Alcohol Minimalist Stories: Julie & Bruce
In this episode of the “Alcohol Minimalist” podcast, host Molly Watts introduces two members from her alcohol minimalists Facebook group, Julie and Bruce, who discuss their experiences with changing their drinking habits. Julie describes how she found comfort in the podcast and book, gradually adopting a mindset shift, challenging her own thoughts, and reevaluating her relationship with alcohol in social settings like tailgating events. She emphasizes the need to be forgiving, set realistic expectations, and allow oneself time for change. Bruce delves into his approach, highlighting the power of challenging ingrained beliefs and utilizing meta skills to manage stress and anxiety. He credits Sunnyside, a behavior change tool, and the support of the alcohol minimalists community for his success. Both guests stress the importance of implementing learned strategies, such as pausing before drinking and questioning the necessity of alcohol in various situations.
Hey, it’s Molly from alcohol minimalist. What do you do in this October? I would love to have you join me in my more sober October challenge. What do I mean by more sober October, it simply means that we’re going to add in more alcohol free days than you currently been doing, whether that’s one or two or 31. It’s up to you, you get to set your own goal and that’s why it’s more sober October. You can check it out and learn more at get got sunnyside.co/molly It’s totally free. I’ve got prizes, I’m going to be going live every week to announce the prize winners. And it’s just going to be an awesome event. So I would love to have you join me. You can learn more at get.sunnyside.co/molly and you can get registered today. Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I’m your host Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I use to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse, more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking, and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully, being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello, and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast. With me your host Molly Watts coming to you from lush, the rains are coming. They’re coming today, folks. And it’s actually really good news. We have been in this really smoky hazy weather pattern for about 10 days now here. And we actually had such poor air quality here in Portland yesterday that people were advised to not go outside. So we need the rain. I raised my hand I admitted we need it. And I want it and I hope that it scours out all this nasty smoke and we are back into some clean air. I’ll take clean air, clean, wet air over anything. So welcome to the show. This week is a very special podcast, something that I have thought about doing for a while and didn’t and just haven’t. But I’ve really wanted to, I am going to be sharing with you two of my members of my alcohol minimalists Facebook group. And there are people that have read the book, listen to the podcast and really just been doing the work. And I wanted to share their what what has happened for them with you. Because I think it’s important to hear from people that may be like you or have experienced stuff like you that give you some hope that it’s not just I’m not just some special snowflake, I say that you can do this too. You can create a peaceful relationship with with alcohol, you can figure this out if you just keep going. And that’s exactly what both Bruce and Julie have done. I call Julian Bruce, my there they are. They don’t know each other except from from being inside the group. And they both know that they are Midwesterners so they have conversations, I think in the group regarding that. And so this is my Midwest, Midwest podcast group. And so here are some stories that are some interridge perspectives. First, you’re going to hear from Julie, and then you’re going to hear from Bruce. And I just hope that these listeners stories, help you feel inspired to start making changes and to start creating your peaceful relationship with alcohol. Thanks for listening. Hey, Julie, thank you so much for being here on the podcast today. I just appreciate you taking the time. I appreciate you being willing to share kind of what’s been working for you your story, like I told you, this idea kind of has been inspired. I thought about it for a while and I really wanted people to hear from people other than me right that say and not just experts, but people that have actually been doing this work because so many people are stuck in this idea that they just cannot change their drinking habits and they cannot figure out how to put it all together and so There are people that are here that have been working, even not doing coaching programs with me just they’ve read the book, they’ve done the work themselves. They listen to the podcast, and they’re getting, they’re getting these results. So I wanted to share their stories we heard from this is I tell you this, these are my Midwest crew. This is my Midwest gang. I, you. There’s another in this this episode, you’ll hear from Bruce as well. And this morning, we are talking to Julie. So hey, Julie, how are you? Morning, Molly, I’m doing Wow. Good morning from sunny, crisp Ohio. Sunny, crisp Ohio, which is I mean, technically I know. So this is why I always have to ask you like which time zone are you in? Because to me, you’re the Midwest, but you’re sort of the east to Right? Correct? Definitely. Yes to gal. Yeah, yes. So tell me a little bit about kind of what was going on in your life or what your drinking was looking like when you found me and kind of what inspired you