05: Build a Life You Don’t Want to Escape From | Holly Whitaker

Holly is the founder and CEO of Tempest (formerly Hip Sobriety) and the author of the upcoming book, Quit Like a Woman (January 2020). In 2012, she was determined to deal with her problem drinking, but found that the recovery program she needed did not exist. Taking years of experience in health care and health-tech, she created a comprehensive digital platform for the treatment and support for alcohol mis-users. Today, Tempest has served thousands of individuals on their path to recovery through their programs, educational courses, and media. Holly believes recovery isn’t about discipline, willpower, or even abstaining, but building a life you don’t want to escape from. Today, we’ll discuss her own experience with alcohol and recovery, the problems with how drinking is portrayed in the media and pop culture, my own “I’m not drinking right now” experiment, and how you can explore your relationship with alcohol without judgment or shame.


Holly Whitaker (she/her) is the founder and CEO of Tempest (formerly Hip Sobriety) and the author of the upcoming book, Quit Like a Woman (January 2020). In 2012, she was determined to deal with her problem drinking, but found that the recovery program she needed did not exist. Taking years of experience in health care and health-tech, she created a comprehensive digital platform for the treatment and support for alcohol mis-users. Today, Tempest has served thousands of individuals on their path to recovery through their programs, educational courses, and media. Holly believes recovery isn’t about discipline, willpower, or even abstaining, but building a life you don’t want to escape from. Today, we’ll discuss her own experience with alcohol and recovery, the problems with how drinking is portrayed in the media and pop culture, my own “I’m not drinking right now” experiment, and how you can explore your relationship with alcohol without judgment or shame.

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Holly Whitaker

CEO Tempest


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Episode Notes

The Tempest (formerly Hip Sobriety), now LIVE!

Tempest Sobriety School. Registration opens May 28, 2019. School starts June 13, 2019
Sobriety School is an 8-week virtual course. It’s open to you if you’re looking to get started on a path to sobriety, or already in some sort of recovery program. This is not a detox or 12-step program, but it can work as either a complement or supplement to other programs and therapies or as a first step towards healing. It’s open to a limited number of participants who will come together as a community as we work to become masters of our own recovery paths.

Melissa’s I’m Not Drinking Right Now posts

Sobriety-focused Instagram accounts mentioned: Danika Brysha, Laura McKowen, Tell Better Stories


Quit Like a Woman, Holly Whitaker (January 2020)
This Naked Mind, Annie Grace
The Tipping Point (article), Laura McKowen

MU 00:03
Hi, my name is Melissa Urban and your listening to do the thing, a podcast where we explore what’s been missing every time you’ve tried to make a change, and make it stick. Today my guest is Holly Whitaker, creator of Tempest, a digital platform for the treatment and support of alcohol mis-users; those who feel their drinking is problematic but aren’t alcoholics. She believes recovery isn’t about discipline, willpower or even abstaining, but building a life you don’t want to escape from today. We’ll discuss her own experience with alcohol and recovery; the problems with how drinking is portrayed in the media and pop culture; my own I’m not drinking right now experiment; and how you can explore your relationship with alcohol without judgment or shame. My own relationship with alcohol is complicated as I’m sure many of you could say. I am a recovering drug addict. I’ve been in recovery for 19 years, but my recovery does include drinking alcohol socially. I know this isn’t typical, but that was a decision made in conjunction with my therapist who I saw for the better part of 10 years, and my alcohol use has never been problematic.

MU: 01:18
I have never identified as a mis-user. I’ve also given up alcohol for long periods of time due to a health initiative like prepping to run a triathlon or for months at a time, and during my whole 30 experiments. In September, 2018 I decided to explore my relationship with alcohol once again due in large part to the influence of people I had been following on Instagram, like Holly, Mary Beth Larue, Danica Brysha, Laura McCowen, and Tell Better Stories. So for the month of September, I decided I’m not drinking right now. And I adopted that phrase specifically because I wasn’t quite ready to say I’m never drinking again, but I really did want to explore what life would be like without alcohol in the equation. Over the course of the next six or seven months, I shared what not drinking looked like for me, how I handled social situations, and all of the blessings that I felt came into my life specifically because I wasn’t drinking. These posts were some of the most commented and messaged and discussed posts I have ever shared.

