Navigating Early Sobriety with Julia Dzafic of Lemon Stripes


February 20, 2023

Julia Dzafic of @lemonstripes on Instagram joins me on the pod today! Julia is newly sober and is in the process of figuring out what sobriety looks like for her. I’m so honored to have her join me to share her experience! 

Tune in for a chat about saying goodbye to ‘hangxiety’, managing social anxiety in those first sober months, and why influencers peddling mommy wine culture need to be held accountable for the content they choose to share. 

Check out Julia on Instagram! 


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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. I am excited about today’s episode. We have Julia JK from Lemon Stripes. This is, this is a fun one for me. She’s another influencer and she’s based out of Connecticut. She shares, I mean, her feed is just so refreshing. She shares pretty clothes, motherhood, recipes, and she also is newly into her sobriety journey. I love talking to her because she’s in it right now. She’s trying to figure out what this journey is for her and you know, she’s working on answering all those questions that we have in early sobriety. And yeah, she’s just so honest and real about it. You will fall in love with her for sure. Be sure to go check out her page. Lemon Stripes. And before we get to the interview, I wanna talk about Patreon. So I share on Patreon, I share our Sunday check-ins.

So that’s a new thing I’m doing over there. Every Sunday morning I check in with you and kind of, I don’t know, it’s the, what’s the opposite of Sunday? Sunday Scaries, whatever that is. That’s what Sunday is. Over on Patreon. Sunday mornings, there’s something so special about it. Make sure that if you aren’t following on Patreon, go over there. There’s a lot of exciting things coming up. So for $5 a month, that’s the entry level. You get all of the bonus content. So you get those Sunday check-ins. You also get, I do another bonus episode. I think last week it’s, I shared it on Wednesday. It’s just kind of things that I’ve been thinking about sometimes the mental health things with my mom who’s a retired therapist. Also, something really exciting that we’re starting is in March, every Friday at 11:00 AM central time, we’re gonna have a Zoom meeting.

And that’s for our Patreon members, for the $7 members and the $10 members. So we have a free meeting every Tuesday at 11:00 AM and you get that through the Facebook group. So mom Life Facebook group and the Zoom meeting through Patreon is going to be very similar. It’s, there’s no pressure to talk, no pressure to turn on your camera, but it’s just a place that you can come to connect with other sober and sober, curious moms and women. No men allowed. And we get to talk about, man, we’ve been doing that Tuesday, meaning f meeting for months now. And it’s quickly become my favorite part of the week. And it’s just, if you have something to vent about, if you have something to celebrate, if you’re struggling with something, just bring it all to the meeting. And it’s, it’s kind of an open forum. There’s no time limit on talking.

We have our, our therapists, our resident therapist, my mom is there too, to give us real good advice from a therapist. And then we are just there to support each other. So that is starting in March on Fridays. And that is for the Patreon members who pay $7, that’s the middle tier, and then also for the $10. And then also coming for the $10 members is going to be the Discord channel where you guys can chat with each other and connect with each other. We know that connection and just finding your people in sobriety is so important. And don’t discount those connections you make online because they are real. And a lot of times it takes a while for us to find those connections in real life in our lives. And it probably starts online and that’s great. So be sure to go to patreon.com/the sober mom life.

Everything is linked in the show notes. And um, come follow me on my kind of suite on Instagram to see a full sober life and the sober mom life on Instagram for everything about the podcast. Okay, and so now I’m going to shout out our $10 members. This Paton is growing every week and I’m just so thankful and so honored that you decide to support the podcast. I can’t thank you enough. So thank you to Tara, Sandra, Alana, Joyce, Emily, Annie, Jen, Jen, Heidi, Wendy, Joelle, Stacy, Amanda, Jennifer, Jen with two wins, Paige, Julia, Heather, Jamie, Stacy, Megan, Erin, Elena, Dana and Suzanne. Thank you guys so much. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Also, I’m not using last names just in case. You know, you guys aren’t out and proudly sober yet, which is totally okay. That’s on your timeline. So yes, thank you so much and I hope you enjoy this episode with Julia.

We were just talking and I was like, wait, we have to start recording cuz this is too good. I wanna hear what I said was your story. And then you said like I didn’t know had a story which I think a lot of moms can relate to because we have been taught that like the story of drinking needs to be this rock bottom and it’s, you wait until alcohol’s obviously a problem, you lose so much, but it’s not that right? First of all, welcome. Hi and thank you for being here. <laugh>, we just dive right in. <laugh>,

Speaker 2 (06:18):

Thank you. Hi, thank you for having me. I love you. I love your content. I’m so happy to finally meet you. You’re such an inspiration for you know, newly sober people like me. I have a friend who’s also, she’s a year sober next month shout out to Kelly and she and I send each other your posts all the time. So we just appreciate what you’re doing.

Speaker 1 (06:39):

Aw, thank you. I appreciate you. You, I was saying before you make me wanna organize my entire home, like your home is so bright and airy and like a breath of fresh air, your organization. I’m like okay, I need to get my act together. So you inspire me. So thank you.

Speaker 2 (06:55):

Well happy to help. It is a lot of work, but I’m so happy I’ve gotten to where I am. Anyway, back to alcohol cause that’s why the people are here, I assume. That’s right. Uh, I was saying to you right before we started recording that I feel like I don’t really have a story cause I never hit this rock bottom. You know, I wasn’t sneaking drinks, I wasn’t doing things that you think of as a problem with alcohol. Right. And alcohol was a huge problem for me, which I didn’t realize until I stopped drinking. And I’ll get into why. But the moment that I decided to take a break, which I thought would be a week or two, was I was at a friend’s wedding and I was overserved and ran into a wall, which was horrifyingly, embarrassing <laugh> as an influencer. It’s like a next level embarrassing because I knew that a couple of my followers were there and I was in the bathroom with somebody who followed my account and I had just had this sloppy moment of running into a wall and it was mortifying. Yeah, <laugh>. I also woke up the next morning with the anxiety about that and a horrific hangover with my two little kids. And I was like, I never want to do this again. And that was the first time I said that and I meant it and I haven’t done it again. That was four months ago.

