Today I’m chatting with Kezia Calvert of Sober Elephant Chronicles!
Alcohol found its way to the center of Kezia’s life in her late 20s. Working in events for the nightclub industry, it felt only natural to party all night until she blacked out, suffer through hangovers and anxiety attacks the next day, and then do it all again the next night.
Kezia stepped away from the party lifestyle when her daughter was born, but she didn’t leave alcohol behind. On the contrary, she tried everything she could think of to fit alcohol into her new life as a mom. It was then that she found herself in a dangerous spiral – She would try to stop drinking, end up in the ER with withdrawal symptoms, and then go right back to drinking again.
It was her mom who finally broke the cycle with an email to her titled ‘The elephant in the room’.
From there, Kezia challenged herself to explore what the path to sobriety could look like for her.
Now two years sober, Kezia shares her story through her authentic and honest writing at The Sober Elephant Chronicles, a platform she created to help other women know that they are not alone.
You can learn more about Kezia Calvert and The Sober Elephant Chronicles on Instagram.
Join The Sober Mom Life FB group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1542852942745657
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Speaker 1 (00:04):
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.
Hi, welcome back to the Sober Mom Life podcast, you guys. I am on my floor in my closet right now. I’m switching it up for this intro. Also, this episode was a really special one. I have Kasia from the Sober Elephant Chronicles. She is just a powerhouse of a delightful woman. If you are a single mom, I think you’ll really love this episode and you’ll feel inspired. She was a single mom for a long time and, and she’s just such a warrior, and she seems to me like her energy is just very gentle and loving. So she’s like a gentle warrior. That’s what really came across. She’s a writer, and I I love that. It, yeah, I, you guys, these conversations are life changing for me too, so I I know you’ll love it. I do have to apologize for my voice in this episode, and I was really struggling.
My voice is just cashed. It sounds like I was out partying all night, cigarettes, you know, like back in my twenties, that was not it. It was that never ending cold flu, just crud stuff. So, I’m sorry for my voice. I don’t want it to interfere with how you listen to this episode, so hopefully you can overlook that. Yeah, I, I know you guys all love Ketia and go follow her on the Sober Elephant Chronicles. Everything is linked in the show notes. And also, don’t forget to come and join the Sober Mom life Facebook group, man. It is. I, we’ve had, well, we’re up to almost 3000 members, which blows my mind. 3000 moms who are all, I gotta say, the new members tend to be very, um, outspoken about how kind and supportive everyone in the group is. And it’s so true. It is the most supportive group of women I’ve ever been honored to be a part of, and I’m just so lucky and, uh, I love it so much.
We’re also, we have a Zoom meeting every Tuesday at 11:00 AM central time. That link is in the group. It’s free, it’s just a place for us just to talk. We’ve been doing it for about a month now, and it’s such a joy. We just talk about whatever is on our minds and whatever we’re struggling with, um, whatever we’re celebrating, if what we have coming up, especially with the holidays, I know it’s been great to have more support. So just come and join us over there and then don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at the Sober Mom Life podcast and on TikTok and all of that stuff. Okay. We’re not gonna wait any longer. Here is Kazia. Thanks guys. Okay. We are here today with Kazia from the Sober Elephant Chronicles. I sound like I am a pack a day smoker, but I’m not <laugh>. This is just the cold, the never ending cold that won’t go away. So let’s just get that out of the way to begin with. Hi Katia. Thank you for being here.
Speaker 2 (04:13):
Hello. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 1 (04:15):
Yeah, I’m so glad you said you were, you had a cold too, and we were just saying like, it’s just his, the season. Ugh.
Speaker 2 (04:22):
I feel like I never get fully sick, knock on wood, but I get like, yeah, a little bit. And my daughter’s the same way. I was lucky with her that she never fully gets sick with anything, so
Speaker 1 (04:32):
I’m like, oh, that’s great.
Speaker 2 (04:33):
But then it’s the lingering, like, for me, it’s the lingering cold that like never goes away. And I’m like, what is this?
Speaker 1 (04:39):
Yes, yes. It’s like the crud. Oh, that’s what I call it. It’s just the crud that is just like, yeah. Lingering below the surface. It’s just gonna make you feel a little off. It’s gonna make you sound like something’s going on. Ugh. Okay. Enough about that. I’m so glad you’re here. Tell us a little bit about you before we jump into all of the drinking story and sobriety story.
Speaker 2 (05:01):
Yeah, so I grew up in Canada, in Western Canada, a place called Edmonton, which is in Alberta. I lived there until I was 20, but I moved out of home when I was 17. It was just me and my brother and I had this like fierce independence. Like, I was like, I wanna do things my own way. I’m gonna get a full-time job. I didn’t wanna go to college right away. Wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, and I just wanted to make money. Right. So I was like, okay, I’m gonna get a job. Yeah. And I don’t come from a family of alcoholics, like my immediate family. I was raised in a home where alcohol wasn’t really prevalent. Like my parents would have get togethers with their friends maybe like once a month or every month and a half or something. And they would have a few drinks or like, they’d go to a movie and dinner and they’d have drinks, but it was all very normal, um, drinking. So I didn’t really start drinking when I was young.
Speaker 1 (05:59):
Speaker 2 (06:00):
Had one high school party <laugh> at my house. I was dating a guy and I, I guess my parents were going for an extended period of time, but like, not overnight or anything, they were just gonna be out later. And he’s like, yeah, let’s have this party. So this news got around the school that this girl in Petrolia, like my neighborhood was having, um, a party and
Speaker 1 (06:20):
Oh my God, it sounds like a movie. And then did like 800 people show up and then your parents came home and then the cops came and then I could just see it all
Speaker 2 (06:28):
<laugh>. Exactly. That is pretty much what happened. The cops never came to my house that him and I ended up like wandering the neighborhood after at some point in the evening, like there’s some
Speaker 1 (06:38):
Speaker 2 (06:39):
My God. Like parts where the memories aren’t really there. And there was cops actually looking for a guy who had broken into a bank and like stolen some of like the,
Speaker 1 (06:48):
Oh my God.
Speaker 2 (06:49):
So he came across us and my boyfriend at the time had a backpack on, and so like sit on the side of the road and I was like, oh
Speaker 1 (06:57):
God. That’s hilarious. Yes. You’re like, I’m gonna have a party, but I’m not gonna rob a bank. <laugh>,
Speaker 2 (07:03):
You escalate to this, right?
Speaker 1 (07:06):
Yes. I did not see this coming.
Speaker 2 (07:08):
That’s right. So, so that was really the extent of it. It was like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and like Smirnoff. I,
Speaker 1 (07:15):
Yes. Oh my God, I remember that so much. Like in college. Yeah. And the sickly sweet like, ugh. And the headache.
Speaker 2 (07:23):
I know they still make Mike’s hard Lemonade. I, I don’t Do they? I think so.
Speaker 1 (07:27):
I feel like that’s what like all of the Whitelaw drinks. Yeah. I, I’ve never had them because I stopped drinking before that, but that’s what they remind me of. Oh yeah. Where it’s like really sweet and like, it just looks like a headache to me.
