I am so excited to welcome award winning journalist and best selling author Jo Piazza to the show!
Today, we go deep into Jo’s journey with drinking and what has led her to begin examining the role that alcohol plays in her life. Plus, Jo shares some big truths that she’s learned from researching the Temperance movement of 100 years ago.
Learn more about Jo and her work here:
Listen to Under The Influence here:
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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.
Hello. Hello. Hi, guys. Welcome back. Happy Monday. I hope you had a good weekend. I am so excited for today’s episode. I’m excited for every week’s episode. This one is a little bit different. I kind of, I’m realizing I’m using this podcast and as an excuse, rightly so, to talk to people whom I admire and who I just wanna talk to. And it’s a great excuse to say, Hey, do you wanna just like chat for an hour and we’ll record it? And that’s what this conversation with Joe Piazza is. I first connected with Joe, I think over a year ago for her podcast Under The Influence, which is kind of a deep dive into influencers and mommy influencers and all kinds of influencers that we now have in this crazy social media environment and what that means and what influence they have over us. I was lucky to talk about sobriety because I was just kind of starting the sober mom life and that influencing in that realm.
Joe is a bestselling author, she’s a podcast creator. She’s an an award-winning journalist. As someone who’s just starting the process of, you know, writing a book and trying to sell a book, I look up to her so much. One of her recent novels was the critically acclaimed. We are not like them. If you have not read it, oh, it’s a must read. It’s beautiful, it’s timely. It was incredible. Oh man, she’s written many books. Charlotte Walsh likes to win The Knockoff, how to Be Married. Her work has been published in 10 languages in 12 countries, and four of her books have been optioned for film and television. You guys, she’s a badass. She was a former editor, former columnist and travel writer with Yahoo Current TV and the New York Daily News. We talk a lot about like how she started and what that was like.
I, ah, man, I like this conversation because this is exactly what I wanted this podcast to be, where it’s not always gonna be these stories of I hit rock bottom and then I stop drinking. And here’s my story of sobriety. I want to create a space where we are just comfortable questioning and examining our relationship with alcohol. And that’s where Joe’s at. She, when we recorded this, she was pregnant with her third baby. She has since given birth. And we just talked about the role that alcohol plays in her life. And she was talking about that. She had been thinking of taking a break from it and then she got pregnant. And so then that was kind of a forced break. I think that examining our relationship with alcohol is just so important. We examine our relationship with everything except alcohol. And when something like that is off limits to look at, we’re not in control, then alcohol will definitely take over.
So I just, Joe is a breath of fresh air. I just look up to her so much in her honesty and her writing. She’s just so powerful and unapologetically so, and I, I really, really admire that. I think you guys will really love this conversation with Joe. A few reminders, if you’ve been loving the show, please go rate and review it. That helps us get discovered by more listeners, helps us grow, helps us keep this whole thing going. Also, if you want more bonus episodes, head to Patreon. It’s patreon.com/the sober mom life. It’s also linked in the show notes, the lowest tier, $5 a month, and you get all of the bonus content and the video episodes of every episode. Also, one note, this episode will not have a video, but generally speaking, the Monday episodes will. And then, yeah, come and follow me on my kind of suite on Instagram and the sober mom life on Instagram for more sobriety support and what it looks like to live a full sober life. And you guys, that’s it. Happy Monday. I hope you enjoy this episode with Joe. Joe. Thank you. You might give birth any minute, but you’re here and you’re here to talk.
Speaker 2 (05:23):
Yeah, I mean lit literally any minute I’m having any minute. I’m having like early contractions. Are you really? But yeah. And it’s the third baby, so she, the exit is a well worn path.
Speaker 1 (05:34):
Oh yeah. So is it a girl?
Speaker 2 (05:36):
It’s a girl.
Speaker 1 (05:36):
Oh my God. And what do you have already? Because this is your third?
Speaker 2 (05:39):
That’s my third. I have a five year old boy, three year old girl. And now this one’s a girl. Oh,
Speaker 1 (05:45):
That’s what I have two girls and a boy. Oh, I’m telling you that third baby is magic.
Speaker 2 (05:50):
This is what everyone says. It’s
Speaker 1 (05:53):
Speaker 2 (05:54):
Why do you think that is?
Speaker 1 (05:56):
I was was thinking about this because I was, I thought this was your third and I was like, I, I always get this pang of like, oh, I wanna do that again. I don’t wanna do the first again. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, even the second was kind of a shit show. But the third, because I think the first is just a shit show cuz you don’t know what the hell’s going on. Yes. The second is the shit show because it’s the first time you have two mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then that is all new in itself that you’re like, oh, the first one is really not gonna help with the second one. <laugh>. No. Yeah. And so then the third, you already know that you’re already eating, standing up, like you already aren’t peeing in peace. Like all of that stuff is gone. And so then the third is just, ugh.
Speaker 2 (06:37):
See, this is what I think too. I was thinking the exact same thing because I would, the first one was a special kind of hell because you are, yes. You don’t know how to be a parent or how to completely just rip your insides open for another human being. Like you don’t know that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And yeah. The second one, I was Chas like looking after the second one, I’m like, how do I split my brain in two for two of them? But now I’m just like, you’re, you can sleep in a box by the bed. Right. Like, you don’t need anything from me.
