Today I am chatting with Celeste Yvonne of The Ultimate Mom Challenge!
Celeste had always dreamed of being a mom, but when she finally became one something seemed off… but her doctors wouldn’t help her. Her postpartum depression was callously dismissed and Celeste found herself turning to alcohol to self medicate.
In order to show up better for her children, Celeste created “The Ultimate Mom Challenge”, an exercise where each month she would work on one characteristic of herself in order to become the best mom she could be. But it still wasn’t enough, and Celeste’s drinking got worse as she struggled to find her way.
Finally, a severe panic attack after a long night of drinking made her realize that it was time to quit. Yet, it wasn’t until she opened up to her supportive online community that she realized that sobriety was not deprivation, but liberation!
Tools that Celeste recommends:
I Am Sober App can be found here.
Sober Buddy App can be found here.
This Naked Mind Tracker can be found here.
The Addiction Inoculation can be found here.
Join The Sober Mom Life FB group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1542852942745657
We have merch!!!! Check it out here!
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):
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 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. Hello guys. I’m here with Celeste of the Ultimate Mom Challenge, which is such a badass name by the way. Hi, Celeste.
Speaker 3 (01:44):
Hi Suzanne. Thank you.
Speaker 2 (01:45):
Yeah, thanks for being here. Okay. I wanna get into all of the Ultimate Mom challenge, all of that stuff. But first just tell us about yourself and kinda your alcohol story before we get into the good stuff.
Speaker 3 (01:58):
Yeah. My name is Celeste Devon. I live in Reno, Nevada. I’ve got two kids. I am gonna be five years alcohol free in December.
Speaker 2 (02:07):
That’s amazing. Congratulations.
Speaker 3 (02:09):
Yeah, thank you.
Speaker 2 (02:10):
Speaker 3 (02:10):
Awesome. And my journey. I never expected to quit drinking as most of us. I always figured I’d be able to eventually figure out how to moderate, especially after I became a mom. Then I would get my act together. I would figure it all out. And of course, as most of us know, motherhood does not make anything easier. No <laugh>. It made everything more challenging and my drinking increased, as did my tolerance. So yeah, it got to the point where the hangovers and parenting little children just became unbearable. And I didn’t think I was an alcoholic. Yeah. My dad was an alcoholic, so I knew what an alcoholic looked like by definition.
Speaker 2 (03:01):
Can you tell us a little bit about that in your mind, thinking of your dad, what did an alcoholic, what did that mean to you?
Speaker 3 (03:08):
That meant ultimatums? It meant rehab, it meant aa. It meant children and spouses begging you to quit. It meant hard liquor in brown paper bags. That’s what I saw when I saw alcoholism. Yeah. I saw being told you’re gonna lose everything if you keep doing this and not being able to stop. Yeah. So I always think of leaving Las Vegas Nicholas Case, what I pictured as an alcoholic and I was not there. I was married, I had little kids. I had just run my first marathon. I was in a career on paper. I looked pretty fricking successful. But inside is where it felt like something was very, very wrong and something really needed to change. If I was gonna live this life as a mom that I’ve always dreamed of, I’d always wanted to be a mother <affirmative>. But now that I was a mom, I was just going through the motions and I hated it. And I just wanted five o’clock to roll around. And I knew that this isn’t what motherhood was supposed to be about <affirmative> and that something would need to change. I was just so scared to think what that might mean. What did alcohol free mean? I didn’t know anybody who didn’t drink. It seemed like such a punishment
Speaker 2 (04:38):
And it would always be a struggle that you would just forever be tied to this struggle to alcohol and it would just be a constant battle. And it’s like, well that doesn’t sound. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like freedom.
Speaker 3 (04:51):
Who wants that? Nobody wants that. A life of deprivation. That is how I pictured it. And I think that’s why when I did finally quit, I had had a panic attack that day. It was after a weekend of drinking and I got to work and I had the sweats and I was having trouble breathing and I had a panic attack. And that was for me, my call to action. I know what the problem is. I think for a long time I was like, I don’t know what the problem is. Well, that day I knew I know what the problem is. So I kind of went into sobriety, heartbroken. I got booted from the adulting table and now was gonna have to live with at the kids’ table for the rest of my life, <affirmative>. And it was really heart wrenching. I remember driving home that day thinking my life would never be the same for the better because of this. It was gonna be a life for the worse.
Speaker 2 (05:52):
Like a demotion, not a promotion.
Speaker 3 (05:54):
<laugh>. Exactly. That’s how I went into my sobriety. And it took me a long time to turn that mindset around and it took actual true living and experiences for me to see that addiction’s the opposite of deprivation. I say now it’s liberation <affirmative>. And that’s what I have found in long term sobriety. But in the beginning, that was not my mindset. I did not think this was a good thing to be heading towards. It really felt like a punishment for just not being able to get my shit together essentially.
Speaker 2 (06:30):
And so you felt, that’s so interesting, especially growing up, seeing your dad in that battle probably always. And then you did you feel like, okay, I’m not him and I’m not unquote as bad as he is, but maybe I will be. And so this is my sentence, I’ve been sentenced now to sobriety.
