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Bee Sober with Alex and Lisa

Updated: Aug 23, 2021


Meet Alex and Lisa founders of Bee Sober CIC. Alex and Lisa are two women from Northern England, starting a new revolution and on a mission to remove stigmas associated with binning the booze and showing everyone the huge benefits sobriety brings. Tune into this episode to hear their sober story, and how they created a global sober community that's taking the world by storm!


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Find Alex and Lisa at www.beesoberofficial.com. Follow me on Instagram @alexmcrobs and check out my offerings in yoga, meditation and coaching at http://themindfullifepractice.com/live-schedule.


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TRANSCRIPT


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

All right. Hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Sober Yoga Girl. I am super excited for this episode. This is actually the first time I've ever had two guests on at once. But they come as a duo, Alex and Lisa. They are the co-hosts of Bee Sober and they are based in the U.K. And I am super happy to have you here and hear more about your sober journey. Both of your sober journey. So welcome to the show.


Alex Walker

Well, thank you for having us on. Yeah.


Alex

How's it going?


Alex Walker

It's good. Yeah, we're all so excited, but also a little bit nervous as well, because it's been a while since we've been interviewed and want to say that we were interviewed last week. But it's been a while since you've been interviewed by somebody we don't know very well. So--


Alex

Okay.


Alex Walker

It's exciting for us as well. It's a nice change.


Lisa

We interviewed just last week?


Alex Walker

Shayna.


Lisa

Oh. Yeah, of course. Yeah, I forgot we've done that. And it's like, what is she talking about? Oh yeah. This is the first one we've done in ages, but she is one of our ambassadors by quite close friends as well. So it didn't it-- didn't feel like interview--


Alex Walker

It felt like a chat. Like a zoom--


Alex

Great. Friend hangout.


Alex Walker

Yeah.


Alex

Cool. Well, I'm super excited to have you here and I was wondering if we could start off if you could just give us a bit of context into who you are? Kind of what your sort of life story, I guess, per se has been.


Alex Walker

We've got a few hours.


Lisa

You're going to need it.


Alex Walker

So I guess the thing is, at least when I have been best friends for over 30 years. We've met as children. Our parents were drinking friends and friends from the pub industry with they both from pubs at the time. And we were just kind of thrown together as teenagers. Having never met and said, there you go, if you go make friends with each other, which was awkward anyway as a teenager, but more awkward because Lisa is quite socially or sorry Lisa was socially awkward. Lisa was quite socially awkward. Not anymore. She's an amazing sober baby now. But yeah, it was quite socially awkward. It had social anxiety. And looking back, I think we both had a bit of that. Yeah, we were thrown together. We had a pretty much what we considered normal teenage friendship. It was very close very quickly, wasn't it Lis?


Lisa

Yeah, definitely. And I think the drinking started pretty much as soon as we met.


Alex Walker

Yeah.


Lisa

I think because we were thrown together through them kind of circumstances it was just so normal to was drinking was absolutely normal. It's what everybody did that we knew. So when we met through our parents drinking. It was just kind of an obvious thing that we would eventually do together anyway. Experimenting as teenagers meant that we have been drunk together a lot.


Alex Walker

A heck of a lot. Yeah. We kind of started smoking together. Drink together. We kind of discovered boys around the same time. And so, yeah, it was normal for girls like Lisa said. I don't think they knew anyone that was fully sober because our parents worked in pubs. Well, it's in an owned pub. So everybody we ever spoke to was probably quite drunk. So it didn't seem abnormal for us to join in at all. But we had to join in secret because we would have been absolutely so much trouble if our parents had found out.


Lisa

Well. You're saying that. My parents actually told me, they said if I was going to drink, then I should do it properly.


Alex Walker

Yeah.


Lisa

So from a really early age. I was like 40 and I got dropped off at home and with another friend. And like, got told how to walk into it. How to to confidently ask for a drink. So I didn't ask for. I know, I'm not. I could see your face like, wow, that was so normal. Good to me as a teenager. I remember going in thinking. Right? I'll ask for a half lager like going two halves lager please. I've practiced and practiced and then sat down and had like conversations pretending that we had our own house and stuff. You know, I sat at the table as if we was older. So I think even looking back, drinking was normal to my parents as well. So I didn't see that as wrong because they saw it as teaching me how to do it in a sensible way.


