Casey Davidson was fully signed up to the mommy needs wine culture, here she tells her story of leaving it behind and finding freedom.
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If you’ve been listening to the podcast you’ll know that I’m pretty hard on the mummy needs wine drinking culture.
Today I’m joined by Casey Davidson, certified life coach and host of the Hello Someday podcast to talk about her experience with the mummy needs wine culture and how she finally found freedom.
About Casey Davidson
Casey McGuire Davidson is a Certified Professional Life and Sobriety Coach, author of 30 Tips For Your First 30 Days – A Guide For Busy Women Quitting Drinking, creator of the on-demand sober coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit, and host of The Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women ready to drink less + live more. She’s a wife and mom who spent 20 years climbing the corporate ladder while holding on tightly to her love of red wine. Casey specializes in working with women with full calendars and overflowing to-do lists, who are doing all the things and then coming home and drinking to forget about all the things.
The early years
Alcohol didn’t play a major role in Casey’s early years. Her parents are moderate drinkers and as a teenager she spent her time in boarding school sticking to the rules, making sure never to get in trouble.
All that changed in college.
The college years
For Casey, joining the women’s rugby team was her opportunity to socialize and be a part of a group, despite her anxiety. Unfortunately, it also meant jumping feet first into a deeply entrenched heavy drinking culture. At the time, she loved it but looking back, she sees it as a breeding ground for problematic drinking.
“I felt like it allowed me to be free and it was an adventure. If I was drinking, anything could happen. Instead of worrying about what I was seeing and what people would think of me, you get pretty drunk and it doesn’t matter.” – Casey Davidson
After college Casey landed a consulting job in Washington DC doing analysis on Fortune 500 companies. It was a great position but one that she felt unqualified for.
Now living on her own, keg parties gave way to glasses of wine at home every night because “that’s what adults do”.
“I had a fairly problematic relationship with alcohol from the beginning.” – Casey Davidson
Drinking became Casey’s go-to solution for tackling the nerves she felt in her day-to-day life, telling herself that battling a hangover and fighting the urge to throw up was a better alternative to getting nervous in business meetings and presentations.
Like me and so many of you, putting drinking as our top priority made our lives so much harder. Meanwhile, we were telling ourselves it was the solution.
After Casey got married, her problematic drinking continued.
Date nights meant bar-hopping, dinner parties meant drinking with friends, and almost every social occasion involved drinking as an integral element.
“It was a huge part of my persona. I was a red wine girl and I drank every night with different people in different situations and thought it was normal and fun.” – Casey Davidson
Living the dream
From the outside, Casey was living the dream.
She had a great job as a director of a global company, she kept getting promoted, she had a great marriage, but on the inside, it was a battle.
“I was holding one arm behind my back the entire time just to keep my nervousness and imposter syndrome at bay.” – Casey Davidson
Right after Casey had her son, mummy drinks wine culture blew up in the mainstream.
Books like Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay came out the same year her son was born and Casey was a huge supporter of it all, to the point of hosting parent support groups at her house so that she could serve beer and wine and make friends the only way she knew how.
“I remember sort of resenting when my son would take a long time to go to bed because I wanted to have a glass of wine after working all day then coming home and doing this second shift.” – Casey Davidson
I deserve this
Having a child changed Casey’s lifestyle dramatically and drinking became an escape.
Mummy drinks wine culture tells us we “deserve” to have this drink because of all we do. In our most vulnerable time, the marketing messages tell us that we should treat ourselves to this “reward” with no mention whatsoever of the consequences.
So that’s what Casey did.
Socializing with her mom friends meant bringing all the bottles of wine and having a party together with their babies at someone’s house.
The parties were fun but the hangovers and lingering embarrassment were decidedly not.
Casey remembers staying over at a friend’s house for a holiday weekend and leaving the next day, hungover, and having to pull over in an empty parking lot to throw up with her son in the backseat.
In those moments it was hard for her to rationalize it but she told herself that since she was taking care of her son and her responsibilities, the only person she was hurting was herself and that made it okay.
A turning point
Around when her son turned one, Casey noticed an article in the newspaper about a popular author of mom happy hour culture books. She had come out to say she had a drinking problem and that she was getting sober.
Reading it, Casey was still in denial but something there planted a seed in her mind and made her take a closer look at her drinking. Eventually, she turned back to that article and the resources shared by the author when she started her journey to sobriety.
After that, Casey experimented with periods of not drinking, telling herself that since she could stop she really didn’t have a problem.
“My worst-case scenario was to stop drinking.” – Casey Davidson
She’d debate with herself whether or not she actually could moderate or whether she was an alcoholic but in those moments she convinced herself that it wasn’t that serious because she had everything together in the other parts of her life.
The other side… sort of
Eventually, Casey sought the help of a therapist who specialized in anxiety and addiction.
That led to her joining a support group and finding other mothers who were just like her and who had found their way to sobriety.
She stopped drinking for a few months and got pregnant and life was improving all around.
After having her baby she decided that moderation was possible and went back to a glass of wine on date night but then quickly spiraled back to a bottle of wine each night.
What followed was 22 months of heavy drinking, all the while knowing it was a problem.
“By that point, stopping drinking wasn’t my worst-case scenario. I knew that the way I was drinking was unsustainable, I just didn’t want to stop yet.” – Casey Davidson
Casey says she stopped drinking through a death of a thousand cuts. For the whole 22 months, she constantly worried about her drinking and yet kept going. And one day it all became too much and she turned to her online support group where she saw someone recommend a sober coach. The next day she signed up for coaching.
That day, six years ago, was her last day one.
One of the best changes that Casey has experienced in recovery is knowing that she is now a person who does what she says she’s going to do.
A few months into sobriety she started working on her health, went to therapy, and started really dealing with issues that had been swept under the rug.
Since then, her world has gotten so much bigger.
“I made so many new friends. I started my own business. It’s been wonderful. Not always easy, but wonderful.” – Casey Davidson
- Connect with Casey Davidson
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