Speaker 1 (07:05):
Totally. And you totally know like the forgiving nature of motherhood. Like I was so hard on myself with the first one. I know. And I feel like I screwed her up a little bit. I mean, she’s perfect and she’s great. Perfect. In, in the, in the imperfect way. But you know, you’re just so hard on yourself.
Speaker 2 (07:22):
I know. My first one is very needy. He’s still very needy to this day because I did everything for him. Yeah,
Speaker 1 (07:29):
Yeah. Oh God. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. My first one is eight and just today I had to go bring her a sweater to school because she was wearing a T-shirt and she didn’t realize it until she got to school. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And she was like, wait, do I have a sweater? And I’m like, I don’t know, did you bring a sweater? And I did it and I was like, okay, I’m not gonna do this anymore for you. You have to do it. Right.
Speaker 2 (07:49):
Yeah. No, I know. Exactly. Yeah. But third one, no, they’re gonna do everything. They do everything themselves. Cause I’m not doing it anymore.
Speaker 1 (07:54):
Right. And I kind of like, I don’t know, it is kind of bad cuz I will do whatever for him. <laugh>. <laugh>. Like he, he is just like, I’m like, sure. And the girls are like, why does Greg get to do this? And I’m like, cuz he, he’s a baby because he’s the last, he’s he’s three. He’s
Speaker 2 (08:10):
The last one
Speaker 1 (08:11):
Speaker 2 (08:12):
It is interesting to have had the two different genders already, right? Yes. So I’m like, oh, I have boy and a girl already. And I’m just like, oh, I’ve already done this. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I feel like if it were something different mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you’d be like, oh, this is brand new
Speaker 1 (08:26):
<laugh>. Totally. Yeah. Like having two girls and then a boy. And I do feel like boys, I don’t know, boys like love their moms.
Speaker 2 (08:34):
I know. In
Speaker 1 (08:34):
They do in a different way. They do, right?
Speaker 2 (08:36):
Yeah. My, my, my boy, he’s never gonna leave me. It’s funny, we were, we live right by the University of Pennsylvania campus where I went to college. It’s the only college he knows. Like when he hears the word college, he’s like, this is the only college that exists. Yeah. And so we were, we were driving the other day and he is like, when I go to college, it’ll be so easy for me to bike here from our house. Yep.
Speaker 1 (08:56):
Speaker 2 (08:57):
And I’m like, oh, well most college students live on campus <laugh>. And he’s like, oh, no, no, no. Why would I not live with you ever <laugh>? And I’m like, I don’t, I don’t know. I’m like, you’re never leaving. And it’s like, I’m never leaving. And then I was like, well what about B? Like, is your sister gonna live with us too forever? And he’s like, oh no, she’s gone. Oh my. He’s like, she’ll be leaving. I’m like,
Speaker 1 (09:20):
Probably. He’s like, she’s outta here. He’s like,
Speaker 2 (09:22):
He’s outta here. Yeah. And he’s like, no is, he’s like, it’s like he knew that she would choose to leave. He was like hilarious. He was just like, yeah, no, no, no. She’ll be leaving. And I’m like, I kind of do think she’s gonna like drop out of high school at 16 to be a professional snowboarder and I’m just gonna have to deal with that.
Speaker 1 (09:36):
Oh my God. Wait. That sounds amazing.
Speaker 2 (09:37):
It kinda sounds amazing. Like in my, in my head I’m like, that’s her life. And I’m like, that’s your path girl. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (09:42):
Yeah. I fully support that. Fully support it. Like that’s the, yeah. Okay. So I do wanna talk about, because this is a sober mom life podcast. Yeah. It’s so funny because literally the last time I talked to you, I was on your podcast, you’re
Speaker 2 (09:53):
On my podcast.
Speaker 1 (09:54):
Yeah. And I didn’t have this yet. I can’t remember if I even had like the sober Mal Life. Instagram. You
Speaker 2 (10:01):
Had the Instagram You
Speaker 1 (10:02):
Did, you did, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 (10:04):
<affirmative>. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. But no podcast.
Speaker 1 (10:05):
Yeah. But no podcast. And so now it’s like full circle that now you’re online. I love it. I know. I You are my inpo.
Speaker 2 (10:11):
Oh, yay. Well I think podcasting is the most fun that I’ve had in journalism since journalism got kind of destroyed by the internet. So I,
Speaker 1 (10:18):
Okay. Why do you think that? Why is it so special? Because it does feel special to me, but I don’t have, like, you really know what you’re talking about with that stuff. So why do you think?
Speaker 2 (10:26):
Because I think that you can capture an audience’s attention and nothing else on the internet really does. You look at an Instagram for all of three seconds, you Yes. Read an article. You read the first half of an article and click click away from it. But podcasts, that audio is so intimate, you can listen to it while you’re doing other things. Yeah. And so someone will just tune in and hang out with you for like 30, 40 minutes. And no one does that at all anymore. I mean I do it with TV shows and stuff, but not with real people with real interviews.
Speaker 1 (10:57):
Yeah, it’s so true. It does feel really personal. Like we’re in their homes, like we’re doing laundry with them. Like I know when I listen to podcasts, like yeah, I’m just like doing dishes and I have these people on my ear and it feels like I know them. Yeah, exactly. And so, okay, I wanna talk about all of the sobriety things and stuff. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But first I do wanna pick your brain about the Under the Influence podcast because that, you know, like is there gonna be a season three, first of all? Cause you guys have done two seasons. Okay, good.