to make a change? What were what you know, what were you wanting to do? Well, I actually found you in January of 21. I was just, you know, the typical beginning of the year thinking about where I was at. And you know, the first year of the pandemic, I had been drinking wine daily, and it gotten to be much more of a habit than I ever had. And I found your podcast online. And it really, it really resonated with me. But I didn’t take action until August. And and I can’t even remember what tripped me to say let’s do it. But something did. And, you know, what, what I had been doing is I had been, you know, during 2020. Basically, having a drink of wine at night, that glass of wine that night, that kind of morphed into a couple of glasses. And that was definitely at my normal habit. And I really wanted to press the reset button. So I found your podcast, and I thought this is really sounded like a good fit for me. And then you joined that, did you join you join the Facebook group? Right, right. I think almost immediately, I started listening to a few podcasts. And I really was I really was hooked. It just felt like a really safe place and everything you were saying about, you know, you’re not broken, you’re not trying to be fixed. And that really finding balance in life. And that was what I was looking for. And figuring out what would be a good good place for me, you know, to keep, you know, a healthy relationship with alcohol. But to get back to a more reasonable consumption. Yeah. So tell me about that now. So now where are you with your peaceful relationship with alcohol? What does that look like for you now? You know, it’s, I don’t want to say it’s effortless. I mean, it’s been a little over a year journey for me. But it feels much more. It’s natural. I, you know, once I started listening to your podcast, I was like, I wanted more, you know, and I was working from home. And I often would, you know, take a walk at lunch and listen to a podcast, I was looking forward to every podcast that came out on Wednesday, and you had so many good tools on your podcast, you know, you had like, you know, referred to atomic habits, which was a book I had read, you also refer to Elizabeth Benton’s book. So I started reading that, and then also the, you know, at the time, it was called cut back coach, I believe, and now it’s sunny side. Yeah. And I was like, wow, that that seems like a good, you know, tracking tool, they had a free trial. So I started that. So, you know, those tools became a part of my, you know, my daily life. And I think, once I started using those tools, and I that kind of just gave me inspiration, you know, made me feel good. I could see some benefits, I could see, you know, I was making changes. And, you know, so now that’s what my my life is like a kind of, you know, out through the course of the year figured out what what’s a good. You know, what’s a good plan for me most weeks? And how much do I want? You know, how many I you know, now I’m just drinking beer, and how much do I want in my life? So it feels like I’ve figured out a good plan over the course of the year for me. Yeah. And I think you’re one of my non alcoholic beer connoisseurs Are you not? Oh, yes, yes. Yeah. And that was an interesting thing, too, because I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I’m like, you know, I mean, of course made all the stigma from you know, the 80s and you know, the not so great, you know, na beers and then I really wasn’t sure how that fit into my world but, you know, again, over the course As of last year, you know, initially I think I, you know, kind of started drinking, you know more seltzer waters. And then I, I tried out the different alcohol free beer. So I was like, well, these are very nice. And I’m definitely someone who likes to taste a beer. You know, I think as you have mentioned, so I found a couple I liked athletic brewing and brew dog worked great for me. So those became part of my routine, too. Yeah. Yeah. In fact, even where you live, you’ve been able to find those, when you go out sometimes to write they’d like you’ve seen them on tap and stuff. I think, if I remember correctly, definitely at my local Hangouts, they, most of them I’ve seen, have both of those types of beers. So that’s really neat to see. While that’s like a tactic, it’s a tool, you know, using non alcoholic beer, but kind of what you mentioned, though, you had some mindset work to do around, like, you know, what that looked like for you. So, in terms of what resonated most with you, in terms of doing this work? Was the tools or have you done a lot of work on your thoughts, too, that’s a really good point, it has been a ton of thought work. And throughout my life, I’ve done different thought work, but you just brought up, you know, again, you are coming in from a different angle with a thought work in reinforcing it, and, and applying it to how I approached my relationship with alcohol. And, you know, I think alcohol, and especially during the pandemic became somewhat of a reward, and I’m not sure a reward for what was their reward for getting through each day of the pandemic. But I think it just, it became very automatic, you know, instead of pausing and thinking, I’m gonna have a drink, I was just automatically doing it. So the thought work became, you know, really thinking about why why am I wanting this drink, and changing and causing, I think, you know, like, again, you have mentioned, you know, to, you know, to pause when you’re thinking about having a drink, you know, not to react like that, just saying, Oh, something went wrong in my day, or my car broke down, or I have another house issue, I need a