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Here is the second part of my interview about women and drinking with Jenn Krautsch. If you missed Part 1, you can access it here. 

4. Do you have any tips or advice for people trying to moderate or stop their drinking, especially when many people feel pressure from peers and society as a whole to drink alcohol?

My biggest tip or recommendation is taking a mindful break, to give yourself some space between the habit or the substance. You almost have to get a little out of balance by abstaining or refraining to know where your balance spot is.

I’ve taken many breaks before with my drinking, always alone and never with new information. So every time I took a break, I was using will power and depriving myself just to prove that I really didn’t have that big of a drinking problem. I could go for a month without it. I wasn’t physically dependent. I wasn’t drinking in the morning or having the shakes. I didn’t fit those checkboxes.

I just needed to create a little bit of distance, so I could see, if I apply some new tools, then I can create a new mindset. This is different than just white-knuckling and will power. In that grey area zone, it is important to get new information and new tools for drinking.

I challenged my beliefs about alcohol. I know what society is telling me and what all the Super Bowl commercials are telling me. I know the marketing in the stores, and what rosé all day means. All that input is affecting our subconscious. Challenging our beliefs can help us align with who and what we want to be.

For me, that was the biggest driver, the biggest motivation.

I knew I was living a divided life.

I’m so mindful during the day being into yoga, and a green-juicer. I would juice my kale and then have my Pinot Grigio at night.

I was almost like two different people. Super-healthy and super mindful by day and then I would want to be mindless at night. Mindless sipping. Mindless activity. Chill out and veg at night.  I wanted to take a break from my life because I’d been so good all day. 

A lot of my beliefs around drinking alcohol were misguided. They were wrong. I didn’t know that. I didn’t have anywhere to challenge those beliefs without challenging my whole identity.

I knew who I was, but felt very divided. I just wanted to be in alignment. My biggest goal is being whole-hearted.

I had to challenge my beliefs. To do that, I had to take a break. Not just a break using willpower, but time out to learn. Not just trying to quit, but using that time to learn and then decide where alcohol fit for me. It is such a personal journey and a personal decision. Everyone has a unique “relationship with alcohol”.

For some people, it is a casual acquaintance. For other people, it becomes a best friend. Almost like a person, an entity they lean into and rely on for comfort and support through social anxiety or pressures. It is negotiating that relationship. Just like any relationship that is unhealthy, you need time away. You need space to see it more clearly. I recommend not to be afraid of that space, but to utilize it. Use that space wisely.


5. Tell us about the SoberSis 21 Day Challenge? What is the program about, who is it for, and why did you decide to create it?

I created it because it is what I wished for myself. Necessity is the mother of invention; we create what we wanted or needed. That is exactly what SoberSis is. It’s a place to take that break and have the tools and the support from other women that get it. It is SoberSis because it is for women only. I do have some great recommendations for groups that involve men as well. They’re similar in their mindset and the language that we use.

This 21-day challenge is a reset. It’s a way to realign, reset, and reignite your personal growth and your personal relationship with alcohol. Every day during the 21 days, we talk about a topic that is relevant to belief systems around alcohol.

We have a closed Facebook group that is highly interactive, with women from all over the country, really all over the world. There are women in their twenties all the way through their seventies. They are willing, ready, and vulnerable to have a conversation about their relationship with drinking without having to fit a category, without having to say forever or always, or be labeled.

It’s really been awesome to have that conversation, with so much understanding and empathy and be able to say, “Me too. I did that too.” Talk about the “Me too” movement. This is a whole separate conversation – women, and wine and drinking.

We’re finding each other and what is so fascinating is I thought I would just start it locally. I live in Fort Worth, Texas. I asked a few friends to read some emails I put together, combining the best information I found.

I’ve read so many books on mindset, habits, addiction, alcohol, women, and marketing. Also, a lot of autobiographies about women and their experiences with alcohol.

There were elements of their stories that resonated.

I started sharing locally. Then I shared on Instagram, some women started finding me from all over the country and all over the world by taking this challenge. What started with sending some emails and has catapulted into this movement.

We call ourselves, the tribe. It’s this sisterhood. It’s this movement of women who are waking up in their own lives, becoming more present for themselves, and their families. Everything that was dulled and dimmed by alcohol is releasing and they are becoming bright again.

They are getting clarity and getting sober-minded, which is different than being sober or sobriety, which is typically complete abstinence for an addict or an alcoholic, a physical addiction. I’m introducing this new term. It’s a Biblical term, a scriptural term where God calls us believers to be sober-minded.

That means being alert, awake and aware of our lives. Who doesn’t want to be sober-minded? I think we all do. How alcohol fits into that is unique and personal. Sober mindedness allows people to be at different points and have the same common goal of being awake, aware and present in our own lives. So how can we encourage each other to do that? We are renegotiating our relationship with alcohol along the way.

It’s been so rewarding, encouraging and humbling to realize how many other women this resonates with. I had no idea. SoberSis started out with dozens of members and now has thousands. It continues to grow each and every month because there are so many women who say “Me too… Things in my life are looking good. I’m happily married or I’m killing it in my career. Things are good”.

But they are not great. There is this one thing that is holding them back.

