I am so happy to welcome Gretchen Adams to the podcast! I’ve followed Gretchen’s Instagram @livinglifepretty for years. I felt like I knew her life so well… but I never knew that she was 12 years sober until she recently told me! I am so grateful to her for being so vulnerable and open about her sobriety journey in this episode. She has so many amazing insights from her decade-plus of sobriety. Plus, you’ll get a behind the scenes perspective of what it’s really like to be an influencer!
Go check out Gretchen at @livinglifepretty 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 to another episode. Oh, man, we have been just like soaking up the sunshine in Chicago. It’s amazing how much happier I am, how much nicer I am to myself, to those around me when the sun is shining and when the air outside doesn’t hurt my face, my life is better. Okay? And yes, you might be asking why do you live in the Midwest then? And to that, I say, I don’t know . I, I’m here. I, I just have to deal with it. Okay? I am excited for today’s episode. I am talking today with Gretchen Adams of Living Life pretty on Instagram. And this is a fun conversation because it’s two influencers we started around the same time. We chat a little bit about influencing, we give you some b t s Mom, that means behind the scenes. Yeah. And then we dive into her sobriety journey.
She has been sober since 2010. She has amazing insights about it. She hasn’t brought her sobriety to Instagram, and isn’t what I am in that, I guess I’m a sobriety influencer, question mark. I guess I am, because I have to just wear that label proudly because that is what I’ve become. And so we talk about that and we talk about sharing and when do you share and why do you share if you decide to and when is at the right time and all of it. I, I love the intersection of sobriety and influencing, and that’s exactly what this is. And if you don’t follow Gretchen on Instagram yet, head there now, living life pretty, she shares the cutest outfit ideas home stuff. If you like my style, you will love her page too, because weve are very much like the same vibe. You will love her.
I know it. And before you get to the episode, don’t forget, the real sober mom chats are coming back. They’re coming back to the podcast, but you get to listen to them early and you get to binge them over on Patreon. So it’s patreon.com/the sober mom life. We already have two episodes up. The third one is going up this week. They will be on their every Wednesday. And so come over there. You get to listen to them early. This is probably the most requested thing that I’ve had, is you guys are like, bring back the real sober mom chats because you love to hear the stories of real moms just like you, who you know, haven’t told their sobriety story a million times and, and are still in it and are still figuring stuff out. And they’re back. They are back. They will be coming to the podcast soon.
Stay tuned for that. But over on Patreon, you don’t have to wait. And so you get to listen to that. It’s $5 a month for all of the bonus episodes, including the real sober mom chats. Also $7 a month. You get our Friday Zoom meeting, that’s Friday at 11. That’s a support group and the bonus episodes. And then $10 a month you get Wednesday book Club. So that’s Wednesday, every Wednesday night at 7:00 PM Central Time. We’re talking about Laura McCowen’s new book, push Off from here and you get the Discord chat. So we have moms on there who chat all day long, and I love it. I love that it’s this intimate connected community, which is the goal in sobriety. You get that and you get all that other stuff. You get this Friday Zoom meeting, you get the bonus episodes for $10 a month. It’s like two coffees. It’s worth it, I promise. Okay. I’ll link it all in the show notes, come and follow me at my kind of suite for a full sober life and what that looks like. And enjoy this episode with Gretchen. Gretchen, thank you so much for being here. I am so excited to talk to you. I was thinking about how long I’ve been following you, . I I feel like it’s been years. Like you’ve just been like a staple in my feed. You’re at living life pretty and it’s just been forever, right?
Speaker 2 (05:10):
I feel the same way. I feel like I know you so well. Yeah. Um, I’ve just watched your kids grow and just kind of, I’ve watched this whole take on sobriety with you and it’s been awesome. I’m excited.
Speaker 1 (05:21):
Yeah, I know. I’m excited too. And it’s funny because you share so many like cute outfit ideas and like style and it’s just like relatable mom stuff. A lot of coffee. Yes. Which that should have tipped me off that you were sober because like then when I was thinking back, I was like, oh, the coffee. Yeah. Okay. That’s, that gives it away my
Speaker 2 (05:42):
Drink of choice. Right?
Speaker 1 (05:43):
. And I didn’t know you were sober until I think you sent me a message and you were like, yeah, I’ve been sober since 2010, right?
Speaker 2 (05:51):
Yes. My son was born in 2011 and um, I stopped drinking as soon as I found out. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (05:58):
Wow. Okay. So I wanna talk about that. I think it’s interesting, you know, you’re an influencer. When did you start influencing?
Speaker 2 (06:07):
Uh, I believe it was 2015.