MU:  02:28
You responded so strongly to this idea of I’m not drinking right now and I think it’s because more now than ever, so many of you are sober-curious. You are exploring your relationship with alcohol. You are trying to imagine what your life could look like without it. Now, this episode isn’t about vilifying alcohol. We’re not saying nobody should ever drink ever again, and we’re not saying there’s something wrong with you if you choose to drink. But if the very idea of me saying, hey, maybe once in a while you should examine your relationship with alcohol makes you angry or defensive, that kind of tells you something, doesn’t it? If this feels like a thing for you, remember looking at the thing is the very first step and often the hardest. You have that opportunity right now here with us. So whether your thing is looking more closely at the role alcohol plays in your life, cementing your own sobriety or maybe kicking off your own I’m not drinking right now. Experiment. Take a deep breath and join us with an open mind.

MU: 03:43
Holly Whitaker (she/her) is the founder and CEO of Tempest, formerly Hip Sobriety. In 2012 she was determined to deal with her problem drinking, but found that the recovery program she needed didn’t exist. Taking years of experience in healthcare and health tech, she created a comprehensive digital platform for the treatment and support of alcohol mis-users. Today, Tempest has served thousands of individuals on their path to recovery through their programs, educational courses and media. Holly is a writer and the author of the soon to be published book Quit Like a Woman. She writes regularly for her own blog, Hip Sobriety, and the media site she founded The Temper. Holly, welcome to Do the Thing. I am so excited to talk to you today.

HW: 04:32
I am really excited to talk to you. I’ve been following you for a long time and I feel like I know you, even though we’ve never met

MU: 04:38
We’ve tried to meet up a few times, but we’re both so good about holding our boundaries and self care that you know, it’s like, Hey, are you still up for a tea or a coffee and you’re like, nope, I can’t handle it. So at the top of every podcast I ask everyone, Holly, what’s your thing?

HW/MU: 05:09
My thing is addiction, to put it as simply as possible. I think that it’s a place that I could have easily moved through and left and it’s a place I decided to stay. So it’s, it’s really the addiction space. Yeah. (MU) We’re really grateful that you’re here. Tell us a little bit about your background with drinking and then later with cigarettes and pot. (HW) I started drinking smoking pot and smoking cigarettes when I was 15. And I would say that it always felt, um, it was never really love. It was never like, oh, this is… I mean, I might say that about pot actually. I feel like pot was a pretty big love story, but I think when it came to alcohol it never felt like this best friend, it always felt like something that was terrifying and something that was hard to manage, I would say from the beginning. Not in such a way that… I don’t believe in that I was an alcoholic my whole life and then that first drink…

HW/MU: 06:05
I don’t believe that was the case. I think I had a very traumatic childhood and that I found coping mechanisms that worked. (MU) I had this experience with my drug addiction where I also came from a background of trauma and in the beginning I used the drug simply to numb and cope with the trauma, but then the drugs became a problem in and of themselves, and now I have these layers of problems. Was it like that with you, with your drinking? (HW) Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think it’s like the way that, you know, the way that I look at addiction is through the lens of the bio psychosocial model, which just basically is, we all have these, all of these vulnerabilites that we accumulate, and that we’re born with. And then we reach outside of ourselves to manage that. And then the thing we use to manage that then adds on, it goes back into the vulnerabilities and it amplifies.

HW/MU:  06:56
So yeah, I had stuff, I use it to escape and then the escape became the problem. Yes. More so than the first things. (MU) And then in 2012, you believed your drinking was problematic and you knew you wanted to do something about it and you researched recovery options and didn’t find anything that you felt like you needed. (HW) Yeah, I worked in, I worked at a healthcare company and, and I, um, I mean it’s just really funny cause you can like, I can look back at it and I always just thought, well, I’m going to outgrow this or I’m going to fix this by doing a cleanse or by, you know, like I just was trying to not end up where I was headed and it came to a head in 2012 and I was just doing things that were terrifying.