I’m flipping the conversation around. Is your life good enough? Are you feeling good enough about your own life? Are you present? Do you have the physical energy you want? Are you sleeping well? Are you able to really connect with others?

Is your life great? If not, let’s make it great. Let’s work on that instead of keeping it status quo good enough.

What does that look like? Usually, the relationship with alcohol doesn’t line up. It’s the one piece that’s out of balance.

6. I have several clients who have daughters with alcohol use issues. What advice do you have for parents who are concerned about their daughter’s drinking? Was there any support from family and friends that you found particularly helpful?

I desperately wanted to talk about my conflicting feelings around alcohol. I liked it, but I didn’t like it. Sometimes it was working for me and then other times it wasn’t.

My drinking wasn’t black and white. It wasn’t an all hate relationship, or an all love relationship. It truly was a love-hate relationship.

For parents, just having the freedom to say, “You know what, I’m by no means perfect,” and trying to find common ground. You can connect with your children on an emotional level. Think back to a time when you felt conflicted. Think back to a time when you struggled because you wanted to do both the right thing and the wrong thing. Even as adults we can suffer from anxiety or loneliness or wanting to fit in with the crowd.

Finding common ground by saying, “You know what, I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way”, and sharing a personal story makes it safe for other people to expose their vulnerabilities and feelings too.

That is a conversation starter.

The goal is to keep people talking openly, honestly and get the ball rolling with real conversations where people can be known and still loved, known and still accepted, not have to posture, not have to perform or say the right thing.

As parents, it’s easy to have a relationship with our kids where they just want to get us off their back or give us the right answer. Instead, taking the time to slow down and say, “I know it sounds weird, but I’ve really struggled with this.”

When an adult shares a challenge with a child or a young person, the respect level goes way up. Oh my gosh, she gets it. She struggles, too. She is not trying to be the perfect parent.

They’re human too, so maybe if they’re human, I can be human. If they’ll share, maybe I can share. Maybe they’re not going to judge me if I say I went to a party and I was trying not to drink, but I did drink and didn’t know what to do. Have you ever felt that way?

Yes, I have. I have felt that way as an adult. Let’s find that common ground, that humanness, that emotion. I started doing that with my kids toward the end of their high school years. I was able to honestly connect with my own children once I was honest with myself.

For several years I was hiding. I was hiding because I felt helpless while raising my kids and dealing with some of the issues they were facing. I didn’t know how to have that conversation, and didn’t know what to do.

That was actually a springboard for starting the conversation. To say, you know what, “I don’t even know what to say right now, but I really want to connect with you. I really want to hear what’s in your heart. I’m nervous and I don’t want to push you away, but I really want to start a conversation. I want you to know you will still be loved no matter what. It is my hope that you want to be known.”

Just let yourself be vulnerable and let it get messy. Kids pick up on your vulnerability when you say you want to have the difficult conversations while admitting you probably won’t do it perfectly. I want to start a conversation with you, and I may not get it just right. Is that okay? I think that makes a child or an adolescent, who is still trying to figure out if they trust you with knowing who they are. I know you love me unconditionally. You say that. You believe that, but I need you to show me. It’s an opportunity to say, let’s practice.

I want to show you, unconditional love. I’m not sure how this is going to work. This is messy, tricky. Let’s get into it together. My intentions are good. That’s a good place to start.

Check out Jenn’s FREE “wine o’clock survival guide” for women.

women and alcoholAbout Jenn: I’m Jenn (aka SoberSis). I’m a new empty-nester and people ask me all the time what I’m going to do in this next season of my life. Well, you’re looking at it. I feel passionate about making it safe for women to have a conversation about alcohol without judgment, labels or rules. I’m a retired “grey area” drinker.

Around the middle of my 40’s, I was tired, feeling stuck on auto-pilot, and ready for a change. I didn’t want to enter the big 5-0 the way I did 40. I took a closer look at my life. My health…mental, physical and spiritual. I began to find out ways to have more energy, better sleep and really stay present in my own life. I began to realize wine wasn’t doing me any real favors. In fact, it was undoing a lot of my hard work during the day (I call it the detox just to retox loop). It had also become like an emotional crutch to lean on during times of anxiety or even boredom!

So, I started the 21-day reset for women because I wanted to share what I have learned and experienced first hand. Currently, over 2,000 women from all over the world have participated. We’re more of a sisterhood and a real community of women pursuing being present and sober-minded. Each person has the opportunity and space to renegotiate their relationship with alcohol. We are not a sobriety club although many of us do choose to enjoy an alcohol-free lifestyle.

 I’ve spent time taking a break from drinking without having to use willpower or feeling deprived. In fact, I’d say it has turned into more of a mindful lifestyle. Learning the science behind what my body/mind was experiencing has empowered me to make different choices. It’s like I was living a somewhat divided life, constantly feeling in conflict and stuck in an internal tug-of-war. God really brought me freedom by bringing together the mind-body-spirit connection so I could live a more wholehearted life. That’s how I want to live as I get closer to my 50’s and beyond.

What are your thoughts on drinking? If you have tips that have helped you, please share it in the comments.


By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: How to Take a Look at Your Drinking, Part 2
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/how-to-take-a-look-at-your-drinking-part-2/
Published Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 19:30:30 +0000