My guest today is Casey Davidson.
Casey Davidson shares her path to sobriety and becoming a sober coach. Davidson explains what Dry January is – one of five adults in the US did Dry January last year! Davidson shares which demographics are drinking more & less and how the pandemic ramped up consumption. Casey Davidson shares the effects of alcohol on the body, even for light and moderate drinkers, and some benefits that come with not drinking. They discuss what obstacles can pop up for people who are not drinking. Casey Davidson shares about the “sober curious” movement – experimenting with not drinking without the pressure of giving up alcohol completely. They dig into the highs and lows of the first 30 days of sobriety and the best “quit lit.”
Casey McGuire Davidson is a life and sobriety coach and host of the Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, The Hello Someday Podcast for sober curious women and gray area drinkers.
Casey helps busy women quit drinking and create lives they love without alcohol.
She’s a wife, a mom, a practical dreamer, retired corporate ladder climber, recovering people-pleaser and ex-red wine drinker, who’s been known to crawl into bed at 9 pm and whisper “Don’t worry…you’re still a badass” to herself.
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Takeaways from the show
- Experimenting with sobriety
- Dry January
- Normalization of drinking in our culture
- Impacts of using alcohol to “take the edge off”
- Benefits of not drinking
- Obstacles of not drinking
- The “sober curious” movement
- The first 30 days of sobriety
- Finding the approach that resonates with you
- The best “Quit Lit”
What does joyful courage mean to you
I love the title of your podcast, and I love the question. For me, it means having the courage to look at what really makes you happy and what isn’t working in your life, and how you can shift that or change that. I think so many of us, or I know I did, you sort of look up and you’re like, “Oh my God, I’ve done everything I’ve always supposed to do. I’m getting all of this external validation for my seemingly really lovely life, home, and children, and how much I volunteer, and my job… Why aren’t I happy? Is this all there is?” And then you think, “Just put your head down. You’re going to get your reward on your next vacation, the next XYZ.” It took me a long time to be like, alright, is this making me happy? What isn’t? The world will not end if I make some changes in my life.
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Casey O'Roarty, Casey Davidson
Casey O'Roarty 00:04
Hello, Welcome welcome. Welcome to the joyful courage podcast to the first show of 2023. This is a place for inspiration and information as we work to keep it together while parenting our tweens and teens. My name is Casey Oh wordy. I am your fearless host positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at sprout a ball. Also mama to a nearly 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son, and I'm walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. And it's messy. It's messy for me, just like it's messy for you. This show is meant to be a resource for you. I work hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic. And I do that in hopes that you listener feel seen and supported through the conversations that I'm having. Sharing it truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around, snap a screenshot and posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the world. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show. Hey, everybody, I'm really excited to introduce you to my guest today. Casey McGuire Davidson is a life and sobriety coach and host of a top 100 Mental Health podcast the Hello Sunday podcast. For sober curious women and gray area drinkers kisi helps busy women quit drinking and creates the lives they love without alcohol. She's a wife, a mom, a practical dreamer, retired corporate ladder climber, recovering people pleaser and ex red wine drinker who's been known to crawl into bed at 9pm and whisper. Don't worry, you're still a badass to herself. I love that. Hi, Casey, welcome to the show. Hi, Casey.
Casey Davidson 02:09
We have the same number,
Casey O'Roarty 02:12
we have the same name. And we both spell it right. Yeah, I'm so excited for you to. Yes, I'm so excited to share your story with my community and have the conversation that we're about to have. I think it's really important, especially this month, January. Let's start off though, talking about your story of how you got into doing the work that you do.