Speaker 2 (07:42):
Oh, how do we drink? I, I don’t really notice. Like I don’t remember that I had a bad hangover. But then again, like I said, I wasn’t really one of those people who was binge drinking every weekend or like,
Speaker 1 (07:53):
Yeah. Also when we’re like 18, I feel like it’s just, you don’t even know. Right.
Speaker 2 (07:59):
You can like survive on like no sleep and like
Speaker 1 (08:01):
Speaker 2 (08:02):
Literally just, I don’t know. I don’t know how I did it. And like, yeah, when my drinking became a problem in my thirties, it was like <laugh>, I would be like a zombie, you know, I would function but me on my own like by myself. I was like curled up in a ball, like just not able to do anything. Right.
Speaker 1 (08:21):
Yeah. Oh my God. I know like how our body changes over time. Like my last hangover, I was 39 and I was like mm-hmm. <affirmative> literally going to die. Like I was like, oh, I am dying currently on the couch.
Speaker 2 (08:34):
I was 39 when I quit also. Yeah,
Speaker 1 (08:37):
You were Okay. Okay. I wanna get to that. Okay, so you drank a little bit, but not a lot. You robbed a bank. It was fine.
Speaker 2 (08:45):
<laugh>. Oh my goodness. The word is gonna spread like wild. I
Speaker 1 (08:48):
Know communities I know
Speaker 2 (08:50):
Speaker 1 (08:53):
Yeah. They’re like, wow, was that that her rock bottom?
Speaker 2 (08:55):
Yeah, right. <laugh>. Yeah. So that happened and, and when I moved out when I was 17, I got a job, a really good job in 1999. It paid $40,000 a year, which was like,
Speaker 1 (09:06):
Speaker 2 (09:06):
Yeah, this is a good job. Working in a call center for a software company. And I met a guy there from England and him and I started dating and long story short, his contract was up and he’s like, do you wanna come back to England with me? And I was like, sure. Yeah. So I was in journalism at the local college, but it wasn’t really the style of writing that I enjoyed and I was kind of at this like crossroads where I was like I could leave and try and do what I really wanted to do. So I was like, I’ll go to England, I’ll do my English literature undergrad there, what better place to do it. Right. <laugh>
Speaker 1 (09:41):
Totally sounds so romantic.
Speaker 2 (09:43):
Oh yeah. So, so I left with him and I ended up staying in the UK for almost seven years. Wow.
Speaker 1 (09:50):
Speaker 2 (09:50):
We stayed together
Speaker 1 (09:51):
And you guys stayed together. Oh wow.
Speaker 2 (09:53):
We stayed together for a really long time. In your twenties I think, you know, to be 19 or like Yeah, I guess I was 19 to like 26. We were
Speaker 1 (10:02):
Together. Wait, so were you born in 1981?
Speaker 2 (10:05):
Speaker 1 (10:06):
Oh, 19. Okay. I was born in 1980. I’m like, this timeline is Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
Speaker 2 (10:10):
Yeah. So I graduated in 1999, so,
Speaker 1 (10:13):
Okay. Yeah. I was 98. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (10:15):
I went over, stayed for seven years, or almost seven years. And what happened was we started growing apart, at least in my mind we had, and I didn’t know how to talk about it with him cause he was like my first serious boyfriend. I had a high school boyfriend, the guy <laugh>, I brought the banquet
Speaker 1 (10:33):
<laugh>, Clyde, Bonnie
Speaker 2 (10:36):
And Clyde for sure. <laugh>. And so I, um, didn’t know how to approach it with him. And unfortunately I just started like, I wanna say that my drinking wasn’t a problem when I lived there. But now in, in retrospect, only in the last few months when I’ve started working with a therapist doing I FS therapy, which has been so transformative.
Speaker 1 (10:56):
Okay. What’s ifs?
Speaker 2 (10:58):
Internal family systems?
Speaker 1 (10:59):
Oh, my mom’s a therapist and I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of that term. Okay. Wow.
Speaker 2 (11:05):
I’ll send you the title of a book after it. It’s really, yeah, I’ve been searching for a therapist for, well that’s a different story, but for like I, this is my seventh one since we immigrated to the states like two years ago. Okay. But anyway, when we started doing that, I would’ve always told you when I first got sober that I never had a drinking problem in my twenties and like when I lived in the UK and all that. Yeah. Looking back and doing the work that I do now, I realized that there would be nights that we would go out and like the next day, like we didn’t really keep alcohol in the house unless we were having people over, like pre-gaming or whatever. Yeah. But it would be like little holes in my memory, like almost like little perforations. Right. And I’m like, yeah. To be honest, I didn’t even know the term blackout or brownout. Like none of that was in my like field of vision. Right. So with the language to define something, it’s really hard for you to have any control over it because you just, why would I see it as problematic? Especially when my other, you know, my friends were going out and doing the same thing so we’d all laugh and be like, oh my God, I don’t remember doing this and this and that. Right.
Speaker 1 (12:07):
Yes. Just because it’s normalized, does it mean it’s quote unquote normal
Speaker 2 (12:12):
Or it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Right. Like
Speaker 1 (12:14):
Right or good for you or Right.
Speaker 2 (12:17):
Right. Like it. And so there was like these things that have started happening and when that, when I was living over there, I started like drifting apart from him and I would form friendships or like close connections with other men and start talking to these men and, and this like subliminal like yeah. Really not fair to him. Like trying to get out of the relationship but not telling him that I was and and trying to get attention from other people. Yeah. And what happened was my grandfather got sick in 2007, I guess he got sick and I came back to Canada for a visit and I just decided to stay. We owned a house together in England.
Speaker 1 (12:55):
<laugh>. Really? Yeah.
Speaker 2 (12:56):
And I said to him, I was like, uh, I need to be here with my family. Which was partly the truth, but partly also I had been looking for this like way
Speaker 1 (13:04):
Out. Yeah. You found you’re out kind of.
Speaker 2 (13:06):
Oh, I think now and it’s like, it’s still sometimes hard for me to have compassion for like that Kasia. Cause I’m like, he was a super nice guy. He was very like the type of guy you bring home to your parents. Very grounded. He was so unlike the next like 25 guys that I
Speaker 1 (13:23):
Speaker 2 (13:23):
Yeah. You know, and now it’s come full circle. My husband is exactly like that, you know?
