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Editing our drinking and our lives - Aidan Donnelley Rowley and Jolene Park talk about their decisions to make an Early Exit from the drinking life, the gray area of drinking and the on-going edits they make to their lives sans the alcohol.

Editing our drinking and our lives - Aidan Donnelley Rowley and Jolene Park talk about their decisions to make an Early Exit from the drinking life, the gray area of drinking and the on-going edits they make to their lives sans the alcohol.
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Editing our drinking and our lives - Aidan Donnelley Rowley and Jolene Park talk about their decisions to make an Early Exit from the drinking life, the gray area of drinking and the on-going edits they make to their lives sans the alcohol.






Episode 34 - Gray Area Drinking

There is a polarizing trend around drinking labels and what constitutes as “problem drinking”. So, what is gray area drinking and where does it fall on the “problem drinking” spectrum? This is a conversation in which Aiden and Jolene invite listeners to hear their personal stories with gray area drinking and one in which they work to define exactly what this label stands for. One doesn’t have to have a crash and burn story to stop drinking. Neither Jolene or Aiden had one. But, they both...


Episode 33 - Relationships

Drinking is often intertwined with our closest relationships. So much so that we may continue drinking, even though a voice inside is wishing to stop, so that we don’t disrupt the status quo. How do we remove drinking from these relationships and what can we gain in the process? Aidan has been married for 14 years and met her husband at a bar. Their relationship began soaked in alcohol. When she quit drinking she credits her husband's support as making a huge difference in their progress....


Episode 32 - Present Moment

One of the greatest gifts of going alcohol-free is experiencing life deeply in the present moment. There is a quality of clarity and expansion that comes when we aren’t trying to escape into a drink. Yet, what do we do when the present moment is hard and trying? How can we sit in the hard moments without longing to escape? That is the million dollar question. Jolene is going into her 5th year not drinking and discusses how she had to develop the ability to tolerate pain in the present...


Episode 31 - Grief

Grief is vast and there is no formula for how to deal with it. Often when drinking takes a turn, loss and grief are found buried under the layers of the pain numbed by alcohol. When we go begin to unpack our relationship with alcohol we often find this story of loss and become reacquainted with the pain. Yet, we are rarely given a model for how to cope with grief sans alcohol. So, what do we do when we no longer use alcohol to numb the pain of loss? Aiden is currently grieving the death of...


Episode 30 - One Year Of EDIT Podcast

Aidan and Jolene look back on one year of podcasting together and talk about the things that have happened in their lives as a result. They both shared their bright light moments -Jolene talks about her TEDx talk that she gave in November 2017 and Aidan talks about her TODAY show appearance in April 2018. Jolene also talked more about her online community for Former Gray Drinkers that she recently launched. This membership is for those who have made the decision to stop drinking and want...


Episode 29 - Reality Check

While every aspect of our lives can improve sans alcohol, the reality is there are still aspects of our lives that can still be difficult after we stop drinking. Both Aidan and Jolene have found that finding their flow, purpose, and focus helps them deal with reality. Giving up drinking does not solve all our problems but it allows us to clear the decks and look at what we need to focus on. Removing alcohol is not a protection or guarantee against hard, painful emotions or events. But...


Episode 28 - Reaching Out

Jolene and Aidan talk about reaching out to a therapist, people in our lives who are supportive and we know are like-minded or communities online or in person. Opening up to people in our life versus trying to figure out this drinking question on our own. But sometimes it’s actually hard to reach out. They also discuss how and when to reach out to others who we are concerned about. Jolene mentions her Online Community For Former Gray Area Drinkers that she just launched to offer the “what’s...


Episode 27 - Hard Moments

Jolene and Aidan share experiences they recently had with alcohol being front and center in their life. Even though they no longer drink they still encounter hard moments. These moments can be confusing, baffling and hard, no matter how good, strong and committed we feel. When drinking was part of our identity there will be moments where we’re reminded of who we used to be when we were around alcohol. They talk about what alcohol represented to them plus the effect that alcohol created and...


Episode 26 - #Dry Life + Social Media

Jolene and Aidan talk about how social media and Instagram initially brought them together to start this podcast. They discuss how online platforms have played a role in changing how we think about drinking. It has become easy to quickly form online alcohol-free communities and the alcohol conversation is shifting because of podcasts, blogs, Instagram, and FaceBook groups. There is a sense of accessibility that is powerful and good. People can dabble and be "sober curious" at a distance....


