Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast

Maintaining a Sober Practice with Soberful Author, Veronica Valli

April 28, 2024 Isabella Ferguson and Meg Webb Episode 79
Maintaining a Sober Practice with Soberful Author, Veronica Valli
Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast
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Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast
Maintaining a Sober Practice with Soberful Author, Veronica Valli
Apr 28, 2024 Episode 79
Isabella Ferguson and Meg Webb

Veronica Valli, a recovery coach with nearly 24 years of sobriety, and one of the "originals" of the modern alcohol free movement, joins us to share how she maintains her sober practice after all these years.  Hint - she's written about how she does it in her insightful book, Soberful, which talks about 5 pillars of a sustainable sobriety, that Veronica believes are essential for a happy sober life. Listen on to hear what these are!

We cover many topics in this episode, including drinking to "deal with" anxiety, common misconceptions of sobriety and the potential for a life filled with genuine fun and connection without the need for alcohol.  So, if your curiosity is piqued and you're seeking motivation, our experiences as sobriety coaches might just be the guiding light you need to take that first step towards an alcohol-free lifestyle.

Bella's May Alcohol Freedom Small Group Coaching Challenge: Learn more & join here

Meg's Bookclub:
https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub

VERONICA VALLI

Veronica's website: https://soberful.com/

Veronica's instagram: https://www.instagram.com/veronicajvalli/

Veronica's Free Facebook group: https://soberful.com/facebook/

Soberful podcast: https://soberful.com/episodes/

MEG

Megan Webb: https://glassfulfilled.com.au
Instagram: @glassfulfilled
Unwined Bookclub: https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub
Sober Socialising workshop at Seadrift Distillery: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confident-and-cozy-alcohol-free-socialising-for-winter-tickets-934198341387?aff=oddtdtcreator

BELLA

Isabella Ferguson: https://isabellaferguson.com.au
Instagram: @alcoholandstresswithisabella
Free 5-Day DO I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM? Clarify and focus series: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/doIhaveadrinkingproblemwithisabellaferguson
Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge - Register here: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/alcoholfreedomchallenge
The Alcohol Revolution 6-Week Program (Online or Podcast): ...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Veronica Valli, a recovery coach with nearly 24 years of sobriety, and one of the "originals" of the modern alcohol free movement, joins us to share how she maintains her sober practice after all these years.  Hint - she's written about how she does it in her insightful book, Soberful, which talks about 5 pillars of a sustainable sobriety, that Veronica believes are essential for a happy sober life. Listen on to hear what these are!

We cover many topics in this episode, including drinking to "deal with" anxiety, common misconceptions of sobriety and the potential for a life filled with genuine fun and connection without the need for alcohol.  So, if your curiosity is piqued and you're seeking motivation, our experiences as sobriety coaches might just be the guiding light you need to take that first step towards an alcohol-free lifestyle.

Bella's May Alcohol Freedom Small Group Coaching Challenge: Learn more & join here

Meg's Bookclub:
https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub

VERONICA VALLI

Veronica's website: https://soberful.com/

Veronica's instagram: https://www.instagram.com/veronicajvalli/

Veronica's Free Facebook group: https://soberful.com/facebook/

Soberful podcast: https://soberful.com/episodes/

MEG

Megan Webb: https://glassfulfilled.com.au
Instagram: @glassfulfilled
Unwined Bookclub: https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub
Sober Socialising workshop at Seadrift Distillery: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confident-and-cozy-alcohol-free-socialising-for-winter-tickets-934198341387?aff=oddtdtcreator

BELLA

Isabella Ferguson: https://isabellaferguson.com.au
Instagram: @alcoholandstresswithisabella
Free 5-Day DO I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM? Clarify and focus series: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/doIhaveadrinkingproblemwithisabellaferguson
Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge - Register here: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/alcoholfreedomchallenge
The Alcohol Revolution 6-Week Program (Online or Podcast): ...

Speaker 2:

Are you trying to drink less alcohol, but need some extra motivation? Maybe you've tried moderation, but you keep waking up disappointed and hungover.

Speaker 3:

Are you curious about sober life? Or maybe you're like us, have been alcohol free for a while and are in it for the long haul. Well, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

I'm Meg and I'm Bella, and our Not Drinking Today podcast is an invaluable resource to keep you motivated and on track today and beyond.

Speaker 3:

We are this Naked Mind, certified coaches who live in Sydney and love our alcohol-free life and last but not least, if you enjoy the content of our podcast, please rate, review, subscribe and share it.

Speaker 2:

It really is integral to getting the podcast out to those that might need it.

Speaker 3:

So grab a cuppa and let's get started.

Speaker 2:

Now, before we get started with this episode of Not Drinking Today, let me tell you all about two fabulous initiatives that Meg and I each separately have running that you need to know about. First of all, meg has started a book club. This commences on the 1st of May. This is for you. If you have transitioned to a sober lifestyle but you're missing a sober community. Well, the Unwind Book Club combines coaching, connection and great reads to support your journey. If this sounds like it's for you, please visit wwwunwindbookclubcom.

Speaker 2:

And secondly, me, isabella. Well, I've got an Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge, which also commences on the 1st of May. This runs for six weeks. We meet twice a week via Zoom on Wednesdays and Sundays at 6pm Sydney time. We have access to a private Facebook group and we receive daily motivational videos that I drop into the Facebook group, for we receive daily motivational videos that I drop into the Facebook group for extra motivation. This is limited to 10 people. I've got two spots left, so if this sounds like it is for you, please visit my website, isabellafergusoncomau.

Speaker 2:

Now, of course, details of both Meg's fabulous book club and my alcohol freedom small group challenge can be found in the show notes. So now let's jump on to this next episode. We are joined today by the awesome Veronica Valli recovery coach, psychotherapist and author of Soberful, which I absolutely loved. By the way, and I think it's safe to say, veronica is one of the originals of the modern sober movement as we know it today. Veronica is also the host of the Soberful podcast. A big, huge welcome from all of us here in Australia, veronica.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, isabella, it's nice to be here.

Speaker 2:

Now would you just mind letting us all know where are you at the moment and have you been to Australia before? And I'm guessing you have, because you've got your sister in Sydney you just mentioned.

Speaker 1:

No, it's my assistant. Oh assistant, sorry your assistant yeah yeah, yeah, no, I've never been. I'd love to go assisted. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I've never been. I'd love to go. I really would. It's on my bucket list. My son actually studied, like he did, australia for a school project and then he just got obsessed with dingoes and uh, so, um, it's, it's on our list, I'd love to come. I hear it's beautiful and I don't think I've ever met an Australian. I don't like. Oh, I love to hear that.

Speaker 2:

We'll definitely put it on that list. I love that. So, veronica, you've been actually alcohol free for quite some time now, haven't you? How long is that for?

Speaker 1:

I'm just coming up. On May 2nd It'll be 24 years. So I got sober when I was 27.

Speaker 2:

That's quite young, isn't it To you know? Sort of right at that time, when you know life's getting a bit serious and everyone's probably socialising quite hard, you know what was it like to be that person to get off the alcohol bandwagon back then person to get off the alcohol bandwagon back then.

Speaker 1:

Now that I'm 51, I look back and I just realized how very, very lucky I was. I feel my gratitude just continues to increase that I did manage to stop at 27 because it continues to serve me so well and my life is all because I've been sober. And people will say to me sometimes like, oh, you know, I wish I'd been smart like you, or you know, I wish I'd have you know you were so sensible back then. And I want to clear up and say none of that was true. I was desperate and I had been desperate for about eight or nine years. I hit my rock bottom when I was 18. And I so I had spent years just desperately trying to find out what was wrong with me. So by the time I got to 27, I was always looking for I had.

Speaker 1:

The reason that I stopped was I had really bad anxiety and panic attacks like I couldn't. I couldn't go into social situations or work. I would. I had. You know it was awful hell on earth and I was desperate to find a way to to solve that. And for years I was looking for help for what I thought was a rare mental health problem. And then it became finally became clear when I was 27 that that I needed to stop drinking if I wanted my anxiety to improve. So I accepted that deal, but I wasn't happy about it. I thought, like I really thought my life was over. I I really believed all of the. I just believed it all. I believed that I was never going to have fun again. I believed that this was the worst thing ever, that I would be really boring and dull for the rest of my life. But I accepted. If it meant that I wouldn't feel this crippling anxiety and panic, then fine, I'll take that deal. And that was the motivation. I was desperate to stop feeling the way that I was feeling.

Speaker 2:

How did you find out that alcohol was a contributor to panic attacks and anxiety? How did you link the two?

Speaker 1:

It was a cumulative really. I did look for a lot of help. I saw a lot of doctors and psychiatrists and therapists and psychologists and they were always treating the anxiety. And I honestly can't remember if they asked me about my drinking and I'm sure I lied if they did. But but not drinking was never presented as an option. And it was when I met a sober person. And I met someone and and they they suggest, and, and I can't even remember how the conversation went, but but they revealed that they had suffered from anxiety. It got better when they stopped drinking and I kind of went, oh I haven't tried that, yes, and then from there it kind of, you know, I did some more investigating and yeah.

Speaker 2:

And do you mind me asking what was that rock bottom at the age of 18?

Speaker 1:

such a yeah no, it's fine, yeah, I. So I, um, you know, back in generation x in the 80s, we were, you know, couldn't wait to start drinking. Me and my peer group. Alcohol was presented as the best way to have fun and we couldn't wait to do that. So we were, you know, sneaking drinks at 13, 14, getting into pubs and bars, and I also quickly got into drug use as well and had a great time, and more or less until I was 18. And it was hallucinogenic drugs, it was LSD and magic mushrooms. And I went into drug-induced psychosis when I was 18. And that's when I had auditory hallucinations and it was awful, it was absolutely hell on earth and I I'm suicidal and I didn't know what was wrong with me and I didn't know how to ask for help. But that switched my I mean, I was a very I would.

Speaker 1:

I, I drank. My drinking was never normal. From the first drink I drank to excess. From the first drink I could never control it, but I was always, always, a binge drinker. I never drank every day. What happened then was the anxiety was so bad. I very quickly made the connection that if I had a couple of drinks before going out or whatever situation, then I could manage it so very quickly. My drinking then turned from being a party girl and drinking like my peer group to needing to sneak drinks to cope, to make sure there was enough alcohol. Where was the alcohol?

Speaker 2:

all of that kind of stuff yeah, yeah, and it quickly becomes like a self-medicating tool. And we know, we all know in hindsight how dangerous that is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, god that, god.

Speaker 2:

That's a big experience to have happened in your life very young. Can I ask what happened to all of those sort of panic attacks and anxiety symptoms when you stopped, and how long did you kind of notice the relief?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a good question. So when I finally finally so I also abused a lot of prescription drug medication, xanax, valium, diazepam, all to just you know, anything to help the anxiety. So when I finally stopped the panic attacks and anxiety didn't stop immediately and I got sober in the 12-step fellowships, because that's all there was back in 2000. Yeah, and I knew I wanted to go to meetings and sit through meetings, but that was really hard because of the anxiety. So what happened was I just came to this jumping off place where I had to tell someone. I could never really tell anyone what was going on. I mean I sort of would semi, semi to help a professional in a professional setting, but I just kind of like I knew that there was nowhere else to go, like this was it? And and I? So I I got a sponsor and I told them and they were like it's fine, sit next to me, I'll hold your hand if you need to get up and leave the room five times during the meeting, get up and leave the room five times, it's fine. And it was that kind of being honest about what was actually going on and how I felt.

Speaker 1:

So over the next few months they definitely began to decrease and decrease, and decrease. And you know, it was just being sober, eating right, exercising, beginning to do some work on myself. They began to leave me. I mean, I want to say I honestly can't remember how long it took. I mean I would definitely have flare ups, but I began to. But then I was training to be a psychotherapist and I began to understand it more. And then I found the EFT emotional freedom technique and that was a real game changer. And yeah, and now I don't, you know, I've it's been years and years since I've had a panic attack. It's, it's really. Yeah, I wouldn't wish that on anybody. And then then, of course, when I got sober, I found out that it was incredibly common. I thought I would, I thought I was the only one. Social anxiety and just generalized anxiety is really common and I would say there's a large amount of people who use alcohol to deal with anxiety and being around people 24 years sober.

Speaker 2:

it's a long time. It's a great number of years to have under your belt, and you mentioned earlier that you're still grateful for all that it brings and that you were able to do this so early. What keeps you motivated now?

Speaker 1:

Well, what happens is, I mean, I don't what you discover is getting sober is a doorway into a life of personal development, of of self-improvement. So initially I did all of this stuff because I didn't want to drink and I didn't want to have anxiety again. But then I began to see, when I have a program, there is, there is a payoff, like all this good stuff starts to happen and and, and I like good stuff. So what, what? That's really it it's really like. It's really like exercise. You know, it doesn't matter what you could do 10 years ago, it matters that you exercise this morning and you feel the benefits of it.

Speaker 1:

So twice in my life, both times when I had my kids, I stopped doing any kind of program or personal development, just stopped everything that I'd done up until that point and I didn't want to drink. But I got. I got into very uncomfortable emotional places where I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin anymore. And what? Because, I emphasize, it's not just sobriety, it's emotional sobriety. When I, when you, you know, that's the biggest gift of sobriety is to feel comfortable in your own skin and to like yourself. That that's what all emotional sobriety is. And when you've had that, and then it starts to go. It was very quickly, I was like hang on a minute, and so the motivation is I like how I feel and I like how my life goes when I make time in my day to take care of my mental and emotional health.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that actually ties in nicely to a post that I've seen that you've made on social media, which I just loved and it stopped me in my tracks. You don't need a toolbox to get sober, you need a practice, and you mentioned you've disliked the term toolbox for some time. It's a little misleading. I would like to just talk to that a bit, because I couldn't agree more. Couldn't agree more.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I started seeing that crop up a few years ago and it irked me and I didn't really know why. And then I figured it out. It's kind of like so this is how I see sobriety. You know, it's 10% not drinking alcohol and it's 90% emotional sobriety.

Speaker 1:

And emotional sobriety is just personal development, the development of oneself. Now, this is something that everybody on the planet needs to do. It's just most people don't realize that having an alcohol problem is a very urgent call into the work to doing this work. Urgent call into the work to doing this work. So, um, I would start seeing you know all these kind of I know cyber influences and what have you talk about? Oh, you know, that's in my toolbox and I think that's not.

Speaker 1:

That's not in my experience how it works that you just stop drinking, off you go, and every so often you don't feel good or something goes wrong and you go in your toolbox and you fix it and then off you go. It just isn't that. It's really. I mean, if you think about, you know, yoga, practice, exercise, practice they're all. They're things that we just need to continue to do and tweak and improve and get better at, and that's what personal development is. So we need a practice. It doesn't matter what's going on in your life good, bad, indifferent If you have a practice that is consistent and it's about maintaining your mental and emotional health, your life will get better. So I was about hold on maybe 15 years sober when I went through something very, very, very difficult. My um youngest son was lead poisoned from the house that we were living in. It was it's really it's a really awful thing to go through and I, I, uh, I, uh, um.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, long story to that, but the point being, I didn't drink. I wasn't working my program at that time, I didn't drink and I was not in a good place, but drinking never occurred to me. The only reason I got through that without drinking was because I had invested in the sobriety bank years before. So it's not about, I think, that we, you know, we need to kind of we don't. Just what lots of people do is intensity over consistency. They feel really bad. They do all the things.

Speaker 1:

They're exercising, they do podcasts, they're journaling, they're meditating, they're doing yoga and you all feel better. And then we feel better and we stop doing all those things and then we'll just elastic band right back to how we were. So it's about working on getting to a good emotional state and then maintaining it.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it's like when people start a challenge of whether it's food-related, alcohol-related, yeah, like the New Year's resolution mentality. You've mentioned your practice. What does that comprise of for you to this day that really works? The key pillars, if you like, yep to this day that really works.

Speaker 1:

The key pillars, yeah, if you like, yep, so I'll do a brief meditation um a prayer or affirmation, and then I do what I call structured journaling. So I write out any resentments that I have, I write out, I write out my fears, I write out out any limiting beliefs and I change them into something that's more empowering, and I write out a gratitude list and then I um will normally read something that is you know, I have like some great, you know, just for today books, that kind of thing, and that takes 15 to 20 minutes. Um, I want to tell you, the linchpin is the resentment work. What that does is it reveals yourself to yourself and it shifts my perception of the things going on around me.

Speaker 2:

That's wonderful. I've never heard someone do a resentment list, but it actually is a lovely counterbalance to the gratitude list that everybody talks about.

Speaker 1:

Get it off your chest.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, most people don't do this work. No, no, the other person who I've had on the podcast, that is well, actually there's a few that have had sort of a consistent morning reflection practice of some sort, but it was Anne Dowsett-Jones Johnston. Anne Dowsett-Johnston, and I know that you've had her, of course, on your podcast and she talks about, over her great number of years of sobriety, also doing a similar practice and it's something that I also encourage as part of the challenges that I run. Well, that's wonderful. I'm going to try and suggest that going forward. Your book Soberful was just so great. It was really clear, cut in and divided into pillars that you highly recommend people need to approach when they're embarking on this whole experience of kicking the booze. Would you mind just letting our listeners know a little bit about what those pillars are?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I wrote the book because, again, I saw lots of people getting sober and using the toolbox, tips and tricks, which is, to be fair, quite helpful in the early days, but it doesn't. I saw people, you know, not drinking but they weren't happy and they didn't understand why. And it's a program, it's a personal development program. So the five pillars of sobriety are movement, connection, balance, process and growth, and they are about understanding that they're just things we need to keep working on. So movement is about two things it's about exercising and it's about being conscious of what you want to move towards and what you want to move away from in your life, because we are all in moving towards things and moving away from things. Because we are all in moving towards things and moving away from things. But when alcohol is dominant in our life, we tend to be drifting into things and drift rather than being purposeful. So it's about being purposeful about where you want your life to go and what you want to leave behind. Connection is that we have to have meaningful connection. We need connection like we need food and water, so it's about having meaningful connection. And there's only one path to meaningful connection and that's through vulnerability, and being vulnerable was something I would rather have burst into flames than be vulnerable Really. Yeah, I mean, it was all pride. I was so scared of people seeing the real me and not liking what they saw. So that was, you know, like I described. I had to be vulnerable in that when I joined AA, otherwise my panic attacks would have taken me out because I was so used to pretending that wasn't happening and pretending I was okay. So asking for help is an act of vulnerability, uh, so asking for help is an act of vulnerability, um, so so that's connection.

Speaker 1:

Balance is, um, we have to balance our needs and that that's something we have to practice for the rest of our lives. So our needs change according to our circumstances. You know, covid was a big example of that. Um, you know, as we age, as things change, how we meet our needs uh, change changes. Um, so we, if we get out balance, we start feeling uncomfortable in our own skin. We don't feel good about ourselves. So balance is is a key part of sobriety.

Speaker 1:

And then process is the process. Work is what I do with a lot of my clients. It's it's understanding why we are the way we are like, why, why are we this way like why do I feel this way? Why? Why have these things happened to me? Why did I respond this way, these things happening to me? So process is about is about understanding our subconscious mind, limiting beliefs, um, our childhood, healing our trauma, all of that kind of stuff.

Speaker 1:

And then growth is, um, we're all being called to grow. So, as long as you're alive, we're all being called to grow beyond where we are now and we have to honor that. It's that, otherwise it just gets really painful and we get stuck in a holding pattern. Yeah, and whenever we get the call to growth, we're always going to meet resistance, because that's how life is, because growth means change and change is scary. So it's about honoring that call to growth and navigating around it. Yeah, so those are the five pillars and and again, nothing really to do with alcohol, but they're all to do with maintaining your mental and emotional health yeah, and it's it's that 90% emotional growth that you have to approach.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you run challenges and programs as well with your clients, don't you? What elements are present in those programs and what do you love seeing the most in the work that you do? Is it largely with women, or is it women and men? Veronica?

Speaker 1:

It's mostly women.

Speaker 2:

I do work with women but it's mostly women.

Speaker 1:

So I mean, it's always rewarding seeing people begin to get sober. You know what I talk about is when we have an alcohol problem, we leave ourselves by degrees, right, you know. If you think at the time that you're really hung over and you miss something important at work and you're like, oh god, yeah, I just you know I ate something, I just really don't. You know there's little white lies that that's leaving yourself right, the little white lies, the, the shame, the guilt. And then one day we wake up and we're over here and we become somebody we just don't recognize. We behave in ways that we don't recognize, that are not in alignment with our values, and that's a very, very painful way to experience the world. Sobriety is it's about the journey back to who you really are and becoming fully aligned with who you really are, and that's a process. It takes a bit of time, but I love seeing that and I love seeing people have breakthroughs, and that's what I do I help people return to themselves.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's so lovely and I think you know it's probably no surprises that a lot of people that are in that mid-40s, early 50s stage, when their kids are a bit older, have found themselves, as you said, so far removed from who they are. Because you've been hustling, You've been trying to spin all the plates and keep them up in the air, and that's when alcohol has been there to cope, to help you keep those plates up, and then suddenly you're just who am I? Where is my life going? Where is it leading? And it's actually lovely work because you get to help people sort of realign, you know, as you're pulling back the alcohol, well, what's the next 10 years, five years, going to look like?

Speaker 2:

And minimizing alcohol, cutting it out altogether, is a large piece of that. With all of the work that you're doing your podcast, your books and the work that you're doing with people. What are you seeing that's out there, particularly amongst women right now in the sober movement, is because it's sort of it's taken traction. That's a little bit different from five years ago. Even there's a big Instagram movement, big Facebook movement. Is it gaining traction, Do you think? Are we kind of? Is it a shift happening in terms of how women relate to alcohol.

Speaker 1:

Is there a shift happening in terms of how women relate to alcohol? I hope so. It's interesting, because I can't really. I mean, when I got sober, there wasn't any. The internet was barely a thing. Yeah, and it was really. You know, it was not something you talked about, really. So I can't imagine what it must be like to wake up today and Google a few things and then see some Instagram accounts and see some women saying you know, I'm a year sober and I feel so much better. Yeah, I think that that's just been amazing and really helpful.

Speaker 1:

There needs to be a counterbalance. You know, sometimes people say this like put on my post, like you know, like you, non, you, non. Drinkers are fine, but you just keep ramming it down our throats. I'm like, I'm sorry, but I see this like everywhere all the time about drinking, getting drunk, being hung over. You know, have you ever tried to buy a birthday card for anybody at any age? Like, so I think there needs to be a counterbalance. Um, I one of the things I think about is when I was growing up and it's probably the same in your culture as well not drinking alcohol was never presented as an option.

Speaker 1:

Right, it was assumed that we would get jobs, we would probably get a car and we would drink alcohol. And also, it wasn't our generation. It wasn't just drinking alcohol you would get drunk, you would get drunk to have fun. Those things were assumed, and I would really like us to get to a point where not drinking is seen as being vegetarian, like lots of people are vegetarian. You're catered for, nobody really questions it, nobody really cares. I'd like us to get to that point where being alcohol-free is just not anything that people feel that they need to comment on. So I don't think we're there yet, but we're certainly going in a better direction.

Speaker 2:

No, I think the 90s culture, which you and I probably grew up to a large extent in the 80s I think we're around a similar age has a lot to answer for, doesn't it?

Speaker 2:

in terms of our alcohol use now it was really all about a little bit. It was so self-destructive and getting smashed and all of the peers in that group that we saw on our social media or not social media, but in our movies and TVs were just drinking so much. But there is a shift now and I know that you've done a little bit of work or podcasts around what the youth are doing and how to educate the youth a little bit. Why do you think our younger generations do tend to be drinking less? I know we're not there yet, but the stats are showing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it is trending that the Gen Z is drinking less. I'm not convinced that they're not getting a buzz. So I think marijuana is legal in I don't know how many states, but it's in a lot of states in the USA.

Speaker 1:

So I'm not totally convinced that they're not all getting a buzz. I honestly think they were raised by generation x and they yeah, god, that's really unattractive. Yes, um, yeah, I don't know. I think we need more research. I do think it's interesting. I think gen z have their own set of woes. Yeah, um, you know, I do think things like the internet and social media are their own addiction and numbing.

Speaker 1:

I think they are numbing devices so I think, I think you know we alcohol became an anesthetic for us, so I think it's a generation still looking for an anesthetic, but in different ways to alcohol.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, well said. So what's on the horizon for you at the moment?

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean, I have all my programs. The Sobriety Habit is my kind of flagship program that I have. I'm working on a TV show, are you. Yeah, doing a reality show about stopping drinking. That is like a long process. Well, it's a long process. We'll see. Might do something, just filming it on my iPhone, but no, I'm talking to people and there's some stuff happening there. But again we'll see.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, again we'll see, yeah, and just you know, what would you say to a woman who is in her mid to late 40s? She's drinking way too much, she's feeling like crap, she's feeling like she's trapped. Where should she start?

Speaker 1:

I think I mean with all of the literature. Obviously I'd recommend my book, but podcasts keep putting weight on the sober end. Because when you're in that point, you're at this point where you think you're the only one, you think everyone around you is drinking and they're fine, and you're the only one, and I guarantee you, half the people around you are questioning their alcohol use as well as you, and it's also you're still in that, like looking for the third door, aren't you Like? Yeah, just figure out the formula. That's what I thought. If I could just figure out the secret formula to drink without the consequences. And there is none there is none.

Speaker 1:

And it's going to get worse. And, from what my clients tell me, drinking in the menopause is awful, so yeah, and that there is a way out. I think the biggest message is is that everything you think about sobriety is wrong. It's the perception we believe we have. We were sold the idea that alcohol is the best way to have fun, excitement, belonging, connection and to relax and to reward ourselves. And we have to really have a good look at the cost of that. And I'm not saying you can't get those things with alcohol. You can, but there's a cost and that cost continues to rise. Um, the good news is you can get all of those things sober and they're better, and that's I think you asked me this earlier that that's why I, you know, I would just as well drink a glass of bleach as I would drink a glass of alcohol. It doesn't add to anything, it takes. So you can have all of those things sober and it's better.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it doesn't mean your life's going to be perfect and you're going to be skipping around declaring how wonderful your life is, but you're not going to be weighed down by alcohol. We will put all of your details about your book, your programs, in the show notes. Veronica, is there anything else you'd like to say to all of our wonderful listeners on not drinking today?

Speaker 1:

I think it's Australia and British drinking culture is very similar. Oh yeah, I think we're binge drinkers. I think the Aussies and the Brits kind of really have that in common and sobriety. All it is is two things it's consistency and it's a shift in perception. So nothing changes. The world is still going to be the world, but how you see everything completely shifts. So give yourself a chance really really to let that happen. Yeah, wonderful.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much for being a guest on our show, Veronica.

Speaker 1:

Oh, it's been lovely. I'm amazed that you were up so early. I'm so impressed, thank you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. If you don't already know, in addition to our podcasting work, we are each sobriety coaches with our own separate businesses helping people to drink less.

Speaker 3:

If you or a loved one want to take a break from alcohol, we invite you to have a look at our individual websites.

Speaker 2:

Meg's is glassfulfilledcomau and Bella's is isabellafergusoncomau, so take the next step that feels right for you.

Not Drinking Today
Overcoming Anxiety and Maintaining Sobriety
Sobriety
Alcohol-Free Living and Changing Drinking Culture
Shifting Perception in Sobriety