Sober Yoga Girl

Take a Leap of Faith! With Lisa Ryan

November 04, 2021 Alex McRobert Season 1 Episode 66
Sober Yoga Girl
Take a Leap of Faith! With Lisa Ryan
Show Notes Transcript

Meet Lisa Ryan! Lisa is a mutual friend of one of Alex's, Sarah Williamson. Sarah was a previous guest on the podcast. In this episode, Lisa tells her sober journey, and how she got to where she is today. After several "rock bottoms", she found herself at a crossroads in September 2014, and was ready for a different life - ready for a change. Seven years later, she doesn't consider herself "in recovery" but on a journey of discovery, living her life with joy and gratitude. Lisa is a Certified Gray Area Drinking Coach with Jolene Park and also is currently completing Coach Certification at the This Naked Mind Institute. Lisa believes in sharing her journey, which she does through writing and on social media.  Lisa can be found on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/keep_looking_upwards/ . To join Alex's sober programs, find her at: https://www.themindfullifepractice.com/ . 

Intro
Welcome to the "Sober Yoga Girl" podcast with Alex McRobs, international yoga teacher and sober coach. I broke up with booze for good in 2019. And now I'm here to help others do the same. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.

Alex
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of "Sober Yoga Girl". I am very excited to have Lisa Ryan sitting with me here today. And Lisa is joining from Brisbane, Australia. So it is in the afternoon where she is. And it is morning here in Abu Dhabi, which is super cool. And we got connected maybe a month or two ago through our mutual friend Sarah Williamson, who Sarah was one of my first guests on the podcast way back when I first started the show, and she also was part of our "Sober Curious Yoga Week" that we had last month. So, Lisa, it is really exciting, and I'm really happy to finally meet you and have you here. So welcome, Lisa.

Lisa
Thank you so much. It's really exciting. It was a very nice surprise to be asked. Thank you.

Alex
And how are you doing today?

Lisa
I'm great. It's not too exciting in Brisbane. It's a very cloudy day today. We had beautiful weather on the weekend, so it was a bit of a shock for Monday, but, yeah, pretty good. Got to take the good with the bad, don't you? So, it's all good.

Alex
Is that how you pronounce it? Brisbane?

Lisa
It's Brisbane.

Alex
I think I called it Brisbane. Okay, that's good to know.

Lisa
That's okay. I train all my North American friends.

Alex
And so I was wondering if you could start off by just telling me a bit about yourself.

Lisa
I live in Brisbane. I was born here, bred here, lived all my life here. It's a beautiful part of the world. And I'm married for 31 years to a man that deserves a medal for putting up with me. No kids. But we have a fur baby. I sort of retired about three years ago, but I haven't really stopped. So I don't really know what it's like to-- I thought I'd have this lovely, quiet life and I've just not stopped learning. And I've met some amazing people in the last few years. So, yeah, that sort of made a nutshell after a long career in admin as a personal assistant. So, yeah.

Alex
Amazing. And now you're doing work in Sobriety, which is amazing.

Lisa
Yeah, I'm doing coaching. I'm getting into coaching now, so it's really good. It's really interesting.

Alex
So we'll hear more about that as we go on. But I was wondering if you could tell me a bit right now about your drinking. So when did you start drinking?

Lisa
When I started work, I had a very sheltered, younger life. I'm an only child. So, I started work at 17 and in the government and state government, public service, and in an admin job and to fit in because I had such a sheltered life, I didn't have a lot of self-worth, didn't have a lot of self-confidence. So initially I started drinking to fit in. And the thing at the time was you worked hard. But you went down to the local pub at lunchtime and you know, had a few-- you came back, you know, you might go again after work. You don't do that now. I'm sure the codes of conduct that they have now are probably based on our mistakes back in those days. That's just what we did. So as someone new to the workforce and not really having much of a-- you know, I didn't really get out of it a lot. So this is all new to me. I'm meeting new people and just wanting to be friends with everybody. I just started going down to the public lunchtime with everybody else and sort of started from there when I was about 17.

Alex
How did it then escalate over time?

