Feel Lit Alcohol Free

Rethinking Normalcy: The Myth of "Just" a Social Drinker/ Ep. 13

April 09, 2024 Susan Larkin & Ruby Williams Season 1 Episode 13
Rethinking Normalcy: The Myth of "Just" a Social Drinker/ Ep. 13
Feel Lit Alcohol Free
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Feel Lit Alcohol Free
Rethinking Normalcy: The Myth of "Just" a Social Drinker/ Ep. 13
Apr 09, 2024 Season 1 Episode 13
Susan Larkin & Ruby Williams

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Welcome to Episode 13 of the Feel Lit Alcohol Free Podcast! In this episode, hosts Susan and Ruby delve into the emotional and physiological complexities of alcohol dependence as they answer a listener's question: "How can I get back to being a “normal” drinker, I just want to be able to drink like everyone else? " They share personal experiences and insights, challenging the concept of a "normal drinker" and highlighting the pitfalls of moderation.

Susan shared her personal revelation about fully committing to an alcohol-free lifestyle, likening the experience to the metaphor of holding onto two worlds. This analogy beautifully symbolizes the struggle of being stuck in a cyclical pattern of drinking, and the empowering choice to break free from it.

Ruby illuminated the importance of starting with small steps, such as a weekend alcohol-free, and gradually progressing to longer periods of alcohol-free living. She emphasized the power of mental clarity and the freedom gained from abstaining from alcohol, creating new neural pathways and avoiding the tantalizing yet elusive idea of moderation.

Through their candid discussion, they emphasize the significance of committing to an alcohol-free lifestyle and offer practical techniques for embracing emotional clarity and freedom. Join us as we explore the journey to alcohol freedom and the power of fully committing to a healthier, more empowering way of living.

Keywords
Alcohol, Self-blame, Coping mechanism, Accelerator events, Physiological response, Addiction stigma, Alcohol freedom coaches, Normal drinker, Observing behaviors, Curiosity, Neural pathways, Cognitive dissonance, Ziva meditation, Come to your senses, Presence, Grounded, Hijacked state, Living alcohol-free, Embracing feelings,  Commitment, Baby steps, Small wins, Mental clarity, Freedom, Neural pathways, Abstaining, Elusive moderation, Occasional drinking

Timestamp

04:27 Questioning the concept of "normal" drinking habits.

06:21 Constantly questioning and evaluating drinking habits, seeking freedom.

10:00 Alcohol use can become addictive due to physiology.

14:29 Observing others for alcohol tactics, feeling better.

18:25 Guide for gradual alcohol-free transition leads to empowerment.

22:31 Choosing new pathways leads to lasting

We want to hear from you! Leave a review on Apple Podcasts, and ask us any questions you have about breaking free from wine or living an alcohol-free lifestyle. Your question could be the highlight of a future episode!


Grab your copy of our FREE WineFree Weekend Guide to help you on your alcohol free journey. https://feellitpodcast.com/Guide


Find community and connection on the Feel Lit Alcohol Free Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/feellitalcoholfreepodcast

Websites:
Susan Larkin Coaching https://www.susanlarkincoaching.com/
Ruby Williams at Freedom Renegade Coaching https://www.freedomrenegadecoaching.com/

Follow Susan: @drinklesswithsusan
Follow Ruby: @rubywilliamscoaching

It is strongly recommended that you seek professional advice regarding your health before attempting to take a break from alcohol. The creators, hosts, and producers of the The Feel Lit Alcohol Free podcast are not healthcare practitioners and therefore do not give medical, or psychological advice nor do they intend for the podcast, any resource or communication on behalf of the podcast or otherwise to be a substitute for such.

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Welcome to Episode 13 of the Feel Lit Alcohol Free Podcast! In this episode, hosts Susan and Ruby delve into the emotional and physiological complexities of alcohol dependence as they answer a listener's question: "How can I get back to being a “normal” drinker, I just want to be able to drink like everyone else? " They share personal experiences and insights, challenging the concept of a "normal drinker" and highlighting the pitfalls of moderation.