Speaker 2 (11:23):
It is. Yes. We’re just, we’re changing up the format. You know, for the first two seasons it was a really well produced, and I’m not saying the next ones won’t be well produced, but like it was a narrative show. Yeah. It was like deep research. Lots and lots of interviews, lots of different kinds of storytelling. And we’ve done that already. So what we’re switching to is more of a chatty format. It’s like if you took Lifestyles with a Rich and Famous that made it influencers. Oh
Speaker 1 (11:49):
My, my God. I love that.
Speaker 2 (11:51):
We have a different type of influencer.
Speaker 1 (11:53):
Wait, does that make you Robin Leach?
Speaker 2 (11:55):
Yes. That makes me Robin Leach. That’s all I want.
Speaker 1 (11:57):
I love it.
Speaker 2 (11:58):
But a different type of influencer every week. And it’s just more talking, more chatting and less, we probably won’t bring in like all of the economists and all the historians for everything just so we can do more. So we have the ability to do more episodes. Cuz when you get into something that’s, that heavily produced, it takes a whole team of people and we wanna be able to do way more topics Okay. On a regular basis. So
Speaker 1 (12:22):
I’m excited for that. I
Speaker 2 (12:24):
Know, me too. We’re gonna do it after my maternity leave, but we’ve got, we have a bunch of other stuff in the, can I have, you
Speaker 1 (12:29):
Have like a Lores Wilder podcast? I have
Speaker 2 (12:32):
A Laura Ideas Wilder Louder podcast.
Speaker 1 (12:33):
What is, talk about that.
Speaker 2 (12:35):
It’s called Wilder Glynis McNichol, who is my best friend who is also on the Under the Influence podcast. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is obsessed with Laura Engels Wilder in a really unhealthy way.
Speaker 1 (12:45):
Oh my God. Why? Like, what is that about?
Speaker 2 (12:47):
They were the books that she read as a child. Okay. And like read them over and over and over again. And for me that was Judy Bloom books.
Speaker 1 (12:55):
Speaker 2 (12:56):
Speaker 1 (12:57):
Because when I heard this Laura Engels Wilder and I was like, huh, I wonder why I’m not because I, I’m, you know, I’m 42. That was exactly when I was, that was my generation. But I just, I never gravitated toward that.
Speaker 2 (13:09):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’m not a Laura person, I’m a Judy person. Yeah,
Speaker 1 (13:12):
Speaker 2 (13:13):
Yeah. But Glens is like really obsessed to the extent that every time that we’ve gone on a road trip across the country, which has actually happened a couple times, she’s dragged me to all the Laura Engels homesteads, the real my God places. And yeah. So we decided to take on the life and legacy of Laura Engels Wilder. I mean she sold Wow. 60 million books in 45 languages and Wow. Like her impact on America. So many people know American Pioneer history just through those books, to be honest. Yeah. And so it’s eight episodes and we, this summer we took another road trip through the middle of the country interviewing people at all of these homesteads. There’s pageants, there’s live action, role play of Laura’s life and the books and like all of this stuff. So that comes out in April. But Bec I’m so glad you said you love Judy Bloom because we’re doing a Judy Bloom podcast.
Speaker 3 (14:01):
Oh my God. Okay.
Speaker 2 (14:02):
Yeah. That we’re starting to produce in April, looking back at all of Judy’s books and talking to authors about how Judy inspired them to be the writer that they are today.
Speaker 3 (14:14):
Oh my God, that’s amazing. Okay, well I will definitely be listening. Okay. And you at a novel. We are not like them, which I absolutely loved. I mean, how many books have you written?
Speaker 2 (14:25):
Speaker 3 (14:25):
How? Like Joe? How?
Speaker 2 (14:28):
I’m just very fast. It’s because I was a tabloid newspaper reporter starting when I was 21 years old.
Speaker 3 (14:35):
Wait, tell me about that. I didn’t know that.
Speaker 2 (14:38):
Oh yeah. I was a reporter at the New York Daily News. Oh my. And I was a gossip reporter.
Speaker 3 (14:42):
That’s amazing. Okay.
Speaker 2 (14:44):
That was amazing. Well, this is why I drank so much and blacked out so much in my twenties, to be honest. I
Speaker 3 (14:49):
Mean, I get
Speaker 2 (14:49):
It. We we can dig deep into that. Yeah. But yeah, I mean it was the best job to have in me and your twenties in New York City. I went to every movie premiere. I was out at all of these clubs. I was like, I mean, it was just cool as shit. But I had to write five or six, 400 word little stories every day by five o’clock. And if I didn’t, I’d get fired.
Speaker 3 (15:12):
What? That’s like the pressure.
Speaker 2 (15:15):
It’s a pressure. Right. And like, not, not to mention then like, I was like writing like other breaking celebrity stories. I started covering politics for the New York Daily News. I covered crime for a while. But like you’ve got a daily deadline. If you miss it, you get literally like screamed in the face right. By like a mean old British man.