Lisa
I think over time, I'm a recovering people-pleaser as well. And so the fitting in a bit and the people-pleasing bit. I ended up with jobs that were more stressful. But I loved it because I like to feel needed. And I was always someone because of my people-pleasing, I was always someone who had to have my ducks in a row. So I always had jobs where I had you know, I was always having balls in the air type jobs. You know, I always found jobs where you just had one thing to do, really boring. So I loved jobs where I had lots to do. But people relied on me to do that and do it well. But that came with a certain amount of stress. So the escalation came from and not just fitting in. But then it was my coping mechanism. And I think things changed when they became my coping mechanism for stress and then for life. You know, I might have a death in the family or then it'd be a wedding or that it would be a new job or I'd lost a job or you know, things were bad at work and you know, everything. I used it for everything. So it escalated really badly right into my 40's, probably. And I can see a pattern of behavior that if I can go back in one particular job, and if I could go back to that point in time and tell myself, don't use it for stress, that would be-- it was a clear indicator that you know, you live and learn.

Alex
Yeah. And so many people do that. Right? I don't think that we're equipped as young people with the tools to manage our stress. And then when we find that alcohol works, that's what we do because we don't know better.

Lisa
No. And it's just the only tool that you know, the only tool that you have, one of the tools that all the marketing tells you to go to as well. So you don't think that you're doing anything bad or different to anybody else because everybody else you know is doing the same thing. So if it's your only go-to it's just a natural progression.

Alex
Yeah. Absolutely. And so tell me, what was the turning point for you when you decided to quit drinking?

Lisa
Wow. Well, I had gotten really sick a couple of years prior, and I was in the hospital for two weeks. I had an enlarged heart. I had pneumonia. I ended up while I was there I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was really sick. And they told me at the time that my potassium levels were so low that they only saw those levels in dead people. I actually had a doctor tell me that, and I was starting to really out of it. I didn't really understand. And it wasn't until after I left, I sort of went, yeah, okay. And I didn't realize until afterward that you actually need potassium to make your heart do what it does and beat. If your potassium level is at a point where it's so low, they see it in dead people, that means the heart, no wonder it was enlarged. It was trying to keep me alive and working so hard to do that from all the alcohol abuse. I didn't really understand that at that point, I had almost checked out. So then I spent probably the next year recovering from all of that. I got through diabetes. They said they expected me to take two years to work through it and get my health back. But I did it in a year. So Yay me, I can moderate. This is something. This is what I'll do. I can drink again because I didn't drink for a while because I was too sick. But then I got into that mindset where I thought I could moderate. But then I found myself in the months leading up to when I finally did stop, I was just sick all the time. I went from being the employee that everybody could rely on to not-- totally the opposite. I was always away from work. I was always sick. I always had migraines. I had stomach issues, my depression, and my anxiety and developed into panic attacks that were just-- I would try to go to work and I'd get halfway down the street to the train station. And physically, I still remember this one particular day that I got down the street and I couldn't feel any worse than if there was a brick wall right in front of me. I just physically could not move down the street, and I had to turn around. The only thing that could help was, I had to turn around and come back home, lock the door and I felt safe again. And they just kept escalating. And so then I would come home and I would drink and I would blackout and send more migraines and more stomach issues. I went, here I go again. And I realized one day, I had a doctor's appointment for this particular morning and I woke up because I've been away from work again. And so I needed the medical certificate. And I just woke up that morning and I just went, I don't think I've got another recovery in me. I actually think that I'm getting so bad again that this is what happened to me before I ended up in the hospital and my marriage was suffering. I mean, it was no fun to live with, can you imagine? And I don't think I've got another recovery. I don't think I can do this. And I had absolutely no idea what I would do, but I knew I couldn't-- what I was doing wasn't working. So I actually was, like an hour earlier for my doctor's appointment, and I still remember to this day the impetus. I try to explain it to people, but it was like I'm sitting on the couch going, I know that I'd got my appointment in, like, whatever time it was. And I went, no, I had this physical urging, get up, get in the-- call the cab. Go now. Go now. And I went, I'm going to be so early. I had a little mental tussle in my-- go now. And I walked in the door and the reception staff he had at the time. They knew me. I've been a patient of his for a fair while, and I'm still a patient of his. And they took one look at me and they just went, let's take you into the nurse's area. Yeah, it's just amazing. I'll never forget that day. I don't think-- I have no idea where the urge came from, but I just woke up and knew that I couldn't keep going the way that I was, that I just wasn't going to recover a second time. I felt like the cat that had nine lives. And I reckoned I was up to the 9th.