Susan shared her personal revelation about fully committing to an alcohol-free lifestyle, likening the experience to the metaphor of holding onto two worlds. This analogy beautifully symbolizes the struggle of being stuck in a cyclical pattern of drinking, and the empowering choice to break free from it.

Ruby illuminated the importance of starting with small steps, such as a weekend alcohol-free, and gradually progressing to longer periods of alcohol-free living. She emphasized the power of mental clarity and the freedom gained from abstaining from alcohol, creating new neural pathways and avoiding the tantalizing yet elusive idea of moderation.

Through their candid discussion, they emphasize the significance of committing to an alcohol-free lifestyle and offer practical techniques for embracing emotional clarity and freedom. Join us as we explore the journey to alcohol freedom and the power of fully committing to a healthier, more empowering way of living.

Keywords
Alcohol, Self-blame, Coping mechanism, Accelerator events, Physiological response, Addiction stigma, Alcohol freedom coaches, Normal drinker, Observing behaviors, Curiosity, Neural pathways, Cognitive dissonance, Ziva meditation, Come to your senses, Presence, Grounded, Hijacked state, Living alcohol-free, Embracing feelings,  Commitment, Baby steps, Small wins, Mental clarity, Freedom, Neural pathways, Abstaining, Elusive moderation, Occasional drinking

Timestamp

04:27 Questioning the concept of "normal" drinking habits.

06:21 Constantly questioning and evaluating drinking habits, seeking freedom.

10:00 Alcohol use can become addictive due to physiology.

14:29 Observing others for alcohol tactics, feeling better.

18:25 Guide for gradual alcohol-free transition leads to empowerment.

22:31 Choosing new pathways leads to lasting

We want to hear from you! Leave a review on Apple Podcasts, and ask us any questions you have about breaking free from wine or living an alcohol-free lifestyle. Your question could be the highlight of a future episode!


Grab your copy of our FREE WineFree Weekend Guide to help you on your alcohol free journey. https://feellitpodcast.com/Guide


Find community and connection on the Feel Lit Alcohol Free Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/feellitalcoholfreepodcast

Websites:
Susan Larkin Coaching https://www.susanlarkincoaching.com/
Ruby Williams at Freedom Renegade Coaching https://www.freedomrenegadecoaching.com/

Follow Susan: @drinklesswithsusan
Follow Ruby: @rubywilliamscoaching

It is strongly recommended that you seek professional advice regarding your health before attempting to take a break from alcohol. The creators, hosts, and producers of the The Feel Lit Alcohol Free podcast are not healthcare practitioners and therefore do not give medical, or psychological advice nor do they intend for the podcast, any resource or communication on behalf of the podcast or otherwise to be a substitute for such.

Susan [00:00:36]:

Welcome back to the Feel It Alcohol Free Podcast. We're so excited to be here with you today, and we have a wonderful question left for us by one of our listeners, which is something that we both, Ruby and I, hear a lot, and actually, I have personal experience with actually having this question myself, Me too. Which is the question yeah. I mean, I think a lot most of us do start out our journey like this, but the question is, can I ever get back to being a normal drinker and if you can't you can't see me, I'm doing little air quotes with normal? Oh, and confetti. Okay. Normal drinker. I just wanna drink like everyone else. Okay.


Susan [00:01:26]:

Okay. Yeah. That was me all of all of 2 1019. I was chasing the holy grail of getting back to being a normal drinker. And, yeah, so how about you, Ruby? What was your experience?


Ruby [00:01:47]:

Oh my! That question is great. I just relate to it because that was me too. But I I might say I was on the longer journey of, like, the 7 years of trying to figure this out. Yeah. So normal drinkers because that was my experience. I mean, that was my experience in the beginning. I would say, I guess, a normal drinker for me, I would define it as someone that could take it or leave it. Like, I remember years and years ago when I've you know, in my twenties and maybe even in my thirties, like, I could have just one drink, one glass of wine or or one drink, and I might not even finish it.