Alex Walker

Well I can say it didn't work. So, yeah. I mean, similarly, I suppose I was allowed to have red wine with a meal. And if you're going to drink, drink in the house. I think the kind of drinking that we did that was like bottles. They had something called white light inside of an-- oh yeah. And Thunderbirds blue. And it was just the most disgusting. It was disgusting anyway. The taste of alcohol when you first try, it takes you, makes you 'ehh', doesn't it? But this was really disgusting. This was like petrol. And so we became really good at being allowed to socialize in and being confident and thinking we could dance and all of those things. By the time we were 18, we were really experts at it. Complete experts at it. And then kind of life goes on. And we got married not to each other. We got married. And--


Lisa

People often think that the--


Alex Walker

I would say-- It happens a lot.


Lisa

We got asked we was at an event the other week. One of the "Bee Sober" events. As we sat there, one of the girls that came she was like swear you to a couple. And were like. "Oh, no."


Alex Walker

As much as we have our domestic and as much as we plot each other's lives and shopping lists. No were not.


Lisa

Friends.


Alex Walker

But yeah, we kind of we got married. We had children. We move separately. And then we were finally settled in our lives. So our drinking then would be kind of, you know, the kids in bed, few bottles of wine at night. And it would be normal, separate lives going on. And I guess really for me and I think for Lisa as well, the turning point for both of us was in a very late 20s, early 30s. Where we kind of the children were old enough to get babysitters. Both of our marriages were on the rocks at the same time. And we kind of took off exactly where we left off with a vengeance. And we partied really hard all the way through our breakups.


Alex

Wow.


Alex Walker

And I don't remember the first five years of my 30s really. And that's genuine. It's like a bit of a blur of drinking and going out and partying and then being a mom in the week, working and living this kind of double life, you know.


Alex

Right.


Alex Walker

And you were the same. Weren't you Lisa, with your double life?


Lisa

Yeah. It's giving me anxiety, thinking about it. I actually-- honestly. It really, really is. Because like how they said, when like, I had my first car when I was 19. So drinking pretty much stopped for me then. I just became a moment was all I ever wanted to do. When I was growing up, I wanted a family and children. And so I was just in my element of like living this family life. So then at 30, when that kind of ended. It shocks me to the core of my colleagues has just went right back to before I took my daughter and thought I was 18 again which was wild.


Alex Walker

And so it went for about ten years.


Lisa

Yeah.


Alex

Wow.


Alex Walker

And I think this not-- there's not much kind of high and low in there. That was various dramas in our own lives. We both got remarried. We-- I had another baby. So I had a baby quite late at 37.


Lisa

We just pop in. I actually-- we married an alcoholic. I met him--


Alex Walker

That's not a big point.


Lisa

Because I was kind a-- and become single and the week is when the kids were where the dads that I saw that was my free time and I felt like I deserve this free time and I deserved my friends and get drunk. And I ended up kind of meeting my second husband in a poverty situation.


Alex

Right.


Lisa

Which then meant that our whole relationship revolved around alcohol really. So that kind of made it worse where I was I wouldn't ever drink in the week before I was a binge drinker. Quite prided myself on binge drinking and how good I was. I drink started to creep in the week, so I decided that I was kind of drinking to be on the same level as my husband then at time I never really realized he was an alcoholic until the end, really. But I just thought with that when I go out on--


Alex Walker

My husband wasn't a drinker at all. Like you know, he could literally take it or leave it, but he loved food. So I was quite manipulative. I used to bring him home a takeaway and I'd have a bottle of wine. So they didn't question my wine drinking. And again, it would just be a weekend, but it was a lot. We can be Friday, Saturday, very rarely in Sunday. And I would get the most-- always throughout my entire life, I got the worst hangover, like debilitating hangovers. I don't think anyone else hangover like I had them. And they were awful, aren't it Lisa? Just like awful. Not enough to put me off--


Lisa

I think people do. I think you was just loud at your hangovers. In almost people that, really hangover feels like I used to be sick the next day. So sick and I'd like to have hair of the dog, I think sort myself out with a couple of drinks you know, on a Sunday. Whereas Alex would like make noises all day with the hangover.


Alex Walker

Oh, and it really was. And I'd crawl around on all force and like and be hunched over and yeah it was just-- it was just disgusting. Anyway, fast forward a little bit and go back swinging a bit. Yes. And I got a phone call, I get these like random phone calls on a hungover morning. We both had a hangover always. We phone each other up and go. Oh guess what I did last night and I did this. And that's how we just carried on being stuck because one of us would have always done something worse. No one ever made you things. It was just things we have said all people would have met and oversharing and ended up in random kitchens fully so that she talks about and then me texting people just, you know, most cringe moments. I never had anxiety over it. I just didn't care why was Lisa would be really crippled with anxiety. So she'd phoned me up and instantly I make her feel better and say, Okay we're all right. If I say instantly, she'd still have anxiety about Wednesday.


