Episode Two

What It’s Like…To Drink / Use Again After So Many Years Sober

Episode Two

What It’s Like… To Drink / Use Again After So Many Years Sober

Episode Two Transcript

Read The Full Transcript


[intro music plays…]

Elizabeth: All right. Thank you for joining us on What It’s Like today. We are going to talk about what it’s like to drink “slash” use again after so many years sober. We thought in celebration of Sober October that this topic would be interesting, and relevant, and we have Jessica on the podcast today who’s going to share with us a little bit about her own story with sobriety and what it was like to not drink for so many years and then start drinking and so Jessica, how you doing?

Jessica: I’m good. I’m Elizabeth’s co-host Jessica and I yeah, I, I would love to share a little bit with you guys just about my experience. I don’t want it to come across as me giving advice. I think everybody’s journey and experience is totally different. But you know, just give you guys a little insight as to kind of what what goes through the minds of people and you know, what I guess, options are out there and what that is like firsthand so…

Elizabeth: Yeah, so a little bit I guess about me I am a pretty active drinker, I guess I would say, I drink two, three times a week, but lately in the last few months I haven’t really been drinking that much – andddddd –  I find that when I stopped drinking for a week two weeks and then I have a glass of wine or two glasses of wine, it’s a whole different experience than when I would just drink two or three days a week. I’m – did you kind of go through that a little bit when you were sober for so many years and then started drinking? I can’t imagine.

Jessica: I guess I’m curious what you mean by a whole different experience – like is it a positive, is it a negative experience, is it just…like can you give more detail on what you mean by that for you?

Elizabeth:  Yeah, of course. I guess I feel like I have a pretty healthy relationship with alcohol. I never really felt like I’ve ever – you know –  drink too much or drink myself to black out and get drunk and sick all the time…

Jessica: She’s no Brett Kavanaugh you guys.

Elizabeth: Yeah, exactly.

[both laugh]

Elizabeth: Have you?! Just kidding! But, you know, If…I’m drinking two to three times a week and I find myself I can drink, you know, two, three glasses and then start feeling a buzz. If I stop drinking and I go back to and I have one glass – I’m like buzzed, and I’m good, I don’t need to have as much. And I don’t want to have as much.

Jessica: Mmhmm

Elizabeth: …and every time I do start drinking again, I’m like, oh, man, I don’t know why I drink again. I just was seeing if maybe you’ve had that same experience, or what that was like for not drinking for so many years and then drinking.

Jessica: Yeahhh, no, thank you for sharing that, that’s – I was just curious what you meant by different…so…Um, I guess I have a different relationship with alcohol than you do. Somewhere in popular culture I got the idea – or from popular culture, I got the idea that it was an escape or a way for people who were I mean, you’ll see like the commonly…shown character who’s, like, depressed and drinks, or frustrated and drink so it’s like a way for people to…deal with life in a sense, right? And we see that kind of as a joke or a mockery, but when you’re young and growing up and maybe you feel that way you think oh, okay, this is part of who I am, or this is something I should do. So that was kind of always my approach with it. Like, you know, let’s say, I grew up in the house where my family and I had very conflicting worldviews and ideologies and you know as teenager or younger you’re not really considered…an adult whose opinions are necessarily respected by other quote-unquote adults, so I would just deal with my, kind of, frustrations of feeling powerless in certain situations by saying I think I’m going to drink. And it’s a weird thing if you take it from an outsider’s perspective, because you’re really kind of only harming yourself in a way, but it seems like a very…uh…romantic way to to drown my sorrows and deal with life. And and there’s a romanticized idea as well of, for example, the authors that drink a lot right? There are so many well-known authors who are known to drink or artists. So I thought it was just kind of me being who I was, and so I’ve always just based on that foundation, as opposed to I think I don’t want to speak for you, but a lot of people just do it in like a partying sense or a fun sense – had just a conflicting – conflicted – relationship with drinking and why I do it.

Elizabeth: Yeah sure. I guess it’s just kind of perspective, because say, you know, we’re the same age and you’re drinking because you feel like it’s a way to kind of escape your situation or to you know, socially fit in or what not and and and your relationship with your parents it sounds like kind of caused you to drink more.

Jessica:  Well, I don’t I don’t want to say that specifically, I’ll just say that you know my – who I was as an individual, I somehow got the impression that that was um, a way to escape or deal. And like I said, I think it’s a weird thing because popular culture is supposed to reflect – society – but it also encourages certain behaviors. So that’s a whole other philosophical conversation. But yeah, that’s sorry. Go ahead.

