Today I’m joined by Meg Geisewite, the author of the wonderful book “Intoxicating Lies: One Woman’s Journey to Freedom From Gray Area Drinking”. Join us for a conversation about the five most intoxicating lies about alcohol, the horrors of mommy wine culture, and the freedom that comes from being alcohol free.
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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, happy Monday. Welcome back to the Silver Mom Life. Today we have Meg Geist White. She’s the author of Intoxicating Lies, one Woman’s Journey to Freedom From Gray Area Drinking. You Guys, if you are, you know, somewhere in between the Take it or leave it drinker, and someone who is addicted, who sees themselves going to aa, if you’re somewhere in between there in that gray area, as Annie Grace calls it, this is for you. And I think of all the women that I talk to and all the stories that I hear every day, I think this is most of us. I think most women, most moms probably find themselves here. You might be starting to question your relationship with alcohol and what that means and what alcohol has done for you and how you have used it. Is it really delivering anything for you? If, if you’re questioning all of those things, this book is great for you.
She talks about not hitting rock bottom. And then in this conversation, we talk about mommy wine culture and how horrible it is and how much it sucks. I think that you will really enjoy this episode. She’s very relatable. She’s, she’s just, I, I like how she talks about sobriety and about the decision to quit drinking. So you will love this too. Don’t forget to come and follow me at my kind of suite to see the full sober life and then at the sober mom life on Instagram for updates on the podcast. Make sure that you rate and review the podcast if you’re loving it. Five stars helps us so much, and I read all of the reviews. I appreciate them so much. Also, if you’re wanting more bonus content, I share at least one bonus episode a week over on Patreon. The lowest level is $5, and that does get you all of the bonus episodes.
Okay, now I am going to call out our $10 patrons. So that is the highest level, and part of what you get on the highest level is a shout out on the podcast. Okay? So we have some new ones. Thank you guys. Okay, so I’m not gonna do last names. Just first names. Thank you to Annie and Jen, another Jen, another Jen, you guys, we have a lot of Jens. Heidi, Wendy, Joel, Stacy, Amanda, Jennifer, Jen with two Ns, Paige, Julia, Heather, Jamie, Stacy, Megan, Erin, Elena, Dana, and Suzanne. Hey, look at that. Thank you guys. Thank you so much for supporting the podcast. That is how I’m able to continue to do this and create all of these episodes, and we have even more fun stuff coming. Also, if you want a community, and if you’re looking to connect with more sober and sober curious moms, head to Facebook at the Sober Mom life. That’s our Facebook group. Everything is linked in the show notes, and I hope you enjoy this episode with Meg Geis Light. Okay, guys, we have Meg Geis White here, and we are gonna talk about her book. Intoxicating Lies, one Woman’s Journey to Freedom From Gray Area Drinking. First of all, I love this title. It’s amazing. Thank you. Thank you for being here.
Speaker 2 (04:20):
Well, I have to be honest, my husband came up with a title.
Speaker 1 (04:23):
Speaker 2 (04:24):
All the creds go to him.
Speaker 1 (04:26):
<laugh>. That’s good. And you used it. I mean, that’s a good wife right there. Like, and the fact that you’re saying that he did it, I’d be like, yeah, that was totally my title. <laugh>. How’d he come up with it? What was that story?
Speaker 2 (04:37):
Well, we were just, you know, brainstorming on ideas. And really, my book goes over initially the lies that we tell ourselves about ourselves. And those come really early in childhood usually, or from life experiences and traumas that happen to us. And then it goes into the five most intoxicating lies about alcohol and how alcohol really keeps us trapped in those limiting beliefs about ourselves. Yes. And the book ends with really the freedom that comes from becoming alcohol free and the truth of who we are, and most importantly, that we are enough.
Speaker 1 (05:13):
Hmm. I love that. Just as we are. I love that so much. Yes. So I do wanna hear about your story. You say the lies that we are telling about ourselves. So what were some of those lies for you and as you were growing up, what were those?
Speaker 2 (05:28):
Yeah, thanks for asking. So really, um, my first impressions with alcohol started very early and really no fault of my parents. They were under a conditioned old belief too, that alcohol is a way to connect. But they ran in a country club scene, and so my parents were either off to a, a cocktail party or we were having cocktail parties at our house, and my mom would dress me up in her, my best Jessica McClintock. Oh,
Speaker 1 (05:54):
Dress. Totally remember those frilly and pretty, yes,
Speaker 2 (05:57):
Totally. It’s right, kind of like the pilgrim look, um, and the, the velvet. So, uh, she would have me pass AEUs and really the people pleasing and the appearance mm-hmm. And that this is how we connect. And my dad would travel all week for work, and this was a way for them to let off steam. My mom would have ha had the three of us by ourselves all week. And so it was a way for her to let loose a little bit after having Yeah. You know, being a single mom all week. And I give her a lot of credit after having kids of my own. So that’s kind of my initial impression of where alcohol started for me. And then in the fifth grade, my mom took all of us to get our IQs tested. That was kind of the thing to do. Oh,
Speaker 1 (06:38):
Wow. That seems like a lot of pressure. Okay. Yeah,
Speaker 2 (06:41):
<laugh>, there was a psychiatrist in town, uh, who ran in this circle that I’m talking about, this cocktail circle. And it was kind of a rite of passage, something that every family did. She was highly respected, highly regarded. And um, so I talk about this in the book where she was telling up my score and she said, can you draw a picture why I do this? And I loved art, and I loved to draw, so I thought, oh, yeah, no problem. And in so many words, when she was done telling up my score, she basically said, you know, your score was low. It’s a good thing you can draw. You don’t have much going for you.