Lisa

It feed me into my daily life. I never realized that I was constantly anxious. And it was coming from the weekends. I like I wouldn't answer my phone, but if I didn't recognize the number, I wouldn't answer my phone. And I built it up to be a really big thing, like even making a dentist appointment. I would like I'd have to really deep breathe and think about ringing the dentist. And I never, ever connected that was to do with my weekend drinking. Like, why wouldn't you? But it absolutely what was like I'm quite happy to well, not happy to make a dentist appointment.


Alex Walker

You don't get anxiety over it. Do you?


Lisa

Forget anxiety. Well, that was the wrong thing to use because actually I do.


Alex Walker

You don't have the dentist of your novel stuff novels.


Lisa

Yeah.


Alex Walker

So I was kind of not knowing that you'd about my drinking whatsoever and I didn't even know I had anxiety. But when Lisa stopped drinking, she realized she didn't have anxiety at all. When I stopped drinking, I realized I actually had a diagnosed. I got a mental health condition diagnosed, which was anxiety. So obviously I was not in my mind, not even realizing.


Alex

Wow.


Alex Walker

So yeah, around that time, I got this phone call, right? And she just goes, I'm quit drinking. Like what? Oh yeah.Alright. I was like, okay. But I also know Lisa and I know when she says she's doing something, she just does it. So I then was like, oh hey, who am I going to drink with. Whilst it's trying to be like the best friend I could be and going, oh, that's really good. Oh, let me do it for you know. Oh, just 100 days. I don't think she got 100 days. That's ages. I do not want to be able to go out with the next-- You know what, like that kind of thing. But then yeah I'll tell you 100 day journey because--


Lisa

Well it started like how with a massive hunger of my weekend and started to really take off in my life. My children by this time teenagers. And they were actually going wild. And what I was doing, instead of showing off and being the parent that I should be. I was going at the weekend and trying to know everything that was happening in my whole life. I was like, oh, I need a break from all this trouble that they put me through. I was all for sharing with people, telling people stuff that didn't need to know. I was going also through a marriage breakup with my husband. They call it wrong on this part. So everything is just gone to kind of swear. It just got to shit. Everything had just gone to shit. And I was lying there on a Monday morning. I couldn't bear to go into work and work with me and my mom worked together. So it's our business and I couldn't even get up to go to work. I fell ill and I just had to know if I just had enough of being this person that wasn't I was going anyway and think like being the party animal and saying, I'm going to do all these things. And I've always been quite spiritual and the little things like that. And I love nature. And then I have all these big ideas while I was drinking and then I wouldn't do anything about and I just get hate myself for speaking of such things. And one die of anxiety the day after. And I just-- I was tired, was tired of going to people's stupid kitchens like people I didn't even know. Sat in the kitchen, jokes on the table that I'd never ever dream of taking had a not to drink. And again I've just had enough. And my colleague says around one that morning I was like, I have had enough. Somebody told me about a book which was Catherine Gray's "Unexpected Joy of Being Sober". And this particular person I used to work, I was a health and nutrition consultant and one of the members from my group had gone on holiday and she was doing a 100 days sober. And I was absolutely shocked. Like, how can somebody do this? A 100 days?We've gone on holiday and it's not even a drink. I was like, who are these people that do such a thing? And I want it to be like that. I wanted to be confident enough to be able to do it. So that was it. I was like that I'm going to do a 100 days and I'm just going to see what it's like. I'm going to see who I am because I've lost myself. I'm going to show up and be the person that I need to be when I need to be picking the kids up. I'm going to be ready to do it. And that was kind of like a drive by day. I just lost myself and wanting to find out if I was without alcohol because it was such a big part of my identity. And that's kind of where it started. And, you know what from the-- from the first week I loved it. I read this book, I thought, oh, my gosh, I'm not on my own. These are the people that I found like Facebook groups realized that there was like so many of the people like this. I really wasn't on my own. And that was a massive, massive help me. But I also really struggled with loneliness in the beginning. I found it a really lonely place because nobody understood why I was doing it. Everybody thought I was stupid. It was like being like, whatever. So all these people that I thought were my friends and I don't mean you in this bit Alex. I'm really sorry I did.


Alex Walker

So I think it. I just didn't say it.