Speaker 1 (13:28):
Oh, that’s good. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (13:29):
So yeah, so I stayed. So I came back to Canada and I was like, he bought me out of the house. I shipped a bunch of my belongings back on a boat. It took like get back and I interviewed for this job and it was like my first six figure job. And I was like, great. And cuz in the UK I’d been doing recruitment. So I’d been working for companies doing recruitment for management consultants and I, I just on a whim applied for a job when I was home when my grandfather’s sick and I got it. And again, I didn’t tell my ex like, yeah,
Speaker 1 (13:58):
You’re like, oh by the way I’m establishing a new life <laugh>. So I’m sorry. I mean it makes that, I feel like all of us can look back at who we are, who we were in our twenties, Uhhuh, <affirmative> and be kind of devastated by it
Speaker 2 (14:12):
To the timing of it. Like you just think about how selfish you were in your twenties. Yeah. Like, totally knew all of those things without a second what for him. And I can say like, and I think really though moving out so young also stunted my maturity in a lot of ways because I just like had this huge sense of entitlement to the life that I had. Things had kinda just Yeah. Come not easy. I still worked hard in my career and whatever. Like I, I was bilingual so I got the job in the call center and I worked really hard, got promoted and then I got, had that interview when I moved back to Canada, got that job, rented an apartment downtown and this was kind of like where the nightlife is now. Energy is a really, really cold place. It’s like in the winter can be as cold as Siberia.
Speaker 1 (14:56):
Oh my god. Okay. And I, I went to school in Green Bay, so I think that’s
Speaker 2 (15:00):
Cool. But like minus 30 to 40, like there’s wind chill
Speaker 1 (15:04):
<laugh>, that’s like bananas. That’s like when you go out and like your eyes start watering and then they just freeze and you get Yeah. You get little icicles on your
Speaker 2 (15:13):
Well, and I used to get frostbite, like on the tips of my ears or on my,
Speaker 1 (15:18):
Speaker 2 (15:19):
Me and my girlfriends would go out wearing like literally nothing. <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (15:23):
Yes. Same. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (15:25):
That was what started happening when I was living downtown. I would start going out and my blackout started happening more often, but again, I still had yet to come to the point where I had any understanding of that. I don’t know if in like the early two thousands it was really talked about at all. Like it was celebrities.
Speaker 1 (15:43):
If it was, I wasn’t listening either. Like I was, it was not. Yeah. I don’t think, and I feel
Speaker 2 (15:48):
Like it was only celebrities whoever went to Rea Rehab or like had a problem with drinking. Right.
Speaker 1 (15:53):
It was also not talked about, you know, consent in the way that it’s talked about today and consenting when like a, if a girl’s like I woke up in guy’s beds blacked out, there’s no way I could have consented.
Speaker 2 (16:07):
That is exactly what was happening. And that Yeah.
Speaker 1 (16:09):
Yeah. That just wasn’t a part of the conversation. It was more just like you shouldn’t have blacked out.
Speaker 2 (16:15):
Right. And and the onus was on you. Or like it was like, oh it couldn’t have been that bad and you’re like, eh, I woke up in some randoms like rude.
Speaker 1 (16:24):
Yeah. Like I have no idea where I am. Or Right. That’s a terrifying, terrifying feeling.
Speaker 2 (16:30):
Oh it happened. I think all of us from our generation, Carrie. Yeah. That with us. Cuz it probably happened to us more times than we would ever talk about.
Speaker 1 (16:38):
Yeah, I think so too.
Speaker 2 (16:40):
Well I think it’s only in sobriety that we start approaching some of these topics because a lot of my friends that I know who maybe still struggle with drinking or who haven’t started doing therapy or who haven’t started digging deep into this, they don’t ever like talk about those things. Like, it’s almost like yeah. That, that was just an accepted part of growing up in that time.
Speaker 1 (17:00):
I know, I think it’s so true that it’s almost like we’re just not even comfortable looking at that. At least I wasn’t Oh yeah. I wasn’t even willing to go there because that’s so much shame. Yeah. And it just felt dirty and like this secret. And I didn’t even let myself go there until, I mean, it was in my first year of sobriety, which is partly why I think sobriety is, is tough. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> or can be tough is because those things like come back and you do start to look at what happened when you were drinking.
Speaker 2 (17:36):
It kind of comes in waves. Like something you could be doing some working on something completely unrelated and then it comes up or something triggers it and you’re like, I feel like you have like a dejavu or like a flashback. Does that ever happen to you where you like
Speaker 1 (17:49):
Totally. Especially in early sobriety and I would be like washing dishes or something mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then it would kind of wash over me and I’d like literally like shake my head to try to like <laugh>, oh my God. Like that thought is, you know, like
Speaker 2 (18:02):
Where the cobwebs, like where
Speaker 1 (18:04):
Is this memory is coming back mm-hmm. <affirmative> and Wow, I didn’t know that I had stuffed that down. Right. And yeah, therapy is essential for like working all that shit out.
Speaker 2 (18:14):
Ah, yeah. And I think like, so those blackouts were happening and I was like on this hamster wheel, I never processed the breakup of that long-term relationship. I literally just, like you said, jumped into this new life. Like, here we are. Yeah. Well it doesn’t work that way because I’m quite a sensitive person. I, I’ve come to understand in sobriety, I’m a highly sensitive person and an empath. So like Yeah. All of that, like, life is already overwhelming. My anxiety would get ba would be really bad after nights of drinking and stuff. Yeah. And I would just like stuff it down and be like, oh, whatever. And I remember I had my boss at the company I worked for turned out to be a huge narcissist and a bully and he would like, oh, take credit for my work at pre in presentations. He would come into my office and talk about like what I was wearing, like sexual harassment, what
Speaker 1 (19:05):
Bunch of, oh my God.
Speaker 2 (19:06):
So I remember one day I had, I had a really nice office in this building on like the, I think it was the 21st floor of this building downtown, like beautiful office. And he came in and when he left I, I was sitting on the floor like with my head between my knees or my hands had my hands just shaking. I could not breathe. One of the other guys came in that I worked with an older gentleman and he was so nice and he like brought me a paper bag and I was like, what is, like what is going on? I was having a full-blown panic attack.
Speaker 1 (19:38):
Yeah. Oh my God.
Speaker 2 (19:40):
It had been about a year or so of him progressively getting more and more controlling and bullying and narcissistic. And then I found out it was happening to other people. Right. So I was like,
Speaker 1 (19:51):
Yeah. So how did that like, play out? What happened? What
Speaker 2 (19:55):
Ended up happening is, what I always do when I don’t wanna deal with something is I, I laughed. What happened was I’d been hired to fill like these government contracts and I filled all the spots. Like I was the recruiter for the company and I filled all the spots and like my job was kind of like winding down organically and there was this natural kind of break and things started getting really bad with him. And so a friend of mine was going from high school, was going to Australia to visit his girlfriend who was working over there and he said, Hey, I’m going to Australia. This was like on like a Tuesday. I literally left on like a Thursday. I just left
Speaker 1 (20:35):
Speaker 2 (20:36):
But it’s like, what?
Speaker 1 (20:37):
Oh my God. We don’t have the tools. I mean you’re, how old are you at this point?
Speaker 2 (20:41):
Speaker 1 (20:43):
Yeah. See that is still, we feel like we’re old at 27 7 and we’re so not,
Speaker 2 (20:48):
I don’t think I’d reached that point. Like I know around that age you kind of have like, you have like your Saturn return and you kind of like, it’s like a pivotal age for like your growth. Like
Speaker 1 (20:58):
Wait, tell me that again. What do you have return
Speaker 2 (21:01):
A Saturn return. So what
Speaker 1 (21:03):
Speaker 2 (21:03):
This now? I’m not really deep into this, so I’m not looking at,
Speaker 1 (21:07):
Okay, I’m not either, but I want to be <laugh>
Speaker 2 (21:09):
You in your lifetime. But it’s really, that’s the first one where you, a lot of key changes can be going on in your life. If you think back to when you were 27 slash 28 kind of time, like Yeah.