Elizabeth: No. Yeah. I was just saying it you don’t high school and what not everybody that I hung around with and would party and drink and I think it’s just part of growing up a little bit – uh – drinking and hanging out with your friends, and, going to parties and, you know, I had a friend in high school who never drink because her parents were – alcoholics.

Jessica:  Mmmhmm…

Elizabeth: …and she was still able to socially fit in, she was still able to go to all of the parties. You know, and that’s kind of hard for a young kid, I think to have…

Jessica:  yeah

Elizabeth: that confidence in to fit in without drinking and being able to, like, turn down drinks, because I feel like you’re right, so many people give in to social pressures their whole lives. But especially when you’re young and you’re impressionable and you’re in high school and everybody’s doing it and – so, sometimes I feel like habits can start at a young age as well. And sometimes people that drink heavily in high school then they go on to college and they drink heavily in college and then they kind of just continue that pattern throughout their lives and they associate that with having a good time and having fun, and I think that association…

Jessica:  yeah

Elizabeth:  …is – what keeps people drinking – because the next day you always feel like shit. [both laugh]

Jessica: Yeah, you know it that’s very true. That’s the kind of what you were saying, right? Like when you have a couple of drinks or even just one after not drinking for a while you think why do I do this to myself? And that’s another – you know – thing I’ve thought of as well, you – even in the moment when you do drink, especially when you haven’t drank in a long time, it doesn’t feel good. Like – I  don’t want to say – you, you do, you kind of feel out of control – a little dizzy and off kilter, and just not a hundred percent – and I know that’s why some people do it to just loosen up and whatnot. But I feel like it’s – almost like, bordering on that nausea motion sick like, you know, dizzy thing that’s like a little bit strange and not comfortable – and then the next day of course. Yeah.

Elizabeth: Yeah, you’re like is so who enjoys this?

Jessica: And it is a weird thing, your body does – I mean I get really into the health aspects of things, and your body does process it as a toxin. So you think – well, this can’t be like – great for me if it’s, you know, so – so it is a it is an interesting thing. I somehow wonder kind of like how alcohol came to be and I mean, I understand right? Things ferment, and how it became so socially acceptable or – legal or whatever but uh without being like a prohibitionist, I’m just kind of you know, you just kind of think about that.

Elizabeth: Right

Jessica: I mean it is, it’s not only socially acceptable, it’s really encouraged, especially if you think about wine and, you know, being a woman or a busy woman dealing with life, right? It’s like Oh, oh, I need my glass of wine! Oh, ok…

Elizabeth: Mmhmm, all of the all the t-shirts at the store that are talking about drinking and yeah, it definitely is socially accepted, but I just kind of wanted to dive a little more into your experience with this. So how old were you, I guess when you stopped drinking, and what was the – the end of that. Like what made you decide, you know what, I don’t want to really do this anymore? Was there a certain situation that happened, was it just you were over it, or…

Jessica: So, I’ll give you a really – maybe interesting, maybe not history – or, some background on my experience and – you know, in high school, like you said I drank as well and I didn’t find it as much of a – I mean I did it socially, but it wasn’t as much of a social tool as it was just a general escapist or kind of maybe even self destructive habit, and I had a close friend who also drank a lot and then he decided that he was going to stop drinking for a couple years. I think he didnt drink for two years. I thought that was insane. I was like, that’s so weird. Why would you do that? He was one of those, you know friends whose parents who let you drink at their house and kind of turned the other cheek as long as they knew you were obviously not driving anywhere or not doing anything dangerous, you know, just let you kind of have that experience. I will also say that his family was originally from this country and I had another friend similar and I kind of feel like in other countries, it’s not as heavily policed as it is in the U.S.

Elizabeth: No, definitely not. And statistically, there’s not as many DUIs and it’s amazing. Yeah.