Speaker 3 (06:54):
Yeah. I think for a long time I used my father’s experience as an excuse to keep drinking cuz I wasn’t my father. I didn’t have a problem the way he had a problem. So clearly I’m okay.
Speaker 2 (07:07):
Yeah, it’s like a binary thing. It’s either you are either that or you’re not. And you can keep drinking. I mean, that’s exactly what we’ve been taught in society. It’s these stories of the in between have not been told. And yeah, so it is either that or this,
Speaker 3 (07:23):
It shoots you in the foot because you keep thinking, well I clearly didn’t get that genetic predisposition because sometimes I don’t drinking every day. So I’m like, I’m not drinking 24 7, so clearly I can drink moderately, I’m okay, I just have to figure it out. But the gray area drinking thing that wasn’t being discussed and it had never been discussed No. In my family growing up. So it wasn’t until I realized that that’s even an option that I felt seen and heard for the first time.
Speaker 2 (07:58):
Cuz that wasn’t an option for so long. I mean we just didn’t know about it. Right. And so this idea that, oh, you can just stop and there’s freedom in this rather than it being a punishment. So the day you had a panic attack at work, you were able then to quickly tie that to alcohol and being hungover. And is that probably after, had you struggled with anxiety because of alcohol before and you didn’t really tie it to that? Because I think a lot of people are there where it’s like, no, I just have anxiety. And it’s like, well, it might be the alcohol.
Speaker 3 (08:35):
Yeah, I think that was a hard realization for me too. I think after I became a mother, I went through postpartum depression with both my children never once. When I’m taking medication for depression or anxiety, did it ever occur to me that my drinking was impacting both? Yes. And I saw my anxiety and depression increase significantly after I became a parent. And I honestly don’t know how much of that was tied to now being a parent or my increase in drinking. I don’t know. And I may never know,
Speaker 2 (09:08):
But isn’t it interesting cuz I had postpartum anxiety after my first two and then I got on medicine and I love my doctor. I mean, I love her so much, she helped me through those times. But alcohol was never a conversation.
Speaker 3 (09:23):
Speaker 2 (09:24):
It’s just never brought up in the doctor’s offices, especially that in early motherhood. I think we need to start bringing that up in our postpartum checkup. Maybe just a heads up.
Speaker 3 (09:37):
It’s such an important conversation we need to be having because when you look at mommy wine culture where we’re constantly mm-hmm. <affirmative> suggesting or implying or joking that alcohol will fix anything you’re struggling with in motherhood. And then you talk about early motherhood was is prone to anxiety, depression, imposter syndrome, I mean all the things. It’s just a perfect storm.
Speaker 2 (10:03):
Totally. And in early motherhood, you’re just searching for anything to take the pressure off to help feel like you belong. You’re trying to find out who you are, what the hell is going on. It’s just such a confusing time. So yeah, I mean, of course alcohol is there to catch new mothers because what else do they have? They don’t have the tools to and you’re so damn tired. Oh my god, so tired.
Speaker 3 (10:33):
They’re so much pressure to have your act together in motherhood right off the bat. Lose the weight right off the bat. Don’t ask for help. There’s all these things. Never forget, after I had my first born, I knew something was very wrong because I was having some really awful thoughts. <affirmative>, I was depressed and I had no energy and I was just sick with worry. And I called my OB and I said, something’s really wrong. I think I need help. And she said, if you’re having thoughts of harming you or your baby, you need to go to the psych ward, otherwise it’s baby blues and you’ll be fine.
Speaker 2 (11:13):
Wait. Yeah. Wait, that
Speaker 3 (11:16):
Was her advice.
Speaker 2 (11:17):
Okay. <laugh>. That is terrifying. You hear, I swear, you hear psych ward that does not sound inviting. That sounds like shaming. And it’s like, well obviously you’re going crazy. No, exactly. Those thoughts. I went through that too and I battled them for a year and a half before I finally got help. And when I finally got help and they were like, oh yeah, this is common. It’s like, oh my God. That’s the best thing you can hear. When you’re struggling with those thoughts, the best thing you can hear is like, yes. Yep,
Speaker 3 (11:48):
Speaker 2 (11:49):
It’s totally normal. Your hormones are going crazy. You are not crazy. We just need to fix your brain a little bit. Get it back to the psych ward.
Speaker 3 (12:02):
Yeah. The message I got from that was, if you are having problems that you need to keep it to yourself. And I think that was when I was really like, I need to learn how to self-medicate because I can’t speak up. If I speak up, people will think I’m a bad mom or they’ll think I’m crazy
Speaker 2 (12:21):
Or they’ll lock you up in the psych ward. What? Yeah.
