which is mm-hmm. <affirmative> just kind of, it’s, it makes me sad, you know, that I did that, but I’m like really aware. I’m aware of it now and like I’m working on Yeah. Getting those relationships back.
Speaker 2 (17:55):
And the reconnection I think is so important. I always think about, you know, when you’re drinking, like at a bar, at a party, I would always, we all wanna connect and like, I always thought that alcohol was like the fast track to connection. I’m like, Yeah, yeah, yeah. But let me tell you about my childhood, you know, like <laugh>. And I’m like, what’s your name again? And that’s just not a real connection.
Speaker 4 (18:16):
Speaker 2 (18:17):
The real connection and the true connection is like this. And, and it’s only done when we’re all like present and we’ll remember everything. We’re not exactly screaming over each other. That’s great that you reconnected with old friends. Like that’s perfect.
Speaker 4 (18:36):
Yeah. There’s this weird thing, it’s like alcohol’s cool, Like drinking’s cool. Yeah. But it’s like actually being sober is much cooler
Speaker 2 (18:43):
<laugh>. Right? I mean like, can we, can we, like, I I made this sweatshirt that was like, sober is cool because in a society where everyone drinks, I think sober is cool. Like sobers the new rebellious thing to do.
Speaker 4 (18:56):
Speaker 2 (18:57):
Like every, it’s, it’s easy to drink. Alcohol will always be there. I heard someone say that the other day. It was like, yeah, like alcohol will always be there. Like if you ever choose to go back to alcohol, like you won’t have a problem finding it <laugh>, you know,
Speaker 4 (19:11):
Speaker 2 (19:11):
Like it’s always gonna be there. I also, I love this idea that you kind of became obsessed with the Instagram and the sober podcasts and the books and the, all the posts. I was the same way. And I’ve always felt, you know, it was like, no, I didn’t go to meetings and I don’t go to AA and stuff. And someone was like, No, those were your meetings. It was like, that’s the same thing that they’re doing in meetings is you’re hearing other people’s stories and what alcohol did to them and then you’re relating it to yourself and you’re learning the truth about alcohol. So I, I think that’s, it’s such a powerful thing that seems, you know, Instagram seems just not important. Inconsequential and silly, but it’s not like there’s so much good sober content on Instagram.
Speaker 4 (20:03):
Absolutely agree. And I think it just made me feel like I’m not alone. Like yes. Like the things that I’m doing, like a lot of other women are going through it and like, and, and totally relate, which is great. And like I’m not the type like I’m in, you know, the sober mom Facebook group. Like I’m not the type to come like to post things. Like I don’t do that. I post cute pictures of my kids and you know, at the pumpkin patch or something. Yeah. But like, and I’m like posting things on there about myself. Like I never do that. But for some reason I feel like comfortable doing that in this forum. Yeah. Because other people get it and they’re not judging and it’s just everyone’s kind and they’re just supportive and like Yeah. I think that’s really hard to find cuz you see other Facebook groups and stuff and people are nasty. Like, and I’m like, I want nothing to do with it.
Speaker 2 (20:44):
Yes. I know like on mom Facebook groups where it’s like you have all these like, preachy people and like all this Yeah. Judging, like how would you do that? Like, you feed your kid, you know, that cereal. It’s like, what? I’m glad that you feel safe in there because that, that’s truly what I want it to be. It’s, and I hope that that’s what this whole podcast is too, where it’s not like we’re not judging people who drink. I’m judging the people who make alcohol and, and trick us into it being the answer to everything. I’ll judge big alcohol all day long. I’m not gonna judge the people who were fooled by it.
Speaker 4 (21:18):
Speaker 2 (21:19):
Yeah. It’s like, no, alcohol is a big lie. Well it’s just, it is. We need to spread the word. Alcohol is a big lie. Well I’m so glad that like, I, I love this conversation. I love that I’m able to connect cuz I see your name in there. Like I see everybody’s names pop up now I know your story. I, this is why I wanted to do this. I think that your story’s so relatable of, you know, you grow up drinking and it’s like, you don’t question it cuz that’s what you do. That’s what everybody does. You don’t question it until you do. And once you start questioning it, it’s like, oh wait a second. It’s scary, but it’s life changing
Speaker 4 (21:59):
100%. Like I, I love this. And like, I just think for me now, like drinking is not an option. My girlfriend I reconnected with. That’s what she said. She’s like, it’s just not an option. Like, you just don’t do it. And I’m trying to like, yeah, I’m gonna continue down this journey and like, and I’m loving it. I’m loving the, the new me and I’m excited about it. Like, I just feel really happy, you know, just better. I just feel like a different person right now. So. Yeah. And I thank you for that too cuz you’ve been huge in this my journey so far.
