Transcript: Drinking works, until it doesn’t: making the decision to quit.

Drinking works, until it doesn’t: making the decision to quit

 Kathleen: Welcome to Sisters in Sobriety. I'm Kathleen. 

Sonia: And I'm Sonia. And we're ex sisters in law brought together in marriage and bonded through our sobriety journey. 

Join us as we talk sobriety, addiction, and everything in between. You're in for quite a ride. How are you doing today, Kathleen?  

 Kathleen: I  Am doing really well. I'm doing really well. It's a little bit chilly here. 

How are you doing?

Sonia:  I'm really good. I'm excited to be here. Today, we're going to talk about making the decision to quit drinking and I love talking about this because it's really like that first step in the journey and just admitting to yourself your life would be better without alcohol and that it's holding you back from having it. that you want. 

 Kathleen:: So Sonia, what does it mean to quit drinking? And what are some of the factors that keep us from admitting that we're struggling in the first place? 

Sonia: I  mean, I think that like, is, you know, do we define quitting drinking as like abstaining from alcohol or is it working towards a healthier relationship with alcohol?

I think quitting drinking is whatever it means to you, right? Whatever it takes to get to a healthy relationship. And I think that whatever gets you there faster, and if that's like, you know what, I'm gonna start by moderating, then I think that's the way to do it . 

 Kathleen: Yeah, and I think, like, for me, I quit drugs right away.

When I decided to quit, I quit. But for me, alcohol was a long... long journey. I wouldn't have associated myself like as a problematic drinker. I was, but I wouldn't have thought that. And it was only two years ago that I stopped drinking, but it was over 10 years ago that I stopped drugs. So I think it, it can look different for. each other. And it's like, what does quitting mean to you? So what does it mean specifically to you though? 

Sonia: For me, it was, it was that I don't know how to have a healthy relationship with alcohol. And I don't think that's the case for everyone. I just think that's the case for me. It was like a decision that.

It was so big because it was like, I'm never going to drink again. And I think that's part of the reason it took so long. You know, I think I had tried to moderate, but not really very seriously or cut back. And so that's what it means to me

Yeah. It's like the concept of never having a drink again, or even cutting down is a really hard decision, but I think it's a worthwhile thing to think about.

 Kathleen: But to start us off, we have really something special for you today. We don't know each other very well yet, meaning us and the listeners, not Sonya and I, we know each other really well. But we thought we'd let you in on our story, where we come from and how we met. And there is a lot to tell.

So first let's go back to the early days. Sonia, take it away

Sonia: My name is Sonia. I'm the founder of Everbloom, and we offer small group recovery meetings for women. I was born in Toronto, Canada, and that's where I was raised. My parents were Indian immigrants and had an arranged marriage, so they're about ten years apart.

I have an older brother who is about six years older than me. Growing up, it was a really disciplined environment where we had to be really regimented about school and our schedules, but really like emotionally, there was a lot of chaos in the house, so I saw my parents really as like authoritarians. I did not see them as friends or confidants.

They were kind of always trying to assimilate, so I didn't have a really strong understanding of my culture until I was Much older and I just sort of felt different and didn't know why by the time I was 12 or 13. I was experiencing pretty severe. anxiety and probably significant amount of depression.

So I was this like angry, grungy kind of teen. And yeah, I thought it was an expression of how I was feeling, but had no idea what the root was. So I started self medicating. pretty early with cigarettes and then, um, with alcohol probably by the time I was 15. 

 Kathleen: I'm Kathleen and I'm a registered psychotherapist in qualifying status.

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. And I grew up moving around quite a bit in my childhood and then more again as a teenager. And to be honest, my parents were really restless. They would move, they would try something new, or jobs would take them to different places. And my childhood was pretty lonely, just as an only child, but also because I lived in several rural areas, and there just weren't a lot of kids around.

So it was a lonely childhood for sure. When I was in grade seven or eight, I actually started, I think, to go down a not great path. My parents put me in a private boarding school and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was like an instant family overnight. I had community all of a sudden. I had structure in my life.

And I really think that That school saved me in a lot of ways through my teenage years because I wasn't lonely anymore. And I had this amazing opportunity to do all sorts of things that I could only have imagined doing. And I really found happiness there and came into my own. I was 18 when I went to the University of Toronto and I studied theater and drama.

I'm pretty serious about my studies, pretty academically focused. And so I worked really, really hard and, but then I played really, really hard. So I did drink a lot. I did. a lot of drugs, but it never compromised my academics and I ended up finishing top of my class. 