Speaker 1 (21:21):
Speaker 2 (21:22):
Happened. Did your mindset shift? Like, and so there’s one in your fifties, there’s one in your, I think there’s one in your like 87 or something like that.
Speaker 1 (21:30):
Speaker 2 (21:31):
87. Like there’s a few throughout your life. And so that, and think about it, think about how many celebrities die around that age.
Speaker 1 (21:39):
Speaker 2 (21:41):
So what it is, you’re, you’re coming into grappling with your spiritual connection too. Like you’re feeling this, this strong pull between our physical world and the things that are going on inside of you. Sometimes there’s like a disconnect between all that. So Yeah.
Speaker 1 (21:57):
Speaker 2 (21:57):
Pretty fascinating. But I didn’t know that at the time. I was like, I’m gonna,
Speaker 1 (22:01):
No. But that is fascinating cuz even just applying that to my life. Totally. Like I can totally see that 27, 28 was huge. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (22:09):
And if you look up Saturn return, you might be able to correlate to the different parts in your life.
Speaker 1 (22:15):
Speaker 2 (22:15):
Things that happened. Right.
Speaker 1 (22:17):
Okay. This is so cool. Okay. So yes, you were.
Speaker 2 (22:20):
So I decided to go. So I, cuz I was renting my apartment, I didn’t buy it, so I just basically like, yeah. I can’t remember if I broke the lease or not, but I must have done something right. So I <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (22:30):
Speaker 2 (22:31):
Loved, or I guess I met him there because him and my, his girlfriend were there. I flew by myself. I had to go through like, I had to fly like Edmonton to Denver. Denver to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to city. Oh
Speaker 1 (22:44):
Speaker 2 (22:45):
It was the way to do it.
Speaker 1 (22:48):
Speaker 2 (22:48):
But when I got there, things carried on the way they were like,
Speaker 1 (22:53):
So you were there with him and his girlfriend?
Speaker 2 (22:56):
Yeah, but what it was, she was doing this like job where she would recruit student volunteers to different kind of like aid projects, like helping build like, like Habitat for Humanity kind of thing.
Speaker 1 (23:07):
Oh yeah. And
Speaker 2 (23:08):
She was recruiting them. And so there was a group of her and other people and we’re all kind of in the similar, maybe early twenties to like 30. So we’d go out and party together. So there was a constant group of people and I had no return ticket or plan. Like I just went to Australia. My, my cousin and her husband were living there. They had immigrated from England. Okay. We were there and one other friend of mine and I was just like, Hey, I’m coming.
Speaker 1 (23:32):
That sounds like a good life decision to me. Oh, in your twenties, when else can you do that?
Speaker 2 (23:38):
Right. I mean, I could definitely not do that now <laugh>. But some of the things that happened when I was there were again alarming and dangerous. And you talked earlier about the, the consent and risky situation. Yeah. There was a lot of that happening and I knew that it was stuff I wasn’t comfortable with, but I had no autonomy. I had no agency over myself. Like, I didn’t know how to speak up for myself or even just to like what signals I was sending to people, you know what I mean? Yeah. I also have to say that I deserved it or anything like that. But the things that happened if I had had kind of like when we know we have to quit drinking, a lot of people had that little voice for quite a long time before they actually finally managed to quit. It’s like that when stuff like that is happening. So you’re like, oh, maybe I just read into it wrong. The other problem is if you’re drinking heavily, then you’re never gonna trust that you are in your right mind anyways. So you’re gonna, you gonna beat doubting yourself.
Speaker 1 (24:38):
Yeah. You’re just always on your back foot. You’re always, you’re never ready. You’re never able. Yeah. You’re never capable. And so just because you’re drinking Yeah. You’re gonna discount yourself and your instincts and like everything. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (24:54):
Your instincts for sure. So I was there. I ended up staying, what I did was like travel to a few different places in Australia. Okay. And I met up with some people I had worked with in England. A lot of Aussies go over to England to the UK and whatever to work. And so I met up with some people, ended up staying, I think it was like two months or something like that.
Speaker 1 (25:14):
Speaker 2 (25:15):
Came back to Canada, had no plan again. There was this guy that I kind of like hooked up with on the trip and he was planning to, I think he was American though, but he was planning to see Vancouver and I had some friends out in Vancouver in Colonna. And I was like, oh, I’ll just go with you <laugh>. Yeah. When did that and ended up staying in Cologna. I had a, a best friend all through school and she was living there with her boyfriend and we hadn’t kept in touch through all those years, but we reconnected through Facebook around that time. Right. And she was like, oh, I’m living in Colonna. Yeah. Which Colonna is what they call the California of Canada. And it’s Oh, okay. This huge wine country, a lot of wineries, a huge drug industry, a lot of cocaine, a lot of meth now, a lot of that party drugs and stuff in
Speaker 1 (26:06):
Speaker 2 (26:07):
That was a great place to go.
Speaker 1 (26:09):
<laugh>. Right. You’re like, I’m gonna land here. That sounds good. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (26:12):
So I ended up there and I just had no plan again. And I, I rented a room off her and her boyfriend, my friend from school. And I started working with clubs, doing like club promotion for like DJs and stuff. And I was like, this is great
Speaker 1 (26:28):
<laugh>. Yeah, right.
Speaker 2 (26:28):
Huge parties. And uh, yeah. Then it took that slide into drugs and stuff around that time. So by this point I was, yeah, I was 28.
Speaker 1 (26:38):
And so you like dove headfirst into that nightlife kind of scene.
Speaker 2 (26:42):
It was hard not to though. When you have, um, yeah, like Calvin Harris and like Steve Aoki and like famous DJs like coming and you’re partying with them, of course you’re gonna, well not of course I say of course, but
Speaker 1 (26:55):
Of course for Calvin Harris. Yes. <laugh>. Have you seen him? <laugh>?
Speaker 2 (26:59):
Oh, it was this little, what do you call it? Almost like a valley of like, there was no rules there. The rules to the rest of like Canada just didn’t apply to this microcosm of a
Speaker 1 (27:11):
Place. Okay. Because yeah.
Speaker 2 (27:13):
People who lived there, there was a lot of hockey players who had homes there, like NHL players, the industry, there was not blue chip industry there. It was all like restaurants and like bars and stuff like that. So it was just really like a big party town. So if you came there, you kind of knew what you were getting out of it. Right.
Speaker 1 (27:30):
And so that’s where you lived?
Speaker 2 (27:32):
That’s where I lived, yeah. Okay. And I ended up meeting my daughter now her dad there, like we lived there,
Speaker 1 (27:39):
Speaker 2 (27:39):
Um, so we met, long story short, we only stayed for a few months there and we ended up moving out. We, or out, sorry, east to outside of Toronto. His, his mom was there and that’s where I lived for the last 10 years before we immigrated here, my daughter.
