June 14, 2022

33. One is too Many and 100 is Not Enough

33. One is too Many and 100 is Not Enough

On today’s episode I am chatting with my husband, Chris. He is sharing all abut his sobriety story including what he has learned over the years. I am so glad that he decided to open up about this topic to help whoever needs it. Whether you are on your sobriety journey or not, you will want to listen to this episode. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

• The reasons that Chris decided to be sober 

• Chris’ mantra that has helped him reach year 9 of sobriety

• Tips on how you can support someone who is sober

• What Chris looks forward to the most about not drinking

• About 3 challenging situations that he put himself in at the beginning of being sober

Grab your iced coffee and let’s continue the chat over on Instagram @lifewithloverly


This podcast was transcribed using Descript. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to Life With Loverly. I'm your host, Brittany Sjogren. I'm excited to share my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds we get on Instagram, grab an iced coffee and let's do life together.

Chris: It's my third one. I'm good.

Brittany: Hi friends. How are y'all? Welcome back to today's episode of Life with Loverly. I am really excited to be here with Loverly Chris himself. 

Chris: Hi friends. Excited to be back.

Brittany: We were talking before we started recording, trying to figure out the last time you were on the podcast, and it was our IVF episode. I feel like every time Chris comes on, we talk about something really deep.

Chris: Yeah. Why do I have to have all the serious episodes? Let me have a fun one once.

Brittany: We'll bring you back for a fun one, but today we wanted to talk about your sobriety, which is so exciting. Chris is coming up on nine years of being sober. 

Chris: Yeah. June 15th, nine years.

Brittany: It's kind of crazy. We'll get into this a little bit, but we were friends before you got sober. But then we started dating after you got sober. So we've never been in a relationship where alcohol was present from you. 

Chris: Yeah. 

Brittany: It's just so wild to think about. 

Chris: Elephant in the room. You were with me the last night I drank. 

Brittany: That's true. I was with you the last night. We were out in Virginia Highlands and Chris was like okay, let's get shots. Everybody wants shots. What do you want? And I had a blank moment. And laughs of judgment, honestly. And I was like, let's do Irish car bombs because you're from Massachusetts. I don't know why Irish car bomb felt like a good shot to have.

Chris: It was a terrible decision. Yes.

Brittany: Because I ended up not even really wanting to drink that. We were with a bunch of other friends. I think you probably had, way too many. 

Chris: Yeah. And I ended up drinking a lot of them. 

Brittany: Anyway, here we are, but we shared but we shared about Chris's sobriety last year on the Loverly Grey Instagram. There's a whole saved highlight. If you want to watch Chris tell his story you can go to on Loverly Grey in the highlights; it says sober. And we didn't really know how people would take that. It's a very real part of Chris's story. Part of our story and what we've learned from sharing is that it's helped so many people. I would say weekly, we get messages from people who say they shared that highlight story with their husband, dad, sister, mom, or somebody in their family. And that Chris's story gave them a little bit of hope or a little bit of, you know, maybe I can get sober myself, a little encouragement, which is really what we wanted to accomplish. And, you know, a lot of people had questions. They see me sometimes drinking and not never Chris. And so it was kind of like, wait, he's sober. Can you explain this a little bit? So we just thought putting it out there would be a good idea, and it's actually seemed to help a lot of people. So we figured we'd bring you on the podcast to discuss it as well. 

Chris: I mean, even going back to the IVF stuff, I didn't want to share that at the beginning. That was more of you kind of pushing me to share that and then I saw the positive impact. It had. And decided, wow, that was actually really beneficial. And then obviously going with the sobriety story as well, seeing that it did impact people and did have a positive impact, it was kind of nice.

Brittany: It is crazy not to get off topic here, but with the IVF podcast, we recently had a friend tell us that they shared the podcast we've got a few different IVF podcasts out there, but Chris's episode was all from the husband's point of view, which, you know,

Chris: That's never talked about and I, I get why. but it needs to be talked about more, because it is hard. Obviously it's hard for, you know, the moms out there or soon to be moms, hopefully, but it's hard on the dads too. So I think it was good to kind of share that aspect of it

Brittany: But I think getting that feedback from the couple is like; I feel at peace because I heard like a guy's point of view and so that some like courage. I'm glad we shared, even though it was like hard and going through it was difficult and raw, but I don't know. So today we wanted to talk to you a little bit about Chris's sobriety. He's going to share his story a little bit, about his why, and a few tips. We've got some really great things to cover today. So. Let's get started. Why did you decide to become sober?