Speaker 1 (06:10):
Okay. Okay. Mm-hmm. . So we started like around the same time we’re kind of like OGs then. Yeah. Like
Speaker 2 (06:16):
What a different time It was too. Like there wasn’t even stories. I mean, you were just who you put in that photo and that was your personality.
Speaker 1 (06:24):
Oh my God, totally. Do you remember when the feed, like the 12 grid pictures were just so important? and like what your feed looked like? Like it had to be cohesive and pretty and like such an easier time. I gotta say it
Speaker 2 (06:38):
Is. I will agree. Yeah. Finding locations for photos, like Yes. That consumed me.
Speaker 1 (06:45):
Oh my God. I was like, I need a white background. Like give me, I, I like, I was just looking for anything like gimme a solid wood background. Gimme a solid white background. Like all about the backgrounds. Yes. Oh my God. It’s a different time. It’s crazy how it’s changed in not that long, you know what I mean? In just a few years. Like Yes. It’s, it’s almost unrecognizable.
Speaker 2 (07:09):
It is. It really is. And some good, some, you know, different, but you know, I still enjoy it just the
Speaker 1 (07:16):
Same. I know, I know. I do too. I mean, it’s a influencing gets like a bad rap I think just because it’s, I don’t know, people think that we’re just like taking selfies all day long and then that’s what it’s about. And I’m like, you guys have no idea. Like this is a, it’s a business.
Speaker 2 (07:33):
It’s a business. And most of businesses are run on the back end and nobody witnesses that. It’s a lot of work. Yeah. You have to be dedicated or you just won’t survive.
Speaker 1 (07:42):
Yes. It’s so true. Yeah. And it’s not this like fast. I think people think that too. They’re like, oh, I’m gonna become an influencer and then just make money on Instagram. And I’m like, well, I mean, it’s not that fast.
Speaker 2 (07:54):
Tell me your secrets .
Speaker 1 (07:55):
Speaker 2 (07:56):
How does one do that?
Speaker 1 (07:57):
Yeah, it’s just not that fast. I remember when I started, and this, this podcast will not just be about influencing, but I think it’s an interesting conversation to talk to a fellow influencer. Like we’ve started around the ti same time we’ve been, we kind of have like the same vibe. We were doing the same things. Yes. And yeah, I remember when I started, I was just doing all of the things that I’m doing now, minus the video and stuff like that, but just not making any money. Like you just do it. Right. And, and then in the hopes that maybe it’ll turn into something. I have no idea. But it takes a while.
Speaker 2 (08:34):
It does. And I think there’s, you’re driven for two reasons. You’re driven from passion, you’re driven for money. Yeah. And the people who choose this path for money, well that’s gonna be a rough road. So you gotta be passionate about it.
Speaker 1 (08:46):
It’s so true. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can’t no. That, that would be just so short-sighted just to do it for money because it’s not mm-hmm. . No, no, no, no, no. And so I didn’t know you were sober because that’s not really on your page. Which I like too, that it’s not, you know, I chose to go the sobriety kind of influencer route. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m weaving that in and what I’m doing. I’m just trying to make sobriety cool. Cuz I think it is.
Speaker 2 (09:16):
I think you’re doing a good job at that because it made me wanna come forward a little and talk about it. So I think you hit the nail on the head and Oh, what you’re doing is awesome.
Speaker 1 (09:24):
Thank you so much. I mean, I kind of looked at it like, it’s such a big part of my life. I’m three years sober and so it’s just changed everything in my life that how can I not talk about it? Yes. You, I think with more time under your belt, you’re probably like, well this is just my life, right? Mm-hmm. like, this is just my way of life. And so it makes sense that it’s not front and center on your page, but I like that it’s just, you know, the more influencers who are out there who aren’t pushing mommy wine culture I think is a win.
Speaker 2 (10:00):
Speaker 1 (10:01):
Because that is just bullshit. Um, just put it lightly. Um, okay, so I wanna get into your story. So what, what was your relationship with alcohol before you stopped drinking?
Speaker 2 (10:14):
So this is funny. So before I came on here, I went back and forth on how to really address this and my, um, I am an addict through and through, uh, okay. So my alcohol with relation, uh, my relationship with alcohol started young. I was the life of the party. So I thought I would, you know, I hung out with the older kids. They were at access to alcohol, better parties. Like that was kind of the avenue I took. I’ll shift to how I think I got there. Growing up, I suffered with anxiety, depression. I always thought like if I had the latest trends or the nicest car that I would fill that void inside me, that like something was off and alcohol did that for me. It was like, wow, look at me. I have confidence, I’m funny. And it was all the things that I couldn’t bring out on my own because anxiety and things mask that.