Because my parents were so pushy academically, I went to university as I was turning 17.

I think I didn't really know what to expect out of university when I got there because I was so young and I was a little surprised at the level of sophistication of my classmates, so I was pretty quickly feeling really insecure and out of place. Alcohol wasn't something that was kept away from the campus.

Like it was in the campus. We had keg deliveries like every few days. It was a very big part of the environment and socializing. And so I pretty quickly realized that when I drank, all that That went away, all those feelings of insecurity and anxiety just like melted away. And I could interact with all these different groups of people and not feel that awkwardness that would sit like in my chest.

And so pretty quickly realized that this was going to be the answer to my problems.

Kathleen: So Sonia, as we heard, growing up, you felt challenged in your mental health and like at university, you used alcohol to socialize and integrate. But I think if you're using alcohol to cope in any way, there is something there. 

Sonia: So  What are the signs, Kathleen, that someone might be struggling with alcohol use disorder?

So from their perspective. 

You know, this is a very individual thing, but I think if you're using it frequently, like every night after work to decompress, to relax, to feel better, if a stressful event happens in your life and you're like, Oh, just going to have some wine. Do you need those glasses of wine to decompress?

So. Yes, there are lots of signs like, is it getting in the way of you living your life? Are you, you know, are there health issues coming up? Those are the more obvious things, but the more kind of covert things are more like, are you using alcohol or a substance to either feel better, relax? I'm going to say this because I used to feel like this when I did drugs.

Be your best self. Those are big warning signs, and I know that will, will mean a lot of the population. I'm not saying you have, like, you're an alcoholic, I'm not gonna put that label on it, but I think that there's something to question there.

Sonia:  What do you think about seeing a therapist and talking about whether or not you have alcohol use disorder?

Can a therapist help you figure that out? 

 Kathleen: For sure. I mean, depending on your, where you live, certain therapists can diagnose, some can't. For sure a therapist can do an assessment, like even a general practitioner, physician can also do an assessment with you and then also kind of guide you in the right direction.

Sometimes it doesn't even need to be that. Sometimes you could go to a support group, you have Everbloom, Sonia, and people may show up, I'm sure this happens, people show up and they're like, I don't know if I have a problem or not. 

Sonia: Yeah, I mean, that's like 90 percent of my clients are gray area drinkers.

And so they're not using the term alcoholic, then they're not even necessarily wanting to commit to like a life of sobriety, right? They just want to learn healthier coping mechanisms and hopefully decrease their use and their dependency. 

 Kathleen: So what can you  Do to help yourself and figure out if you have a problem for all those people who are listening right now and are like, I don't know if I have a problem or not.

What can you do to help yourself and figure that out?

 Yes, I remember like every Monday morning, like waking up and Googling, am I an alcoholic? Like after a weekend of like not being able to remember things and like, yeah, you know what, you can fill out those quizzes. And. If you answer them honestly, they're probably accurate, but I don't remember ever answering them honestly.

I just remember sitting there being like, do I have unintended cons? Do I drink more than I plan to? And it's like, I don't know, maybe, maybe not. And so I think that regardless of all the like quizzes and evaluations, I think there's just this like voice in your head. And mine would usually come out like in the middle of the night after having like blacked out at four or five in the morning, be like, Oof, something's not good here.

So if you're Googling, am I an alcoholic? Guess what? You probably have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. You don't have to label yourself as an alcoholic, but it may be time to start looking at how you're using alcohol at least. Mm 

 Kathleen: hmm. And so it's really just as we're all unique individuals, our use of substances is also really unique in the sense, you know, yes, it's a coping and that can be the same across the board, but what it looks like can be very different.

It's so true. As a therapist, what are some of the things that are happening in people's lives that may prompt them to reexamine their relationship with alcohol or quit drinking? 

I see so many things that it can be someone who never really identified that they had a problematic relationship with alcohol and then something huge happens in their life like a divorce or a death of a loved one and they realize that they have no other coping skills and that their drinking then increases and alcohol is what they use to help feel better.

And then what I'm finding is that often people realize that they don't feel better, that it actually makes them feel worse. So there's that kind of person that I see. And then there are also people who, you know, have just been drinking problematically their whole lives, and they want to make a change.

They don't want to live like that anymore. They, you know, run into issues with their job. They run into issues with their spouse or partner or children. So I think there's a lot of ways that can Come up for people to, to say like, hold on here, I'm not feeling well, my life isn't really as I want it is drinking part of that.