Ruby [00:02:27]:

You know? I could just take it or leave it. The thing is that tolerance comes in, and you I mean, at least me, I started to use alcohol as a coping tool. Right? And it just did start off so, like, just one drink. Right? I'll just have one drink with dinner or while I'm cooking dinner, and then that one drink just leads to 2 drinks. Tolerance just keeps going, but, and then it was like 3, and then went to a bottle every night. And I just want to let all of you know, if you're not there yet, I say yet because there's just one way. It's just it's one way, and it gets faster. Like, it's like a train.


Ruby [00:03:17]:

Right? It's going faster and faster and faster. You need more and more and more just to just try to feel that buzz. So in my experience yeah. I mean, we're really kinda talking about moderation here. I know the question is about, you know, can I ever go back to being a normal drinker? Well, when you have that thought, you're thinking, I wanna drink in the future. So we're gonna just kinda put that on its head and change some of these ideas and what is a normal drinker?


Susan [00:03:53]:

Yeah. What about you, Susan? Well, for me on my journey, well, I'd like to take on the word normal. Like, what is a normal drinker? If you look around, like, when I would look at I guess I thought a normal drinker was somebody who could stop when they wanted to, had a power of choice. And I think I have that sometimes. Like I would go out to dinner with my husband and have like 2 glasses like I have a glass of Prosecco and then have a glass of wine with dinner and then stop there sometimes,


Ruby [00:04:27]:

right? And


Susan [00:04:27]:

then I would applaud myself for that and think, Okay, did good there. But then there would be other times, like you mentioned, when I was using it as a coping mechanism. And then honestly, for whatever I was dealing with, there probably wasn't even enough wine to fill the hole that I was trying to fill or to put out the numb feelings that I was dealing with. And then those are the times when I would over drink. And what happens is we create these neural pathways around alcohol, and they don't go away. Right? And so this idea of what is normal, if you I look around and I look at other people drinking and their drinking habits, are they normal? Because, I mean, number 1, I don't know what they do at home, but I do know and had friends, you know, and my drinking was maybe the same as theirs. It's like there's a lot of people out there that maybe do have a bottle of wine a night and think that that's normal. So is that normal? Like, it's like, what is the definition of normal? So, that's kind of a load that's why I kept putting air quotes around it.


Susan [00:05:31]:

That's sort of a loaded thing to have in your mind. Like, I wanna go back to being normal. It's like, well, you need to define what is normal. Right? And like you said, we're talking about moderation and that always leaves the door open to crack, right, for drink. And I find with your brain and your subconscious, when you leave, especially if you've used it as a coping mechanism, that thing will come up. And if you've left the door open a crack, alcohol's gonna push that door open wide open the minute you have a bad day, the minute you have something go on that you feel like you need something to help you with this, the first thing that your subconscious brain is gonna go to is alcohol as a coping mechanism. And so why is moderation so hard? Because you're always constantly making that decision. And that's where I felt like I was in 2019.


Susan [00:06:21]:

It was always like, Is this good drinking or bad drinking? So, that's a different language than like, or is this normal drinking? Because I went out and just had 2 glasses of wine. Or is this abnormal drinking where I'm at home and I drink too much because I had a bad day at work? And so, constantly juggling this and constantly beating myself up when I did the bad drinking and also evaluating, was that normal drinking? Is this the time I can drink? And it was just like a constant was going on in my brain. And so, that was a lot going on. It was just easier to make the decision, at least, especially if you want to be exploring your drinking and working on your drinking and become free. So, that's what we're talking about, become lit, Right? Become lit and free. There has to be a point where you shut that door all the way to really become truly free. So,


Ruby [00:07:20]:

Yeah. I love that concept of, like, leaving the door open. And, you know, a normal drinker I'd love to, like, also share about a comparison story where my normal if I wanna be like my friends, we all started drinking more and more and more. So if I'm comparing comparing to other people and these are my drinking friends, then it it looks normal if we're drinking 5 binge well, it's, in essence, binge drinking when you're drinking, you know, 4 I think it's 4 or 5 drinks or more in one sitting, which is about 3 hours. So that's binge drinking. So if in essence, a lot of my friends are binge drinking, then that looks normal. That appears normal to me, like, normal. Like, I'll do the air quotes too, like, Susan.


