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"Rock Bottom is When You Stop Digging" with Kayla Lyons of 1000 Hours Dry

Mar 30 2021

New Poddy episode out today! In this episode, I connect with Kayla, founder of 1000 Hours Dry and the Dry Club, an alternative recovery community on Instagram. The Dry Club is inclusive to everyone on a sober or sober curious journey. Kayla tells her journey of addiction and sobriety, and why she moved away from the AA method in the end.

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If you enjoyed this episode please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share the podcastso it can reach more people that it will serve and benefit. Kayla can be found on Instagram @1000hoursdry and @kaylerlyons “.

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Full episode


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. So, welcome back to Sober Yoga Girl. I am super excited for this episode to have Kayla Lyons as a guest. And Kayla is the founder of A Thousand Hours Dry, and this past week, I did a pop-up yoga class with A Thousand Hours Dry on Instagram, which is super cool. And Kayla is also a mental health activist in the United States in California. So, hi Kayla.

Kayla: Hi, how are you?

Alex: I'm good. How are you?

Kayla: Good. Just ending the week here, so.

Alex: Yeah. Oh, I guess, ending the weekend, for us, we're starting because as you know, Middle East, Sunday.

Kayla: Yeah.

Alex: So, tell me a bit about yourself. Kind of, your background, your story, who you are and where you're from.

Kayla: For sure. So, I'm living here in Sunny Southern California. I was actually born here in Palm Springs, but I really grew up kind of everywhere my dad worked for the State department, so we were moving probably every two to three years. So, I actually grew up overseas most of my life, and then I came back to the States for high school and university. Pretty standard if you're a State department brat. I had a really cool upbringing. Nothing, I feel like I like to set the tone with this, because I think when you are not someone who has substance abuse issues, you automatically assume somebody who has had issues like, Oh, they must have had a really traumatizing upbringing, or their parents must have been alcoholics, they must have grown up in, you know, some sort of bad environment. And truthfully, that was really not my story. I had both very loving parents. I got to do a lot of things and let's say, like I went on a Safari in Africa. And I got to do all these things before I was even in high school, so I had a very privileged and very cultured upbringing. But for me, I think the caveat being that I had a lot of instability, and for me, it was really not being able to attach to people because I knew, Okay. Well, you know, in a year or two from now, I'm probably never gonna see them again. Because it's not like you're moving from state to state or from city to city. You know, you're moving to the other side of the world. And so, I learned to really not attach to people and my parents got divorced when I was probably eight, and my mom also remarried somebody who was in the state department. So, then, I was kind of living everywhere again, but then my dad was on one side of the world when I was on the other. And so, I really just learned not to get attached to people, that people come and go, and by the time I moved back to the States, I really didn't have an identity, I would say. And so, it happened really fast for me, you know, I started drinking at 15, you know, kind of around that age that people started experimenting with alcohol and for me, there was no, it didn't evolve, like I hit the ground running already, like there was no good point, there was no, like, Oh, it was normal and then, it got bad, like, for me it was bad from the beginning. And I mean, by the time I graduated high school at 17, I already had three underage alcohol citations which are like, you know, I drunk in public but for an underage student. So, that kind of sets the tone of where I was already starting in my alcohol journey but when I look back, you know, I'm 28 now. I've done a lot of therapy. I've done a lot of, you know, work on myself, and I think really, for me, what happened was having a lot of anxiety, having a little bit of PTSD from some emotional trauma early on, and never really dealing with that, and growing up in a home where there was a lot of love but not a lot of emotional intelligence. So, rather than being told, It's okay to talk about your feelings. It's okay to, you know, speak and be vocal. It was very much not that way. You know, growing up in a military home, you're told kind of keeping those feelings to yourself. Being over emotional is a sign of weakness and you really don't wanna show the outside world that there's anything wrong. So, it was a lot about perception and a lot about making everything look good but how you're feeling internally doesn't really matter. And so, I think by the time I got old enough to learn how to cope, you know, of course, rather than a healthy coping mechanism, I chose to drink because that is what was familiar to me rather than let's say, you know, overeating or other types of addictions that people choose. Yeah.

Alex: Yeah. I love how you describe that. I've never heard it described that way as like, a home with a lot of love but not a lot of emotional intelligence. And I think a lot of listeners can probably relate to that like, it's not that a home necessarily lacked love. It's that you're not almost taught how to like, express, and manage, and cope with your feelings.

Kayla: Totally. And I think for anybody listening, that's a millennial and older, you know, I had behavioral issues from the get-go. I was having massive tantrums. I had night terrors. I had a lot of signs and later on, you know, to get into depth, there was some trauma there for me, there was some some sexual trauma, nothing, I don't wanna downgrade it but, you know, nothing crazy but in the 90s, when your parents take their child to, you know, their pediatrician and they say, you know, all my kids having issues, it was not really the norm to be like, Okay. Let's go see a child psychologist, you know, let's go see therapists. It's really, Oh, it's a phase. They'll grow out of it. I had weird phobias, I was afraid of socks, then I was afraid of carpet. They just said, Oh, you know, like, she's just going through a phase. Then I had all these phases, you know, I was mean, I was biting kids like, all these things that now, as an adult and as somebody who is studying psychology, I can look back on and be like, Okay. These are clear signs of like, distress. And for me, it turns out I have or I now have diagnosed OCD but I was just dealing with a lot internally and not having a professional telling me, Okay. This is how we deal with it. You know, getting me into some sort of occupational therapy at a young age, I dealt with it through tantrums. I dealt with it through throwing things and, you know, being basically a brat. But once again, you know, we're talking about the 90s where it was really still super stigmatized, mental health and toxic masculinity and all those things. And so, I think young people listening are very lucky that they're starting to grow up in an environment where, you know, talking about your feelings, being open about your mental health and your, you know, what you're going through is okay and it's normalized. Whereas I think, people our age can kind of relate more to, you know, we weren't there yet. We didn't, we might got that. We have that now as adults but so much of, you know, who we are as a person, is shaped when we're in that phase between, you know, like 1 and 10 years old and so, you know. It doesn't take like, I think people have this idea that it takes like, all this serious crazy trauma, you know, in order for a person to turn to substances, but it really doesn't like, we all have what they're called our aces or these scenarios or environment situations that happen, that build up, that make us at higher risk to use substances or just have an addiction, in general. And for me, it was kind of combination, right? Like, unstable family environment, divorce, already dealing with mental health issues but having no, like at the time, untreated, you know? And then, finally getting old enough and I think of it this way, I had a very good friend of mine who, same age, a lot of the same issues, but she ended up having an eating disorder. And for her, you know, she went that route it seems because she grew up in a home where food was very restricted. It was super important for her mom to have everything be healthy. It was super important for them to, you know, look a certain way, and so, that was the hyper focus. And so, when she needed to choose, basically, a vice, the controlled eating was hers. And for me, food was not so much an issue in my household as alcohol was available. There were no heavy drugs or anything like that, but that was what was available to me at the time. That's what I was familiar with. I grew up with both my parents being European, so alcohol was super part of just like a normal dinner, you know, I was allowed to drink at an earlier age at dinner, you know, wine and stuff. And so, I already knew that I liked how I felt. And then, it just kind of opened up the door for the gateway of, you know, the abuse to come, in and that's kind of the route that I took.

