When I spotted Malerie Holcomb-Botts’s name in the Sober Mom Life Facebook group, I was blown away! I have been following her for years on Instagram, and I felt like we were already friends.
Through major life changes, cross country (and ocean!) moves, and acute grief, Mal slowly came to realize that sobriety was the right choice for her. Her story serves as a great example that sobriety isn’t always a straight path, and that questioning your relationship with alcohol is always a healthy choice, no matter where you are along your journey.
I can’t wait for you to meet Mal!
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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 podcast. I’m excited about today’s episode. Today’s episode really uh, brings me back. I’ve been following Mal. How come bots for years on Instagram? I feel like she was one of those OG Instagram creators back when I started and we’ve just, you know those people you feel like you know that you see them in your feet all the time. You watch their kids grow up, you just get these glimpses into their lives and that’s what Mel is to me. And so then when I saw her name pop up in my group in the Silver Mom life Facebook group, I was like, wait a second. That’s my friend. I know her. Even though we’ve never met in person, we had never even talked. This was the first time we got to talk. But this is a special conversation.
I like Mel’s story because it highlights that sobriety is rarely this linear thing right there are stops and starts and ups and downs and we learn from it all along the way. I think her story will help a lot of you. We talk about grief and what to do and how to deal with the grief that comes up in sobriety. And also we talk about consent and blackouts and that can be a kind of messy topic sometimes. And we never want to sound like we’re blaming victims because we never are. But it’s also how do we advocate for ourselves and keep ourselves safe as women? And I know that my story definitely contains histories of blackouts and times when I wasn’t even able to consent. That’s just an interesting conversation and, and I think that we need to talk more about that. So Mal does that.
I think you’ll love this. We talk about them moving from Hawaii to Florida and making great decisions for your family and sobriety and what that looks like and how it feels. So you will love Mal as much as I do. Also, um, you have to check out her cake Orie. She makes the prettiest cakes and oh man, they’re just stunning works of art. I now want to go eat a cake. Um, you will love this episode. Also, make sure you come and join our Facebook group at the Sober Mom life. We are almost at 11,000 members now. Wow, that blows my mind. 11,000 members. It still remains the most supportive place on the internet. You guys are just wonderful over there. We often say you can’t do this alone. Sobriety requires community and we are here for you. Make sure to check into that online community, even if you don’t have in-person community to begin with, that’s fine.
Online counts you guys, and it goes a long way. If you are all caught up on the podcast, you’re wanting more bonus content, come over to our Patreon. We have so many fun things happening over there. I share two bonus episodes a week. My mom is gonna join me for some of those. So it’s kind of a talk to the therapist episode. We also have, not only do we have our Tuesday meetings, which were always free through the Facebook group, but we, last month we added a Friday meeting. So it’s Friday 11:00 AM Central Time. That’s through Patreon. It’s on Zoom. It’s a sober support meeting. And so there are no rules. You can talk, you don’t have to come for the support, come to Cry to Vent, to be inspired, to connect all of the good things. And then we are starting our Sober Mom Life book club over on Patreon that is going to meet every Wednesday 7:00 PM we are covering Laura McCowen’s new book, push Off From Here.
And so while we’re talking about this book, we are gonna meet weekly. And so that session is gonna run for six weeks. And then after that, after we’re done talking about her book, we’ll choose another book and then we’ll meet monthly. So it’ll be the first Wednesday of the month, but we’re doing like a big kickoff. It’s gonna be fun. These meetings are not, you know, sobriety’s not this serious thing where you have to be, you know, there’s no laughing aloud. No. I like to keep it just like how it is over on the podcast. Relatable, lighthearted, meaningful, inspiring, all of these things that you find here on the podcast, you will find over there too. So come and join us. That’s for the $10 members. The meeting is for the $7 members and the $10 members. And then we also have Discord Chat, which you guys can chat with each other and you do all day long.
And I see you going back and forth and I love it. That’s for the $10 members too. So it’s five, seven and $10 a month. You get all of that goodness, all of that extra stuff and you get this podcast for free always. So I hope you enjoy this episode. Come and follow me at my kind of suite on Instagram for you know, what a full sober life looks like. Follow the podcast at the sober mom life for everything about the podcast and rate and review this. Wow you guys, that’s a lot. It’s a lot of stuff. Okay, we gotta get to this episode. Enjoy. I’m here with Mel Bots. I’m so excited. I feel like I know you because we’ve been following each other for a long time, for
Speaker 2 (06:23):
Speaker 1 (06:25):
Right? Yeah, you were definitely one of those like original, like I feel like I know you, I see you in my feed all the time for years. Like you guys lived in Hawaii, you have adorable kids, you make the most beautiful cakes and pastries and I just feel like I know you. And so I saw your name pop up in my group on Facebook and I was like, wait a second, Mel’s in here. So thank you for being here first of all, I’m excited to hear your story.
Speaker 2 (06:54):
Thanks for having me. I same when I realized that it was you, I was blown away. Cuz I remember when we first started following each other, I just remember thinking, she has the best style I’ve ever seen. Oh thanks <laugh>, I loved all of your outfits and then your clothes and then I saw you kind of start your sober journey and talking about that and I was like, that’s fantastic. That’s great. I wasn’t there yet, but I was like, that’s great.