Speaker 1 (27:55):
Okay. Okay. So you’re still together?
Speaker 2 (27:57):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>? No. So,
Speaker 1 (27:59):
Oh no. Okay.
Speaker 2 (27:59):
No, we’re not together. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (28:01):
I jumped Okay.
Speaker 2 (28:02):
No, no, no. In 2010 I moved outside of Toronto and my daughter’s turning eight in a couple weeks. So she was born in 2014, so, oh. We were there for a few years, but the relationship was not healthy. Him and I had met during that party phase in Colonna.
Speaker 1 (28:17):
Speaker 2 (28:18):
He was a lot younger than me and we just had different goals in life. Yeah. He also was mentally abusive. There was a lot of mental abuse. I was very isolated in that relationship. I wasn’t allowed to have friends. Oof. And of course he moved me across the country. So then really I had had no friends. Right. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (28:39):
Speaker 2 (28:40):
This was like my pattern. Like I would just move for a guy or I’d I had follow a relationship or I’d just kind of keep bouncing around. I kept always had this hope like, oh, this’ll be the one that works and it just didn’t work.
Speaker 1 (28:51):
Yeah. Man. Yeah. And to be alone. So you were just outside of Toronto and you just had your baby Yeah. And you were alone. Yeah. I mean that’s brutal.
Speaker 2 (29:00):
What happened was I ended up leaving him when she was 10 months old. Okay. But I had been planning to leave him before there was, he wasn’t happy that we were going through with the pregnancy. Oh. And I was 33 at the time and I was like, I’m doing this. Like, you know. And yeah, I had been planning this to leave him. And again, it turned into one of those midnight moves. I moved in with this girl I met on a Facebook mom’s group. Like Yeah. The day I met her and Harper and I moved in there.
Speaker 1 (29:31):
Wait, okay, this is crazy because I have a Harper who was born in 2014. That’s
Speaker 2 (29:37):
When Harper was born. December.
Speaker 1 (29:38):
Yeah. Really? Mine just turned eight at the end of August.
Speaker 2 (29:42):
Speaker 1 (29:43):
I know. And her name, it’s
Speaker 2 (29:44):
Always gonna be my name. Like I always wanted that name. I
Speaker 1 (29:47):
Love it. Oh, it’s, it’s a good name.
Speaker 2 (29:49):
Yeah. So she, that was the catalyst, her birth, me getting pregnant and then her birth really was what drove that final wedge between him and I where I was like, I can’t, yeah. He still wanted to carry on our partying lifestyle and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t be like Yeah. Pumping and dumping and like,
Speaker 1 (30:08):
Oh my god. Yeah. Staying
Speaker 2 (30:09):
Up all night and like doing all these things. And I was like, and then I was the one who was expected to do all the childcare and whatever. And I was like, it, it just didn’t work for me. So,
Speaker 1 (30:18):
Speaker 2 (30:18):
I left him and Harper and I were in that one place where we moved into, and then a few months later we moved into what we thought was a better option. A basement suite ended up having to leave there cause they were moving a nanny in from overseas, which we didn’t know about. And her and I ended up homeless for two months.
Speaker 1 (30:38):
Speaker 2 (30:39):
We lived in a hotel, um, through the Salvation Army.
Speaker 1 (30:43):
And how old was she?
Speaker 2 (30:45):
She was a year and a half.
Speaker 1 (30:47):
Oh my gosh. I can’t imagine that for you. Yeah. Like that
Speaker 2 (30:51):
Is, so what happened when, when we ended up homeless was that, uh, I was working at this restaurant and bar at the time and one of my regulars had given me the contact details for one of our like chamber of commerce or congressmen or whatever. And she was like, contact him. Like I know his secretary. Like see what they can do for you. I contact his office, I like in tears, like, I’m gonna be living in my car. Like what do I do? I have a one-year-old and all this stuff. And they’re like, well, we can put you up in this hotel, but you need to show proof. Like, there’ll be a case worker that comes and they’ll make sure that you are applying for jobs and whatever. So,
Speaker 1 (31:28):
Okay. That’s what I did. Wow. Oh my god. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (31:31):
So I was there. I drove her off at daycare, which was subsidized, and then I would go to work at the, the bar restaurant and then we’d come back to the hotel for two months.
Speaker 1 (31:39):
Wow. You’re a hero. That’s, I can’t imagine how hard that was for you.
Speaker 2 (31:44):
And so we ended up finding a place, my parents finally were able to cosign on a rental for us because obviously I wasn’t working. Like I couldn’t work. I had no one to help me with her. Yeah, totally. Like he wasn’t seeing her or anything like that. Yeah. So we found a house and we ended up living there for four years, like before we moved here.
Speaker 1 (32:04):
Speaker 2 (32:05):
And 2018, I met my now husband on an old Instagram account. He sent me a DM
Speaker 1 (32:11):
Speaker 2 (32:13):
Yeah. He, it was funny. It was, I remember the post it was, I don’t have the account anymore, but it was some quasi like inspirational post, but with like a little thirst trap picture though. I just remember
Speaker 1 (32:24):
<laugh>. Totally. That was the vibe back then though too, wasn’t it though? Oh my God. Totally. And tw Yes.
Speaker 2 (32:30):
I feel like it was like, oh, here’s me in this like skimpy bikini with something. Really?
Speaker 1 (32:35):
Yeah. Inspirational. Let me tell you about Yeah, yeah. I’m gonna gonna inspire you. Oh God. So you guys met and then, and now you’re together in Edmonton?
Speaker 2 (32:45):
We’re here in the States.
Speaker 1 (32:46):
Oh, you’re in the States now.
Speaker 2 (32:48):
Harper and I immigrated one month after I got sober.
Speaker 1 (32:52):
Oh, you did?
Speaker 2 (32:53):
I just celebrated two years of sobriety on November 1st.
Speaker 1 (32:57):
Oh my God. Congrats.
Speaker 2 (32:59):
Thank you. And her and I immigrated on December 15th. So crazy.
Speaker 1 (33:04):
Speaker 2 (33:05):
These things at the same time. Like, people were like, aren’t you like stressed out about? Well, no. A lot of people didn’t know then that I had gotten sober. But yeah, my husband was just like, that’s a lot to do. At the same time, he didn’t even realize I had a, a problem with alcohol until one day I was like, I told him I joined the luckiest club. And he was like, well, so in in a nutshell, my drinking escalated when I became a single parent because it was so overwhelming to try and handle all the responsibilities.
Speaker 1 (33:34):
Speaker 2 (33:35):
And it sneaks up on you when something so normalized you really don’t, like I was saying earlier, you don’t recognize it as a problem because you’re like, everybody else is doing it. Yeah. But they weren’t necessarily maybe doing it after and doing it earlier in the day and do you know what I mean? Maybe some of them were, but it just felt like everybody was floating by and doing really well. And I felt like I was just at this like standstill, you know, I couldn’t get, I couldn’t wrap my head around. Yeah. I felt like I, I wanted to crack the code of how I could bank alcohol fit into my life. And it turned out that there was no code. Like I’m not this code breaker, it just doesn’t work for me because it will always end up the same way or worse. Right.
