If you Google terms like ‘Dry January’ or ‘Sober Curious,’ you’ll likely find dozens of articles showing the positive effects of sobriety. You’ll probably even see a few mocktail recipes along the way. While not everyone considers themselves an addict, it’s clear that more individuals are considering the benefits of living alcohol-free. Choosing not to drink, even for a short time, can lead to better health, clearer thinking, and more energy. In fact, life beyond the bottle is a pathway to living your best life, alcohol-free!
The ‘Sober Curious’ movement is about rethinking why and how we drink and discovering the positive impact of less or no alcohol. This shift towards sobriety is a great thing. It encourages healthier living, boosts productivity, and leads to more genuine social experiences. Whether it’s trying a month without alcohol or embracing sobriety longer-term, individuals are finding freedom and joy in life without relying on alcohol. If you’re curious about choosing life beyond the bottle, you’ll love listening in as our guest shares her personal journey!
In this episode, Dr. Jason Powers and Julie DeNofa chat with Tricia Lewis about the deeper issues behind alcohol, understanding why we drink, and how to shift our focus on the things in life that bring us the most joy.
Get to Know Our Guest
Tricia Lewis is the Creator and Host of the now-archived Recovery Happy Hour Podcast. The Recovery Happy Hour Podcast celebrated inspiring stories of recovery from alcohol addiction and gray-area alcohol abuse, as well as what’s current in the culture of recovery and sobriety and what life looks like beyond the bottle.
For years, Tricia was emotionally and physically addicted to alcohol but was really good at making it look like she didn’t have a problem. After taking her last drink in November of 2016, Tricia has never looked back and now leads a life without alcohol while helping others achieve the same.
Overcoming FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and Living Our Best, Sober Lives
For Tricia, life without alcohol has been so much better than she ever could have imagined. But it wasn’t always like this. Before taking her last sip, Tricia shared that year after year, she constantly felt like she was missing out on experiences if she wasn’t drinking alcohol.
FOMO is often fueled by peer pressure, trapping us into thinking that our friends are having more fun without us or that we’re robbing ourselves of joy. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Tricia says, “The fear of missing out is what keeps so many of us from ever giving it a solid chance. That fear is the biggest liar, and it wasted so much of my time.”
Sobriety, contrary to perpetuating a sense of loss, opens the door to authentic experiences and connections unclouded by the haze of alcohol. With a sober and clear mind, we can see that true joy and fulfillment come from within, not external sources. Overcoming the lies of FOMO allows us to live our best, sober lives filled with personal growth, improved relationships, and deeper engagement. It’s important to remember that abstaining from alcohol isn’t deprivation; it’s liberation!
Making the Conscious Choice to Surrender Alcohol
We all have a different journey when it comes to addiction recovery. Our paths leading up to these shared experiences are unique to our own circumstances. However, a common misconception is that recovery only happens when we hit “rock bottom.” While many of us have experienced various forms of trauma, such as the sudden loss of a loved one or a major life change that led to addiction, not all of us have a “rock bottom” moment.
According to Tricia, “The biggest struggle wasn’t just putting the bottle down, it was whether or not I even should. We are sold this image that you have to hit this rock bottom, but that’s not my story, and it probably isn’t a lot of other people’s story either.”
Like Tricia, choosing life beyond the bottle can look like choosing not to experience those “rock bottom” moments. It’s a conscious choice to merely surrender alcohol because you don’t want it to take over your life before it gets to that point.
Why Accountability Matters in Life Beyond the Bottle
According to Tricia, accountability is everything when it comes to recovery. While choosing a life in recovery is 100% possible – we can’t do it alone. When trying to over a heavy load, such as quitting alcohol by ourselves, we can easily talk ourselves out of it by coming up with excuses of why it won’t work or why it feels impossible.
It’s a special holiday/occasion, and I have to participate. I had a bad day at work, so I need to unwind. The kids won’t stop arguing, and I need something to help manage the stress. I can’t stop thinking about having a drink, so I may as well indulge.
These are just some of the many excuses we tell ourselves of why recovery feels impossible. But the good news is that we aren’t meant to overcome addiction alone. According to Tricia, “Having accountability makes recovery real and makes it a lot harder to change your mind. I knew that if I didn’t start telling people, I was going to talk myself out of it again”.
Having a solid support system makes it easier for us to remember our why when enduring bouts of anxiety or stress. It helps us remember why we chose to live a life free from substance use and who we’re doing it for – ourselves and our loved ones. When we have people who speak truth and wisdom, guided through love, it holds us accountable for our actions.
It’s not about making one feel bad about themselves but for them to take an honest look at their situation and take ownership and responsibility. While the truth may not always look pretty or feel good at that moment, it always guides us back to our most authentic selves. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of choosing a different lifestyle, but having accountability makes it easier to want to keep fighting no matter how hard it may seem.
Connect with Tricia Lewis
One of the most important things to remember when choosing sobriety is that our life doesn’t end – it only truly begins. In Tricia’s words, “Remember that life doesn’t end after you break up with alcohol. There is life beyond the bottle, and it’s a life worth living”.
If you loved this conversation and want to learn more about the deeper issue behind alcohol addiction, the truth behind why we drink, and how to pursue a thriving life beyond the bottle, you can connect with Tricia by following her on Instagram.
Good news! Tricia dropped an all-new pop-up episode of Recovery Happy Hour THIS WEEK, where she’s sharing previous guests and what they’re currently doing. You won’t want to miss this episode!