Speaker 1 (07:15):
Yeah. Okay. So that’s interesting because it is sometimes I got pushback like what? Now you’re sharing this. So you kind of took it as like, no, that’s good. Like it’s just a fuller picture of who she is.
Speaker 2 (07:26):
Speaker 1 (07:27):
Okay, that’s good. Before we dive into like the sobriety stuff and the fullness of that and how wonderful it is, we have to go back and talk about your relationship with alcohol and what that was and how it started and what made you question it.
Speaker 2 (07:41):
Where I grew up, people have a very different relationship with alcohol.
Speaker 1 (07:47):
Okay. Where’d you grow up?
Speaker 2 (07:48):
I grew up in the Northeast. I actually grew up in Connecticut.
Speaker 1 (07:51):
Speaker 2 (07:52):
A little town called Wallingford, which is better than I’ve probably am gonna make it sound, but <laugh>, yes. I brought a boyfriend home one time and he was astonished and he grew up in LA and he told me, all you guys try and do is get as messed up as you possibly can. And I have never seen anything like it.
Speaker 1 (08:10):
Really? I thought we had a lock on that in the Midwest. But you guys in the northeast do it too, huh?
Speaker 2 (08:16):
You know, I think you’re right. I think it’s just small towns in general. I think there’s a couple ways to go and I think that there are people who can handle it gloriously and can handle their alcohol consumption and you know, they’ve got their stop buttons. I am not necessarily one of those people <laugh>. I grew up, like I said, in a place where we just kept drinking and you just kind of keep drinking and you know, there’s this concept of it being so much fun and for, you know, for some time when I was younger it did seem like it was a lot of fun. Uh, but the older I got I was like, this isn’t cute. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (08:49):
Right? Yeah. That’s the thing is like when you, when we’re in our, like in high school in 20, like it is fun and like everybody’s doing it right. It doesn’t feel like anything out of the ordinary or anything that should be looked at cuz no one is
Speaker 2 (09:06):
Right. I think that’s what’s harder too as you get older is how socially accepted it is. You know? And one of my big things as I’ve gotten older, this is probably, this is the second time that I have gone a significant amount of time without drinking. Not during my pregnancy. So you know, I had the two kids back to back, so I was almost two years sober because of that. Because I had, you know, I was pregnant. But you don’t think about it like that when you’re pregnant. At least I didn’t.
Speaker 1 (09:32):
Yeah, it’s so funny, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. A lot of women will say like, well, you know, I was fine not drinking during my pregnancies and like taking that as a sign that alcohol isn’t a problem. And I was trying to think about like, of course like when we’re pregnant, we’re gonna do anything to protect the baby and then that continues once the baby’s born, we will do anything to protect our children and our children’s health. And without taking into account our health and our that, it’s just as important. Like, if we’re not healthy and strong, we can’t take care of our kids. But then also I think there’s just the pressure is off. Like, and the questioning, there’s no like brain spiral getting in the way. You’re not scared, you’re not dealing with like, is this forever? What does this mean? Like, is anyone gonna judge me? The fear isn’t there and you’re just like, well obviously I’m not drinking.
Speaker 2 (10:27):
It’s very cut and dry.
Speaker 1 (10:28):
Yeah, it’s cut and dry. You don’t have to answer questions like, is it forever? Am I still gonna have friends? Like they’d be an asshole not to be friends with you if you’re not drinking when you’re pregnant. Right,
Speaker 2 (10:38):
Speaker 1 (10:39):
Yeah, that’d be if if somebody did that, get rid of them. Yeah. So you were fine not drinking when you were pregnant.
Speaker 2 (10:46):
Yeah, it was actually funny. I even, you know, there’s different researchers and things that say like, oh you can have like a, a little, like a little sip of wine. And I was always like, I’m gonna say that for like a real special occasion and it would come, I’d be like, I’m not gonna have that. And you just end up getting to the end and you’re like, why was I even doing that? So through that it was totally fine. And then after that I did, uh, eight months I went Okay. Um, span and it was a couple years after, make sure it was 2020.
Speaker 1 (11:11):
And what made you do that? Like, what made you think about like, well maybe I want to take a break
Speaker 2 (11:17):
When I’m trying to accomplish something <laugh> I realize that alcohol is, is definitely a hindrance in any aspect of my life where I’m trying to do something. You know, when 2020 happened, when everything happened with Covid and all that started, you know, the kids were with me and everything was locked down and she had to just be together all the time. And I was like, we’re gonna make the best of this. There was just no room for it in my life at that point.
Speaker 1 (11:47):
And did you see what a full sober life could feel like? Or was it not even really the focus?
Speaker 2 (11:56):
It wasn’t entirely the focus. I was in the best shape of my life at that point, which was a huge contributor to it cuz I was just really excited. I felt like I had all this energy. We went back to Connecticut and the kids and I did things that I had never done growing up there for, you know, 17 years I lived there and I had never gone to these, you know, state parks and gone on these hikes and I was like, you know, if I was, I was hungover, <laugh>, we wouldn’t be going on these hikes. Yeah. You know, if I was staying up all night with friends and, you know, which is again, there’s a place and a time and catching up and there’s, you know, there are memories I will never regret, but I’m just, I I can’t function first of all the way I used to
Speaker 1 (12:35):
<laugh>. Oh my
Speaker 2 (12:36):
God. And I, I did see that I can do more if I’m not drinking.