Speaker 1 (34:22):
Yeah. It takes us so long to realize that and it takes some people longer and you know, because it is like, it’s just, it’s not gonna be different. And
Speaker 2 (34:31):
It took me a while. I ended up, I I was in denial that alcohol well in denial to other people that it was alcohol. I would, I kept ending up in the ER with withdrawal symptoms when I would try to quit. And, and I told people that it was like panic attacks. And I remember the day that I, the final time I ended up in the er, the doctor came in with like his intern or whatever, like, you know, they have students with his resume or whatever. There were few of them with him. And I’m like, oh God, really?
Speaker 1 (35:01):
So I’m just, you’re like, not now
Speaker 2 (35:03):
<laugh>. Um, but I was like, I just remember I was shaking from it and I was just like, and he is like, they’re just like, so matter of fact like so what’s, what’s the issue? I’m like, oh, I think it’s drinking. And it was like he didn’t bat an eyelash. It was just like, okay, we’re gonna prescribe you whatever. Right. But the problem is
Speaker 1 (35:18):
Oh yeah. For
Speaker 2 (35:19):
About a year and a half or two years I was in the cycle of going to the ER or going to a different doctor or walk-in getting prescribed things like benzos abusing those by drinking with them. Really dangerous because those blackouts, you could be unconscious, right?
Speaker 1 (35:36):
Yeah. You could die.
Speaker 2 (35:37):
Right. You could die. So that, that’s kind of the cycle, the catalyst for that I wanted to get sober be when I met my husband, I knew we were starting the process of immigration. I didn’t wanna end up here in the states still having this thing hanging over me. Especially cause he didn’t know how much I drank. Right. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (35:54):
And so did he, did you, would you guys drink together and you would be just fine? Or you that just really wasn’t a part of it?
Speaker 2 (36:00):
He’s just not, he’s not a drinker and Yeah, in 2019 for my 38th birthday, we, what we would do, he lives like he was living here. So Baltimore is the closest airport I would fly from Toronto to Baltimore is only like an hour. And we would do stuff on the weekends that Harper was with her grandparents and we had planned this trip to Atlantic City. Great. Whatever. And my sister-in-law at the time, we were just engaged, but she gave me this bottle of crock, um, vodka for my birthday. Yeah. I’m like, great, I can bring this, I can have it in a hotel room with us. Well didn’t I crack that open at like 10:00 AM cuz it was, you know, my birthday. Right. And I was like, yeah, whatever. And he’s like, okay, well I thought we were gonna the gym first <laugh>, you know? And I was like, yeah. So that, that was a really sloppy birthday. But, so if he had spent more time, he probably would’ve started to notice things and now he doesn’t drink at all.
Speaker 1 (36:56):
So he doesn’t at all. No.
Speaker 2 (36:58):
He likes playing blackjack and he’s like, if I ever felt like I wanted a drink when I was at the casino, then maybe. But he really doesn’t go often. And when he does, he doesn’t like drinking when he plays cards cuz he finds like it just slows him down. Right. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (37:11):
That’s so interesting. And so was there a, what was your like aha moment of, okay, I’m done with this cycle of drinking and then withdrawing and all of that. You said you did that for a couple years. Like what was the thing that stopped it
Speaker 2 (37:27):
That summer of 2020, like most of us who struggled with drinking during the pandemic, it reached scary heights. Right. I was drinking in the morning, I had no control on the weekends. Harper wasn’t with me. She would go with her grandparents, like my ex’s parents and I would be so utterly lonely. Like I would just Yeah. Miss my daughter so much. And so I would drink over it because I didn’t know another way to cope. Yeah. And it started intruding on the times I did have with her because I’d be so hungover and so shaky and so unable to function. And I was like, this is not fair to her. And she’s a very, she has an extreme awareness. Like she’s very gifted that way. And she, I knew she could sense, like, I remember vividly the one time I was like, dry heating cuz I was like so sick. And she was just like rubbing my back and I was like, what is wrong with this picture <laugh>? You know? Yeah. I have compassion now for where I was at, but there was a lot of things that started happening and, and so that was it. So I tried in the summer my mom sent me an email, and this is the story behind the name of my Instagram account. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (38:37):
Speaker 2 (38:38):
The, the email title was the elephant in the Room, which is like a common saying, right?
Speaker 1 (38:43):
Speaker 2 (38:45):
Elephants were my maternal grandmother’s favorite animals. And I have a tattoo with her name and stuff on me. And then when mom sent me that email, the elephant in the room, I was pissed. I was like, I don’t have a problem. Like, she had basically said, I know that you’re struggling with this. She had come to help us pack up that summer and she had seen, she had found all my empties and all this stuff. Yeah. Um, so I, I had to give it a real shot. I started going to TLC meetings and actually turning my camera on.
Speaker 1 (39:12):
And that’s the luckiest club. That’s Laura McCowen. Did you start with her book? Is that how you found it? Or you just started?
Speaker 2 (39:19):
I think she found it through the home podcast that her and Holly. Oh yeah. Which I love that podcast I started.
Speaker 1 (39:24):
I know. And they like got into a fight, right? Yeah. That’s why it, that’s why it’d ended.
Speaker 2 (39:28):
Yeah. They talk about it now. I remember a few months ago that kinda like made light of it, but that was the podcast. I started listening to it secretly at the gym.
Speaker 1 (39:37):
Speaker 2 (39:38):
In 2018 I found it.
Speaker 1 (39:41):
Okay. So this was before you stopped. You were even listening to it then? Oh yeah. Okay.
Speaker 2 (39:46):
I wanted proof that there were other women, especially who were making this work, who could actually go through life without alcohol. I was like, I needed to believe it and, and especially, uh, Laura and Holly are writers. I’m a writer. Like, I wanted the other women like me doing it. And I think that’s important for anyone in recovery you wanna
Speaker 1 (40:07):
Speaker 2 (40:08):
And I do think like our community still needs more diversity to it.
Speaker 1 (40:13):
Yeah, for sure. There’s
Speaker 2 (40:14):
A lot of us sober, cisgender white women doing what we’re doing. Right. And, and I, yeah. Would love to see more diversity. Even like now seeing some of the men starting accounts as a couple and I’m like, this is great. Right.
Speaker 1 (40:28):
Yeah. Even though they had their AA and they’re the ones who started it all, but Yes. In the
Speaker 2 (40:33):
Speaker 1 (40:34):
Yeah. To get more men on board with this kind of in between drinking
Speaker 2 (40:39):
With not just one way. Right.
Speaker 1 (40:42):
Yeah. Not just the AA path. Yeah. I’m with you for sure. And definitely more diversity. Yeah. Yeah. So then you started going to TLC meetings. How was that? I went to one of those I think early on too. I don’t think I turned my camera on.
