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This Side of Alcohol with Peggi Cooney


Peggi Cooney is a social work instructor/coach with a master's in Social Work from California State University. Since getting sober, Peggi has become a sobriety advocate. Peggi has written a book called This Side of Alcohol and founded a Facebook group with 13,000 members!


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You can find Peggi at https://thissideofalcohol.com. Follow me on Instagram @alexmcrobs and check out my offerings in yoga, meditation and coaching at http://themindfullifepractice.com/.


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Transcript


Intro

Hi friend, this is Alex McRobs, founder of "The Mindful Life Practice" and you're listening to the "Sober Yoga Girl" podcast. I'm a Canadian who moved across the world at age 23 and I never went back. I got sober in 2019 and I realized that there was no one talking about sobriety in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so I started doing it. I now live in Bali, Indonesia, and full-time run my community, "The Mindful Life Practice". I host online sober yoga challenges, yoga teacher trainings, and I work one on one with others, helping them break up with booze for good. In this podcast, I sit down with others in the sobriety and mental health space from all walks of life and hear their stories so that I can help you on your journey. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how. Alex

Alright. Hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of "Sober Yoga Girl". Before I hop into the episode, I just wanted to quickly mention, if you have not yet joined our free "Sober Curious Facebook Group", we have about 1000 people in there. It's pretty amazing. A lot of great conversations and support going on. So I will pop the link in the episode description and without further waiting, I'm going to get into today's episode. So I'm very excited to have Peggi Cooney here with me today. And Peggy and I have quite a few mutual friends actually as the way that the sober world always works. We all know each other, but Peggi is a good friend of Kathy's and Jeff G., who are both really involved in the Mindful Life Practice. And I've heard so much about her and the work she does and the book she wrote and her Facebook group with the sober world. So I'm just super excited to actually meet her today and hear a lot about her story and her journey. So welcome, Peggi, how are you?


Peggi

Thank you. I'm good. Glad to be here.


Alex

Nice to have you here. And I was wondering if we could start and you could tell me a little bit about sort of you and where you are in the world and a little bit of your story.


Peggi

Sure. I currently live in Northern California, so right outside the capital city of the west-- we live in West Sacramento and also live up in the mountains about three hours away. We're retired, which is a joke because I retired for 14 days. But we have two places we live. So I live in Northern California. I am married to Paul for 35 years and we have five kids together and 12 grandkids. And I'm a Social Work Instructor for UC Davis. That's my after-retirement job. So I've been teaching social work and coaching for about eight years.


Alex

Amazing. Are you coaching? Are you sober coaching?


Peggi

No, I'm coaching social workers.


Alex

Okay.


Peggi

One of the biggest-- as Maya Angelou says, "we do something until we learn better then we do better". The social work field is very young, so it's really exciting to be-- especially around child welfare and adult protective services. So we're always learning new things that work better. And one of the central things that we do currently is coaching. We teach safety-organized practice, which is strength-based, trauma-focused, and really trying to get families back together if they have to be separated. Absolutely as soon as possible with the least amount of trauma, which is impossible. So I coach people on how to do family facilitation, family meeting facilitation, and also individual coaching as social workers.


Alex

Wow. That's amazing.


Peggi

Fun. Yeah. It's a dream job for sure.


Alex

And you have a huge family, five kids, 12 grandkids. That's amazing.


Peggi

My daughter has two sets of twins so she made up for a third of the population.


Alex

Wow. That's amazing. And have you always been in California?


Peggi

Yes. I was born and raised near San Francisco and my boys still live. I have two adult boys. They live down there. And my daughter lives really nearby in Sacramento.


Alex

Oh, beautiful. I've actually never been to California, but I can imagine it. I imagine it's like really sunny and warm and palm trees and beachy. It's my imagination.


Peggi

It's everything... so, and we still have about 4ft of snow up at our cabin right now.


Alex

Really?


Peggi

And it's only three hours away. Yeah.


Alex

I would have never guessed that. I guess Tahoe is in California, right? Okay. Then I knew that because a long time back I was looking at yoga teacher training there, like in 2013. And I remember Tahoe is like a ski Hill. So I guess I knew that there was California, but I guess or not California. There was snow in California, but it wasn't the image that exactly comes to mind. But there you go.


Peggi

Right.


Alex

So I was wondering if you could give us a little bit of context into your story with alcohol and your sober journey. Where did your drinking begin?