Casey Davidson 02:36
Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, isn't mentioned in my bio, I spent a good 20 years being you know, a self described red wine girl, you know, I started drinking in college, which so many of us do, if not earlier. And I loved it. The minute I kind of did it, I loved it. And I went to a school it was a big keg culture, you know. And so I drank a lot in college, I played on the women's rugby team, and I still studied hard got really good grades, all that's
Casey O'Roarty 03:10
good because I drank a lot in college and did not study hard or get good grades, but carry on. Sorry, I
Casey Davidson 03:15
didn't you know, and I graduated and I became a management consultant and found it really, really stressful and drinking at night in my basement apartment while eating Lucky Charms because I had no idea how to cook somehow felt sophisticated, which looking back is ridiculous. And you know, I just always drank and I kind of moved what I was drinking with sort of the phase of life I was in, you know, it's kind of a signifier. So in college, it was kickstands and all that stuff and beerbongs Right, totally. And in my early 20s It was cocktails out at the bar, and then you know, wine with my boyfriend I lived with in Seattle, and then dinner parties and then the wine mom culture. And the whole time I was like climbing the corporate ladder. I was director at Fortune 500 companies. I've been with my husband since we were 23. And I drank a bottle of wine a night for many, many, many years. And the weird thing is for a very long time, I didn't think much of it and you know it progresses so maybe I drank three glasses a night and then four and then a bottle and then wanted more. But I was always pretty much like an every night drinker I kind of thought that's what adults did with dinner, or happy hour or you name it. And so I was you know, a long time oblivious to why I woke up at three in the morning and felt so anxious. And I knew when I had a hangover it was drinking related but I didn't have any idea what all the other health impacts were mental health and physical. And then for a while I was kind of worried about my drinking right You know, if you drink a lot, you kind of know, every time you forgot a conversation you had the night before, or your husband makes some kind of comment to you or girlfriend. And you know, once you get into your mid 30s, with kids, it's not quite as cute anymore. But like no one said anything specific to me, no one ever told me I needed to stop drinking. But it was sort of this battle for years of like, really trying to control and make rules about when I drank and how much I drank with the very specific goal of like, so that I will never have to stop completely. And, you know, eventually I took periods of time off, I tried to moderate I kept failing at that I kept deciding I was not going to drink. You know, we're talking about dry January for the month of January, and I bake it for days, or I'd make it 14 days and decide this goal was really stupid and important. And it had been a bad day, good day, you name it, and I would open a bottle of wine. So I eventually after trying to moderate for a really long time hired a sober coach, right before I turned 40 and started 100 Day Challenge. But this time with someone to talk to with someone to sort of tell me what to expect and give me tips and tricks and kind of hold my hand through the My First Date night and my first dinner party. And my first time I like had a horrible day at work with my boss. And that was six and a half years ago. And now I'm haven't had a drink. I've been alcohol free for over six years and decided after two or three years alcohol free that like I didn't want to be in corporate America anymore. And it stressed me out. And I really didn't care about the profit margins from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And so I went back to coaching school and became a life and sobriety Coach,
Casey O'Roarty 07:00
how powerful to have been through the process and to being so inspired by the process. In that journey, did you ever identify your like as an alcoholic, or just someone who had a relationship with alcohol that seemed hard to manage? Like, what was your experience with that?
Casey Davidson 07:18
I think that, you know, back when I started it, it's come so far. And I know today we're gonna talk about dry January, we're going to talk about the sober, curious movement. And it the universe of people deciding that alcohol is no longer working in their lives is so different than it was when I first was scared about my drinking a decade ago. Back then, when I was like, I don't know, 3435 It was really a binary choice. I didn't know a single person who loved to drink like I did, who had stopped drinking. And I used to go into work debating with a hangover. Like, am I a quote unquote, alcoholic? Or do I just abuse alcohol, because if I just abuse it, that's good news. I can stop doing that. Right, I can just get it in check. And I think the label of alcoholic kept me stuck for a very long time drinking when it wasn't working for me, because I desperately did not want to be in that category. Right? That was the nightmare because there's so much stigma, unless it is powerful to you, unless it helps you make this black and white. There is a lot of stigma out there around that label. And by the way, that is not a medical label. That label does not exist outside of a 12 step program or popular culture. It's called alcohol use disorder that is mild, moderate and severe. You know? And so, yes, I did wonder and worry for a long time. If I was a quote unquote, alcoholic. I did at one point when I was trying to stop drinking, go to AAA because someone invited me to a media and said it was fabulous. And said I would love it. I sort of at the time was like, well check this off the bucket list. This is something I never do in my entire life. And I went for four months, the people I met there were incredibly lovely. And I really didn't jive with the program. I really didn't jive with the mindset. I didn't like the label. I didn't like a whole lot of the dogma that was created 80 years ago by two white Christian men. The program itself hasn't changed since like the 1930s. So it wasn't for me, and it took a couple more years to I found it an approach that worked for me.
Casey O'Roarty 09:48
Yeah, but it's so interesting. I never really considered until I asked that question and you shared, like all the things that get in the way like all the stories we tell ourselves or our inner mischief maker really tells ourselves about, well, we don't need to do that, because we're not that person. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's just with whatever it is that we're navigating. Right? I find that so interesting, and I appreciate you sharing. And I really also appreciate you, you know, specifically speaking for yourself, right? Because there are people that bind a lot. Oh, many of us there too. And I love that I love you know, and even, I mean, we're not talking about religion today. But like, even the fact that everybody gets to picks something that speaks to them, that makes sense to them. And I think that that, you know, whether it's parenting, as long as we're doing no harm to ourselves or others, you know, more power to you.