Alex: Right.

Kayla: Yeah.

Alex: So, that was actually the next question I was gonna ask you which is kind of when did you start drinking and what do you think influenced your drinking habits.

Kayla: Yeah. I mean, I would say I started experimenting at, you know, 14, 15, you know, that eighth grade, ninth grade. When the peer pressure starts to come on. I tried alcohol before when I was younger, but it wasn't something that I was really interested in. I think also, it was very normalized in my family like, I didn't grow up with any alcoholism like in my immediate family. So, I wasn't turned off. I just kind of saw it as like, Oh, this is, you know, enjoyable, my parents drink it but, you know, for me, I think I was going through so much emotional turmoil, especially at that time. So, you have to think, Okay. I've been dealing with all of this like OCD, panic attacks. For me, at the time, it was manifesting in different ways. I was going through like really bad stomach issues. And then, I was having eating issues and just, I couldn't figure out what was going on. I was seeing therapists but I was being an [ __ ] and I was like, the kid that would go into therapy and like, wouldn't talk for 45 minutes. So, you know, once again, we're going back to all this untreated stuff. And then, I'm hitting all the hormones, we're finally back in the stage, which for me, was such a culture shock, like as you know, living overseas like, I grew up my entire life overseas in these small international schools and very tight-knit communities. Very diverse. And then, I came back to a very like, Southern, small, very predominantly white town, and there was racism, and there was, you know, all the stuff that I had never experienced before. The bullying, the clicks and stuff, and I was like, Whoa. Like, you know. But before this, I was in a class of like seven students and we're all friends, you know, and of course, there's always drama between, you know, kids but then I go from, you know, gonna a class of seven kids and, you know, wearing uniforms and not having to worry about what kind of cool clothes you're wearing and all this stuff, to living in America where there's all these cultural issues and norms, and I was so lost. And so, really like, you know, I think, tail was old as time. I got into a bad crowd and not that they were bad people but, you know, they were partying early, they were drinking early, they were doing all that kind of stuff, and I really wanted to fit in. And for me, you know, addiction does run in my family and, you know, at the time, I really didn't think of it because I thought, Well, you know, neither of my parents have an issue but I have two uncles who have alcohol problems. One is sober. I have a grandparent that had an issue like, it's a very long, there's many people. But for me, it was just the way that alcohol made me feel or didn't feel, I think, would be, you know, that relaxation because normally, I was a very anxious person, always worried about what I looked like, how I was acting, was everything okay, just very generalized anxiety. And then, also, on top of that, the OCD and the perfectionism. And I found that alcohol really made me feel like, just relief from that. Like I got to escape that continuous discomfort that I had, and I took it to the max, you know, I was like, Okay. Whenever I can drink. I'm gonna do it. So, I took that as an opportunity, you know, to party extremely hard all throughout high school. Friday through Sunday, you know, I was all at the different high schools. You needed to know where party was and you would call me, you know, but then, the reputation came with, you know, I started getting in trouble. I got suspended from high school for coming drunk. And then, by my senior year I was like, skipping out early to go, you know, day drink with friends and, you know, I look back at it now, and I can see, Wow, it was such a problem. But at the time, it was so normalized in the group of friends that I had that it really wasn't a problem. It was, you know, almost like, Oh, that's so cool. You know, Oh, like, everyone's over at Taylor's house day drinking, you know, come after lunch is over and, you know, even though I don't talk to a lot of those people now, so I don't know how they're doing. But I know that I stuck with people who did we're doing the same things as I was doing because I wanted to kind of hide in plain sight. But I knew that there was an issue from the get-go, because like I said, by the time I graduated, which thankfully, I graduated, probably because my mom worked at the school, and because I was a varsity athlete, and sports were really, really important at our school. You know, I already had like I said, three underage alcohol citations. I had gone to the alcohol classes. I had done like, anger management courses. I was getting breathalyzed by my parents every night when I would get home. I just wasn't getting it. You know, like, part of it was a game to me and part of it was just, I didn't wanna give up how it made me feel, because when I wasn't drinking and when I wasn't partying, I was that shy, anxious, you know, perfectionist like, rigid, just this little totally, you know, lost, you know, 16, 17 year old girl. And when I was drinking, I got to be sexy, I got to be fun, I got to be loud, I got to be kind of this whole other persona that was so not who I actually was. And so, you know, my drinking progressed. I was able to kind of keep it under control for a couple of years because I was living at home, my parents would not let me go to a four-year university, they were like, we do not trust your ass. But of course, you know, I'm sneaking out. I would get, I, somehow managed, I got alcohol poisoning one night and managed to like, get it past my dad, he didn't even realize, but I just had this really burned and terrible memory of lying over the toilet and seeing the lady gaga song like, just dance, but like that it's gonna be okay over and over because I just, I thought I was gonna die. And the person who had brought me home had just left me like, they didn't even bother staying with me either, so it was just, you know, obviously not hanging out with really good people. And by the time I left to go to for a four-year university, I mean, everything went off because, you know, I'm wild. I'm totally free. No one's telling me. I'm not getting breathalyzed. And within the three years that I was at school, I completely burned everything to the ground. I got suspended from school. I was getting arrested. I was getting hospitalized. And on top of that, I had gotten diagnosed with panic disorder, so they had put me on Benzodiazepines for my panic attacks. And then, eventually, I just started taking this daily. So, I was taking Benzos and drinking, and if anybody's familiar with Benzos or not, I think Xanax, Valium, Klonopin. You should not be mixing those two things, at all, they're very extremely dangerous. And so, I was blacking out, probably like 90% of the time, because it really didn't take much for me and I just, when I think about my college experience, honestly, it's a massive blur. I really just, when I look at my college transcript, I think of it this way like, I was there for three years. I probably only actually was there on paper for like a year because it would be like a semester on, then I would take one off. For mental health or, you know, I had to do an outpatient treatment. And then, go back. And then, I got suspended for a year. And then, I went back and, you know, just total absolute chaos. And I was at a really good school and I completely [ __ ] it up. And finally, kind of what started my sober curious journey was my junior year. I was dating a guy, dated many guys, many guys left me, it was always, you know, like, you can stop drinking or, you know, you have to calm down, I was like [ __ ] off, you know, that's not happening. And I got arrested again, but I was on probation. So, of course, I'm not really taking it seriously and they 5150 me. And so, I was at this little kind of like, cottage. It wasn't a like a hospital but this little cottage, and I was stuck there for three days, and they basically, you know, went over everything. They kind of explained like, Do you know that the meds that you're taking are not supposed to be drinking on and kind of put things in perspective? But my lawyer called me because he was like, you know, you really [ __ ] up. You're on probation. You've, you know, broken your probation, you might go to jail. And so, kind of, you know, reality kicked in and I was like, holy [ __ ], you know. I'm like 21 or 22 years old, and I'm like, I cannot go to jail. Like, I really didn't take this seriously at all, so I got out of the 5150 and I stopped drinking like, immediately that day, because for me, it was never a physical addiction to the alcohol. It was more, you know, the emotional and the socialization but I was definitely very heavily addicted to the pills. And so, you know, there was about a month or so when I was waiting for like, my court and trying to figure out what was going on and I was just so [ __ ] anxious. My boyfriend at the time wasn't talking to me because I punched him in the face, which is why I got arrested, go figure, and, you know, luckily and, you know, I like to talk about this because I think it's part of the problem with the recovery system is when I finally was presented to the court, you know, and this was not my first assault either. So, I'm a second offender, you know, with a clear history of violence and aggression and all these things, and they're like, All right. Well, we're giving you two options. You can go to jail for three months here in Blacksburg, Virginia which is like bum [ __ ] or you can go to rehab and I'm like, Well, duh. I'm gonna go to rehab. Like, you know. Piece of cake, I get to choose my own rehab. I was like, Where did Britney Spears go? I'll go there. And so, that's what I did. But before I move on with the story, I like to pinpoint that because it's like, the only reason I got that option is because I'm a white woman. Like, there's no chance in hell that a man or a person of color would have been able to have the criminal record that I did and walk away, pretty much scot-free like, I don't blame the system in the way that I made all my own choices. But when I look back at how much I basically got away with in those three years, with community service, with, you know, an anger management class or, you know, picking up trash. It was a joke, you know, really. And so, I really didn't recognize how lucky that I was to be given the choice to go to treatment because there's just so many other people and circumstances out there, had they been in the situation that I was in, would not have gotten that choice. And they would have gone to