Speaker 3 (12:24):
I think that’s when drinking for me really ramped up in motherhood because we put that pressure on each other as mothers, societally, <affirmative>, that if you are asking for help, if you are struggling, then you’re not a good mom. That’s just not okay. And
Speaker 2 (12:41):
It’s, oh my God. Yeah. No, that’s bullshit. That’s like, yeah, I could do a whole episode on this because it is like everyone needs you to be okay. We need you to be okay moms. Yeah, we need you to be okay. Your kids need you to be okay and it is okay and oftentimes necessary to ask for help. I mean, it’s necessary. We need you to be okay first and foremost,
Speaker 3 (13:08):
And that’s the message we need to be conveying to mothers. It’s okay to struggle early on
Speaker 2 (13:13):
And it’s normal. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (13:15):
Yes, it’s normal. And to speak up when you’re hurting, we’re not gonna judge you, we’re not gonna shame you. We are going to help you. Yeah. That’s a place I’d love to get to.
Speaker 2 (13:27):
Oh, me too. And I think Instagram does, I mean, over on my kind of suite, I’m the influencer, whatever. And I’ve been doing that for a long time. And I started it when my baby was little because I needed an outlet. But I can understand it paints the perfect picture. I try not to do that, but it still does that. But you guys, Instagram is, it would seem like I share my life on Instagram. It’s literally five minutes of my day. It is not real. Instagram’s not real. Okay. So don’t think of,
Speaker 3 (14:01):
You don’t see the loneliness or the meltdowns by baby or mom, you know, don’t see a lot of that. Yeah. I’m thinking I’d love to have this conversation with you too. I think Instagram’s changing with reals and with the changes, TikTok has kind of put in place <affirmative> for all social media that people want more real. Yes. We’re looking to take down some of the filters and show the truth of what’s really going on. And I hope this is a great direction, especially for motherhood where we can really get to the truth of what motherhood really looks like.
Speaker 2 (14:41):
Yeah, I think so too. I think it’s less curated. It feels better to create that way. I never tried to make a super curated thing because I know that can be dangerous. I would just say if you’re following anyone that makes you feel like you’re not enough, unfollow them. At least for now, you can always revisit. And there are so many great sobriety and mental health and motherhood, real motherhood accounts and seek those out For sure.
Speaker 3 (15:11):
And about body image too, I think that’s a really important Yes. Topic that I’m starting to see more mothers discussing that you don’t need six pack abs six weeks after a baby.
Speaker 2 (15:24):
Oh my God.
Speaker 3 (15:26):
Normal bodies of all shapes and sizes is all okay. And you have nothing to prove. Right. I’d love to see that narrative change for mothers as well. We put so much pressure on ourselves.
Speaker 2 (15:40):
I know so much. The thing is just letting ourself off the hook. Especially I talk with a lot of moms who then stop drinking and then feel guilt for things that they either did or said or didn’t do or didn’t say when they were drinking. And it’s like we live with so much guilt and letting, there’s just such freedom and just inch by inch letting yourself off the hook because we do so much. We do so much.
Speaker 3 (16:08):
I think guilt and motherhood go hand in hand and we feed that with all these expectations of what a mother should look like and should be doing. And it’s really hard to let that go. One of the things I talk about and write about a lot is how the mental load of motherhood really feeds into the increase and rise in women’s drinking as well. <affirmative>, we do by mental to motherhood. I mean all the invisible and emotional work that goes into managing a family, it’s a lot of invisible labor that goes into not only just making sure the calendar’s running smoothly and that everybody knows where they’re supposed to be for the day, but setting the energy level for the family, making sure people are emotionally feeling strong that day and ready to go to school. Not just physically, but they’re in the right mindset. I mean, there’s so much that goes into it, it’s very layered. So
Speaker 2 (17:11):
Speaker 3 (17:11):
And it’s something that often goes unnoticed. And most of the time people only recognize that when it’s going wrong or when somebody falls off the plate. Totally. And that’s just more guilt and struggles for mothers that we have to work through. And I see the challenges of the mental load of motherhood as really feeding into the rise in women’s drinking because it’s another way that we can calm down this overworked brain that is constantly go, go, go, go. And just tone it down, settle it down without asking for help. Again. The same problem, <affirmative>, we’re so afraid of being judged or speaking up and saying, no, I need more help, that we instead internalize it and find ways to self medicate that are unhealthy.
Speaker 2 (18:01):
Especially in Covid, when our village was gone, not only did we have all of the mental load of everything, but then we had this challenge of, especially at the beginning, how do I keep my family safe? And all of that was like, yeah, brutal. And are you do doing it on your own. Okay, so I wanna go back to your story. So then early in sobriety it felt like a sentence more of, I guess I can’t do that. I guess I can’t drink other people can. How did that change or how did you deal with that? Because I do see a lot of moms in my group, they’re feeling that. They’re feeling like, Ugh, why is this happening to me? Yeah. How did you deal with that and then continue in sobriety and when did it shift?
Speaker 3 (18:50):
Yeah, I think I white knuckled my sobriety for many months. It didn’t change until the fall of that year. So about nine months, 10 months in when I was in a writer’s group and everyone was talking about things they were proud of. And one of my writer friends said, I’m so proud to be six weeks alcohol free. And I remember just being dumb struck. Is that something we can be proud of? Yeah. Is that something to be excited about? And with that, I just felt a huge light bulb moment where I was like, what I’m doing is actually pretty fucking awesome. Yeah. And up until that point, the only people I had told about my sobriety was my mom and my husband.