Casey Davidson 10:42
Yeah. And I have to say, I have so many friends in the program, I know so many people who absolutely love it. And that is awesome. I am speaking from my own personal experience. And I think the beauty now is, you know, there are so many different ways to remove alcohol from your life with community support, without guidance, if you need it, not doing it on your own white knuckling it. And you know, these days, people call it like a patchwork of, it can be yoga, it can be meditation, it can be a sober coach, it can be an online group, it can be, you know, deciding that it's a healthy choice, like becoming a vegetarian. I mean, there's an entire universe of ways to remove alcohol from your life without a label.
Casey O'Roarty 11:30
Yeah. And also, like, it really highlights your story that there's a lot of, you know, we grab so much of our identity, especially for those of us I mean, I imagine that anyone who's possibly drinking too much in their 30s, and 40s, probably started in their teens or early 20s. Right. And that's, you know, that's a long history. It's a long relationship with a substance. And I can feel the fear of considering that maybe this is something I need to give up. And then who am I without it? I imagine that those were all questions that you asked. Yeah.
Casey Davidson 12:06
And looking back, by the way, the one thing I will tell people who are questioning their relationship with alcohol is, it's a big mistake to say, maybe this is something I need to give up, like, stop forever, because that's like going on three dates, and somehow telling yourself that you have to decide right at this minute, if you're going to marry this person, if not, it's over. And you might as well never see them again, right? So try it out as an experiment, you know, see how you feel without it, see what you decide. It's truly a very tender time of self discovery. And the how your interactions change. And, you know, trust me, if you go 100 days, alcohol free, like the wine will be there, if you decide that you'd like to your life better before. A lot of people do that, do some work and are like, wow, that was a that was kind of a crappy trade off. I actually like my life better without it.
Casey O'Roarty 13:04
But what's the history of dry January,
Casey Davidson 13:06
it's actually super simple. The idea is you steer clear of alcohol for the entire month of January. And the concept originated, actually in the UK, back in 2013. So nine years ago, when a nonprofit group called alcohol change, UK, started the movement, the goal was to raise money for alcohol abuse awareness and treatment. And the trend over the years has just caught on around the globe. It's a great time, a lot of people think of it as like a detox or reset from, you know, all of the drinking, we tend to do around the holidays, New Year's, Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, you know, whatever it is eating and drinking, and it's a time of New Year's resolutions. But the cool thing about dry January is if you choose to do it, you are not alone. Last year in the US, one in five adults participated in dry January, and it's been growing every single year. I mean, that is a huge percentage of people if you think about the number of people you know, in the workplace, in your life. So where is normally if you tell someone if you're in a big drinking group, like, Yeah, I'm not drinking, you might get some questions or some push backs, and I have strategies to deal with all of that. But in dry January, a lot of people are gonna say me too.
Casey O'Roarty 14:33
Yeah. You know, I've had a variety of times where I've been dried and sober. I don't drink too much. I did a whole year as I went through a program of coaching program that I did, where I abstained, and you see it like I've seen it come up a lot recently in social media, just the normalization that everybody drinks, right and showing up to gatherings or showing up to playdates or showing up you know, and it's assumed that of nobody's going to drink. And then when you're not drinking, it's almost as if, you know, there's a trigger for the other person like, oh, so there's something wrong with me. Like, there's this defensiveness that can show up and
Casey Davidson 15:12
oh, god, yeah. Or they immediately start telling you, well, I don't eat it. They're holding a giant
Casey O'Roarty 15:17
I don't have a problem. To
Casey Davidson 15:21
or Yeah, I could never do that. Or Dear god, why, you know, I mean, there's so much there. And it is really changing. I mean, the Washington Post is writing articles like, is the sober curious trend here to stay in like Vogue, you Cray posted an article titled has everyone stopped drinking? So it is shifting. But what's interesting is, the populations that drink the most are Gen X and Baby Boomers, Gen Z and millennials are drinking so much less than their parents and grandparents. And I'm raising my hand is a Gen X or who you know, grew up in the era of Sex in the City and all the messages that drinking is required fun, a signifier of the type of woman you
Casey O'Roarty 16:14
are, you know, all that stuff. Yeah. Oh, man, I was a binge drinker. There was no like, I just enjoy alcohol. It was like, I mean, I was. So what are the numbers telling us about who beyond Gen X and Boomers like who is consuming alcohol on a regular basis?