Speaker 3 (15:36):
Speaker 2 (15:36):
My God. Who runs the newspaper? These were, these were still old school newspapers and I live on deadline, so I can sit down and bang out a book or a story or podcast script
Speaker 3 (15:46):
You say like, just like a book. And, but these are like best selling books in the We Are Not Like Them is so beautifully written. Like I can’t imagine that as a tabloid reporter, like you were prioritizing quality over quantity. Right?
Speaker 2 (16:00):
No, not in the beginning. <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (16:02):
Right. And so somehow you tr you translated that to like this beautiful, I don’t know, you’re, you’re an inspiration as far as writing goes. Thank That’s, you have another book coming out, right?
Speaker 2 (16:13):
Oh, I do Christine. So I wrote, we Are Not Like Them with my former editor Christine Pride. Yeah. And we have another book called You Were Always Mine that comes out in May or June. And then I just sold another book called The Sicilian Inheritance, which is a dishy fun Sicilian murder mystery. Ooh. That takes place on dual timelines and is a lot of murder, sex and wine and food.
Speaker 3 (16:40):
Oh, okay. I want all of that.
Speaker 2 (16:43):
I know, that was the thing. Yeah. Like I start, I was working on it. It, it was a book I started writing a long time ago and then picked it back up in the pandemic. And I was like, what do I wanna read about? And I’m like, murder, sex one and
Speaker 3 (16:53):
Food. Yes. Totally.
Speaker 2 (16:54):
So that’s next year,
Speaker 3 (16:56):
All of this And you’re like very pregnant.
Speaker 2 (16:59):
Speaker 3 (16:59):
Pregnant. So how do you do that? What’s your writing process like? How do you even make time for all of this stuff?
Speaker 2 (17:05):
I’m just super regimented and I think you Yeah, you can definitely attest to this. I’m more productive now that I have kids. Yes. Because I don’t fuck around.
Speaker 3 (17:14):
Totally. It’s not like you have a whole day in front
Speaker 2 (17:16):
Speaker 3 (17:17):
I don’t. No. If I have a whole day in front of me, I’m gonna waste it.
Speaker 2 (17:19):
Totally. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So I’m like, I’m like, I know that I sit down at my desk and I know that I’ve got two hours to do this one thing. I’m just hyper focused on that one thing. And you know, as far as writing, I can only write in the morning for serious writing. And so when I’m working on books, I make myself do 2000 words a day. If you do 2000 words a day for 50 days, you have a hundred thousand Word book. Which is a book. Yeah. And I don’t really edit along the way. I’ll edit after maybe like I edit it like every 50 pages or so because I give myself that freedom. It just allowed to just like pour out of you, right? Yeah. Instead of just trying to fix it all the time.
Speaker 3 (17:59):
Yeah. That’s, I I need to, okay. Cuz I’m starting this process of mine is more like memoir, non-fiction sobriety stuff. It’s just so daunting and Yeah.
Speaker 2 (18:12):
Yeah. So you just need to like, honestly I do 2000, but you can do a thousand words a day and you feel so accomplished after you get those thousand words done and you’re like, I don’t have to do anything else for the book. I really don’t. And if you have other thoughts, what I do for the rest of the day is like, I don’t go back to the computer. I send myself emails and then those can count for the next day’s word count if I want them to. It’s like a little treat, but don’t, don’t, don’t stay any longer than that because you really can get fatigue.
Speaker 3 (18:38):
Okay. That’s a good idea. And that makes sense. Doing it first thing in the morning too. You’re just like getting it outta the way. Yeah. I like that. Do you think you’ll ever venture into memoir or non-fiction?
Speaker 2 (18:49):
I wrote one. I did. I did. You did? Yeah. I mean, I did mostly non-fiction early in my book writing career because you know, I’ve been a journalist for so long. Yeah. My first book was Celebrity Inc. How Famous People Make Money. Ooh. Which was like the economics behind celebrity pre-social media days. Like I’ve won chapter on social media and it was the very beginning of Twitter. It was Charlie Sheen getting paid for a
Speaker 3 (19:12):
Tweet. Oh my god. Really? Wait, so you’ve been around this influencing thing like since the genesis of influencing? Yeah. And are you telling me Charlie Sheen was the first influencer?
Speaker 2 (19:21):
Charlie Sheen was the first person paid for a tweet. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (19:23):
Really? What was the tweet like? What was it for?
Speaker 2 (19:26):
It was with Adley, which was the first company paying celebrities to like do things on Twitter. So I did that. So Okay.
Speaker 3 (19:34):
Speaker 2 (19:34):
Did Celebrity Inc. And then I did one called If Nuns Rule the World, which is about badass feminist nuns.
Speaker 3 (19:41):
Speaker 2 (19:42):
And then I wrote ’em, I wrote a memoir essentially, which was crazy at 35, but it was called How To Be Married. And it was about Nick and I traveling around the world for the first year of our marriage.
Speaker 3 (19:54):
Oh, that’s amazing.
Speaker 2 (19:55):
Asking people, how the hell are you supposed to do this marriage
Speaker 3 (19:59):
Thing? Yeah. I feel like I’m still asking that at like almost 10 years married, but
Speaker 2 (20:04):
I don’t, I still don’t know. No, there’s no answers.
Speaker 3 (20:06):
Yeah. There’s no answers. But
Speaker 2 (20:08):
Then I, but then I’ve been doing fiction since that.
Speaker 3 (20:11):
Yeah. What do you like better
Speaker 2 (20:13):
With three kids? Um, fiction because I can just make it the fuck up.