Speaker 1 (12:40):
Oh my God. Totally. I think that sometimes I, I like there are messages in the Facebook group and pe moms are like, God, I’m bored. Like, I didn’t realize how much time I spent thinking about alcohol, drinking alcohol, going to get alcohol, getting ready to drink alcohol, feeling shame about alcohol, like all this time and energy and like mind space spent thinking about alcohol. And then it’s like when you’re bored, that is like the best cuz you get to decide like what you wanna do. Yeah. It’s like what, when we tell our kids, right, like, let your kids get bored because that’s when they get creative. And I think as adults and as moms, we’re so not used to that, that it’s like, if you’re bored, that’s really exciting. Yeah. Because you get to just, you get to fill it in with like something that you will actually like, like you got to go hiking and see parks that you would never have seen before. Like, that’s really fucking cool. Yeah. So that was like eight months you said, right? That you were sober and experiencing all of these adventures and then what happened
Speaker 2 (13:53):
After like a solid eight months? I did drink a little bit here and there. I, you know, I was trying to do that. Let’s see how it goes. Let’s see, <laugh> where I can fit alcohol back in because, you know, it was a huge part of my life. And somehow like who I was, I felt like I was a lot more fun. You know, I was a lot more outgoing. I did more stuff. So I tried that for a while and it was okay. It was honestly all right. It was going okay. And then January of 2021, my friend was killed. My friend was murdered.
Speaker 1 (14:24):
Oh my God, I’m so sorry.
Speaker 2 (14:26):
Thank you. Very, very close friend. That was really hard and it just hit me so hard and you know, everything with the pandemic and then that had happened and I u started drinking a lot more and I just started using it again as kind of a crutch and it turned into this. I was just drinking a lot.
Speaker 1 (14:50):
I, oh man. Grief. I’ve talked a lot about grief and sobriety and grief and alcohol and you could just so I can so understand somebody turning to alcohol when they’re grieving because grief is so fucking hard to feel.
Speaker 2 (15:11):
Speaker 1 (15:12):
It feels like, like when my dad passed away, it was sudden and I didn’t get to see him and it was, we were in a fight and it was like in a horrible situation and I was maybe just over a year sober and I thought, oh God, like, you know, you build yourself up in sobriety and you’re like, okay, yep. Feelings are not gonna kill me. I can feel them and I’m stronger than feelings and you b and I’m like, oh, holy shit, if there’s a feeling that could kill me, it’s this. Like, it feels like I’m breaking. Yeah. And so like I, I’ve heard a lot of stories of like grief being just kind of an accelerant to drinking. I, I get it. Like I just get
Speaker 2 (15:55):
It and then it goes from I hurt, let’s mask it to now we’re just falling back into habit.
Speaker 1 (16:03):
Speaker 2 (16:04):
Where it’s become, you know, even if you could have worked through that hurt that you just covered, you’re not even sure and now you’re just drinking every day again because it’s become habit now
Speaker 1 (16:15):
And because it’s addictive. Right? Yeah. And so that’s right in that cycle. Now you’re back in it
Speaker 2 (16:20):
And you’re back there and you know, whereas it seems like, you know, and I’ll even, I even remember like the night my brother and I, we found out about our friend, I grabbed his beer and he looked at me and he was like, are you sure? And I was like, I just have to, I just can’t. And he, you know, he’s gone through his stuff too, where he’s decided to quit for a couple. He quit for a couple years, like two and a half years. I think it’s like a whole family thing. <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and he, you know, he, he did, he questioned, he asked, I answered and he respected it and just kind of, yeah. He’s like, okay. And he was there, you know, there for me. But now looking back, I’m like, gosh, if I had just said, you’re probably right, <laugh>. And, you know, not that anything dramatic or drastic happened in that year, you know, there was no rock bottom. But it, it’s just, I would’ve had a more fulfilling year if I wasn’t drinking the way I was drinking. And I know that for a fact.
Speaker 1 (17:16):
Yeah. I, I think it’s easy to be like, oh well, you know, all of that stuff happened and now you’re here and aren’t you grateful for the time you’re here and, and this time that you’re in. But I think there’s like a morning that happens in sobriety mm-hmm. <affirmative> where you look back and you’re like, God, like what have I lost to alcohol? And like you said, it’s not a rock bottom. It’s not like you didn’t lose custody of your children, you didn’t lose your license. Like you from the outside, you didn’t lose much. But I think we all know what individually we have lost to alcohol. Yeah. I think it’s important to note that like, these feelings come up in sobriety of like just mourning what alcohol took.
Speaker 2 (18:04):
Right. You know, and, and it’s so grateful that I have the people in my life that I have because I know I’ve done things. Um, I’ve gotten, you know, way too intoxicated, you know, at a friend’s wedding a couple months after my friend passed away, you know, we were at the wedding, I drank way too much and I still am feeling that regret and that embarrassment and shame and just, I just wish I could have controlled myself better, you know? And sometimes it takes just reflection to realize that I, I just can’t, like, I, I don’t have the ability to know whether it’s gonna be a two drink day or it’s gonna be a 12 drink day. I, I described it as Russian roulette. Like sometimes I could have a beer and be totally normal and fine and sometimes I am drinking until the sun comes up the next day. And for me it’s like I can’t be taking those risks. I can’t be jeopardizing my relationships, my friends, my family. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (19:00):
You, you just get sick of the what ifs and you’re like, oh, I, I just, I’m not gonna play this game anymore. Like, I, I probably lose more than I win and like, it’s not worth it. Right. So you’re in Florida. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yes. You moved to Florida and then you knew that your drinking was ramping up again. Right?