Casey Davidson 16:32
Well, it's been really interesting over the past three years, and the pandemic really shifted things. So alcohol consumption among women has been rising over the last 20 years, I mean, we have suddenly gotten on parity with men in terms of alcohol consumed. Interestingly, our bodies are very different from men. So it impacts us in a very different way. But then during the pandemic, it ramped up even more, especially among women, and parents of small children. So during 2020, women increased their heavy drinking days by 41%. And then we were already drinking a lot. And the highest growth and heavy drinking was among parents with children, under the age of five, they ramped up their drinking over 300%. So, you know, I was a bottle of wine a night girl, I am not alone, there are so many women out there who are doing that. And also worried about their drinking. On the other hand, millennials are so consumed less, and then Gen Z consumed even less. So. Just for example, 72% of boomers consumed alcohol in the last month 64% of Gen X 53% of millennials, and significantly less of Gen Z, in Gen Z. And millennials, they're saying they'd rather go to the gym for an hour than the bar 70% of Gen Z says they find heavy drinking culture boring, which, compared to boomers, and Gen Xers, I mean, we are in most of us, to the heavy drinking culture. And so it's really shifting. And the interesting thing is that you can see it in the market, right? The market for a non alcoholic beverages is off the charts in terms of growth, you can now find 0.0 Yes, Heineken, but also Corona, also a Guinness stout, also incredible non alcoholic craft breweries that are really good. Literally, you cannot, you know, this is not Oh, duels, or, in my opinion, kind of craft beer. But there's also wine and spirits and all the things. So the market is taking notice, which is very cool. And that's driven by what people are buying,
Casey O'Roarty 19:13
right? Yeah. Well, and I want to pause for a second, Casey and I just want to talk directly to the listeners, especially those of you that are listening right now and maybe feeling a little uncomfortable with this conversation. Right. Maybe we are tapping on something for you right now. And I just want to acknowledge that and I just want to invite you to stay open and stay curious, and be willing to hang in there with us as we continue this conversation because it is an important conversation. And considering those numbers, you know, I'm guessing that most of my audiences Gen X, which means you know, 60% of them are alcohol consumers, so, just have an open mind. Hang in there. Right nobody's being judged here. We're having a conversation or having a conversation. And parenting is fucking exhausting. Yes. Right. And they're, you know, yes, I get it, the parents of the young kids, but man, I mean, teenage years. It's no joke. And there are so many moments of like, I need to just shut this down. I need to shut this out. I need to just take a break. And alcohol is one of many easy ways. Easy. It is easy
Casey Davidson 20:31
is the easy button. Yeah. And so it can feel like for you, like couple glasses of wine takes the edge off. But what's happening in our bodies? Oh, my gosh, when we're closing every day like that? Well, the thing is, and the Huberman lab podcast, which is a huge science based podcast, just did a really interesting episode on alcohol on the body. And you often hear and we believe that alcohol is a negative effect on your body. If you are a quote, unquote, heavy drinker, right? Everybody's like, oh, yeah, those people, you know, are going to have liver damage and all this stuff. But alcohol, including within the quote, unquote recommended guidelines of one drink a day for women to for men, seven drinks a week, has really pronounced a negative impacts on your body, physical health and mental health. And the reason I love the humor man podcast, was because it wasn't about the health impacts on heavy drinkers. I mean, he literally dug into, you know, you drink a glass of wine at night, or a couple times a week, right, which is within the recommended guidelines. So alcohols interesting, it is both a depressant, and it's a stimulant, right. And so those things work in concert. So there is a reason you come home and you have a glass of wine. And you sort of relax, right, it's actually slowing your responses to stimulus, it is slowing down your body. And sometimes we think that alcohol gives us energy, right, you're exhausted, you went to work all day, or you dealt with kids all day, it's suddenly the evening and you have sort of the second shift. And drinking can give you energy because it immediately spikes your dopamine really high. And when you drink, even within sort of what's considered a moderate level, you spike your dopamine really high, and your body wants to regulate that dopamine level. So your body is on its own, lowering your natural level of dopamine and dopamine mean is known as sort of your happy chemical in your brain. So alcohol is addictive, in the same way that cigarettes are, I mean, it just is so that when the alcohol comes out of your body, you're going into physical withdrawal. And you need sort of that substance to get back to feeling good again. And that's why a lot of people wake up at 3am. Because it's a depressant, it, some people think it helps you fall asleep, I know I did. And then you wake up at 3am, when the alcohol leaves your body, because someone described it to me, as driving through mud, right, you're driving long pavement, you hit mud, you slow down, and then you put on the gas to maintain your speed. And when you shoot out of the mud, you're going really fast. And that's like what alcohol does to your body, it leaves your system, suddenly, your nervous system, your mind, you wake up at 3am, you can't go back to sleep. So it's doing things to your body, regardless of if you drink in moderate amounts. So it spikes your dopamine, which makes you bring down your natural level of your happy chemicals. So it is not your imagination, that you are more irritated and less content and less peaceful when you're not drinking, that's because of the substance not because you're not drinking, it spikes your cortisol, and that stays in your body for days, right. So you are actually more anxious when you're not drinking. But that's caused by the drinking and you're more anxious and less happy than you would be. If you consume zero alcohol. It also really disrupts your sleep. And by the way, I kind of sort of knew this for years and I kept drinking because in my mind, the benefits outweigh these minor inconveniences. But even less than a drink for women, disrupts or decreases your sleep quality by 9%. If you have a single drink, it decreases your sleep quality by 24%. And anything over a drink for women. You will sleep worse by 40%. Right?