So drinking was definitely the beginning of my story, but it was not the end. Um, I would ever would numb me, take me outta reality. I was willing to do and try. And unfortunately my rock bottom was rock bottom. And I say that because I feel like I want it to really, like anyone who’s listening to this, who is just hanging on by a thread and thinks like, there’s no way anyone was as bad as me. No one can relate to me. Um, I’m too far gone. Like there is a hundred percent hope and everyone is worthy of recovery and help and everything that comes along with it because my story is not pretty. My drinking led me to do any and everything. And it took me a while removed from any mind altering substance to realize that although drinking wasn’t the end of my story, it was definitely the beginning of my addiction.
And, um, I think that, you know, you can take the world out, like take alcohol out and add anything, but anything that impacts your life the way as negatively as these things did mine, it is an issue. So yeah, at the very end of my using alcoholism, I had lost friends. I had lost families. I was unemployable, I was clinging onto people who could help me. I was using, I was abusing, I was untrustworthy. I’m every word that comes along with active addiction mm-hmm. . And it was a sad, sad place to jump over a little bit. I found out I was pregnant and in that moment, in that exact moment, as low as I was like holding on by a thread, um, I said, enough is enough. And it’s not just about me anymore. And since that day, I’ve been very lucky to say that I’ve not put any mind altering substance in my body. And I have about 12 years now.
Speaker 1 (13:03):
Wow. I mean, that’s incredible. And I I love that. I just thank you for your vulnerability in sharing this story. And I think it’s gonna help a lot of people because we look at Instagram and you look at your Instagram page and, and your handle is living life pretty. And it is like, your life looks very pretty. You so put together stylish, stunning. Like, it’s just, it, it looks like there’s no way this person would’ve struggled that much. And so I think that knowing the story behind that is so important. And then also seeing who you are now is so inspiring to people.
Speaker 2 (13:46):
You know, I think you especially made me realize, cuz I think we all kind of look for a purpose and sometimes I think, well, I’m not that person anymore, but I think that a little bit of my calling lately and my purpose might be to really help those people who just right now feel they’re absolutely hopeless. And I think there’s a misconception when it comes to recovery that there’s two ends. There’s either I’m too far gone or I’m not that bad. And there is a huge bracket. I mean, if it is affecting your life negatively, whether you are homeless or whether, you know, it’s something that you use as a crutch at night, after a long day, it is a problem. Mm-hmm. . And it needs to be normalized.
Speaker 1 (14:31):
Yeah, that’s so true. And, and that’s I think what, that’s who I try to talk to most of the time here because it is, I, I had that same mindset of like, well, I’m not that, so there’s nothing to see here. And that’s not the case. And that, that also doesn’t mean that that couldn’t to me because I think like you are an example of like, it can happen to anybody.
Speaker 2 (14:57):
It can. I grew up in a, you know, very cookie cutter household. I had amazing parents, I had a great circle of friends. I didn’t have any of those things that someone would say she’s gonna be headed down a bad path. Mm-hmm. , I notice now, like we grew up, I’m, I mean I grew up in like the nineties, early two thousands. Yeah. And a time that you believed an alcoholic was the homeless person on the side of the road. It wasn’t the c e o of a business. Yes. It wasn’t, you know, the mom who showed up to P T O and that’s just not the case anymore.
Speaker 1 (15:28):
Yeah, no, it’s, it’s so true. And, and it really does highlight the substance, you know, that it’s the substance and if you drink enough of the substance and if you consume enough of the substance, you will get addicted. And there are different, you know, there’s this whole thing about like, is quote unquote alcoholics, is that a genetic thing? And, and I don’t know enough about like genetics and genes, but I do know what we learn in growing up and if we are, were learning coping skills and healthy boundaries and like how to take care of ourselves and how to figure out our feelings. Like that is definitely stuff that’s learned in the absence of that. And like you said, with anxiety, like I can completely relate to that. Growing up I kind of felt like I, there was something wrong with me always. It was like I wasn’t enough. Maybe I was too much. I kind of went between those two feelings and alcohol just helped me not fucking care about it.
Speaker 2 (16:33):
Speaker 1 (16:34):
And when you care about so much, that’s exhausting. And it takes a lot of time and, and all of the doubting and all of that, and it just feels good not to care. That’s what I did in, in, into college and into my twenties and with, you know, guys and all of that. And I think as moms too, you talk about caring too much. Like as moms we care so much because we’re supposed to, and that’s just in us and there’s really no escaping that. And I think that a lot of moms now understandably need an escape and alcohol is filling that role kind of. Right. Like they think that it’s helping and it’s helping them not care when they’re
Speaker 2 (17:26):
Temporarily it’s a temporary bandaid fix.
Speaker 1 (17:30):
Yeah, exactly. And caring, like I know, like being a mom is just terrifying.
Speaker 2 (17:36):
Speaker 1 (17:36):
It’s terrifying. I’m, I’m afraid kind of all the time for my kids
Speaker 2 (17:41):
I am too.