Speaker 1 (08:05):

Okay. Wow. Yeah. So what do you think? Because that’s probably not, I mean running into a wall that that’s not the worst thing that could happen. It probably felt like the worst thing that could happen and probably, I’m guessing worst things have happened in your drinking. So what do you think, like this is the question I always get is like, why then? And I still kind of struggle to understand like, why was the last time, the last time for me when it wasn’t anything earth shattering?

Speaker 2 (08:34):

That’s a really interesting question and I go back to the time before that, that was a little bit darker for me and I don’t know why I didn’t stop then, but I think it was like this one kind of dark thing that happened and then this together plus years of playing this game with myself of should I drink, should I not drink and I feel terrible and this, that it just kind of added up and I was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The time before that, that I’m referencing was that I went out with two friends and we were just having a great time. We were having dinner, we were drinking a lot and they both drank a lot more than I like in general. Drank a lot more than I did and I couldn’t keep up, but I felt as if I had to keep up.

So by the end of the night I was pretty drunk and didn’t really realize it till the next morning. But I drove myself home, which was completely unsafe. Woke up the next morning, still a little bit tipsy, got my kids to school somehow and then fell asleep and missed an important appointment, which was just, I actually could cry thinking about this. I haven’t even ever told this story to anybody. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, including my husband. Yeah. But it was, it felt so bad. I felt like this is not who I am, you know, I’m a person who’s on top of my shit and I keep my life together. I take care of my work, I take care of my kids, I keep my house clean, I do everything I’m supposed to. And that moment I was like, this is not who I am. This is a dark side of life that I don’t wanna be a part of. And I lied to everybody around me about what had happened and can’t believe that I kept drinking after that for a few more months. But did

Speaker 1 (10:05):

First thank you for sharing that because I think that probably every single mom who’s listening understands the shame that you felt. And the thing about shame is that it, it doesn’t survive talking and light. And when we talk about it, I think that that has been the most eye-opening thing about sobriety for me is it’s like when we share these, like these moments that we’ve locked away and we’re just, we’re like, no, that’s just too, it’s too painful to even consider. It’s too painful to look at. It’s too painful to think about the what ifs. All of that stuff. When we start to bring it up there is just multiple, like, I’m gonna say hundreds of moms who say, oh my god, me too. Like I did that too. And I always say this like sitting in this chair when moms are so brave and vulnerable and open up and talk about those moments where alcohol tricked them and took a lot from them. It’s so clear to me that it’s the alcohol. Like you just would not do that as a mom. You would not make those choices as a mom if alcohol wasn’t in the picture. But when it’s our own story, it’s like so just filled with shame and I, I totally understand that.

Speaker 2 (11:25):

Yeah. And you can’t really, or for me, I couldn’t really see it. See how not okay it was and talk about it until I got to the other side, which is now.

Speaker 1 (11:37):

Yeah. And so let’s talk about that. So when you said when you woke up and you said, okay, no more like I’m done. That was kind of the moment that I had too and it wasn’t, it was like the brutal hangover and then I’m just like, wait, like there has to be something better, right? Like this, this can’t like am I just gonna keep doing this because I’ve always done this? Like that doesn’t make sense. And so what happened then? Like what was that first day like or that first week like when you decided, did you think okay, I’m done or I’m just gonna take a break?

Speaker 2 (12:09):

I thought it was gonna take a break. I thought it was gonna be like a dry January type of thing, which I’ve done every year. I said I’m gonna take two weeks off. I had always tried to take weekdays off. I tried to take a week off here or there and it never worked for me but I said I’m gonna take two weeks off no matter what I promised myself I’m gonna do this. I got through those two weeks and I felt so much better. My anxiety was so much better. My backstory for your listeners with anxieties that I’ve struggled my whole life and got medicated after I had my first child. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I’ve been doing much better. But alcohol always made it worse. Always. Which is true for everybody.

Speaker 1 (12:45):

Yes. Always. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (12:47):

Anyway, so I took those first two weeks off and felt so good and so much less anxious and woke up without headaches and if something felt off in my body, I knew what it was. Instead of thinking maybe this is a hangover or maybe this is something I ate funny cause I was drinking and I just felt so much better. I kept going and going and that same friend Kelly, who’s sober a few months before me really encouraged me and kept telling me how much better she felt and having that support system, I don’t think I would have kept going without that.

Speaker 1 (13:14):


Speaker 2 (13:15):

So I’m forever grateful to her for that because she taught me a lot.

Speaker 1 (13:18):

Yeah, that’s huge. Like to have somebody and if you don’t have somebody in person, like you were pretty lucky that you had somebody in person like she lives in Connecticut too. Yeah. That you could count on. You guys are kind of in this together. If you don’t have that like online always, you know, I always say like just start online and then way leads on to way and having that person, even just literally one person makes a huge difference in a world where everybody drinks

Speaker 2 (13:45):

Huge. And she also made me feel less weird, you know, it’s weird to not drink, which is, which is weird. Yeah. But it is weird to not drink

Speaker 1 (13:53):

<laugh> and it’s weird. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (13:55):

Actually one, the one thing I kept reminding myself to say during this podcast, so I’ll get it out now, is that she sent me, maybe you posted this, someone posted it. It was a chart where it showed your dopamine levels after alcohol obviously spikes goes way down and then goes further down the next morning. Then the other part of the chart is a second line that says without alcohol, it’s more like a slow climb towards happiness, less anxiety. You work out, you eat well, you do all these other things for your wellness. And every single time I wanna have a drink, I think about that chart and say, let me ma make myself a mocktail, have something else instead. And if I still want it after that, with that chart in mind, then I’ll have it. And since I started doing that, I haven’t caved on it.