Jessica: Right. Right. We’re so stringent. Like I don’t mean to sound like a prohibitionist earlier., I’m not trying to say people shouldn’t drink it’s just an interesting thing. But yeah, my two friends who you could go drink at their house, you know, their parents were still I think good parents and responsible. They just kind of knew like okay, this is something you’re going to do, so if you’re doing it at my house, I know you’re safe for the most part, you know and and their parents were not from this country originally and so I feel like it’s just such a funny thing. Our country is still so like Puritan at its core that like, you know, people’s parents are like, oh, yeah, you’re not 21 – like, that is very unrealistic that someone is going to wait till the age of 21, unless like your friend, or like some other people have come across who don’t ever drink, they’ve been so affected by an alcoholic in their family and seen such, you know, destruction that they’re just turned off to it forever. But that is I think a very rare case. So anyway that being said my friend didn’t for a couple of years and I thought that was crazy. But I guess the idea was planted in my mind at some point that like, oh, maybe, you know, by taking a break from it you can have a healthier relationship with it and live a more productive healthy life. So and I was still a teenager at that point. And then I just went to college and didn’t really want to be in college and found it…I could finally just, like, drink as much as I wanted, you know, but – and while I did go to parties I wasn’t, again, one of those people who is like going to parties and drinking so much as I was like, drinking by myself, or with a few friends. So again, it was just kind of a less of a social thing for me and a more – I don’t know less productive, uh, habit that I was developing so from then I just started struggling with…getting it out of my life. Um…we could go into more detail. I don’t want to hog the whole conversation. But basically

Elizabeth: You’re the – it’s about you today.

Jessica: Okay. Well, I mean, long story short, you know, it led to some very unproductive points in my life where for example, I’m really into physical fitness and exercise and there would be months I didn’t exercise at all, or – I had a scholarship to college and eventually lost it because I wasn’t – passing some classes and getting credits and it was it was a big waste of you know, time and resources and opportunities. Um…and I can’t blame it on drinking because I think it just was a time in my life where I was, you know forced to be somewhere I didn’t want to be. But in general I would say it played a part in that behavior. So I would try and try, I would like, you know…I think I had some fake IDs. I would go buy, let’s say a bottle of vodka, and them dump most of it down the drain and then go buy another one, or beg my friend to like loan me alcohol, you know, so it was a…it was just a struggle for a while until I said enough is enough and, um, I would say when I was 19 I didn’t drink for a while and then eventually got back to it again. And so it’s just kind of this back-and-forth thing, until, shortly after I turned 21 and I was…living by myself and you know, you just wake up feeling gross all the time. And I think working in a restaurant and not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life and not being, you know getting anywhere. I was – I  just thought, okay. I’m going to I’m going to stop this for a while.

Elizabeth:  Mmhmm

Jessica: And I actually did I – I went to AA meetings and I didn’t drink for over five years. So that was very successful and a good, like, healthy productive time in my life in some senses.

Elizabeth: Yeah, I’m sure your energy levels were great.

Jessica: Yeah! And that was my first really long-term experience with it. Before that when I was 19 and I didn’t drink for a while I did come and meet some people I worked with who did go to AA meetings, and maybe that’s where I learned about that…and so that seed was planted in my mind, but basically…I guess I wasn’t ready at that point, or wasn’t sure if it was for me and I’m still not sure if it was for me…

Elizabeth: Yeah

Jessica: …but but yeah, that was my most successful time of not drinking and I look back and think it’s such a long time. But

Elizabeth: But you’re such a hardcore person like that. I feel like anything that you want to put your mind to you – you do it. 100 percent. And I don’t think that it would be an issue for you.

Jessica: That’s true. That’s true. You just have to commit. And the thing is too, like, you have to not think about it. And I think, I guess I was just in a place of just being so over, um, not accomplishing any of my goals or really like living my day-to-day life the way that I wanted to in terms of having energy like you said – waking up feeling a hundred percent, and going to the gym, and you know, feeling positive because you do – it is a downer and you do kind of feel down the next day, and your mental capacity is not all there…

Elizabeth: Well, it’s a depressant

Jessica: …yeah, and so that’s just not a fun…Yeah, when people do it once in awhile on the weekends or something, that’s fine. But when it’s kind of your everyday, you just you stop being yourself.

Elizabeth: Yeah

Jessica: And life just isn’t as enjoyable.

Elizabeth: Well, you said that you didn’t want to work out and knowing you for you not to work out, I’m like whoa, ha, that must have been an insane time in your life, you know, because I just know you as somebody that really puts fitness first, and always wants to work out daily. And it’s interesting too about how you said, you know, you were somewhere where you didn’t want to be and you use alcohol as kind of like an escape as I feel like many people do, right?