And when I reached one year sober, I wrote a post about it on my social media pages and I just said, Hey, you might not know this about me. I looked like just a successful, normal, everyday thriving person, but I have a drinking table <laugh>. And today I’m one year sober. And the response was just unreal, unlike anything. And these were people who had no idea. They had no idea that I was struggling and they did not shame me or criticize me or make me feel less. They lifted me up and said that, that is phenomenal. You are incredible. What a powerful story. And I think that for me was when something inside really just shifted. I’m not a victim. If anything I, I’m a gate changer. I took matters into my own hand and I have changed my future and my family’s future as a result.
And that was really the lightning strike that I needed to have a mind shift and stop wallowing in self pity and recognize that this is really a gift. We have something special with our sobriety that a lot of people can’t see or have blinders on towards. And that’s when I started reading books This Naked Mind and whatnot and seeing how exposed we are to this sort of societal brainwashing that alcohol fixes everything and how there’s really no truth to it. And that’s when I feel like I was able to lean in to alcohol free life as a blessing.
Speaker 2 (21:27):
Yeah. That’s so amazing that it feels like there was all this support there that you didn’t know because it’s scary to be vulnerable and to open up about this really what feels like a precious and private thing. And then when you opened up, it was like they just caught you, you jumped, they caught you, they me. That’s what it felt like when I started sharing, when I took my kind of suite and created silver mom life, I was like, okay guys, I don’t know how this is gonna go. I don’t know where you’re gonna call me or if you’re gonna label me, but I’m just gonna tell you something. Yeah. It was like, oh my God. It’s kind of like, wow, why didn’t I do this before?
Speaker 3 (22:08):
<laugh>? Yeah. It’s very empowering. It’s the opposite of the response I thought I was gonna get and it made me want to open up more and I did. And now it’s most of what I write and talk about, which is incredible.
Speaker 2 (22:23):
Yeah, it makes sense that that’s kind of how we think that it’s something in dark church basements, because especially for you, that’s what you saw. Right? Right. It’s something you should remain anonymous, kind of rooted in shame all of this stuff
Speaker 3 (22:38):
Speaker 2 (22:39):
But then that feels, that’s just, that feels so heavy. That feels like the opposite of what sobriety is for you and me. My
Speaker 3 (22:46):
Father’s alcoholism was our big family, dark secret. It was something we whispered about. We didn’t tell people about it. We just carried the shame and fear with us. And that’s another reason why I am so vocal about my sobriety now is I don’t want anymore secrets. I don’t want people to carry shame in their addiction or recovery. Sober journeys like enough addiction carries enough shame with it to last a lifetime. Let’s release that and let’s just be open and share our experiences and realize we are not alone far from it.
Speaker 2 (23:25):
Oh my God, so far from it. That’s this thing I keep bumping up against is the normal drinker. And I’m like, wow, my God. If most people that I’ve come across, I can literally think of one, have questioned or struggled with their relationship with alcohol, then that’s normal <laugh>, this normal drinker ideal that we have on our head. I don’t know what a normal, I don’t know if a normal drinker, what do they, I don’t even know. I don’t know what a normal drinker is because I think the drinking normally is trying to moderate, struggling to moderate, taking a break, doing a dry January, going back to it, being able to moderate, maybe having a night that was too much, then taking a break, then waking up with guilt. I think that that’s the normal cycle.
Speaker 3 (24:14):
I think so too. I think that’s why a gray area of drinking is so relatable to so many of us because we do, it’s a rollercoaster. Sometimes we feel completely in control and other times we set a goal to just have one and we lose control. Yeah, that’s normal.
Speaker 2 (24:33):
I think that that’s normal because it’s a substance that fucks with our head and our brain and it’s highly addictive. That is a normal drinker
Speaker 3 (24:45):
<laugh>. And I mean, when you remember and recognize comparing it to something like cigarettes, nobody ever had this long thought out process. How do I figure out how to moderate my smoking? Nor would anybody support them in that journey. You know, either quit smoking or you’re a smoker. It’s one or the other.
Speaker 2 (25:05):
Yeah, that sounds like if you were to say, well, I smoke responsibly, I mean people would laugh in your face because there’s not a way to smoke responsibly. You can’t do that cause of the substance, not because of you.
Speaker 3 (25:21):
Because everybody knows tobacco’s very addictive.
Speaker 2 (25:25):
Right. And nicotine kills you. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (25:29):
We have this narrative around alcohol that it’s something that it done responsibly is safe and healthy and perfectly normal and we’ve all adhered to it for so long. I would love to shake that up. I’d love to shake that conversation up and I think that’s what we’re doing. I
Speaker 2 (25:44):
Know, me too. I think so too. And I just, anytime I hear these phrases that we just use and hear recovery and normal drinker and I get, these are all phrases that have been around forever and people accept, I just always am like, oh. And then I’m like, okay, what is making me go, huh? That just doesn’t feel right or doesn’t sit well, or something’s off <laugh>. Then we just have to be like, okay, let’s dig deeper and see what’s really going on. And it all comes back to the fact that alcohol’s not good for anybody.