Ruby [00:08:10]:

But what is normal? Yeah. That's what we're gonna explore.


Susan [00:08:15]:

Mhmm. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and also, I think I was also beating myself up or really mad at myself. Like, how did I get myself here? How did I end up with a problem? Like, what is wrong with me? Why can't I drink like everyone else? Why did this happen to me? And I know that, you know, and I know in Allan Carr's book, he talks about the pitcher plant and how, you know, these insects, you know, buzz around this plant and they're sucked in by the nectar. And then as they're sucked just dislike it to other things, other physiological things, like why does my husband have high blood pressure and I don't? Why did I slide down that pitcher plant faster than maybe somebody else drinking the same amount as me? You know? I don't know.


Ruby [00:09:07]:

Can I answer that? 


Susan [00:09:08]:

Okay. Sure. Sure.


Ruby [00:09:11]:

Yeah. So why do you think you did? Because you gave alcohol a job. It was a coping tool.


Susan [00:09:17]:

Yeah.


Ruby [00:09:18]:

Some people don't emotionally connect with alcohol. They can kinda take it or leave it. So there are people that can take it or leave it, but once you give it a job and especially an emotional job where you put a real emotional connection, you know, this is solving the problem of stress or solving the problem of you wanna numb and just cope with life. I think that's how people go faster down the plant. I also say there's, like, accelerator events. Maybe there was a death in the family or a divorce or something happened. That also can lead you down faster than, say, someone else if you're comparing. Yeah.


Ruby [00:09:58]:

I wanted to add that in there.


Susan [00:10:00]:

Yeah. No. I love that because, yes, we see those too so often with clients, accelerator events, where prior to that, you didn't, you know, you were take it or leave it, and then something happens. And again, you start using alcohol as a coping mechanism. And the minute you start doing that, it becomes more addictive. And like you said, you slide down the pitcher plant a lot faster. But there are also physiological things in our bodily makeup where, you know, some people are affected by alcohol in a different way, in a much more addictive way than others, and there's nothing wrong with you if that's the case. I think that because there's this big stigma around alcohol, that you're either an alcoholic or a normal drinker and this idea that there's nothing in between, you know, which is sort of like the way the world kind of sees alcohol and people maybe who are struggling with it.


Susan [00:10:51]:

And that's just not true. It's just like, why do some people have diabetes and other people don't? But we don't like, you know, blame them and think that they have some sort of moral defect or whatever, right? So, just taking all that off the table. And so, I finally came to a place where I was just like, Who cares how I got here? I'm here. And once I kind of just went, I'm here, and what do I want to do about it? Then I was able to get just what I had to. I really had to get out of that question. Can I go back to being a normal drinker? Kept me in the cycle of Yeah. Just a cycle of misery, you know Yeah. Of of,


Ruby [00:11:30]:

you know, to you. Can I make an observation? Sounds like, to me, you stepped into radical responsibility. That's what I'm hearing, you know, accepting Yeah. That, you know, whatever happened, you're here. This is where you're at. And I also wanna go back and circle back to you and say something about, you know, why did this happen to me? You know, I have that exact same thought, you know, all the time. Why why what happened to me? Why is this happening to me? It felt so much like it was happening to me. But what if I love this concept, and this just kinda brings us to, like, the human compassion around all people.