Speaker 2 (22:22):
Oh. So thank you. I’m so, I’m so glad. Yeah. I’m, I’m so honored and, and you can tell like you’re glowing. You seem like just happy. I’m so glad. I’m, I’m so grateful for you coming on here and sharing your story. I know it’s not the easiest and I know it can be intimidating, but I’m so grateful and I know that it’ll help a lot of other moms too, so thank you.
Speaker 4 (22:44):
Thank you. Appreciate it.
Speaker 2 (22:46):
Yeah, thanks. All right guys. Well we have Lauren here. Hi Lauren.
Speaker 5 (22:59):
Speaker 2 (23:00):
Hi Lauren. Thank you for being here.
Speaker 5 (23:02):
Thank you for having me.
Speaker 2 (23:04):
Of course. Okay, so why don’t we start, just tell us a little bit about you.
Speaker 5 (23:08):
I’m originally from the suburbs of Boston. Was a super overachiever, went to Harvard for college.
Speaker 2 (23:15):
Speaker 5 (23:17):
Yeah, MIT for grad school. I work in consulting in a pretty high pressure environment. I’m a full-time working mom. My husband stays home as a full-time stay at dad.
Speaker 2 (23:28):
Oh, that’s amazing.
Speaker 5 (23:30):
Yeah. Um, and that, that’s worked great. I have two kids, they’re eight and 10, two little girls who are the sweetest things ever. And I’m holding on to these ages as much as I can. Yeah. Yeah. And so we, we moved to the Denver area about five years ago.
Speaker 2 (23:46):
Okay. Now, you know, the drill <laugh>, before we could talk about sobriety and where you’re at with that, let’s talk about your drinking story and your relationship with alcohol in the past.
Speaker 5 (23:57):
Yeah, so I think growing up, um, my dad was a drinker. Uh, loved his Bud Lights, um, would kinda, you know, get a 30 rack for the weekend and then a 30 rack for the week. And he was usually just kind of in a room by himself in front of the tv mm-hmm. <affirmative> drinking Bud Light. I remember that a lot. I don’t remember my mother drinking that much, but when I think back my dad would like go out to golf.
Speaker 2 (24:28):
Speaker 5 (24:29):
And he would drink while he was golfing mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think one of the tactics my mother would use is like, I’m gonna have the kids call the clubhouse. Oh. Because I can’t get him to come home. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (24:39):
Speaker 5 (24:40):
I remember calling my dad being like, Daddy, we want you to come home. And we would go pick him up and it was just a mess.
Speaker 2 (24:47):
Speaker 5 (24:48):
Hit his head getting into the door. And so from a young age, I remember that aspect of him. And I think as I got older, he kind of just, you know, it mostly just drank by himself and have his bud lights. And, and then my mom didn’t really drink during the week or that much, but I do remember because my dad would usually, uh, be off doing his own thing. My mom would go out with a friend and they would go to a restaurant and they would drink. Mm-hmm. And we would go to her house after and she would bring me and my sister along. And so I remember thinking like, that was when my mom was happiest with, when she was with her friend drinking.
Speaker 2 (25:26):
Speaker 5 (25:27):
Yeah. Yeah. So then fast forward, I’m in high school, I think drinking is awful. I’m a dare role model. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (25:33):
<laugh>. Yeah. Oh my God. Dare. Yes. Okay.
Speaker 5 (25:36):
Yeah. And so, uh, I don’t drink, uh, all through high school and then the summer before college I start drinking with my friends. Um, because now it’s, it’s like exciting, right? Like, Lauren never drank.