HW: 07:44
And I went and I talked to a friend who was a healthcare provider… And I was also pretty severely bulemic at the time. I started taking diet pills when I was 11. And so I’d always had this like eating disorder piece to it. And I was, I was bulemic for 17 years. And then I went and talked to one of my friends who’s a doctor, and I was just explained the alcohol, but not as, as specifically I didn’t go into the depths of what it looked like. But I said, I feel like I have a problem with alcohol and I feel like I have a problem with bulemia. And, um, you know, my options were AA, an outpatient or even an inpatient. And that stuff, it was just… None of it….

HW: 08:25
It was all a nonstarter. It was impossible. I didn’t identify as an alcoholic. I didn’t, you know, that was too much for me. It was too big of a threshold to cross. And while I would have happily gone to rehab, I couldn’t leave my job, nor could I afford it. I was almost six figures in debt, and I was just, it felt impossible. And, and I, I wouldn’t have really, I don’t know how much longer would have held out on the alcohol thing, but I, uh, I mean my behavior was just, uh, like I said, it was terrifying. I just didn’t trust myself. And I was babysitting for another doctor friend and he and I just happened to catch each other on the way home from work to his house and had this long conversation about somebody that had borderline personality disorder.

HW/MU: 09:07
And as soon as I heard those words, I saw myself in it. And I researched borderline personality disorder and the online quiz, I was eight out of nine indicating that I had borderline personality disorder, which I later was confirmed as not having. But that to me… Researching that it identified so closely with it and one of the things it said was stop drinking. And that was my in. It was oh, okay, I’ve got a mental illness and this is what I need to do to treat my mental illness… Versus I’m an alcoholic. I couldn’t stomach the other. (MU) When I went through recovery in the late nineties, and when you in 2012 there weren’t a lot of options for us. It was, you had to identify as an addict or an alcoholic, you had to hit bottom.

HW/MU: 09:55
(MU) You had to admit that you are powerless and you had to like white knuckle your way through the 12 steps every single day for the rest of your life to stay clean. There wasn’t another alternative. So for someone like you who didn’t identify as an alcoholic and maybe didn’t have this like one moment of bottom, you had to go out and find your other avenue to say, this is why I need to stop drinking. (HW) Yeah, isn’t that funny and I think that by having that, by actually having this different, this different way in, I think it also gave me the ability to search for different options. Yeah they had Smart recovery, you know, and there were recovering meetings at the Zen center and you know those are 12 step based and there were, you know, there were things in pieces but there largely was not other routes.

HW/MU: 10:40
(HW) I did go to AA, I did attend meetings from when I finally stopped drinking in April of 2013 and I did go to meetings for the first few months and that had a very big place in my journey. It wasn’t my program, but I want to underscore it absolutely had a place in my journey for both the good and the bad. (MU) In your own exploration and when you did stop drinking, you then realizes that there was a huge need for people who felt like who didn’t identify as alcoholic. But you know, I read a statistic that you have shared that like 90% of the people who are problem drinkers don’t self report or not diagnosed as alcoholics. 90% of people are just mis-users. They have a problem with alcohol. So if all of our recovery efforts are focused on alcoholics, you are missing a huge amount of the population who has a problem and might want to get better but don’t have the avenue or the resources or the education that you did to like find it. So you created it essentially. (HW) And the privilege, the privilege. Yeah, that study came out uh, in probably 2014 it was conducted by the CDC. It basically says that 70% of Americans drink, 30% of those that do drink are binge drinkers. And then another 30% are problem drinkers.

HW/MU: 11:54
This is really important because even if like there’s a, you know, there’s $35 billion rehab industry, this only serves a, a fraction of people that are on the end spectrum. It doesn’t even fully address the people that absolutely 100% needed. And then the other part of it is it’s just there’s no prevention. It’s like waiting to treat a heart problem until after the heart attack or you know, it’s just, it’s very backwards. (MU) It is backwards. And since that study came out, there’s been even more research about how problematic drinking has become particularly for women. Can you tell us a little bit about why we as women are so vulnerable?