Speaker 1 (17:42):
Yeah. And that’s a really like uncomfortable feeling. And the amazing thing, you don’t know motherhood with a substance.
Speaker 2 (17:52):
No. So I, I don’t, and I think, um, I’m feel very fortunate for my kids because I was not a pleasant person when I drank. I wasn’t a pleasant person when I used any mind altering substance. I didn’t like who I was. Nobody liked who I was. I mean, maybe, and I’ll take it back a little. In high school I was the life of the party. So I thought, and I didn’t see it as a problem that I was, you know, from the gecko my relationship with alcohol was blacking out. Awful decisions. Yeah. Waking up, looking at my phone, who did I text? What did I do? Oh, the spiral never stopped because I didn’t know how to ever, from the time I literally put that substance in my body knew I didn’t know how to live without it. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 1 (18:33):
Speaker 2 (18:34):
It said slippery, slippery slope.
Speaker 1 (18:36):
Yeah. And then that just kind of fed on itself. Right?
Speaker 2 (18:41):
It did. And I, I’m gonna be honest here because I know, like, like I said, I think something like this is most important to reach the people that you can. And mine went to anything I could put into my body, any drug, any pill, any prescription, I was willing to do it all because I started because I didn’t feel adequate. I started because I had eating disorders and that, you know, mold of wanting to be perfect and you know, no matter what it appeared to everyone else, like I was lacking something. So I let alcohol fill that void and eventually that starts to wear off. Mm-hmm. . So the next, you know, you go to the next thing and the next thing. And um, I never learned how to heal myself or work on myself. So my answer was always more and more and more until I lost everything.
Speaker 1 (19:30):
Yeah. You can just see how that could happen. You know, that’s a very understandable thing when, when the goal is to escape and not feel because it feels shitty. The effects of the alcohol and the substances are awful and that feels gross and shitty and it’s just this downward spiral. And I think a lot of moms who are listening to this can relate. And so when you found out you were pregnant, I mean that’s pretty incredible that then you stopped everything. What, how
Speaker 2 (20:05):
I didn’t stop on my own. So I, um, yeah.
Speaker 1 (20:07):
How did you do that?
Speaker 2 (20:09):
I went into a detox and mind you, I’m gonna, this was not my first detox. I probably went into, I can’t even count on my fingers how many detox programs, all the things people, the steps you try to do. There were times I would go just for a break. There were times I would go just because I was tired. There were times I’d go to detox because I really believed I was ready. Although I know now I wasn’t. And you know, I remember someone saying to me, you have to get sober for yourself. And although I do truly believe that, I think I’m an example of sometimes in the beginning, it might not be for you. It always in the end is if you’re gonna keep going, you have to want it. Um, but it was for my son then and I went to a detox.
I went on to a, I guess it was like a sober living. There was nine girls. We lived together, we, you know, had our children together. It was, it was one of the hardest times in my life, but it’s also one of the most, um, fulfilling in a sense. I had so much growth there as a person. And I had three girls that we all lived on the same floor. Two are, we still talk, we’re on Facebook together, they have children, they’re sober. And then unfortunately one of my roommates did pass away from an overdose. And it just goes to show that, you know, it, there really is, um, two paths and you, it’s something that you have to work on every single day.
Speaker 1 (21:35):
Yeah. I’m sure that had to hit you pretty hard. Um, I can’t imagine that because that is just a glaring reminder of what could happen and what could be.
Speaker 2 (21:48):
And alcohol plays a funny role because even like three years and that’s probably how you can probably relate, like, you know, three years down the road, I didn’t crave anything, but I would see, like on Christmas Eve, everyone just relaxed with a red glass, like a glass of red wine. And I’m like, well, you know, that seems relaxing. That’s something I could do. Why can’t I do that? Right. And I’d have to talk myself down. Well, you maybe could, but is it worth the risk? Like, and eventually those urges and that feeling of um, kind of glamorizing it when it was in the right contents. Like yes, a beer on, you know, with my friends as we sat on the beach, like that stuff kind of got washed away with time. And I’m, I’m feel thankful for that cause it’s not something I struggle with every day like I used to. And it’s not, it’s not an option. Like I, I love going to bed sober. I love waking up sober.
Speaker 1 (22:43):
Yeah. I think that’s so interesting though when we talk about like how socially acceptable alcohol, which we say alcohol and drugs, but alcohol’s a drug, it’s highly addictive, right? It’s a highly addictive toxin. And so it is the most socially acceptable one. And so while I can’t speak to being addicted to other drugs, I have to imagine that being addicted to alcohol is a special kind of hard because it’s everywhere and especially in motherhood and we’re taught that it helps. And we can’t scroll Instagram without seeing that alcohol will help solve our problems. We can’t walk down target aisles without seeing that we should be drinking wine and, and mom, water is alcohol and that’s just not the case with other substances.