Speaker 1 (07:17):
Speaker 2 (07:17):
Yeah. She probably should have lost her license, right? Yes. So I’m in fifth grade, I view her as the well-respected expert in the community, and I sure was not gonna say anything to anyone. And those damaging words made me feel like I’ll never amount to much.
Speaker 1 (07:36):
Speaker 2 (07:37):
And so, you know, in college, I, I joined every extracurricular activity to kind of prove that statement wrong. I graduated Kum Lati mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but just to back up, I, in high school really drinking was like a social lubricant. Um, just a way to fit in mm-hmm. <affirmative> and really was important to me to be accepted, to be socially accepted. And so, unfortunately my freshman year, I wasn’t allowed to go to parties. So I was laying on my bed thinking of a lie to tell my mom so that I could go to this party mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I woke up to the horrific and tragic news that my best friend, who I would’ve been with that evening was killed in a drinking and driving accident. So, oh my God. Yeah. That was the very first kind of warning I got about alcohol, was to not drink and drive, which was a vow that I became president of.
Sad and was really against drinking and driving. It was like a senseless way to lose mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It was the first person I had lost in my life. So it was very, very impactful. She’s a beautiful soul. And it just felt senseless, but there were really no other warnings given, like, other than don’t drink and drive, don’t drink if you’re pregnant. Right. And so, yeah, I really went into college with the sense of, again, joining sorority and wanting to be accepted, wanting to be fit in going to the on-campus keg parties. And I was, um, my freshman year in the basement of a very big keg party, buzzing on the cheap beer, and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, a rugby player who was very handsome and charming, started talking to me and he said, really? Can’t hear you. It’s so noisy in here. Let’s go outside. And he took me behind a bush and he sexually assaulted me and, ugh, I’m so sorry.
Yeah. A fear was instilled in me that I had never had before. And again, that shame and secrecy was coming back into my body and feeling like, how can another human being do this to somebody else? So I kept that secret and didn’t tell anyone, and really started now wondering, I’m feeling like I wasn’t worthy mm-hmm. <affirmative> and cause somebody took control over me, I started to over function and go into wanting to control everything around me. Mm-hmm. And it’s, like I said, I graduated Kuati and then I got into sales, and the drinking was still just like a weekend, you know, binge like type partying with friends. And I got myself into another heavy drinking night with some guy. I had just started dating, and I was unfortunately date raped. And at this point, because this happened to me a second time, I, the unworthiness was really pretty profoundly trapped inside my body, and I didn’t really know it.
And the coping of it then was in work. I am what I, what I produce, you know, I was becoming very successful at sales. I was winning awards. I was getting into pharmaceutical sales, which is a heavy drinking culture. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, it was rewarded and almost frowned upon if you didn’t go to the bar after the meetings. And so I got caught up in kind of the hustle culture of I am what I produce. And I ended up meeting my husband in the industry and we, we got married and we loved to entertain, and alcohol was really at the center of our relationship and connection. We had two kids and then ended, ended up falling into the mommy wine culture mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and so I really bought into the details that said, behind every great mom is a bottle of wine, my kids wine, so I wine mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
And I was thinking it was a solution. So the, one of the lies in my book is that I deserve a glass. So I felt like I was taking care of everybody during the day, being in sales, I was making sure all of my doctor’s offices had what they needed. The staff was taken care of, oh, come home, take care of the kids, take care of the house, you know, make sure everything was, was set with the house. Right. And then I never really took care of myself. My reward was my glass of wine in the evening. And what a crappy consolation prize, you know, it just, right. <laugh> had no idea that it was compounding everything. And then I started having, again, this shoulds, which I hate the word should mm-hmm. <affirmative> and shame where I felt like a failure as a mother because I wasn’t the great mom that the teal said I would be.
In fact, I was too tired to play with my kids. I was rushing them to bed so that I could get to my rewarding glass of wine. And yet at the same time, I had this divided mind and heart over feeling like, this isn’t serving me, this is not making things better. But around me, all of my friends were drinking like I was. And really, quite frankly, when I would ask somebody, do you think I drink too much? They would say, no, you drink just like I do. And I talk about it in a book. I finally, finally got the courage to tell my therapist that I think I have a drinking problem. And she said, no, I really think you’re just thinking about this too much. Really. Yep. Her Ill advice kept my gray area of drinking going for two more years. And the mental tug of war and the detox to detox loop that I was in on a daily basis of waking up with just a slight fog, a slight hangover from the one to three, sometimes three can be the bottle glasses of rewarding wine.