Ruby [00:12:14]:

What if everyone has a thing? I'm using quotes. You know, everyone Mhmm. Whether it's, you know, addiction to alcohol or addiction to shopping or maybe someone is sick in some other way, like, somewhat we all have something that we're struggling with, dealing with in life, and this is our thing. Welcome to the club where we are in the AUD club. If you raise your hand, but I'm actually proud and happy to be in this group because I do believe we are the luckiest. I do believe when you can get yourself out of addiction, and it's like it's a beautiful place to be when you can finally see life in technicolor. And that question, you know, why did this happen to me, can really keep you stuck and want to, like, drink in the future, have this, like, I'll I wanna be a normal drinker in the future. So yeah.


Ruby [00:13:10]:

Yeah. 


Susan [00:13:12]:

And, you know, this idea that I wanna drink like everyone else. How do you know how everyone else is drinking? You know, you go out to dinner with a couple, and you see everyone have one glass of wine, and I was always observing that and thinking, I want another, and am I gonna be the only one that orders another? Or are they you know, it was always, you know, all that chatter. Thank goodness that's gone. That's true freedom, right, when all that chatter's gone. But I don't know what they do when they go home. So I'm saying they're normal. I'm not. Or I wanna be like them, but I don't even know how they are.


Susan [00:13:42]:

Right? And when you mentioned binge drinking, that is what's really going on is that we've normalized over drinking, and everyone thinks they're drinking normally when they're really binge drinking. And binge drinking also more quickly leads to an alcohol use disorder as well, and that's scientifically proven. So, the question maybe I would ask is why would you wanna be a normal drinker? If a normal drinker is a binge drinker, that's gonna end up Yeah. Be a problem. I mean, I so, yeah, that's sort of the question is why do you what is really normal? And we come back, you know, we keep coming back to that. But, like you said, observing others and comparing


Ruby [00:14:29]:

and I wanna talk more about observing others because it's a really important tactic that I used to this day. I'm 4 and a half years alcohol free, but I use this every time I go out, I wanna look around, and I do exactly what you said, Susan, where I go, wait a minute. I was hiding this from my friends, from my family. I I was hiding how much I drink. They only really saw me drink 1 or 2 glasses usually, so how can I say that all of my friends and family, the people that are out there in the world, do they have a problem? We don't know what happens when they go home behind closed doors. They could be doing exactly what I used to do, which was I would be out socially and have a glass or 2 or or try to keep up with my friends, but also go home and continue to drink. So we just don't know, and we we know, though, that we can feel better if we I know that I can feel better. I'll say that.


Ruby [00:15:26]:

I felt so much better when I could, like, look around, observe others, and say, I feel pretty good right now. I'm in control of my thoughts. I'm present. I'm listening. I'm still having tons of fun. So as I observed others, I also found out that not everybody was drinking like I thought. There's people that are usually not drinking around, so that is just one of my favorite tactics, just being so curious and observing others around you when they're drinking. 


Ruby [00:15:59]:

Yeah. Do you have another tactic that you love? 


Susan [00:16:01]:

Yeah. Well, the one that really hit home for me in this, in my journey was this idea of holding on to both worlds. So it goes back to leaving that door open a crack. Right? And thinking, I'm just going to take a break and then get back to just leaving it open like a little crack. And I realized, if my goal was to be a take it or leave it person, I knew I was a take it person, but could I be a leave it person? And that I really had to go all in on being a leave it person and not really worry about that 3rd door that we talk about, right? The elusive holy grail of, you know, getting back to normal and what is in our thinking. And so this analogy of holding on to both worlds was, I mean, you can't do that, Right? Unless, you know, unless you're an amazing stretchable woman or something. You can only if you're holding on to both worlds, you're never really in either world. You're in this sort of no man's land.


Susan [00:17:05]:

If you're holding onto the car door and you don't let go, this is the analogy I use, you're holding onto the car door and you don't let go. You can't get into the house. So you're just stuck there living in the garage. I called it and that's exactly how it felt when I was in the cycle of drinking. It was like garage living. Right? And it's like, I really expanded on this holding onto both worlds. And I know it's like, a pinky's off and then your ring finger's off, and it's like you're prying your little fingers off. And I know it's comfortable.