Casey O'Roarty 24:53
Yeah, and I mean sleep. Yeah, right. Like I've done interviews with people about sleep and You know, we have conversations about sleep over here all the time. And you know, there's so many layers here, right? Alcohol is a depressant while sleep deprivation is a depressant, right? It's like this hamster wheel of dynamics that comes into play. And then I'm thinking, you know, thinking about the young kids being present for our young kids, but also being present for our teens. You never know when they're going to show up and be like, Hey, I gotta talk to you about something. Yeah. Right. And when I hear that from my kids, that's the line. I gotta tell you something that I know, I need to just lock in. I need to feel my feet on the floor. I need to bring my full presence, my full awareness, I need to be truly available to them like emotionally even. Right? Yeah, exactly. Because if they're saying, I need to tell you something that I know, like, something's come in. That's going to require me to use my self regulation.
Casey Davidson 25:55
That's exactly it self regulation.
Casey O'Roarty 26:04
Hey, listen, the New Year is here. The new year is here. Fresh Start. Let's go. Doors are open. For the living joyful courage membership program. You hear me talk about my membership here on the show all the time. I've been promoting it the last couple of weeks. Well, now enrollment is open. And this is your chance to get in on this amazing supportive community of mamas of tweens and teens. It's all about connection, content and coaching. This takes a six week class and goes next level as we continue to maintain relationship, check in with each other and tease apart what we're struggling with, with parents. And if you don't want to listen to me about the experience, how about you hear from some of past members of the membership?
I feel like okay, now it now it's starting to click, now it's starting to click, I still make a lot of mistakes. But I don't give myself a hard time about it. I just kind of sit back and go, Okay, what would I have done differently.
And I always feel like better about myself about my parenting just about, I don't know, I always take away something. And it just Casey, something about how you run this and just your personality. And I'm always happy that I've come once I'm there, I feel
Casey Davidson 27:26
less alone. And a lot of the things that I'm going through with my kids,
you're an amazing facilitator, and we've brought this group together, you've created this. And it's been incredibly helpful to me and my parenting and and just making it through, I can see in the brilliance and the messiness of my parents.
Casey O'Roarty 27:52
There you have it, there you have it, those were not paid actors. Those were actual moms, some of which are still in the membership for second and third years. So if you are looking for that community where you can share it all feel held, feel seen and heard, feel connected, not feel alone, this is a great place to check out, head over to be spreadable.com/l JCB sprout double.com/ljc Find out more information about the program and get yourself enrolled doors close January 11. You are less
Casey Davidson 28:38
present when you're drinking. And I know that was the case for me. 100%. But also when you stop drinking like you will have more energy, you'll sleep better, you'll be less anxious, you also like will look better. 100% right, your face is less bloated. Alcohol is a diuretic, your skin will be so much less dry, so much more vibrant, your eyes look better, you might lose weight, like alcohol is toxic in your body. So as soon as you consume any alcohol, your body wants to get rid of it before it does anything else. And one alcoholic drink is somewhere between 150 and 200 calories. My non alcoholic beers, which I absolutely love, and they taste exactly the same are like 3045 calories.
Casey O'Roarty 29:34
Well in my husband, he stopped drinking in the fall of 2017. And we were just really transparent. Our kids, you know at the time were 15 and 12. And it was all on the table. I mean we talk about that and I love that he got to be a model for them of what it looks like in our household, you know as far as the drinking goes is not a place where the adults are normalizing that this is something that grown reps do all the time. And I'm really grateful for that. What do you think is the biggest obstacle for parents who want to take a break or give it up?