The night before, I was always starting my day off at a deficit mm-hmm. <affirmative> and working it off by trying to eat a healthy salad. I would go to, uh, spin class or bike at 20 miles and be like, see, I’ve got this. I just biked two miles. I’m fine. And this is the story I would tell myself. And so by five o’clock, because I was exhausted taking care of everyone and everything around me, I would go back to the bottle as my self reward, self-care. And finally what scared me was somebody who, you know, always wanted to be in control when I no longer wanted my kids to do sports in the evening so that I could come home to my rewarding glass of wine. That scared me. Hmm. Cause I realized I was no longer in control. This was in control of me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
So I clicked on sober sis, uh, her website and watched her videos about the detox to detox loop. And it was like the first time that I had felt seen and I really suffered, this was in 2019, in November of 2019, I really suffered quietly internally. I thought it was my problem with Yeah. You know, like, I should do better. I should know better. But the shame and the secrecy kept me quiet and thinking, gosh, everybody around me is able to get this into check and I can’t. So I’m gonna do this 21 day reset, like instant gratification society message, another lie. I’ll just, you know, reign it in and fix it in 21 2
Speaker 1 (14:52):
Days. Just fix it. Right.
Speaker 2 (14:53):
Just fix it. You know, this is really the mindset I went into with it. Yeah. And I started journaling and reading Annie Grace’s this Naked Mind and being in selling on science, I was like, whoa, wait a second. Why am I using a depressant to celebrate? Wait, this is a carcinogenic and no amount of it is safe for the heart, you know? And I’m sitting here reading these things and saying, why do I have to have this stigma and feel like I’m the problem and have to seek out this information to learn about it? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, then I started getting angry. It was like, why are there no warnings about this on the bottles? Why is nobody talking about this now? This was in 2019. Now, you know, the sober curious movement is everywhere and it’s so great to see, but back then, it’s
Speaker 1 (15:41):
Still not everywhere though. It’s still needs to be more, you know, there’s still more talked about. Yeah. It’s still every day I hear from women being like, what? I had no idea. And it’s like, I know, like I think that so many women still don’t know what alcohol is and what it does.
Speaker 2 (15:57):
Yeah. I you’re, you know, you’re sadly it’s true. And it was one of the main reasons I wrote the book because yeah. At that time, other than Jen was sober says, and Jolene parks Ted Talk on what is gray area drinking? I couldn’t find books on gray area drinking. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I’m not saying that end stage drinking and the rock bottom stories aren’t important. They are, and I’m not throwing judgment or anything at ’em, but we need stories in every shade of the gray mm-hmm. <affirmative> on the hue. Yes. So that we can see ourselves and say, oh, that’s me. And that’s why I wrote the book, because there were no external consequences. My marriage wasn’t in the throes. I, I was doing fab, you know, doing wonderfully at work. You know, everything with my kids was fine. So it was confusing. It was like this divided mind and divided hearted. I was a divided woman, and I just felt so trapped mentally in this tug of war daily. Yeah. Why can’t I get this under control? No one was telling me that was a highly addictive drug, you know?
Speaker 1 (16:57):
Yeah. I mean, it’s so true. And the shame. You talk a lot about the shame and I, I wanna thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your sexual assault experiences. Because first I, I know how hard it is to go back there, and that must have been horrible to go back there and writing the book and everything comes up because yeah. That does leave so much shame in us. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it does leave feelings of unworthiness and not enough and not good enough. Yeah. And at the time, I’m sure you don’t work through those feelings, then you push them down. They’re really hard to feel. And that’s the thing about shame is it’s really fucking hard to feel shame. It is. And it’s really uncomfortable. And what’s easier is to grab a glass of wine so that we don’t have to feel it. Right. But then that just leads to more shame and, you
Speaker 2 (17:49):
Know, we don’t have an earth school. Yeah. Like, we should have that for our kids, like starting in high school, I believe, where they can learn about breath work and meditation and, and movement and how to regulate their nervous system and not pad yourself at every, every turn. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I write a lot about in the book that as a mother, what am I modeling to my daughter? So I do have a chapter in there where after 15 months of being alcohol free, and I think this is important to mention, I had what I call an f it moment during Covid mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I still had a lurking belief in my mind that alcohol could be a crutch. And I had caught my daughter vaping and she lied about it, and she’s in track. So I felt like a failure as a mother. My husband is immunocompromised.