Alex
Wow.

Lisa
I just-- time to go. Time to make a change. That was the day. And yeah, I really reaching out was-- I went in and I saw him and I just said, you know, I don't know. And he almost went, Hallelujah because he'd been saying this for the longest time. You know, you're not well and let's talk about this. And he tried to do all the right things, but I wasn't ready to listen. And also because part of being an only child, I think is you have-- for me anyway, my mindset is that I didn't really have anyone I could rely on. So I was always fixing things myself. So I thought that this was something that I could fix by myself as well. So I spent many years trying to do that and we really didn't have any tools. I just thought white-knuckling was what you did and just tried to manage by myself. And so many times he would try to say to me, you know, let's talk about this and I go, no, I'm fine. I'm fine. But on this day, I just went, I don't know, throw it at me. I have no idea what to do. I just need to be doing it differently. So he was excited and he's still excited for me. And he's a lovely, lovely man. And he supports me. I know people talk about how they don't get support from their medical professionals, but he's just been one of my cheerleaders from day one. So I'm very very fortunate.

Alex
Wow. What a story.

Lisa
Shout out to the good doctors out there that they don't get enough kudos-- And everyone's got a good one. Keep looking.

Alex
Wow. I got shivers.

Lisa
I have, too. Just going through that again. Honest to goodness. Yeah. I still don't believe it myself sometimes, so I don't know, don't know what it was about that day. I just woke up and just went enough.

Alex
Yeah. And I think there are-- it's like a moment. It's a moment when you decide and that's necessary, right. Because no one else is going to make the changes for you. And if people suggest them to you, it's until you have this shift internally. And it sounds like that's what happened for you where you're just like, okay. Today's the day.

Lisa
That was the day. Yeah. 4th of September. It just passed.

Alex
And what year was that?

Lisa
Seven years now.

Alex
Seven years. Wow. Congratulations.

Lisa
Thank you. Yeah. It was hard because there wasn't much around at that point. You know, it was before a lot of the books that people talk about now, that was 2014. And for some reason, I felt like a tap turned on in 2015 when books started to appear. It was then because he was really my doctor. He's really into mindfulness. And I think that really changed my life. But the books told you more about the science of it. I think that's what kept me sober because I was changing my mindset. But I think it was understanding because I've always been someone who had to know why about something and drives people insane. But I think those books help me understand the why of it. And so that together with what I was learning about changing my mindset, really, that was the game-changer. But yeah, that was an interesting year.

Alex
And so, when you did start, like when you're going on your sober journey, what were the key tools that you used to help you.

Lisa
Mindfulness and learning to live in the moment? One of the reasons that I drank was a lot about past issues, and I had to learn a certain amount of acceptance. And it's really hard. But once you actually let go of the things that you can't change and the things that you wish were different as much as you would like them to be different, you have to give yourself the apology that you're never going to get and you just have to live in the moment. And the other end of the spectrum is that I'm also an overthinker. So part of my-- I used to dread my anxiety, which is tons better now. I mean, finally, through mindfulness, I came off medication for anxiety and depression, and being able to live in the moment stopped me future predicting as well because I was always overthinking and the anxiety that I was going to say that I used to dread, now I see it as a little superpower because it makes me very aware of what's going on around me, which is also very annoying for somebody. But I see it now as a gift instead of fighting against it. And I think every time we fight against something, whether it's anxiety and hate, that it's part of our life, whether it's drinking and wishing it wasn't part of our life. Every time we fight against something, that's where I find-- you just seem to make it harder. And as soon as you sort of let go and just allow it to be and allow yourself to have a different mindset to how you approach these things suddenly that the whole beast that was on my shoulder from anxiety and from drinking. It was like you know, they weren't important anymore. So mindfulness was a huge game-changer and learning to live in the moment, save my life.