Speaker 3 (20:18):
Totally. And then you could just get lost in it.
Speaker 2 (20:22):
I know. Yeah. But I mean, I, I love non, I love non-fiction. Wait, I feel like my non-fiction books have morphed into podcasts, right?
Speaker 3 (20:28):
Speaker 2 (20:29):
Yeah. Yeah. It’s just a different platform.
Speaker 3 (20:32):
Oh my God. That’s so cool. Okay, so let’s talk about drinking. I remember when I was on your podcast you said you were doing like a 30 day
Speaker 2 (20:41):
Yeah, I was about to.
Speaker 3 (20:43):
What did you, okay. You were about to, how did it go? What’d you do?
Speaker 2 (20:46):
All right, so you were on my podcast and then I was going to start one after we went to this Elton John concert in Okay. Fargo, North Dakota.
Speaker 3 (20:56):
Speaker 2 (20:57):
We flew to Fargo to see like, you know, Elton John’s farewell tour cause we’ve like, we’ve never been to North Dakota. Yeah. This is a great place to see Elton John. A bunch of our friends met us and we drank a lot that weekend. Yeah. And then I got pregnant.
Speaker 3 (21:09):
Oh my God. Well there you go. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (21:11):
That’s how you get pregnant at 42. You go to Fargo, North Dakota and you drink a lot at a vfw that’s
Speaker 3 (21:19):
Speaker 2 (21:19):
God. After an Mjo concert. But I was planning to take a sober Yeah. Month or even a sober three months really just to like clear the slate.
Speaker 3 (21:29):
Yes. What does that mean? Like what made you My whole thing now is like, I think that a normal drinker, you know, we, we’ve been taught like normal drinkers are people who can moderate whatever the hell that means. Oh no means. But I, I think a normal drinker is one who has questioned her relationship with alcohol and has taken breaks and has drank too much and has felt the shame and guilt that comes along with that. And like, I think that’s normal.
Speaker 2 (21:56):
Speaker 3 (21:57):
Yeah. So what, what was your, well,
Speaker 2 (22:00):
So let me, let me just tell you a little but of my history with alcohol, both, like, both my parents were alcoholics. Okay. Full blown alcoholics. And so I grew up thinking it was totally normal for my dad to be at the bar until like eight or nine o’clock at night and my mom to drink like a bottle or two bottles of wine every night. And I was the only child. And like that was my baseline. That seemed very normal for me. They both went to rehab. They both stopped drinking when I was a teenager. Okay. But like, it’s so funny to me now in hindsight having children, I’m just like, how the fuck did you get away with this for so long? Totally. I’m like, I can’t even hungover parents. How were you both relatively functional? I mean they both had jobs and things. I’m like, how did you function for 13 years of my life as alcoholics?
Speaker 3 (22:51):
This is what I think because everyone in, you know, now we have social media, we’re on our phones all the time and people kind of paint this idea of like, back in our day we were present and we were, I’m like, no,
Speaker 2 (23:04):
You were drunk. You were,
Speaker 3 (23:05):
I think that was it. Like now our, our escape the social media is the phone like their escape. Yeah. Was that
Speaker 2 (23:13):
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So I’ve always known the alcohol could be a problem. I’m absolutely a problem drinker. I don’t think that I have serious addiction tendencies mostly cause I watch it. Like, I’m like very like, oh, okay. Like you’re not like you. You know, you can go down that rabbit hole but I’m a sh I, I can be a shit drinker in my twenties and like that. And that meant a lot of just drink till you black out. Yes. Lot of like, which was really normalized in college. Totally. And then when I was going out in New York, this was very normal for me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It’s funny because my, there’s a quirk in my Gmail right now. I feel like this is a novel where I star things in Gmail as my team list. Yeah. Yeah. And for some reason, once I get through the things that are in there, it jumps back to 2008 to like all of these old emails. So all of these old emails what start appearing in my start No. Like, yes. Yes. So they like rise to the top like real old and like emails when like I was an embarrassing motherfucker.
Speaker 3 (24:16):
Your past is coming back to haunt Through Gmail.
Speaker 2 (24:19):
Through Gmail. So like there’s these emails where I’m like emailing friends, being like, what did I do last night?
Speaker 3 (24:25):
Oh my god. The worst. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (24:26):
You know, boyfriends or potential boyfriends just like terrible like that I damn junk dialed. It’s actually really, really a fun blast from the past.
Speaker 3 (24:36):
Yeah, I bet. Yeah. You’re like, thanks for that reminder. But
Speaker 2 (24:39):
It does remind me of just like how much drinking impacted me in my twenties. And I will say I would also never go back and change it at this point because I’m very happy with how I ended up. I would never go back and tell that girl, chill the fuck out. Like, you know what, yeah this, this got you to a really great place. But knowing that I have problems with limits, I like to just take a breather from drinking like once a year or so where, and also for health reasons, I’m getting older, right? Yeah. Yeah. So like I can’t sleep when I drink. I can’t have wine at all anymore. I get headaches right away. Like my brain fog, my hangovers last for four or five days.
Speaker 3 (25:22):
Yes. The worst.