Speaker 1 (14:38):

That’s a really good trick. So you’re like a visual learner obviously. Like you, you like. Yes. Yeah, that’s a really good trick you guys like I’ll find that chart. It wasn’t me, I’m just not a charty person. Like that’s not how my brain, but I love that. Yeah. If you’re a visual learner like that, I think that’s great. Then you can see, oh wait, this is what alcohol is actually doing to my mental health.

Speaker 2 (15:00):

And if you’re not a visual learner, just the idea of thinking, okay, if I have that drink, yeah I’m gonna feel great for the next 20 minutes, the next hour. But remember the morning, just try to remember the morning.

Speaker 1 (15:11):

It’s so true. I think that especially as moms, like mornings for me are my favorite time. Like if I can get up before my children, my day is infinitely better than if I wake up and a kid is standing right next to me and then I’m like, oh God, the day is shot. I hate this. I’m starting on my back foot. Like it’s so much harder. But if I can get that time in the morning, like mornings and sobriety I think are the sweetest thing. They’re my absolute favorite.

Speaker 2 (15:43):

Especially Sunday mornings, right? Oh

Speaker 1 (15:46):

The best

Speaker 2 (15:47):

<laugh>. Last weekend my, we were out with friends and I didn’t drink and my husband did and the next morning he was so hungover and I just felt for so superior, which is so awful to say, but no, it’s true. Just a few hours. I was like, I did this. Right.

Speaker 1 (16:02):

Yes. And I love that when that happens, you know, you don’t even have to say anything, you just <laugh>, you just look at them and then, and they know.

Speaker 2 (16:11):

Oh yeah,

Speaker 1 (16:11):

Okay, so your husband still drinks. How is that? Because that’s a question that I get a lot, a lot of women, I think when we decide to stop drinking we immediately go to how is this gonna affect our marriage. A lot of couples have bonded always over alcohol, alcohol’s a part of date nights, everything. How has that gone for you and was that a concern when you stopped drinking?

Speaker 2 (16:33):

That was not a concern. Mainly because my husband is not a big drinker, especially compared to like a lot of my friends and people that I know, he just drinks a lot less and rarely gets, I think I’ve seen him actually drunk only a handful of times. So it’s not a huge issue. It wasn’t an issue for me and he’s been incredibly supportive about it. So there have been a few times when I’ve been incredibly stressed out or anxious or whatever’s going on with the kids and I’m just say, I just wanna drink so badly. And he looks at me and says, just remember what you’re gonna feel like tomorrow. And repeats my mantra to me. And even though he might have the drink, he reminds me what I need from me. We are different people.

Speaker 1 (17:08):


Speaker 2 (17:09):

But I was more concerned about whoever was friendships. I have quite a few friendships in which we drink a lot together, especially one specific crew that we hang out with and my husband and I are friends and the kids are friends and we spend a lot of time together and everyone’s always drinking and it’s always a really good time. So that was one thing I was terrified of was ruining that vibe. It has not changed a single thing about those friendships and that’s like a huge point I wanna get across to anybody listening is that my friends all accepted it. One of them got really drunk one time and said, I wish I was doing this too.

Speaker 1 (17:43):

Aw. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (17:43):

And I still have so much fun with them because they’re fun people and I love them and when they get loud and rowdy I get loud and rowdy even though I’m not drinking

Speaker 1 (17:51):


Speaker 2 (17:52):

And it’s great and fun and I come home and have a great night’s sleep.

Speaker 1 (17:55):

See, and that means that they’re just great friends. That means that they’re actual friends that you like to hang out with. I think that if the common denominator is alcohol in any relationship or in any situation, that’s probably where you’re gonna run into an issue when you remove alcohol. But like if you have this great foundation of friendship and you actually like the friends and like what you’re doing, you’re going to continue to do that.

Speaker 2 (18:20):

I also would argue that the same is true for a relationship. You know, we talked about date nights and yes, every time we had a date night we would have a drink or two and you know, you get a little loose and then it makes you a little like flirty or when you go home or whatever. But I think being able to do all that without alcohol made me realize how strong that relationship was too.

Speaker 1 (18:41):

It’s so funny that we think that alcohol is like a fast track to connection and it’s like I did when I was drinking, I was with new relationships, new friendships. Like you think that that’s just a way to connect and I have never connected while I was drinking as I do now in sobriety. Like sobriety is the fast track to connection. Like who knew?

Speaker 2 (19:04):

I would argue that it’s not a fast track, but it’s a smart track. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (19:08):

<laugh>. Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. It might not be fast and

Speaker 2 (19:11):

It’s a longer lasting track,

Speaker 1 (19:12):

But it’s also like you do kind of cut through the bullshit of like, I don’t know, like even this conversation like we’ve never met but we’re talking about such real deep meaningful stuff that just comes up in sobriety. I think sobriety’s just a more meaningful way to live that might sound judgmental and if it does oh well. But <laugh>, I don’t know, I, I just, I have found such true connections in sobriety and yes, especially like my husband still drinks but n not a lot. And we definitely have like, I mean the fights have gone down so much like the needless fights, you know, those stupid fights. Yeah. It’s just way better.

Speaker 2 (19:55):

Yeah. And when everyone’s tired and hungover you just wanna like pick fights with each other and ugh, no one wants to take care of your family and it’s just not a good situation.

Speaker 1 (20:04):

Yeah. When you just like hate life and you’re like, no, I, yeah, no, no more hating life guys.

Speaker 2 (20:11):

No more hating life and more feeling healthy like this friend and I always talk about how we just feel so well not actually healthy because our kids are always sick but yeah we feel healthy when we wake up when we don’t have an ear infection or whatever. But we feel, you feel vibrant and you feel awake in a different way.

Speaker 1 (20:28):

Yes. That’s why I think I get so triggered, like if I wake up with a cold or a headache, I get like, have you gotten sick yet in sobriety?