drink. Instead, it’s like taking a step back. And I think and this has been huge, and I can apply it to other areas of my life, that I you know, I, I tackle those problems more head on instead of, I want to say masking in them within, you know, a drink. No, I think that’s yeah, I mean, right, offering buffering and numbing is something that we do with alcohol, right? We think right? And I appreciate you saying that, because I think you brought up like the car breaking down on something going wrong with the house. Like, when we think like that, right? Then we just take a step back, and we pause, okay, that is really is drinking a glass of wine gonna solve the fact that my car broke down, right? It is not, it is does not right, it does not solve this problem. What it does is just try to take away this edge that I feel. And in actuality, if I think about it for a second, you know, there’s things that I can, nobody has to you don’t have to go, Oh, I’m so grateful my car broke down, right? I mean, there doesn’t have to be this positive spin on it. But you can also say, Yeah, my car has a problem. And, you know, that’s not the end of the world. There’s other there’s, it’s okay, I can handle my car breaking down without needing to I can handle this discomfort. And feel a little bit, you know, a little bit frustrated about the fact that I have to deal with this, without needing to escape that feeling. That’s okay, I can handle this. Right? That’s exactly it. It’s, you know, leaning into those feelings. And feeling that discomfort because that’s part of life. And then, and then you gain confidence, or at least I gained confidence that, okay, right. You know, you’re, you’re addressing your problem, it doesn’t mean it’s going away, but you’re gonna, you’re gonna figure it out, might take a couple of steps, like, it’s probably gonna be a little uncomfortable. But then, you know, it’s just, you know, as you address other things in your life, you can remember that you’ve got that skill set. And in the, it doesn’t have to be named, or delayed or anything like that. And yeah, the thought work is a big been a big, big part of this. And that allows you to, you know, just hone your problem solving skills, too. Right. And so, yeah, but you also had a you had a loss over this year. You had you Yeah, and it was one of your one of your pets. And it was it was really a hard, right. I mean, all of us who’ve lost a pet, we understand that, that sadness, you know what I’m saying? And you had that skill set where you you didn’t want to try to just drink that away. Right? That was it. You needed to just let it mean allow that sadness to be there. I think it’s scary. When we have big emotions like that, like, I don’t want to have to write, but you didn’t, and you you weren’t capable of doing it. Exactly right. That’s, that’s what allows you to, you know, feel those feelings because you need to otherwise you’re just going to feel them later, or you’re going to express them in another way, or maybe a bad way. And that’s not a good what, you know, a less constructive way. So, yeah, again, yeah, this approaching alcohol this way allows has allowed me to address a few challenging situations that have occurred over the course the year and they have not consumed me. And, and it’s also allowed me to then focus on other healthy habits that are to have in my life or that I want to new habits. So I think it also has helped me make alcohol less prominent my life. And then I can I can focus on other things in my life and other positive things. And yeah, it just I feel overall, I feel like this has made me more in line with my overall goals for my life and taking care of myself and being healthy. And I feel calmer and more at ease, I think. Yeah, because of all of this. That’s been another benefit. Yeah, I think that I agree with you the the peaceful part of this, right. And that’s why we talk about having a peaceful relationship with alcohol, but it’s really having a peaceful relationship with ourselves a peaceful relationship with our lives. Right? I feel like, that’s probably the bigger picture. When you were just first starting out, right? This can be really overwhelming for people. This feels like a really, one of the things that I want people to hear, too, is that this journey hasn’t been terrible, right? Julie, it hasn’t been like you just haven’t. You haven’t hated every moment of it. You actually, I mean, got to a point where you look forward to kind of just be this being what you are and who you are. Right? Like, correct. Right? Yeah. And I think a lot of the things that you said, you know, in your podcasts initially helped me feel comfortable with this approach, you know, you know, you had mentioned your own journey, and you know, that it wasn’t quick, you know, I mean, that, you know, it takes time, it wasn’t like, Oh, this is going to take a decade, but it’s like, you need to allow yourself, time for this to happen. It’s not a quick fix, and allow for, you know, small setbacks, and then take time to reflect on those setbacks. But that’s part of the process. And by doing that, you’re going to, you’re going to make headway with all of this, and, and to be forgiving of yourself during this whole process. Like you’ve always said, like, yeah, if you go out and you plan for two drinks, and you have three, you know, then just, you know, the thing is to go back and think about what caused that, you know, it’s not to beat yourself up. It’s, it’s not that all or nothing thinking, and I think that’s what’s part of your, your approach. And your program that’s great, is it’s very, a safe place. It’s very, you know, constructive work. And it’s realistic, you