Casey Davidson 30:09
I just think that the way alcohol has been marketed to us for so long that we have truly absorbed and believed that it is fun and relaxing and intuitive connection, and you're missing out, or you will not be part of the crowd or have less fun if you don't drink. I mean, I think a lot of the reasons it's difficult when you want to take a break, are your own limiting beliefs about either what people will think of you, or, you know, will you have any fun? Will you be bored, and boring. So I think that's a big obstacle. And I have to tell you, it is completely untrue. So if you're listening to this in January, it is an amazing time to take a break, because so many people are doing it, and you will find that, you know, just drinking, as your main, you know, honestly, it becomes a hobby is actually keeping your world pretty small. And that there are so many more exciting things you can do when you have more time and money and energy than you did when you were drinking. But that takes some experimentation. I think the other thing is habit change. I mean, drinking is just a habit. And any habit or behavioral change is hard. But also alcohol is all around us. I mean, you go to a restaurant, first thing they do is bring you the drinks menu or the wine was. And so it's hard to change a habit when it's so physically and socially present in your life, but it can be done.
Casey O'Roarty 31:49
Yeah, it definitely can be done. One of the hacks that I used was, when I'd go out to see music, that's if I'm going out and going out to see music, and typically drinking. And when I'm not drinking, I always ask for like a ginger ale or soda water or something. And I asked him to put it in a cocktail glass and give it some limes. So that what is in my hand to anybody looking over is a cocktail so I can just avoid the conversation around. Not because I can't handle them, but just because they're tiring. Yeah, like I don't want to explain myself. Right?
Casey Davidson 32:25
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, that's a great strategy. And there are so many options. You know, I always a friend of mine, Jamie Lee grace, who hosts a podcast, alcohol free life, she always says, keep the ritual, change the ingredients. And you can still do all of the things you'd love to do. And choose to have a different beverage and wake up without a headache, and drive home safely and have an incredible night and actually feel that natural high, not the manufactured one.
Casey O'Roarty 33:00
Yeah, I love that. Keep the ritual change the ingredients. So talk about the sober, curious movement. Yeah, I didn't realize it was a movement
Casey Davidson 33:08
is a movement. And if you look at any newspapers and publications, including the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, and you know, Vogue, and Cosmo itself, like, they are talking about the sober, curious movement. And so what it is, is a real shift in the last 10 years, maybe really the last four or five years, from what we used to believe life without alcohol would be like so alcohol intake used to be thought of as like a binary choice, you drink alcohol, or you drink water. And the only people who choose not to drink alcohol are those who, quote unquote, have a real problem with it. Or people who don't do it for religious reasons, or a very small minority of other reasons. The idea was that sobriety was complete abstinence to and it's because you had an alcohol use disorder. And so what the phrase sober curious, was actually coined in a book in 2018, by Ruby Warrington and her book was sober, curious, the blissful sleep, greater focus and limitless presence and deep connection, a weightiness on the other side of alcohol. And the idea is now that you can and people do experiment with an alcohol free lifestyle, without the pressure to give alcohol up completely. So it's sort of you can think of it as an extension of dry January as saying, Okay, let's take the pressure off deciding to drink or not drink, I'm sober, curious. Let's look at and observe why we drank and the choices We make and how it's working for us and how we physically feel afterwards and all that kind of stuff.
Casey O'Roarty 35:08
So you shared your story. So what do you say to people that are having the experience of a cabinet? Try this sober, curious thing. And they get to day four, day five, and they realize, oh, this is hard, you know, quickly followed perhaps by I don't want to do this. This is dumb. Right? Yeah, go quickly from this as hard to well, this is just stupid. Yeah. How do you support your clients when they're in that? Because that's a big, that's kind of this precipice, right? It's kind of the spot.