Chris: So my mantra for sobriety, and I'll get into it a little bit more, but I always fall back on one is too many, and a hundred's not enough. And every time I think about drinking again, I go back to it and get a little deeper on that. I was never the guy that was going to go out and have a beer at dinner, or a glass of wine at dinner, you know, we'll go out and have a drink. That wasn't kind of my speed. It was more of a, if I'm going out, I'm going out hard. Whether that's a Tuesday night, a Saturday night, it didn't matter. And I struggled with the self control, to stop myself at one. Now again, that's, you know, not every night, but I'd say the vast majority was that was the trajectory I went on, where I just went hard and. Then one day I woke up, and decided, you know what, I'm not doing that anymore. And again, that was years of drinking that led to that decision.

But I woke up on a whim one day and said, all right, enough's enough. I'm not drinking anymore. 

Brittany: I remember we were sitting in a bar at a work function.

Chris: I know, it's funny. I tell my sober story to her at a bar

Brittany: We were at a work happy hour and we just happened to be sitting next to each other and for probably two hours, it was just Chris and I sitting at the bar. He wasn't drinking, which was not like him at a work happy hour. And I was like, what's going on? He's like, yeah, I think I'm going to stop drinking. I just don't wanna drink anymore. He went into the why behind it, and we sat there for so long. It's funny because we left and went our separate ways that night, but from that point forward, we have never stopped texting.

Chris: Yeah. 

Brittany: He texted me and was like, Hey, did you get home okay? And we were coworkers, so it wasn't that odd, but I feel like you had just opened up to me. There were some feelings happening anyway, so then the fact that he just opened up to me and then I was like, yeah, made it home. We just like picked up the conversation, and just kept on talking and here we are. 

Chris: Yeah. To go back a little bit further into the why, I have a very addictive personality. It's kind of a family trait. Whatever your vice is, we're all addicted to it. But a family of alcoholics, my dad was an AA for a long time. My brother was in AA for a long time: uncles, the whole gambit, you know, Irish Catholics, we drank. I always knew that. They tell you, you have the gene for it. I always knew I had the gene and eventually one day I might have to stop, but I was never the guy who was going to go out and get drunk and fight a bunch of people.

I was never the violent type. I was never the destructive type or anything like that. I enjoyed being the life of the party. For every drink you had, I could have two to three. 

Brittany: You were very happy and outgoing. It was like a mood. There was never any like negative s. I mean, I'm sure there were some negatives, but like you said, it didn't end up in a fight or anything like that.

Chris: Yeah. And I think the biggest thing was when I finally decided, all right, enough's enough. I had enough, party memories. I had enough, nights that we want to forget, kind of don't wanna forget, but I had enough to last a lifetime. We'll just say that. And, I woke up the last night of drinking with her and decided, you know what, I think I'm done. I'm not going to drink anymore. And then kind of how that started was just, I'm not going to drink today. And then it was, you know, make it through a day and then it was the next day. All right. I'm not going to drink today. And you know, then just kind of, that kind of kept going and nine years later, we're here.

Brittany: Yeah. I feel like that's been the biggest thing in your story, and in times where we've gone through hardships or trials and. Normally, it would be like, I just going to pour a glass of wine. I'm going to have a beer. You've had to actively make the decision while this is really hard in society would say, just have a drink, drink it off. You've been like, I'm not having a drink today. To keep up with it. And I feel like you're very competitive, so there's a little bit of you, that's probably like, I don't wanna give up everything. I've worked so hard for. 

Chris: Oh yeah. You know, as I said, it was, I don't want to drink today. And then I had a conversation with my brother, who had been sober a couple of years before I got sober. And the way he put it was, you know, yeah, you're not a fighter. You're not destructive, but you don't make the best decisions when drinking, which was very fair. And he phrased it like this. He said, if you had, you know, a glass of Coke and you drank that and it could impair you to make a dumb decision, would you keep drinking Coke? And I said, no, he goes, then why are you still drinking? And I said, fair enough. And that was how it all started. So I started talking to him a little bit more, seeing what worked for him on how he got sober at the beginning. His journey was definitely different than mine, but it was nice to have someone to talk to. So we'll get in that in a little bit here, but it was nice to have him at the beginning where I could reach out and be like, Hey, what did you do in this situation? We'd go to football games and I'd always tailgate. You know, what did you do to still allow yourself to have those moments and still have fun, but find an alternate way of doing it so you're not thinking about drinking the entire time? 