know, it’s a very realistic approach. So, you know, that’s how I felt, throughout this whole situation, I really just felt really, net, sort of excited about it. And I felt like I, you know, I joined your group, and that I was with a supportive and safe community too. And I really enjoyed hearing other people’s stories, and I benefited from that as well. Yeah. So what advice would you give to somebody who’s just starting on this journey? Or is starting to change their relationship with alcohol? You know, what’s possible? Yeah, well, you know, anything, anything is possible. And it’s, you know, it’s going to be probably a better place than you’re at right now. And to allow yourself time to make the change and not look at it as a quick fix situation, again, to be forgiving of yourself. And to set realistic expectations and, you know, not have a all or nothing approach to it, you know, that, you know, like, Oh, I just blew it, I’m gonna drink 12 beers instead, but just you know, you know, take it gently and, and if they decide to kind of go with your approach, there’s just a ton of good information. It doesn’t mean all of it applies to you, but there’s just a lot of good information out there and learn, you know, I mean, yeah, that’s the beautiful thing, Mala you provided us with all this great information from so many different angles that you did for yourself, you know, and that’s a wonderful, wonderful tool. So yeah, keep gotta keep learning that that brain of yours we, you know, I We call it our beautiful, brilliant human brains. And they can keep learning and you want to use that to learn how to be at peace, right? Learn how to have a peaceful relationship with alcohol, however, that looks. So you stick mostly to low risk limits now, correct? I do. I do. And you know, the other thing, and I actually was funny, because like, I was thinking about the things that were so beneficial to me. And I think there was, there was a podcast with you and Elizabeth Bennett. And it was about, you know, Elizabeth was saying, kind of just, you know, basically, you know, take that step, you know, I mean, learn, get information, but just start. And I thought that was one of the, you know, that was just a really good piece of advice to just, you know, like, like me, I waited in that was okay, but like, just starting taking that first step is so critical. And I just listened to that episode again. Yesterday, I was like, I need to hear that again. You know, I’m gonna go back and listen to some of the early episodes. So night, you know, take, take that first step. It’s maybe scary, but you know what, you’re, you’re going in the right direction. Great words. I love it. Julie, you are a superstar. You are so awesome. Thank you so much for coming on the show and for just, you know, sharing just humble words with people because they resonate. And you’ve really, you know, you take in that that, that habit that really increased over COVID, which is so typical for so many people, and you’ve just changed it completely. And, you know, I know that now you just don’t look at alcohol in the same way at all. And I love the fact that you said you wanted it to be, you know, it’s become a minimal part of your life, which is why we we are the alcohol minimalists, right? We don’t it’s just no longer a daily part of our lives. It’s no longer it doesn’t consume our thoughts the way that it was. And we are able to take on and do the things the other important things in life that we want to be doing right. Absolutely. Absolutely. So well, my friend have a wonderful day out there in the beautiful fall of Ohio. I I bet anything there is something pumpkin flavored in your life today. Am I Am I right? You are right on the money. Julie is a fellow pumpkin spice lover and I am so grateful for that you have a great day. Thank you, Mom. Hey, all just a quick break in the show to talk with you for a minute about sunny side. It’s fall and it’s time for tailgaters and holiday parties on the horizon. There is never a better time than right now, to put a mindful plan into place. And Sunnyside is my recommendation for how you can really use a tool that provides a way to track your drinks, measure your progress, and really uses proven behavior change techniques to create lasting habit change. The thing is, you can reduce your drinking by 30% in the first 30 days with Sunnyside and you can save over $50 a month, cut out 2500 calories out of your diet. And these are just based on average results. I know that people that I talk to and people that I work with are using Sunnyside and getting great results. If you’d like to find out if it will work for you go to www.sunnyside.co/minimalist to get started on a free 15 day trial today. Hey, Bruce, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the alcohol minimalist podcast. I know that you have been around my work for a while now. And this was just an idea that I had in terms of talking to a few of you that have been involved in the Facebook group that I know have read the book that I know have been doing the work and have had really great results. And I wanted to share your stories with my listeners. Because sometimes I think people get this idea that oh, yeah, well, you did all this while you trained yourself. You you read all these things. You took all these coaching courses, and of course you and you took all this information and yeah, so you figured it out. But I can’t do it. I can’t I couldn’t possibly that’s gonna take way too long. It’s gonna be way too hard. And even though you say that it’s possible for me, I’m not really sure that I can buy into it. I don’t really see it for myself. And so I’m