HW/MU: 12:29
(HW) There’s a couple of things that are here. One is that we are in this state of really only viewing a certain percentage of the population is not being able to imbibe the alcoholic population and the rest of us are supposed to be just okay, normal, right? Like only alcoholics don’t drink. Everyone else should be able to like to manage it. So I think like this is not specifically to women, but I think this is like writ large. What happens to all of us is that we are kind of focused on this one thing instead of really just being able to observe our own personal relationship with it. And I think there’s just these other pieces of it too, which is when like women are considered or were considered, you know, just like this emerging market that’s untapped market of drinkers. And we’ve been, you know, at the other end, at the receiving end of, of all of this imagery and all of this has pushed us to drink and it shows up and like feminist whiskey like Jane Walker, um, it shows up in rose all day, we are the targets of a huge marketing campaign. And also we’re the marketers ourselves. We are consistently posting and reposting alcohol as this like an antidote to life? Um, you know, it’s how we mother, it’s like, you know, there’s all of this like rhetoric around kids make us drink and we’ve been really impressed this message that alcohol is necessary in order to mother in order to be happy, to socialize…

HW: 13:45
(HW) to, to have sex, to do anything, like alcohol is this like almost accessory. And it’s really specifically been targeted towards women. And at the same time, this is paralleling, you know, like the pressures of being a woman in today’s world. You know, trying to fit ourselves into this, this, I can do everything and I can do it perfectly model that um, you know, that that’s fed to us.

MU: 14:07
(MU) It’s remarkable. Once I became aware of the narrative of alcohol in our culture, especially once I became a mom. It was impossible not to see. Right. It was like the, you know, the Mommy sippy cup that’s a giant wine glass and the, you know, I drink ’cause my kids cry and I thought about like if there was an advertisement targeted at Dads saying wife nagging you having a tough day with the kids, grab a bottle of whiskey, we’d all be up in arms. And like you said, we kind of adopted it as our own and we joke about it, but now that I see it, I see it everywhere. It makes you feel if you are drinking and how are having problems with your drinking, that there’s just something wrong with you.

HW/MU: 14:52
(MU) Because if you’re not an alcoholic, I don’t understand why you can’t handle this. Why you can’t drink socially or drink as much as your neighbors do or drink as much as the media says you should be able to and feel in control. (HW) That’s right. And we don’t talk about it. I think it’s like, what are these things? You don’t just walk up to your group of friends and say, yeah, I feel like I have a problem with alcohol in like the same way you might say, yeah, I really need to cut out gluten. There’s no normalized conversation around, wow, I really feel like I’m having a problem with alcohol. Because the second that you say that, then you’re basically like catapulted into the other category. That’s, you know, potentially alcoholism versus it’s just, you know, asking the other question, which is, is it normal for us to be ingesting ethanol regularly?

HW/MU: 15:29
(HW) Should we be tolerating it was such ease, you know, and it’s just, that conversation hasn’t really caught on yet. (MU) I mean alcohol is the only drug in which we have to defend the fact that we’re not using it right. If somebody offers me a cigarette, I don’t think twice and say in my own, I’m not drinking experiment. Like it’s been really eye opening to see how people react to the idea that I’m in a social setting and I don’t have a glass of wine in my hand. It’s been fascinating. Why do you think people now are more willing, I think than ever to look at their relationship with alcohol and make changes based on that? (HW) I think there’s just that natural progression of where we’re questioning of every single thing we put into our bodies. And I think at some point it’s just kind of being like able to say, well that’s, you know, that that doesn’t fit.

HW/MU: 16:12
(HW) There was a huge push for like dry January and Sober Curiosity. And I think that just for, for years there’s been brewing the sentiment around questioning our alcohol-centric culture. And I think it finally is just coming to fruition here. And I also think it’s just our consciousness is rising. Like we, um, we are aware of the ways, uh, the things that hold us back when we’re willing to look at the things that hold us back. We’re more willing to understand like we have to make sacrifices in order to live more fully and more freely because there are so many people now who are willing to step up. (MU) Social media is both a blessing and a curse. But I’m now seeing people like you and other people I admire and celebrities coming forward and saying, I’m not drinking. Anne Hathaway was like I’m not drinking until my kid is 18 because I don’t ever want, you know, my child to see me hung over or drunk.