Brittany: And Mike went to AA meetings, but that was never really something you got into, right? 

Chris: No, I tried. I went to one and I just didn't like it. And again, that's not to knock AA at all. I think it's great for what it is. It works for millions of people. It just didn't work for me. It didn't work for my personality. It didn't work for what I needed and that's fine. I came to terms with that and said, okay, I had a sponsor basically, because I had my brother that I could call. So, I think the best part of AA is the accountability with your sponsor and the help that your sponsor provides you as well as that community feeling.

So, I had that built in with him. I could reach out to him to talk to him about that. So like I said, the meetings just didn't work for me, but I will say, don't knock it until you try it. Try to go to a meeting, try a couple. Like I said, I didn't find success with it. I didn't feel comfortable with it. And it wasn't something that I was going to see success with. So I went a different direction. 

Brittany: One thing I feel like I noticed, and I think you also really noticed were a lot of positive changes that started happening to you after you stopped drinking. After every day, you were just like, I'm not having a drink today.

 Kind of talk about your experience and, what were some of the positive things that you saw immediately that encouraged you to continue not drinking? 

Chris: Yeah, so right away, I put myself two incredibly difficult situations. Which looking back was probably not the best way to do it. We had a work conference. It's the first weekend of me being sober. We had a work conference and yeah, the conference was great during the day. It's easy, but it's big parties at night. And I was like, all right, well, if I can make it through conference without drinking, I should be good.

Made it through it. I actually got listed as one of the top 10, I think it was like biggest growth, like quarter, like point to point on in terms of like revenue growth, , for my professional recruiting role. So that was great. But then shortly thereafter, I ended up getting a promotion shortly thereafter that Brittany and I started dating.

, I started losing weight, started eating healthier. Eventually I would get into working out and get back into that. And that would come a little bit later. And that's. The, you know, working out really started to see the body transformation. It was the positive affirmation of, Hey, I'm going to work.

I'm feeling great, and I'm doing well. And then all of a sudden I see the promotion and then personally, I'm not waking up with the moral hangover. I'm not waking up feeling hungover because as you get older, the hangovers get worse. I promise you that. And I wasn't having that. So I was going to work refreshed and I was doing really well.

And then, Brittany and I started to date and that was going great. So I just saw a lot of, positive affirmation of, Hey, you know what? You did make the right decision and you're now being rewarded for it. 

Brittany: I feel like at first people were kind of like are you okay if I still drink?

 It was always like others drinking around, you never really bothered you. And I mean, to this day, I still drink alcohol from time to time. We have wine at our house. I feel like that's a common thing. Where it's like, okay, you're stopping drinking, but now does everybody around, you have to stop drinking? 

Chris: I think that's going to be different for everybody. Me personally, at the very beginning people, it wasn't judgemental, but it was like, wait, you're not drinking? What are you talking about? It was that strange mentality. And then as people started to realize, Hey, this isn't a fad. He's actually trying to do this. They became more and more comfortable with it. And a lot of times from the judgemental point of view, it. Oh, well, I mean, if he's not drinking, maybe I can't drink because, I don't want to embarrass myself in front of him. And what I would always tell people back is there's literally nothing you can do that I haven't done worse in terms of embarrassing yourself. College fraternity brothers will attest to that. But I would put myself in situations where, people were going to be drinking. If I was having a tough day, especially early on, I would avoid that situation. I was looking for hobbies that I didn't naturally associate with drinking. A lot of people say, I need, whether it's every night I get home from work, I have a glass of wine and I sit on the couch and watch TV.

Okay, well maybe at the beginning you don't, sit on the couch and watch TV. Maybe you read a book this time. Maybe you go for a run. Maybe you look for an alternative quote, unquote hobby, that you can do that kind of separates yourself from what you used to associate with drinking, at least at the beginning, that'll help you. Well, at least it help me. And I think that's a good start for anybody who is looking to, potentially go down this journey. 