Speaker 2 (19:23):
Right. So this, when we moved to Florida, I had been drinking again a lot for almost a year. You know, I got here, I was here and it was just my kids and I, so my husband and my in-laws, they were all still in Hawaii. Wow. They were closing up the Hawaii house, um, getting ready to sell and my kids and I were here <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (19:43):
Um, that’s a lot.
Speaker 2 (19:44):
It, it was a lot. So we actually, we took another trip. We spent some time with family. I was still drinking. And then we got back here in January. The day we got back, we got home. I drank a bunch of beer and I woke up, you know, early cuz kids, you wake up early and I just had this headache and I just remember thinking, why do I keep doing this? My kids are just lying with me watching on their iPads. And I remember just thinking, I can’t do this. I need to stop drinking. Cause I knew it was gonna be six months about before my husband, you know, four, four to six months before he was there with me and it was in them. I’m like, I can’t give them this half-assed version of me. I just decided it was um, January 6th and I was like, I’m gonna do a year.
Speaker 1 (20:33):
Okay. So you decided like, you’re like, I’m not going like 30 days or whatever. I’m going a year.
Speaker 2 (20:38):
Doing a year.
Speaker 1 (20:39):
Why a year? Like why did that seem significant to you?
Speaker 2 (20:43):
Honestly, maybe because I didn’t wanna be drinking while I was just alone with them here. So I knew that that was at least, you know, the four to six month range. Yeah. And from drink, from quitting before and stopping, I knew that, you know, for me, and I know everyone is so different, but for me it was after those first couple of weeks that I was okay. Oh. It’s like those first like week two weeks where I’m like thinking about it and thinking about it. And, you know, once I got through that I’m like, well, if I’m gonna do the work there, I might as well just kind of keep going and see if I can do it.
Speaker 1 (21:21):
Yeah. So like give yourself a year, see what it does. Like see, see how, yeah. I love it.
Speaker 2 (21:27):
And I, I think I’m just in general a black and white kind of person. I don’t do gray areas, so if I’m gonna give up something, I’m going to just give it up.
Speaker 1 (21:37):
Totally. And moderating is like so gray. I think that that’s why moderating is so hard.
Speaker 2 (21:44):
Yeah. It is hard. It is really hard. And I think for me too, it’s a, a matter of, I have to say it out loud. So, and that’s a big thing. Um, I know if I say I’m gonna do it and I, you know, make that, I have to say it. I’m, I’m not going to drink alcohol for a year and I’m not gonna drink alcohol for you. If I’m like, I’m thinking about cutting back or I think I’m, you know, I don’t think I’m gonna drink for a little bit. I can’t work that way. I can’t live that way. I have to say I’m not doing it or I am doing it.
Speaker 1 (22:13):
Did you tell your friends, did you tell your husband, I know he wasn’t there with you, but did you like, say it out loud to anybody else? Or was it just for you to commit to yourself?
Speaker 2 (22:24):
For me, so in my head I was like, I’m gonna make a video every day for a year. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (22:29):
I mean, that sounds amazing. If if if I had my act together, that would be amazing. <laugh>,
Speaker 2 (22:34):
In theory, it was such an easy idea. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (22:37):
Speaker 2 (22:38):
I did it for maybe 10 days. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (22:40):
I mean still that’s a lot. That’s a lot. 10
Speaker 2 (22:42):
Days. 10 days. And I, I, I just started talking and now I look back and it’s really interesting to even just that 10 days. So in the beginning I just didn’t really say anything. Um, I’m pretty sure I told my, you know, like my best friend, uh, I didn’t really say much to my husband because it was just sort of an like an internal thing, like you said. I just, I did that. And then once it started to be a little bit further along, like my brother and his girlfriend came to visit and I wasn’t drinking, you know, and then I went home for a, a wedding of one of my, you know, very close friends and I wasn’t drinking. And then everybody sort of was like, oh, you know, what are you doing? And I’m like, I’m doing a year. I think even that in itself was also kind of a crutch, like you were saying with the question.
Speaker 1 (23:30):
Right. That’s a good, I was just thinking about that because it’s like, oh, I’m doing a year. It’s such a good way to get people off your back because then it’s like, it kind of answers any follow up questions already of the question. I hate the forever question. I hate it. Like, are you never drinking again? Like what? And I’m like, I can’t answer that about anything. Like I don’t wanna ever drink a gift. I can’t answer what I, I don’t have a crystal ball <laugh>. Like, and you never ask that about anything else. We never, that’s, I hate it.
Speaker 2 (24:05):
Well, it’d be really funny to see if we just we’re like, are you gonna drink for the rest of your life?
Speaker 1 (24:10):
Right, <laugh>? Yes. Like, are you gonna drink forever? Forever,
Speaker 2 (24:15):
Yeah. I’ve gotten to this just like wonderful place where if you are happy, like if someone else is happy with what they’re doing, I’m so happy for that. Like, you just do whatever it is you wanna do. If you’re not hurting anybody else and you are happy, by all means, I am not taking your wine from you. I’m not taking this from, so I’m, you know, I still love to as a person, but, and then there’s the questions that are like, what are you gonna do after a year? I’m like,
Speaker 1 (24:41):
Speaker 2 (24:42):
I have no idea.