Speaker 2 (25:48):
Speaker 5 (25:49):
Now Lauren’s gonna drink
Speaker 2 (25:50):
Lauren’s. You’re like the Yeah. Like the conquest. They’re like, Can we get her to drink?
Speaker 5 (25:55):
Yeah. But I met my husband, uh, that summer and he, he was three years older than me, so he was a senior in college. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, conveniently 21 when I’m 18. Okay. We went to different colleges, but, um, I avoided the college drinking scene because I would try and see him on the weekends and we would just kind of do our own thing and he could buy beer and we would, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative> go out to a restaurant or go to the movies or hang out at his house and just drink there. And so I feel lucky that that is kind of what my experience had been mm-hmm. <affirmative> and that I, I don’t think it would’ve been pretty had I been part of the college drinking
Speaker 2 (26:37):
Scene. Yeah. Is there a big drinking scene at Harvard?
Speaker 5 (26:41):
There can be, Yeah. If you want take it out. Okay. It’s just such a diverse place that you can make it what you want it to be. Okay. And sometimes it was like, I’m gonna focus on school and on the weekends I’m gonna see my boyfriend. Yeah. Who luckily became my husband. Cause otherwise that would’ve been such a Right,
Speaker 2 (27:00):
Right. Yeah. Right. It was time well spent.
Speaker 5 (27:04):
Yeah. That kind of stayed that way through my twenties. We got married young, but I didn’t have kids until I was almost 30. And so yeah. It was just mostly drinking with him and sometimes it was fine and sometimes it wasn’t. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, I’d black out and I fall asleep <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (27:23):
So. Okay. Yep. And
Speaker 5 (27:25):
So he would always be worried if I went out without him and I would be like, No, I actually like, don’t really drink without you because I know this happens to myself. And like, I feel like only comfortable drinking.
Speaker 2 (27:37):
That was a good call because I, I feel like a lot of people black out and it’s not like they make that decision. Like I didn’t, I was just like, Yeah, may maybe we’ll see, We’ll see if I do tonight or not. <laugh>. Yeah. Like luck of the draw. I’m like, Oh God,
Speaker 5 (27:51):
<laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. I think once we moved to Denver with the two girls, you know, they’re like elementary school age, it just seemed like the, like to make friends and, and to be a part of the community. That’s where it like picked up again for me. Where yeah. You kind of just gravitate towards the people or maybe the country club. And at Covid, the country club was great because they didn’t want you going up to a line to get drinks at the pool. It was almost like a hotel. It was like, sit by the pool, someone will come to you and someone will get you your
Speaker 2 (28:27):
Drinks. <laugh> made it very easy. That’s so funny. This is the second, uh, country club reference and we go to one two and I totally get it. Yeah. Like that’s socially that’s what happens there is you drink.
Speaker 5 (28:40):
Yeah. And I think out here, not a lot of people are from Colorado, people from are from all over a lot of Midwest and California and it’s just, we’re all trying to make friends as adults. And I think the country club, the drinking scene, that’s just an easier place to do it. And then all the kids play the pool and then everybody drives there. We, we could drive our golf cart home. So I think in, in c it had ramped up a fair amount, but Yeah. So I’m making it sound boring, but
Speaker 2 (29:11):
<laugh> No, no, no, no. I can imagine all of the stories that were in there. Yeah. And so it ramped up during Covid and you, so you guys, even a Harvard m i t graduate falls into mommy wine culture. Okay. Yeah. Like there’s no shame in being tricked by marketing that is designed to trick us <laugh>. Like Right. That’s, that’s the goal. Yeah. So you, so it ramped up during Covid and then what, what happened? Did you have a moment and where do you sit today in sobriety?
Speaker 5 (29:46):
I was one of those people who, you know, I had this bad experience. It must have been that I drank too much wine, so I shouldn’t be drinking wine, I’m gonna switch to beer and then it’s okay, maybe I shouldn’t drink during the week. Maybe I should just drink on the weekends. It was like all those mental games that so many people talk about and the trying to moderate where I definitely fall into one of those buckets where I don’t see myself as much different than other people. And if I’m a real, if I’m, if I really have a problem with alcohol and I don’t belong in aa, then what do I do? And so I think it was, you know, really just trying to moderate as best they could.