Speaker 2 (23:36):
It is crazy to me cause I’ve always said that and it’s like to the person like me, like it wasn’t my end issue. Um, but I can’t imagine it being like leaving a detox and like walking by a bar where everyone’s doing what you can’t. Right. And it’s crazy. It really is. Um, crazy because I feel like it is so glamorized and normalized and especially in the era where we grew up and you know, everyone drank. Yeah. And it was, it was like coffee in the morning. It was alcohol at night. And I feel a little like, I do feel it’s changed and I know you probably notice it too. Yeah. Mocktails in restaurants such positive things where I feel like people are realizing that even though it’s illegal, it is still a drug and it is still poison to your system.
Speaker 1 (24:26):
Yeah. I think we’re finally slowly starting to wake up too. It’s like cigarettes in the fifties. Right?
Speaker 2 (24:32):
Speaker 1 (24:33):
Yeah. And then slowly we’re like, oh, holy shit, this is like really bad. Um, and, and the fact that moms are now, the target is just so clear. And once you realize that, you see it everywhere and you think like, oh my God. Like I, I remember when my blinders came off and I, I realized that uh, we were targeted that like the pink label was for a reason, you know, to make it look pretty and not dangerous. And yeah, I mean I think that like what you said with your story didn’t end with alcohol, but that it started with alcohol and so, you know, that beer on the beach or the wine at night or the wine for witching hour that, you know where that can lead that. I think that that’s such an important thing to remember too.
Speaker 2 (25:22):
And I think, you know, it’s just moms have so much pressure and I feel like back when my mom was a mom, her pressure was making sure I got to school on time. I was dressed. And now with social media, I feel like moms feel like they have to wear all these different hats. So I understand the need to have a crutch and to decompress and escape from that for a little bit. But I don’t think that for me, and I’ll speak for myself, um, I’m a better person. I show up for myself. I am able to sleep better, I eat better. I get up my routine, I follow through. I’m not counting down the minutes. I have that first glass of wine at night and I’m not, you know, waiting for that hangover to disappear in the morning like I am. I’m a better person because of it. And mom life is easier without it.
Speaker 1 (26:12):
Oh my god. So much easier. And like you said, like mom life is hard enough. Like we have enough pressure without adding that horrible anxiety and that 2:00 AM wake up and the shame spiral that comes with it and all of the shit that alcohol brings. Like how do you cope now that you took all of that negative stuff away that you were using to cope before? Like what tools do you use now?
Speaker 2 (26:40):
So it’s funny because I had started using alcohol so young. So when I got pregnant at 25 with my son, and not only am I fresh in recovery, I had stopped maturing and I had, I didn’t have those life lessons and those coping skills that someone Yeah. My age would have. So not only am I de I’m a child at heart, I’m raising one. So it took a lot of work, it took a lot of deep self-work. I really spend a lot of time just keeping the word I make to myself. I exercise regularly. For me, exercise is a huge outlet. Like I need that. Yeah. Um, for me, I find that and my coffee in the morning before the kids get up is what I use for, uh, my coping skills. I get up at four 30, it might sound crazy, but I get up every morning at four 30 and it is the best two hours because when I, my kids get up, I’m able to mom because I’ve done me and I’ve done what I’ve needed to do.
Speaker 1 (27:41):
Wait, so what time do you go to bed if you get up at four 30? So
Speaker 2 (27:44):
I go to bed at nine. If I can get to bed earlier, I will. Yeah. But like nine is my cutoff and I’m good. I’m like, yeah. I think, and I comes back to people addicts, like we are goal driven every day. Like when we’re out there using and making bad choices, we’ll get what we want. And with that being said, we are very, like I said, goal driven and we’re Yeah. Determined. And so I kind of, I feel like once we get clean and sober, like we have this extra kind of like golden ticket to really be committed to like what we want. And I use that now in a different way. And I feel lucky for it because I’m, I get up, I work out, I come down, I have my coffee, I do like, you know, to the social media. I edit my photos, I do all the things I do and I’m able to be a parent when they get up out of bed.
Speaker 1 (28:35):
Yeah, that’s so interesting that, that is like that purpose, that drive mm-hmm. in active addiction was guiding you to the, to harmful places and to harmful things. Now in recovery you’re focused on like, you still have the same drive. It’s just something positive and life giving now.
Speaker 2 (28:58):
And I think it’s such like a, I wish people who are struggling right now realize like you’re a strong person. You know, if you’re able to even alcohol, it is a tough battle to be on. And no matter it’s such a hamster like wheel. And if you’re able to keep your head above water, like that says something about who you are as a person and you, you’re gonna do okay if you just gotta put down the substance.