Speaker 1 (24:43):
Totally. And you know what I always say, it’s just, it’s just a mirror of how they feel about their drinking and they’re like seeking either validation or like, okay, do I need to reassess my relationship with alcohol? Like, it’s very clearly about them, but it’s a lot of pressure, especially when you’re like early sobriety and you don’t know yourself. Like there are so many questions that you have. And I, this is what I always say, you guys, you don’t need to know the answers. You don’t. Right. Like, you don’t need to. That’s too much pressure. That’s just too much.
Speaker 2 (25:19):
Yeah. Especially I know how lucky I am that I have a personality that allows me to give up something. It just has such a clutch on you. And to just have that ability to just give it up. I know that there are so many people who cannot do that. And I know how lucky I am. So to have people, you know, I could imagine if I wasn’t so dead set on my belief and what I decided, if someone was asking me those questions, it would easily tear down and lead to what’s one drink or what’s, you know. So it’s so hard to, and to get people to understand, like, I know most people aren’t malicious when they’re asking questions like that. I don’t, they’re not trying to be, you know, to be hard up on somebody. But realistically, it’s just like if someone tells you that they’re not drinking, you know, even just ask them, would you like, are you okay to talk about it? Would you like to talk about
Speaker 1 (26:08):
It? Right. Or like, oh, I’m curious about that. Like, I’d love to learn more. Yeah. But otherwise just keep it moving. Right. <laugh> like no follow up questions needed.
Speaker 2 (26:18):
Not necessary. But I did find, I’m surprised at how many people have reached out and said that they don’t, they’re thinking about quitting or they’re, they’ve been thinking more about what alcohol has done and how it’s affecting them. And I use this little app, it’s, I think it’s called Clean Day and it’s got these beautiful background pictures and it’s got these really good quotes every day. And I’ve posted, you know, screenshot occasionally of it.
Speaker 1 (26:46):
Yeah. You just po posted like, what are you, a year and
Speaker 2 (26:50):
A year and a month.
Speaker 1 (26:51):
It’s about year, a year and a month. I saw that you post. Ok. Yes. And so those help.
Speaker 2 (26:56):
Yeah, because it, I started looking forward to opening it and seeing what the picture was and seeing what the quote was and you know, if I related to it and then what the number was, which was nice.
Speaker 1 (27:08):
Yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah, like the counting days and the like checking off like that feels so powerful and I love that. And so obviously you went over a year now
Speaker 2 (27:20):
<laugh>? I did. And I had, you know, when we were counting down to the end of the, you know, when that was all coming so close, it was very interesting because I started on January 6th, you know, so I knew intentionally. I, I didn’t know when I started, but as it came, I’m like, I’m going to, we’re going through New Year’s, we’re going through all the holidays and it was fine. You know, it wasn’t even a thing. And once I got to the end I was like, all right, well I’m good. I think, I think I’m good. I don’t think I need to drink, so I’m gonna kind of push it to two, I guess. But I don’t even think I need that hard box mindset cause now I’m not thinking about it.
Speaker 1 (28:01):
Yes. It’s, it that’s like the true freedom. Yeah. I love that you gave yourself a year or two, because I do, I just think the first year is the hardest.
Speaker 2 (28:15):
I hope so. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (28:16):
It is, it was for me. You know, you’re getting all those like first holidays, first birthdays, first date nights. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, first weddings, first vacations, firsts, fight with your husband first. You know, like all of the first, a lot of the life firsts are just out of the way. Yeah. And then you go through them and I, they were always worse in my mind. Like, I was like, oh my God, this is gonna be hard. Like my first vacation without alcohol, I’m like, okay, I gotta brace myself. This is gonna be really hard, you know? Yeah. And then I’m like, okay, it’s actually not that hard and it’s actually really fucking cool. Like, I’m actually having a way better time. Okay. Okay. So that’s done now I have that under my belt now. I don’t associate alcohol with vacation anymore. I associate vacation with like, runs on the beach and like good food and mocktails and fun with the kids and like things that actually fill me up.
Speaker 2 (29:16):
Yeah. And, and it is, it’s amazing how we’ve sort of built up this idea in our heads, but alcohol is synonymous. It’s fun. And it, it just isn’t, it just isn’t. It doesn’t, it’s not a requirement. You don’t have to have it to have a great time. You know, I, I went to that wedding, my friend’s wedding, and I said, you know, if there ever was a test, it is going to this wedding in my, you know, my hometown friends, everybody and not drinking. And I’ve found for me personally, they have these like CBD beards, it’s just, it’s like a seltzer water basically. And just having something in my hand, it takes, first of all, so much pressure off of anybody asking you questions, what’s, you know, why aren’t you drinking? Or if you’re drinking or whatever. And then it, it just, it’s almost like just this act of just having something. And then at the end of it I’m like, okay, great. I get to go home and go to bed and wake up tomorrow and I’m gonna feel perfectly fine <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (30:12):
And it was, well they are all like, struggling
Speaker 2 (30:14):
<laugh> and I, yeah. I’m just like, I, I just can’t struggle. I don’t know. I don’t wanna do it. Yay. I don’t wanna do it. So I got through that and I think that was the big, you know, I was like, if I can get through this and not drink, I can get through anything.