Speaker 3 (26:23):
And I hope that with time and with more news and research opening up with that, that people will be more understanding that it’s all with drinking. It’s about informed consent. We gotta take the blinders off and stop saying that alcohol has health benefits. And instead say, yeah, if you’re gonna drink, you gotta recognize you’re taking a risk as you are with anything, as you are with riding a bicycle without a helmet. I mean, this is right. This what you have chosen to do.
Speaker 2 (26:56):
That might be a risk you’re willing to take, which fine then. Right. Okay. But yeah, how about we get those big warning labels that are on cigarettes that take up a lot of the box that you have to see that, yeah, this shit could kill you. Okay, cool. But can it say that, could we just say that this shit could kill you and it’s highly addictive. Could we just get that on every wine bottle on the front?
Speaker 3 (27:26):
I know. Instead of saying, mommy’s little helper <laugh> say, this shit could kill you.
Speaker 2 (27:31):
Hey mom, this shit could kill you. It could ruin your family and at the very least make you miss a day of your life because you’re on the couch the next morning. Right. Okay. Yeah. Instead of calling it mom water. Did you see that?
Speaker 3 (27:46):
Yeah, I saw mom juice, mom water. I think
Speaker 2 (27:49):
It’s in Target.
Speaker 3 (27:49):
Is it at Target right now?
Speaker 2 (27:51):
Mom Water is sold at Target and I’ve worked with Target, I partner with Target all the time and now I’m like, dude, target, you gotta do better. You can’t sell mom water.
Speaker 3 (28:00):
Target has a lot of work to do around mommy wine culture, <laugh>,
Speaker 2 (28:04):
<laugh> and the, I know, it’s just, oh, it’s so dangerous. Okay. So you have parented then while you were drinking and now sober. What’s, what is the biggest difference for you in being a sober mom versus a drinking mom?
Speaker 3 (28:24):
I think once you become a mother, energy becomes a currency and you have to decide where you’re gonna spend your energy and where you’re gonna conserve it and drinking and hangovers take up so much energy.
Speaker 2 (28:40):
So much, yes.
Speaker 3 (28:41):
For me, once I quit and got that energy back, I could really soak in and do a deep dive into the mother being the mother I wanted to be, which is more present, more energetic, actually being able to get up off the couch and play with them when they wanted to. Or making it to the sports games or doing the things that I was too drained to do when I was nursing a hangover. I love that I can be that person for my kids now where there was a couple years where I wasn’t. And yes, I do still kind of feel some guilt around that because
Speaker 2 (29:24):
You care. That’s another thing. Guilt is just a signal that we care so damn much.
Speaker 3 (29:28):
And I think if anything, it’s a call to action to do better today. And that’s all we can do. I talk a lot to mothers who have kids who are either teenagers or adults and they’re just starting their sober journey now and they almost feel like it’s too late. And I try to tell them now it is the perfect time. <affirmative> now is just right. You can still men relationships now. You can still change your behavior and regain that trust now.
Speaker 2 (30:03):
And it could be like, okay, the perfect time might have been five years ago, the second perfect times today. Yeah. You’re gonna look back in five years from now and be like, God, why didn’t I stop then?
Speaker 3 (30:14):
Yeah. And I think when I think about what kind of memories I want my children to have, I want them to have energized, go getter mom, who is always there, not laying in bed Sunday mornings too hungover to hang out and have breakfast. <affirmative>. I don’t wanna be that mom. Not anymore. Yeah. I tried that motherhood, it didn’t work out for me. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (30:43):
And I think as moms we do think like, oh, we’re just tired, we just have a headache. We’re just too old. You guys, you’re not old. And it’s not just cuz you’re tired, it’s probably the alcohol.
Speaker 3 (30:57):
I know. We let it off the hook.
Speaker 2 (30:59):
Even if you don’t have this crazy hangover, I mean, you still feel the effects of alcohol in your energy levels and
Speaker 3 (31:09):
In everything. I think about what I want for my children and as they get older course, I don’t want them to rely on alcohol or drugs to get them through hard times. I don’t want them to use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. I don’t want any of that for them. So why was it okay for me if I don’t want that for my children, but I’m showing up as that every day. What kind of example am I setting? And that <affirmative>, that was another eye-opening moment for me is not only what are they gonna remember in mom if I’m always gripping my wine glass, I depend on it, but what am I teaching them to do when they’re old enough to make their own choices?
Speaker 2 (31:55):
Yeah. So true. How old are your kids now?
Speaker 3 (31:58):
They’re six and eight.
Speaker 2 (31:59):
Okay. Yeah. I mine’s eight, five, and three. So it is like the eight year old kind of knows that I don’t drink. I don’t think she really under, she doesn’t get what that means. Totally. But she gets like, she’s like, oh yeah, that your shirt says sober is cool. And she was like, oh, okay. Cool. <laugh>.
Speaker 3 (32:17):
Yeah. They catch on, I mean in the Addiction and Inoculation by Jessica Lehi.
Speaker 2 (32:24):
Yes. Okay. I started that.
Speaker 3 (32:26):
That’s a great book.