Peggi

You know, I probably always drank. I didn't drink until I was 21. My parents drank. So I was not really into drinking and really promised myself that I would never really be into drinking. You know I did the normal 21, you know, 20s drinking, but it was always pretty bingy. But as I got married, I was raising my kids, you know I drink socially and, you know, we justify everything that we do. But I really did drink socially. In fact, you know I had a lot of fancy bottles of alcohol on my brand new Hutch that we bought. And I just bought the bottles because they were pretty, right. And about two years after we had that, I finally was going to break out one of those really fancy bottles of vodka. And my kids are all older than you. I said, mom, don't drink it. It's just water. So they had managed to drink all the alcohol out of the bottles and make it look like nothing ever happened. So at that point, you know in my 30s and 40s, I really just drank socially. That was about it. But when I did drink, looking back on it was never one. It was always kind of, you know, a bingey style of drinking. But we didn't keep alcohol really, well other than those bottles my kids drink, we didn't really keep alcohol in the house. And I really didn't start drinking until I was in my 50s, where it started to become a little bit of a problem. And really that came out of working in child welfare. I'm a social worker and was doing direct practice. And after a while, nobody becomes a social worker and thinks, oh my gosh, I'm never going to see child abuse or I'm never going to see elder abuse. It doesn't happen. You know, you're going in there and you're going to see that. But what really starts to hurt your soul is the fact that when a child discloses, they've been abused. They're the ones that have to be taken out of the home and put with strangers. And after years of that, it just breaks your heart. And that's kind of when I started drinking. Also, I think one of the other factors really had to do with being a blended family. I brought three kids into the marriage. He brought two. We've been married for about 35 years, and that was a lot of stress. I really tried to be, like the best stepmom on the planet, and there's no such thing. So that was kind of stressful, too. But the system really started. I found myself, you know, working, and then I have a very black and white husband. He's a financial analyst. So he really does see things in data in black and white. And when you're a social worker, you just can't come home and really talk about the stuff that you're experiencing. And you almost get to a point where the abuse doesn't affect you anymore. I mean, not the way it should affect you. Because you see it all the time and it starts to eat out your soul from the inside out. And the final nail, I guess, would be that there was a huge sexual harassment case from my manager, who sexually harassed a male coworker. And I don't want to get into detail more than that. But a female on a male. It was one of the big five, right? Because it was a manager on a subordinate, and I had to be the whistleblower. I wouldn't have done it any other way, but it did make my life hell, absolutely hell for two years. I had two years to retire. You know, he left because he was so humiliated. We made the headlines of the local news station. I had families saying, why should we trust you? Look what you did. You know, why should we trust you with our children? Look what you did at work. So really, you know, I ended up having her job, his job, and my job. And my daughter was getting married that year. So that's really when it really escalated. It's just to get through those two years. And I was stubborn. You know, I could have retired, and I had two years to get my full retirement night. I had this really annoying stubbornness that I wasn't going to let them win. And so I put an app on my phone and did a countdown, and I retired, you know, the day I turned 62.


Alex

Wow.


Peggi

You know I was retired for 14 days. And then UC Davis called me up and asked me to teach for them. And it is an absolute dream job. It's all the wonder without the direct practice, the secondary trauma. I get to teach new social workers, I get to teach them. And with the latest information that we have. So I've been doing that for about eight years. But what I realized two years after I started teaching, I was selected out of 1750 instructors, I got instructor of the year, and I found myself going home that night. And, of course, there was wine at that ceremony, too. Right. And I realized that I really couldn't stop drinking. By that time, I was really addicted to an addictive substance. I wasn't really willing to admit it very much at that time, but I knew in my heart that I was in trouble. You know one of that high functioning-- and I hate that word. It's kind of meaningless. But, you know, I managed to work. You know, I planned everything around working. I would teach, and then I would come home and study for the next day, and then I would drink. But, you know, the people that suffered in my life were my family. You know, I was teaching by day and breaking my family's heart at night.


Alex

Yeah. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your story. And there's so much in that story. Like, what struck me first is sharing the point where you weren't drinking much throughout your adulthood, and then it really hit a much later age than the majority of people I speak to. Like most people I speak to, it would be at a younger age where alcohol became a problem and then was just a problem for a long time. And I think your story is a perfect example of how our external world and all the things happening, all the stresses we have going on can create this storm for us at any point in our lives or we're just like, how do I cope with this? And then the drinking begins. And so I think that's a really interesting example of how it's not always so-- it's not always such a cookie-cutter experience for everyone. Like, for everyone, it's different.