Susan [00:17:36]:

I know the car is comfortable, and I know you're comfortable in the garage. But you also see people who've gotten into the house, and they're in there, and they're going, Come on in. It's really beautiful over here. We're feeling lit here in the house. But you don't know, and you don't know how you have to let go in order to get there. And when you let go, there's this period of free falling where you're still, like trying to get across the garage to get into the house. And that's a scary feeling, and you don't really know for sure that the house is gonna be better. Right? And, but you gotta let go to find out.


Susan [00:18:08]:

And so that's just bravery. You gotta, or, you know, you gotta be at the end of the pier and decide to jump in the water. You gotta be all in. Right? And wow, when I heard that, I was like, okay. I'm letting go, and I'm gonna, you know Yeah. Go all in. But you can


Ruby [00:18:25]:

also do it in baby steps, and we created this really cool guide where you just take a break. You can start with a weekend alcohol free and see what you feel like and and kinda move on from there. I was just thinking about our guide when you were talking about, like, letting a pinky go, and, like, you know, like, you can start in baby steps, and then when you get to I think, for me, it was really empowering to to get to 30 days alcohol free in a row because it was just like I felt so much better. That's when I knew that I could let go of the car door, so to speak, and walk into the house and, like, trust that this is gonna be better for me. The story or an analogy I like to use is, you're, like, carrying a whole big bag of rocks, like, all that stuff, and you kinda have to let that go to get into the boat. It's like you can't swim across, like, a river to get into a boat if you're holding a big backpack of rocks. You gotta let it go and make a decision to jump in the boat. You know, jump in the boat with the alcohol freedom boat.


Ruby [00:19:33]:

Get on the bandwagon. Suck. Get on the boat. Get on the boat. Jump in, babe. Yeah. Yeah.


Susan [00:19:41]:

Yeah. Well, when I was making that decision between holding on to both worlds, it was like I still had one pinky on the car door.


Ruby [00:19:47]:

Yeah.


Susan [00:19:48]:

Yeah. I was like, there's another, like, image where there's a little bird that, you know, that's gonna fly and gets out on the branch and then scurries back and then goes out the branch a little bit more and then scurries back a little. And then, you know, and and and yeah, by experimenting and the whole year in 2019 that I experimented so much, it was like I just had to, after all this experimenting, just say, I'm all in to explore an alcohol free lifestyle. And I started with a 100 days at that point. I'd done many, many 30 days before that. And so, at that point, I mean, I have clients where we start with 7 days. And then after 7 days, we go, okay, what's your next goal? Okay. 8 days.


Susan [00:20:31]:

Okay. And it's just small win upon small win to generate that confidence in yourself and celebrate all those wins, right? Yes. Celebration of perfection. Yeah, If you do end up using the alcohol tool at some point, you just learn from it and move forward. Right?


Ruby [00:20:55]:

Exactly. And if we go back to, like, just this whole premise of moderation, I like to say or or ask yourself, do you really wanna have alcohol, like, in your brain? Like, for me, freedom, when I say the word freedom, it's that mental clarity and freedom. It's not there in my brain all the time. And if you have this elusive day, like, one day, I'm gonna drink, let's just say, at a wedding or something, then it's in your brain. And then maybe you drink at that wedding, but now it's that neural pathways lit up again, like you were saying earlier, Susan, and you may then go down that pitcher plant like we were talking. So I think this is a really important concept and, you know, this whole normal drinker, again, in quotes, what does that really mean? What is normal? It's probably more like binge drinking. And then if you have that elusive date in the future where you might drink, it just might bring you back down. We just hear this from other clients all the time where, yeah, if you still think you wanna drink like a normal drink or drink in the future, you might just keep going through the cycle again and going through the cycle again.


Ruby [00:22:12]:

And it's about that decision, that decision to go all in, give us a try. It's so cool because we're over here in the house or in the boat, and we want you to join us, to come join us. All right. Yeah. 