hoping that by sharing your collective stories, that people can find themselves in your word and realize that they’re quite capable of doing it too. So thank you for being here. Definitely Thanks for having me. It’s great to be have this opportunity to talk with you today. So awesome. Awesome. Well, tell me a little bit about kind of when you decided to, you know, when you found this work when you found me, and when you found this kind of idea, what was your drinking habit looking like? What was going on for you? Why were you even investigating, deciding to change your drinking habits. So for me, I mean, it was a habit, that just became kind of arduous and was no longer self serving. And it mostly revolved around, you know, weekends and social gatherings with friends and such, and probably stemmed, I would say, as early as my undergraduate college days and sort of just kind of carried forward into the next phase of adulthood. And it didn’t really seem to matter what the occasion was. And this is especially true in my state here in the state of Wisconsin that, you know, it could be a sporting event or intramural League, sports, birthdays, what have you, it always revolved around alcohol. And it was almost this kind of something that was assumed that, you know, there’s going to be alcohol at this at this event, and we’re gonna, you know, everybody’s going to partake, and then without question or whatnot, so it was almost like, it’s like a culture or whatnot. And I was just looking to try and change that. I mean, in the back of my mind, I always knew this is not a healthy thing, especially if, you know, drinking to access and whatnot at some of these select Events, you know, like tailgating and things like that. But it was something that I just wanted to improve upon. And it ultimately, when I first started trying to do that, it was just kind of the habit would always return, you know, I didn’t really like commit to doing something different. So there was no different changes. And I have it right, if you don’t do something different, why would you expect something to change? So, you know, I started looking branching out and like saying, No, I can, I can do research, you know, from my background in engineering and my my degrees and things like that, you know, I’m a student of science, so to speak, you know, kind of like yourself. And I just wanted to see, you know, there, there’s gotta be resources out there. And I stumbled upon, actually, I started stumbled upon the Facebook group, first, the alcohol minimalist group there. And I think I, you know, change your habits around alcohol, I think some of the the keywords or whatever that I searched on. And I started reading about that. And I started reading some posts about people. And then, at some point, I came across a post from somebody that mentioned your book. So I went and looked up the book on Amazon, and saw some really great reviews. And I generally read reference books on electrical engineering, most often. So this is a little bit of different change of pace for me. So I decided to buy the book. And I said, you know, I gotta do, I gotta change something if I want to make changes. So I said, I’ll try this and see where it goes. And ultimately, when I started reading the book and listened to the podcast, I mean, it was just an eye opening experience for me. So yeah. Oh, wow. I love that. I love that. And I love the fact that you what I you know, it’s interesting, I more and more people are finding the Facebook group first and have no clue that there’s a podcast or a book or anything else behind it. So it’s interesting to see that that was your journey, too. So but I’m glad I know that you I remember when you bought the book, and you were I if I remember correctly, you posted about that in the Facebook group, because you were like, You got the book and you were headed off to one of your like, weekend warrior kind of getaways with with your friends that was going to like you showed a picture of all the beers that were there from the other guys. Yep. Yeah, it was kind of a two fold approach, the place that you’re talking about that I usually go to our cottage is a place where there really isn’t any internet on there. So I figured, well, this is gonna be my best chance to start reading a book, right? Because I can’t sit there and stare at my phone because my phone doesn’t actually work. And it was also kind of a good test for the reasons that you just mentioned about. This was one of those little scouts and activities that there was going to be a lot of alcohol involved. So I said, let’s start putting some of these things to the test. Yeah, and you did. And that was that was just like, that was like I said, that was way back kind of at the beginning. Yeah. So you kept doing this work you kept going. And tell me a little bit about, you know, what part of this approach? I know the science because I know you you’ve mentioned it to me before and I know we’ve that that’s something that really resonated with you. But in terms of changing your relationship with alcohol, what did you see is really, you know, as a first thing that really helped you. So I think the biggest thing for me was really changing my mindset and thinking around my own thoughts. You’ve said numerous times in the podcast and in the book that the stories that I was kind of telling myself I was just too thinking as this has got to be factual. And I started looking at it from a different perspective and just saying, challenging those thoughts and saying, Well, what, what if that isn’t true? What if, what if I think about something like this instead, and it was just kind of like, it wasn’t really like