Brittany: So Chris went to school at Florida State and he went to the national championship the year that they won it in 2013. And I feel like that was another big milestone for you, because you were surrounded by all your friends who were drinking, you guys rented a party bus. It was this really amazing celebratory time. But I feel like you were at the point where you're like, I can celebrate and it doesn't have to involve alcohol and other people can celebrate with alcohol, but that's not my path right now.

Chris: Well, it's funny. We had a conference the week I decided to quit drinking and then I think it was either the next weekend or the weekend after, we had one of my fraternity brothers, weddings. I went to that, stayed sober there. And I was like, all right, I did a work conference and I did a wedding. I'm good. And then Florida State decides to go on this magical run. We don't lose a game. We're blowing everybody out. We get tickets, we fly, it was a whole deal, but we were flying to San Diego and then we were renting a party bus from San Diego to Pasadena. I had a layover in Phoenix, it got canceled. So I slept in the airport. And then I took a early morning flight from Phoenix to Orange County where the party bus picked me up on the way to the game. So talk about adding stress to an event that you're already stressed out about, but yeah, it was one of those things where I was like, all right, I've made it all season.

 At that point, I was probably just under six months, seven months sober, do quick math, June to January. And it's about seven months. And I was like, well, I've already made it seven months. What's one more day. It was just going back to my early strategy of I'm not going to drink today.

And after we went down early, we came back, it was a phenomenal game. We had a kick return touchdown. The whole place is going nuts and we scored with 10 seconds left to win a national championship. It was awesome. And then afterwards, we got champagne on the party bus. Everyone's going crazy and I didn't drink.

And that's when a lot of my friends too were to the point where they were like, Hey, like, It was more commending at that point of like, Hey, you're actually doing this. Like, you're, you're going to be sober. That's awesome. A lot of support started coming from that. And then, it was just, like I said, I'm not going to have a drink today. And that's what I did. And I ended up sleeping on the party bus on the way back. Because I was a little tired. It was a long day. 

Brittany: Do you think that you remember parts of the game, better than you would have?

Chris: Oh, I wouldn't have remembered the. Going back to my one too many and a hundred's not enough. I would've been doing beer monsters. When we used to go to football games, my move for tailgates was I would take a bottle of a wild Turkey, American honey. I would put a koosie on it and I would drink that straight out of the bottle before games. So if anybody's ever had wild Turkey, you know, that that's pretty strong, but I would take a bottle of that pretty much by myself before games. So I might have some help here and there from friends who wanted to sip, but that was kind of my game day. So clearly I didn't remember a lot of those games in college and for the few short years after college. So it was nice to actually go to a game. And I remember every play and I remember the emotions of it. I remember, you know, the crowd, the atmosphere. It was nice to wake up the next day and be like, Hmm, did we win or lose last night? No we won. That was awesome. So it was definitely a different experience. I want to say it was the first game I went to sober. I don't think I went to a regular season game that year.

 Yes I did. I went up to Clemson, when we beat Clemson, I was there for that. We drove up for that, but, a little bit different because we weren't supposed to win that game, but yeah, it was just a different experience and it was kind of nice to be able to remember. .

Brittany: Yeah. And especially for your Alma mater, having the season that they did, and then you weren't drinking that whole season. So you remember so many details about all of those games, which you wouldn't have. 

Chris: I mean, we're all superstitious. I didn't drink all season. I can't drink now during the national championship, we'll lose if I have a drink today. So kind of tricking myself into that was another, way I was able to, convince everybody.

Brittany: So is it any different for you today? Nine years later than what it was at let's say year three.

Chris: I would say the first year was probably the hardest by year three. We were married at that point. Right? We would've been married. I would say it's definitely different. Now at the very beginning, I missed it a lot more than I do now, now every now and again, I'll say I don't miss a bud light. I can tell you that for certain I don't miss a red bull vodka. I don't miss a, well whiskey ginger from the bar and I'll miss things like that. I miss like a good IPA. I miss. You know, a good glass of whiskey, probably even a, you know, going to Italy and having the opportunity to drink that wine.

Would've been fun. But I also know myself a lot better now than I did back then. And I know that I've worked hard to get where I am today and I know that it didn't come easy. It's kind of weird. It's like you mentioned the competitive thing earlier. I don't want to, I don't wanna say throw away the last nine years, because that's not the right word, but.