Speaker 2 (30:23):
Yeah. Cuz we think that’s the only option. Yeah. Like we think like, well it’s either, it’s either we’re an AA or we keep drinking. Like obviously that’s, there’s nothing in the middle. Right. And it’s like, no, there, there’s a lot in the middle there. And it’s just up to us to decide what that middle is and where Yeah. Yeah. What our ending point is.
Speaker 5 (30:44):
Right. Yeah. And so for me, um, we, we had a couple of vacations that went badly and I think it’s because I get so excited about going. It’s always the first day <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (30:56):
Oh no. Yeah, yeah. So,
Speaker 5 (30:58):
You know, we go to South Carolina and um, my husband has to carry me home, carry me through the hotel, lobby through the hotel room. And the for unfortunate thing is my kids remember that. Yeah. They’re like, Remember when daddy had to carry mommy through the hotel? And I’m like,
Speaker 2 (31:19):
Let’s not relive that.
Speaker 5 (31:22):
My birthday in January, 2021, we went to Cabo. Obviously there’s not a lot of people there, which is kind of nice. We upgrade to the club level where you get access to the seed drinks. And so there’s, you know, the better tequila there. And before we go down to the pool, I’m like, We paid for this club level, let’s get the tea. And so he gives it to me in a plastic cup. And then we go down to the pool and then I drink margaritas. Uh, my husband and I had done the spa package, so I was like, Okay, you go to the spa first, I’ll stay with the kids at the pool and then when you come back I’ll go. And in the time in which he was at the spa, it like had hit me. And so, Oh yeah. This is my scary moment where I’m like, Oh God, I think I do. I should probably stop where I threw up at the pool. Which is like the most embarrassing thing ever. And for me, I might cry, but for me it does. I remember my kids screaming, like they were scared and it was just me and them. And my husband wasn’t there. I just remember they were screaming cause they were like, Oh, they thought something was actually actually wrong with me.
Speaker 2 (32:40):
Speaker 5 (32:40):
And of course I’m like, It’s fine, it’s fine. And we grab towels and the poor pool people are like trying to clean it up and everybody’s looking like, what happened over there? And then I had to walk back to the spa part to like meet my husband and he’s like, Holy crap, what happened to you? And I’m like, Oh, I threw and I never throw up. That was the other thing. Like I used to pride myself on the fact that like no matter how much I drank, I wouldn’t throw up.
Speaker 2 (33:05):
Speaker 5 (33:07):
But yeah, so that happens. And I just felt so much shame. Yeah. For like, so anyway, it ends up being a year more of just like regular drinking. But definitely like, there were times where I would drink too much or,
Speaker 2 (33:22):
And just to point out, I’ve listened to countless conversations now with countless moms and you are not alone in that moment of that wasn’t you. Right. That was the alcohol. Yeah. Right. I think that’s part of why we feel so, so much shame and all of this questioning of like, how the hell did I let that happen?
Speaker 5 (33:50):
Speaker 2 (33:50):
But that’s what the alcohol does. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And like that, that’s not you as a mom e even just the, the idea that you’re sitting here and that it still gets you. I mean, you’re a wonderful mom. <laugh>, that’s a sign of that, you know? Yeah. Like moms who don’t care don’t care. Right. And like, that’s not you. So I, I just wanna point that out and, and that you are just not alone in moments where you feel shame of what happened, what the alcohol did. You are just not alone in that.
Speaker 5 (34:26):
Yeah. And I thought, I don’t know, I’d ask my friends. Cause of course I only told like two people that story before now <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (34:33):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 5 (34:34):
Do you feel this too? Like when, when something like that happens to you and it’s, you get like buried answers. So I was like, is it just that? Like I feel so much shame. But then of course listening to everything now and getting so much more access to folks on Instagram, it’s like, oh, okay. No, that’s not just me. That’s not So
Speaker 2 (34:53):
Not just you. Yeah.