jail and I imagine considering the drugs that I was on and my mental health state going to jail would have made it ultimately a hundred times worse, and probably deadly, because Benzos, besides alcohol, are the only drug that you can actually die from withdrawal. And so, you know, detoxing from those meds in a non-detox facility, in a jail, would not have gone over well. And so, that is one thing that I really like to highlight in just saying that I was very, very lucky to be on the medication that I was on, and have the opportunity to go to an actual detox and take it seriously, because I dread like, nightmares thinking about what would have happened had I said, you know, Well, [ __ ] it. I'll do jail for three months. You know? Like, I don't really have a problem because think, you know, [ __ ] whoever, I had enough of an awareness that there was a problem, that I was like, All right. I'll go to treatment. Because by that point, I was one of those people that was like, Oh I'll give him alcohol for a couple of weeks at a time, I'll give it up for lent, you know, but I was failed, like it was short-lived or I'll give up liquor, I'll do this, so I'll take a break, and ultimately, it had always fallen through. So, that really was the beginning and that was in 2015. So, that was kind of the beginning of the end for me. But then, yeah, so I went to treatment out here in LA and didn't really take it too seriously, of course. I had already, you know, not been drinking for about a month, so I kind of walk in literally in a [ __ ] track suit like an [ __ ], and I'm like, Oh, yeah. I haven't really drank in over a month, so like, I'm fine, you know, I'm just here, you know, it was a 30-day inpatient in LA like, you know, no complaints, very nice place like, and I just remember getting there and they tell you to hand over all your meds because I was on a bunch of meds and they were like, Yeah, you can't take those here. I was like, What do you mean? Like, I'm prescribed. And kind of like, I think that explains a lot of my entire validation and how it got away. I think there's a lot of other drug addicts like, I know people don't like to call themselves that because it's like the stigma, right? Like, Oh, I wasn't buying stuff off the streets. Or, Oh, I never used needles or whatever. It's like, you're a [ __ ] drug addict, so like, I was a drug addict and I was addicted to these prescribed medications, like your doctor can be your pusher. Big Pharma is the biggest [ __ ], you know, drug dealer out there. Definitely, most successful. And they took me off those and I detoxed off Benzos and that was literally, I was hallucinating. I was completely like, batshit crazy, like, I don't even know how else to put it like, it was just torturous, and I think that really scared me like, scared me [ __ ] straight for a while. Definitely scared me off the drugs. But then, you know, I left treatment and it kind of planted a seed. I would say, you know, they introduced me to AAA meetings, you know, I met other people for the first time who had a lot of the same stories that I did, the same mentality, and it was really cool to meet people, I think, for the first time that understood how I was feeling, and were using the same way that I was using because, you know, I had my party friends back at school and I definitely had friends who had problems, but nobody that was like, openly saying, Yeah. Maybe, this might be an issue. So, this was the first time I had ever gotten to meet other people my age who are also like, Yeah, I'm getting in trouble and yeah, I wanna stop, and, you know, I wanna do things differently. And for the first time, like it made sobriety seem kind of cool. Like I met these really cool people, and we went to all these AAA meetings in like West Hollywood and we started seeing celebrities and, you know, everyone's dressed really great, and it was really a social scene. And for the first time, I was like, Whoa. Like, sobriety can actually be kind of dope, like that seems cool, you know, there's, you know, it just, there's a whole other universe out there that there's still, you know, there's still clicks, there's still all that. But rather than, Oh, the cool kids drink. It's like, No. Dude, the cool kids? Don't drink. Like, you do drugs it's [ __ ] whack and I was like, What is this? What's happening? So, you know, I left treatment and I was still living in California, and it took me about a year to really stop like, I went back to drinking, didn't go back to the drugs but, you know, for me it was meeting another person, getting in a relationship with an addict, and really seeing another person go through what I was going through and then, worse, and getting, I would say getting a taste of my own medicine. Because before then, I'd always dated these really nice guys, who I really just treated like [ __ ], you know, and walked all over and always picked alcohol over them. And for the first time, I was dating somebody who was a meth addict and, you know, I was getting the treatment that I got before like, or that I was giving out basically. He would disappear for days at a time. Wouldn't be able to hear from him, you know, show up, he'd say he was quitting, and he wouldn't he was lying, I was finding needles, and I was just like, Oh my god. This is horrible. I did this to people, you know, and it started to really eat at me because I think before I was just truly very selfish, not that I wasn't suffering, you know, not that I wasn't going through anything, but I was definitely also very selfish. And so, going through and being in this relationship and trying to get this person sober, and trying to get sober together, and I had decided, you know, Okay. I'm gonna take this seriously. And it was just really, you know, it wasn't a night that was really worse than any others because I had a lot of bad, bad nights. But the way that I can kind of describe it as in, I think Mark Lewis describes it best in his book, "The Biology of Desire". When he's talking to this woman who is a heroin addict, I believe. But she just talks about a threshold of disgust where like, finally, she was so disgusted with using that she couldn't do it anymore. And that was for me, like, the best way to describe it is just like, just the thought of even picking up a drink disgusted me so much that I was like, Oh, I can't do it. Like there was, and the way he describes it in his book is basically like, every person has their own inner threshold and that's why, you know, people are different and everyone's rock bottom or, you know, threshold is gonna be different but for me, the negative to positive experiences had been, you know, different for a long time. So, definitely, more negative but so much so finally that they completely outweighed all the positive experiences, and they kind of talked about it in the big book and 29:22 I a of, like the moth to a flame where you're like, Okay. [ __ ] this [ __ ] like, I'm out. Like, I just can't even, you know, I can't even fathom, and that's kind of, I had another really bad night. I ended up breaking into the hospice where my grandparents were staying, because they were dying. And that's why everybody was back in town meeting each other to say goodbye, and of course, you know, my selfish ass wants to make it about me, so I have this, you know, big, just day drinking and being an [ __ ] and I just was driving back from Bakersfield California, which is like two hours away from LA and I'm like, stuck in traffic, coming down like, so hungover. I think I did had, I'd done drugs that night, too. So, I'm like, coming down hard and like, I just remember I'm like, stuck in traffic in the mountains because there was some fires. And so, everything was backed up and I'm like throwing up in a McDonald's cup, because I can't get out, you know, like having anxiety attacks and like just trying to get [ __ ] back to LA. And then, this moment, I was just like, Okay. Can't do this anymore. Like, we've been here so many times like I'm talking to myself. I'm like, Kayla, we have been here time and time again. How many times have we said enough is enough? I can't do this anymore. I'm done. I'm stopped. And yet, here we are. And this time, I think, really, what pushed me over was I had alienated so many people, but I never really alienated my family. And that night, I really [ __ ] up. Like I did it in front of everybody. My entire family saw how bad I actually was. I think I punched somebody in the face like, one of the hospice workers like, just completely out of control, you know, and my mom had to call the cops on me, somehow talked my way out of that. And then, I ended up breaking into the hospice to sleep there, and I was just like, this is, you have nobody. Like, you officially have nobody. You can't even like, your meth addicted boyfriend doesn't even wanna talk to you. Okay? Like, that's how [ __ ] bad you are right now, dude. What are you gonna do? Like, you can drive back to LA, and you're gonna go home to nothing. You're gonna have nobody to talk to, nobody's gonna [ __ ] care what's going on with you. You basically have two options, you can either probably go kill yourself or stop doing this and [ __ ] do something with your life, because I think, what I realized was I had so much potential like, I was at a really good university. I knew I was smart. I know that I'm smart, right? And I was so bitter about [ __ ] it up that I was like, Oh, I could never go back, I could never, you know, I'm too far gone. This like, mentality of like, Oh, I'm just, it's too much damage is done. And I kind of, in that moment, something told me like that's [ __ ], like that's complete [ __ ]. You are not done. You're not done until you [ __ ] quit. Like, you will always have a chance to redeem yourself no matter how [ __ ] low you get, but if you quit like, that's when like, that's really. So, for me, I was like, Okay. [ __ ] this. I'm not a quitter, like, I'm a lot of things but I'm not a [ __ ] quitter. And as long as there's a chance that I can fix this and do better, I have to. So, I drove, finally got back into LA and the next day I went to an AAA meeting and I didn't pick up a drink after that because I was just [ __ ] done. And so, that was like almost five years ago? Yeah. I don't really, and we can talk about this later but for me, I don't really count time anymore. That, for me, it's not productive. But, yeah. That was about five years ago and ever since then, really, alcohol and drugs have not been a part of my life at all. I would probably say that I live an alcohol-free life and, you know, used to identify as sober. I'm not really into labeling anymore but just, you know, completely have changed my life and my lifestyle, and never looked back. Had definitely never had an interest in going back to that.