It’s kind of – it’s…

Jessica: Yeah

Elizabeth: …it’s kind of a void filler for so many people. It’s – it’s for loneliness sometimes, or it’s you know, for people are uncomfortable, boredom. All of these things that people feel that they you know, they fill in alcohol with it.

Jessica: Yeah

Elizabeth: And it’s funny, because you were a kid who was moved from the East Coast to the West Coast, which is already like so cool…

Jessica: [laughs]

Elizabeth: And then – right? – for any kid, you would think living in California is so cool. You had a full ride scholarship to USC, which is…

Jessica: Well not a full ride, but [laughs]…

Elizabeth: You had a scholarship…

Jessica: Sorry, yeah, you know, I don’t want the people to think I’m more of an achiever than I am…

Elizabeth: But you are an achiever. I don’t know why, you know would say that about yourself, but you are an achiever. I think sometimes you know, we have a little bit of a misrepresentation of who we are with ourselves. But you know and you’re thinking wow, there’s all of these cool opportunities that you have and that you’re doing you would think that somebody would be happy, right? But like, you know, but it’s just everything is so – like – inner. Inner.

Jessica: Absolutely, and I did want to be in California, so I don’t want to get that part mistaken, but I didn’t want to be in college and…you know, that’s another conversation for another time about how college is kind of forced on people and not always the right fit – even for someone who’s allegedly good at school, right? Uh…

Elizabeth: I agree. I’m not arguing that if you’re if you’re going to school you should be happy, but I’m saying in somebody else’s point of view looking at your life. Somebody. Wow. Look at her life. That’s just you know, it’s amazing. She’s doing this. She’s doing that. She’s living on her own and yet you have all of these voids you want to fill and so I’m saying everything is so somebody’s life can look so perfect from the outside. I can have a big house. They can drive a Porsche. They can have a six-figure seven-figure job, but if you are. You know filling voids within yourself and your arm happy within that’s you know, and that’s why I think especially in this culture alcohol is just a trillion dollar business, marijuana, prescription drugs. It’s, I just feel like everybody’s trying to feel something and I’m not being judgmental at all because you know myself I have of course. I’m the same as you know other people I share similarities with people but. It’s just always an interesting thing.

Jessica:  Yeah, I think everyone has a little bit of that existential crisis and finds a their own way to cope with what does it all mean?And what is my purpose here and all of that, but I feel like for me it was more just. I think that whole like idea of having a gap year or how you know people from I think European countries, maybe take some time off to travel between high school and college and things like that are really valuable.It’s just getting thrown right into a system that. I mean it’s a guess part of this is more of my personal Journey than a general statement. But you know just because you can do well at school doesn’t mean you want to keep going to school at least in that moment. Some people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up when they’re 18 and they shouldn’t have to and moving to California, you know, but not having I didn’t have a method of transportation outside of my feet or the ability to get on a bus which is fine.I mean, that’s how a lot of people live their lives but. And I like that lifestyle to an extent but in Los Angeles, it’s a little bit challenging, especially when you’re new to a city that maybe doesn’t look or feel like what you expected it to, you know, not all of the LA is palm trees and beaches and sunshine and you don’t know where you are.And you know, it’s just a little uh Challenging and so that on top of just not really feeling like you have I guess it does route back to your existential thing not having a purpose or not knowing what you’re doing kind of wanting to celebrate some time away to just grow up by yourself. It’s just a lot of things.I think led to that circumstance.


Jessica: but I did want to mention, oh sorry-

Elizabeth: No, go ahead.  

Jessica: Oh, I don’t remember the details of it right now. But there’s something called the rat study. Have you heard of that?

Elizabeth:  what is it? I guess expand on it

Jessica:  it was a well-known study that they did on rats  in the 70s that I had read about where I don’t remember what drug they gave them an addictive. Basically. They kept them in solitude. And they you know, this is a drug that’s supposed to be physically addictive and everything like that. And as soon as they put the rats back in these I think it’s called rat Park they put them back in this park where they were around others.

So they were in a socialized environment that was comfortable and enjoyable. They quit doing the addictive drugs, even though the drugs were still available to them and it was supposed to be a statement on kind of what leads people to that and how environment and socialization and all these things can be. Such a huge Factor. So I thought that was an interesting. I think that yeah,

Elizabeth:  it’s an interesting study. But always these like rat studies, you know, it’s like I just feel like it’s kind of misrepresented because it’s like a rat and it’s brain I feel is so much different than a human and their brain and we just have so many things that motivate us or demotivate us or certain circumstances. You know, I just I’m like, okay, you just take one variable and you manipulate it and now the, you know the rats happy with other rats? but when it was alone it wanted to use drugs and it’s like I guess you can take a little bit of that and apply it to the human brain, right? I just feel like there’s so much more to it.