I’m trying to keep the family safe. Mm. I’m trying to sell to physicians over zoom, which is nearly impossible. You know, everything was coming at me and I just had enough, you know, fighting about politics. Right. Everything that was on the loose, that was the presidential debate. It was just like the massive amount of effort I just wanna check out. And I went downstairs and I grabbed a bottle of wine that we still had. Cause we still had it in the house. It didn’t really bother me. And I poured myself a big glass of red wine, and, and I took three big swags and my body, it burned going down. And my body was like, are we doing this? Yeah. You know, <laugh> and my daughter came down the stairs with tears in her eyes and she said, mommy, is this my fault?
Speaker 1 (19:25):
Speaker 2 (19:26):
And it was like, my why got slapped across my face. And I thought, here I am telling her not to take an addictive substance like vaping. And here I am. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> drinking down an highly addictive substance <laugh>. Right. Am I not? What am I doing? Like, and I really believe that drinking, when we talk about aright freeze, um, a fawn. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Those, those responses. Yeah. Uhhuh, <affirmative>. I think that alcohol is like a freeze response because we just freeze everything. All of the problems. I was still gonna have to sell online the next day. Covid wasn’t going away, you know, the politics weren’t gonna stop. It was like, all the problems may freeze while you numb out for a little bit. They’re all gonna be there the next day.
Speaker 1 (20:12):
Right. Along with like a horrible hangover and more anxiety and less serotonin. More shame. Yes. More shame. And so what do you do now in, because you know, I’m sober almost three years. I still have fucking moments, well, at least once a week, where just life gets too much and you’re like, oh my God. But now what do you do when you have those moments instead of the wine? What do you do?
Speaker 2 (20:37):
One of the best things that I have done is meditation where mm-hmm. <affirmative>, where I just slow down and go and take some deep breaths. You know, we, we look for that numbing out, which is only lasts for 20 minutes, and then we’re just chasing it the rest of the time. In 20 minutes I can journal, I can take a few deep breaths and meditate for a few minutes. And that feeling, I honor it. Now I sit with it, acknowledge it, pause instead of reacting to it and just say, I look at it as all of the challenges now as invitations to grow mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s like, what is this here to teach me? This is a really hard thing, but I know it’s bringing a spiritual lesson for me. And sometimes it requires me to go outside and go on a walk to process all the emotions and the feelings that are coming up.
But the other thing I do is, uh, and I write about it in the book, it’s called Find the Beauty in the Day, which is when I’m on a walk, I look for, it’s either sunrise or leaf, I collect heart rocks, anything that kind of brings you back to this moment of like, life has you, you’re being held in love through this journey. And here’s like a minute of just savoring in that gratitude and having an attitude for gratitude. And that magic just appears. Like I get so excited to go out on my walks and slow down to the pace of nature. Mm-hmm. When I was caught up in the mommy wine culture and the hustle culture, I was just going, going, going, going, going. And I remember my therapist said to me, neg, do you feel dutiful yet dead? Hmm. And I was like, that’s exactly how I feel. It was like checking everybody’s Yeah. Needs.
Speaker 1 (22:23):
I think all moms can relate to that feeling. Yeah. Of it’s like, okay, there’s so much needing and giving and what about me? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like, what about me? Yeah. Who gets to, you know, when we’re sick, we take care of ourselves when everyone else is sick, we’re taking care of them. Like who takes care of us when we’re having a bad day? And you know, don’t overlook the chocolate in the pantry too. Just, that’s right. Just hiding. You guys just go hide. Just find a hiding spot. Oh my God. I’ve started doing this too, because my three-year-old loves hide and seek and my five-year-old. And so I’ll be like, sure, let’s play hide and seek. I find the best hiding places and stay there for like 15 minutes <laugh>. And I’m like, no. Still haven’t found me. And it’s like the best, I always say, I hate playing with my kids. Like, I hate, I’m not gonna play Barbies. I’m not gonna play like <laugh>, you know, make believe, but I will play like the best game of hide and seek and I’ll hide. I’ll find the best spot. And it’s like so mean. And my three-year-old’s, like, where is she? My five-year-old’s? Like, we’ll find her. And I’m like, no, you won’t.
<laugh>. Oh my god.
Speaker 2 (23:25):
Speaker 1 (23:26):
Yes, exactly. I’m like, we need a good game of hide and seek.
Speaker 2 (23:30):
Ugh. Yeah. But it’s women we’re just not told that we need rest.
Speaker 1 (23:34):
Speaker 2 (23:35):
Community and connection and support. Not wine. We’re, we’re sold this lie that this is going to solve all of the challenges of parenthood. And it just, everything so much harder. So
Speaker 1 (23:46):
Much harder. And it’s so easy to understand why moms would believe it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because it feels easy. Right. And it’s like, oh God, who has time to find community and who has time to work on our mental health? You know, like, right. All of this, like, well, let’s just do, just go for the wine, because that’s easy. And I always say like, if that was, if it worked, I’d be like, yes. You know, do that. Right. Because, but the thing is, is not only does it not work, it makes everything so much harder.