very difficult, it was just more along the lines of, you can have different thoughts about things to change the way you feel about things. And I was like, wow, you know, this doesn’t actually just apply to, you know, wanting to change my relationship with alcohol. But this could apply to many areas in my life. And I’m like, you know, instead of getting ticked off about something that happens, you know, I’m on the way to work and traffic or something, I can say, Well, no, I get to listen to the radio a little bit longer than I’m stuck in traffic, and I’m not upset anymore. Right. Right. It was that was the kind of the foundational thing that I got from the book in the podcast was that your your own thoughts don’t always have to be truth necessarily. And you can change your your thinking, and therefore change your feelings. And obviously, then then your actions as well. Right. Yeah. What could you do just to get your if you’re getting a plus student work here? Thank you. So. And I know that one of the stories I mean, you had, and you and I are both football fans, and we’ve talked about that on the Facebook group before, but you, you know, you had a big story about tailgating and about how like, I mean, you can you initially probably couldn’t even imagine going to a tailgating event. And I know, I get lots of people who say the same thing. I have the same thing I could not foresee I could not even fathom, like a Super Bowl party, where I wasn’t drinking beer like that to me. Like I was just like, what, what? Like, no. And then, you know, I’ve done that I’ve done I’ve done G’s I’ve done, you know, fg championships during dry weary and things like that, and no, no, you know, no alcohol. So it’s Yeah, so what was that like for you? Yeah, that’s a really good example. And completely agree, especially again, I go back to the, you know, my, my state of Wisconsin, and it is not uncommon to walk up to somebody’s tailgate and see two, three, maybe four coolers of beverage alcoholic beverages. And, you know, someone will even if you don’t know, the person will just walk up and hand you something, and you’re like, I’m not even looking for a drink. So, it is, it’s just one of those things that it’s like, it’s assumed that because we’re tailgating, you know, because a here comes be that we have to do this because we’re, we’re doing this this event, this event. So, you know, again, I started challenging that, that that way of thinking and button saying, you know, do I have to have an alcoholic beverage in my hand, or, you know, drink six beers before we go into the actual event to enjoy the event, and no one actually was making the enjoyment worse, you weren’t able to focus and pay attention, and you end up missing half the game. And it’s like, wait a minute, how is this fun again? Right, right. So I started saying, you know, instead of, you know, this big old, cooler of, you know, 100, different beverages or whatever, what if I had, you know, maybe just one of something that I really enjoyed, and maybe savor that in the moment, and then maybe go into the game and order some food and another beverage there and really just enjoy the activity itself. And, again, that has led into so much more enjoyment for things by kind of taking that approach instead. And it’s been very, very beneficial. And again, it’s changed the mindset of that particular activity as an example to say that, no, you don’t have to drink to obsess when tailgating and you can still have a good time and enjoy things. Imagine that, right? Imagine I often say that this this work is kind of a meta skill. So have you found that to be true? And if so, how could How has this work kind of impacted the rest of your lives? Absolutely. As I alluded to, previously, there I kind of studied, I gave the example of lino sitting in a traffic jam of sorts. You know, when you start to challenge your thinking, or have a different thought about something, you really end up changing kind of your attitude and your outlook on things. And, you know, I have two small children, so sometimes they can get under someone’s skin. Parents especially and, you know, by taking that, that that meta skill approach to those types of things, I think has kind of reduced my stress and anxiety for certain difficult and challenging situations. So I you know, it’s been a meta skill that I’ve just been trying to apply in other areas, not just you know, changing my relationship with alcohol as well. So yeah, definitely. Very beneficial in that regard to i You say that I used to be like, my life used to be really drama. You know, I had all this drama around my life, like everything was really challenging I had all these stories about how my life was just more challenging was more stressful, you know, I, you have two small kids, I had four boys. So I was like, hey, you know what I claim it, I get to be the one that I get to be the mom who has the four boys who’s always harried, right? And I carried around this idea, the fact that I had four great kids who I really adored, that story was available to me, right, I could be grateful for that, right, I just like wanted to focus on the other stuff, which made me feel stressed out, which then led me to think that I needed to drink to get rid of that stress, which, you know, was how the habit manifested itself for me most the time. Not not that I didn’t drink at football games and everything else too. But I mean, that’s kind of how it works. You know, you start to create associations with whatever you’re doing, or in whatever, you’re, whatever you’re trying to solve with alcohol, you create that association often enough. And that’s, you know, the habit takes