Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!
This week’s podcast guest is Deb from Kentucky who is known as Mocktail Mom – she hosts an awesome IG live session on Monday night called Making Friends & Mocktails. She has her own recovery journey to share and like me she is a breast cancer survivor.
Dramatically reducing your risk of breast cancer is one of the benefits of sobriety we don’t talk about much so we were both keen to highlight this issue during the conversation.
In this Episode
- Deb had done lots of challenges – we chatted about the value of short challenges and agreed that they can be counter-productive – 30 days is not quite long enough to experience the real benefits of sobriety so we are just doing the hard bit – and in the process our subconscious is registering that sobriety is difficult and not much fun!
- Don’t let that put you off from doing our January Challenge though – it’s a great way to dip your toe into the waters of sobriety and connect with other sober curious people – what usually happens is that some people decide to keep going for longer – sign up by going to tribesober.com and tapping January Challenge.
- Deb didn’t start drinking heavily until she turned 40 when she started using it to cope with some major life challenges. This is a pattern I am beginning to notice with some of the people I meet these days – rather than drinking socially in their 20’s and 30’s which led them to becoming dependent in mid life, they hardly drank much at all until they reached their 40’s or 50’s and then used it to cope with difficult times.
- People who do take up drinking later in life tend to hit it hard and within a decade Debs’ drinking had escalated to a level that worried her. She felt a lot of shame about her drinking – she felt she was driving a car with a trailer behind it – the trailer of shame!
- What motivated her to finally take action was the prospect of her 50th birthday – she had the blues and decided that she was just not living the life she was meant to be living. So she signed up for another challenge – but this time it was different.
- When she signed up for her final 30 day challenge she was still lacking in confidence – so convinced was she that she would fail that she told no-one… she didn’t even tell her husband or friends. However, what was different this time was that she connected with other people who were doing the challenge – people she could talk to freely. She felt less alone as previously she felt she was the only person with this kind of problem!
- Deb had “found her people” and sure enough a group of the challengers decided to keep going when they got to the end of the 30 days – this is the way to do it, step by step. Avoid the “F” word – it’s just too scary when we are at the beginning of this journey.
- Step by step is the way to go – we have so many examples of people who have signed up for Sober Spring or our January Challenge and then have extended it – first to 100 days, then to 6 months, then to a year.
- Here’s the thing: once you’ve got to a year of sobriety, you feel SO different, physically and mentally that you just won’t want to go back to drinking. You will be experiencing so many benefits that they will motivate you to carry on and it will become effortless – the new normal.
- So rather than your motivation coming from external forces (from your doctor, your family, a challenge) – your motivation will come from within – a much more powerful place.
- Deb learned the importance of planning – she would check in advance what drinks they were serving at the venue so she could decide what to drink and she would decide what she was going to say to people. She would play the movie forward which is one of our favourite tools here at Tribe Sober.
- We agreed that we felt embarrassed at first having to explain why we weren’t drinking but that passes with time and Deb now just says “I choose not to drink” and we agreed that “I’m just taking a break” is also a good one.
- I think we need to remember that although alcohol is the only drug we have to justify not taking, it’s not our responsibility to make other people feel comfortable about their drinking – we must do what’s right for us.
- We agreed on the importance of not even contemplating having “one drink” – as Deb put it that would be a switch and she’d be off and looking for the party!
- We both notice that there is a bit of a societal shift towards sobriety these days – the #sobercurious movement is great and enables people who don’t even have a problem with alcohol to see what their lives are like without alcohol – to experiment a bit – and of course it’s so much lighter to say “I’m sober curious” than “I’m an alcoholic” (!)
- Deb listed her benefits which include better sleep, no more headaches, no more shame – she’s lost weight and, most important of all, she feels a sense of freedom.
- I asked her for some tips for anyone listening who knows they need to make a change but is not ready to dive in just yet – her advice is to join some groups and just listen and learn. Some of you may be doing just that as you listen to this podcast – your next step might be to join our January Challenge – use it to check your level of dependence – just be a bit sober curious. Go to tribesober.com and hit January Challenge for more info.
- One fairly compelling reason to quit drinking is that it will reduce your risk of breast cancer…
- Deb and I are both breast cancer survivors so we chatted about the fact that the evidence is stacking up, linking alcohol consumption to breast cancer.
- We both had hormone receptor positive breast cancer and research shows that alcohol increases the risk because alcohol increases the levels of estrogen and other hormones in our bodies.
- Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10% for each additional drink women regularly have each day.
- So dramatically reducing our risk of breast cancer is one benefit of sobriety we don’t talk about much – that’s why I wanted to highlight it in this podcast.
- On a lighter note Deb started her Making Friends and Mocktails sessions on IG because she wanted to have fun in sobriety.
- You can follow her on Mocktail Mom on IG – her live sessions are Monday at 9pm Eastern time.
- Her website is mocktailmom.com and she’s also bringing out a Mocktail Box and a Mocktail Course soon.
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Till Next Week
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