Speaker 2 (32:27):
I need to go back to it. Okay, good. Cuz that’s all about how do we protect our kids from falling into the trap. Right.
Speaker 3 (32:35):
And she says kids start picking up on alcohol cues as early as age three.
Speaker 2 (32:41):
Speaker 3 (32:42):
So they’re seen, I think my oldest was five or six when he asked me, why do you not drink alcohol? But daddy does. So they see this stuff.
Speaker 2 (32:53):
Speaker 3 (32:53):
So it’s never too early to start having this conversation. And that book is a great book of telling you how in depth to go based on their age.
Speaker 2 (33:03):
Yeah. I’m so glad you brought that up because I think my mom told me about that. It was on ritual or something. Okay, I’m gonna write that link that in the show notes too. Addiction inoculation, right? Yeah. And so what about your husband? He does still drink.
Speaker 3 (33:19):
He does still drink.
Speaker 2 (33:21):
How does that go? Cuz mine does too.
Speaker 3 (33:23):
Okay. Yeah. And it’s weird, especially when he over indulges,
Speaker 2 (33:28):
Right? Yes. That could be triggering. Not so much you wanting to drink, but it’s just like you get fucking pissed off and you’re like, dude, I, I’m, yeah. This is I’ve, I want no part of
Speaker 3 (33:40):
It. I feel like when that happens, I’m raising three children,
Speaker 2 (33:44):
<laugh>. Oh my God. The worst. Yes.
Speaker 3 (33:46):
But if anything, it’s such a reminder, this is what I do not want for myself. I don’t. And I think about how often I was that person, but one thing that has happened since I’ve quit is his drinking has gone down significantly. And I think I was really a drink pusher in our relationship.
Speaker 2 (34:08):
Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah. You were like, come on, let’s, let’s have another one. Let’s do this. Yeah,
Speaker 3 (34:13):
Totally. And when I stop pushing that on him, we might have one beer in the house right now. I don’t know if even he doesn’t keep beer around, he doesn’t drink just because he’ll only drink when he is at a party. And that was really interesting for me to see because it turned out my drinking problem wasn’t necessarily his drinking problem, even though we were drinking buddies. But it did significantly change our relationship because we did fall in love as drinking buddies. And we had to reframe what this relationship was gonna look like. And that was hard for him and me because it just meant an evolving of the relationship as all relationships do.
Speaker 2 (34:58):
And you kind of stumble through it the first sober date night, you’re like, oh God, what are we talking about
Speaker 3 (35:04):
<laugh>? I know. I
Speaker 2 (35:05):
Know. Is this still gonna be fun, sober sex? It’s actually so much better. I think it’s better
Speaker 3 (35:13):
The way I see it. If I didn’t quit drinking, our relationship would’ve had its own stumbling blocks, but probably a thousand times fours. Yes. So yes, we’ve had some roadblocks on my sober journey <affirmative>, but they are probably a 10th as challenging as they would’ve been if I had continued drinking.
Speaker 2 (35:36):
Such a great point. And they’re meaningful and powerful and move you forward rather than those. And even just those stupid fights that you get into when you’re drinking, it’s like those are just then illuminated.
Speaker 3 (35:51):
Yeah. We don’t ever have unintentional arguments.
Speaker 2 (35:55):
You never say something that you’re like, you don’t remember and you don’t. You’re like, why am I mad? You wake up in the morning. I know we got into a fight last night, I don’t remember what it was about, but I was really mad at you, so maybe I’m still mad at you. Yeah. That being gone is amazing.
Speaker 3 (36:11):
That was awful. Waking up in the morning and trying to read body cues to see if your partner’s angry at you. Yes. I do not miss that at
Speaker 2 (36:21):
All. And just trying to piece it to get, you’re like, okay, I know something happened. I remember yelling and just knowing that you probably acted in a way you would not act.
Speaker 3 (36:32):
Yeah. Instead, something you probably didn’t wanna say at all. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (36:36):
I think that that is the greatest gift of sobriety. And I, I’ll say it a thousand times if I say it every episode, it’s just the integrity and really a returning home to yourself and being who you always are. You can count on yourself.
Speaker 3 (36:52):
Yeah. You’re intentional. And also, one of the things I really love, so I’m kind of battling a cold right now. One of the things I love about sobriety is I can trust my body’s intuition. Again, when I feel run down, I don’t have to second guess it. I can think to myself, yes, I’m not feeling good. I need to work on resting today. Whereas in the past, I just never knew, am I really getting sick? Or was it the three glasses of wine last night?
Speaker 2 (37:23):
Okay. This is such a good point and I’m glad you brought this up because I have been struggling with, we were at at the beginning of October and I woke up our first full day there and it’s like a spa yoga retreat, just heaven on earth. And I woke up our first full day there with a cold and I had body aches and I felt like shit. And I was so pissed. <laugh>, I get more angry when I get sick first. It is triggering to wake up and feel like that. And then you’re like, holy shit, I feel like I’m hungover. No, I didn’t drink. I’m not hungover. And then I feel like, oh my God, I’m doing everything I can and I’m still getting sick. I have that. And so then I feel like pissed. I’m like, I’m not even drinking and feeling like shit. So I like your approach way better to be like, no, now I can actually listen to my body and what it needs, rather than I just beat up, I beat myself up about getting sick.