Peggi

Yeah. About three years ago, my director put out a survey. So that was three years ago. So that was pre-Covid. Right. And the survey talked about using any kind of addiction or overuse of anything. And there's a high obesity rate among social workers, too. So food, you know, alcohol, shopping, relationship problems. And, yeah, so 60% of the respondents, which we know it's way more now with Covid, reported that they had an issue around one of those four things.


Alex

Yeah. My sister's a social worker. As we have this conversation, I'm like, I should give her a call.


Peggi

Oh, yeah.


Alex

She's in--where we grew up in Toronto. Yeah. I always think it's interesting that my sister and I both became healers, but just with, like, very different modalities. I think it's interesting that we both have that in common.


Peggi

Very much.


Alex

So tell me about what was the moment for you that led you to quit drinking?


Peggi

Previous, you know, again, it was my early 50s when I stopped, when I realized that I had a problem. But there had been, like maybe four incidents that were major where you know, I passed out at my daughter's mother-in-law's Mother's Day barbecue. I just passed out, had blacked out. I had another couple of weddings that I went to that I embarrassed my daughter around just drinking too much. And not being one of those blatant crazy people and nobody's crazy. They're just sick is Paul and I would get into a fight and then the family would get involved. That's always been that sort of M.O., right? That he would get upset about my drinking and then pull the family into the problem. Does that make sense?


Alex

Yes.


Peggi

So the last incident, we were up at Lake Tahoe. Paul has an annual-- his family has an annual family picnic there. And we rented this beautiful house in Tahoe. And Lindsay, my daughter with the two sets of twins and her husband Jason, and then my son Brett, we all stayed in the same place. And I didn't drink during the day at the beach. By that time, I was pretty able to keep it together during the day so that I wouldn't embarrass anyone or myself. I was pretty aware of it. But, you know, after eight hours in the sun, you know, the hot sun, then I came home and I had two shots of whiskey. And I don't even drink whiskey. I don't even drink it. It's never been alcohol of my choice. It hit me like a brick. And Paul got really upset when Lindsay came home with the kids and Brett came home. You know, they came home from the picnic later than we did. Paul was screaming at me. So Brett went after my husband and almost stepped him. And then my son-in-law, Jason had to pull Brett off my husband in front of my four grandkids that were three and seven. And I don't think I could have hated myself anymore that night. I don't think I--you know, Paul left. He left with no intention of returning to the marriage. And, you know, Brett's the caretaker, and he wanted to make sure that I was okay. But the next morning, Lindsay said to me, and she really did save my life. She said, mom if you want the kind of relationship you want to have with me, Jason, and the kids, you have to do something about your drinking. And I already knew-- before I came out and she said that I knew that I was done. It's really crazy, but I really understood what she was saying. Of course, I had self-loathing up you know, just complete self-loathing. But I went into the bedroom and I was just so crushed and so shameful that I just got down on my knees and I heard this voice. And I'm not a woo-woo person at all. Not at all. And I heard this voice that said, you're done and you're going to be okay. And I flipped on my Facebook page in this advertisement for Sober Sis. Her name is Jenn Kautsch, and she's out of Texas. I had a 21-day reset program, and I signed up for it. And she has a Marco Polo component to it, where, you know, video walkie-talkie. And I made my first video that morning, and that's how it happened. But I knew at that point that it was almost a relief when Lindsay called me on it because, before that, my kids really made a lot of excuses for me. Mom, you need to eat when you drink. You know, you're just tired. So really, Lindsay had finally had it, and it wasn't all the time. It wasn't like I was-- and again, it doesn't matter. You know, you start going into that part of your brain going, well, I wasn't as bad as that person, but, yeah, I was. I was, you know, much further than that. You know, who knows what would have happened if she hadn't stepped in?


Alex

Yeah. Wow. Thanks for sharing that. And I love that part of your story about going on Facebook and seeing a Facebook ad because that's what happened to me.


Peggi

Really?


Alex

Yeah. I don't know if you've heard this part of my story on episodes or anything, but I was seeing targeted ads for One Year No Beer. And that was my-- I keep saying you know, we think that we're, like, social media has so many negative things, blah, blah, blah. But for me, I do think it's the reason that I quit drinking because I don't think I had ever seen sobriety positioned in such a cool way, such a different way. And for me, I thought AA was the only way. And that did not pull me in. And this whole thing of sobriety being cool. And, you know, One Year No Beer, like, hip. Like, this pulled me in. And so I just think it's amazing how the universe is sending us messages through, like, social media algorithms. And I love that for you, it's completely different. I never even heard of Sober Sis, but I love that it's a totally different program, but it's like the universe was, like, sending it to you, you know.