Speaker 2 (24:14):
So much harder. It compounds our de you know, our depression, our anxiety. Yeah. Another reason I wanted to write this book is I’m just so angry at how many times I was too tired to play in the ocean with my kids, or, you know, get on the playground with them. I was just exhausted all the time. And I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired. And it, and I don’t even think that we realize we’re doing it as women. We post these memes on our social media and things that we think are funny and we’re making each other sick, and we’re just promoting big alcohol who’s preying on our weakness that we need support and we need rest and we need community. And I, you’re right, it’s like the easy staples button. So much easier just to go have a drink. But like I said earlier, you’re just freezing it. It’s just gonna be around the corner again.
Speaker 1 (25:01):
<laugh>. It’s so true. And then you’re gonna
Speaker 2 (25:02):
Deal with it with a hangover. Oh,
Speaker 1 (25:04):
So true. So when did you finally stop? When was your aha. Like you, you didn’t hit rock bottom, which I love, like you said, like rock bottom stories are important, but I love these stories even more of, it’s just like one day you do decide like, I am not going to lose more than I’ve already lost to alcohol. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because I know that could be coming, but I’m not going to wait until I lose more. And so Yeah. What was that moment for you?
Speaker 2 (25:30):
For me, you know, this is where I think it’s so important for your listeners to, you know, when you go to a wellness class and it’s yoga and champagne or a spin class and they’re telling you to sweat out the toxins, it’s so confusing. It normalizes our gray area. Drinking. You could have a doctor who tells you a glass a night is not a big deal. You know, we know otherwise, um, you know, my, just like my therapist telling me that I was overthinking it. Yeah. And I’m so grateful that I did was I finally listened to my inner knowing. It’s that small little voice that women have, women have a sixth sense of intuition that is deep and profound, and alcohol numbs it out. And it corrodes that connection to that intuition. And I talk a lot in my book about your inner knowing mm-hmm. <affirmative>,
My inner knowing was pleading with me, do something about this. This is not serving us. And it wasn’t until I stopped, because my whole life I was looking outside myself for validation. So when I stopped looking to everybody else who was telling me I was a normal drinker and that I hadn’t hit rock bottom, but listened to my own inner voice that was telling me, this is enough, this is not serving you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that is when I hit the button, you know, to join the community. And I, I really, really encourage, I love that you have a Facebook community. I think it’s so important for women mm-hmm. <affirmative> to know that they’re not alone. And to be heard scene, loved and validated through this journey. Because that’s why my book cover is swirls. It’s up and down. It’s all around. Yes. You know, there’s twists and turn in this journey, it’s progress over perfection.
I love in h Whitaker’s book, quite like a woman, you don’t just get up and run the New York marathon. Right. You know, it takes training. And that’s why that that effort moment where I drank 15 months after not drinking, it shifted something in me to never want to drink again. I, instead of looking at it as a failure, it became feedback. It was like a, I call it my book A sidestep mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s not a failure, it’s not a step back. Like I’ve heard that word used. Right. You know, words are important, it’s a sidestep. It’s like, but if you don’t give up and you say, what did that teach me? It made me realize I still had this lurking belief that I could use it as a crutch. And it really was not a crutch. Like we talked about. It was making Right. Everything worse. And I knew better then. Right. I knew better I had been doing the work. Yeah. So I just say, don’t give up. Don’t, if you have side steps, view them as feedback and not failure.
Speaker 1 (28:13):
Yeah. It’s so true. And, and we’re so just conditioned to believe that alcohol is the answer. It’s the answer to everything. It’s the way to celebrate, it’s the way to commiserate, it’s the way to connect. I especially during these, like if there’s a dry January, uh, sober October, any, anytime anyone takes a break from drinking, oh, my dog just came in. Aww, <laugh>. It’s her birthday today. She’s won.
Speaker 2 (28:37):
Oh, happy birthday,
Speaker 1 (28:39):
<laugh>. This is the sober mom life right here. But when I hear people say, you know, God, oh, I would do 30 days, but I have a wedding. And so of course mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’m gonna have to, and it’s from where probably you sit now. And definitely from where I sit, it’s like, you couldn’t pay me enough to drink at a wedding. I mean, weddings are so much fun. Why would I drink through it? You know? So perspective just changes so much, but it doesn’t change until you get there.
Speaker 2 (29:06):
So true. You have to go through, through kind of the hard parts to see the fog lift. You know, it takes what I think seven to 10 days for alcohol to get out of our body. And really then the beauty
Speaker 1 (29:18):
Starts, or even more probably if you were like a huge drinker. Right? Right. Like, I talked to somebody who was like a, you know, definitely a daily drinker and she said she was still feeling alcohol’s effects at like day 20. And so if you’re still feeling, wow. That’s why a lot of the times that like, you know, we, I always talk about like the 30 days, and sometimes those 30 days aren’t gonna be magical. It’s, you’re not gonna sleep better right away. Anxiety might get worse. Right. You know? Yeah. And so it’s, well, don’t just stop after the 30 days because then you’re gonna have to do that hard part again.