Speaker 1 (30:29):
Yes. Going home, going to your hometown with your, the friends you used to party with, it’s like an outgrowing alcohol too. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. And it’s like, you know, I’m 42 and it’s like, yeah, you just outgrow that and what you used to use to cope and what you used to escape into and use to numb. It’s like, oh, I tried to make that work in my adult life, you know, in my thirties. Uh, I think I stopped when I was 39. It just kept showing me like, no, it doesn’t work anymore.
Speaker 2 (31:05):
Yeah. There isn’t room, there isn’t room for alcohol in what I wanna do. I don’t have the time for it <laugh>. And I feel like it’s some variation of this that I’ve been saying for years, but it didn’t really stick, you know, it didn’t always work out that way. And, you know, there’s always an event, there’s always a, a party or like you said, a holiday, a birthday, a wedding, a this or that, the other thing. And you know, at the end of the day it’s just like, well, why does alcohol have to be attached to those things? It doesn’t
Speaker 1 (31:35):
<laugh>. It doesn’t, doesn’t. And it just, it just is because it has been I, and like I say with that, like we examine our relationship with everything and like, to be able to, to like just put the brakes on and be like, wait, okay, so the way I’ve always done it might not be the way I always need to do it. And like, it doesn’t have to be, and that doesn’t mean you have to declare yourself powerless. And like, if you wanna go to aa, that’s great, but it doesn’t mean you have to, you know.
Speaker 2 (32:09):
It is. And I think that, you know, that’s one of the things I love so much about your group too, is I love reading a lot of the posts and the comments. And if somebody, you know, somebody hasn’t drank for, you know, seven months and then they have a drink and then they’re like, do I have to start again? It’s
Speaker 1 (32:25):
Like, oh my God, I know
Speaker 2 (32:27):
You don’t have to start from zero. I read you had said something and someone else, you know, a lot of the women are talking about that. And I just think that that’s, it’s not cut and dry here. It’s not, you know, it’s not a one size fit all solution. Just like alcohol, the way it affects people isn’t a one size fit all. I just feel like our society is so used to like, you are either drinking or you are an alcoholic and you cannot touch alcohol because it is going to destroy you. Yeah. And it might not be that.
Speaker 1 (32:57):
Yeah. And I, I think a lot of moms fit somewhere in between in the gray and the gray is really, that’s hard. It’s hard because there’s no clear cut. Like, well obviously this is a quote unquote problem because I lost everything. It’s just harder then to make a strong decision when you’re in the gray.
Speaker 2 (33:22):
Yeah. And I, I’ve had an very unpopular opinion for a long time <laugh>. Um, now
Speaker 1 (33:28):
We like those here. We like those
Speaker 2 (33:30):
<laugh>. I’m just getting really tired of how we are allowing women to feel like they are not at all responsible for things that happened to them in their lives. For me specifically, looking back and, and you know, there’s always gonna be terrible people who do terrible things. There’s always gonna be people who take advantage of people. Um, and I’m not saying that those people are absolved of guilt for the things they, they do, but we as women, we need to take responsibility for ourselves. If I’m getting blackout drunk and something happens to me, I need to take some responsibility in that. Because if I willingly and know, I know what alcohol’s gonna do to me. I know, you know, that if I get so intoxicated that I can’t function. I
Speaker 1 (34:12):
Know what you mean. And I know that it’s a hard conversation. I, for me, it’s, it’s both, right? It’s like we have to, yes, women have to take responsibility, like for, because I used to black out and, and that’s a really fucking scary thing. And it’s horrible. And you know, in college and in my twenties I would, I would black out. You can’t do that. So taking responsibility for like Yeah. Y right? That’s, yeah. You gotta look at that. Like we, we have to look at that and then also teach guys if she’s blacked out Right.
Speaker 2 (34:45):
Speaker 1 (34:46):
Right. Like if she’s drunk, not even blacked out, but if she’s drunk, hands off,
Speaker 2 (34:52):
The world is full of bad people. We cannot be trusted. I hope to teach my daughter that she has to do everything in her power to, to try and keep herself safe. And again, not as black and white as this sounds like, but, and it’s an unpopular opinion I’m sure. But I want her to know that everyone in the world, you know, if she puts herself in some, some kinds of situations where I put myself in those situations, there could be a person who will take advantage of that situation. There could be a person who will hurt you. Please know, I’m not victim shaming anybody. If something happens to somebody, it is the person who did the thing to them that’s, it’s their fault. I mean, I want that to be very, very clear. I want us to just recognize that we have a responsibility to try and, and keep ourselves as safe and healthy as we can.
And Yeah. And if, if me personally, it was, this was like mostly talking to me is that if I’m going to get to a point where I can’t, if I’m blackout drunk and I can’t protect myself, be aware, protect someone else, if I see something else happen, I can’t live that way. And I just, I want everyone to be safe and I don’t want anybody else to have to go through things like that. So that’s kinda where I was going. I wanted to, I was, the more I’m thinking about, I’m like, Jesus, Mel, whatcha are you saying <laugh>?
Speaker 1 (36:04):
No, no, I get it. And but also, especially as like moms of daughters too. Like I have two dau, like it’s, it’s a different thing. Terrify, you know, it’s terrifying. I
Speaker 2 (36:14):
Think about the situations I put myself in. I think about how wrong things could have gone. How lucky I was in so many situations.