Alex
Yeah. And that is so much about, actually what my community is about, obviously, because I do so much yoga, so much meditation, and that for me as well-- I can still relate. I was actually practicing yoga and teaching yoga long before I got sober, but when I did finally quit, it was like I had that solid foundation of those practices, and I got deeper into them, and they played a huge role in my journey as well. So can totally connect to that.

Lisa
Yeah. And it seems so simple. It's not easy, but it is relatively simple, but it's the repetition of learning to do something new until it becomes second nature, because we're always in a hurry up. We want a quick fix. You know, I want to lose weight. So I'll eat the salad today, and I went for a walk today, right. Why aren't I, you know, a couple of kilos lighter and you go immediately. But it just takes practice. It does happen. It does happen. I think I got impatient with myself, and I see it in sober groups as well that I mentoring, that you've taken decades to get where you are, in my case. And then I want the overnight success story. But it just takes-- you train the brain that that's your go-to. It took me learning the why's about it was understanding that I've actually created neurotransmitters that need to be like, you've got to really teach the brain a whole new way of thinking. So you've got to create new neurotransmitters and new pathways of thinking. And it really does take time. So I know I remember getting impatient with myself. Why isn't this happening? You know, but it does. It's just repetition, which doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it's part of the journey.

Alex
Yeah, it's the practice. Exactly.

Lisa
We don't get in the car and know how to drive, do we? So, straight away. You know, we don't learn to walk on the same day we try. So we are so hard on ourselves.

Alex
Yeah. That's a great metaphor. It's so true. So what for you was the hardest part of the sober journey.

Lisa
That would have to be my hardest part was learning to give myself the self-compassion to understand that it did take me a long time to get there. That was my hard-- I was so hard on myself because I've always had a mindset that I had to do-- I still do it today, having just given you these fantastic analogies. But I still do it when I'm doing something new that I go, I've got to do it right the first time. That's always been my-- you know, I don't know. It's part of my upbringing, I think. You know, and if I haven't done it right the first time, then I'm the worst person in the world. So that was the hardest thing was that I guess I did get to that point that day, but I had tried to quit several-- I did a mental shift beforehand, but there were many times where I try to moderate, and I promised myself that I was only going to drink-- you know, I had all the rules and everything. So, I spent a lot of time getting to that point of that day of stopping. But all those times that I tried and failed and tried and failed and tried and failed. And then you had the mental fight with yourself about how you should be doing better and you should know better. So by the time I actually--, it was a real journey, probably at least five years before I got to that day, it was probably spontaneous on that day, but I've been trying for about five years realizing that I had a problem. But then I was sort of beat up on myself about how it took me so long to get to that point. You know, why didn't I realize- well, look at all the time that I've wasted and you know, getting to that point. And what's wrong with you? You know, how come you took so long? You should know better. You know, so I had to fight all those mental demons as well in my healing journey. So that was hard. That was hard, giving myself the self-compassion that all of that is the journey. I have a friend who talks about the sobriety journey being a bowl of spaghetti because it's messy and it's not a straight line. The spaghetti is all whirly girly and you know, all over the place. And I love that analogy because it's so true. But we're just so hard on ourselves that we just don't give ourselves enough compassion to-- because you know if it was our friend who was going through that, say, your best friend, you go oh, come on. Don't be so hard on yourself. You know, you're trying. You know, but it's not what we do for ourselves. So that was the hardest part was learning the new things that I'm-- what my new go-to's were putting them into practice, but also giving myself that patience to allow again, that was part of acceptance, I suppose, was that it was just the way it happened. You know, it may have been a bit ugly. It was ugly at times, but it's my journey and just to own it and to live better now, live in the now.

Alex
Yeah. Love that. And so what for you was-- what were the best parts of or what have been the best parts of being sober.