Speaker 3 (38:27):
Well, in my drinking <affirmative>, I mean, any way you look at it and you’re essentially making yourself physically ill all the time. And now I can actually listen to my body’s cues and try to be respectful of them, which I haven’t done for a really long time.
Speaker 2 (38:49):
I need to take a page outta you. I need to remember this. I need to remember not to get pissed when I get sick. No, it’s so true. Just even tired cues. Or if you’re at a party now I leave when I’m tired, which I didn’t know when I was tired. If I was drinking, I was just thought about, am I gonna have another glass of wine? I didn’t think about what my body needs. And if I’m tired,
Speaker 3 (39:12):
It is all just chasing the next drink for me too. It was never listening to what your body needs genuinely. Cuz it always felt like it needed another drink, so you really couldn’t listen to anything else.
Speaker 2 (39:26):
And maybe that was kind of the point too. <affirmative>, you know what I mean? It, when you listen to your body, then you have to listen to your mind. And some people are really fucking scared of listening to their mind. And I get it. Yeah. I feel like that’s a skill that you learn in sobriety, but you don’t have that. I didn’t have that when I stopped drinking. I was like, oh, okay. Cuz I wasn’t an everyday drinker. I was like, I was a great area drinker. And I’m like, great, I’ll just stop drinking. Well, you don’t realize all the shit that comes up when you stop drinking, which means that you don’t realize all the stuff you were quieting when you were drinking. I didn’t think there was a lot, but there was.
Speaker 3 (40:05):
And you have to figure out how to navigate it without alcohol, which is a very unique experience as well. And it’s something that for many of us who started drinking maybe in your teenage years or college years is something we’ve never had to do.
Speaker 2 (40:21):
Speaker 3 (40:22):
Any sort of negative emotions or experiences were always numbed by alcohol. Cuz that’s how we, we’ve encouraged it since probably the dawn of time. So when you start putting alcohol aside and trying to figure out other paths to get through some of these harder emotional experiences, you really grow. It takes work.
Speaker 2 (40:45):
It does. So what are your tops in your sobriety toolbox when you’re having a bad day, when you’re just feeling like shit, when you’re sick, when you’re going through the witching hour, when your motherhood gets tough, what is your go to now? That wine is off the table?
Speaker 3 (41:04):
I, I’m a host but also a member of sober mom squad. So a meeting is always
Speaker 2 (41:10):
Yes. Okay. So that’s with Emily Paulson, which we love. We talked with her.
Speaker 3 (41:16):
So she leaves sober mom squad and I host a couple meetings a week. But that’s a great go-to place for connection. And one of the things in my first year of sobriety, I didn’t have anybody, I didn’t have anybody who I knew was sober. Certainly not another mother. When I first started hearing stories from other moms who are going through the same thing as me, the amount of empowerment and the gift of feeling heard was unlike anything. And I would encourage it to anybody, regardless of what your experience is or where you are on the gray area drinking spectrum, I would encourage finding the community because it is a great top go-to place for a toolbox. Yes. You wouldn’t believe how uplifting it is to feel heard, especially as mothers where it seems like nobody’s listening. <laugh>
Speaker 2 (42:10):
Totally. Nobody is listening. Nobody listens to us. We’re last on the list for everything
Speaker 3 (42:17):
<laugh>. So true.
Speaker 2 (42:18):
And what are the meetings? Are the meetings, people telling, sharing their stories and just like then you can hear other people’s stories. You can share yours.
Speaker 3 (42:27):
And some people just go to listen. Some people don’t even put their videos on. They just listen because we’re busy moms. Right. I mean, I think that’s the thing. Totally. When I first quit drinking, someone told me to go to 90 meetings in 90 days and I’m like, oh
Speaker 2 (42:42):
Speaker 3 (42:42):
What the fuck?
Speaker 2 (42:44):
Yeah. What do you think I do all day? You kidding me? Who’s
Speaker 3 (42:47):
Gonna watch it on?
Speaker 2 (42:50):
Yeah. So you could go to these meetings, put yourself on mute, turn your camera off and list, put those AirPods in while your kids play around you and just listen. Right.
Speaker 3 (42:59):
Or you’re in the school pickup line.
Speaker 2 (43:01):
Speaker 3 (43:01):
Papa a meeting in. Yeah. That’s probably my number one tip for a toolbox. But I try to do a lot of things for me now. Things that I never, ever would’ve asked or made time for in early motherhood. Exercise is one of my top priorities. I love to run. I’m a big runner and I make that time for me every day. And I think it’s really important to show my children. That’s very important for me having a balanced life so that I do that. And then I always encourage people to download a sober tracker or app for daily encouragement. Yeah. Because there’s so many great ones out there.
Speaker 2 (43:42):
What’s your favorite one? I’ll put that one in there too. Do you have one as your go-to?
Speaker 3 (43:46):
Well, the one I started with was I am sober. Okay. And I still get a little well every day.