Speaker 2 (25:23):
And also for my husband, if I’m doing something he can’t diet if I’m not dieting. He can’t take a break from alcohol if I’m not taking a break from
Speaker 3 (25:33):
Alcohol. You’re the influence. Like moms and wives we’re the influencers of our
Speaker 2 (25:37):
Home. I know. Exactly. Yeah. And so if he like, he’s like, I wanna get back in shape. I wanna lose 30 pounds. I’m like, well then you can’t have any beer. So then I can’t have any beer either. So that like, that’s another impetus. And I also just like taking a step back and looking at the things that I enjoy doing while drinking and the things that I don’t enjoy doing while drinking. And so that was my plan. And then I got pregnant. So I’ve had this forced drinking hiatus for the past nine months, which is always really interesting. I think you remember which people you like to hang out with sober. Yes. What things? I have a friend that I think I’m done with actually.
Speaker 3 (26:15):
Speaker 2 (26:16):
She’s been so, such an annoying drunk while, oh I’ve been pregnant that I’m like, I don’t think I actually like you anymore.
Speaker 3 (26:25):
Yeah. So what is that? Like? How do you, do you have that conversation? Not that I don’t like you conversation, but then like if you have a friend that you’re done with, because I think that happens a lot in sobriety is we realize like, oh wait, this is not fun anymore. Or Wait, I don’t think I really like you when I’m sober. How do you break up with a friend?
Speaker 2 (26:45):
I don’t know. I mean that that is no. Like I have been fading for the past few weeks. Yeah. But I mean I’ve been fading from everything. I’m a hundred months pregnant.
Speaker 3 (26:56):
Yeah. You have a good excuse. Like you have a built-in excuse to start fading even more. I have a built in five minutes. Yeah. When your water breaks on this podcast.
Speaker 2 (27:05):
On this podcast. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But I don’t know how to do it. Like do you transition to We have day hangs
Speaker 3 (27:13):
Right? Although even day Is she a mom?
Speaker 2 (27:17):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. She’s a mom.
Speaker 3 (27:19):
I feel like even day hangs, that’s not that clear. Especially I think moms tend to drink more during the day when we’re hanging out. Fair point. Because Right. Because then when you go home then you’re like tired and whatever. So yeah, that’s not even clear that it wouldn’t involve,
Speaker 2 (27:35):
But during the day she’d be less AP to get hammered. Like it doesn’t bother me.
Speaker 3 (27:39):
Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 2 (27:40):
When she’s drinking, the problem is the few times that we have hung out and she’s drank like weight excess. And then I’m like, oh my God, you are so annoying.
Speaker 3 (27:48):
Ugh. And you know what’s hard to hear? That is that I have been that person. Oh
Speaker 2 (27:53):
I been that per, oh please. Oh fuck. I am that person. Like I have been that person. Maybe people have ghosted me in the past. Like
Speaker 3 (28:01):
Right. Like who’s ghosted us? Oh wait a second.
Speaker 2 (28:03):
Wait, wait, wait. I, I wait second. I should actually really think about that.
Speaker 3 (28:06):
I know. Wait, now I’m thinking about that like, oh, that’s why I’ve never heard from that girl
Speaker 2 (28:10):
Again. I mean I know that I’ve been that annoying drunk before and I just, it’ll be really interesting to come back from this baby and see where I’m at too. Because this pregnancy has been different in terms of drinking generally. And my first pregnancy I was 36, 37.
Speaker 3 (28:27):
Speaker 2 (28:27):
Yeah. And I ended up, after the first trimester when you get out of like the danger zone, I craved hoppy beer. And so I had a lot of hoppy beer. Not a lot mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but like, you know, a hoppy beer here or there when you go to a bar. I thought nothing of it.
Speaker 3 (28:40):
Well, because doctors are like, okay. Doctors
Speaker 2 (28:42):
Are like, yeah, I mean like on a, when you’ve talked to them one-on-one Right. They’re like you. Yeah. They’re like, you’re fine. Yeah. But um, with this one I haven’t wanted anything. So it’s been full abstinence. I think it’s just cuz I’m old and my body doesn’t want alcohol anymore. And I also just like drinking less. I do still like drinking, but I also like drinking when I know when I’m just a little bit better at moderating it. Yeah. And I think I’d stay good at moderating it, whatever that means. Yeah. Not that I don’t, I mean I tied one on and Fargo worked good and then Right. Made a baby. Yeah. I’m a little better when I take the breaks when I step back and I’m like, you know how good you’re gonna feel if you don’t drink? Yeah. Nine drinks. So don’t do that.
Speaker 3 (29:25):
It’s so funny because moderation is such a tricky thing. It’s like this rule that we set for ourselves when we’re clearheaded and nothing’s fogging our judgment. And then once we drink, even just that first drink, fogs like fucks with our, our brain immediately totally fogs our judgment and our frontal lobe and everything where we make decisions. Then it’s like, yeah, of course that goes out the window because like we we’re not of sound mind anymore.
Speaker 2 (29:50):
No, no, exactly. So it
Speaker 3 (29:52):
Makes, it makes sense. Like all like scientifically it all makes sense.
Speaker 2 (29:55):
It all makes sense. But what I love about everything that you talk about is that, you know, and when I was growing up it felt like such shades of gray. It’s like you’re an alcoholic, you’re not an alcoholic. Yes. Yeah. You have a problem with alcohol, you’re fine. I, and I guess there are some people that don’t have any weird rel kind of weird relationship with alcohol. That’s okay. Not me.