Peggi

Yeah. That was, again, another huge lesson for me, that if I would just be open. And ever since then, things have happened for me because I'm present and I'm willing to hear that. It was very clear for me that I was done. And it was no accident that you know, Jenn and her Labradoodle showed up on my Facebook page, you know, that morning. Really, the rest is history with her. You know, I'm still really involved with Sober Sis and a lot of other programs because I'm crazy that way.


Alex

So tell me about-- you're still involved with Sober Sis, lots of other programs. Tell me about what those initial sobriety days were like. What kind of support do you use? What is your strategy? How did you get through it?


Peggi

Oh, yeah, that's fine. I never journaled before. I journal that day, and I've journaled every day. So I'm at 32 months, I think? I've journaled every day. There hasn't been a day I haven't journaled. And again, I don't know why I started journaling. I just started journaling. And one of the caveats I made is that Sober Sis was going to have a retreat in Fort Worth in October. I quit on July 12, 2019. So I bought a ticket, I bought the airfare, and so that was kind of my carrot, you know, for staying sober those first 100 days. And at the retreat, I just started posting my journal entries. She had a big Facebook program. Now, she has mighty networks. Instead, she doesn't use Facebook anymore. So I started posting every day of just how I was feeling, right? What was going on that day for me? So what am I, day 979 or something right now? And I posted every day on her site for a year. And people said, oh my gosh, you know, I love-- your posts are like, that's me too. That's exactly how I felt. And that kind of was the basis for the book that I ended up writing. But let's see, I mean, I did Annie Grace's 100 Days. Another person that's not necessarily-- alcohol is Staci, can't remember her last name, but she does a brain-- around brain chemicals and brain-boosting. So that was really fun to take her class. And Staci Danford is her name. And she's a friend of Jenn from Sober Sis. You know, I read every Quit Lit book on the planet. In fact my-- you know, I really do, like so many other people need a support group for the books that I have laying everywhere. I'm an avid reader and that's one thing my mom did with me. I took Laura McKowen's, "We are the Luckiest" in living color. And I think one of the things that I can't say enough and people don't get to do this like I do, it's that University, at one year I told my director what was going on and they have been the most supportive people on the planet. I mean, I'm actually presenting my book at the wellness conference in Anaheim this year. And there are so many people in the world, especially in the medical field, that aren't able to come out like I did.


Alex

It's so true.


Peggi

And I just feel like it definitely is my passion. You know, now.


Alex

Yeah.


Peggi

Yeah.


Alex

Oh, I love hearing your story because I just feel like I'm resonating so much with it. Like so many similarities, just in the sense like I got writing in the private Facebook group of One Year No Beer. And then I ended up writing a book as well. That's still, I mean, no movement has been done with it. So kudos to you for getting yours published and everything. That's amazing. And then, you know, coming out and speaking to your employers. And I got really lucky too in that. I actually told my employers when I was seven days sober and I actually was having a breakdown at work. And they just like fully supported me and they knew in like the 90 days and supported me. And it was amazing. Considering, like I was a teacher, you know, and teacher in the Middle East where alcohol is so taboo in the first place. Wow. There's so much that resonated there. So thank you so much for sharing all of that.


Peggi

I love what you're saying, Alex, too. And I was talking to, I have a person that does on my social media because I'm old and I don't know how to do any of it. And she's wonderful. So I just write and she makes that look nice. But I was kind of bashing myself this morning about being older. Like, maybe I'm not as relevant, but, you know, this connection we feel, you're in your 20s.


Alex

Yeah.


Peggi

I'm going to be 70 this year. The connection among people is almost like sometimes it's overwhelming. It's so beautiful.


Alex

Yeah. And you know what I feel that within every different person, you know, I had a guest on my show who was like a parent of youngish children and worked in whatever her job was. I think she worked in media or something. But anyway, one of my yoga members listened to that episode and messaged me and said, you know, this isn't anything against you, but I just really, really resonated with her a bit more than you because she is a mom and whatever. And so when you say, you know, maybe I'm not as relevant, it's like different parts of us are going to resonate with different people for different reasons. And it doesn't mean that I was not the right person for that listener, but just they found something in this person that was like, yeah, that resonates. That's me. And so I don't think it matters, like, what age anyone is or what their story is because it's going to resonate with different people all over the world. And as long as we all have the same goal, which is like helping people get sober. Right. So I think it's beautiful.