Speaker 2 (20:37):

Yes. And I’m like, I thought I signed up to never feel this way again. I

Speaker 1 (20:40):

Know exactly. I was like, body, I am doing everything I can to take care of you and this is how you betray me. And then I’m like no. Okay. And it is a little bit triggering too when you wake up with a headache and you’re like, oh no, and then you’re like, wait, nope, just a headache. I know just cuz I’m de actually dehydrated and I did not drink

Speaker 2 (20:59):

And there’s no guilt about ha about having to take an Advil or Tylenol if you have a problem because I would always go through this game in my head of, oh no, well my liver from the drinking and then the Advil and then I’m gonna drink again and blah blah blah. And I talk this through in my head and now if I have to take something, if I have a terrible headache or cramps or whatever, I don’t feel bad about it.

Speaker 1 (21:18):

Like when we’re drinking alcohol we just discount so much I think and that the alcohol just trumps everything And it’s like, yeah like maybe you did have a headache but you’re not gonna take anything because of the alcohol. Yeah. It just, it screws it all up. It screws everything up you guys,

Speaker 2 (21:37):

For me it definitely does. I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but for you and for me it definitely does and I’m just grateful to have found another way to live that doesn’t involve all of that and then doesn’t involve the mess of drinking, which I didn’t know was a mess until I stopped. And you actually, you already post quite often about mommy wine culture, which is obviously a huge issue.

Speaker 1 (22:00):

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2 (22:01):

And recently you said something about how influencers are brands and need to be very aware of this, which I a hundred percent agree with. But what I will argue on the other end is as an influencer and as somebody who tries to be mindful of what I’m posting, I had no idea, no idea how detrimental that kind of content was when I was posting it.

Speaker 1 (22:22):


Speaker 2 (22:23):

And you have to, you can’t know. It’s one of those things like until you have kids you don’t know until you know, until you stop drinking you don’t know until, you know.

Speaker 1 (22:30):

I think that’s true. I mean I posted a Kettle One botanicals, remember when Kettle One got really girly and feminine and good for us because it had flowers on the bottle.

Speaker 2 (22:40):

I do. I love that branding. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (22:43):

<laugh>, right? I posted that in like 20 17, 20 18 and uh, I don’t drink, I didn’t drink vodka I when I was drinking and so like I posted it and I, you know, poured it down the drain cuz I don’t drink vodka. And that was like, you know, in my newish monetizing the, the blog kind of thing where I was like, yeah, I’ll take whatever. It’s not the case anymore. But when I remembered that I was like, oh wait, of course the alcohol is an extension of the marketing of influencers and mom influencers and brands. Like of course like of course Molly Sims isn’t drinking wine in her coffee cup pretending it’s tea during the day. Of course she’s not.

Speaker 2 (23:29):

But people love it and laugh at it. So she keeps doing that

Speaker 1 (23:32):

And that’s why she posts it. Yes. And she’s like, okay this audio’s trending. This is gonna be a really cute, relatable, cute in quotes relatable reel that will get me likes and follows. And the problem is her followers are doing that because they’re being influenced and, and people are like, well yeah everyone has to choose what they wanna do but you guys have to understand how marketing works. The best marketing we don’t realize is marketing <laugh>

Speaker 2 (24:01):

A hundred percent.

Speaker 1 (24:02):

Right. And so like there’s no weakness. I, that’s why I always have to like always, always have to make sure that people understand that I am never judging or blaming the moms who are at home being tricked by big alcohol and by influencers who are telling them and influencing them and normalizing drinking wine to cope with motherhood. Like I will never judge the mom who’s been trick, but I am like I do expect the ones who are doing the tricking to be held accountable.

Speaker 2 (24:36):

I get that a hundred percent and agree on some level but also get nervous about saying something that big just because as being that person who was the tricker and posting that content. Yeah. I wasn’t thinking of it as harming anyone. I really wasn’t. And I just thought, well alcohol helps me, it helps other moms too. And in the moment it felt like it did. Like I think now knowing what I know, I could could have gotten through Covid but at the time I could not have survived Covid without drinking a bottle of wine a day at the time. And that was something that a lot of moms were going through. It was very relatable and when I’d post about it, people related, when I post about this and the sobriety, a lot of people don’t like that. Right. A lot of people do and the ones who do are amazing, but the ones who don’t, I’m not gonna pretend.

Speaker 1 (25:23):

Yeah. They’re not quiet. I think that you’re right in that, I guess this comes down to intent and the fact is that intent doesn’t matter almost in anything. Our intentions could be good. I don’t think they are malicious. Like I don’t think they’re out to, you know, they’re like, oh yeah, I’m gonna get my followers addicted to this substance. You know, like I, it’s not that right. But whether or not there’s good intent behind the message that these big influencers are sending to their followers, whatever the intention, the result is the same. And the stats are in like mom’s drinking over the pandemic is up. Something like, you guys know I don’t do stats so don’t quote me on this. It’s something like 300%. I mean it’s insane. I believe it. Yeah. It’s insane how much moms and women are struggling with alcohol. And so when you look at why that is and like I’m writing a book about it and like everything that goes into it, it’s just at some level, you know like how you can now report on Instagram, you can report like it promotes eating disorders so you can report like bullying, scamming, selling whatever, and you can report that a post promotes eating disorders, which I think is wonderful And that’s newish in the last couple of years I’d say.

I think just like that there has to be something that’s like this is promoting abusing alcohol

Speaker 2 (27:00):

But that’s never gonna happen.

Speaker 1 (27:01):

I know because of big alcohol and the money,

Speaker 2 (27:03):

Which is the crazy thing. And also the fact that it’s, well it’s, it’s all about the money at the end of the day, right? But many people do not view alcohol as the problem or even a problem. So I do think that podcasts like yours and accounts like yours and just people who are not involved in this community, like me coming into it randomly and talking about it, the more grassroots people who talk about it, that’s what’s gonna change it. And I will say that hundreds and hundreds, hundreds of people have DMed me over the last four months telling me I’ve tried this because of you, I’m being more mindful of my alcohol because of you. And the fact that I could maybe even turn one person into somebody who doesn’t drink as much or at all makes it all worth it to me.