Jessica: Well, I guess what was interesting about it is maybe these things are I mean, obviously there’s some what physically addictive right people go through withdrawals. But yeah, maybe they’re not as addictive as we think or maybe it’s not as impossible to get out from under. Or out of these types of habits as we think if we’re in the right circumstances and we’re happy and right and I have found that pattern in my life when I was drinking where you know, if I was like happy or busy in a good way. I just didn’t really make time for it or you know participate in it too much. So

Elizabeth: no II mean I agree with that. I think when people are happy they don’t. You know want to drink or maybe use as much maybe but then you can drink when you’re celebrating something so, you know, but do you so do you think that people can so say somebody that’s using drugs. Do you think that somebody can stop somebody from using drugs or do you think that has to come within the person?

Jessica: I really feel like it has to come from within and it’s you can kind of relate it to anything else like even you know, let’s say losing weight is like a more maybe a relatable example for most people right? You might know people who until they have a Health crisis. They’re not ready to change their diet or exercise habits. Despite other factors are people wanting them to be healthier and take better care of themselves. So it’s kind of the same thing, you know people around you might want you to change your behaviors, but. You have to be you have to be motivated. Like obviously people are more motivated to continue doing what they’re doing because it feels better. And so maybe that’s part of. Stopping drinking and staying not drinking his the whole. This is actually what feels better for me now. Yeah, so it’s that pros and cons weighing or trade off.

Elizabeth: Yeah. It’s it’s you know, pretty it’s sad. It makes me a little sad, you know, if yeah, I mean,

Jessica: what do you think I agree?

Elizabeth:  I think it has to come within I think nobody can make you stop or do anything. I think it definitely has to be self-motivated just like anything like you said weight loss a healthier life, you know changing their patterns. Yeah, changing relationships finding healthy relationships. Definitely. It has to be motivated Within.

Jessica: Yeah, I mean you even watch that like the Biggest Loser is kind of an example because here are some people do get to a point where there may be 400 pounds right? And you would think okay maybe when you’re to 250, 300 you’re thinking I should change some of my lifestyle factors but it’s not till they find out that they’re 22 years old and have diabetes or you know what I mean, something like that or they’re only going to live 10 more years projected because of that people really wake up and and I was a personal trainer for a little while it so that’s why I’m kind of touching on that is it was something that was common.You know discuss this when you’re training to be a trainer is people are not going to change unless they want to and a lot of that is usually some really strong life changing event. Like yeah, you have diabetes you have you know, or even encounter people who like wine turning 50 and and so it’s kind of a big milestone. So things like that, it’s not just oh, well, you know, so and so says, I’m not healthy or my pants don’t fit anymore. I think. When your bad behavior outweighs the benefits the perceived benefits of your good behavior and change feels really hard and really challenging people just don’t want to do it.

Elizabeth: Right. Well, it’s interesting because you just think about how your you yourself would handle situations and you don’t understand sometimes how people other people don’t handle situations that you do right? It’s like an interesting. Yeah, you’re like man at 250 pounds. I would I would join a weight-loss program or be on a diet or blah blah blah blah.

Jessica: Sure, and but then you think about maybe you are I want to lose. Let’s say 10 pounds, right? It says an example and that already feels like an insurmountable hurdle sometimes so maybe when somebody says fifty or hundred pounds, it feels like such a hurdle. Like why do I even bother getting started? Yeah, I work so hard this week in lost half a pound like this is going to take forever. So without having a long-term perspective on it. They just decide. Throw it out the window, you know,

Elizabeth: I mean when things are sound Dreadful- I even like don’t want to do it. Even if it’s like going to close the blinds after your like exhausted. You know, you’re just like sure so I can imagine how other people you know handle life and whatnot. So when you started drinking again, how what was the day that you or the night or the evening that you had your first drink after being sober for five years?

Jessica: Yeah-

Elizabeth: Can you explain a little bit about that?