Speaker 2 (43:54):
Speaker 3 (43:55):
Nice. People quote And it’s free and it’s effortless. It, it’s a counter sober buddy is awesome because you can do challenges. They have little challenges you can do.
Speaker 2 (44:07):
Speaker 3 (44:08):
And they’re doable. They’re not meditate for an hour.
Speaker 2 (44:13):
Speaker 3 (44:14):
So there’s a great one. But this Naked Mind has the Alcohol Experiment app. Yeah. And I’ve been playing on that one a little bit. And that one’s really informative. So if you’re looking for daily information, that’s a great one.
Speaker 2 (44:29):
Oh, cool. I’ll link all of these in the show notes, guys. So you can just click on ’em and see which one you like best. That’s amazing. And so first let’s talk about Ultimate Mom challenge. So tell me the name I love. Tell me all about that.
Speaker 3 (44:43):
This is kind of funny because the Ultimate Mom Challenge was something I started before I quit drinking. And it was my effort to be a better mom.
Speaker 2 (44:52):
Speaker 3 (44:53):
So every month I would focus on one thing. I’m a mindful mom and I would try to do something every day to work towards that goal. I am a fit mom. I tried to exercise every day. Yeah. I’m a present mom. I did all the things. The irony of it all right, is I get through a year of being the ultimate mom with this Ultimate Mom challenge. And what I realized afterwards is what I truly needed to do was quick drinking.
Speaker 2 (45:23):
That’s so interesting. So all your own profile led you to this great realization. Yeah,
Speaker 3 (45:31):
100%. I did everything to work around alcohol. Right, right. It’s like the problem. I’m gonna find the problem, I’m gonna devote my life to it. And then
Speaker 2 (45:42):
You did <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (45:44):
Inadvertently <affirmative>. So now I still go by the Ultimate Mom challenge because it reminds me, ultimately the Ultimate Mom challenge is being a mom in today’s modern world and trying to be the best we can with the tools and resources we have. And that’s really how I define the Ultimate Mom challenge. Now, journey’s different. We’re all just doing the best we can and that’s what makes us great moms.
Speaker 2 (46:14):
Yes. Yes. It’s just the trying it is. I always tell my kids what mistakes are we gonna make today? Because everybody makes mistakes and that’s what it’s, but we’re just, you continually show up and you continually try. That’s all it’s about. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (46:30):
Live and learn.
Speaker 2 (46:31):
I love that for sure. Oh my God, I could talk to you forever. I love it. I love your story. I think it’ll be really helpful for those people who, yeah. I mean, I think the moms who listen don’t necessarily see themselves going to aa. They don’t call themselves alcoholic. Yeah. That scares them.
Speaker 3 (46:50):
Scares me too.
Speaker 2 (46:51):
Yeah, me too. I, that’s just not, not us. And I don’t know who that is. I don’t define it. We don’t answer that question over here cuz we don’t have to. Yeah. We just answer the question, is alcohol making your life better? Is it making motherhood easier?
Speaker 3 (47:07):
Yeah. I have a book coming out next fall.
Speaker 2 (47:10):
Yes. Tell me about a,
Speaker 3 (47:12):
I mean, it’s basically what we’ve been talking about, but yeah, it’s not about the wine, the loaded truth behind mommy wine culture, but it’s about kind of this perfect storm between the mental lot of motherhood and the increase in women’s drinking and how to break free. Right? Yeah. How do we get through the constant stressors of being a mom without self-medicating and with asking our partners for more help on the home front and talking to our doctors without worry that they’re gonna tell us to go to the psych ward. How do you find that place where we can speak up and get changed while also taking care of us and not relying on alcohol to survive?
Speaker 2 (47:59):
Alcohol doesn’t care about you guys. Alcohol is not gonna take care of you. Alcohol is like gonna give you a big fuck you. It does not care. Yeah. Yeah. So when does the book come
Speaker 3 (48:09):
Out and then next fall.
Speaker 2 (48:11):
Oh, okay. We’re gonna have to have you on here again when it comes out. So we can just celebrate with Sparkling Water and the all of the, oh, what’s your favorite mocktail?
Speaker 3 (48:22):
Oh, I love alcoholic beer. I love it. Oh,
Speaker 2 (48:25):
Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, nice and refreshing. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well then we’ll have an beer on here and we celebrate. I love it. Celebrate the book. That’s amazing. Well, thank you so much for being here. Your story is so just inspiring and relatable. And you guys go and follow Celeste on the Ultimate Mom Challenge. Yeah. And on TikTok too. You’re like, you’re killing it.
Speaker 3 (48:50):
Speaker 2 (48:51):
You are. Your videos, your reels, and your ticks are so good. I love them.
Speaker 3 (48:56):
I feel like I have a very kind of dark self humor, so either you get it or you don’t. <laugh>,
Speaker 2 (49:03):
We welcome that. I the dark the bad. I love it. Celeste, thank you so much for being here and come back.
Speaker 3 (49:11):
Okay. Thanks Suzanne. I’m so glad to be here.
Speaker 2 (49:13):
Thanks. Bye. 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.