Speaker 3 (30:15):
<laugh>. Can you name one person in your life? Who is that person?
Speaker 2 (30:18):
Yeah, I definitely have a couple of friends that are just like, they, I
Speaker 3 (30:21):
Can, I always say I can name one, I can think of one person in my whole life that I’ve ever met that is like, has a really like take it or leave it. She can drink like a drink and a half and leave it. You know, like it’s just fine. She doesn’t need it. Like, I don’t know.
Speaker 2 (30:37):
Yeah. I have no, I have, I have a handful of friends that are really just like, take it or leave it. I can do this, I can do that. The majority of my friends are not those people
Speaker 3 (30:45):
<laugh>. And this is where I always wanna take it off the person and onto the substance. It’s just such a highly addictive toxin that Of course, of course. You know what I mean? Like of, of course it’s people are drinking it more and wanting it more. Like that’s like by design. But
Speaker 2 (31:00):
We’ve also never talked about it like that. And I mean as a society, right? Yeah. Because it is also such a big industry and yes, it’s been really interesting doing a deep dive into Laura Engels Wilder and history and looking at what caused prohibition and the temperance movements. And it was all women. It was all women that are like, I’m really sick of drunk men.
Speaker 3 (31:22):
Speaker 2 (31:23):
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s what, that’s what happened. Mothers and wives and women generally. Yeah. Were like, I’m sick of what this essentially poison is doing to the men in our lives. Get rid of it. Legislate it. It fell along a lot of religious lines. Yeah. But everything fell along religious lines. Right. Pen. And it really was just women who had, who were fed up, they were fed up with really drunk men.
Speaker 3 (31:46):
Isn’t that interesting that now, you know, there are still the drunk men and the drunk men were dying and now instead big alcohol was like, well we don’t want the women to do that again. So we get a market to them,
Speaker 2 (31:57):
But no now, and so now big alcohol advertises to moms rose all day and ranch water in your thermos. Yeah. At the soccer. And
Speaker 3 (32:08):
It’s totally, that’s why any, anytime anybody calls me out, like in influencing sobriety or making it look glamorous, I’m like, hell yeah I will. Because there are still moms all over the place influencing drinking. Like there was a mom, a very well-known mom blogger to get through daylight savings time. She showed herself pouring an entire bottle of wine into one of those like Stanley cups and then putting straw on. And I’m like, hold on. So you’re promoting hiding your drinking. Binge drinking and drinking to cope with motherhood and just like to a cute little song and like with a smile and a wink. And I’m like, what the fuck?
Speaker 2 (32:46):
Yeah. I mean it’s so interesting the movement towards, especially on social media of I drink to deal with my kids. Yeah. And as a child of an alcoholic, I find it almost offensive.
Speaker 3 (33:00):
Speaker 2 (33:00):
I mean, I think my parents drank cuz they had a disease. They were very sick. Had nothing to do with me. But it’s still
Speaker 3 (33:07):
Yeah. But it affects your kids. Like it
Speaker 2 (33:09):
Affects your kids. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (33:11):
Yeah. My dad had had that. I don’t even know. It’s, it is funny when you look back at your childhood, you’re like, wait, was he an alcoholic? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Cause that wasn’t a word that we used. Like that wasn’t, it was like, oh dad definitely like drank too much and I felt unsafe. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So this is not a thing that is going to help you in motherhood?
Speaker 2 (33:30):
No, no. Not at all.
Speaker 3 (33:31):
It’s a, it’s a thing that’s gonna, and if it helped motherhood, I’d be like, yeah, like moms need help, great. Do it. But not only does it not help motherhood, it makes kids feel unsafe and like it makes motherhood so much harder.
Speaker 2 (33:44):
So, and I mean, that’s the thing, it actually does make it harder. I kind of, I’ve compared it before cuz people ask me if I can write when I drank. You know, because there’s like, like so many, like Hemingway was always drunk. I
Speaker 3 (33:57):
Know. Or like Bukowski and like even like Carrie Bradshaw, you know what I mean? Like that.
Speaker 2 (34:02):
Yeah. I’m like, I can’t write shit when I drink. Yeah. Like it is an uphill battle if I had to write something. But also I can’t parent, I can survive parenting when I’m drinking. Right. I can get through it. Yes. But like, I’m not a better parent when I’ve had a few glasses of wine and I certainly, I can’t function as a parent hungover.
Speaker 3 (34:25):
No, it’s hell on earth.
Speaker 2 (34:26):
Especially, it’s a special kind of hell. It’s really a special kinda hell. Which I I, which I wish we saw more of on the Instagram because we see people pouring a whole lot of wine and I’m like, what’s gonna happen to you when you wake up? Yes.
Speaker 3 (34:37):
Yeah. Can we please like, fast forward that tape? Yeah. And like, I wanna see you even at like bedtime with your kids. I wanna see you once you put your kids to sleep. Yeah. And I wanna see you the next morning. Morning. I wanna see this morning. Just do, just do a quick check-in. Yeah. And be like, hey. Yeah. Just so you know.