Jessica: Sure, so I’ll say I was going to AA meetings and I mean I would say for me personally, I think for some people it’s a really wonderful resource but for me there were some pros and cons but I got a lot out of it as a person in my own development and you know learning learning a lot about how to be humble and take responsibility for my life.

And so that was like a really great thing for me and my 20s, but at some point I started just kind of challenging the box. I had put myself in like I had lived as a vegetarian for a long time and I thought. I’m going to eat meat again. Just because everyone knows me as a vegetarian I can change and do what I want. And so same thing with drinking so many people just knew me as someone who drink and I thought, you know, I feel like I have I’m in a better place personally. I’m grown up a lot and this is something I want to try but I was also very nervous. It’s the scary thing, you know, so I started with Non-alcoholic beer because it does still have anything point five percent alcohol and I was pretty convinced that I could feel a little bit of a buzz. I had one or two. I don’t know if that was just imagined or not.

Elizabeth:  I think it might have

Jessica: but I mean when you’re when you don’t even like really take Robitussin or you know, like well or whatever because of the alcohol that’s supposed to be a night, you know, you can be really sensitive to us. So I don’t know and then I went to a bar with some of my co-workers I was working in a restaurant and. My co-workers, is that go by, you know your first drink so they bought me a gin and tonic and I thought I would like that because I had. Drank those, you know

Elizabeth: Christmas tree drink? ( laughs)

Jessica: Yeah,  Christmas tree drink ( laughs) , and it was I think I asked for even like a sapphire and tonic but you know, my coworkers are so interested in seeing me drink for the first time in so long that they were like out spring for this top shelf drink and it was so strong and strange like the taste of the alcohol was intense and I couldn’t drink it. I was like I can’t do this- so I gave it away and I think I had a beer- Stella Artois and I don’t know if I even drank the whole thing and had a little bit of a that your water co-workers were so excited to see you drink again.

Elizabeth: That’s so funny-That’s like a phenomenon in itself for like your coworkers to want to be part of it like-It’s weird.

Jessica: Well, I will say also, you know, I’ve seen actually people who are in, you know, in programs like that go and kind of downward spiral really quickly because they go to a party or something and they don’t want to drink and they don’t want to use they don’t eject you don’t use but they’re so fixated on it that they do. And then one of the negatives I would say in those types of programs is people think it’s all or nothing and so because you do count your days and stuff and that can be very motivating, but it can also be really problematic and so they’re like well fuck it. I just threw away 3 years. So I’m just going to go crazy do Coke now,  like what? My my experience wasn’t a downward spiral like that because it was a planned thing and I think I was in a pretty good place. So. You know, I think had I been that person my co-workers would like no no, no don’t do that.

Elizabeth: Right-

Jessica: you know, they’re not like terrible people but it but it is interesting that people do want you to partake in the in the things that they do.But yeah, that being said it wasn’t it wasn’t like an out-of-control. I don’t want to do this, but I’m giving in kind of a thing. It was like I want to try this so it was okay. And yeah, I had a Stella. And then I think a few days I used to go play poker with some friends and on my night had like a night off or whatever for my job and so one night before I went to take the bus over to the poker game. I stopped in- I was living in I wasn’t living in LA at this point. So there was better public transit. I stopped in and got a glass of wine at some bar and I couldn’t even drink the whole thing. So I think I drink like half of it and then left and my poker friends were all like. Blown away that I’d have liked even part of a drink. It was crazy. You know ever like I said, I was just so used to me being a certain way, but I kind of just wanted to challenge that and see who I was and where I was at and what I could do and. Yeah, after that. I mean it was it was a little scary at first, but my tolerance is very low but I will say that at times since I have fallen into the dissimilar bad habits to what I had before in terms of drinking a lot when I’m alone or frustrated or you know certain instances where I’ve reconsidered giving it up and so it’s been. Ever since the seed was planted in my mind to kind of give it up. It’s kind of been there. So I do still play with that idea.

Elizabeth: So do you think you ever had a real drinking problem or do you think I don’t know it was another uh kind of Hardcore thing that you decide to do because you decide to do things like you want to be a vegan and then you’re like a vegan for five years and you want to be a vegetarian for five years then you know. And then you decide to do this for two years or two months or now, you’re on this diet or whatnot. So do you just think that it’s was maybe part of your I guess thing for a lack of better word?