Speaker 1 (29:23):
Totally. It’s a resilience.
Speaker 2 (29:25):
It is. Yes. That’s an awesome word. Right?
Speaker 1 (29:28):
It’s a re resiliency that you have to have in active addiction that then will serve you so much better in recovery. Mm-hmm. . And how do you, when you look back on your story, how do you have compassion for who you were then? And is that a part of how you feel now?
Speaker 2 (29:49):
So I never really talk about addiction and any of this because I feel like there’s still a lot of shame for me and I’m not sure why. And that’s why I feel like you kind of made me come outta my comfort zone for this. And I, I thank you for that because, uh, my boyfriend currently works in community policing and he has, um, he works with people in recovery and addiction. So my purpose lately in what I really feel like I wanna do is help people get to where I am because I feel that everyone’s story is unique and everyone who can wake up and not add a mind altering substance to their body has something to share. And I think that it’s important. It’s not easy.
Speaker 1 (30:37):
Yeah. Talking about those dark times and the dark moments and the things that, those moments that do bring up shame for us. I know for me, once I started talking about them and sharing like, okay, this is, you know, I, I write about them a lot too and I, and I share some on here and it’s like, once you kind of say it out loud and you hear like no one’s, no one cowers and says, what? Oh my God, what is wrong with you? Yeah. Like that’s never been the response. Generally the response is like, oh yeah, I know what you mean. Like, I’ve been there too. Yes. I’m like, oh my God, well all of this, all this time. I just had this hidden away thinking it was like the most shameful part of me that was so unlovable and that that could not be accepted and, and would be shunned and like everyone would see the true me and, and how I was a piece of shit and all this stuff. Yeah. And it was like, yeah, I was
Speaker 2 (31:40):
Speaker 1 (31:41):
Right. And it’s like, well once you share that and you say it out loud and no one runs and actually they come toward you, that is a connection and that people see themselves in your story. I think for me, that’s such a healing thing and it’s just been a way for me to really have compassion for who I was when I was not making good choices and when alcohol did trick me. And that’s why I kind of say it like that cuz it’s like I was still lovable and I was still worthy and I was, I was still good, you know? And it was just, i, I was being tricked
Speaker 2 (32:24):
I think for me sometimes and I look back and I, I think in a weird way that, um, part of my life because I am so grateful and I’m so blessed today and I’m so confident in who I am and you know, I’m able to handle things the way I am and have this life because of what I went through. And I’m very good at blocking it out. But I think sometimes I need to really embrace how much it shaped me. And I would not be on social media. I would not be putting myself out there. You know, I’d st probably still, I mean I still struggle with anxiety and depression, but I know how to handle life now because I, you know, I have no choice but to, in a strange way. I’m thankful for that because I wouldn’t be, I would be someone and I might be sober. I might not be, but I would not be who I was if I didn’t experience what I had gone through.
Speaker 1 (33:18):
Totally. And you know, you talk about being stuck like at the age when we start drinking it is like we, we stop emotionally maturing and we stop looking for tools on how to deal with our emotions and what we feel and what to do with the feelings. And so many of us start drinking in high school, like I think I was 15 or 16. Yeah. Probably 16 when I started drinking. And then we don’t have to figure out our emotions and our feelings. And I think a lot of us are stuck. Like when I stopped drinking I had to figure out what I was feeling and what I needed. Cuz I had no idea. I didn’t know what I needed. Cuz I think we don’t even realize that we reach for that glass of wine when we’re stressed, when we’re anxious, when we’re frustrated, when we’re happy, when we’re sad all the time. We don’t even realize how much we’re reaching for it until we take it away.
Speaker 2 (34:17):
Yes. It’s like a cell phone.
Speaker 1 (34:19):
Speaker 2 (34:20):
I had to update my phone the other day. It took 24 hours and I, I’ve noticed oh con how many times I went to reach for it.
Speaker 1 (34:26):
It’s like even just being bored. Mm-hmm. like I’ll be at a stoplight and I’ll reach for my phone and I’m like, what are you doing? It’s okay just to like not constantly be like zoned in on something and escaping cuz that’s an escape. Right. And I always say that in sobriety too. Like I still have to escape sometimes. Yes. And like that’s okay and
Speaker 2 (34:48):
It’s different now. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (34:50):
Right. It’s just like I’m not gonna lose my family over how I escape.
Speaker 2 (34:54):
Yeah. I might hide from them .
Speaker 1 (34:57):
Right, right. I will hide from them once a day
Speaker 2 (35:01):
Speaker 1 (35:02):
Yeah. Now it’s just watching the Real Housewives on my phone. I’ll just hide and say, okay. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (35:08):
I made a New Year’s resolution to read books more and I’m loving it.