Casey Davidson 35:36
Yeah. I mean, I would say that if you are doing for days, and then saying, forget this, I want to drink, I need a drink. This is too hard. You are doing the hardest part over and over again. I mean, people will say to me, Well, I feel worse, like I'm a less relaxed mom, and I'm nicer when I drink, I'm less irritated. And that reinforces the it helps me, right. The truth is that you are in physical alcohol withdrawal, and you are irritated. That is true. And it's because of the alcohol, it's not because you're not drinking. So I have a 30 day guide on my website that really want it's completely free 30 tips for your first 30 days. And it walks you through how to stop thinking about this as deprivation or a punishment, how to think of this as an experiment and an empowering choice to actually care for yourself, for the first time in a long time, not hit the easy button of me numb myself out or artificially manipulate my body and my brain so that I don't have to deal with how I really feel. So it tells you what to do and what to expect on day four. And day five, I left on your first weekend. And the truth is, of course, you're going to want to drink on day four. But you can do other things that will help you get to feeling better. And it gets so much easier. And you know what, once you get closer to 30 days, you have a better sort of baseline of like, okay, here's my regular level of contentment. Here's my regular. I mean, sober. Sleep is incredible. Like people are like, Oh my god, this is better than sex. How did I not know? You know? Right, right, right. Because every night convinced
Casey O'Roarty 37:28
ourselves that sleep is just shitty, right? I mean, if that's our lifestyle, then everything that comes with it just becomes so normal. Yeah, well, and I love I love that you have this 30 day thing I did the whole 30 Yeah, thing one time, one time. Yeah. And what I loved that it came with was this calendar that did just that it kind of mapped out because you know, you give up sugar similar to alcohol, right. And your whole body is like what's happening. And so what are up I don't know where we got it from probably the gal that wrote the program. But there was a whole 30 Day map really have, this is how you're going to feel the first week and then you're going to feel like this, and it's gonna be so great. And then you're going to plateau, and you'll be like, Man, and then. So I love that what you've created, walks people through that as well and prompts them with tips and suggestions. And I'm guessing probably some good inner prompts for Yeah, kind of some inner discovery.
Casey Davidson 38:22
I mean, it's everything from what to buy at the grocery store, when to eat, you know, because hunger is a huge trigger, dropping blood sugar is a huge trigger. Alcohol is so much sugar. And so you are going to crave sugar when you first give up alcohol. And so I don't actually I mean, trust me, I went on health kicks and nutrition kicks a million times, you know, as your normal alcohol, right? But you do not want to go into calorie deficit sugar withdrawn alcohol withdrawal at the same time, because it's just too hard. And the other thing that's, you know, so I'm like, eat the peanut m&ms. If you're giving up this really addictive substance that has a ton of sugar in it, it will not last but it will help you get through that date for right and you're going to be really tired. When you stop drinking. Your body is recovering and resetting itself. But like I now need to check out that 30 Day map because you're going to feel better than you have in years.
Casey O'Roarty 39:27
Yeah. How long does it take for the body to recover?
Casey Davidson 39:32
I would say I mean, I interviewed scientists and authors and everything else. I would say 30 days to your dopamine really resets to like your normal level. I mean, for me, it was day 12 When I first had my night of amazing sleep, you will feel less anxious, probably three weeks into it. But at the same time drinking And alcohol is physical, but it's also so emotional and mental and tied to your identity and tied to your perceptions of what is fun. And so it really is this tender transformational time, if you do it right, this period of discovery and like all these aha, ideas of oh my god, this is the reason I drank. And that's a reason I drank. And I thought that this would suck, but it didn't. And I thought that this would be hard. And it was, and my favorite is people are like, it'll be no fun. If I don't drink it. I'm like, Okay, here's a question. Is it just not fun? Is it that you actually don't want to do this or don't like these people? And a lot of times they're like, Yeah, and I'm like, okay, that's information, you know? Yeah. What are your favorite resources? I mean, you are a fabulous resource and your podcasts and what you're creating for people, what are some other resources that you leaned on in your journey, I think it's really important to find an approach that resonates with you, whatever that is, you know, because this should really if you do it, right, feel good. And not like you are not a 16 year old who got your car keys taken away. So there are resources and books and approaches out there for every single person and what you know, what appeals to you. So one of my favorite things is, is there's a whole genre called Quizlet. Right, which is kind of like Chiclet, but it's for women quitting drinking, I actually have a whole free guide on my website and a podcast episode on the best outlet for women, we can link to that. And I've interviewed so many authors, but depending on whether the fact based information on what alcohol does to your body, is resonates with you and your mind, you know, their books like alcohol explained by William Porter, or this naked mind by Annie grace.
Casey O'Roarty 42:09
Yeah, one of my family members actually did not resonate with a A, and I got that book for him the naked mind. And I mean, every time I not every time I see him, but on multiple occasions, he has said this was this spoke to me in a way that you know, 60 years of drinking, nothing is ever spoken to me. Yeah, naked mind.