Sonia: Yeah, I hear what you're saying. I also think too, it's like, it's a process, right? Like I always think drinking works until it doesn't. And so for me, it worked. I would come home from work really stressed and have a drink and I wouldn't be as stressed until it sort of took on a life of its own. And then I would wake up.

More stressed than I originally started and so I think that's a hard. It's a hard thing to look at in yourself 

 Kathleen: Yeah it is. And I think like it does work for the short term. It doesn't work for the long term. So short term yeah, like it gives you a hit of dopamine and it can relax you and all those things but Even medium to long term doesn't help you.

It's bad for your health and you wake up the next day and you feel like shit. So, you know, what are the other strategies you could use instead of that? 

Sonia: Yeah. So I talk a lot about. Habit stacking and the atomic habits, right, of drinking and so like I think one of the first steps after you sort of even actually during sort of parallel to making the decision to quit or re examine your relationship with alcohol is figuring out are you using it as a crutch, right, and when are you using it as a crutch and so I think what happens is that we associate certain triggers and it could be a time of day, a place, a person with drinking, and then we associate that with like relief from whatever discomfort we're feeling.

So, you know, for me, I started to associate literally putting my bag down and changing out of my work clothes with opening a bottle of wine. And that is a very typical example of habit stacking, right? So my habit was to put my bag down in front of the door to walk up the stairs, change out of my work clothes, and then open a bottle of wine, right?

So. You kind of have to change all the habits or you have to restack the habits in order to, you know, deal with the trigger. And also at, you know, at some point you have to think about avoiding or minimizing your triggers. 

Yeah. And sometimes that can be hard, right? But it's, it's a really interesting exercise to sort of examine, be aware, like, when do I get that craving?

 Kathleen: I think it's can be environment, like there's so many things that can trigger it. I remember years after I stopped doing drugs, like years, and I went to a restaurant that had like kind of flashy lights and pumping music. And I was like, why do I want to snort cocaine all of a sudden? Like what is going on?

Why? And I realized, oh yeah, it's like the club environment that I always used to do drugs in. So environment too, right? 

Environment is big and In terms of, like, you know, what kind of environment helps somebody, what kind of, like, emotional environment, too, would help somebody who's committing to sobriety?

Yeah, I mean, stress is often a cause of people wanting to use substances. And life has stress, right? So, you know, in the initial stages of... stopping drinking or limiting or whatever you want to call it or sobriety. Trying to minimize drama in your life as best as you can is a good approach. People who are, you know, early days, they don't have the coping skills yet.

So they're like raw to the world. And so I wouldn't say go do the most stressful thing you have ever done in your life. And like, go make all these huge decisions that will add stress to your life. I would say, okay, how can you minimize that or compartmentalize it or kind of reduce the drama Rama in your life until those coping skills are more solid?

What do you think?

Sonia: Oh my god. I would say first at least three to six months I felt like a turtle without a shell. Like everything just hurt so much. And so, yeah, I totally agree that, you know, there's never a perfect time to quit drinking. Like you can't just, you know, pick a time where you have no stress, but trying to minimize Stress is a great idea, especially towards the beginning because I think you'll notice when you stop drinking, things change.

Like, you're not as impulsive, right? Uh, you're not waking up and being like, Did I just have, did I have a fight with my husband last night? You know what I mean? So, your reactions are different. But you get into this flow, right? And it's like, I can't. Drink and pass out. Like I have to wash my face and brush my teeth and journal and read my book.

 Kathleen: And so, yeah, it's different. You change your emotional environment just by, by quitting. 

Yeah, I think that's, that's true. One thing I will say that I love about us and what makes us so compatible as sisters in law and friends is that. We have such a similar bedtime schedule, so if I'm staying at your house or you're staying at my house, we're like, 8 o'clock, better wind it down.

Sonia: We do Have a very similar sleep schedule. We do. Speaking of sleeping schedule, Kathleen, would you say you had a good nighttime routine in your 20s?

 Kathleen:: Uh, no,  probably not. 

Sonia: I thought so. Our listeners will see what I mean in a minute as we pick back up in our story. Just as a refresher, where we left off, we were about to leave university, but let me tell you, we did not graduate from partying.

 Kathleen: Oh no, I was Headed for a PhD. Don't get me wrong, it was a good time, but it was a lot. So Sonia, ready to dive back in? 