Speaker 1 (27:46):

Totally. Yeah. Like that’s why when I started to share my sobriety journey, I created the silver mom life account to keep it like separate. Cause I wasn’t ready to like, you know, in the beginning you’re just not re you don’t, I didn’t even know what would the hell was going on. Like I didn’t, I had so many questions and once I started seeing the response is when I was like, oh wait, like this is something, this is feeling some sort of void that people are feeling and that they, I’m helping people and so then that that then grows and that grew into this. So I do think the tide slowly turning,

Speaker 2 (28:27):

It feels like it, maybe it’s because we’re in this world and this is what we’re seeing, but you’re seeing mocktails on every menu. People want the non-alcoholic content. There’s stores all over New York City. We are just in Charleston, just store in Charleston with uh, it’s like a liquor store without liquor.

Speaker 1 (28:42):

Yeah. See that’s amazing. Yours I, it’s

Speaker 2 (28:44):

Incredible. You wouldn’t have seen that even five years

Speaker 1 (28:46):

Ago. No, not at all. I always think someone should start and don’t steal this cuz maybe I will on my free time, which I don’t have any I want like p somebody should start a sober bar called so bar

Speaker 2 (28:57):

<laugh>. Okay, you should delete this out of this podcast. So nobody steals that <laugh>. I love

Speaker 1 (29:02):

It. Does that matters again?

Speaker 2 (29:04):

Is that No, I love it and I would go right

Speaker 1 (29:07):

So bar, okay you guys were starting it. Tia

Speaker 2 (29:09):

I have another friend who is sober here in Connecticut and she and I together two weeks ago through a sober mocktail party.

Speaker 1 (29:16):

Oh my god, so fun. It

Speaker 2 (29:18):

Was like 40 women, all this amazing food, amazing mocktails, whatever. It was so fun and so cool. Yes. There were people there who were normal drinkers and they had fun and they came out on like a Tuesday night to come to this. Like I would go to a bar like that and I think you could get people who are normal drinkers to go to a bar like that just to hang out.

Speaker 1 (29:37):

Totally. See and that’s so cool. It’s a Tuesday night because the coolest thing about sobriety and not drinking is like you don’t have to like cancel shit the next day. <laugh> like you’re fine. You know how you will feel the next day. Yeah. See that’s so cool

Speaker 2 (29:51):

And you also don’t have to play that game. To me it was a lot about games, you know that game of, well it’s a Tuesday night and going to dinner with friends, I really don’t wanna drink but they’re all gonna drink and I don’t wanna seem like the weirdos so I’ll have one. But then after I’ve won I always want two and it’s just like game

Speaker 1 (30:06):

And it’s oh my god,

Speaker 2 (30:07):

Exhausting. And to take that, the calculations and the playing and that like mind fuck out is huge.

Speaker 1 (30:15):

That’s what the freedom is I think is like, I don’t know, just like looking forward especially as like spring comes spring break, you know, family vacations and then summer I would always, cuz I struggle with anxiety too and I got on meds after the birth of my first kid and I would just always have this like lingering anxiety over, you know, and I have some social anxiety and I’d rather stay home in pretty much any situation. But I don’t know, I would just have this like lingering anxiety about not really knowing what’s gonna happen And even if I drank two drinks, like it just felt unsteady, it felt unsafe. And just taking that off the table is so freeing.

Speaker 2 (31:04):

I agree a hundred percent And relate to every single word that just came out of your mouth. It’s like something, a weight on your shoulders almost. I also have social anxiety and get so awkward with new people but I think sobriety really forces you to figure out who you are in that kind of situation. Totally. But you don’t, if you’re drinking because the drink is a lubricant, it makes you loose. But without that you figure out how to talk to people in a different way. So circling back to what you said in the beginning of fast track to friendships, connections, relationships, you have to get deeper, quicker.

Speaker 1 (31:34):

<laugh>. Yeah. So how do you deal with your social anxiety? Cuz that’s what a lot of people are like, oh my god I have a, you know, I have a work dinner coming up and I, how am I gonna do it without the drink in my hand? And like what have you found that helps?

Speaker 2 (31:48):

I think a lot of it for me, this might not be true for everyone else is having an actual drink in your hand, whether it’s alcohol or not. So you don’t have to tell anybody if you’re at work and you don’t wanna bring this up and you don’t wanna drink, you don’t have to tell anybody it’s not a drink. You know, pregnant women do this all the time. Just have a drink in your hand. Or even if it is a glass of wine, you don’t actually have to sit from it. But just having that there almost like as a guard at first when you first stop drinking is helpful. Now I don’t find that I need it anymore but I did it first. Yeah. Just because of the way society made me feel uncomfortable about not having a drink. Which is so silly, but that’s how it was.

Speaker 1 (32:21):


Speaker 2 (32:22):

But the social anxiety is still hard. It’s still a struggle for me. But honestly I would rather have that struggle than the harder struggle of drinking.

Speaker 1 (32:30):

Yes. Okay. You could skip, skip maybe the social anxiety in the beginning if you’re gonna drink and you’re drinking and then you just don’t. Right. And then you’re at a partying and then you just don’t care. You’re drinking. But man, that social anxiety catches up to you that next morning, that next day when you’re like, holy shit, what did I say? That’s social anxiety. Like I still have that feeling like after this podcast I’ll go off and I’ll be like okay and I’ll be going through it. Right. And I’ll be like, okay, what did, okay. Yep. That you know it’s just, that’s a social anxiety thing where social interactions just like haunt us and <laugh> no matter what. But like they haunt me enough without alcohol. Like when alcohol was in the picture and I couldn’t remember what I said or I said something that I would’ve never said had I not been drinking. Ugh. That’s like hell on earth.