Susan [00:22:31]:

It is so beautiful. And the example I use about moderation is that we have this pathway, the neural pathways that we created, they're like a highway. And you've been drinking, and they're very well grooved. They're smooth, and you can go 0 to 100 really, really fast, right? And we wanna, in our exploring, our drinking, and then becoming free, we stop driving on that road, we put up a roadblock, and we're creating new neural pathways. And at first, those new pathways are sort of like cow paths, right? And then they grow into roads as we keep driving on them, and they're a little bit bumpy, and then they become nice, smooth roads. They don't become nice, smooth roads if we keep switching back and forth, like, because it's just so much easier to get on the other road where we can go 0 to 60 really fast, right, if we take down that roadblock. So, I always think, okay, that's how I did it. It's like, which neural pathways do I wanna be feeding? Which neural pathways do I wanna be creating, you know, in my freedom journey? And even after years because we hear from clients like, Oh, I had 2 years alcohol free, and then I went back to drinking, and I went right back to the way I was drinking before or worse.


Susan [00:23:49]:

Right? We hear this a lot. I've experienced it myself. And that is because those neuropathways, those old drinking neuropathways do not go away. They're still there. We've just put up a roadblock, and we don't drive on them anymore.


Ruby [00:24:02]:

If you


Susan [00:24:02]:

take down the roadblock and you start driving on them again, they're gonna become smooth a lot faster because they're already established. And switching from road to road is just, that's where you were talking, right, Ruby, about just the cognitive dissonance about that and the constant decision making of, Am I going to go on this road? Am I going to go on this road? And they just light up and they get all excited. Like I always joke about, if I decided to drink again, my little neuropathologist would be like,


Ruby [00:24:30]:

Yippee, we're doing this again.


Susan [00:24:31]:

Woo hoo. You know? And we'd be off to the races. I know that because I experienced it myself. And so that helps me make that decision to just make a firm decision, stay on this road, this path, because I know it helps me feel lit. I know my life is just so much better sticking to this road. So I don't know if that's helpful for Yeah. As an analogy.


Ruby [00:24:55]:

That sounds like a good segue to our next question. What do you think?


Susan [00:25:01]:

Okay. Well, yeah. Well, today, it's Ruby's turn to answer the question of what helps her feel lit. I know staying on the neural pathway of this road helps me stay lit. What helps you stay lit, Ruby?


Ruby [00:25:15]:

Yes. Lately yeah. Susan asked me that question this morning, and I was like, oh my gosh. So many different things. Right? But I wanna talk to you today. I practice what's called Ziva meditation. So, I heard about this actually from my coach training, and I read a book called Stress Less, Accomplish More. What a great name, And it's by Emily Fletcher.


Ruby [00:25:41]:

And I started practicing Ziva meditation. I've been practicing now probably for 4 years, and the first part, I'm just going to talk about the first part of it because it's so beautiful, and it's quick and easy and something to make you just feel it, right, feel better in the moment. So it's called coming to your senses, and it's basically a way to ground yourself, get super present. So when you think about all your senses, what you're gonna do is you're just gonna sit down somewhere, close your eyes. I love, like, breathing in for 2 and then out for 4, and then maybe in for 3 and out for 6. We're not gonna do it together right now. I'm just walking you through it. But you get your breath worked in, and then you start to go through each of your senses.


Ruby [00:26:36]:

What do you hear? Kind of a loud sound or a really quiet sound. Like, what are you hearing? And then move to maybe scent. What do you smell? Is there any scent? And then taste. What are you tasting in your mouth? Maybe you just brushed your teeth or had coffee, but what does it taste like? And maybe your eyes are closed. So what do you see? Even with your eyes closed, you can maybe see some color or shapes. Or open your eyes. What do you see? You know, if you're out in nature, maybe see trees or grass or the clouds. Get super present and then feel.