HW/MU: 16:59
(MU) and I think that I think sets a really great example, but I also think a huge part of it is the fact that we are now opening up this discussion outside of traditional recovery. So you talk about recovery very differently than the way I learned it, which was a hundred percent abstinence. I’m completely powerless over my disease. Your idea of recovery is that recovery isn’t about abstaining. It’s about building a life you don’t want to escape from. Tell us more about what recovery looks like for you and for the people who go through your course. (HW) Yeah, I think that the way I have thought about it, especially with the population I work with. So I particularly, I work with women. I work with LGBTQ+ community. We are also, I mean we have a huge push to be able to envelope anybody that is… People of color, anybody that’s more hard hit by alcohol and alcohol addiction.

HW/MU:  17:51
(HW) Um, and where there is nothing designed for them. One of the most important things to understand is that when you take like the woman or any other historically oppressed individual and you try and run them through something that was designed in the 1930s, in order to really truly break down your ego, it is to break down this like idea of an overly like egoic, narcissistic powerful person that thinks they’re god. And, um, when you take those things and you take this idea of just work it, just show up, you know, shut up and listen. Go to 90 meetings in 90 days. Do what they say. Become humble. Um, forgive, you know, apologize to everyone and you kind of impressed this like, powerlessness to a group of people, and specifically I’m talking about the populations I work with who come feeling powerlessness or powerless.

HW/MU: 18:35
(HW) You end up, you know, basically impressing upon them the same things that made them sick. We’re all very, very different. Our needs are very, very different. And so my program’s campus, our sobriety school is really built around giving the individual place to start. The way that, that my program works is first of all, by just reminding people that feel that they are not powerful, people that feel that they have no agency, and people that feel they have no right to say no, you know, that their actions are shameful, that they’re unlovable… Is to start from this very basic idea of acceptance. Of like, you are so loved and you’re so perfect and we are going to make really big things happen. You can have anything you want. You show up and you show up only for yourself. You learn to listen to yourself.

HW:  19:16
(HW) You learn to ask for what you need. The goal is to keep showing up even when you don’t feel like showing up. There was this stuff that you know, hurt you in the beginning that you needed to escape from. And then the drug becomes the painful thing. And so we look at, you know, really all the roots stuff and the cycle of addiction. We teach people and give them tools and we let them come to their own decisions. We don’t tell them one specific way is right or one specific way is wrong. I honor the fact that anybody that shows up has showed up at on their own volition and they can be trusted to make the right decisions for themselves. We have like such an idea that people that suffer with addiction can be trusted, can be trusted with themselves, or we really embrace this idea of like the opposite of that, which is that you’re perfect and you’re trying and you’re working and you’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to keep moving from those mistakes and learning from those mistakes and all.

HW/MU:  20:04
(HW) I could go on and on. But normally what we do is equip people to build a individualized path of recovery within frameworks that we’re using evidence based practices. (MU) In the last nine months I started this I’m not drinking right now experiment. I think when I thought about not drinking for a while, cause I definitely got periods where I haven’t drank it all and I never identified as a mis-user. But in the spirit of not drinking, in the beginning I thought about how I might benefit. Um, alcohol affects my sleep. So maybe I’ll sleep better. Alcohol affects blood sugar regulation, maybe my blood sugar will be better regulated. These are the things people think about when they think about not drinking. What I discovered about the way my life could look free from alcohol astoundingly, there wasn’t a single…

MU: 20:48
(MU) area of my life that it didn’t have a positive impact on everything from, you know, during my book tour, I never got sick because I wasn’t going out after a book signing to take myself out for a drink to celebrate, which meant I was in bed earlier and I wasn’t eating crappy food. I was up earlier in the morning to go to the gym. I had more energy, I had more self confidence. Like it has spilled over into every area of my life. And I think that’s a really important part of what you talk about when you talk about your own recovery and other people who decide to become free from alcohol is that this is about way more than just not putting the alcohol into your belly.