Speaker 2 (33:23):

Especially at a work event. Like I have been to many work events where I said embarrassing things to bosses or coworker. Oh

Speaker 1 (33:29):

My god, yes

Speaker 2 (33:30):

I could cry just thinking about it. Oh my god. I know. I like am getting shuttering

Speaker 1 (33:34):

<laugh>. Anytime those memories come back I literally like shake my head. I’m like get ah, get out, get

Speaker 2 (33:40):

Out. I agree. It’s so, it’s awful. And that feeling the next morning of not knowing what you said, like you just mentioned

Speaker 1 (33:46):

Oh my

Speaker 2 (33:46):

God. I think that I’m like you in that I also, after this podcast and after every conversation I have with anybody, I’m like, what did I say? What did I do? We’re just

Speaker 1 (33:55):

Gonna have to send each other messages and be like, you did wonderfully. Yeah. I wouldn’t have changed the thing and then we’ll be like okay good.

Speaker 2 (34:01):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But did she just say that because no, right.

Speaker 1 (34:04):


Speaker 2 (34:05):

Right. Yeah I’m the same way. But I do think that once you accept that it’s okay, it’s so that’s just who I am. That’s just who you are. But it’s not so bad without the alcohol. Like not only do I, not the next morning think I might wake up and think, what did I say? But I don’t have the anxiety about it. And then back to that chart, my dopamine levels aren’t crashing so I’m not spiraling about whatever it was that happened.

Speaker 1 (34:28):

Yeah. And there’s not shame in it. There’s not me saying like, God why am I <laugh>? You know, why am I the problem what you guys, you were not the problem. If you get anything from this podcast, you are not the problem. No. It is okay to have anxiety. I think we live in a society where it’s like we don’t wanna feel, it’s like pain meds are there so we don’t feel pain. Well when we don’t feel pain, we don’t know what our body needs and we don’t know where our limits are and like that’s a really dangerous thing not to feel pain. It’s also really dangerous not to feel all of the stuff that comes up in life because that’s, that’s our guide. Like that’s gonna tell us what we need and what we don’t need and what we like and what we want.

Speaker 2 (35:12):

That’s a really fascinating way to look at it. I’ve never thought of it that way, but as you were saying that, I’m thinking it also teaches us how to overcome difficult things without a crutch. It not drinking teaches us that not drinking us, teaches us how to get over an anxious or stressful moment. Yes. And I’ve noticed that as a mom, the times when I really wanna reach for a drink the most are, you know, the witching hours between five and seven. My kids are melting down, my husband and I are arguing cuz things are crazy. And you know, just everyone has nights like that at some point.

Speaker 1 (35:44):

Daily stuff.

Speaker 2 (35:45):

Yeah, daily stuff. And that’s the time when I used to just pop another bottle of wine and have a drink and just kind of like zone out almost. I now have figured out a way and this is only, I’ve only been sober for four months, so this isn’t that long. Hey

Speaker 1 (35:58):

There’s not only in front of that. Right,

Speaker 2 (36:00):

Okay. You’re right <laugh>. But it hasn’t been that long where I’m just saying I don’t need to like take time to figure this out. It happened quickly. I’m now able to say to my husband, instead of pouring a glass of wine, I need to step in the other room for five minutes. I’m going to regather my thoughts and I’m gonna come back a different person. Yeah. And he appreciates that. My kids in the moment might not like it but when I come back they appreciate that I’m a better, better mother, I’m a better wife. I can focus on them. That’s just completely changed our evenings. Completely.

Speaker 1 (36:30):

And you’re also teaching your kids great coping skills. It’s like, oh when I’m, when I’m mad, when I’m overwhelmed, when I’m frustrated all of these things, I’m stepping away. I’m taking time, I’m breathing, I’m go, you know, I, I’m saying I need this. I noticed it. It’s so funny because a lot of times I’m so kind of in my head about my sobriety and I’m talking about it on here that I don’t really look at it globally or like in my home and how it’s affecting my kids and my marriage and you know, I just am. I’m just selfish you guys.

Speaker 2 (37:03):

We all are. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (37:04):

Right. We all are. It’s okay. My five-year-old, soon-to-be six year old last night was having a tantrum. You know, it’s just like you gotta just like let them go through that tunnel because like, there’s nothing I can say that and I’m like, okay, like that’s okay. You could feel your big feelings. I’ll be here like, you know, go at it. I think the anxiety meds obviously help me like not get, like my heart rate doesn’t spike, it’s just, it’s expected like fine, it’s a tantrum. And then when she was done she said to me, she said, I think I need more attention. And I was like, oh my god, you know? And of course then I like melt and I like scoop her up and I’m like, I am so proud of you for telling me what you need and for figuring out what you need because now I can help you and I will always give you attention. And I’m like, just so you know tantrums don’t really work like that but you saying this, I get it. You know? And I was like wow. She is learning how to say Okay. I mean it took her a while cuz it takes me a while to sometimes figure out what I need too. But then she said it.

Speaker 2 (38:14):

That is so

Speaker 1 (38:14):

Sweet. I know

Speaker 2 (38:15):

You’re doing something right. If she’s gotten there and done that on her own.

Speaker 1 (38:20):

I know she’s five, she’s like better at it than I

Speaker 2 (38:22):

Am. That’s amazing. Well she’s learning from you and seeing what you and your husband do, right? Like they model

Speaker 1 (38:28):

I guess. Yeah. I think it was probably the most direct thing that I could point to. Oh they are noticing

Speaker 2 (38:37):

That’s a big parenting win. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (38:39):


Speaker 2 (38:40):

It is. It

Speaker 1 (38:41):


Speaker 2 (38:41):

You should be proud of that. And I think we all forget as mobs to be proud of those little wins that are actually bigger than we think.

Speaker 1 (38:48):

It’s so true. And and we all have those all the time

Speaker 2 (38:52):

Of course. But then that it’s so hard and so many days are so hard. So many nights are so hard and you forget to enjoy those little moments and it’s easier said than done obviously. Like when people say you’re gonna miss this later. I hate that. It makes me crazy. I

Speaker 1 (39:04):

Hate that but so much.