Ruby [00:27:14]:

Right? Feel the chair you're on or feel your feet in the, you know, on the carpet. Or if you're outside, feel your feet in the dirt and get very grounded and present, and you just kinda go through it again. You're you're hearing, what are you smelling, what are you tasting, what are you seeing, what are you feeling. Kinda go through those a few different times, and you're just so present. And I can feel it. Right? Feel being alive. Right? Being alive is using our senses, all of them. And maybe you could take this a little further if you don't wanna do a med like, I go right into a meditation after that.


Ruby [00:27:58]:

But if you not are not doing that, you could, like, maybe journal and write down some of your favorite smells, favorite tastes, favorite things to hear, favorite things to see, and favorite things to feel. And when I think of feeling, I love, have you ever seen the movie Amelie? If not, there's this part where she, like, dips her hand in, like, the beans, like, the bulk beans at the supermarket, and, like, that's her thing. And then, me, I would like the scent of, like, coffee, and I love the sound of laughter. So you could do a little exercise like that and write it down, or just experience it and be present in your body and with all of your senses. That's being alive. That is living lit, is to feel your senses and feel your feelings. Well, yeah. Do you have anything to add, Susan?


Susan [00:28:55]:

That's so beautiful. I feel calmer just listening to you. That is the meditation that I usually use to get out of being hijacked is yeah. For I start with hearing what is the closest thing I hear, the furthest away thing I hear and really concentrate on. When I go to the sight, I usually have my eyes closed, but you can still see little light or little weird shapes on your eyelids. And then, yeah, just getting back into my body is the best way to because your hijack is in your subconscious. It's in your brain. And so, the way to kick yourself out of a hijack is to get into your body.


Susan [00:29:36]:

And we, I don't live in my body enough. I just love what you shared. You know, feeling lit is feeling all of, with all of your senses and just taking a moment to notice, I love that scent of coffee, or, oh, look at the beautiful yellow flowers. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Just remembering to do that.


Susan [00:29:55]:

And the 2 x breath, that was what you were doing at the beginning. I do that a lot too, which is breathe in for 4, breathe out for 8, or breathe in for 3 counts, breathe out for 6 counts. Because the exhale is the release. Right? The inhale is the stressor, is a stressor, actually, and the exhale is a release. So if you wanna double the exhale. Yeah. Yeah. Both of those are such great tools to use anytime during the day, and they're always accessible to you too.


Susan [00:30:23]:

You don't have to go get something or go for a walk or a run if you're hijacked, because we know, we talk about a lot of different tools. You can use those when you have an urge to drink. You know? Mhmm. Absolutely. You can get


Ruby [00:30:35]:

present in your body.


Susan [00:30:36]:

Yourself more grounded. Yep. Yep. Yeah. So that is a great, great one. The way to feel “lit” is just to feel. Feet “it” was the other way. You could say the name of our podcast.


Ruby [00:30:49]:

Say the name of our podcast quickly, and feel “it”. Feel, like, feel the feelings. Feel it. You really feel the feelings. Instead of numbing with alcohol, feel it or feel lit, alcohol free. Yeah. This has been such a great episode. Yeah.


Ruby [00:31:06]:

It has. 


Susan [00:31:08]:

It always is with you, Ruby. You're such a great teacher. I mean, I felt like I was being coached. You're like, well, let me let me point something out there, Susan. If Ruby can't help herself, she's always a coach. So, well, thanks so much for joining us, and we will see you next


Ruby [00:31:25]:

time. See you next time. Thanks so much for listening to the Feel Lit Alcohol Free Podcast. Do you have a question you'd like us to answer on the show?


Susan [00:31:34]:

All you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts and do 2 simple things. Leave a rating and review telling us what you think of the show. And in that review, ask us any questions you have about breaking free from wine or living an alcohol free lifestyle. That's it.


Ruby [00:31:50]:

Then tune in to hear your question answered live. Don't forget to grab your copy of a wine free weekend at www.feelitpodcast.Dotcom. And remember, do something today that will help you feel lit. See you next time.