Alex: Wow. That is like such an inspirational story of like, how you really just like, turned your life around and, you know, you went through a lot.

Kayla: Yeah.

Alex: And it's pretty amazing to see like where you are now with A Thousand Hours Dry, it's huge.

Kayla: For sure. I mean, I think, you know, not to say I don't have my bad days. Not to say I'm a perfect person, obviously, like, if you lived with me or if anybody wants to talk to my boyfriend about how annoying I am or, you know, I'm still, you know, I'm still, I have a lot of things I'm working on all the time. Like, I see a therapist. I take medication, you know, but it took a lot, you know, it really like, some things that I really took away from like, because at the time, when I got sober like, really, the only options were 12-step meetings. This was before the online server community was a thing. This was before, I think there might have been some of the online coaching stuff happening, but I wasn't really interested in any of that. And the 12 steps, that's why I was familiar with from treatment, so I did that for about a year and a half, and I took a lot of great things away from that. And some of the things I took away were just, you know, you can go as low as you want to and I really loved when people would say like, you know, your rock bottom is where you you stop digging, like, there's no one rock bottom for anybody else, and it's like, it can always get worse but you can always stop if you really want to. And so, for me, that whole idea of, Okay. I can have a redemption story. Like, I am not a lost cause I am not, you know, a bad person. I'm somebody who's done bad things. I'm somebody who's acted really selfishly, but now is my time to show people in my life that I love that, I care about that that's not who I am. That's not who my parents raised. And that I'm not gonna waste the potential that I know that I have continuing to, you know, self-harm, which that's what drinking is really, you know? At least the way I was doing it, and actually do something with my life because when I look back to, you know, my like 15-year old self and even, you know, even before then like, I got great grades I had, you know, I ended up going to a great university. I had a very promising future, but it just wasn't a priority. And so, you know, tell myself and kind of look in the mirror and give that pep talk of like, Dude, you are privileged as [ __ ]. Stop being like, stop being this way, you know, you're not in the middle of a third world country, you're not in the [ __ ] middle of nowhere in the United States with no future, you know, you're not, so all these things that could have been, you know, holding people back or validating, they're like, Oh, well, this is just my life. I'm like, Dude, no. Like, You have parents that love and support you financially, you know, like emotionally, like, you have friends now who want you to be sober who, you know, who like you for you, not the part of you, not the drunk you, the actual you. You know, you need to use this. You have to. Like, you are obligated because people gave you a chance like, you got to go to treatment. A lot of people don't get to go to treatment, you know? You got a chance to get sober like, this is a privilege. This is not like a punishment. And now, like how I always saw it, and what really like, what really got instilled in me, and even after I left AAA like, what I thought was really important and what I wanted to carry into the world, however, I was gonna do that was that I needed to be of service. And I started to get kind of emotional but it was like, I never would have gotten sober if it wasn't for, obviously, like my parents, you know, people around me who did love me who said, you know, like, We know that you're not a bad person. We know that you're just struggling. Let us help you, you know, like, let us help you and finally allowing people to help me because I was so hell-bent on doing it myself which we can't, you know, we have to stay sober for ourselves like we're the only ones who can choose to pick up, but we need support. Like, nobody can do this alone. And so, really just allowing the community to take me in and having a sponsor and really diving like, for me, what I needed was to dive super heavily into the community. I took a lot of AAA commitments. I went to meetings like every day. I would go to like, you know, sober parties, and really, in the beginning, that's what my life revolved around and that's what I needed. But by the time I was ready to leave, right, like I just knew that the 12 steps weren't really working for me anymore, I needed an evolution, but I knew that I needed to continue the work that they were doing there in the way of being of service. Because if it wasn't for all these people who never had to help me, who weren't getting paid to do any of this, you know, AAA is a non-revenue based organization, like, I would not be here and a lot of my other friends would not be here. So, I was like, I have to, no matter what I do, continue to be of service. Like, it's not about me, you know, I don't wanna call it altruism but like, I have to continue to give back to this community because that's how this works. Like, that's how we're gonna thrive, that's how we're gonna help more people, that's how we're gonna help normalize this is by giving back without reciprocation. You cannot expect anything. And so, that's kind of where the idea of the Dry Club and A Thousand Hours Dry came from, is just not altruistically, I needed a way to give back, that wasn't the 12 step programs and that's kind of how A Thousand Hours Dry was born because I knew that, you know, once again, going back to, you know, some old AAA sayings but, you know, they say, you know, you have to give it away in order to keep it. And I really, really believe that. Because I've known a lot of people who have gone out and not come back, or people who are still out, you know, who I knew for a really long time to be sober and they stopped doing the work, and they stopped working on themselves, and they stopped giving back to the community, and they made it all about them, and I think, you know, your ego is what got us here, right? And then, your ego is what's gonna take you out. And so, that's something that I have to remind myself of daily, because the ego is involved in everything. Right? Like, not just sobriety, not just recovery, but it's in social media, it's in influencing, it's in thought leadership and everything. So, whenever I find myself now like, I call it in like a pre-lapse mode. It's when I'm letting my ego take over, and I'm like, Oh, I'm posting on social media a lot. I'm making it about me. I'm, you know, like, A Thousand Hours Dry, I'm gonna post stuff about me and my journey and, you know, whatever it starts to be about me, I know that I'm at risk. And so, I really, really try very hard to live in a world where, I think about myself, you know, as in self-care but I wake up every day and I think, All right. Like, Well, how can I serve the community first? And then, in return, by serving others. That's what makes me feel good and I do get something out of that, and that's how I, you know, continue to thrive and give myself happiness and, you know, doing something I love and that I'm passionate about.

Alex: So, let's talk about A Thousand Hours Dry, you kind of brought it up. How did that, like, how did you end up creating that? How did that come about?