Speaker 2 (40:56):
I couldn’t get sober until I started connecting, like turning my camera. I shared with my voice. I was so scared to do it because I, I just like, I still get nervous with public speaking, but like, yeah. My heart like literally felt like it was gonna beat outta my chest, but I was like, even though it was the least, you know, scary kind of group, but I had to Right. And a bunch of people put their phone number in the chat and all this kind of stuff and I was like,
Speaker 1 (41:21):
Oh, that’s great
Speaker 2 (41:22):
Sia. You’ve been doing it this one way for this whole time and it’s clearly not working. Try a different way. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (41:29):
Speaker 2 (41:29):
So by starting to reach out people were so welcoming. I read Amy Diner’s book, my Fair Junkie.
Speaker 1 (41:37):
That was so good. That was when she was on the streets of la, right? Yeah. Oh, that was so good.
Speaker 2 (41:43):
And so there was a few books. I I’m a huge reader and I started all the money I’d been spending on drinking, I started ordering books and all these books and show up at the house and I Yeah. Listening to podcasts, you know, kind of the same story that a lot of people have. But it still took a couple months of doing that. When I first started going the meetings, I’d have my camera off and I’d be drinking my wine and I’d be like, whatever. But, um,
Speaker 1 (42:05):
Yeah. But I feel like that was still a part of it. Right? Yes. That was you kind of getting used to the idea of this. Like what is this new world? What does it look like? And let’s see if I can bring my old world into this new world. And then it became clear that you couldn’t, it’s all like an unfolding.
Speaker 2 (42:21):
I feel like It is. I feel like our stories, like of course there are very um, significant rock bottom stories for sure. Yes. I definitely had an addiction. Like I had, obviously I had a physical addiction and I had a mental addiction to it. Yeah. But I don’t identify as an alcoholic. And I think there’s a huge, when I hear people’s stories, like there’s some variations in how they came into it, but a lot of us tried for a long time to figure out how to make it work. Because you are made to believe that that’s Yeah. That’s the way it works. Like that you can do that.
Speaker 1 (42:53):
No one talks about the party girl who turns into a mom. Right. And like, where does that go? You know, I was a party girl and I loved it. I was a bartender. I was, I worked in clubs mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I loved it. And there was something I got out of it. Right. You know, and so then you can’t just go from party girl to then Mother Teresa
Speaker 2 (43:15):
<laugh>. That’s exactly it. When, when I was a single mom, uh, that behavior carried on when I was with her. Like, I was going out with all sorts of people. I was trying to, I was trying to find something. I was always like Yeah. Seeking something. And I always thought, you know, one day I’ll find what it is that I’m looking for. And meanwhile, like there was all always like married men or like, just all sorts of things that like yeah. I’m not proud of. But, and even now in sobriety, every once in a while someone pops into my inbox and I’m like, the one guy was like a week before my wedding, we got married in Vegas in February 20 or May, 2021. And like this guy popped up from the past and he had treated me horribly.
Speaker 1 (43:59):
He was really
Speaker 2 (44:00):
Pretty much married, had like her living with him. I knew nothing about that anyway. And he was just like, oh, I never knew you struggled with alcohol. Like, I would’ve done something. I’m like, you’ve done something. Done what? Like, yeah. Well nobody can save you. Right? Like, no, nobody’s coming. You have to do it. But second of all, do you think that, I forgot all the things that
Speaker 1 (44:22):
I know. You’re like, save me. You were an asshole, right? What do you mean? Yeah,
Speaker 2 (44:25):
You were one of the reasons I drank because
Speaker 1 (44:27):
Speaker 2 (44:28):
Between how I wanted to show up in the, the world and how I was.
Speaker 1 (44:32):
Yeah. I think it’s so true. And I think this story of like, we partied in our twenties, especially our generation mm-hmm. <affirmative>, binge drinking, partying, nightclubs, all of that. Like, and then becoming moms. Like that’s a huge identity shift that you’re just not prepared for. Yeah. And then to be a single mom on top of that like, and that stress. Yeah. I mean you could totally see why you were searching for what you were,
Speaker 2 (44:58):
But you still, I still felt this shame and disappointment in myself because I, so where I lived in Toronto, like outside of Toronto was a very affluent community. So most of the homes were a million plus. Right. And yeah, it was right on the, on Lakeshore was Lake Ontario and it was a, a very high-end place and we lived in a very nice neighborhood, but our house was an old Victorian home divided into a triplex. And it was like we were in amongst the all the rich people or whatever. And then we were on a wait list for public housing that at that point was 10 years long.
Speaker 1 (45:33):
Oh my God. So
Speaker 2 (45:34):
If I hadn’t met my husband, you see it all the time that people sadly are caught in that cycle forever. Yes. Through generations. Right. Totally. And it was heartbreaking because I remember it would, I’d be sitting in the social worker’s office having to sign the paperwork for the subsidized daycare for the next year. My daughter and I would be going to food banks. We’d be getting food share. Yeah. I’m writing a, a memoir right now and I’m writing about some of those things like the food share and coming home with food and spreading it out on the floor and like making sure that we had enough things for the week and Yeah. All while I was drinking <laugh>. So in amongst woven and amongst that, I still managed to find money to buy alcohol. It, it was madness, but I didn’t know how to cope.
Speaker 1 (46:19):
Exactly. Like you could see that you used that as a lifeline. Like that is so clear. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> without the judgment. Right. Because when we look back on our own stories, it’s with such judgment mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but then hearing somebody else’s, like if you heard your story told back to you, there wouldn’t be judgment for the mom who is clearly struggling. Right. Right. But that’s so easy to judge ourselves in her past.
Speaker 2 (46:41):
Yeah. That’s why I share my stories so publicly the way I do because it helps me also, like now I can look back, I post every single day and I can look back and see some of my posts. I started the count before I got sober. I tried in July or June of that, of 2020. Yeah. I remember there’s some posts I leave them all up cuz I’m like, whatever. It’s like seven days
Speaker 1 (47:03):
Sober. That’s great. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (47:04):
You know, you can just see like this evolution and I’m not afraid to just post whatever on there. I honestly don’t, I, whatever’s speaking to me like, you know, a lot of people batch their content and stuff and someone was so shocked the other day I was like, oh, I read it every morning <laugh>. She’s like, what?
Speaker 1 (47:19):
Speaker 2 (47:20):
Maybe my reels. I don’t do that. But
Speaker 1 (47:23):
No, but you can tell like your page is very authentic. You guys go check it out. Sober Elephant Chronicles, which I love, love that now. And now that I know the origin, I mean, that’s so special.
Speaker 2 (47:34):
Speaker 1 (47:35):
So how is sobriety where you sit today? How are you feeling?
Speaker 2 (47:39):
Great. I feel grateful in the past, you know, six months or so that I found the therapist that I did. I, I said earlier I tried Yeah. Seven different therapists before this one.