HW:  21:26
(HW) That’s just a fraction of it. You know, like it’s just like, it is one of these things that we just take as a given and it’s, it’s one of those things where you just move one little piece of the puzzle, you move one little thing and it opens up all of these different areas. We don’t understand the ways that we rely on alcohol or the way it, you know, like it’s, it produces anxiety within the body. It’s a depressant. It does all sorts of things. And then you like when you remove not just the physical effects but also like, like the mental part of it, right? Like the, not even just the preoccupation with it, but just like you move it and all of a sudden everything opens up. People are consistently asking me like, what do you do for fun without it? And I’m like, everything, everything. It’s just not a factor. It’s just, I don’t even think about it, like nothing is planned around it anymore. There’s so much free space.

MU: 22:12
(MU) I noticed that as well is that it’s just not a part of my equation at a party. Uh, an event at a fancy dinner on my birthday, on New Year’s Eve, literally not part of the equation. Just didn’t even think about it. Yeah. And had a wonderful time. Like I’ve really enjoyed this space in my life that, that has created. Um, because very often for me, even though it wasn’t a problem and I never considered my drinking problematic, I would have one glass and then it would be like this little internal battle for a half an hour about whether I wanted a second one. Even just removing this has been so freeing.

MU: 22:44
(MU) So if you’re listening and you’re thinking to yourself, maybe I want to explore my relationship with alcohol, maybe I have noticed areas in my life in which alcohol is having a negative impact or I know darn well that there are parts of my life where alcohol is problematic, where can people start to explore their relationship?

HW: 23:02
(HW) Yeah, I think there’s a lot of resources but I think like the first important thing to state is that the second that you’re able to even have that thought, follow that up by a huge amount of applause for yourself, for having the courage to be able to even say that. I think that it takes so much for people just to question something that is terrifying to question. It’s a big deal that you’re even willing to like just acknowledge something feels off or that something could be better or something could be more. And then I think from there it’s taking the pressure off yourself of having to mean anything or to go anywhere specifically. And you’ve done that really, really well. You’re just like, I’m on a path to exploration because a lot of people think the second that they say, Huh, this doesn’t feel right or huh, I wonder that then it means, they have to like never drink again.

HW: 23:43
(HW) And so I think it’s just leaving it open-ended and not like putting any like goal on it. Right. It’s like just like the goal is just to like see what, what unfolds and to keep showing up for yourself through the process. I think that there are a number of different places to go. I love Annie Grace’s work. I think her work This Naked Mind is just is great. It’s revelatory. You take it day by day, you can practice for 30 days not drinking and you can also just like read along with what she’s doing. I think our school is a good place to start. Tempest, the Sobriety School. Um, my website has a ton of resources, you can go to hipsobriety.com and check it out, or The Temper. Um, but for the most part, I mean like if you, if you open yourself up to the idea, if you open yourself up to the exploration, you’re going to be led to like exactly the right resources.

HW/MU: 24:29
(HW) And the main thing, again, I’d come back to is that there’s just gotta be this like pride and empowerment around, I’m doing something really hard by looking at something most people in society aren’t willing to look at. (MU) I love that I just shared on Instagram about my fitness journey that I no longer have goals that are about the destination and I don’t have expectations about the destination. My goal is just to show up for myself day after day after day. And I think that’s exactly what you’re talking about. And I think it’s brilliant. I feel like if I were to ask you how you feel about doing the Whole30 as a way to evaluate your relationship with alcohol, that you might have mixed feelings about it. What do you think? (HW) Well I think that’s a really great question and I, one of my really great friends, Tammy, she stopped drinking because her doctor put her on an elimination diet.

HW/MU: 25:16
(HW) And so I think that you have to really consider, one, that there is a way in and it can look like anything. I think it absolutely could be a route. I think like there’s just like these guideposts we have to kind of mind in this, which is that I tried to detox my way out of a drinking problem for years and years and it was, it never worked. (MU) You made a good point in some of the articles you wrote surrounding that conversation, which is, whatever your way in, take that way in. You found a way in by deciding that it was for your mental health and your mental health disorder. If you feel like a Whole30 is going to be your way in, take it. But if the idea of a Whole30 feels overwhelming because not only do you have to give up alcohol for 30 days, you’ve got to give up all this other stuff and it’s like this whole big stressful thing, then that’s not your way, right?