Speaker 5 (34:54):
Yeah. So then I think I stopped drinking January 3rd, 2022. So Okay. About nine months now. Yeah. And it was because right around New Years, I just randomly found accounts on Instagram mm-hmm. <affirmative> that were talking about not drinking. And I then realized that these were not rock bottom stories in the way I had thought they might be. Yeah. And just started, like I said, hearing that I wasn’t the only one who felt the way I did and how much easier it was to just stop I think then gave me the confidence to be like, Oh yeah, I can’t just stop <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (35:30):
Right. Yeah. I don’t have to declare anything. Yeah.
Speaker 5 (35:33):
And so then just worrying about what everyone else would think. Of course in those first few weeks. But
Speaker 2 (35:40):
Yeah. And so how did that go? Was that worse in your head? And how did you kind of go forward with sobriety with those fears?
Speaker 5 (35:50):
I was most worried about my husband, cuz like I said, that was like our thing. Sort of like, we didn’t go out, but it was always just like something we did together. That’s when we would talk and that’s when we would bond. Or at least that’s how I had thought of it back then. Yeah. And so I thought if I stop, he’s going to like not wanna hang out with me anymore. Yeah. And of course too, it was like, is are you really doing it this time? Cause so often I’ll have these like grand ideas and I’ll do it for like a month or whatever it might be. And I was like, No, I think this is really it. And for a while he kept just doing the whole like, I think you can have one. Don’t you wanna just have one? And of course I read h Whitakers quit like a woman and, and just started to consume all of it thinking like, no, I actually don’t need one.
Like I’m fine about it. And I think it was just him, It would make him more comfortable if I had one. Right. And so I had to kept saying like, Please stop telling me to just have one. And he eventually stopped and I would say, I mean he barely drinks now too. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, <laugh>. And also feels much better. He was having like GI issues and things like that. And I think once he realized that if he had, if he just stopped that a lot of those things were going away. So he will still drink if we go out. He’ll have like two beers or something like that, but then we really don’t have alcohol in the house and he doesn’t really drink at home. So I, I do feel like I’m so thankful that he appreciated what I was trying to do and is now very supportive of it. Like he’ll tell people, he’d be like, Lauren doesn’t drink <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (37:31):
That’s so true.
Speaker 5 (37:33):
He’s like proud of me <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (37:34):
Yeah, it sounds like it.
Speaker 5 (37:36):
The other thing he had said too is like, you’re, you know, you’re a terrible drinker anyway. <laugh>. So I kinda stopped earlier, like meaning like, Yeah, I, it didn’t you I couldn’t moderate. Right. So for him too, it was always a guessing game. And I think he is glad we’re not in that guessing game either.
Speaker 2 (37:56):
Yeah. That’s probably one of my favorite things about sobriety is yet there’s no unpredictability in my character. Right. I’m not gonna do things that I don’t mean to do. I love your story so much. It’s really similar to mine. I really resonate with that. And the idea, you know, your kids are a little bit older than mine and so I don’t know, I understand how moms were hard on ourselves for everything. Right. Not even just the alcohol, but just about everything. And there is something so powerful about teaching your daughters that you can make a mistake and you can make a bad decision and you can just screw, you could puke by the pool. You can, you could do that and then you can also clean up the mess and make better choices and make a better decision and learn from that. That’s so powerful I think.
Speaker 5 (39:01):
Yeah. Yeah. And so unfortunately they too remember, you know, certain situations, uh, which is unfortunate, but like you’re saying too, like, you know, we do like mommy doesn’t drink anymore
Speaker 2 (39:15):
And Right. And, and this conversation of like, it’s always about like, how do we talk to our kids about alcohol? Right. And it is like, Yes. So, you know, you saw me act in a way that I, I would not act if I was not drinking. And that’s what alcohol does to people. Cause it does, it does that to everyone. I mean, I, I understand the heartbreaking part of it as a mom, but like when you zoom out, there is like such a valuable lesson that I mean, that we can all learn.
Speaker 5 (39:47):
Yeah. And I think, I think for people like me, it, it is a lot of, I mean, you don’t go to Harvard and MIT and you’re like the most social person in the room. It’s like yeah.
Speaker 2 (39:58):
Speaker 5 (39:59):
An awkwardness there. And I think people like me also use it to, to be social and to feel more normal. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think for me too, where I do work all the time, it was a lot of, I’ll only fit in if I almost look like some of the, because there are a lot of stay-at-home moms in my community. And so it’s like I’ll look more like them if I Right. Drink more and hang out during the day. Especially during covid. Right. Like, hang out during the day and I’ll work later or I’ll work earlier. And yeah. So I think I realize now that that was mo of what it was.