Sonia: Ready as I'll ever be. I started dental school in 2001 in Boston and dentistry was really, the schooling part was very rigorous and so I was just studying and so I could only drink like once every like six, eight weeks. It was like the only thing that had ever, you know, tamped down my drinking. So yeah, my life was pretty scheduled.

I would go to class. I would come home. I would study. I would study probably like 10 hours on. You know, each day on the weekends and my ex husband was one of my classmates and my study partner and we were really good friends for about three years. We got really close that way and then close to when we were graduating, I think we realized we had feelings for each other and we started dating.

We graduated, um, in 2005 and went to, um, different cities. I went to Pittsburgh to do a residency and he went to Philly. And they were five hours apart by driving. But we made it work and we saw each other, um, pretty regularly for three years. And so it seemed like the natural choice to move to Philadelphia in 2008.

And then. The recession hit and so I was really lucky to have a job, but he wasn't so lucky and so we think maybe we should start a practice from 2008 to like 2011 was just this such an interesting time we got engaged, we got married, we started our practice, we got a dog like I had my first like adult apartment and I had my first adult job making more money than I ever even, I had, you know, never had money.

And so this was just like, this is the best thing that's ever happened. I was just super ambitious, which I had not really been before in my life. And so I was just really going as fast as I could. And then, yeah, to come down, I was also like, you know, drinking. And so it was a really work hard.

So I tried the acting thing for a little bit and that just wasn't happening. And so I did a post grad in, in public relations. And that was a, a, a huge shift, a huge turning point in my career. I embraced public relations and I became really good at it. And, you know, I worked for quite a bit of time in the UK, and then I lived in Hong Kong for a while for a job.

And so I was on a plane a lot. I was in Partying was a huge part of my life. I mean, there's a lot of drinks, there's a lot of parties you need to go to, and that was... That was definitely the case for me and, you know, drinking was definitely present, but it was the drugs that really, you know, people approached me.

I had friends who said, you know, is this an issue? And I think now looking back, like, yeah, it was because I was also hiding it. And when you hide it, you know, then there's something going on too. So it was a problem, but I didn't necessarily know at the time that it was. But I was starting to get tired of the lifestyle I was living.

I worked many, many, many hours and didn't necessarily enjoy the places I was visiting. I always had a desire to help people and a desire to help people on a really quite a large scale. But I was being pulled too much into the, the corporate world, into the partying. I did know that there was a path for me there.

I just didn't know how to.

I didn't have any examples of anyone living like a sober or particularly healthy lifestyle. And so I had started drinking every day because my workload had sort of decreased where I didn't need to work at night. And so all of a sudden I have these evenings free and I don't have to study and I don't have to, you know, work.

And I thought, Well, I'm just gonna have a glass of wine. And I think also I had, I was going through so many different emotions that I had no idea how to manage. Like, I have this relationship and I'm, you know, this career. And so I think it was a pretty slow descent into drinking, um, every day. And at the time my, my brother was drinking really heavily.

And so his mind was kind of like taking off. His was sort of. So my brother got sober a couple of days before I got married and so could not come to my wedding. And I remember it so clearly, like the weeks leading up to it were chaos. And so I wasn't upset that he wasn't at the wedding. I really thought it was going to be a new.version of him. The day of the wedding, I remember walking to the hotel and, and talking to him and him sounding like really good. The most, uh, coherent I had heard him in, in many, many, many years. Watching my brother get sober and watching that sort of transformation had zero effect on me. I literally thought that these were two different types of problems.

I thought my problem was you know, an inability sort of to deal with like work stress. And I thought his problem was like pathological, right? So it took a really long time for me to admit. We were the same Alcoholic like all alcoholics are the same and we were the same my problem was the same as his 

 Kathleen: there was a really distinct turning point for me and I was 31 and I had planned for over a year to go to Mexico and do a yoga teacher training.

And they warn you before, you know, you have to have a consistent practice and you have to be practicing a certain amount every day. And I did not do that. And the night before I was supposed to leave, I had a really early morning flight. I think I had to be at the airport around 5am. I just decided not to sleep.

And I went to a bunch of bars and clubs and ended up doing a ton of cocaine and coming back to my apartment, grabbing my luggage and going to the airport for my yoga teacher training. And what ended up happening is that it really became rehab for me. You know, you couldn't have any substance, you couldn't even have caffeine.

So I went from The lifestyle I was living to, you know, sleeping on the beach next to the ocean and, you know, practicing yoga eight hours a day and meditating several times a day and eating the cleanest food you can imagine and no alcohol, no drugs, no caffeine. And so luckily my body adjusted and then my mind My mind followed.