HW/MU: 26:01
(MU) Let’s not like try to shove your way into something that’s going to cause more stress than it’s going to relieve. (HW) I really liked what you said about how there’s no one right way in. And I think the other piece of this too is that a lot oftentimes like putting somebody that’s dependent on a substance through program that asks for immediate abstinence without giving them support is also like one of these things that can make it worse, right? Like if you, if you try and do Whole30 and you can only make it a couple of days, it could be, you know, great place to, to explore some things that could also be something that makes you feel even worse about yourself. There’s a really great post by Laura McCowen called The Tipping Point. Um, she has a windy way to get sober. It’s just, it, you know, when we’re going through like a path of, of trying to like change something or trying to observe something, we think it should be just as like, you know, like this perfect path of just staying the course, not falling off in it, you know, and that if we miss that, it’s like some indication of something. And I think or her posts really serves as showing that, you know, making change is not linear, it’s messy and there’s ups and downs and all sorts of ways through to where we’re going.

HW/MU: 27:09
(MH) Yeah. I think the points that you just made, that it’s really awareness as the first step and often the hardest, so if they are even at that point, all the applause for you. That there is no one right way that recovery looks different for every single person, and that you can and should take your own context and your own goals into account when you’re seeking this recovery. And that it’s not going to be linear, that of course much like any change or any exploration, it’s going to be up and down in two steps forward and three steps back. But the point is you keep showing up.

HW/MU:  27:39
(HW) That’s right. That’s right. That’s like a path of success in any endeavor, right? (MU) It really is. So at the end of every episode I ask what is one piece of advice you could share with someone out there who is ready to do the thing? (HW) Oh, that you have it in you. We often like have these like these little whispers within us and we also then look at something that’s pretty impossible. And I just want to remind you, you have the world in you. You can do whatever, whatever it is. You just listen to that voice and just take the next step. That’s it.

HW/MU:  28:13
(MU) I love that. Holly, tell us about what’s coming up for you. (HW) Well, we’ve been Hip Sobriety for years and now we’re rebranding to Tempest and our new Tempests Sobriety School opens up June 13th. Then you can find out all about that at jointempest.com. And then I am writing a book and it comes up January, 2020 and it’s called Quit Like a Woman. Just really exciting. Um, but the book is essentially about, well, it, all of the things that we discussed, kind of how we got to where we are, why drinking is showing up the way it is, why it’s killing more women at a faster rate, what keeps us stuck, what happens when we try and use traditional recovery paradigms, and how we can really meet our needs. And so yeah, I’m excited about it.

HW/MU: 28:55
(MH) I am too. I am too. I was actually kicking around like title ideas for your book a long time ago with my agent. She was like, oh, Holly’s got a new book. And they’re thinking about calling it this or this and I love where it ended up. Where can people get in touch with you, Holly? Where can people learn more about you? (HW) Well my personal Instagram is @Holly and then um, you can also my old blog at hipsobriety.com and then you can find out more about our programs at @jointempest on Instagram.

HW/MU:  29:26
(MU)Fantastic. And I’ll make sure to include all of this stuff that we talked about, the references in the show notes for this podcast. Holly, thank you so much for talking to me about this. I’m so happy to finally have this conversation with you. (HW) I know, I know. It’s been a long time coming and it was wonderful.

MU: 29:42
(MU) Thank you. All right. Before we close this episode out, I want to tell you about a very special guest I’ll have on next week. Chris Guillebeau hosts Side Hustle School podcast and he’s part of my pod squad. He’s also part of Gretchen Rubin’s Onward Project. He has a new book coming out Tuesday, June 4th called 100 Side Hustles, Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job. He’ll be on Do the Thing next week talking about side hustles, everything he’s learned from the hundreds of interviews he’s done over the past few years, how to take your passion project and turn it into a reality, and we’ll explore what’s been missing in your side hustle efforts. So join us next Tuesday on do the thing with Chris Guillebeau.


Continue the conversation with me @melissa_hartwig on Instagram. If you have a question for Dear Melissa or a topic idea for the show, leave me a voicemail at (321) 209-1480.

Do the Thing is part of ‘The Onward Project,’ a family of podcasts brought together by Gretchen Rubin—all about how to make your life better.  Check out the other Onward Project podcasts– Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Side Hustle School, and Happier in Hollywood.

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