Speaker 2 (39:05):

At least try to, when something like that comes, acknowledge it for what it is and then you can be upset about it again later.

Speaker 1 (39:11):

<laugh>. Yeah, that’s right. And also, oh my god, I hate that so much. You know, it’s always someone older when they’re like enjoy every minute. It goes by so fast. I’m like, oh does it Doris? Okay tell me. Yeah sure.

Speaker 2 (39:22):

Would you like to come deal with this crying child? Go ahead. I

Speaker 1 (39:24):

Know, I’m like, yeah, sit in here with a tantrum and tell me how fast time is going. <laugh>.

Speaker 2 (39:30):

But it’s like

Speaker 1 (39:31):

Someone like hanging on the side of a mountain and clinging for their life. Like this is how I felt when my first was a baby. You know when you’re, when you’re like a new mom and you don’t know what the hell’s going on and it’s like really hard. You guys, if you’re a new mom, it’s really hard and it’s okay and you’re gonna be okay and it’s gonna get better and you’re in it right now and you will find your way out of it. You will find yourself again. But yeah, it’s like hanging onto a mountain and someone telling you to enjoy the view and you’re like, yeah, I’m just trying not to die.

Speaker 2 (40:02):

How about when you’re a new mom and people say, oh this is the easy part. And you’re like, what <laugh>,

Speaker 1 (40:07):

Oh my god, I feel like I would punch someone in the face.

Speaker 2 (40:11):

I had so many followers tell me that and I was like, I’m what? I’m not gonna make it. This is, I’m not gonna make it through this. No way. Yeah

Speaker 1 (40:17):


Speaker 2 (40:17):

Done but I did.

Speaker 1 (40:19):

But you did and that’s not true. I think that like as like how old are your kids?

Speaker 2 (40:24):

Five and a half and almost two.

Speaker 1 (40:26):

Okay. I have an eight year old, almost six and three. And like as your kids get older it’s not, I mean motherhood’s never easy, it’s just different. But it’s not that. I think the relentless needing of that early motherhood is what is just so wearing and tiring and

Speaker 2 (40:46):

The relentless needing and also the newness of it all. But it’s not just the relentless needing, it’s also the newness and not knowing who you are anymore because you’re a new person and there’s this other human that you’ve never met and all of a sudden you’re,

Speaker 1 (41:00):

You’re the expert,

Speaker 2 (41:00):

The only one who can make them happy. It’s crazy. But every new mom out there, if you’re listening it does get so much better.

Speaker 1 (41:08):

Oh my god.

Speaker 2 (41:08):

And soon. And if someone tells you to enjoy this right now, you probably can’t And that’s okay.

Speaker 1 (41:14):

Yes, that’s okay. They only enjoy it in the rear view. Like they didn’t enjoy it during either because it’s a lot. And also if you are struggling with anxiety, I had postpartum anxiety and O C D and that was terrifying. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah. Go to your doctor, get help. There’s absolutely no shame in that. I was on anxiety meds and you guys, I’m not a doctor, I’m not giving you advice, I’m not giving you medical advice. But I was on anxiety meds through two more pregnancies through breastfeeding. Two more babies and they’re completely healthy and happy kids need us to be okay.

Speaker 2 (41:49):

I am exactly the same and wanna reiterate that sentiment. But my psychiatrist and I talked about this a lot cause I was so nervous about it. But I stayed on meds through my second pregnancy and still now and through breastfeeding. And um, she eventually, what got me feeling okay about it was when she said that an anxious mom is more dangerous than a mom on medication.

Speaker 1 (42:10):

It’s so true. And I don’t talk a lot about my kids on here, but I will tell you like my oldest is the one who struggles with anxiety.

Speaker 2 (42:20):

Mine too by the way. Really?

Speaker 1 (42:21):

Yes. Yeah. Like I was very anxious throughout the whole entire pregnancy. I mean like not healthy, anxious. And then I like white knuckled through that postpartum anxiety O C D for a year and a half, which was entirely too long. And I tried my best to still connect and you know like on the outside you couldn’t tell and it was all but she is now my anxious girl and the other two are not.

Speaker 2 (42:50):

And that’s not because of anything you did wrong, it’s because you didn’t know what was happening to you and

Speaker 1 (42:54):

Right. I know

Speaker 2 (42:55):

You can’t help but you can’t help.

Speaker 1 (42:57):

No, it’s true.

Speaker 2 (42:58):

At like verbatim your story is the same as mine. It was a year and a half before I got on medication. I was like a giant mess. I pretended everything was fine publicly, which is mortifying later. To just admit actually I didn’t connect with my child at all until I got on medication. That’s terrible to say out loud. But it’s also the truth and I’m glad I did because it’s the truth for a lot of people. I

Speaker 1 (43:21):

Think so many people, I think so many moms, there’s some guilt and shame in meds and and just saying like, wait, I don’t feel like how I think I’m supposed to feel and I don’t feel how I thought I was going to feel. Like when they put that baby on your chest and you’re like freaking out rather than drowning in love. Oh. And you’re like, no I’m just drowning.

Speaker 2 (43:44):

Yeah. That is, I never want to feel that feeling again. And I wish I could go back, tell myself this can be fixed. It’s okay. Whether it’s medication or talk therapy or yeah, meditation or yoga, whatever it is that makes your anxiety go away. But it can be fixed.

Speaker 1 (44:00):

It’s so true. I think that this is such an important conversation. I think moms need support now more than ever with the pandemic and the pandemic response and everything we’ve been through and yeah, I think that if you find yourself drinking more to cope with motherhood, it’s understandable and there’s no shame in that. And I’m just glad that you know, you’re, you’re another example, you’re an influencer with a huge audience and you’re showing that there is another way

Speaker 2 (44:31):

And it’s a great way. And I would just encourage anybody who’s playing those games with yourself before you go out or feeling anxiety or dealing with the aftermath of taking care of your kids with a hangover. Even just trying it for a week or two, not committing to it forever. I know it’s a huge lifestyle change and I don’t, if it’s not for you, it’s not for you, but just try it, see how you feel and if you don’t stop forever, maybe it helps you rethink your relationship with alcohol at the very least. Which yeah. Is something that I think everybody needs to look at in one way or another.