Speaker 2 (29:51):
Right. <laugh>, that was what kept me, like, I felt like the first 30 days were really difficult. I mean, I was a daily drinker and Yeah. It really scared me when I couldn’t quit for more than two weeks at a time. I was like, why can’t I quit? And I think it was like, almost like you said, like that was when the alcohol was starting to come off. And so my body was like, we gotta have this, you
Speaker 1 (30:09):
Speaker 2 (30:10):
But I didn’t really feel a shift mentally until a hundred
Speaker 1 (30:14):
Days. Really. Okay. So Yeah.
Speaker 2 (30:16):
Yeah. That was a big, and you know, I think it’s good that we have these challenges because I know that I was caught up in the whole messaging too, of like instant gratification. Like, let me just reign it in for 21 days and fix myself. Right. But what I encourage people to do is stay curious and really start journaling. Like, how are you feeling and what is this providing for you? And what are your beliefs about alcohol? You know, it’s really all the lies that we believe. Yeah. Like you said about it that keep us trapped in it. And the more curious you are and the more time you give your, your body mind and, and spirit to heal Yes. The better off you are. And it really, it doesn’t really happen in 30 days. It takes a lot longer.
Speaker 1 (31:01):
It really does. And then even, you know, after the 30 days, I mean, you talk about your inner knowing, and for most of us, we don’t know. And we haven’t heard that. We haven’t felt our gut and responded to it and even known what it’s saying, probably our entire adult life if we’ve been drinking. Right. It’s like learning a new language. It’s like, it is, okay, what do I need right now? If I normally grab a glass of wine as soon as I come in the door from work, when I’m gonna cook dinner, I’m not gonna do that. But what was making me do that? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I wanted to decompress. Uh, anxiety was high after the day. I now have, you know, bedtime staring down at me and trying to put my kids to sleep. And that can be stressful. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so, okay. I needed an escape. Now what does that mean? Now what do I do? Like what do I, you know, I, I think so many women get caught up in the witching hour. Yes. And it’s just so understandable because that’s when we’re at our lowest, you know?
Speaker 2 (32:06):
So true. It’s the hardest part of the day. Yes. I talk a lot about the witching hours in my book because it was like, the wine was what got me through it. You know? I don’t really love cooking and like you said, putting the kids to bed is, would take a really long
Speaker 1 (32:20):
Time. You guys, like every day, every day by like six o’clock, I’m like, oh no, here it comes. Like, I gotta gear up for it. My kids are eight, five, and three. And it’s, I’m like, I’m just looking down the barrel of this like, oh, hours long process, you know? And I’m like, can I just like curl up and watch bad tv?
Speaker 2 (32:39):
And we aren’t taught to like fill our buckets first. And so we give, give, give all day long. Yes. At work or wherever, you know. And so by the time the witching hours show up, our bucket is like on e.
Speaker 1 (32:52):
Speaker 2 (32:53):
And we wonder why we’re so exhausted and we just have not, even if it’s like five minutes of just pulling the car over and taking some deep breaths and putting your hand on your heart and being like, yes, I am enough. I have done enough. I’m okay. You know, and just really reconnecting with yourself.
Speaker 1 (33:11):
And I think when you need that escape, because I do, moms do need an escape. And if wine was an escape, we would say, yes, go for it. But we do need some sort of escape because we are needed and wanted and just like pulled at and tugged at and touched and called for all day long. Even when I’m peeing, even right now as we’re recording, my five-year-old is right there <laugh>. And so like, it’s understandable to want an escape. And I think just to even normalize Yeah. Wanting an escape. That’s okay. And that is normal. Yeah. And there’s nothing shameful in saying this is too much right now. This is too much needing. So true. Yeah. I think we just need to normalize. Like, I don’t wanna do it all, all the time. I don’t wanna be everything to everybody all the time. Yeah. Or even probably 80% of the time <laugh>. Like, I don’t wanna, it’s so funny. New Year’s Eve, we had a dance party as we tend to do at home,
Speaker 2 (34:09):
Speaker 1 (34:10):
Yeah. Just the kids and my husband and my mom and I and the dog. And we were just dancing in the living room and, and I really thought, oh my god, music is such an escape for me.
Speaker 2 (34:20):
Oh, so true. So
Speaker 1 (34:21):
Like if I’m dancing to Karma Chameleon, I’m back, you know, I’m back in my family’s living room, or if I’m listening to a song from the early aughts, I’m in Atlanta. And so like,
Speaker 2 (34:33):
Speaker 1 (34:34):
Music for me, it just hit me how much of an escape that is. It makes me feel these things, it makes me remember these situations. And I’m, I literally feel like I’m back there.