Jessica:  See, but I guess I you can also make the argument that what you’re saying are both the same thing, right? So maybe someone who is very All or nothing and I think a lot of people are like that-

Elizabeth: but I’m asking like do you think like did you think you were you had a problem that needed to be addressed and write or do you think that it was just something you decided to do?

Jessica: So what I’m saying to you is maybe people who are very all or nothing about things are prone to kind of having a quote-unquote problem in the sense that because you are all or nothing. That’s not really going to change when you have that approach. Such controversial let’s say substance, right? So maybe maybe it is maybe you know, like people who aren’t different recovery programs are just people who are all or nothing and just kind of lean on the community to keep them on the path that makes them happier. I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to your question, honestly. I vacillate I will say that, you know, a lot of times especially recently like you said, you know you and I have both been working together on this sober October and you know, I’ve also been drinking less lately and. I have played a lot with the idea of just giving it up all together. But then you know one thing they do even talk about in recovery programs is the one day at a time thing because if you think about forever, it can be very overwhelming and you just think we’ll forget it, you know,

Elizabeth: Right-

Jessica: but if you’re like, I’m just going to do it today. It’s a little like tricky play in your own mind.But that is kind of the choice you make for the day and it does end up usually making you feel better.

Elizabeth: So, I mean that’s good advice. I mean I find myself if I’m trying to say I’m not trying to do dairy or something so much as we every day every minute and like no Dairy no Dairy no Dairy. No Dairy.I can’t have that. No Dairy. No Dairy, so maybe I should try to just not to even really think about it one day at a time with your Dairy. it’s just like I think I could I’ve quit Dairy maybe for like four hours at the most

Jessica: I will say also that the vegan thing was kind of a challenge from a cousin. So I became vegetarian when I was really young and it wasn’t really it makes you sound like an asshole but it wasn’t really about the animals. It was more just about I don’t know I heard it was healthier and I always despite this conversation about my drinking. I always wanted to be healthy person. I made the exception for alcohol, which is another indication that maybe it’s semi problematic. But neither here nor there. I had a cousin who always kind of like to you know, give me a hard time about things and so with that he kind of challenged me and said well. If you’re still eating eggs, and you know Dairy and then you’re not a good vegetarian you don’t care what the animals this and that so, you know at some point I decided I’m going to try that out. I’m going to kind of rise to that challenge. It wasn’t I don’t know if being a vegan was as popular as it is now, but it was yeah, but it was easy enough. There was still a lot of you know, fake meat and dairy products around and health food stores and especially because I was living in New York and Los Angeles it wasn’t like. As difficult as it might have been to live elsewhere and try that so so it was a hardcore thing that I am prone to do with my personality, but it was also kind of rising to a challenge and saying like I’ll show you I can do it. So but with this it is interesting, I guess because it is unhealthy and it is kind of you know, you say, oh, you’re like super into fitness or you care about what you put in your body. Except alcohol.

Elizabeth: So it’s interesting how we make exceptions for the things that make us feel good or what’s convenient at the time and you know, I’m not saying alcohol is bad or good, you know, I’ve enjoyed drinking champagne and celebrating events, and I’ve also had some really bad night’s drinking and always promising on those nights. I have never drinking again,  I’m never drinking again. And then sometimes you have a lot of fun. So, you know, I just for me it’s a case by case.

Jessica: Well, let me ask you this. Obviously. I’m sure you’ve had this experience you said so that there are certain nights that you’re like, I have a terrible night, maybe Its Behavior you engage in or just how you feel the next day. And obviously you would have preferred to have not drank that night. Is there any positive night that you had that you drank to celebrate that had you not drink would have been less positive.

Elizabeth: Hmm. No, I mean, I don’t know. I think it has added to the occasion sometimes, you know, sometimes you listen to good music  with friends and you’re just having a good time.

Everybody’s laughing and it’s fine and I guess it’s-That part that romanticizing it is kind of the bad part sometimes because you just think oh, yeah gonna have bottle of champagne with my friends and and but it’s the nights at that bottle of champagne turned into two and then it switched to tequila and then you know, those are the nights that you’re like, why do people drink.