I felt so much healthier and the practices I had been doing, you know, really started to sink in. And yeah, I was absolutely feeling the change in real time. I Could notice myself becoming stronger and clearer and everything about me, my energy search started to shift everything.

When I got back, I had to start work right away, pretty much the next day. And I remember very vividly sitting on my bed, looking at my closet and seeing all these business suits, black, gray business suits, and just. bawling my eyes out because I felt like I was putting on a costume. I felt like I had figured out how I wanted to live my life and now I couldn't do that.

And I just wept because I felt like I had found who I was and then I had to leave her again. And I knew I had to chart a different path for myself. I just didn't know. what that would be yet. And it did take me a few more years to figure out that I wanted to go working for non profits and then eventually becoming a psychotherapist.

Sonia: Kathleen, do you remember that period of your life?

 Kathleen: I do remember it. It did sort of just happen on my retreat. It was sort of this like hidden rehab that I didn't know it was rehab. And then when I felt so amazing and I came back and I knew one of the reasons was because I had stopped using drugs. I was so set in the decision.

So it was almost like I. got drugs out of my system. I knew what it felt like to live a different life. And then I was like, I am not going back. I am not going back. So then it was a really firm decision. And then alcohol came later. I mean, I have many friends and obviously an ex husband that have struggled with alcoholism and it's just sort of, it tapered off for me.

I, I did make a conscious choice to stop drinking, but I wasn't drinking in a problematic way when I stopped, if that makes sense.

Sonia: Yeah,  that makes sense. You know what that's why I really like the idea that like forced rehab I really like the idea of things like sober October or dry January because it lets people Test it out without having to be like I think I might have a problem and you're doing it with other people.

And so that stigma is sort of lowered. You don't have to admit you have a problem. You're just doing dry January. You're just doing sober October just to see how it fits. 

 Kathleen:: Yes, for sure. You've talked a little bit about, we've talked about stigma and about being high functioning. Can you talk a little bit about So what gray area drinking is, and I know you said that you have a lot of clients through Everbloom that are gray area drinkers, but can you tell me more about what that is?

Sonia: Yeah. I think sort of all those things are part of the same like barrier to admitting there's an issue. So gray area drinkers, one, they. May drink every day. They may not. They've tried to moderate. Sometimes they're successful at moderating. They truly believe that they'll be able to moderate, right? Like that their issue with alcohol hasn't gone so far that it can't be like reined back in, right?

Specifically, they don't want to use the word alcoholic. And these are really, you know, in Everbloom, they're really high functioning women, right? Like, these are women who don't have the typical consequences we associate with alcohol use disorder, and neither did I. And so, you know, do some people start thinking as, oh, I'm a gray area drinker, and then realize I think I might be a black and white drinker, for sure, for sure.

But I think gray area drinking is kind of like the sober curious concept, which is May, maybe my life would be better without it, but they're also social drinkers. They're not in their minds like, well, I'm not sitting at home drinking a bottle of wine by myself watching Netflix. And yeah, it's just an interesting kind of like subset of people that are trying to figure out whether or not they can take a break, a 30, 60, 90 day break from drinking or to try to moderate.

You know, to two, three times a week or to one or two drinks. Um, so that's the goal, I think, when a lot of people come to Everbloom that are gray area drinkers. Hmm. 

 Kathleen:: Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. 

Sonia: So with my clients, like I will sometimes notice for six months they're trying to moderate, right? And. It's not working.

And, you know, it's not my place to tell them it's not working, but to kind of lead them to that conclusion. How do you think we should be broaching the idea of alcohol use disorder with a friend or a loved one that we think might have a problem? 

 Kathleen: So  this is actually a more complicated question than one might think, because I think, you know, there can be addiction where it's, you know, absolutely impacting someone's life where they're not functioning and they are not able to hold down jobs.

They're not able to look after their children. And then probably most people have seen the show Intervention and then like, you know, that might happen. But I remember. When I was using drugs a lot, some of my, uh, my fellow drug users, people I used to party with, actually became concerned with me, and they just said, do you think you're using too much?

Or do you think this is a problem? And I wasn't ready to hear that yet. And so I think it's okay to say to your friend or loved one, you know, I'm concerned about you. I'm here to support you. I've noticed that you're drinking a lot or, you know, you're relying on alcohol. I'm here to support you if you want to get help.

And I think it's the offer of support and not pressure. You may not get a positive response at first. So like with my example, I was like, what? No way. But I never forgot it. I never forgot it. And so, when the time comes that the person then who's using the substance wants to make a choice that's different for their life, they know that that friend or family is there to support them.