Speaker 2 (34:44):
Yeah. You, you need your soul to come alive again. It’s that dutiful yet dead feeling that we feel as mothers. It’s a real feeling. And yes, I write about in my book too, like to go back to when you were a little girl, what did you love to do? Did you love to dance? Did you love music? Did you like to paint? Or was it riding your bike? Yeah. And so I created a playlist called I Love Me of really like empowering women’s songs. And when I’m biking down the trail, I’m singing out loud. I’m sure I sound horrible, you know, but do
Speaker 1 (35:13):
It, sing it loud. I do
Speaker 2 (35:14):
It. Yes. Yeah. Like get that soul alive again. I recently took a watercolor painting class.
Speaker 1 (35:20):
Oh, that’s fun.
Speaker 2 (35:21):
And I was like, I don’t have time to do this. Like, I was like, why did I sign up for this? I cannot believe this is for two hours. I don’t have time. Yeah. And I got there and I was mad at myself. I was like, I cannot believe I put this on my calendar. And we started painting and it was like, to-do list went away the best. I immersed myself in those colors. It was like I showed up for that little girl. She was like, came alive.
Speaker 1 (35:45):
Speaker 2 (35:46):
And it’s like reconnecting with what brings your soul alive is so important. You know?
Speaker 1 (35:52):
I like that you say that you were like, God, you were like pissed off at yourself. Like how could I, how could I have signed myself? I am like that with probably every li everything on my calendar. I’m like, oh God. You know, like any a workout, every workout, what are you thinking? Any, yeah. Any friend’s dinner any date night? And I’m like, oh my God, why did, like I, if it was up to me, which it is, but I would just, you know, hole up with a book in my bed under the covers, but Right. But as soon as I come home from those things, I feel so much better. And I always try to remind myself Yes. I’m like, okay, you’re gonna dread this right now and that’s okay. You can dread it and you cannot wanna go and you can go kicking and screaming <laugh> just know though that you’re gonna come out of there a different, with a different attitude. For sure.
Speaker 2 (36:39):
That’s right. You know, when you come out alive, you show up to your family.
Speaker 1 (36:46):
Speaker 2 (36:47):
A much better,
Speaker 1 (36:48):
You’re nicer. Oh my gosh, I’m nicer. <laugh>,
Speaker 2 (36:51):
We’re nicer. And that’s what we need to model to our children, right. Is like, yes, this is the way you let off steam is if the dance party and come alive. And Yeah. We used to do that in our kitchen too, when my kids were younger. They’re teenagers now, so they think we’re cringey, you know?
Speaker 1 (37:04):
Ah, I I’m telling you, my eight year old already thinks I’m cringey and I’ll do some moves. And she’s like, what? And I’m like, you don’t know how great of a dancer I am. I used to dance in clubs. Okay. Oh my God, I love it. I can’t even imagine how she’s gonna be when she’s a teenager. <laugh>. Oh my God. So what about, cuz I always get the question about partners and our husbands, if our husbands still drink and how that affects marriage. I think that’s, understandably so many women tend to think about that first, which just goes to show how much we’re used to taking care of other people is how is my not drinking or my sobriety going to affect my husband and our marriage? How is that for you?
Speaker 2 (37:46):
Yeah. Well, at first my husband was like, are you gonna do this forever? And
Speaker 1 (37:52):
Oh my God, I love that question. Always that question. Right? I’m like, I, I know if I’m gonna do anything forever.
Speaker 2 (37:58):
Speaker 1 (37:59):
Yeah. Like, I don’t know how I’m, how long I’m doing, like literally anything in my life, so why would I know for this? Yeah.
Speaker 2 (38:05):
And that was my response. I was like, I don’t know. Yeah. You know, I’m doing 21 days, this feels so good. I’m gonna do 90 days. And then after a hundred days, I told you things started to shift for me. And you know, he joined me on my journey. And I know that all of the other women in my, in my community, their husbands did not. So. Right. I’ve added their stories into my book. So, because I want women who have husbands who drink to feel seen and this journey is about you, it’s not about them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I told him, please do not quit for me. If you wanna drink, that’s fine. This is about me. This is something that I need to work on myself. But I got very vulnerable in the book and talking about how that initial phase of early sobriety, I felt very raw.
Like I had no skin and I, everything was getting under me and irritating me, including my husband. Oh yeah. And you know, we went to marriage counseling at that point, and I write about this because I think it’s an important thing too. Note early on in this, in the journey is that this was the slowest transformation for me was our intimacy because we always connected over alcohol and got, you know, inebriated and things led to a lot of things happening in the bedroom. More often. When I took that substance away, I was going to bed earlier, my mind, body and spirit were like, my emotional bandwidth was like, I think,
Speaker 1 (39:32):
Think that makes sense for those who have lived through sexual assault too. I mean, that’s not uncommon to, like, that’s a lot to deal with, with a sober mind and we often haven’t. Yes. And so even though it’s with our husbands who we trust, like that can be very scary and just so vulnerable.