Speaker 1 (35:13):
Speaker 2 (35:14):
And I wanna bring back to um, talking about growth and you were saying how like you reached when you were happy, sad. Well I think at such a young age, even in high school, you go to parties to be social, to learn to communicate with people and you have that drink and you think you’re better at it and you think that you are funny or you’re more likable and all the things we’re still doing that as moms like, let’s go to dinner, let’s have a drink. So I’ve learned really well how to communicate in every aspect of my life with my parents, with my boyfriend, with my children. And I am going through it, you know, I recently went through a divorce and that was something that before would’ve drove me to numb every part of it. Yeah. And I showed up and I handled it. And the reward when you don’t have to add alcohol to do those things is very fulfilling.
Speaker 1 (36:08):
Yeah. You, you’re teaching yourself and you’re proving to yourself that not only are you strong enough to withstand the hard stuff and the feelings, but that you can count on yourself and that you’re enough. And so all of this time Yeah. When we’re drinking in high school because we feel like we’re not enough. I mean the the irony of it all is that we were always enough.
Speaker 2 (36:35):
Speaker 1 (36:36):
Always. And then when it comes full circle and I think like I’m 42 and it was, and I stopped drinking when I was 39. And that’s what I’ve learned over the last three years is like oh I’ve always been enough. Yes. And it’s crazy that it took that long that I finally realized in my forties that I’m enough
Speaker 2 (37:00):
And the people who are meant to be by your side and follow you and your mom friends, yes. They’re gonna be there. The relationships I have now are so valued because they know me through and through because I am who I am and I don’t ever mask, I’m never hungover, you know, like, and you realize that like some of your relationships might have really blossomed and others might have trickled off because of being sober. But the ones I have hold a lot of value.
Speaker 1 (37:28):
Do you find it or did you find it difficult making mom friends when motherhood and, and how we connect in motherhood tends to be around alcohol.
Speaker 2 (37:40):
You know, I feel fortunate so I go to my, I have a lot of friends that drink, my parents drink and I go out to dinner and I can sit at a bar. Yeah. But I don’t need that and that, and that’s not for everyone and that’s not, you know, I’m not providing myself on that.
Speaker 1 (37:55):
No, but that’s huge. It
Speaker 2 (37:56):
Is. It’s something for me. Like I get to sit at a bar and you know, watch the chaos and you know, people watch favorite thing to do. Yes. But not needing that, you know, diet Coke is my jam WiMo and I have friends that drink and we still have very valuable relationships. So I feel lucky.
Speaker 1 (38:15):
No, that’s great. And that also is a testament to kind of feeling solid as you get those years under your belt and sobriety and it’s not, that’s what I always try to come across. It’s not like my sobriety doesn’t feel like deprivation to me. Yes. It’s not like, you know, it doesn’t feel like, oh God I drink, like when I’m around people who drink , I enjoy being around people who are drinking cuz I’m like, it’s just a reminder. It’s like oh. Yep.
Speaker 2 (38:44):
And you know, and I enjoy being in that kind of environment sometimes just like people getting loud and talking and the communication and just kind of that thing. But like, I also like to like, well it’s eight 15 I’m heading home. Yes. Um, and that’s it for me. I’m not, I was the person who I’d be the first one at the party and I, they’d have to kick me out. .
Speaker 1 (39:04):
Speaker 2 (39:04):
Yeah. And so, uh, something that you do and you share about how special like sober Sunday mornings are. I love that. Ugh. And it really, lately I’ve been like, it made me actually slow down and appreciate like Sunday mornings. Yeah. It’s, I think that’s awesome because it is the special thing.
Speaker 1 (39:23):
It really is. It’s so special. I remember, you know, normally I would hate Sunday mornings. I remember hating Sunday mornings in high school in my twenties. Sundays were all about like recovery and just like Yes. Ugh.
Speaker 2 (39:37):
Being hungover in the shitty week ahead.
Speaker 1 (39:39):
Yes. Dreading the week and like Sunday scaries and all so much anxiety and all of that. And, and when you don’t have that, like Sunday is just so sweet. It’s just a slower pace for us. Like, we never schedule anything on Sundays.
Speaker 2 (39:55):
I love that.
Speaker 1 (39:56):
Yeah. Like no birthday parties, no nothing except our family. And then it’s just really slow and connected and it, yeah. I love, I love a Sunday morning.
Speaker 2 (40:08):
Uh, yes. I appreciate that because like I said, I get up early and I have my coffee and I’m like, I say to myself pretty much every morning, like, I’m so fortunate to not be woke being woken up. Yeah. Because I can’t sleep cuz I’m hungover. I need a substance to not feel sick. Whatever it be. It’s just not the case today. And I’m lucky.