Speaker 1 (47:51):
That’s a lot of work too. Like to try that and to keep going
Speaker 2 (47:55):
To not get disheartened by it. Yeah. And I had had a really good therapist in Canada who I did acceptance commitment therapy with, which is like, uh, cognitive behavioral therapy. Yeah. And I ended up getting certifications in that. Like I just, it really resonated, but it was more to do with her. Right. Like her and I connected. Yeah. But I was never fully honest with her about my drinking until the end when she would get the reports. Like, you know, they ask you like, can we release this to your doctor if you go with the er? And I was like, yeah. Yes. And so when I go to see her, she’d be like, I didn’t know you were struggling. But anyway, yeah. So this past six months I’ve been able to start doing some work around some of those traumas that we talked about earlier and some of the like sexual trauma and some of the family of origin stuff. Some mother women stuff. And it’s been, yeah, I do therapy every two weeks and right now that’s what I can handle. Right. Cause I’m like, stuff comes up and
Speaker 1 (48:52):
I’m like, I know. And even that feels like a lot. Right? Yeah.
Speaker 2 (48:56):
Yeah. And then I’ve been writing the memoir, which has changed shape, like so much. It’s not just based on my drinking though. It’s, it’s, there’s a few different themes in the book around motherhood and around this spiritual kind of gap. Like, I grew up in the church.
Speaker 1 (49:14):
Speaker 2 (49:15):
I was baptized when I was teenager. We got to choose to be baptized. I was camp counselor and stuff. And that was a big part of my early life. Yeah. And then I lost that. And then in sobriety you come into this huge realm. Like if you don’t do aa, if you, if you kind of explore all these other options that are out there, I take whatever resonates for me. I’m like, oh, okay. I really like this part about, you know, being a highly sensitive person or Yeah. I like praying every day. I don’t necessarily have to call it God or whatever. Right. Right.
Speaker 1 (49:49):
This different. Yeah. So like taking what is meaningful to you from your relig. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (49:55):
That’s been really good. I teach kind of healing writing workshops.
Speaker 1 (49:59):
Oh, that’s awesome.
Speaker 2 (50:00):
And I started doing that in my first year of sobriety. I wasn’t allowed until I had my green card. I wasn’t allowed to earn money. Okay. And so I was like, I wanna connect with people. So I set up this thing on Eventbrite and started these workshops that have now turned into this like beautiful space. I have a women’s one and then I have, I have two women’s one and a co-ed one that I do.
Speaker 1 (50:21):
I am working on writing a memoir too, so that would be so helpful. I’m gonna gonna check that out because it is like, I, I feel like writing and sobriety so often go together.
Speaker 2 (50:32):
I think what I’m gonna do in January is do a six week class for people who want to kind of establish their writing practice and sobriety. Cause you Yeah. You don’t have to identify as a writer. Right. People in my workshops have found so much healing through that process and just connection to other creative outlets within themselves. You know?
Speaker 1 (50:54):
Totally. One thing I’ve been hearing from people, from women in my group mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, the sober mom life on Facebook is in sobriety. What they’re surprised by is all this free time they have. Yeah. And that you don’t realize how much time you wasted drinking, even if it was wine at night. Right. You know, and then time just slipped by and you didn’t know. But now everything does kind of slow down and you have that time. And so what do you do with that time? And writing is such a great way to spend it. And
Speaker 2 (51:25):
I don’t think that it’s oversaturated. Some people are like, oh, there’s so many quit lit or whatever.
Speaker 1 (51:31):
No, there’s not enough. I devoured all of them in my first uhhuh, first few months of sobriety. And I was like, I need more. I kept like, refreshing. I was like, I was like, how I need more. What, how have I read all these? One
Speaker 2 (51:45):
Of my favorite ones came out in the nineties. Caroline Naps. Drinking A
Speaker 1 (51:50):
Love. Yeah. Drinking a Love Story.
Speaker 2 (51:51):
And I love Yale Caldwell as a writer too. I recently read her book about her and, uh, Caroline’s friendship and Oh, the Long Way Home? Yeah.
Speaker 1 (52:00):
Speaker 2 (52:01):
Really good. But that was one, and I’m like, so we’ve been writing these for a long time. Maybe not under the title of that genre. Never existed. Yeah. But you know what, if more women are emancipated themselves from mommy wine culture, why wouldn’t they be telling their stories? The patriarchy can’t be like, oh, you’re not allowed to be sharing this cuz there’s too many. Right. There’s never too many <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (52:23):
No, there’s never too many. Especially when now it’s such a huge tool in people’s sobriety toolboxes when we’re not going to AA meetings. Yeah. We’re just at home. We’re in our kitchens. We’re cleaning, we’re doing laundry. And we have an AirPod in our ear mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we’re listening to sobriety podcasts and books. Like we need those.
Speaker 2 (52:42):
One of my ideas that I had to put on the back burner this year, I wanna do a podcast and I have my idea and it’s not, yeah. Again, it’s not strictly sobriety related, but it is, as women, I think we talked about this earlier, our hormones play a big role in how we are able to metabolize alcohol. How it affects us. Yeah. Different parts of our cycle. Like now going into, like, thinking about perimenopause and stuff. Yeah. I wanna talk to women at like different stages and, and talk about the things that maybe they, they were able to move on from or let go of. Like, this served a, a purpose at this stage in my life. What am I letting go of? Because there is,
Speaker 1 (53:17):
Speaker 2 (53:18):
Even though, you know, you have to quit drinking, there’s still a grieving process that we should honor.
Speaker 1 (53:22):
Speaker 2 (53:24):
Like people will say this, then you’re not fully relieved of the obsession of alcohol. And I’m like, I just don’t believe that <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (53:33):
No, no. It’s not this binary thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s gray, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Ugh. I swear I could talk to you forever. I especially about writing, like, we need to have another, um, session so we can talk about writing and when your book, do you know like when it’s coming out or anything?
Speaker 2 (53:49):
Well, I just, I had an essay come out in a, like anthology this year. The
Speaker 1 (53:54):
Speaker 2 (53:55):
Cool. Last Hangover.
Speaker 1 (53:56):
The Last Hangover. Oh, cool. Yeah,
Speaker 2 (53:59):
I wrote that at a year, maybe not even a year sober. There’s, uh, 11 essays in there and so I think I’m in the stage right now where I’m trying to decide, I’m researching like hybrid publishers. I’m talking to the, that publisher as well about maybe working with them and I’m kind of just forging ahead with my writing, but well, definitely, I wanna get it out next year. But yeah, we’ll see <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (54:26):
Oh my God, guys, stay tuned. I’m excited for it. You’ll come back on here and then we’ll talk all about it. Please. Well, thank you Kasia. You guys go follow her at Silver. The So Relevant Chronicles, right? Yeah. Okay. There’s a, the, okay. The Silver Elephant Chronicles. I’m gonna go drink some hot tea and hopefully get rid of this cold. Oh, thank you so much. This was just so amazing. Thanks
Speaker 2 (54:49):
For having me. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (54:51):
Yeah. You’re a survivor. You’re a hero. You’re a superwoman. You really are. I hope you feel that.
Speaker 2 (54:56):
Thank you so much. This was wonderful.
Speaker 1 (54:58):
Yeah. Oh, well, thank you. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Silver 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 silver Mom life. Okay. I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat my coffee. Bye.
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