Speaker 2 (40:34):
Yeah. Because of course
Speaker 5 (40:35):
I, you know, I I, there are times where I’m like, Oh yeah, this is how I felt in high school. <laugh>
Speaker 2 (40:41):
Speaker 5 (40:41):
There was like uncomfortable anxiety and I’m like, But that’s what it’s, and it’s fine and I’ll get over it.
Speaker 2 (40:49):
Right. Like it’s not, it’s not gonna kill you. Yeah.
Speaker 5 (40:51):
But it’s funny because I didn’t remember feeling that way for a long time. You know, like you’d go to a wedding or whatever it might be and and you don’t feel the anxiety that you then feel when you stop drinking. And, and I mean I’d rather have it that way cause I’m like, Oh yeah, these are feelings. These are feelings that I was numbing and it’s okay to feel them
Speaker 2 (41:14):
And maybe they’re telling me something too. Right, right. I think the social anxiety does not discriminate either. Like I, I think someone would look at me even in high school, college, like an extrovert, which I’m not. And like that’s how it seemed. Right. And like a party girl. But that was masking like a whole lot of anxiety and insecurity and uncertainty and am I good enough? Will they like me? Do they wanna hang out with me? So I think that that’s in like so much of us and yeah, it comes back around with motherhood because now there’s like this whole new group of friends of like, I, I’m still dealing with that and you know, you just now have to deal with all those feelings which aren’t fun and Yeah. Feel like high school
Speaker 5 (42:01):
<laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. So that has been interesting.
Speaker 2 (42:05):
How, how have your friends like reacted to your sobriety?
Speaker 5 (42:10):
Yeah, so the, I have two really good friends and it’s funny cuz I think, and when I first started I had to tell her ahead of time, like my best friend before we were meeting with other women, I was like, just so you know, I’m not gonna drink. And a couple of them I knew were going to point it out and I just felt like I needed to have an ally in the room for that
Speaker 2 (42:30):
<laugh>. Totally. Oh. So I made sure
Speaker 5 (42:32):
I told her ahead of time and she didn’t care at all. She was like, I, I, I get it. Um, you know, she knew my pool story and all of that. So, but yeah, I just wanted to not feel like an outcast and mm-hmm. <affirmative> social situations. And so, but then it was fine and then I started texting people being like, Hey, I’m not drinking. I can be the designated driver and I can, so I would just put it out there so that I didn’t have to deal with it when we actually sat down and then I’m not drinking and somebody says something about it.
Speaker 2 (43:04):
That’s a good tip I think to like, give a heads up if you’re comfortable. If you’re going to like a situation where you know people are gonna be drinking, you might be the only one. Not like to Yeah. Give a heads up first. Yeah. So that it’s not that uncomfortable moment of like, are you, aren’t you? It’s like, nope, I’ve already laid it out there.
Speaker 5 (43:25):
Yeah. And then I’d say there’s a, a few people, um, where, I mean that’s just more of why we hung out and that we don’t really do that anymore. And I think I make a couple of people uncomfortable because mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they’re, I’m a mirror to themselves and, and
Speaker 2 (43:41):
Speaker 5 (43:41):
You know, if I, if I don’t drink then what does that mean for their drinking? The relationship with drinking? So yeah. And I’d say I just go out a lot less.
Speaker 2 (43:51):
Speaker 5 (43:52):
Or like, I’m not as excited to be like, Yeah let’s go to a restaurant with the kids. Cuz that was always a disaster.
Speaker 2 (43:58):
Oh my god. No. Always
Speaker 5 (44:00):
Too late. <laugh> the poor kids are, when can we go home? And we’re like, we’re having so much fun as adults, you know. And so now too, like I even like booked a thing with my husband this weekend. There’s like, like a can you make your own candles and you can pick how they smell and you like, Oh
Speaker 2 (44:16):
That’s so cute.
