Episode 107: Sobriety Might Just Put the Joy Back in Your Life

Giving up on alcohol doesn’t necessarily mean giving up fun! Says my guest Lily Weiss, it restores joy suppressed by intoxication and paves the way for positive changes leading towards happier lives.

If you are like me, someone who enjoys wine and other adult beverages and feels there is plenty of joy and happiness then this might not be the podcast for you. If you are also like me, someone who thinks less enjoyment of the grape would be a good thing, then listen in.

If you are someone who is stuck in a cycle of drinking to excess and wanting to stop but 12-step programs aren’t your thing, an organization called This Naked Mind, who trained Lily as a sobriety coach, is a successful, reputable alternative.

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They have a 30-day free sober experiment. Why wait for Dry January?

One key takeaway from Lily’s discussion was understanding addiction as a spectrum rather than a binary state, ranging from mild usage to severe dependency. This shift in perspective can help us better understand our own habits or those of others around us.

She delved into the science behind addiction explaining how our brains’ reward system contributes towards it. The rush of dopamine experienced during activities like consuming sugar or using phones triggers addictive behaviors similar to substance abuse like alcoholism.

Lily introduces us to the term, grey area drinker, someone who drinks daily but hasn’t yet suffered major life disruptions due to it.

Of course, whether we notice the effects of daily drinking or not our health may be impacted. But then, what of the French and Italians who drink wine with dinner most nights and have less heart disease than we here in the US? Could it be genetic?

Addiction isn’t indicative of personal failure—it’s simply part of human biology—and shame or guilt do nothing to help you recover. What can help is support from a coach like Lily or an online group if you aren’t keen on being in a room in a church basement.

Lily has a one-liner that I love, “the first drink pours the second one.” Food for thought.

The Temper has a list of options for AA averse sober curious types.

You can find Lily here.

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