Lisa
The best part is that once I got focused on mindfulness and learned those new tools, my anxiety just-- and my depression, I went off the medications, and this took time as well. But it changed my life to realize that I could actually-- because now the tools worked because before it was like using the alcohol, which would only inflame the anxiety. And it was just such a relief that-- because before nothing worked except what I thought was the alcohol. And now it was like, oh, wait. When I use this tool that my doctor told me about, you know, this mind technique, it works now because now I have such mental clarity and so much more control over my decision-making that everything changed. Once I could manage my anxiety, I didn't get panic attacks anymore. I don't think I've really had a panic attack for many years because I dissipated over time and with anxiety, I still get a little bit of it. But now I see it, as I was saying, I see there's my little superpower because I realize now it's trying to tell me something, and now I'm learning to have faith to listen to my body and understand when it is trying to give you a message. So, for instance, something happened earlier this year, and I realized it was telling me that the situation that I was in, the reason I had anxiety was-- I was just not in the right place for me and that I had to make a different decision. And until I realized what that message was, you know, and then when I realized that I didn't have anxiety anymore, but it was listening to my body now is so important to me. And now I understand that my anxiety is almost my little radar. You know, it's still doing the overthinking looking out for me. But now I understand that it's actually trying to tell me something. That's why it's a gift because it gives me this self-awareness that I didn't appreciate before. So that was a huge thing and to be able to do that without medication. But, mind you, no judgment. If something happened, I would go back to medication. I think that's more than just-- I was going to use the word useful, but it's more than useful. It helps you function sometimes, you know. I wouldn't hesitate if something happened. And I needed to go back. Earlier a year or so ago, I was going through something and I said to my doctor, I don't know. I think I need to go back on them. And he said, really? Well, let's talk about that. And let's give you some tools to use between this session and our next session and then go off and have a think about putting them into practice. And when you come back, then if you say to me, no, I still want to go back. I want to go back on them. We'll talk about that then. And he was right. Because when I went away and had a tool to use, now I forget what it was. But I remember going away and I had something--I remember going away and doing something. And then when I did go back, I said to him, yeah, I'm okay now. I'm fine. It was just a thing. And I was just upset about something. And he was right. But my anxiety is the biggest gift out of it, all of not being able to control it. It really appears now, as I say, when it does, I realize that it's telling me something. But sleep also a huge shift in, not waking up at 3:30 in the morning business you know, that got old real quick and actually having whole weekends, like I would black out from Saturday lunchtime. And then I would hear my husband in the shower thinking, it was Sunday morning. I blackout on the couch and I hear my husband in the shower, and I go, oh, Sunday already. And I look at my iPad and it'll be, you know, open up the screen and it would say, it's Monday morning, and I'm going--, that happened way too often. So I love having my weekends back. I get a whole--, especially when I was still working? You know, I suddenly just went, oh, my God, I actually had a proper break. I've rested. I've seen people. I've remembered conversations, I've done things, and I've had the whole two days. You know, I would remember everything. And it was just wonderful. And I still wake up Monday mornings going, I love Mondays now. I used to hate Mondays with a passion, but now I love them. I love the start of the week. So all that. It's all a gift.

Alex
Yeah. And I totally agree with you. It's like once you've had a rested and positive and happy weekend, it's just completely-- it's a game-changer.

Lisa
Yeah. When you realize how much you've been missing out on. It still blows my mind. All that. But, yeah, all that time I wasted. But I went, oh, well, I can't take it back. So I did get into shame and blame for myself for a long time. And then I just went, oh, it's not serving you. You know, you can't change it. So the best you can do is live a really healthy life now. And they say the best apology is changed behavior. So I'm a big believer in that. So for the people around me, I just live my best life as well.

Alex
Tell me about-- so you are now doing--you've done some coaching courses. I know you're doing a little bit of coaching, volunteer work, looking to get into that. So tell me about how you started with all of this and what kind of work you do.

Lisa
Oh, gosh, this has changed my life. This is why I don't have a quiet retirement.

Alex
Yeah.