Kayla: For sure. So, it's not really this, you know, crazy cool story. I was living in LA. I needed, I was looking for a way to connect with other sober and like, non-drinking individuals outside of the program because I had left the 12 steps and, you know, some of the negative things about those programs too is once you leave, you're kind of shunned a little bit. So, you know, a lot of my friends weren't talking to me anymore. Once you kind of stop participating, you're kind of seen as like, being dry is literally what they call it and that's why I took the name, but it's a more of a derogatory negative thing to be called dry. It means like, you're not drinking but you're not doing the work, probably gonna relapse is like the connotation and I was like, Well, you know, I'm not that because I'm doing my therapy, I'm exercising, I'm back in school. Like, my life's going really good but I'm just, you know, I needed something else. I didn't wanna continue to go to meetings all the time. I didn't really wanna be plugged into this. I also, you know, never really got behind some of the things that are there, kind of foundations. You know, I'm agnostic and it's a religious based program. No matter who wants to say it's not, it definitely is, you know, and don't believe in powerlessness and I don't believe in the disease model. So, you know, there are always bits and pieces missing for me and I needed to step away from the program, so I could explore, you know, how is my sobriety gonna be able to continue to evolve. How am I gonna continue to grow and transform as an individual. And the first step I kind of needed to do was, well, I need a support system but how do I find other sober people that aren't in the 12 steps? Because, you know, we're not that obvious, we're out there, there's a ton of us but, you know, this was like right at the beginning of like sober influencers. So, like, I, at the time, had like a regular influencer page. Not my personal page now, it's like a deactivated account because I was doing like all the cliché, you know, LA modeling kind of stuff. And I used that account to start talking about being sober. So, it was like a fitness and health, you know, account, but then I started to add in sobriety. And then, through some like, hashtags and stuff I found, some of the OG, you know, sober influencers, like I found Emily from Highlight Reel, I found Kristin from Boozeless, Rachel from Shots to Shakes. And we all just started kind of connecting and talking, and slowly but surely, you know, the community started to become bigger, you know, people were starting to make Instagrams about just being sober. You know, before that it was like, these were all of just our regular accounts. And then, we talked about sobriety on there. But then, one day, I was talking actually and I was like, Well, I wanna do something like fun to incorporate my followers in my sobriety, you know, because there's so many [ __ ] fitness and health and wellness influencers like, but there's not really anything for sobriety like, How can I kind of bring people into this without turning them off? Because when I'm talking about like hardcore recovery, you're not including a lot of other people. And that's that whole gray area drinking. And so, I'd actually just hit my a thousand days sober and I was like, Okay. So like, you know, I also had studied social media and communications in school, so I was like, All right, you know, like, I know how to do this, let's get something trending. So, I was like, All right. I wanna do a challenge like, anybody can do a challenge, it's super inclusive, it's not a long-term commitment, and that's kind of how in a caffeinated induced like manic, you know, thing I was like, A Thousand Hours Dry like, you know, it's 42 days 41-42 days, you know, it's a little bit more than the 30 days that people normally do for dry January, but it's not tied to anything, you know, it doesn't have to be a certain month. Anybody can do it at any time, and doing the research, it was like, this is enough time for people to really start to see some of the benefits of living an alcohol-free lifestyle. So, I was like, All right, I'm gonna do this challenge. And I originally thought it was gonna be like, 20 people, and I even was like, Oh. If you're in the LA area like, let's do a little pop-up of that like, I set up an event space and did all these goodie bags because I had like a lot of brand affiliations at the time. And then, I got like, Chris from Boozeless involved, and Rachel, and Emily who were actually some of the OG hosts from two years ago. And, you know, what I thought was gonna be like 20 people, you know, within a couple days was a couple hundred people. And then, it was, you know, a couple thousand people and I was like, Oh, [ __ ]. Okay. What are we gonna do? Like, this is, Okay. Cannot make that many goodie bags, you know. And so, I ended up, you know, creating the page for it and, you know, some other people reached out and like, you know, Hey, how can I get involved? Brenna from Sabrinity, she's been with me since day one, and it just really kind of created itself in a way like, you know, people wanted to know how to do it and we just said, you know, it's really simple like, Don't drink for these 42 days and we're gonna support you through it. You know, we're gonna educate you, we're gonna inspire you, you know, we're gonna share your journey with others, so you know that you're not doing this alone and, you know, over the past two years, it's grown, you know, from a couple hundred people to over, you know, 20 000 people interested in either the alcohol-free lifestyle or, you know, the sober curious tourism kind of thing. And so, it really just started as a way to kind of connect, you know, non-drinkers or people who were sober curious. And now has, you know, become really its own ecosystem, and that's really what I wanted it to be. Yeah, I mean, it's amazing, you know, social media has so many negative connotations but, you know, for me, A Thousand Hours Dry is a perfect example of how social media can be used for good and can be used for education, and community, and support and, you know, it's a totally volunteer based community. We have multiple different chapters and, you know, I would love my kind of vision for the future of A Thousand Hours Dry is to kind of make it, you know, alongside smart recovery in AAA like, I would love to have people have chapters in their communities and if they feel like, Hey, I wanna start, you know, a local dry club in my town. For sure, let's do it, you know, I will give you the tools on how to start and go from there because I think really, anybody who's interested in the lifestyle and has the same aligned views as we do, and not even like, that's one thing that I kind of like to say, we're like the Buddhist version of the recovery programs in the way that like, I don't care if you do AAA and the dry club. I don't care if you're in smart recovery or refuge recovery and do the dry club. You know, we're welcoming all types of people from all types of lanes, and specifically wanted to not be affiliated with anything else for that