I've worked to get to where I am today. I've seen a lot of success being sober and whether that's, marrying you getting promoted a few more times at work, we live a pretty good life now. And again, it's not that I, I wanna say, throw it away. It's that I've worked to get here and I wanna hold that.

 I'll never say I'll never drink again, but I kind of go back to, I'm not having a drink today and that's just kind of been, what's got me through it over the last nine years. 

I think you have so much respect for yourself. You've kind of gotten to this point where you're like, I can do hard things and, the first year was really hard and we accomplished that.

And this respect that you have of like honoring yourself at this point is what I feel. I'm not pressuring you to drink. Nobody around you is pressuring you to have a drink. And sometimes I feel like we joke and I'm like is there even a drink that's worth breaking your sobriety over? No. Champagne for a million followers, would've been pretty cool. But, no, there's when you asked what's the things I've learned over the last since year nine verse year three. I think one of the biggest changes that I've seen in the industry is the improvements of non-alcoholic drinks. When I first started, it was like, oh, duals. And that is awful. So if you're going to bank on using that to stay sober, good luck. But my personal favorite now it's called athletic brewing company and it was basically these endurance athletes came up with the idea that there's nothing. Better than like a, a beer after a race where like you PR or you just, you go all out.

And it's just that, that after beer taste, but what they found was they wanted that, but they didn't want the after effects. So they came up with athletic brewing company. It's these non-alcoholic beers, they got a bunch of types, whether it's, you know, a hazy IPA, you know, a summary golden type beer, but they have a, I think four or five different flavors now, and I've found that improvement has definitely helped. Like I don't, when I first started, I was like, oh, I would kill for harpoon IPA at year two, year three. At this point, I'll have one of theirs, one of the athletic brewing ones and I'm good to go. So that would be the best thing that's happened in terms of staying sober is the improvements in that, you know, and it's funny too, with my last job, I had to travel a lot for work, especially international.

And I went to Berlin and it was the first time I'd ever been to a restaurant. They had five or six different options for non-alcoholic beers. And it was just funny to see the different kind of culture aspects of it, in Germany versus here. I mean, I think I got one off tap and I was like, wow, they actually.

Service this community too. So, that was nice. If you ever get to Berlin, cost haul was pretty good there, but yeah, that's been the best thing that's happened in terms of, the last nine years of seeing an improvement in options for the people who want the taste, want the, That refreshment, but don't want the side effects.

Brittany: Obviously you have nine years under your belt of being sober and you've had people support you in this. I would say a majority of your friends and loved ones have supported your decision to be sober. How would you say other people can support somebody who wants to be sober? 

Chris: So the first. And kind of most important thing about getting sober is you have to make that decision for you. It can't be, I want to not drink for you. If I decided to get sober for Brittany, it wouldn't have worked because there's actually, Andy Stanley talked about it. Great. The easiest person we lied to is the person in the mirror. So if we're saying, I'm going to get sober for Brittany well, you can make an excuse to then go back on that. So you have to make the decision that it's, you're the reason for it. It can't be anyone else. It can't be family asking loved ones, brothers, sisters kids, whatever it is, you know, they can, you know, push you towards it. But inevitably you have to want to do it for yourself. Otherwise you will not have success.

And that's number one, number two, and how people can support you. I think the biggest thing is like, look, it's hard. Don't make it awkward for us. We walk into a house party or we go somewhere and they're like, you know, can I, can I get you a drink? Do you want like a soda? It's just awkward. It's like, no, like I'm good. 

Brittany: Don't draw attention to the facts. 

Chris: Yeah. Like don't, don't make it awkward. Because, I have no problem talking about it now. Nine years ago, I wasn't an open book telling everyone I was sober. I kept it pretty close to the, you know, vest in terms of like telling close friends and things.

But I wasn't like walking around broadcasting with a sign that I was, the sober guy. So respect their space, respect their needs. There's a lot of stress when you first do it. I saw a positive, you know, engagement early, you know, certain aspects of my life, but you know, that's not the case for everyone. So, respect that if someone is trying to go through this, it is difficult. So, you know, added stress is not ideal during that time timeframe. So, definitely respect them for that and respect their decision. Don't, you know, judge them don't, you know, make offhand comments like, oh, here's the sober guy. I guess we can't have fun tonight. Because he's going to judge us. It's hard enough as is you don't need, you know, other people making, off-colored jokes about it. One, it's not your place. And two, they're making that decision for them and they're doing it. What they think is what's best for them and their family and , their future.