Speaker 2 (34:54):
I mean it’s got, it’s like because, and having young kids really is no joke. Like I would plan going out like having a big night out around when they’re not around. Yeah. Honestly. Yeah. Like it’s like, oh, you’re spending the weekend at grandma’s fine. My husband and I like could go out and like have like a crazy night until 10 o’clock Yeah. One night and like have all the wine at dinner and all of the things. Maybe do the karaoke. But like I really had to switch my schedule around because I can’t function around my children.
Speaker 3 (35:23):
No. And it is this interesting thing about like the twenties, like party girl, which it sounds like you were, and I definitely was especially like that Gen X that like, you know, early 2000 where, I don’t know, know, it was just different. Like no one was talking about alcohol. No one was talking about, no one was talking about blacking out. No one was talking about consent. No one was talking about these things. And so then how are these like we were party girls in our twenties and now we’re moms in our forties. And how does that fit in? And you just realize like, it it doesn’t,
Speaker 2 (35:58):
It doesn’t, it doesn’t. Yeah. No, but I will say for me, and this is just so personal, I, yeah, so much of me feels like I got a lot outta my system. Yes. And so I like, I don’t feel like I have anything left to prove or do. Yes. I’m like, yeah, I did all, all that stuff, but yeah. Yeah, yeah. But I don’t regret any of those things. But I, I’m happy. Yeah. I’m happy that I, I’m at a place now where I can say that.
Speaker 3 (36:30):
Yeah. I think that’s good. I, I don’t know if I’m in a place where I can say that. That’s interesting. That’s good. That you are like, I don’t know. I think that’s what, in sobriety, that’s part of what is so hard is that stuff that you’ve kind of pushed down in those memories and those ways I acted in which I would never act sober. Oh, totally. That’s hard. Oh yeah. For me to let go of that shame and all of that, you know, I think that’s,
Speaker 2 (36:57):
Yeah. No, no. It’s sometimes when I read my emails from 2008 because they just keep popping back up. Like, just in my email. I mean, I really did, one popped up today from this. Oh my God. This guy who was terrible to me. I mean, he cheated on me with like 37 women. But like, then again, I would drink way too much and do terrible things. And so I’m reading these emails and I’m like, oh, there’s a lot of shame around that. But I actually, I, I do now feel OK with it. And I dunno what that is. Maybe I have good pregnancy hormones happening.
Speaker 3 (37:23):
No, but maybe it’s the feeling, the shame. Like you can’t live in the shame. I
Speaker 2 (37:26):
Can’t live in the shame. I can’t live in the shame. It was a life that I
Speaker 3 (37:30):
Learned yourself. Yeah. Yeah. That’s like a forgiveness that I think sounds healthy. It sounds like you’re having compassion for yourself for who you were then. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (37:38):
Yeah. And this 20 year old girl who was just like clearly like had insecurity issues Yeah. Had all of this stuff and Yeah. But I don’t think that I, I don’t think I would be the writer that I am today, or the mom or the wife. Yeah. And like, feel like a really comfortable, confident human being if I hadn’t gone through all of that shit.
Speaker 3 (37:56):
Totally. Oh, well, it’ll be interesting to see like how your relationship with alcohol kind of progresses or not progresses. That’s progress
Speaker 2 (38:04):
The wrong word. How, how, where, where are we going? Alcohol, what’s, what’s gonna happen to us? I
Speaker 3 (38:09):
Know how, how it evolves after the babe, you know? I know, I know. Like every time I gave birth it always like, took me a while to even like, like the taste of alcohol again, which should have been a sign to be like, oh, this actually does taste,
Speaker 2 (38:24):
Maybe you don’t like this. Yeah. Maybe you
Speaker 3 (38:26):
Don’t like this. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> instead, I was like, okay, just get a white knuckle through this part and get to the good part. Get to the good part, you know? Yeah. And I’m like, oh wait, maybe I just don’t want
Speaker 2 (38:34):
To be, maybe I just, just don’t like it. But yeah. But we, we’ll find out. We’ll see, we’ll see what happens when this babe comes outta my body. We’ll see also, we’ll see also what my body wants. I mean, yes. I, like, I find myself listening to my body so much more now as, you know, a geriatric woman having a geriatric pregnancy.
Speaker 3 (38:52):
I mean, that’s been Anna’s that they caused geriatric. Like even at 35.
Speaker 2 (38:56):
Speaker 3 (38:57):
Know. Fuck off
Speaker 2 (38:58):
With that. But they called me insane. They did, they did call me that at 35, but like they did. Yeah. But, but at 42 they fucking mean it at 42.
Speaker 3 (39:05):
I know, I know. And you feel it
Speaker 2 (39:07):
Speaker 3 (39:07):
42. I had my last baby at like 39 and I was like, holy shit. This is not like at 33. Like,
Speaker 2 (39:13):
I’m in that, I’m in the doctor’s office like four times a week with a, with a super healthy pregnancy. There’s been nothing wrong with this pregnancy. And they’re like, all right. So we’ll see you every day this week except Friday
Speaker 3 (39:23):
<laugh>. You’re like, see you
Speaker 2 (39:23):
Tomorrow. You’ll be great. See you tomorrow.
Speaker 3 (39:24):
Oh my God. Well thank you so much. Thank you for taking the time and good luck with that baby. Thank
Speaker 2 (39:30):
You. Okay. Yeah. Okay. I’ll keep you updated. Okay. Bye
Speaker 3 (39:32):
Honey. Bye. Hi.
Speaker 1 (39:36):
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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