Casey Davidson 42:31
Yeah, that's a fabulous book. I mean, their books, like the unexpected joy of being sober by Katherine Great. That's just incredibly good. One that resonated with me. There were two one was tired of thinking about drinking, actually written by my sober Coach Bell Robertson. And it was just so practical and kind, and, you know, never uses any labels other than, like, well, the people who like to drink and boozers like us, and you know, just no labels. I also love the sober diaries by Claire Puli. She used to be high up in advertising. She's British, she's really funny. She stopped drinking when she had younger kids, three of them. And you know, she didn't hit a big bottom, if you want the scary memoirs, they are out there. But there are lot of memoirs and books with this kinder, gentler approach that are really wonderful. Also, there's a book not drinking tonight by Amanda E. White. She's a therapist for women, and a millennial, but goes into not only her personal story, but case studies of other women at different ages, as well as anxiety and perfectionism and body image and all, you know, the society we're raised in and how women write addition, boundaries, all these things that are sort of the underlying reason that drinking works for us in the first place. And so if you're interested, go to my website, the guide the podcast, because there is a wealth of different approaches. And I promise you, you're gonna find one that feels good to
Casey O'Roarty 44:16
you. Awesome. And listeners, you know that we'll have the link to well, why don't you tell us what I'm going to ask you where to find you. And yeah, follow your work in a minute. But why don't you just because we're on the topic. Yeah. What is your website?
Casey Davidson 44:29
My website is Hello, Sunday coaching.com. You can find my podcast the Hello Sunday podcast anywhere. You listen to podcasts. I've got over 130 episodes. So there's lots of things and each one is grouped by topics and ideas of like 20 questions to ask yourself about your drinking strategies for your first week. But also, perfectionism comes relationships with narcissists. Casey was on with an incred double episode about parenting teens and tweens and healthy coping mechanisms that aren't having a drink. Because like, trust me when Casey said no judgement, like I have zero judgment. I was right there and leading the pack in Oh my God, I need if I can drink, right?
Casey O'Roarty 45:20
Yeah, totally. Well, as we wrap up, I'm so glad that we got to have this conversation. And I know that it's valuable to my community. So thank you. Is there anything else that you want to make sure to leave listeners with today? Or have we covered it?
Casey Davidson 45:34
The one thing I would say is, you know, what your life is like when you're drinking, like the good and the bad, the highlights and the lowlights. And I'm in no way trying to convince you that like you did not have the absolute best time when you went to Italy with your husband and drink the crafts of wine? And aren't you curious to see what you could accomplish and how you might feel and what you could do with your time. If you took longer period of time without alcohol, and I'm not talking, I'm only going to drink on the weekends. Because that, again, you're going through the withdrawal, and you're not changing your habits, but get curious and excited, because you know, you have decades ahead of you. And alcohol really, I mean, has a lot of negative physical and mental health impacts. And you're gonna feel better without it. Yeah.
Casey O'Roarty 46:32
What is joyful courage mean to you? I love
Casey Davidson 46:36
the title of your podcast. And I love that question. And for me, it means having the courage to look at what really makes you happy, and what isn't working in your life. And how you can shift that or change that. Because I think so many of us are, I know I did, was, you know, you sort of look up, and you're like, Oh my God, I've done everything I've always been supposed to do. I'm getting all this external validation, you know, for my seemingly really lovely life and home and children and how much I volunteer and my job, why aren't I happy? Is this all there is? And then you think, just put your head down, you're gonna get your reward on the next vacation, the next XYZ and so it took me a long time to be like, alright, is this making me happy? What isn't? And like the world will not end if I make some changes in my life.
Casey O'Roarty 47:38
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Yay. And then so we got your website. Hello, someday. coaching.com. Hello, someday pod cast is your show. Where can people find you on socials?
Casey Davidson 47:51
Yeah, Instagram, I'm under KC CAS EY, just like the right way to spell it. Thank you. And my middle name is McGuire. So David said, I'm on Facebook under Hello, someday podcasts so you can find me there.
Casey O'Roarty 48:07
Yeah. Well, thank you so much for spending time with me today. This was so useful and impactful. And I'm excited to hear from the listeners how you felt listening in on Casey and I got about the
Casey Davidson 48:20
next. Defensiveness and resistance and I'm like, Oh my God. No, that's okay, too. Yeah, that's pretty normal.
Casey O'Roarty 48:28
Awesome. Well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here. Oh, thank you.
Casey O'Roarty 48:40
Thank you so much for listening, my friends. Happy New Year. Thank you to the sprout double team, including Chris Mann at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there to you each and every week. If you have questions about this interview, or our offers for parents and Sproutsocial or you simply want to check in, you can always shoot me an email at Casey at joyful courage.com Don't forget to check out the membership program at B spreadable.com/ljc. I'm really really, really wanting you to check it in. Check it out. It might be exactly what 2023 needs, which is an up leveling in your focus and your mindset around parenting. Tune back in for our Thursday show later this week. And I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace