LAF Life (Living Alcohol Free)

I saw the signs, it opened up my eyes I saw the Signs! Season 2, Ep. 13

February 27, 2023 LAF Life Season 2 Episode 13
LAF Life (Living Alcohol Free)
I saw the signs, it opened up my eyes I saw the Signs! Season 2, Ep. 13
Show Notes Transcript

This is an important episode! Here your hosts discuss some of the warning  signs they experienced when they were consuming alcohol. From this discussion we came up with our own list of 17 Signs that we believe were strong indicators that our relationship with alcohol was becoming unhealthy.  If you or someone you know are contemplating their relationship with alcohol, they need to listen to this episode!

LAF Life's 17 Signs:

  1. An ALL or NOTHING attitude; you can't stop at just 1 drink.
  2. Using drinking as an excuse for everything; stress relief, celebrating or rewarding yourself.
  3. Blacking out or not remembering what happened when drinking.
  4. Unable to socialize without alcohol.
  5. Missing important commitments or events.
  6. When having a drink at the end of the day starts to consume your thoughts.
  7. If lack of alcohol starts effecting your moods; irritability or increased anxiety.
  8. HAIR OF THE DOG; having to have a drink to make a hangover feel better.
  9. Physical changes; weight gain, puffiness, glossy or empty eyes.
  10. Losing yourself and lacking motivation or drive to do the things you use to enjoy.
  11. Hiding or lying about the amount of alcohol you are consuming.
  12. Unexplained injuries or bruises.
  13. Googling do I have a problem or how much alcohol is too much.
  14. Having a family history of alcohol abuse.
  15. Breaking promises to yourself, saying "I'm going to cut down or stop tomorrow, tomorrow".
  16. Increased tolerance or cravings; you need to drink more to get your desired results.
  17. FEAR; you are scared to quit because you are not sure what your life will be without it.



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Connect with your podcasters. We'd love to hear from you!
Tracey:
https://www.instagram.com/tnd1274/
Kelly:
https://www.instagram.com/pamperedkel/
Lindsey:
https://www.instagram.com/hariklindsey/

**Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this episode are not professional or medical opinions. If you are struggling with an addiction please contact a medical professional for help.

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Song: Rise and Thrive
Artist: Young Presidents

Resources:
Wellness Togethe...

Kelly:

welcome to the LAF life podcast, a lifestyle podcast based on living alcohol free and a booze soaked world. My name is Kelly Evans and together with my friends, Tracey Djordjevic, Mike Sutton and Lindsay Harik. We share uncensored. Unscripted real conversations about what our lives have been like since we ditched alcohol and how we got here by sharing our individual stories. We'll show you that there isn't just one way to do this, no matter where you are on your journey from sober, curious to years in recovery and everyone in between, you are welcome here, no judgment and a ton of support.

Lindsey:

Hey everybody. Welcome back to the LAF Life podcast. Today is episode 13 of season two. So before we get rolling here if you're listening, go ahead and hit that subscribe button and and share this episode. We have an amazing topic today. I think it's gonna be really helpful and you just never know who you can help. But let's say hello to everybody. Hey guys.

Tracey:

Hello.

Kelly:

Hi. Hi. Ooh, Mike's here today too. Yay. And I'm here today.

Tracey:

You're here. That's awesome.

Kelly:

Everybody's here.

Tracey:

We're all presents

Lindsey:

here. Yay.

Kelly:

And you guys have a snow storm there, trace what's happening and Oh yeah. We have a nice snow ice storm happening here. Oof.

Tracey:

So the ice slash rain sleet is like hounding against the window right now. Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Mike:

Batten down the hatches.

Tracey:

Maybe work from home day tomorrow.

Mike:

This is a dusting for Manitoba.

Lindsey:

Pretty much.

Kelly:

I know. It was like minus 30 here today. Minus 30 Celsius. Oh my. I was gonna say that. A beautiful sunny day Ready.

Lindsey:

At least the sun was out. Geez.

Tracey:

The sun always comes out when it's super cold. When it's super cold. Yeah, that's what I find. Yeah. So did you guys see the moon, the crescent moon with the two planets? What are, what were the planets? I think Saturn

Kelly:

in, I think it was Venus. Venus. Venus and Jupiter maybe.

Lindsey:

Okay. I'm way off. I got one right. Was that snake beautiful? It's incredible. God, they didn't

Mike:

Sure, they weren't balloons.

Lindsey:

No, they weren't Oh my gosh.

Mike:

Sorry. Yeah. Let's talk about some of the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I think this is really important. I think there are probably some generic ones, but a lot of us, while I know each of us have ones in particular that looking back huge, alarm bells, huge red flags. Yeah, let's just get into it. I don't even know where to start cuz I was just rambling them off in our group

Kelly:

chat. Wow. Yeah, we had a really good group chat the other day about this, but I think for me, the very first time I drank and then I continued to black out.

Lindsey:

Oh God. Tell me more about that. Kel.

Kelly:

About the first time?

Lindsey:

Yeah. Or just your experience with blacking out. And I can talk after about my experience with that too.

Kelly:

The very first time I think I was in grade seven or eight was the first time I drank and I passed over. I don't know if I blacked out or passed out. But anyway, through my drinking career, blacking out was quite common, I think, because I never got sick. Like I could just drink and drink and I never got sick. But yeah, tons of blackouts, like not, no, not remembering an entire evening or so. Definitely parts of the evening. Yeah.

Tracey:

That didn't happen to me very often. I wanna say maybe a handful of times in my drinking. Yeah. So I'm curious for you guys who have experienced that were you not scared because the few times you think you would be that it happened to me like, scared. Scared the outta you, scared the shit outta me. To the point where, I was like, I won't drink like that again and I would proceed with caution

Kelly:

You would think? Yeah. I think one of the scariest times for me, I was 19 or 20 and I lived in a apartment by myself for a short amount of time. And I remember waking up in the morning and I had stuff that I had bought at seven-eleven, like snacks on my way home. Didn't remember buying them and walked into my kitchen where the door to my apartment was and it was not even closed and did not remember, oh my god. Did not remember how I got home. Did not remember anything.

Lindsey:

I've been there. Yeah. I like, that's pretty scary. I would black out, but I drank for another 20 years. More than 20. No, you would think like crazy when you talk about that out loud. that's alarming. I would black out even just drinking wine at home, waking up and I'm like, oh, I went to bed. I don't remember. I don't remember what time. Oh, you go in the kitchen and there's like remnants of snacks and I'm like, oh. And then it's I don't remember how much I drank, so I'd have to go and look and see. Oh, okay. I did open that second bottle of wine. I don't remember doing that. I've even had Injuries, like bruises or somebody. I was away on an all-inclusive one time and somebody's like, you fell last night and hit your head right on the ground. I'm like, what are you talking about? I don't even remember that. just ridiculous stuff.

Kelly:

Yeah. I have lots of, I have scars. I had a concussion. Yeah. That's how I broke my collarbone style. That's how you broke your collarbone. Mike, did you ever black out? Did you have Oh my God,

Mike:

all the time. Oh yeah. Like a lot. I probably left my door unlocked, I've done that. don't remember how I got home or know, I would check Uber, like when I started to take Ubers and it's oh yeah, okay, I got home at this time. Try to piece it back together, but. always had a couple buddies that would say, oh yeah, you, you said this and you did this. Oof. And there were a lot of, there were times where I would be, oh shit, now I've gotta apologize to some people. One that I still remember, cause it happened towards the end of my drinking. My friend had started dating somebody that is a great woman. And I wasn't making fun of her, or at least I think, I didn't think I was, but I heard her feelings bad enough that she was like, so yeah. And I didn't know. And I had to call and I said, he said he, she doesn't want to talk to you. And that really was like, okay. That was pretty close. Towards the end it was like, okay, chalk this up to another thing of of reasons to quit, yeah. Yeah. Many different situations of craziness like that. Believe. Yeah, for sure. It was super cringe, blackout one towards the end. We used to go to a family members that lived on our street for dinners and drank a lot. With our kids. So we would walk home after dinner and nobody had to drive, so it was like, all right, let's do this. But anyway, one morning my son told me something. He's mom, this thing is happening, or whatever, at school. And I was like, oh, really? Like it was brand new information to me. He goes I told you that last night when we were walking home. I was like, oh shit. Oh shoot. Yeah, that was towards the end. And that I felt really? Yeah. Oh great. So now you black out when your kids are around. Like holy shit. And that sense of anxiety, when somebody would tell me the next day Hey listen, you said and did this. I just, I can already just feel the anxiety, the heart racing, the face turning red. I remember what that feels like to hear back what you said or did or how much you drank or just how sloppy you got. oh my God,

Kelly:

shameful. I felt it's so shameful.

Tracey:

Speaking of injuries, one of the times that I did black out or didn't remember part of the evening was one time I did injure myself too. And it's funny because after we started the podcast and I was saying, that my partner never really said anything to me about my drinking or anything like that. The one thing that he brought up was this particular evening, he said, the only time I really was worried about you was this night. And Aww. I had come home and I don't even know what happened. Okay. I think I fell up the stairs because I have concrete steps to my place and it was a wintry night. So like slippery and, yeah, and just bad weather out. I think I fell up the stairs, I don't know. But I came to bed bleeding. I have a serious scar on my knee. Like I took them, my God, I had ripped jeans on. Okay. Yeah. And I ripped them further and when I woke up in the morning, my jeans were scrunched up on the floor with blood all over them. I didn't even know I cut myself. Wow. No. I woke up in the morning and looked down. There's blood in my bed. Oh, my knees like gouged, straight open. Then there's blood all over my jeans. That was not my finest moment. But I guess we can agree that injuries, like unexplained bruises, cut scrapes, broken bones, that's maybe possibly a warning sign that your relationship is unhealthy with alcohol. I'd say so, yeah. If you're doing that on any kind of regular basis. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And we continue to drink after, right? isn't that the craziest part? Yeah. What about missing work or school or family events? Has that happened to anybody? That's, I think a warning sign. Yeah. I towards the end I worked tons hungover, like tons I worked. Oh. But being self-employed, it's kinda Okay. Drag my ass around my house. But I used to do a lot of trade shows and I remember not being able to do a trade show, not get up on a Saturday or a Sunday morning and just not showing up, which is not like me at all. That is so not like you at all. No, that was towards the end. I've almost missed flights more than once. because I couldn't get my ass out of bed. I've talked about that on the podcast before, missing entire days of vacation because I was so hungover that you're It's a beautiful city. Yeah. Yeah. And I just, my ex would go, I'm like, can you just get me a banana from the buffet? It's, yeah. I need something. Like how sad. Ugh. I hate talking about this subject. ok next.

Lindsey:

Mike. Yeah. How about you? Have you missed anything important? Work, school, family stuff?

Mike:

I wouldn't I wouldn't miss work. Yeah, I would go I, but the things that I would do to offset the hangovers, a, it was I'm hitting McDonald's cause I need grease. But that's not good. It's just not good for you. No, it was always McDonald's and I drink a bloody. Fountain Coke, for whatever reason, a fountain Coke was like, oh, okay. Shut the fizz. Yeah. The sugar. Yep. And then I'd smoke a joint cuz it made me feel like I wouldn't puke. And I probably threw up maybe half a dozen times from drinking. But that whole like, ugh feeling, the weed would combat that and I'd feel better, a lot better. But, it's still not a healthy way to go about, living your life and this is a knock against weed or someone that's still wants to drink or anything like that. It's just, my experience and our experiences with it. I think, marijuana has its purposes in certain areas and. medical and whatnot, but not when you're using it as a crutch to, deal with your hangover Excessive, yeah, your excessive alcohol. Consumption. For me, they went hand in hand. Didn't matter it post drinking during drinking, it went and it intensified the drunkenness for sure. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. And with lead too. Yeah. Smashed bones and lots of physical damage and ripped jeans. Like Tracey, Yeah. How does that happen and you think, holy cow, what else happened? Where's the videos? Yeah. Or the videos?

Tracey:

I just wanted to say, as a woman think of all the. Scary situations you might have put yourself in. Because, you're just making yourself really vulnerable when you're in that state. Like you said, Kel leaving your door open, like god knows what could have happened. I can't believe that I'm alive, even honestly, I really, I'll

Mike:

just, not just women, it happens. It happens to dudes too. They, there are some Yeah. No, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, there can be things that would happen to them too if they didn't know what was going on. I'll say more to women than men for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I think that's the scary part too, I think anybody to wake up and not remember what happened the night before and, not really know even if something bad did happen. Crazy. It's a pretty scary thought. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. You, when you guys heard stories about what you may have said or done, did you ever genuinely laugh or was it always a

Lindsey:

Never a genuine laugh. It was always shamed, but yeah, I always laughed, but it was embarrassment, It was like, stop talking. I don't wanna hear anymore cuz I can't deal with it. Ooh. It was always, yeah, he just embarrassing. I think I would say that 50 50 cuz there are some things I was like, eh, it's funny, and on my own expense and that's, it's not, yeah, anybody else's expense. But as it started to get more and more towards the end, it was like, oh dude, like when are you going to stop? Seriously. It's just one of the, oh,

Mike:

sorry, Mike, go ahead. No. I'm just it's unbearable sometimes to hear, like you said, it's unbearable to hear Stop. stop calling. Yeah, yep.

Lindsey:

One of the things for me that I missed, I have talked about it here on the podcast before, but I actually missed Christmas Day at my Baba's house because I was so hungover from Christmas Eve and I couldn't physically attend. Wow. It was horrible.

Kelly:

Was that towards the end, Liz? With that bit? Yeah. Oh,

Lindsey:

so that was not good. That was not good. But mind you, let me think here. I was still married at the time, so that would've been, no, maybe not. Towards the end. that was like the peak. Did you get called out for it, Liz? Not by family, but my spouse at the time Sure. Made me feel like a piece of shit, like oh my God.

Mike:

Good intention or vindictive intention?

Lindsey:

I think it was, it felt vindictive.

Kelly:

But I think people in that position don't know how to deal with this. Like, how do I Yeah. And I was just a mess. I was in a marriage that I shouldn't have even been in. And just knowing that the relationship was e coming to an end, that was a brutal Christmas Eve. Yeah. That was brutal. Is it a sad part? Does it cut play into it? Like the sadness of something ending type of thing that, you ne in your heart that, do you feel like it's over, but it's not officially over, it's so like the fire. Oh, a hundred percent's true.

Lindsey:

It's a hundred percent. Yep. And like for me was it over? Yeah. No, I knew, I definitely knew it was over. Oh, this is what I was gonna say, but I was just numbing and I was chasing that buzzed feeling. But here's another thing, I could never just have one glass of wine. I think that's another warning sign. If you have the inability to moderate, it's either, an all or nothing. think that's a warning sign. So Totally. I would just off, no, off over switch. Consume. No off switch. That's exactly it. I would just over consume every time I drink. It didn't matter.

Kelly:

Yeah. I think that's very common, very common. I really do think there's people that have that and people that don't. And, yeah. I remember early on soon after I had quit, I went out for dinner with a girlfriend and she's I don't really get it. I don't get it. I'm like you know how you can just go to a hockey game on a weeknight? I can never do that. Cause I'd be so hungover the next day. She's oh, so it's, yeah, I, and I think, this will go on to a different topic, but I think that's why we need this community and support with each other because there's lots of people in our lives who don't have that thing, that aren't gonna be able to relate to us. That's another warning sign too, hiding how much you drink from friends and family and coworkers, or lying about how much you drink. Even to anybody, if a doctor and a physical appointment asks you, how many drinks do you have a week? And you lie, warning sign, right? If you are lying about who you're hanging out with, because people know, oh, okay, that person's a big drinker, or. Yeah. I don't know. Kelly? Didn't you say one time about taking the bottles out to the recycling bin Yeah, there's two instances I remember. Lying or being dishonest about. And one was my ex did not care how much I drank. Like he never maybe he did, but he never said anything to me about my drinking. And would work night shifts and I would drink a bottle of wine at least. But I remember specifically one night I drank a second bottle and didn't want him to know, so I took it outside. And I don't know why I didn't want him to know, he didn't care or didn't seem to care. I started lying about that. And then another one, I was at a conference and I missed the morning part. So I got up and went to the breakfast at this work conference at a conference center hotel and had to go back to my room to lie down cuz I was so hungover. This is a professional work event. Okay. And so I remember lying and saying, oh, because I have lots of food sensitivities and stuff. And I remember lying and saying oh, you know what? I think there was something in the eggs. Oh, interesting. But I was just fucking hungover yeah. So yeah, I was starting to lie. Oh, warning sign. Cringe. just feel like I won't be cringe right now. No, no warning sign for sure. Yes. Oh, what about you guys? Like trace mike? Twofold to those two things. Not only being able to have one drink or, stopping at one, but for me it was when it became a daily habit. And not only lying about drinking, but making excuses. So I think those are directly interconnected to the two you guys just touched on. Sure. For sure, for me, for sure. And then, surrounding yourself with people that would enable that behavior as well. Like the excuses, the, being with girlfriends and them being like, oh yeah, I am always having wine. It's wine after work and it's fine, everybody does it, and that kind of behavior. Yeah. Everybody does it. Everybody's doing it. I know I mentioned on one episode how there was a point where if I didn't have wine at the house, I would be like anxious. I need to have my wine, like it needs to be there when I get home, right? that that's gotta be a big red flag, big warning. The other thing is that on the weekends starting to drink earlier, or day drinking, I think that can, escalate for people as well. Sunday Caesars. Yeah. There you go. Exactly. Or having any excuse to drink. Me and my girlfriends, we would go to things with our kids and have travelers. Everywhere you went, it was like there had to be alcohol involved or you'd make an excuse or reason for it. So I think those are all big red flags, warning signs. You're going to watch fireworks with your kids. Do you need to bring wine?

Lindsey:

It's a baby shower. Do you really need to drink wine here? Yeah. My answer would be, yeah. Duh. It's a funeral I'm drinking. Yeah. I think that's a warning sign. Any social event, when you're attending any social event and it's always has to have alcohol involved. That's a kind of an alarm bell.

Kelly:

Have I told this story about that? That party that I went to, I know I've told you this, Lindsay. I went to tell us a ho a home party. It was like an adult toy party. People have. Oh yes. Tell this story. Yes. Me. What are those? Could you shut out, Mike? I know. I already saw your face when I said that. I'm like, I don't even wanna tell.

Lindsey:

Stop laughing. Mike

Kelly:

It's odd.

Mike:

No, I just love how you just pussy foot around the top of this

Kelly:

Cause I dunno if I can tell the story without saying what kind of party it was, because I could have, but I feel like it does make it more. Anyway, whatever. Okay, so

Mike:

sorry. It makes it more acceptable as the story's gonna, oh, I don't know. I'm sorry about that. Makes it easier. I'm sorry about this part, Tracey, for editing. I feel like

Lindsey:

we need to leave this in. This is hilarious. So this is part of the actual reaction to, we're all adults here. What's the problem with an adult's? Just, it's like face. As soon as I said I, it's a judgment. It's not judgment. He's oh, here we go. I got Kelly. Here we go. Still do party. Yeah. It's his goal for every episode. I just love rallying you up. It's super fun. Alright, and action. Kelly,

Kelly:

close story. Do you wanna hear my story? Yes. Okay. You do. Okay.

Lindsey:

The people wanna hear it. It's for the people. It's for the people. Okay. So I went, got invited to this party and the friend that invited me is not a big drinker. but in my frame of mind and my lifestyle, you go to a party like that and there's gonna be alcohol. Okay. Absolutely. So I went with a friend and we get there and there's no alcohol. I'm like this is stupid. I, and I immediately wanted to leave and it was the type of event where you sit down and the person does like a presentation. So you have to sit and listen. And the whole time I was pissed off. I was I did have a drink. Fuck this. I'm out of here. Yeah, I know. That's how I felt. So I didn't buy anything. Sorry Mike. No. But I did not. As soon as she wait a stick it to the host, don't, didn't buy anything. Yeah.

Kelly:

But yeah, as soon as she was done in talking, I'm like, I gotta go. And we went somewhere for appetizers and drinks cuz that was my night out. I'm like, I'm going out and I got a drink. You show those sex toy party people. Just my attitude like what was my problem? I can't believe I had such an attitude about, it's a warning sign too. I think even just being That was irri angry. Yeah. This girl had this beautiful party and she had made food and invited all of these people, like to put a lot of work into this. And I show up with this attitude like, how rude.

Tracey:

But that's a perfect example, Kel, of not wanting to do something social. Without, exactly. I couldn't do anything social without alcohol. it's a serious question. Yes,

Lindsey:

Mike? You can ask. All your Mike needs to know. He needs to know.

Mike:

Cause I've heard of this before, that they women have these parties. Yes. And you're right. Most of the time alcohol's involved, but, have you been to a party in a sober state since that kind of party? I haven't been to one of those sober Kel Have you?

Tracey:

She's thinking no. I just don't think people have those types of parties very often anymore. Yes, they do. I think that's why.

Kelly:

Not, not cuz of Covid, but Yeah, they're still happening. That stuff's still happening. They're

Tracey:

happening. I haven't been invited to one in years. Oh, that's right. That's why. So the last time I was invited to one and I was drinking, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't go to one sober.

Mike:

I think, yeah, I would go to one sober now play all the listeners that wanna have a sober party. There you go. I feel like I would do pretty much anything sober now. I think there's not much, I wouldn't do a crowded dance floor, shoulder to shoulder. I'm out, but otherwise I feel like I would what about withdrawal symptoms? Does, has anybody here experienced that, like during a hangover or. what was your experience?

Tracey:

Hair of the dog. Isn't that another warning sign? Ooh. Yeah. If you gonna say Wake up and drink, that's a ooh. Yeah. I didn't have a wake up and drink other than being on vacation. And maybe sometimes at the cottage. But for sure I felt like a lot of days I was just getting by to a time that I felt was appropriate to drink again and knew that was the only thing that would help me feel better. And that time got earlier and earlier. Oh. And I remember feeling annoyed if it couldn't be five o'clock cuz my kids had a practice or a game or something. Ooh. And I had to wait until eight or nine to have my wine. Yeah. That's one thing I had on my list too, was that you just. Have that anticipation of the day being done and you being able to have a drink. When you start thinking about that more and more, I think that's a warning sign cuz that started to happen to me at the end. Whereas I'd be thinking about or more focused on, okay, the day's gonna be over soon and I can have glass of wine.

Kelly:

It really becomes, that's part of addiction. It really becomes an obsession,

Mike:

do you think, affect that, your attitude towards people, and this is a general statement, not to anybody in particular irritable I guess is really what I mean, I know that I'd get irritable if I knew by five o'clock I'm outta here and I'm going right to a bar with people and it's oh God, don't bring me something at four 30 to deal with because I'm not dealing with it'll wait till tomorrow and just get outta here and just that kind of thing. What about you guys? Irritability.

Lindsey:

Anxiety For me. Anxiety. Anxiety percent the next day anxiety. There was one time I thought I was gonna have to go to a hospital cuz I thought I was having a heart attack. That's withdrawal. That is your brain chemistry so screwed up, trying to regulate your body, trying to process out all the alcohol. Oh, it's just a chemical shit storm. Like it was horrible. And I would still even feeling so shitty like that, and I never drank during the week. So by Wednesday I'd be like, oh, okay, I'm feeling all right. Come Friday, I'd be like the same attitude. I am outta here and I am going to the liquor store and I'm getting my wine. Despite feeling physical symptoms like that, I would still drink,

Kelly:

but. I didn't know that it was making my anxiety disorder worse a hundred million times worse. I actually didn't know idea, put that together either. I didn't until I wanna say after I quit, but it might have been towards the end, like just trying to figure it out. But

Tracey:

I knew thanks to Mike, Mike was the one that had that whole anxiety conversation with me. When he started trying to stop drinking he was the one that brought it up to me. And then it's like as soon as I recognized it myself, where it was happening pretty much daily, I was like, Geez, this is what Mike's talking about, I had experienced a lot of anxiety when I was younger in my twenties, and then I didn't have it for years. And then when my drinking increase, it came back with a vengeance and then it was like daily and then, those were the only two things that kind of coincided that it made sense that with the increase or frequency of my drinking, so was the increase of the anxiety.

Kelly:

And I don't think people really, I didn't like even small amounts because there are a lot of people out there that are, struggling with either diagnosed or self-diagnosed anxiety. And depression. And depression and not putting the two together. Oh, yeah. Or not wanting to, it's like such a, it's so connected. I think that we all have it at certain levels. and it's like a filling up a measuring cup. The more toxicity you add to your life, either in substance relationships lack of exercise and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. that cup keeps getting fuller and yeah. And one of the ways that we know to deal with is that I'm having a drink or I'm having a cigarette, or I'm having a joint I'm eating and it's just like a damn Ferris wheel. right? know, I still right now have, do some things that I shouldn't do that to combat with stress, like stress eating. I think back to not only did I have stress eat, I stress drank. Stress smoked marijuana. It's just, we're not perfect, I guess is what I'm trying to say. We're not perfect, but we're also not taught how to deal with life. That's it. Which is the root of why the podcast exists, right? It's right. These are the factors that we've come up with over the course of however many episodes now, and hopefully people hear what everybody's saying and oh yeah, I resonate. For sure. Yeah. And it's for sure, and it's not about creating a life. Without stress, cuz I think that's impossible. Living, almost in the society, almost impossible. It's about finding replacements for those things and healthy replacements, right? It's such a numbed out culture that we live in. If it's not alcohol, it's Netflix, or sex or shopping or gambling or, everybody's social media. Lot scrolling. The scroll hole. Oh, the scroll hole. Lindsay. Lindsay and I did a training and she called it the scroll hole. The yes I get stuck in the scroll hole. The real specifically for me. Yes. Anyway, yeah, my son right now. My youngest is going through a big change right now and he's quite a bit like me, can be really intense and get really worked up about things and not always in a bad way. It's. Getting excited about, he's doing some really cool things right now. But we had this conversation tonight about, your breath. Go and lay down and breathe. Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly, and just notice your hand going up and down on your belly. That is such a powerful thing. Our breath is so powerful. And I think we've so disempowered right now, people, and

Tracey:

let's face it, this is what everybody encourages us to do, right? It goes back to the enabling or everybody making excuses for these behaviors. It's so accepted in society that these are our coping mechanisms, right? Like you said, Kel, we weren't taught how to cope other than with drugs, alcohol, social media. like all these unhealthy alternatives nobody's teaching us frigging yoga or breathing techniques. Yeah. To deal with the stuff or how food effects our, oh my gosh. Happening at our bodies. Absolutely. Yes. Yes. Yeah.

Lindsey:

I think too, even another warning sign, talking about just mentioning here, healthy habits, I think not doing the things that you wanna do. For me, exercise and fitness. I'm hugely passionate about it and I've always wanted to embody that. But when I was drinking, I was too damn hungover to go to the gym at eight in the morning. There's no way in hell I would work out every single day, even though I wanted to be that person. So I think another warning sign is check in with yourself and are you being the person that you wanna be? Are you doing the things that you know you need to do, like breath work, meditation, reading, or are you just too damn hungover because you just binge drank the night before? So I think if you're not doing the things that used to bring you joy, like working out painting, going on walks, just. Yes. Take a look at that.

Kelly:

That's really good Linds. It's so true. It's the little voice that Mike talks about, like I for sure had that I had stopped doing things that I loved doing. Yeah. Yeah. I had losing motivation on my list Linds related to That's amazing. Talk about that. Yeah. That's what I felt exactly what you're saying. I just felt like I've always been a pretty driven person. I've been always pretty highly motivated, not just with exercise, but things I wanna do in life and all those things. And I just felt like I was like in this long-term rut, which I'm usually the type of person when I find myself in a rut, that's when I pretty quickly pull myself out of it because I don't wanna be there I'm. a person that wants to be complacent. I'm constantly just trying to do things to push myself outside my comfort zone, grow personally and all those types of things in all facets of my life just to experience life really. I'm a firm believer in really, truly experiencing life. That part of me was just getting eaten up. Like it was just getting numbed out with the rest of everything else. And that's where I do dull everything. Yeah, exactly. And that's where I felt like I really was, that's when I really began to feel like not myself. You lost yourself. I was, like, I knew

Tracey:

exactly how that feels. This is not like, who is this person?

Lindsey:

Who is this? It's not me.

Tracey:

Yeah. Yeah, a hundred percent. I can totally relate to that trace. Like I say, I look at pictures, I'll go on to my Facebook memories, but yeah, like I look at pictures of myself and I'm like, my God, I was dead inside. I posted a picture from Cabo, that picture that I posted the other day at this. I saw it, yeah. And I love that picture, of course, but I look at my eyes, I'm like, oh man. Like dead inside. That's the, you look like gloss over Kel, right? I saw that picture today. Yeah. Actually on my feed. And I thought Kelly must have been drinking them because Yeah, you just have this glossed over

Kelly:

all inclusive, gotta get my moneys worth.

Lindsey:

I think that was a warning sign for me is getting to the point where we would take pictures when we were out or whatever, or someone would take a picture of me. And I would look at it on somebody's phone and go, oh my God, who the hell is that? I am so overweight. My face is so puffy. Yeah. Oh my God. Then I was like, I don't want any more pictures. Don't take a picture of me. So when I started to get uncomfortable, and previously like I would love taking pictures, but things I knew things were bad. When I was really uncomfortable seeing pictures of myself or people posting pictures and I'm in them and being like, oh my God. Like mortified. That was a huge warning sign to me you are not on the right. you're not yourself, you're not who you wanna be. And I would just be like, I feel sad. Those pictures I see now or like I'll put them side by side with current photos and I'm like, they're two totally different people.

Kelly:

People, yes. Rebecca's in our community and she is gonna be a guest. She posted a picture when she was 28 and 38.

Lindsey:

She looks way younger at 38 and like glowing. Glowing. And it's people say that now, you look different, your face even. And I'm like, I look at old pictures with myself. I'm like, my nose was fat. Like what? What is that? Just puff, puffy was red and puffy and you're just like, my hands, I remember what it felt like. I remember what it felt like to have a puffy face and puffy hands and like just I know. I think that's a warning sign. Yeah, when days say that Linds, cuz our nose and ears are the things that keep growing. So I feel like for your nose to have gotten thinner, because I'm pretty sure I look at my nose and think it's getting bigger. I feel like mine since my twenties has for sure gotten bigger. But there was a point in time where I'm like, what is ha? I don't know. Yeah. The face, I was like, this is no good. This is not good. Something is up here. But at the time I'm like, no, can't be alcohol. I'm not giving that up. I would use it to numb out and try to make myself feel better because I saw the way that I looked and I felt the way that I felt and I was like, oh boy, this is not going well for me. I know what you guys are saying too, because when I lived in Calgary, I drank a lot of beer and beer in particular. It's funny because I was lighter then than I probably am now. But if you look at a lot of pictures of me from then, I'm puffier, right? Like I look almost Yeah, it does. It just, it's not even, yeah, it's not even puffy weight gain. It's puffiness. Yes. The physical effects of it. And we all know my embarrassing story of having gout at 43 years old and people have way worse, liver can it just destroys every cell in your body. It really does. Don't you feel like, at least I know we talked about this privately, but I feel like, you can almost pinpoint it on other people. When I see other people and I'm like, oh, I recognize the puffiness yes. it crosses my mind that person potentially is consuming too much alcohol, yes. Like I feel like I can pick it out. I can sense it too, because I can, I used to be that person. Yes, exactly. You and I've been in hot yoga and I've smelled people's alcohol coming out from the night, just coming out before. Yeah. And it makes my heart be like, oh, I just wanna talk to them yeah. Makes me sad.

Tracey:

Going back to the coping mechanism. The other thing I had here is when, you use alcohol as something for everything you use it as your stress relief, you use it as celebrate your way to Yeah. Reward yourself or celebrate, or, it's basically, that's a good one, Tracey. That's a really good one. Yeah. You just use it for everything to deal with, oh, this is happening. Oh, I gotta have a drink. Breakup. New relationship. Taking the kids trick or treating, trick or treat. That's an alcohol situation for sure. Just like the fireworks Kel Exactly.

Kelly:

Can't take walking around Disneyland. Can't walk around Disneyland without a freaking Tumblr full of Margarita.

Tracey:

Word. Yeah. What about this one? This one I've done Googling. Am I an alcoholic or Oh yeah. Googling. Yep. How many drinks are too many drinks for a woman? Or do I have a problem? Do you have a problem? Yeah. Do I have a problem? Mike, have you ever done that in your drinking career? Googled. Yeah. Try to figure out, no way. Try to, no, I think look online.

Mike:

No the one thing for me that I always. Had it may not have been the most positive thing, but I had a dad that I knew was an alcoholic, so I used that as the barometer and say, oh, I don't drink as much as him, so I'm not an alcohol. Or I don't drink too much. I think there were some things that I did, I had two dogs and those dogs were my life and it was, if I was too hungover to get up and get them outside for a walk, I would just had easily open the sliding glass door and say, go do your thing out in the backyard instead of getting my candy ass up and go in for a walk. Because the walk is, was good for me. And also it's what they live for. And I felt I felt guilty at times when they didn't get their walks and stuff. But when I think about those things those would be my. My measurements. Yeah. My gauge measuring stick. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Not so much Google, because who knows? Google. I Internet could be so many different things where you could have someone say, oh yeah, you could have 24 drinks a week and you're good But I think it would play a little bit on my psyche if I hadn't done that. So

Lindsey:

yeah. Callie, what about you ever googled? Oh, I for sure Googled. Yes. do I have a problem? Am I an alcoholic? I'm sure I did that. Yeah. I think another thing for me anyways was I can't talk to someone else about their drinking because I'm drinking. Oh. Like I can't say something to someone about their drinking. Oh. Because, yeah. I'm drinking too and I'm engaging in it, I think that's interesting. Like a red flag too.

Mike:

Yeah. That's interesting because I had a situation where I said something to somebody's brother and said, and I was still drinking. I said, I think your brother has a problem, and you may not be aware of it, but you might wanna have a conversation with him and who am like, who am I to say this? But, that just popped up in my head as you said, that Trace. I did do that once. Wow. Deflecting from your own,

Kelly:

Yeah, deflecting,

Mike:

From your own possibilities, what do you see? You see yourself in others, right? Oh. the whole thing of people when you hate something about somebody, potentially. You hate that about yourself. At least that's what I've. Heard before. That's very true. And I think there's a lot of truth to that personally. So yes. Maybe that was a situation where it was, cuz everybody's seen a drunk person, ah, they say the same things. They're, you did something, they did it five times better or, all those types of things. And it's wow, you're so full of shit in yourself. It's not even funny, but, you turn a blind eye to it and get me out of there.

Tracey:

I think that for people that have alcoholics in their family, like a lot of us for me, it was part of when the light bulb went off that I started to see myself going down a road that I'd seen. already. A pattern in my family, thankfully for me, I could recognize that and think to myself, I don't want to be that. I don't wanna be that person. And then that was a red flag to me I really need to consider what I'm doing here. And that I have the potential to obviously be an alcoholic or have a drinking problem because it runs rapid in my family. I think you get that awareness. Yeah. Yeah. You're lucky in a sense if you have that kind of warning trigger for yourself, that you don't wanna go down that path.

Mike:

The experience to witness firsthand experience. There were so many things that my dad did and I, to this day, I he's dead now, but think to myself holy cow, dude what were you thinking? It's unbelievable what it does it basically like it blacks you out, I guess from common sense. No matter how, my dad was a brilliant man. He was a brilliant, smart guy and had a great successful career and all those things, but the things that he would do outside of the norm, if you will, was like, what the hell were you thinking? where did that come from? You only saw things start to change when he got sober. And he unfortunately got sober because he had an accident and ended up in the hospital for the remaining four to five months of his life. So he was sober and different person. I think in some ways he saw some. Remorse and maybe he had those conversations in his own mind as he was sobering up in the hospital. Yeah. Wow. It's like you have an opportunity to change your life and you have people that you can call on to help you, don't wait till the end. That's the one thing I saw in him was. he waited till the end and there was a shitload of remorse in his eyes when ugh, when he was going

Lindsey:

There doesn't have to be a rock bottom to quit drinking. No that's, I think, the message that really needs to be put out there. I think people think it it's like this big dramatic thing that comes to a head and then it's oh, okay, gotta give up drinking. But something has to happen. Yeah. Something has to happen. Break your collarbone or Break your collarbone or you whatever. But it doesn't have to be that at all. One of the big things for me this was huge when I was drinking is the next day saying I was gonna quit or cut back and that I wanted to stop and crying about it, but I couldn't quit on my own. And I didn't go to AA and I didn't do any treatment. anything like that. And I had in the past stop drinking for six months. But when I was in that cycle of binge drinking and then the anxiety the next day, if you are waking up and thinking to yourself, even if you're not voicing it out loud like shit again I can't, I don't wanna do this anymore. God, I drank that much again. I didn't even mean to do that. These are alarm bell warning signs going off. If you wanna quit and you've said that you wanna quit or you want to cut back, but you can't or you don't seem to. Doing that on your own, that was like breaking the promises. That's what I was gonna say. I can't relate to the saying I was gonna quit cuz I really tried so hard to keep it for so long. The only time I finally said I'm gonna quit was when I quit. But I was in that cycle of trying to moderate and it was exhausting and breaking those promises to myself. And while I was thinking about this episode and what we were gonna talk about tonight, what went along with that was a lot of justifying mm-hmm. and reasoning. Kelly That is so good.

Kelly:

So a lot of reasoning with myself and okay, but like I had this term of but I'm not in the. Because I lived in a nice house and I was married a kids and a good job and a cottage and nice cars and like brown not drinking outta a paper bag, not drinking out of a brown paper bag. I don't have a problem. And the other thing is I never drank and drove. So I had these two things and I was like, yeah, but I'm fine. I can keep drinking because I haven't lost everything or I haven't, ugh. Yeah. Anyway. Wow. That's a good one though Linds. You're right. That is if you are contemplating or questioning your drinking, that's probably a pretty good warning sign that you're doing it too much. Cuz I was doing that for oh my gosh. Time. Probably yeah, like two years probably before I quit. Yes, I know. That was me. Don't really think that anybody that is at the point of any of these warning signs that we've talked about tonight, I really don't see how you could go back and be a normal drinker. I really, I can't see that. So just thinking about what Mike just said about his dad, that's where it goes, maybe you'll have a little bit of sobriety and a little bit of clarity at the end of your life, but really that's the way you want it to be. It's not gonna get any better.

Tracey:

I wanted to say that should be a red flag for anybody that has it in their family they should al already be proceeding with caution. That's a good one. That's a really good one. Yeah. If it's in your family, there's probably a good chance that your relationship with alcohol isn't gonna be one that's that healthy, or you might have a hard time keeping it as a healthy one. So I think that is something to always consider if you have that in your family already. I don't know if we mentioned this, but cravings, if you're craving a drink if you need to drink more to get drunk like your tolerance is going up. Yeah. These are things that are like, Hey, your body's pay attention to this. I think that's, yeah, that's for sure. Warning. That was a lot packed in to this episode, guys.

Kelly:

Thanks for the free therapy again.

Tracey:

Yeah, no, I know it's hard. We don't wanna relive these things because No, I know. It is painful. It's hard once you're out of that That was a version of ourselves I think, that we all recognize we didn't like, and that's why we're here today, right? These new improved versions of ourselves and finding our way back to who we are. But yeah, hard to look at those versions we did feel shame about and that we struggled to crawl our way out of. But I think it's necessary in helping other people. Yeah. And we know that. It helps people because it's relatable, anybody in these situations are gonna feel the same way or probably had these kind of scenarios as well. Yeah. And I just wanna say about those replacements. We were talking about. Needing wine to wind down or booze to wind down at the end of the day, or do all of the things I remember just not knowing, I didn't know anything. Yes. I don't know what's gonna make me feel less stressed. So I would say, like I have no idea where to start. Just try different things. Try a guided meditation app, try, a yoga class, try a workout go to the Y ask a friend. I know lots of those places are intimidating to people too, like gyms and yoga studios and stuff like that. You probably know somebody that does that thing. Ask them to tag along, or nature is huge for me and lots of people just going outside, Even try something else to drink. Have a chick eat some tea, bubbly bubbly. It's empowering, like it's empowering yourself. Empower yourself to not to quit, to reduce, cut back to quit, helpful things that you can do to facilitate that, because I think too, here's the, here's another thing that popped in my head while you guys were chatting there, is if you're scared to quit, that's a warning sign. If you feel scared I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I can live without this. I don't know how my life is gonna look without it. I'm telling you right now, that's a warning sign. Yeah. That you need to

Mike:

Maybe the word warning to me isn't the most useful word, but maybe it's a sign. right? I know what you mean, Lynn's by saying warning. It's a, it's like a Yep. An awareness sign. Yes. Not well said. Yeah. It's not well said.

Tracey:

Going back to your voice, Mike. Yeah. Yours. That's, it's that inner voice again, intuition telling you, intuition's talking to you. It's saying you done, there's somebody that we want you to meet and it's on either side of one day it's sober you. Yeah. Just one day, then two days. Yeah. And then next thing you know, you're at 300 and then you're at a thousand. And it's just like, where do the time go? And it gets easier as you go along,

Mike:

for sure. And then you use what Kelly's reference was about a photo. And you look back at those photos and say, shit, I've come a long way. I've done this, and this amount of time. I don't know that I would've been able to do all that if I was in my prior condition, cuz I would've procrastinated or I would've been hungover and start tomorrow with a project or whatever it may be. I put off so many different things because of my lifestyle was more important than getting these things done, which truly is shitty, cuz you're not living your best.

Tracey:

One of my favorite quotes, A journey of a thousand miles, starts with one single step. Yep. Yep. It's a long walk.

Lindsey:

Yeah. It is. It's not really about the end goal either. It's about who you become while you are going after that goal. It's the process. It's the process. All in, the process. A hundred percent.

Mike:

Your goal should be, get through one day. That's it. That's it. Yeah. Get through the day, right? One breath at a time.

Kelly:

Still need to do that some days. Just take a breath.

Lindsey:

Yeah.

Mike:

Go party or something, Mike. What do we think, guys? Is that a wrap on this episode? Does anybody have anything else that you know you wanna add that maybe you didn't get a chance to talk about?

Tracey:

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Wow. I think we packed it all in. I think we, yeah, that was a, that was packed, but did we solve the world problems or what? I hope it's just relatable. Yeah. Maybe I remember, listening to podcasts before I had quit and hearing some stuff and being like, oh shit, I gotta quit. Me too. So maybe it'll help somebody make that one final decision. That's it, I'm done. Yeah. Yeah. That'd be cool. Yeah, share this episode. If you're listening, you never know who this could help and maybe this is helping you. Maybe it could help a friend or family member. Thanks for tuning in and as always, keep laughing. Bye guys. Good night audio. Bye

Kelly:

Thank you for listening. Please give us a five star rating like and subscribe, share on social media and tell your friends. We love getting your feedback and ideas of what you'd like to hear on upcoming episodes of the laugh life podcast. If you yourself are living alcohol free and want to share your story here, please reach out.