Speaker 1 (45:03):

Totally. Uh, and I think that’s just where it starts. It’s like we have been taught that if we question this thing, that means we have a problem. And uh, we just don’t do that with anything else. And especially if something’s taking up a big part of your life, I think it’s really important to question and to examine and to say, Hey, why am I drinking? What is this doing for me?

Speaker 2 (45:27):

Right. And if it’s not a problem with a capital P, it can still be a problem. Like my drinking was not a problem to the outside world, but it was a problem for me and the way I live my life. Yeah. And it was not okay for me. So it was a small P problem but it was still a problem.

Speaker 1 (45:41):

Right. I think that’s so true. I, I think no one can, no one knows but you, you know, and you can Google and like I know I would do that. I feel like wait, you know, you Google and I always come back to like Meg Ryan and when a man loves a woman and I’m like, well I’m not that so nothing to see here. You know? Yes. If you’re listening to this podcast, if you made it here, that means that in your gut you know that it’s time to question and it’s time to examine and that maybe alcohol is not what you thought it was gonna be and that’s okay.

Speaker 2 (46:17):

Yeah. And it’s okay also if you have to reexamine some relationships, like we talked about my friend group who they’re still great and it’s still so much fun. But if that wasn’t the case, if we weren’t friends after I stopped drinking, that’s something to look at too. Cuz that’s not really what I want in my life as I approach 40, which is crazy to say

Speaker 1 (46:35):

No forties are great, I’m telling you. Okay, good. <laugh>, I think stopping drinking alcohol around 40, I think I was 39. I think it’s almost like the perfect storm of just this like powerhouse of a next decade. It feels like I’m who I was meant to be. Like you care less about the noise and like everyone around you and it’s more about protecting your energy and if there is somebody who you only connect over alcohol or relate over alcohol, it’s just kind of like an outgrowing I think. Like that’s what I’ve been thinking him a lot about too. I’m like, it’s like I outgrew alcohol.

Speaker 2 (47:19):

Mitch is incredible, but you also had to put in the work for that.

Speaker 1 (47:23):

So much work you guys

Speaker 2 (47:24):

<laugh> and that’s impressive. And I do, I just, I admire you and the work you’ve put in and how you’re sharing it with the world and I’m so grateful there are people like you out here to help the rest of us. Cause we have no idea what we’re doing. But

Speaker 1 (47:37):

You do,

Speaker 2 (47:38):

I guess I’m taking it day by day, right? Like I still am in this place of, I don’t think I’m gonna drink again. I really don’t. Just because of how much better I feel. But like if I do, maybe I do. Right? For example, not, I know we’re almost done here, but on Christmas.

Speaker 1 (47:52):

No, that’s

Speaker 2 (47:53):

Okay. I had been about two months sober and Christmas was really hard for a variety of reasons. But I decided to have a drink and I did and I felt great for that hour next day. I said, you know what, I’m so glad I had that drink because now I know why I did this and I haven’t had one since.

Speaker 1 (48:09):

Yes. And that is not a failure, you know, when you look at like counting days and all of these things I always say like that is, there’s so much gold in that, in that trying it rather than just like white-knuckling it through. Like you learned so much more by doing that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> than if you would’ve just blinders on white knuckled. That’s part of the questioning, right? And the examining. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (48:34):

It’s not about the number of days, it’s about how you feel and making a lifestyle change that works for you in your lifestyle.

Speaker 1 (48:41):

Totally. And don’t worry about forever. Don’t forever will worry about itself. It’ll figure, it’ll figure that shit out by itself. And like from where I sit, my biggest fear would be if someone said, you have to drink. Cuz I’m like, and miss all this. Like, I, I don’t wanna do that. You know? So the idea of never drinking ever again doesn’t scare me. Alcohol, getting back into my life is the thing that would be like, no, no, no, no, no, I don’t want this. It’s the same thing like a cigarette. Like I, no, you know, but that’s after three years and like once you live that and then you would be like, oh wow, this is how it’s supposed to feel. Okay, I can do this

Speaker 2 (49:25):

<laugh>. That’s just so great to hear. I I think that time will make a big difference based on your story and lots of other stories. But yeah, even after a few months in, I feel that way. I, that scares me to think about going back to playing those games and waking up with a hangover and treating my body in a way that felt really not healthy and good for me. So yeah,

Speaker 1 (49:47):

You’re on the right path. I’m so, so honored that you came on and that you shared your story. I know it’s gonna help so many women. I think that these stories where we don’t hit rock bottom are probably the most important to tell because I think that’s the majority of women and moms are in this area, this moderating area and trying to figure out if it’s working. So I can’t thank you enough.

Speaker 2 (50:12):

Thank you for having me. I’m so honored to be a part of this. I can’t wait to hear it, ed.

Speaker 1 (50:17):

Oh my god.

Speaker 2 (50:18):

I’m just excited to be on this journey and know that people out there, like you exist and are here cheering us on and everyone on who is trying to

Speaker 1 (50:26):

Take similar journey. Oh my gosh. Totally. Well, I can’t wait to watch it. I’m going to be checking in and watching and I’m so excited. Thank you so much, <laugh>. Thank you. 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.

Speaker 3 (51:04):

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Speaker 1 (51:06):

So that we can tell people about brand new information, a pop culture and political podcast.

Speaker 3 (51:11):

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Speaker 1 (51:14):

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Speaker 3 (51:21):

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Speaker 1 (51:30):

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Speaker 3 (51:33):

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Speaker 1 (51:35):

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