purpose, so, that way, people who had substance abuse problems like me could come here and feel welcome, and people who just felt like, You know what, my drinking is pretty kind of maladaptive. I don't wanna drink anymore, could also come and feel like they were part of it. And even if you didn't have the same story or the same background, there was not that competitive air like some of the other programs have where, Oh, you know, you have to qualify or you have to have certain amount of time, or there's a hierarchy, and I was like, [ __ ] that [ __ ]. Okay? Like, we're all just trying to live better. We're all just trying to, you know, escape and and find people who get us, so let's make a safe space that's inclusive to everybody and let's educate people like, I do think that that's true from AAA, it's about practice not promotion, like, do the thing and share your experiences and you will inspire others. We're not shoving it down people's throats. We're not telling anybody you have to do this, you have to do that. Everything is a suggestion and that's why we put out, you know, I think education is our top thing because I always just say, you know, you can't unlearn things like, once you know alcohol is a carcinogenic, once you know, now, Oh, a bottle of wine is the same risk for cancer as 10 cigarettes like, you're not gonna forget that. And I think those are the key seeds that we're planting in people that whether you're ready to get sober now or not, following the page is a really amazing step because you're gonna see awesome, people you're gonna see their transformation right before your eyes, you're definitely gonna see other people's stories who you relate to, you know, and if you're following like, our hashtags and stuff, that's a great way to connect with other people, you know, like you never know who could be living in your apartment complex that sober, you know, or in your town or, you know, on your freaking, you know, softball team like you just, I always joke because I do actually have an AAA tattoo, so I was like, you know, unless there's like a sign in your head that says, Hey, I'm sober. You know, there's no gang sign. So like, we are everywhere, and that was kind of what the idea of the dry club is just like. I wanted to become a lifestyle like, you know, it's not about, Oh, I'm in recovery. Oh, I had to have a substance abuse issue. And that's why, even now, I've kind of dropped the labels because it's like, I just don't drink. I'm very open about how over the past five years, I have had a drink. Was it a slip? Was it a relapse? No. It was a conscious decision and it didn't serve me, and I just kept living the alcohol-free lifestyle, and I kind of just see it more as, you know, I don't have any vegan friends that talk about how much vegan time they have. They're just vegan. You know, like, that's how they live their lifestyle. They're not worried about how many days vegan they have, they just know, Today, I'm being vegan. I'm not eating, you know, animal product. That's how I kind of feel about alcohol. Sometimes, I say I'm sober, sometimes I say I'm alcohol-free whatever, you know, I know that I started my journey in 2015-2016. I've been loving this lifestyle since then and I know today I'm not gonna drink. And so, I'm alcohol-free and that's pretty much, you know, how I see it and if anybody else, you know, of course, we've gotten trolls, there's haters, there's people who say, you know, you're not following the rules, you can't do that. And I'm just like, first of all, there's no recovery police and nobody gets a trophy for being the most sober person, you know? If somebody is celebrating a milestone and they had a few slips, I'm going to congratulate them and applaud them the same way that I'm gonna applaud somebody who got the same amount of time with no slips, because today, we're both sober and we're both all still aiming for the same thing, so the only time you're failing is when you're quitting and saying, Well, [ __ ] this. I'm not gonna try anymore, you know, I'm gonna go back to all my old behaviors. I'm gonna start using again. And I'm gonna, you know, go back into, you know, drinking regularly or using regularly, then yeah, obviously, there's a problem and we wanna help you. But once again, we're not shunning you, we're not saying you can't come back like, there are no, you're not losing anything. I always see relapses or, you know, sober curious. I think people who are sober curious don't just have to be people who are new to sobriety. You can be somebody who's been sober for a long time and you decide, Hey, you know, I might wanna kind of try moderation a little bit again. And to me that, you kind of go back into being sober curious for a little while, and to me, those people aren't any less of a person or any less part of this community than people who are strict abstinence because, sure, is that the goal to be completely absent? That's awesome. But that's not everybody's journey, you know, and that was like a big thing happening right now with, you know, Demi Lovato coming out and being open about like, Well, actually, I'm drinking moderately. And everyone's like, Oh my god, such a terrible idea, you know, she's gonna fail, she's gonna die. It's like, first of all, why is her life anybody else's [ __ ] business? And second of all, you know, a lot of people like, it sounds kind of [ __ ] up, but a lot of people need to relapse to realize that this is the lifestyle that they need. You know, we have to make mistakes in order to learn. I don't think I know anybody who decided to get sober and then, that was it. They were like, Oh, I have a problem. Oh, I'm done. Like, every, and I've met hundreds and hundreds of sober people, everyone had a sober curious phase. Everybody had phases where they were like, Okay. I'm gonna stop and they couldn't. And they tried and they got time. And then, they. And then, they drank or they used. And then, they got more time and they drank or they used. Like, it's this linear progression, you know, idea that like, Oh, sobriety is you're starting here and it's not, it's like a [ __ ] wave, you know, like, totally. And so, I think it's really important for me and for, you know, my host at A Thousand Hours Dry like to just push that, push the transparency. If you have a slip, be open about it, you know, some friends, there's even a couple of hosts who are not completely sober, who are mindful drinkers. I'm like, Dude, as long as you are like sober tourism like, you you're still thinking like, you know, maybe I do wanna get sober one day, I'm just not ready yet. You're [ __ ] part of what we're doing like, I hate the idea that anybody, you know, is being turned away for anything because for every person that, you know, other programs turned away because they didn't qualify, you don't know what happened to those people. They could have gone out and died. They could have gone out and gotten worse like, why would you ever wanna turn somebody away? Because, oh well, you're not a real alcoholic, so you don't belong here. Okay? Like, so we want them to go out and get worse before they come back? That's [ __ ] dumb like, so yeah.