Peggi

It was so funny because one of my first-- well, maybe I was four years in with my teaching and I was teaching up in Humboldt County, which is just such a beautiful part of Northern California. And right on the water, seals, you know, right on the ocean. And this one young guy got up and it was about fairness and equity that I was teaching fairness and equity. And he got up and he said, you know, when I saw you and stand up in front of my class, it was a young monk boy, man. And he said, when I saw you, I'm like, oh, God, she's going to be boring. And he said you end up being one of the best teachers I ever had. You're funny. You're relevant. And I thought-- and you know, I've always shared that. You know, he wrote it almost like in a poem form when he did it. But I love the connection. I absolutely--you know I think that connection is probably my middle name.


Alex

Yeah. Beautiful. So you mentioned your book. I was wondering if you could tell us a bit about that. So your book is based on the post that you did journaling about your sober days. Tell me more.


Peggi

Yeah. It's kind of in different parts. Like it's called, "The Side of Alcohol". And so the first chapter is the first 90 days. So the first 90 days just every, you know, really my raw post that I had when I was going through it. And so it really shows that up and down. You know, like, I know I'm never going to drink again. I fucking hate everybody. You know, just that up and down, up and down, that happens. And then also, it's really weaved. It's kind of like a clear pooly with sober diaries because it has my journal entries but it's also weaved in. That's probably not a word, with stories about me growing up. And, you know, I grew up in a very alcoholic family, but I didn't really understand that it was alcoholic. Really intimate partner violence situation with my parents. And so just some really funny stories as well. I have three brothers. One is ten years younger than I am. And then my older brothers are eight and ten years older, and they have a different father. Their father passed away. So we were driving with my dad one time and my little brother, I was 16. So it was right before my parents got divorced, and my little brother was six. And my dad was this smoking, the coolest guy ever. My dad was a cool guy. Like, he could start water skiing on the beach, a beach start, go all the way around the lake with his Panama hat on, with his cigarette. And then, you know, he'd get dropped off at the beach, kick off his skis, walk off, and stamp his cigarette out, you know. All very environmentally unfriendly. But that was a long time ago. He was just a cool guy. People really liked him. But my dad was driving, and we had this big old monster, Oldsmobile 88, it's like a boat. I think I ended up with it in high school as a bribe present when my parents got divorced. And my dad was smoking a cigarette, and he flung the cigarette out the window, and it went around and it got on my brother's crotch, and it was smoking. I'm screaming in the back of the car, going, dad, stop the car. My brother is on fire. And my dad just picked up his beer, like, pulled over.


Alex

Oh, my God.


Peggi

Walked around with his beer. This is just how people lived when I was younger. It's like, normal, right?


Alex

Yeah.


Peggi

So he opened up my brother's car door, poured some beer on my brother's crotch.


Alex

Oh, my goodness.


Peggi

It was a crazy life.


Alex

Wow.


Peggi

It was crazy. I know. I brought that up. I just really talked to.


Alex

I love this example that you give because I was actually just thinking the other day, this is a little bit off-topic, but I was a grade one teacher, and so I step into that personality sometimes. And I was riding my motorbike, and I pulled up to the intersection. There were two really young kids, two Indonesian kids on a motorbike together. One of them was driving it like, I think they might have been, like, ten. One with no helmet. They both have no helmet. And I don't think they couldn't really understand me. But I stopped and I go, where's your helmet? And they're like, no. And I'm like, you need a helmet. Your brain is important. And as I drove off, I was thinking about a similar incident that happened when I was in Kuwait, which was like children driving a car, which I kind of freaked out and was like, this is not safe. Anyway, but I love that you bring that up because I was then thinking about how as I drove off, how every culture is so different, and what's normal in ours is not in theirs. And so for me to see children without helmets, I'm like, that's so unsafe. But for their culture, that's not. Maybe something that they have really known about. And then I love the example you give because that's not so long ago, right? That would have been like 60 years ago. And that was normal in American and Canadian culture.


Peggi

It was totally normal.


Alex

Yeah. To drink beer and have a cigarette while you're driving in the car. And I just love that example because I think sometimes we think when we see these things and we come from a Western perspective, we think that we maybe know better or something. But, you know, 50 years ago, we were still doing stuff like that, too.