Lisa
Because now I have this whole new focus in life. I joined "This Naked Mind", the past. And while I was in that, one of the coaches that I had said to me, why don't you mentor in the live alcohol experiment? Because I had one coming up nearly a year ago, October last year. And I said, oh, really? And you don't coach. But the idea is that during the 30-day experiment-- and there's a team of us because I have already been privately mentoring, I should backtrack a little bit. From about the middle of the year, I went on to Simon Chapel's Facebook page, and he has a special section just for mentoring. It struck me. I got talking to my husband and I said to him, surely all this has got to have been for something, everything that I went through. And so part of my own healing journey was to give back to see if anything that I've learned, any tools that I've learned, anything I've learned about myself, and mindset stuff you know, was it worth passing on to tell other people. So he said, give it a go. It's only for, you know, you don't have to have all the answers. But if you want to help someone, you know. So I just put my name up and I had people contact me. So I was privately mentoring through that for a while. And then I joined the past. And then I'm still in contact with two of those people, and I don't really mentor them now. They're both alcohol-free for more than 12 months now, and they're just awesome ladies, and they're fantastic. So they don't need me. We're just friends now. But yeah. And then when I was mentoring in the first, the October alcohol experiment, it's a team of mentors. And so the coaches go through the daily content of the alcohol experiment and explain what it all means. And they do live calls to the Facebook page. And the mentors are there is more like a cheer squad and to help people, we're on the Facebook page a lot. And just to say, keep going, you know. And this is what's worked for me. And you know, you can do this. And then I did that again the next time I had one. And I just really liked it. And on the path, I'm doing connection calls and they're peer-to-peer. They're not coaching either, but they're really lovely to do-- the people they-- Everyone's on a different part of the journey, and we just lift each other up. I can go on a call feeling like four out of ten. Maybe I'm not having a stellar day. I get on those calls, and by the time I finish, I've uplifted myself. So you know, I get told as much from their support. You know you get some of the regulars, but then you get a nice mix of new people and there's no shame or blame. It's just an acceptance of where we all are on the journey. So they're really fun to do as well. So then I mentor a few times and then I had-- this is a funny story. Two different coaches who weren't talking, well, they knew each other, but they didn't know that each of them, on the same day within hours of each other. But because of the time difference, I got told about it, about Jolene Park's, Gray-Area Drinking, coach training by one coach, and she sent it to me. She's in Canada and she sent it to me like I was going to bed. I go to bed quite early. It was like 9:00 or 9:30, and she sent this link to me. And she said I think with all the mentoring that you've done and I had actually gotten up the gumption to send an email to "This Naked Mind" about their coach training. But I was still on the waiting list. They hadn't opened it up for the next course yet, and that was a journey because the year before, I was going to put in for it. But then I got scared and I wasn't good enough and imposter syndrome and all that didn't put in for it. So the next year, I finally with the coach's support in the past program that I was on, they went, no, you got to put in for it. But while you're waiting, you might like, darling, past course. And went, okay, it was late in the evening so I thought I'll look at this in the morning and I'm sitting there the next morning at this computer. I opened up the link and I'm just starting to read it. And an email comes from another coach that says, you know, I've been thinking while they're waiting to hear about whether you get accepted into coach training, you might like this course. Alright, oh, ding! Same link and you know, I went, oh my God. So I went, okay, I think I have to do the Jolene Park course, which was awesome. And I'm now in her mastermind program, which we make a couple of times a month. And there's a bunch of this and that have all done, her different cohorts. And she's just amazing. She's just-- I continue to learn so much from her. And then I did get accepted into the "This Naked Mind" coach training and became certified, six months of training and with them and got my certification confirmed on my Soberversary. The universe is freaky. I didn't know that it was my Soberversary and it was actually the next day here. But it was still the 4th of September in the States when they send it to me. And I went,  I'll take it. I'll take it.

Alex
Wow. That's so amazing.

Lisa
It's just I've met some incredible people. That's been life-changing as well. Between the two courses, I have learned so much about myself. It's not just being professional development. It's been self-development as well. It's been amazing. And then breaking news, the weekend, I signed up, you interviewed the amazing Alex and Lisa from Manchester in "Bee Sober". And I reached out to them the other day and I asked them if I could join their coach team, their coaching team, and they're very very nicely accepted. So I'm going to be on their coaching team as well on the "Bee Sober" coaching team. And I'm also going to be one of their ambassadors here in Australia. So there's only one other person who's all the way over the other side of the country in Perth. So I'll be waving at her from across the great Southern land, and it's going to be really interesting. I love Alex and Lisa. I've been following them. I emailed them. I said I've been stalking you since they were doing sober sessions with Simon Chapel, William Porter, and Dave Wilson. I really love seeing all their journeys, but the two ladies, it's been wonderful to see how much they're achieving and how the lives that they are changing. And I was just looking at that the other day, and I went, I'd like to-- if they would have me, I'd really like to join their team as well. So they were really lovely. And, yeah, we're going through all the paperwork at the moment, so really exciting.

