#87 – Episode 87 – The Work of Sobriety with Laura McKowen


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Veronica and Laura take a deep dive into what it means to be a drunk mother, how to deal with the shame and what ‘the work’ of sobriety really is.

What This Episode Is About

Laura McKowen is back on the Soberful podcast!

She’s a woman after my own heart, a mother, author of the best-seller “We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life” and a strong advocate for sobriety.

We’re back on to talk about what “doing the work” looks like.

Before we got to that part, we spoke a little about how to get through the shame of being a mom who used to drink. We get so many messages about this from moms that it’s definitely brought us back to the mic to talk about it.

If you’re dealing with this, I want you to know that it’s not your fault. Both Laura and I, and so many others, can tell you that we started drinking because it’s what everyone else did. Not only is drinking the norm but this new culture of “mommy needing her me time with a bottle of wine” is being encouraged as fun or cute.

But the effects are universally not cute, and the stigma is worse for moms.

And so we break the chain by doing the work. We do the internal and physical work of sobriety much like exercise in the gym. We won’t have a toned core on day 1, but over time, we’ll find that we’re more fit, we’re more healthy, and in the case of sobriety, we’re more emotionally stable.

So let’s dive deep into all of it. Let’s talk about the many sides to the difficulty of being a mom with an alcohol problem, and all the facets of doing the work with our sobriety to solve them.

Key Takeaways

Women have it harder

Women who drink are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one end we’re told it’s cute and fun as we’re encouraged to drink because “we’ve earned it” and “mummy deserves wine”. And on the other end, once we slur our words or are openly drunk, we’re ostracized and treated as outcasts and trainwrecks. Women suffer because drinking alcohol is normalized, but the effects are not.

We judge an alcohol problem by external factors

The reality is, by the time the world sees the effects of drinking on someone, it’s gotten to unacceptable and uncontrollable levels. But it’s been bad for a long time. People with an alcohol problem don’t all have the same face, or live in poverty or any of the stereotypes we associate with the problem. So one thing we need to do is pay attention to our loved ones, and believe them when they say they have a problem. We’ve found that a lot of times, the people we’re close to deny that our behaviour is a big deal and that causes us to live as different versions of ourselves, which leads to anxiety and shame.

Sobriety takes a lot of effort in the beginning

But it gets easier as time goes on. It’s going to be a lot of focus, energy and time being vigilant and mindful. And as you go deeper into sobriety, different challenges will show up, and you’ll have to confront different parts of yourself. But all the attention you put in at the start WILL pay off. You’ll be better off for it, and you’ll not only survive, but you’ll be sober and thriving.

Listen to the episode now

Resources Mentioned

Join us in our 8-week program: The Work of Sobriety with Veronica Valli and Laura McKowen. This course is for women who are ready to feel powerful, dignified, and joyful in their sobriety. We start on April 1st!

Connect with Laura McKowen:

Laura’s Book | We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life

Laura’s Website

Laura on Instagram

Laura on Pinterest

Laura on Facebook

Join us in our Soberful FREE private Facebook group for community and support. For this month’s book club we’re discussing Laura’s book, We Are The Luckiest, and Laura will be joining us in the group for a Q&A. You won’t want to miss it!

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