hold. Yeah, definitely, completely agree. Give me and this is, you know, in terms of being helpful for other people, because that’s really what I wanted was for you guys to come on here. And share your, your stories. For someone who’s just starting out doing this work? Did you ever struggle? Or did you ever think this isn’t going to be that easy? Or did you just kind of jump in and dive in and go? And if you you know, what advice do you have for people who are just getting started? So that was always kind of a lingering thought, in the back of my mind, you know, why? Why is this approach going to be any different than the things that I’ve tried before, because usually, I’m pretty good at trying to stick to a plan and make changes on things, but you know, would eventually revert back to those old habits. So I thought, you know, what, what could be different about, about this approach, and I guess my advice for someone who is, you know, starting looking to start improving their relationship with alcohol is, is really try and step outside yourself and take it with a positive attitude. And what I mean by step outside yourself is, you know, try to take a closer look at what you think you’re telling yourself, might be truth, or fact, kind of, like what I was telling myself, and, you know, feel free to, like, challenge those, those thoughts and things like that, especially in those difficult situations, where you’re making a look, make positive changes in your life, you know, whether it’s changing your relationship with alcohol or something else in life, I think everybody has that capability deep down, and the potential, you know, to do to do this type of work, you know, with some dedicated effort and repetition that was also kind of key for me is challenging my own thoughts and kind of making that a new habit, you know, something that was improved, just a different way of thinking and kind of not just applying that to you know, every time I want to drink, or I’m at a social activity or something like that, it was more about just doing it regularly in life. And all of a sudden, you know, you’ll you’ll realize that that becomes your new good habit. Right. So, in my opinion, again, in my experience, too, so yeah. And just real quickly, did you make did you have plans in place? Did you make plans for drinking alcohol? I mean, did you put a plan in place when you were doing when you were first starting out on this process? Did you like say, Okay, I’m going to, you know, I’m going to have this that whatever, like, I talked a lot about making a plan. Yes, that’s a really good point, too. And that was definitely something that was important to it wasn’t just kind of going into, well, I’ll figure it out when I get to this place that I’ll figure out how much I’m gonna drink then. Because that wasn’t that that doesn’t work or didn’t work for me anyways. And the part of the twofold approach that I guess I took care that I can add, is, I signed up for at that time, it was called cutback coach. And I think it’s called Sunny, Sunny side. And I said, you know, again, I’m making changes here. I’m gonna make, I’m gonna actually put some effort into this and be proactive. And I thought that was a really good way to kind of go in with a plan and saying, well, here, you know, here’s another situation where there’s going to be alcohol and stuff. Sunnyside and are cut back coach was able to help kind of keep me accountable in that regard. So that was that helped drive my plan for planning for certain events like that. So yeah, that that definitely was something that was helpful. Going into it. But then again, that thought work that kind of went in parallel with it. Yeah. So yeah, I always say that. I mean, you have the plan in place, but if you don’t, you know, back it up by learning how to manage your mind. The plan is just is a plan and that eventually will become is more the plan, in the beginning especially can often be driven by willpower, and that’s exactly right. So we want to make sure that we’re challenging our thoughts and becoming a better thinker. So which is really kind of what you did. So yep. And I even And even more so to that to even, you know, listening to the podcast in the book built in some contingency to that plan as well just to say, well, you know, maybe if the the event ends up going later than usual, here’s going to be, you know, my my plan just in case some kind of a plan B, if you will. So it was always good to have that kind of in your back pocket. But, again, taking that proactive approach to, to just about do everything that you could, and those social activities. Yeah. Well, I just appreciate you sharing all of this with my, with the listeners, I know that, you know, it’s football season right now. So I know you’re busy going to, you know, doing some tailgating and enjoying as much as you can. For all of you listening poor Bruce is a is a Green Bay Packers fan. And so it’s, it hasn’t been the best of seasons yet. And, you know, but that’s okay, because I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. And as and everybody knows, it hasn’t been the best of yours for us either. So. But I really appreciate you coming on Bruce, I really appreciate you sharing just your experience. And what I really want you all to hear folks is that this is totally possible. It’s totally doable for you really just get involved with the tools get involved with the learning get involved with the Facebook group. Right? Absolutely. And you can get this kind of success too. Thanks so much, Molly. Appreciate you having me on. Thank you. And again, just appreciate it. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com