Speaker 1 (36:22):
Oh my God. I think our generation though, like it’s the binge drinking, the going out, you know, the going out tops and the just going out. Yeah. And just caution to the wind, whatever, blacking out. I mean, it’s terrifying. I
Speaker 2 (36:35):
Think we need to start a new narrative on that that like, that’s not it. Yes.
Speaker 1 (36:39):
You know? Yes. Yes. That’s not it.
Speaker 2 (36:41):
You can have so much fun and you can have, you know, adrenaline rushes and do crazy. I mean, trust me, there’s plenty of things to do. You can jump of an airplane if you want to. Just be safe. Everyone just be safe.
Speaker 1 (36:52):
<laugh>. Yes. Be safe. That’s a good, yeah, that’s a good message for sure.
Speaker 2 (36:56):
I’m getting tired of absolving myself of guilt and wrongdoing. If I say something that I don’t mean or regret, if I behave in a way that I, I I would not normally do if I was sober, if I’m mean, or if I got in a height with my husband, you know, doing all of these things, then I’m like, well, I was drunk. For me, that’s not an excuse anymore. I am not allowing myself to use that as an excuse because I know if I drink too much, this can happen. So if I do it, I’m making a conscious decision to put myself in that situation and I’m not wi I’m not willing to do that anymore.
Speaker 1 (37:35):
Right. I totally understand that. I look at it like that’s not you. Right. Like, that’s not how you would act. That’s not what you would say normally. Like I know for me when I was drinking that is, that wasn’t me. Yeah. That was the alcohol. So then I kind of get pissed at the alcohol and I’m like, I, well I’m no longer choosing you. Like that’s where I take responsibility. Like, oh, okay, you have tricked me too many times. I have allowed you to make me act in ways that I would not act if you weren’t in the picture. And so like I never think like, I’m not the problem, the problem is the alcohol and I need to figure out new coping skills because I kept turning to alcohol thinking it was gonna be something else. Right? Yeah. <laugh> and being continually tricked and being like, oh my god again. And it’s like, yeah, Suze, it’s been fucking 15 years. Of course
Speaker 2 (38:34):
Again. Yes. I think that’s a really a great way to, to describe it. You know, that’s where I’m just looking at myself in the mirror going, what are you doing? What’s the definition of insanity? Right. Doing the same thing over and over again. And if there’s no different results now there’s no, it’s not different. So stop <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (38:53):
Yeah. And I think someone said it in our group, it was like you have to just get to a point where you’re like tired of the bullshit. Yeah. You have to get to a point where you’re just so sick and tired of the bullshit that alcohol is bringing into your life and just be like, okay, like this is enough enough of this.
Speaker 2 (39:12):
Yeah. I actually hadn’t really thought about it. The way you had described it were alcohol, you know, it, it’s like getting mad at alcohol and really realizing like, yes, you know, I am allowing this to happen, but this product that is just blatantly just thrown at everybody from like day one, just, it’s the only way to have fun. It’s the only way to solve problems. You know, all joy, all sadness, all social, all the things. And and really it’s like, shouldn’t we be working towards the world where it doesn’t have to be that it doesn’t have to be <laugh> that way. Yeah. So thank you for that.
Speaker 1 (39:47):
Yeah. <laugh>. I think it’s good. I mean it’s so hard to see in our own stories I think. Because I know for me, I am so quick to be like, I’m the problem. There’s something wrong with me. Like I am, you know, if I could just do better, be better something, then it would be different. Where I hear somebody else’s story with alcohol and it’s so clearly the alcohol when we think we’re the problem, that’s a really tough place to start.
Speaker 2 (40:14):
Speaker 1 (40:15):
And like that seems like a really deep hole to dig out of and Right. Yeah. And it’s like, well sure you made mistakes and like, I’m not talking about you, but I mean like we, I like, I turn to alcohol to cope and I didn’t know how to cope without it. And so that, that’s something I look at and that’s something that I work on in sobriety. But alcohol’s the problem.
Speaker 2 (40:39):
<laugh>. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (40:40):
I’m not the problem. You’re right.
Speaker 2 (40:42):
I always found it pretty interesting as I got older. There’s things you don’t really realize until you’re older, but I would always gravitate towards partners who didn’t really drink that much.
Speaker 1 (40:52):
Speaker 2 (40:53):
Yeah. Or who had parents who really didn’t drink at all. And I remember the very first time in college, you know, I would meet people and I’m like, what do you mean your parents don’t drink
Speaker 1 (41:02):
<laugh>? You’re like, oh my God.
Speaker 2 (41:05):
And then, and then it was kind of like to the point where, oh is there, do they have a problem? But you know, at the end of the day, so it’s gotta be like, why is it normal to just drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and drink? Why is it socially normal?
Speaker 1 (41:16):
Speaker 2 (41:17):
Why did, why is it weird if you don’t drink?
Speaker 1 (41:20):
Totally. It’s crazy. Is it Annie Grace or Lo Laura McCown one of them? I think maybe both of them say like, alcohol is the only drug that like you’re weird if you don’t drink or you have a problem if you don’t consume it. Yeah. You know,
Speaker 2 (41:36):
It’s just a very interesting, interesting mindset we have as a society.