Alex: I was just gonna say I really admire that model of inclusivity, because I know, I myself, have experienced that like when I met someone in the AAA world who said to me that based on what I had said about myself, she thought that I didn't have a problem. And that was when I was around 100 days alcohol-free and that upset me because I was like, I've worked really hard to get to where I am right now. And just because I don't have the same journey as you did, does not mean that like, you get to define my story or my journey or kind of what's going on with me. And so, I really think that there is like a real need for this kind of inclusive space that you're creating.

Kayla: Yeah. I mean, it's simple right? Like, whatever works for you works for you. Like, do what works for you. And that's why I'm totally fine with like, you know, a lot of it does unfortunately come from the 12 step programs, that's where a lot of the negativity comes from. But, I mean, people got to put it in context, right, like, this was a program created like a hundred years ago by men, for men. It wasn't created for women. It wasn't created for people of color, and it was created a hundred years ago. So, I don't know about you guys but like, I'm not really trying to do things that were created a hundred years ago if there are better ways and more modern ways to do them, you know? And so, you know, once again, there are always gonna be great things from different programs, but it's a, I kind of think of it as like a salad bar or like, what was somebody saying, I was like, made like a Starbucks reference. I was like, you know, beforehand there was only like, half and half or milk, and that doesn't work for everybody. I'm lactose intolerant and now we have all these plant-based milks and that's kind of like the program like, sometimes they're not gonna have coconut milk, you're gonna go to oat milk, and you've got to make sure that you like and have different things available because not everything is gonna be available at the time you need it, and I think Covid was a perfect example of how, you know, when you are only, when your sobriety hangs on going to meetings and that's it. And now, all of a sudden, you can't go to meetings, that's not healthy. Like, you should have multiple watering holes for your sobriety, so that way if something is not accessible at the time, you have other ways to cope. And that's why there's a sobriety tool kit, you know, that's why you see all these influencers talking about the sobriety tool kit like, yes, it's annoying, everybody's [ __ ] talking about it, but it's important. And that's why we harp on it, you know, like, go to therapy. If you need to be on medication, take your medication. Anybody telling you that you're not sober because you're taking medication is not a [ __ ] doctor and they're quack like, just, sorry, you know? That's totally old school thinking and I get it, but also, a lot of people don't understand that a lot of like, psycho like, antipsychotic medication is not the same thing as taking like controlled substances like, you know, I love to give the example of like, I take an SSR, SSNRI, which helps me with my serotonin uptake and it's like, Okay. So, what am I, it took me like four weeks for it to start actually working. So, I take it every day and it's like, so I'm not sober but like, so do you wanna take some of my effects or, because you can't take too many of them. Well, maybe you'll probably throw up or something. But like, you can't get high, so like, good luck if you wanna get, if you wanna have like a change of, you know, if you wanna have what do they say like, anything that affects you from the neck up is a no-no. It's like, Well, you know, come back to me in four to six weeks and that's when it'll work for you. So, it's not really, you know, you're not using it to alter your state of mind. If anything, the coffee, the energy drinks, the smoking, all that [ __ ] is what's altering us above them, you know, the neck, so it's just this. There's a lot of hypocrisy, there's a lot of, you know, [ __ ] in the recovery community that I personally just have no problem kind of calling out. If people need to take their meds, they need to take their meds. I'm all for harm reduction, you know, if you were somebody that used to be hardcore, you know, an addict and you were using needles, and now you're just drinking, dude, good for you. You know, that's better than what you were doing before, you know, if you are still using needles, if you can get a hold of clean needles, dude, do it, good for you. Go to like, you know, go to a needle exchange. Go use clean needles like, just, you can't, everybody's not gonna be able to be absent. It's just not possible and especially, people who are homeless, people who are in bad situations, people who have physical dependencies and who can't, you know, go to detox and don't have the same health care and stuff like, this just idea of like, Well, I did it this way, so you have to do it this way. And if you don't, you didn't do it right. It's like, this whole thing is supposed to be about the removal of the ego, and yet, this, to me, sounds like, all ego. So, why are you worried about what I'm doing? It doesn't affect your sobriety. And unless it affects your sobriety, [ __ ] off.

Alex: Yeah.

