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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 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...


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...


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...


Episode 14 - The Count Or Not To Count

The decision to count or not count alcohol-free days is different for everyone. Jolene and Aidan discuss why they both like counting days and which apps they use. Aidan uses NOMO and Jolene used Good Habits and Quit That. Counting days can also be a way to mark and celebrate milestones as well as a way to connect with others within alcohol-free communities. Counting can also help keep the momentum going in the early days. There can be positive aspects to counting down the days (for a...


Episode 13 - Sleep + Drinking Dreams

This episode explores the havoc that alcohol plays on sleep and dreams. Alcohol can contribute to hormone, blood sugar and cortisol imbalances which disrupts sleep patterns in the middle of the night. Jolene mentions the Chinese Medicine theory of why we might be waking up at 3 am as well. It can take time (a couple weeks or months) to get sleep patterns back on track after removing alcohol from your life, so be patient. Aidan and Jolene talk about how to assess and evaluate sleep with...


Episode 12 - The Forever Question

Aidan and Jolene talk about why they committed to not drinking when they could get away with continuing to drink. Aidan wrote about her long-term commitment/decision in her blog post, Saying I Do To A Life Without Alcohol. But let's be honest, when gray area drinkers don't have to stop but choose to stop, it can leave the door slightly open to return to drinking at some point. On the flip side, there can be a sense of hope and relief when the firm decision to take alcohol out of your...


Episode 11 - Kids/No Kids + Drinking

Does parenthood or lack of parenthood impact our drinking? Jolene and Aidan discuss how their personal desires to have children intersected with their own drinking. Wheather it's the loss of the dream of having a child, the loss of an identity, or the increase of stress and anxiety when becoming a mother, alcohol plays a central role for many women in the kids/no kids equation. One of Aidan's primary motivators to quit drinking was the modeling she wanted to set for her three daughters....


Episode 10 - Socializing Without Alcohol

Jolene and Aidan talk about how they engage in their social lives without drinking. Both admit they are more of introverts than they once thought. They share some of the phrases they have ready if someone offers them a drink such as, “no thank you”, “I don’t drink anymore”, "I'm good for now" or "I’m on a cleanse." Aidan mentions the importance of being non-judgmental toward drinkers and balancing that with the uncomfortable feelings of being around people who are very inebriated....


Episode 9 - F-It Moments

The evening hours are often a hard time to stick to the resolve of not drinking alcohol. Especially after a full, stressful day, you might say, “Why am I being so hard on myself? I can have a treat, I can have one drink.” You might be coming down from a hard day or you start to question why you’re being so strict or rigid with not drinking. Aidan has learned that these moments do pass and the feelings do change. Two of Jolene’s favorite phrases are “feeling aren’t facts” and “this too...


Episode 8 - Hangovers

Aidan looks back on her drinking days and talks about the surprisingly positive mental, emotional, existential aspects of her hangovers. Jolene shares the negative physical effects of her hangovers and how they ultimately motivated her to stop drinking. Jolene talks about the histamine, blood sugar response and explains how, during a hangover, our bodies are simply trying to regulate and bring things back into physical balance, and how we then beat ourselves up emotionally. Also, brain...


Episode 7 - The Power Of Vulnerability

Jolene and Aidan debrief what it feels like to have the first six episodes of their podcast out into the world. They talk about the vulnerability hangover of sharing their stories along with the overwhelmingly positive response they’ve received from thousands of listeners who identify with the gray area of drinking. Jolene talks about hitting the sharp edges with her anxiety when they first released the podcast and she shares two examples of a medical professional who brushed her off and...


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