Alex
That's fantastic. That's so amazing.

Lisa
It's just like the circle of life. It's like all these people that are suddenly I'm meeting that I never would have met-- my life has changed so much. And even in just the last, not just the last seven years, but even in the last three years or so, and then out of the blue, you messaged me. And at the same time, you know, Jeff from "Getting BAC 2 Zero" messaged me. And that was so awesome. And I'm just thrilled to be able to share because I just think that giving back is the only way I can see that you know, there's meaning in what I went through is to just be able to share my journey and just to let people know that you know, not to struggle on their own. So they're not alone, that we're all here. We've all walked a walk.

Alex
Absolutely.

Lisa
Yeah.

Alex
And it becomes-- sobriety becomes way less of a lonely place when you know other people who have been through it. So, any people that we can touch by sharing our story, even if it's one person.

Lisa
Absolutely. I really believe that. That's why I do the calls on-- the connection calls on the path. And it's why I do the mentoring. It's just you know, it is such a lonely journey sometimes until you reach out. So I always tell people you know, I've had people on the connection calls upset with themselves that they had a blip. And I go, yeah, but you know what? You did, you turned up and you reached out. You came to this call, and that's what's important. So, yeah, I think the connection is hugely a game-changer. Totally.

Alex
All right. I have one more question for you. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to quit drinking? Someone had that question for you. What would you say?

Lisa
Oh, gosh. I have a couple of pieces. I was thinking I'm going to write a couple of things down. So bear with me because I didn't want to forget anything because it's more than one thing. But one of the things was to take a leap of faith in yourself that you can do it. If some things are above your pay grade, so it's okay to reach out. It's okay to ask for help. So just to understand that you know, alcohol makes you live a very isolated and insular life, my world got very small, but the second that I reached out and asked for help and realized that I couldn't do it by myself, that was the game-changer. So I always tell people, reach out and make yourself your new favorite hobby, because all these things that you're going to learn, take practice, they take repetition, and enjoy the journey, trying to figure out what works for you. It's different for everybody. Like the gym. It works for me both mentally and physically. And it gave me confidence in myself. So that when I had to make decisions about boundaries and protecting my sobriety, it was a weird thing. Achieving things in the gym gave me the confidence that I could say no, I'm going to put my health first. All my decisions are going to be based on being the best version of me. And it was a weird thing of getting that confidence from going to the gym, which to me, it sounds weird, but I try to explain it, but when that confidence built up, then I had that confidence then, to say, no, I'm not going to go to this event or I would go to something and I go how I'd have an exit plan. But I made myself my newest and my best hobby so that I was always working on myself. So I made myself the priority. And I think that's a game-changer as well. And mindfulness totally. It's not just about reading Quit Lit books. It's any self-development books that you can find that you put your hands on that teach you about living life in the moment. Totally changed my life. And weirdly too. It doesn't sound like it would, but it helped me with cravings. It helped me focus. It helped me breathe, and all of that helped me push through any of the harder moments or the harder days. Some things don't seem obvious that they're good for quitting alcohol, but those were the pivotal things that I really wanted to share. That worked for me.

Alex
Yeah, well, thank you so much. Great advice. And, Lisa, it has been so wonderful to finally meet you after so much connection on social media and mutual friends. And it's amazing how the Internet can just bring two people from different parts of the world together.

Lisa
I love it. It's wonderful. Yeah. So great to meet you, too. And your cat. I have a cat. Mine's being antisocial.

Alex
Mine really likes to get involved. And I get worried when I'm doing the podcast Interviews that she'll mess up all the chords. But she's good today.

Lisa
Good. It's been wonderful to meet you too. So great. Thank you for the opportunity to share.

Alex
And I'm sure we will meet again in the sober world. I'm sure.

Lisa
I would love that. Anytime. Ask me. I'm always around.

Alex
Awesome. Thank you so much, Lisa. And have a great day. And we'll see you soon.

Lisa
All right. See you soon.

Alex
Bye.

Outro
Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of "Sober Yoga Girl" with Alex McRobs. I am so, so grateful for every one of you. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss the next one and leave a review before you go. See you soon. Bye.