Kayla: Like, so it's just, I think it's, you know, I always ask people like, if it's bothering you, you gotta ask yourself why it's bothering you. If somebody else's time, if somebody else decides not to change their date, like I remember when I was very open about how I drank and I chose not to change my sobriety date, because for me, it was kind of an experiment and, you know, I could have easily said, Yeah, you know, what I'm gonna go back to, you know, mindful or moderate drinking, and done that because I had healed myself. I really believe I am no longer a substance abuse user. I'm not an alcoholic anymore. I'm not an addict. But I was like, you know, this doesn't serve me anymore. I'm really not interested in anymore and because I'm not using it in the same way that I did before, having a couple drinks, it's really not that great anymore, you know, like, I didn't feel great the next day. You know, sure, yeah it's fine for like, a couple like, what do they say, like, the buzz lost for like 20 minutes. And then, after that, it's kind of, you know, it's super dulled and so, you know, I remember so many people got mad and they were like, You cannot keep your sobriety today. I was like, Oh, I'm sorry, you did not know you were the recovery police. Like, why does it matter to you what I'm doing? And whatever keeps me sober and keeps me going, because I've known so many people who have not only just gone out but who have died, because they relapsed and they got everything taken away from them. Their sponsees got taken away, their commitments got taken away, you know, if they were like a manager at a sober living or something, their job got taken away, which would never happen in any other job, right? Like, unless you like, do it at work. And it's just like, you can't destroy people for making mistakes, and they can't learn like, obviously, their recovery wasn't working right or they wouldn't be drinking, so, or they wouldn't, you know, be relapsing. And I kind of see just every relapse and every slip as an opportunity for you to ask yourself, Okay, well. How did I get here? What am I doing that I feel like I still need to go back to this? Or this still needs to be part of my life. And then, what I hope for everybody is to get to a place like I've gotten where I don't really count my days, I don't really count anything. I just know that alcohol isn't involved in my life, and when things get really hard, when I had like, let's say, probably a couple days ago, I had like a really awful depressive like, I guess it was kind of a, I wasn't like a manic state and I got so angry because I still deal with a lot of anger management. But, you know, I just had this huge tantrum and I was so angry and, you know, everything was going wrong in that moment. I was so stressed out dealing with new contracts for a new job, and a bunch of legal stuff, and it really felt, I felt like completely overwhelmed. We're getting a new puppy in like a week. I was like is everything ready, you know, and that, for me, is like, it was one of those moments that I easily could have been like, Well, [ __ ] this. I'm just gonna get high. I'm gonna get drunk. And then, I'm not gonna have to deal with how uncomfortable and unstable I feel. And that did not even [ __ ] cross my mind for five seconds. Five years ago, for sure that would have been the first thing I would have done. What do I do now, I go take a nap. I say, [ __ ] off to my boyfriend, leave me alone. I go take a nap, you know, I scream into my pillow. I go to the gym, you know, I take a hot shower like, I do all these other things, and I don't even think about drinking, and that's crazy to me because five years ago, I could have never imagined that was even a mindset that I could be in where drinking was not only like, it's not that I didn't even do it. It's, I didn't even think about doing it and to wear just alcohol as a non-factor in my life. It's like soda. I haven't had a soda in like, 10 years, it's just not part of my life. Like, you know, it's like a colorblind person not being able to see color, it's just not there. I have no desire for it, I don't miss it, it's just not part of my life. And that's kind of what I wanna give to other people is that experience and that strength and that foundation to be able to build this completely super fulfilling lifestyle with all the tools they need, because life's not gonna get any easier as we get older, we get more stress out, you know, like, I'm 28. Now, we're getting a puppy, you know, we're talking about buying houses. We probably have a kid in the next five years, you know? Oh, holy [ __ ]. That's a lot. But I've created my own sobriety toolkit here, you're gonna hear it again, you know, and this support system in this and this ecosystem to where I just, like I've said it before and I'll say again like, I would rather take gum off of the sidewalk and eat it than pick up a drink, or pick up or use like it just, it's so unattractive to me now. And so, if I can think that way and, you know, I was the kind of person that would, you know, I was a bartender, so I could drink at work. And I would, you know, drink the floaters when I was like wasted at 2am at a party, and I wake up and drink whatever I could find. You know, like, I was getting hospitalized for getting so drunk and I was the girl bashing her head on the inside of the cop car, you know, I went from that to now, you know, owning my own organization, now being part of this really amazing, you know, another organization reframe, the app, and getting to change the way people, you know, drink and use on an international level, you know, living in an amazing place with a guy who's known me for a long time. He knew me in college. He knew me when he was drinking, when I was drinking, you know, gave me another chance when I got sober, you know, and now, we've been together for a while, and none of that would have happened if I didn't give myself a chance and say, You know what, I might not love myself right now but one day will and how can I act in order to make that person in the future proud like, and so, I say that now, too, when I'm having like a really bad day, or a bad week, or a bad month, like, this month has been [ __ ]. I'm just like, Okay. I don't wanna go to the gym but Kayla, in six weeks, is gonna be happy that I went to the gym, or, you know, I really don't wanna get out of bed but, you know, Kayla in a week has deadlines for this new job and Kayla, in a week, is gonna be happy that you woke up. So, I do it for me in the future, and I found that that trick has been super helpful. So, just food for thought.

Alex: Yeah. Like the future me, your future. I do future self meditations often.

Kayla: Totally, yeah.

Alex: And kind of trying to, visualizing the future me. All right. I have one last thing before we go before we wrap up. I like to do a either or round of things with my podcast guest. Are you game?

Kayla: Yes.

Alex: Okay. Either or, Chocolate or Vanilla Ice Cream?

Kayla: Chocolate.

Alex: Okay. Summer or Winter?

Kayla: Winter.

Alex: Okay. Hot Coffee or, well, first I should say, Coffee or Tea?

Kayla: Well, coffee, but I do decaf.

Alex: Okay. Hot Coffee or Cold Coffee?

Kayla: Iced, for sure.

Alex: Okay. Mornings or Night Times?

Kayla: Night.

Alex: Ocean or Swimming Pool?

Kayla: Ocean.

Alex: Ocean?

Kayla: Yes.

Alex: I'm running out of ideas.

Kayla: Well, here, we can end on that because it's actually, ocean is important to me because I'm not like a big ocean person like, I don't really like to go in the ocean, it's kind of scary. But it's important to me, because I remember when I was in rehab, and we went on a trip, because I went to rehab in LA and, you know, I was having a really hard time because I was like, Look. I don't believe in God like, and so, giving my power to God is not working for me because I don't believe in him. How am I gonna make this work? I really wanna get sober. I really wanna do this. I really want this to work, but I don't believe in this and I can't pretend. I've already been trying, and it's not working. And I just remember, I was sitting on the beach because they took us to Malibu, and it was like, me and my other friend and it was the day before we both got discharged, and we were just sitting on the beach and one of my texts was sitting next to me and I was just kind of telling her and she was like, You know what, like, why don't you just make your higher power the ocean? And I was like, What do you mean? And she's like, Well, you know, your higher p