Jessica: And then you guys made it into a fighter the next day you don’t do the things you were supposed to do or you don’t feel well or whatever. I’m just saying I think you know based on from this conversation. I started thinking they’re definitely been times where I’m like man. I wish I haven’t had anything to drink that evening whether it’s because I didn’t get as much accomplished the next day as I wanted or because something occurred that was you know, I would have preferred to avoid. But I can’t really think of any instances where I did drink and it was positive. We’re not drinking would have made it less positive. I think being present and in the moment and all of that is probably always a good thing and I guess you know one thing I can add to this conversation for anyone who’s listening is I did not drink or do drugs anything like that for, you know over five years and I socialized a lot. I did change my friend group pretty quickly because the people. Hung out with before, you know, just still we’re drinking a lot and we’re in that lifestyle and I needed to change that environment, but I was fortunate enough to have roommates and co-workers and people who embraced me and so. I did still socialize a lot and pretty much everyone I hung around drink and that didn’t really change anything for me. And I don’t know if it’s because they knew me as someone who didn’t drink so it didn’t ya change the Dynamics, but I didn’t not have a good time. In fact, like it’s nice because then you can drive yourself places and you spend less money remember things. And you remember things and you don’t do things really that are too embarrassing or regretful regrettable

Elizabeth:  Isn’t it amazing how fast some people can fall out of your life when you stop doing something like it’s it’s incredible. Yeah, that might be yeah what some of those friendships were drinking buddy all predicated upon. Yeah, and also, you know you change I think I changed work environments around that time.

Jessica: So that’s part of it too, you know your schedules become different you just see different people, but that is a good point. Actually that’s your friendships are just predicated upon these like unhealthy habits, but. But I’m just saying for people who are considering it’s really I mean, you also don’t have to give up your friends necessarily. It really just depends upon what those relationships are about and how. Challenging it’s going to be for you. But people who don’t support you and positive, you know, self improvement goals. I mean, you should really kind of question those relationships. Anyway, that is true. I also think it is weird when people want to put social pressure on you to do things whether it’s even you know, why don’t you Let’s say why don’t you eat meat. It’s like, I don’t know because I don’t want to like, I don’t know how what I put in my body changes when it’s your experience right?

Elizabeth: Wouldn’t the world be such a better place if people would just. Let people live however, you know, they wanted as long as they’re not hurting people or well.

Jessica: Yeah, I was going to say, now we get into the ethics.

Elizabeth: No, I just mean like if somebody wants to be a vegetarian it’s like what does it have to do with you? You know?

Jessica: Yeah, absolutely

Elizabeth: that’s much different than like you know killing people, But yes again, that would be a whole other conversation.

Jessica: Yeah, I would just say I think people who are new adopters to certain Lifestyles become very like excited and then preachy and that’s annoying to some people even though it’s just part of the process and you should just be happy for them. You know them kind of. Sharing their like let’s say I went around and told everybody. Hey, I haven’t drank and five or six days now and I think I’m not going to and you shouldn’t either and here’s why it’s bad. That would be really annoying of me and people would not enjoy that and probably have no thanks,

Elizabeth: Then you would have no friends.

Jessica:  Yeah, that’s so true, but you get what I mean, right and it’s kind of like anyone who’s a new adapter to something and sees a positive change. Sometimes we’ll kind of want to become a little preachy so I think that’s maybe why people push back but sometimes people really just want to challenge. Your general behavior, and I don’t know if it’s because they want company and what they’re doing or validation that what they’re doing is okay, but that’s another thing I guess to be aware of if you’re going to try not drinking I would just say when you if you do try to drink again It’s a little bit scary, but just don’t go full force and lose it. You haven’t thrown everything away. You know, don’t be the person who’s on a diet and then eats a thousand M&M’s because they ate one, you know, just start just pick up where you left off and start over and life’s going to keep going on and days are going to keep going on and your day count doesn’t isn’t the end-all be-all of everything, you know at the end of the day. You have to keep your eye on the On the real goal, which is not to accumulate the most days, but just to like live happy and healthy and yeah,

Elizabeth: Well, I think that’s great advice and thank you for sharing your story. I mean, yeah, I think that that was personal and we appreciate you opening up on what it’s like and I think next week. We’ll have to delve more into new topics.

Jessica:  Absolutely. I hope that something about my experience resonated with someone and maybe generated some thoughts or will help them make better decisions. And you know again no one’s saying you have to be an all-or-nothing person if that’s who you find yourself to be maybe, you know make the choice that’s best suits you and makes you happiest but that’s just been my experience. So yeah, I hope it resonates with somebody and maybe makes their life a little easier.

Elizabeth: So yeah. Well, thank you for sharing and we’ll be back next week.

Jessica: All right. Talk to you then.

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