Speaker 1 (41:41):
I know. That’s why we’re like rebel bad asses if we decide that we don’t need it. It’s like the blinders come off and you’re like, wait, I’m awesome without alcohol
Speaker 2 (41:52):
<laugh>. It’s a wonderful feeling. And I just, I hope everybody realizes that they don’t have to drink if they don’t want to drink. If you don’t wanna drink, you don’t have to drink. You know, there are so many you there you, there’s you, you have done this, you have this whole community that you’ve brought together of these women who, who want support and now they have support and they have a place to talk about it. You know? And it, not that it is, you know, a bad thing, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that. It can be as finding your people on a Facebook group <laugh>. And that’s, I think that’s amazing. I think that shows a lot of promise for where the future is going.
Speaker 1 (42:27):
Yeah, I think so too. I think that the sober curious, even just like curiosity about it. Yeah. Is that, I think that’s so important. That’s where it starts. Yeah. As long as you look at it, don’t have the blinders on on and just like do it. Once those blinders are off, it starts to look like, oh my God, this is really messed up like that. We’re just a society who’s like dumbing ourselves down, numbing ourselves out, escaping, not feeling anything because what we’re being told and tricked, like I start to feel like a conspiracy theorist where I’m like, you guys, look what they’re doing to us.
Speaker 2 (43:03):
I’m conspiracy theorists all day long and it starts exhausting because I’m like, are we sure? Well the more you think, I mean it’s not just that, it’s like everything nowadays, you know, the older generation is like, why are you guys so anxious? Why are you so much anxiety? Like, cause everything is poison.
Speaker 1 (43:19):
Yes. Look around
Speaker 2 (43:22):
Our food, our products, you know? Yes. Coming shov out our throat, the fabrics we use, the laundry deter. Everything is poison
Speaker 1 (43:30):
Everything. I know. Oh my God, that’s, oh my God. So true. And you really see it once you get alcohol out. Cuz I, I do think that that’s a huge one. I’m like, you can wear your natural deodorant and stuff like that, but if you’re drinking alcohol, like we gotta look at what it’s doing.
Speaker 2 (43:49):
And actually, you know, that was another thing too, is I started to get nervous. I just, I’m pretty paranoid sometimes as it is. So I’m starting even think this cannot be good for my health. Like this can’t be good for my body and I, if I’m so terrified that this is going to genuinely hurt my body, why am I doing it?
Speaker 1 (44:06):
Right? I know I’ve talked to so many like vegans and like vegetarians who, who were like 100% vegan but still drinking alcohol and then they were like, holy shit, I had no idea because like, it’s not like cigarettes where there’s a huge warning label, but it should be like in Ireland now they’re doing that. It says like right on alcohol, like it causes, it’s linked to seven types of cancer and like that’s what it should be because that’s what it is. Yeah. I feel like the tide is slowly turning.
Speaker 2 (44:39):
It definitely is. There. I was just online and I saw an article, um, about this sober, uh, bar or an alcohol free bar. Yes. A popup. Yes. Um, and it was adorable. I mean it was so cute and trendy and Right. Mocktails and everyone got dressed up and it’s, you know, you still can have that social aspect and you can still do all the fun things that you wanna do and then, you know, get home safely. <laugh> and
Speaker 1 (45:03):
Yeah. And like you can remember them and leave when you’re tired. Yeah. Like that was, I remember thinking that in early. I’m like, I’m tired. I’m like, oh my god, I’m noticing that I’m tired and I’m gonna go home and sleep. When I was drinking I didn’t notice if I was tired.
Speaker 2 (45:19):
People who are drinking get tired. I don’t understand that life because I would drink alcohol and I’m like, woo, let’s go. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (45:26):
<laugh>. Yeah. Okay, so tell us where we can find you. You guys, you have to, okay. What’s your cake pastry Instagram too, because you guys mals cakes. Do you do cakes and cookies? Do you do all of it right?
Speaker 2 (45:39):
I just do mostly cakes now. I cookies are hard cuz they take so long. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (45:43):
Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Cakes are better anyway. Well, her cakes are it just stunning.
Speaker 2 (45:49):
Thank you. Um, so the Instagram is Mallory’s cakery, it’s m a l e r i e s and then c a k e r i e.
Speaker 1 (46:00):
Okay. Mallory’s cakey. Okay. And we’ll link that in the show notes too. And then also what’s your main one?
Speaker 2 (46:07):
Mal H Bot.
Speaker 1 (46:08):
Mal h Botts. Okay. Well I’m so thankful that you came on here and shared your story and I’m so glad when I saw your name pop up in our group. I was like, wait,
Speaker 2 (46:17):
Thank you. Thank you so much. No, I’m so happy that I got to be here and yeah, and, and you know, sobriety, if it’s something you’re looking to do it in the long run, it is a beautiful, wonderful thing. And it might seem really hard at first, but it’s worth it. It really is.
Speaker 1 (46:34):
Ugh. It so is I I love ending on that because it’s so worth it. Yeah. <laugh> and just cuz it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Right. You know? Yep. It’s so worth it. Okay, Mel, thank you.
Speaker 2 (46:48):
I’ve great time talking.
Speaker 1 (46:54):
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Silver Mom Life. If you loved it, please rate and review it wherever you listen. Five stars is amazing. Also, follow me on Instagram at the silver Mom life. Okay. I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat. Why
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