Peggi

Even my kids didn't have seatbelts.


Alex

Wow.


Peggi

Our kids did not-- when they were babies weren't in the seatbelt or car seats. There was no car seat.


Alex

Yeah. Wow. It's a good example.


Peggi

You know, we should stand that up in the back of a van, you know. One time we turned around and he was asleep, and he was standing up.


Alex

Wow.


Peggi

We just didn't--you know, things were different. I was actually laughing with my best--one of the gifts that happened out of getting sober is my best friend. She's the best friend in my wedding. Her name is Gretchen. And we roomed together. We drank a lot together, but we were best friends. And, you know, how you get married and people drift apart. And last year, maybe the year before, it doesn't really matter. I went, I wonder where Gretchen is? So I reached out to her. She's only an hour away from me. So we see each other all the time now. But we were just laughing this morning when we were talking on the phone. We got so drunk one night, and we were driving separate cars. And when the policeman pulled us over, we both pulled over. Both of us pulled over.


Alex

Wow.


Peggi

He turned his light on and we both pulled over. But what we were talking about is how different-- you're talking about culture?


Alex

Yeah.


Peggi

How different that culture was because he pulled us over, he drove us home, and he asked her out. But, you know, it was--you know, now everybody and just for the right reasons, too, you know, you're going to get a DUI. But it was so different then. I mean, it wasn't, you know, what it is now. It was crazy.


Alex

So interesting. All right, we digress. Where were we?


Peggi

I'm really good at it.


Alex

Honestly, I am, too. And that's what I love about these conversations. I love getting on calls with people and hearing their stories and their journeys. And there's so much more to a person than just their sobriety, you know. Okay, so your book, is amazing. And what have been, I guess, some of the best and most challenging parts of sobriety you've already shared. But, like, what have been the best parts of being alcohol-free?


Peggi

I would say, just, I think the absolute biggest thing is that I have huge integrity, a core value. And now I'm just in alignment. Like, who I am on the outside. I know we hear it all the time, but truly, who I am on the outside is who I am on the inside. Unpredictable. I have a nice, simple life. I feel like I wrote in my journal this morning, I've always been afraid to die, like, terrified of dying. And I think part of that is, you know, my mom died. I lost my parents, both of them when I was 19. Lots of childhood trauma. But my mom drank. Right. What you made me think about was that for my mom, even though I really didn't realize that alcohol was the major problem, because my older brothers kind of made sure that we didn't know. Which kind of made it worse, right. Because we didn't know what kind of like when we walked in the door, we didn't know what kind of mom we were going to get. And I think I would have been more okay with it if I would have known that alcohol caused it. If that makes sense. But, like, my mom never got to make living amends. Right. And I think one of the most beautiful things about being sober is that my kids can really say my mom overcame the one thing that was holding her back from being her two selves. And so I don't want to leave. I have lots of things to do. But I know now I'm not afraid of it because I know that I can leave this world with my integrity intact. Not wishing I would have done something but I'm doing it.


Alex

So beautiful. I got shivers. So beautiful.


Peggi

Thanks, Alex. And, you know, I think, I'm sure you feel this way, too. Sometimes I feel bad for people that haven't had an alcohol problem because I've grown so much and learned so much. And, you know now, I've forgiven my mom after 50 years. Right. And really feeling like I've changed the trajectory of my family's life. Right. And my grandkids are funny. Like, grandma, you bring in the AF drinks. Where are the AF drinks? You know, my kids drink. Most of the time they're pretty responsible about it. But I'm also showing the grandkids that there's a different way. And I really like that.


Alex

Yeah. It's so beautiful. And it's not even, I think what you say to them, but it's just what you show them and what they see in you. And so I think that's an amazing thing to role model for them.


Peggi

I'm safe for them. You know, I know as a social worker, too, I know, just scientifically kids don't feel safe when their parents are altered. It bothers them. They just don't feel safe. And so I'm usually the one they kind of seek out, you know.


Alex

Wow. That's so interesting. It gives me something to think about. All right, I have one last question for you, Peggi. If you had any wisdom for someone who was curious about starting a sober journey, what would that advice be?


Peggi

I wrote a couple of things down. You can't do it alone. You can't do this without community. You can't do it. And you need to tell at least one person everything. You don't have to tell everybody everything, but I think you need to tell one person everything. You know,