Speaker 2 (39:51):
So vulnerable. Yeah. And I, you know, I do take the reader through my healing journey with a somatic therapist who worked on getting
Speaker 1 (39:58):
Speaker 2 (40:00):
Through that trauma because I did talk therapy for years and thought I had handled it and realized that I had not, it was trapped inside my body. And until I did somatic therapy, I didn’t realize that I actually had to kind of get those emotions out of my body. Yeah. But I will tell you that, um, our marriage counselor at the time said, you know, Meg, when you are on yellow with sex, I want you to go green.
Speaker 1 (40:24):
Okay. What does that mean? Tell me when you’re on yellow. I
Speaker 2 (40:28):
Like my talk about the inner knowing popup. She like picked up me with like, did she just tell you to be submissive? I
Speaker 1 (40:33):
Know. What does this mean? So when you are feeling like, oh, I, I could, but I I’m not really into it, she’s saying like, go for it.
Speaker 2 (40:41):
Go for it.
Speaker 1 (40:41):
Speaker 2 (40:43):
We got rid of her <laugh>. That was our last session. Let me just say that first foremost.
Speaker 1 (40:49):
Yeah. That doesn’t Okay, good. Because that feels a little bit like, well, that’s the opposite of listening to my inner knowing therapist.
Speaker 2 (40:56):
Right? Yeah. And so I really resonate with Glennon Doyles, you know, disappoint every, your job and Judy is to disappoint everyone around you, but not yourself.
Speaker 1 (41:05):
Speaker 2 (41:06):
And so I sat down with my husband after we let her go, and I said, look, I am going through a big transformation right now. This doesn’t mean I don’t love you, this doesn’t mean I’m not attracted to you, but we, we need to find a new connection. We started biking together, we started doing healthy things of connecting, going on walks together. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was going to bed earlier, waking up earlier. So I was like, let’s go bed together earlier. You know, let’s connect earlier. You know, it was this big major shift and the rhythm to that connection was the slowest on my journey and took a lot of time. And I just, you know, for anybody who’s listening, like it, it it, it just takes time, you know, to heal that and reconnect.
Speaker 1 (41:52):
Yeah. That’s like a totally new, it was the same for me. It was, it was a totally new thing to be completely sober.
Speaker 2 (42:00):
Yes. And everyone says, oh, sober sex is so great.
Speaker 1 (42:03):
Which it is once you get past, once you figure out what you need from your partner Yes. And how to say that and how then it is because it is like all, you could feel everything when before you couldn’t. Right. Which it really helps to feel things during sex. I don’t know if <laugh>, I dunno, but like that’s really helpful.
Speaker 2 (42:25):
Yeah. But those intimacy w wires are like reconnecting, you know? Yeah. The en corroded by alcohol for a while and it was like I was looking for new plugs of connection and spark and Yeah. It took time. You know, so just, you know, be gentle with yourself on that journey because I don’t think we talk about that a lot. And that’s one of the reasons I wrote about it in the book is, you know, I had a lot of people who were like, are you sure you wanna put this out there? I’m like, we have to start talking about this. No,
Speaker 1 (42:52):
It’s so good. You did. I’m so glad that you came on here and shared your story. I, I’m glad that you were so vulnerable in the book and in talking about things that we need to talk about that generally we’ve been taught not to
Speaker 2 (43:06):
Yeah. We’re just taught to please and Yeah. You know, look outside of ourself for validation
Speaker 1 (43:11):
And, and to be small,
Speaker 2 (43:12):
Really getting these messages that were not enough and alcohol keeps us small, quiet and checked out and not connected to that knowing that you are enough. Yes. You don’t need to do more. You are, you know, just enough the way you are. And to just rest, connect, get into community and not wine <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (43:31):
Yes. Oh, rest connect. Get into community and not wine. I love it. That could be like the tag for the podcast. I love it so much. <laugh>. Meg, thank you so much. Is the book out now or when does it come out?
Speaker 2 (43:43):
Right now on my website, intoxicating lies.com you can get a personalized signed copy.
Speaker 1 (43:48):
Speaker 2 (43:49):
And, um, then all the, the bookstores are releasing it the week of January 17th.
Speaker 1 (43:54):
Oh, good. Okay. So I think by the time this podcast comes out, I think we’ll be beginning of February. So it’s out now. And maybe I’ll do like a giveaway. I’ll, I’ll give away a copy. I’ll, I’ll buy one and give away a copy.
Speaker 2 (44:05):
Speaker 1 (44:06):
Love that. Oh my God, my guys might. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. Thanks,
Speaker 2 (44:11):
Suzanne. It was such an honor. I appreciate you having me. Thanks.
Speaker 1 (44:14):
Speaker 2 (44:14):
Speaker 1 (44:19):
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Sober Mom Life. If you loved it, please rate and review it wherever you listen. Five stars is amazing. Also, follow me on Instagram at the sober mom life. Okay. I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat my coffee. Bye.
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