What do you think? 

Sonia: Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think that. Very specifically, and we see that in intervention, that confronting somebody is typically not the way to go. You know? Like, ambushing? Not the way to go. No. But I agree. I think, like, supporting somebody and, like, listening to them, you know, and trying in your own way, in a very gentle way, to get them to see the consequences of what they've been doing or what the alcohol has been doing, um, to their lives.

I think that's a good way to support. 

 Kathleen: Yeah, as a therapist, I will say, you know, I definitely use values. So I work with my clients on like, what are the values they have in their life that they want to live by? And then we look at like, is Their substance use, does that move you toward the way you want to live your life?

Or does that move you away? And sometimes they're going to say, yeah, it's moving me toward, but usually down the road, they're like, you know, Kathleen, that drinking that amount, it's actually moving me away. from where I want to be. So that's another way that you can talk to your friends or loved ones is like, what kind of life do you want to build for yourself?

And I'm, I'm worried about you. I'm worried about you for your drinking. Is it helping you? Is it not helping you like just from a place of non judgment? 

Sonia: Yeah, you're right in the values exercise. I use that too. It's amazing. Unfortunately for me, I used it after, but even using it after looking at my values now, they're so incompatible with the life I had when I was drinking, like on paper, you're just like, Oh my God, I can't believe this.

Like the ultimate denial of like who you are, denying your values. That's crazy. So I think for maybe years, but definitely a number of months, I knew alcohol was interfering with who I wanted to be and that I wasn't going to get there. And then it was kind of like, wait for the perfect moment. I didn't realize I was doing that, but I waited for this moment where I just had this horrible, horrible hangover on a Sunday morning.

And. I was out with a girlfriend of mine, and she was pregnant, so she wasn't drinking, and she was like glowing, and I, I just thought, what am I doing? What am I doing? Like, I, I'm gonna go home, and I'm gonna drink, because I have this horrible hangover, and it's uh, it's two in the afternoon. And so, I knew that, like that life that I wanted, which is the life I have now, which is, I wanted to like, Wake up and, uh, read the New York Times on a Sunday and drink some chai.

And I wasn't. I was like, you know, drinking water and taking Advil and trying not to vomit. And that just wasn't the life I wanted.

We've talked about barriers to admitting you have a problem. We've talked about that sort of gray area. We've talked about, like, you know, different low, high functioning. What resonates the most? with you about this, you know, this concept of making the decision to quit drinking. 

 Kathleen: I  think what resonates with me the most, and I think it's just because of the clients that I've seen and, you know, in my practice and also myself, is that it really looks different for everyone, like what their substance use is.

And so this, this notion that we see in the media of what an alcoholic looks like or what a drug addict looks like is not what it always looks like. And I would say probably 90 percent of the time, I mean, I'm making that statistic up, but 90 percent of the time, it doesn't look like that. It looks like something much different.

Sonia: Yeah, I totally agree. I think it's that comparison part that resonates with me the most. I think, you know, I grew up around a lot of low functioning drinkers. And so having the bar set so low made it more difficult for me. To make the decision and it really increased that sort of like, well, there's such a like gulf between these people and me and the sort of, that's not me.

I'm not like them. And, and I would just say to somebody who's thinking about it. That's fine. You don't have to say you're like them. But your life can improve so, so much. I said it last night, I was like nine o'clock. I finished work and I went out with my teenage nieces for my birthday. And I was walking out the door and I thought.

This would have been impossible seven years ago. There's no way I'd be sober at nine o'clock on my birthday. And there's no way I'd be going out with some teenagers to a vegan restaurant. Like, there's just no way. I was not teenage friendly, you know? And so, I just was so, I don't know, I was so grateful last night that, that this was...

My life, and it felt so fulfilling and it kind of, those are those moments where it makes it all worth it.

All right. So next week we'll talk about how Kathleen met my brother, which led to our fateful meeting and the start of our bond. And we'll also talk about the particular struggles associated with early sobriety.

 Kathleen: This was Sisters in Sobriety. Thank you for listening and being with us today. 

Sonia: If you want to learn more about sobriety and meet your community, find us at joineverbloom. com

 Kathleen: Are you a sister in sobriety? Then reach out on social media. We'd love to hear from you. 

Sonia: If you're feeling generous, leave us five stars and a review and follow us wherever you listen

 Kathleen: You'll never miss an episode. Until next time.

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