Episode 25 - Other People's Opinions

What do others say when they are drinking or not drinking around us? How did Jolene and Aidan navigate other people's opinions early on? People will certainly have conversations and opinions, but the fear of what others will think and say is often worse than what's actually said. Some people can be threatened or feel strongly that drinking is a part of life that shouldn't be missed. Taking alcohol out can feel punitive, perfectionistic and unnecessary for many people. However, the...


Episode 24 - The Moderation Question

Is it possible to moderate? What do Aidan and Jolene think about moderation? Aidan says she could moderate but felt miserable. It wasn't pleasant to think about and plan for all the time. It takes the joy out of her day. However, moderation helped bring both Jolene and Aidan to their resolute decision to stop drinking for good. Jolene found once she drank the first glass of wine the neurochemical activation had begun and it was very difficult to moderate and say no to more glasses of...


Episode 23 - Memes + Marketing

Jolene and Aidan discuss the troubling marketing of alcohol memes toward women and moms. The promotion of excess as a way to escape and cope is what's being promoted. These memes send the message that drinking is the way to make life better. As many are quietly trying to feel okay and justify their own drinking it's easy to thoughtlessly share these memes. Aidan voices her concern for people who are currently struggling with alcohol and how this marketing shows up in their lives especially...


Episode 22 - Finding Your People

Aidan and Jolene discuss how they found alcohol-free like-minded people through blogging, Instagram, FaceBook groups, and when social media connections can turn into friendships in real life. Jolene mentions how This Naked Mind and The HOME podcast weren't available when she stopped drinking so the online world is quickly and rapidly changing. They mention in-person groups like AA, Refuge Recovery, SMART Recovery, Women and Sobriety, Life Ring and the importance of being with people...


Episode 21 - Public or Private?

Aidan was public with her decision to not drink in 2012 with her Year Without Wine blog posts, but Jolene stayed quieter and more private in the early months of quitting drinking for good. Jolene shares how she wrote a blog post when she was 60-days alcohol-free but she didn't publish it. Through the evolution of not drinking though, they both developed and claimed more of their voice, which Jolene demonstrated in her recent TEDx talk. It's a very personal decision that depends on many...


Episode 20 - New Year, New You?

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? What happens when, if you fall off course or routine? In this episode, Jolene and Aidan discuss The Four Tendencies (the upholder, the obliger, the questioner, and the rebel) by Gretchen Rubin. They also discuss how personal values, intentions, and clarifying your 'why' plays a role in making decisions and choosing things like your word for the year. When we understand our patterns, approach, personality, and biochemistry we can make empowered edits...


Episode 19 - Special Occasions

There will always be a holiday, a special event, anniversary, or celebration during the calendar year. It doesn't matter if it's December, April, July or any other month. Aidan talks about her recent holiday party that she hosted and Jolene talks about her first birthday without alcohol. When we shift our focus from the alcohol to the event, conversation, connection and activity it opens up a new realm of experience and possibility of truly being present in social situations. Both Aidan and...


Episode 18 - Anxiety Part Two

Jolene talks about the role GABA plays in anxiety and how she used lemon balm, passion flower, holy basil, inositol, and L-theanine in the early days of quitting drinking to help regulate her own anxiety. She talks about how yoga can boost GABA levels as well. Aidan mentions the difference between anxiety and stress and Kelly McGonigal's TED Talk on How To Make Stress Your Friend. Through self-awareness and self-care practices like quality sleep and a good diet, Aidan finds these help...


Episode 17 - Anxiety Part One

Aidan and Jolene talk about their early anxiety stories. Aidan didn't think of herself as an anxious kid, but Jolene did identify as an anxious kid early on and had panic attacks in Junior High. They both resonate with being high achievers who got stuck in a perfectionistic anxious loop in their minds. This episode goes deeper into exposing and giving voice to gray area of drinking as a way to regulate and medicate anxiety. With the help of a therapist, Aidan began to realize how much...


Episode 16 - Should You Stop Drinking?

If you're asking the question, it's probably something you'll want to pay attention to. Sometimes just asking the internal question is more important than getting an external answer from others. Also, if you're questioning your drinking it might be prudent to stop for a short or long period and see if there is something to be gained? How much is too much for you? How frequently are you drinking? These can be interesting questions to explore but equally important is the question of how...


Episode 15 - Introvert Or Extrovert?

Aidan and Jolene talk about how they view their own introvert and extrovert personalities. How they feel about being alone vs with others as a way to recharge and regenerate. Aidan mentions the book Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Aidan also shares this quote from Blaise Pascal: "All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." When we take alcohol out of the equation what really happens on the...