Speaker 1 (40:29):
I love that. You know, 12 plus years in, you’re still feeling that gratitude for sobriety. I think that that’s a huge testament to the fact that it’s not a cage.
Speaker 2 (40:41):
No. It is the most freeing thing. And I think it doesn’t matter if you have two drinks a night or if you’re drinking to black out. Like Yeah. I’ve never heard anyone say they removed alcohol and it lessened their life or Yes. I just, it’s not the case. I have never heard of it. Someone said, oh, my life really stopped once I stopped drinking and I hated not being hungover. And like, gosh, you know, I didn’t say anything stupid last night at the party or anything that would’ve embarrassed me. Like those are just not realistic expectations.
Speaker 1 (41:13):
It’s so true. Yeah. No one ever said God, life gets worse after sobriety . And also no one ever says the night got better the more I drank .
Speaker 2 (41:23):
Speaker 1 (41:24):
You know, it’s like we had drinks, it was fun and then it got better. It’s like, mm, no,
Speaker 2 (41:30):
It was like, I should have stopped after the second. Like
Speaker 1 (41:32):
Yeah, exactly. Like it’s,
Speaker 2 (41:33):
Everything was downhill from there.
Speaker 1 (41:35):
Exactly. . And that’s kind of just alcohol overall. Like you drink enough of it throughout your life, it’s just, it’s not gonna get better. And sobriety, while, while it might be tough in the beginning to figure out what you’re feeling, how you’re gonna cope now to figure out all of those tools, sobriety is the path that is going to get easier.
Speaker 2 (41:57):
It is. And like I said, it doesn’t matter if you are on the trenches of like, thinking that you aren’t gonna make it another hour. There is so much hope. And I feel like society today, there is so much help if you’re willing to take it. Yes. And whether it’s one drink a night that’s affecting you negatively or you are literally holding on to every morsel of life to just get through the next hour. Like try it, try sobriety, go get help, see what you can do. Cause say just stress the importance and how great life can be.
Speaker 1 (42:32):
That’s a beautiful message for anybody who is just needing to hear
Speaker 2 (42:38):
Speaker 1 (42:39):
Yeah. To hear hope. Exactly. And you’re the perfect picture of that. I mean, I am so honored that you shared your story on here and I I know it will help so many women and I’m, I’m proud of you because I know it’s a scary step.
Speaker 2 (42:55):
Thank you Suzanne. It is. And I mean, honestly, I remember it must have been the first week you stopped drinking. And I remember thinking, I remember the positive, the people commenting, I don’t drink or That’s awesome. And I remember thinking like, wow, there is a whole bunch of women just wanting to support recovery. Yes. But then it also reminded me that there’s a whole bunch of women who need that push, who feel lost, who feel they can’t do it. And they also Yes. Need to hear that they can.
Speaker 1 (43:26):
It’s so true. I I I have never felt more supported and held than when I started sharing this journey because I, I, I do think that moms are just sick of mommy wine culture and they’re starting to see through it and they need another voice and a million other voices, you know, to show a different way and all of just the whole picture of sobriety. And so, and you are helping that. And thank
Speaker 2 (43:55):
You. And so are you.
Speaker 1 (43:57):
Well thank you. Okay. Tell everybody where they could find you because you guys, you’re gonna go to her profile and you’re gonna see, talk about inspiration, talk about hope, talking about just gorgeous. It’s, it’s, this will help you feel hopeful in sobriety for sure.
Speaker 2 (44:13):
Yes. Um, so I’m on Instagram as living life pretty and I also st I’m an og so I still have a blog Living life pretty.com. Me
Speaker 1 (44:22):
Too. Okay. Living Life pretty.com. Good . No, keep the blog. I love the blog.
Speaker 2 (44:28):
Right. It’s our only space we own.
Speaker 1 (44:30):
Exactly. Yes. You can’t
Speaker 2 (44:32):
Take that away
Speaker 1 (44:32):
From us. Exactly. No, no, no. We’re keeping our blogs, guys blogs are going nowhere.
Speaker 2 (44:37):
Right. They might be trending. Yeah. Soon. Hopefully .
Speaker 1 (44:40):
Yeah, right. We’re gonna bring ’em back. Thank you so much. I’m just so
Speaker 2 (44:43):
Honored. Thank you. Yeah, thank you. Truly I’m honored to be here. I’m happy to share my story and I hope anyone who was struggling maybe got a glimpse of hope from this, so
Speaker 1 (44:53):
Oh, for sure. They did. And, and keep sharing. I,
Speaker 2 (44:56):
I want to thank you so much.
Speaker 1 (45:02):
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 silver mom life. Okay. I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat my coffee. Bye.
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