Speaker 5 (44:17):
I was like, let’s go do that for our date night. Cuz otherwise we have the babysitter and we come home early because yes, we don’t go to the next bar to have drinks and we’ve switched it so that like we, we do something fun before we eat and then we come home. And then of, I think you’ve said this before too, like the babysitter, I’m so much more comfortable now where I’m like, I’m not gonna make this poor girl so uncomfortable.
Speaker 2 (44:42):
<laugh> Yes. I’m always like, No, no, no, for real. I didn’t treat you a smell my breath. But like, I wanna, I wanna like overdo it. I’m like, okay, just settle down. It’s fine. <laugh>, she probably doesn’t care, but still I want her to know <laugh>. <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 5 (44:55):
Yeah. So there’s just so many things like that where I’m like, Oh, I just don’t have to worry anymore. Yeah. Um, like at a function, I don’t have to worry that I say the most awkward thing to someone I shouldn’t Oh. And I don’t have to worry that anything happens while I’m away. Um, and my husband doesn’t have to because I do travel a lot and my husband doesn’t have to worry that Yeah. Anything happens.
Speaker 2 (45:18):
Yeah. That piece of mind, it’s invaluable. Like I, I’ll take any of the like social anxiety and all, any of the like actual real anxiety over that. Like hang anxiety of like, holy shit, what did I say? What did I do? Who did I text? Oh my god. Ugh. The worst.
Speaker 5 (45:39):
Yeah. The waking up at 3:00 AM daily go no <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (45:42):
Yes. The Oh no.
Speaker 5 (45:45):
Also thought that was just me. I thought everybody else slept fine. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (45:49):
Right. This is why I’m telling you this is why I’m doing this. This is why Instagram is amazing. It’s because everyone is saying holy shit. Me too. Like, I thought I was the only one. It’s always the like, uh, yeah. Wow. Everyone has a pool story. Yes. Yeah. At least one. You know, it’s, it’s just, yeah. It’s, it’s normalizing this all of the, the messiness that is alcohol and then also the messiness. That’s sobriety. But it’s like a way better mess. <laugh>. Yeah. It’s like a way freer. Better mess.
Speaker 5 (46:25):
Yeah. And I think, I mean I follow so many people like you that have like the fashion or the home decor or the kids and I, I appreciated that you shared your story cuz I related to to you more than others. And I think I would follow you for your content even without the sobriety piece. And then to add the sobriety on top, it was like, oh, she’s so much like me and like has figured it out. And I think the way you express your story is relatable to so many people. And so I do think I have you to thank more than anyone cuz I found your account pretty early on and I think there’s so many things about you that I felt like, oh, I can do this too. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (47:14):
Speaker 5 (47:16):
Speaker 2 (47:17):
Oh, you’re gonna make, you’re gonna make me cry. Thank No, thank you. I could not share any of the stuff that I do without all of you guys. And like hearing your story, it’s gonna inspire so many moms who are in that same spot and living with shame and thinking they’re the only ones and they’re not. They’re just not. I am so thankful for you. I’m thankful for this conversation. I’m so proud of you. You just seem happy. Like you look happy right now. You look
Speaker 5 (47:51):
I know. That’s what so many people say
Speaker 2 (47:53):
Speaker 5 (47:54):
Speaker 2 (47:55):
Speaker 5 (47:56):
So many of my family is from the east coast and so they’re like, Oh, the western lifestyle. And I’m like, No, I think it’s cause I sleep better and
Speaker 2 (48:04):
Speaker 5 (48:05):
My skin looks better and I am just more comfortable with myself.
Speaker 2 (48:10):
Yeah. You can count on
Speaker 5 (48:12):
Yourself. You’re a second person barking underneath. It’s like just me all the time now.
Speaker 2 (48:17):
Yeah. And you can trust you. Like, there’s just something about being able to trust yourself that is like, Yeah, well you are glowing and you’re a light in this community. Thank you. Yeah, you really are. Thank you so much. I loved this. We laughed, we cried <laugh>. That’s what sobriety is right there in a nutshell. <laugh>.
Speaker 5 (48:39):
Yep. Pretty much.
Speaker 2 (48:41):
Thank you Lauren so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank And congrats.
Speaker 5 (48:45):
Speaker 2 (48:49):
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.