They don't need negativity around them during that time. Staying positive, positive reinforcement. And the other thing is there might be situations where, you know, you're someone, you know, is starting to starting their sobriety journey. Offer to go out to dinner with them, offer to go to a movie with them, offer, you know, if they wanna start working out, maybe you go to the gym with them.

Maybe it's just, you know, being a part of their life, don't shun them. Or, you know, don't not call them because they're not going to be coming to the bar with you that night. Or, Hey, maybe they're not going to want to go to the party. The first, couple weeks, months, years that they're sober, they might not wanna put themselves in those hard situations, which is understandable.

 As a friend, I would want my friends to be supportive of me and not shun me from the group. And, you know, basically kick me out of the, the inner circle and not let me be involved in things. Yes. I might change some of my hobbies and change some of the things that I want to do on a day to day basis, but it having support is very helpful.

So going, I don't wanna say you have to go above and beyond you're not the one making the decision, but also don't make it harder on them and make it seem like, oh, the only reason I'm friends with him is because we all go out drinking together. If you're a real friend, you'll be there for them when they need you.

Brittany: Yeah. I think respecting your decision is what it comes down to. I feel like a majority of your friends were very respectful and like, this is your decision proud of you for going that route. That's what you feel called to do, and that's what's worked for you. I even think, moving to a new city, two years ago we moved to Athens and Chris didn't really know anybody. And you were like I'm going to try to meet new people and everybody's like, oh, let's grab a beer. And you probably experienced a little bit of nervousness coming into like, okay, well I don't drink. But you were so confident in your decision at the time that it's like, I don't need to.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, at this point, like, like I said, when we moved here, a lot of it was like, you know, you meet somebody. I'm like, oh, you know, it was great, great meeting, you know, we'll grab a beer sometime. I'm like, yeah, man, absolutely. And then we go out and they'll get a beer and I'll get my club soda or I'll get something else. And they're like oh, and I'm like, yeah, I don't drink. And like, oh, I'm so sorry. And it's like, nah, it's not a big deal. We can still hang out. I'm not any different than I was pre beer post beer. I'm the same person you met the other day. Nothing changes in that aspect of it. And I've noticed it does get easier. The next day is it's always a little bit easier the next day, because you have, you know, whether it's one day, two days, three days, four days, five day, whatever it is, you have that many more under your belt and just know that it does get easier. 

Brittany: All right. Another question I have is what is something that's been beneficial for you being sober?

Chris: So we'll give a recent example. We celebrated hitting 1 million followers. 

 We went to dinner with some friends. We had a great time. Everyone was drinking. We decided to take it back to college and go out to, do a little nightlife in a college town. Been a long time since we've gone downtown.

I can promise you that. And it was a late night, very late night in terms of our standards, not for college kids, but, a late night for parents. And it was nice to be able to wake up and not have a headache. I tell everyone you do not miss the hangovers. And especially now with me running, as much as I do, I always try and get up early and work out before the kids are awake.

I couldn't have done that while drinking. It wouldn't have been an option, so it's nice to. Wake up and not have that hangover more importantly for me, and one of the biggest reasons I did quit drinking was hangovers are, a nice way to be punished for your previous actions. But the moral hangover is what got me worse than anything waking up and, blacking out the night before and not remembering, oh, did I do something stupid? Did I make an ass out of myself? Did I insult someone? Did I upset someone? I remember in college when the only social media was Facebook and you had to have a college email address to get on it, but, waking up and looking at your phone and seeing, or opening your computer and seeing an email that you got tagged in a photo.

And it's like, oh no, hope I look good in that photo. Hope I don't look too drunk in that photo. And then obviously years later, it's. not having that moral hangover, waking up, remembering everything that happened the previous night, waking up knowing I didn't do anything to my wife, waking up knowing that I didn't do anything to my kids, knowing that I remember everything.

And I had full control over all of my decisions. The previous night, there's nothing. That feels better for me. That was truly the reason I stopped was I didn't want to have that moral hangover anymore. And that's still something that I look forward to to this day.

Brittany: So thinking back, what would you tell your 23 year old self you're drinking 23 year old self? If you could give some advice to that person now, what would you say? 

Chris: So let's say it's June. The summer I turned 23, I went to Vegas, spent way too much time there. We did not do that trip properly for the first time in Vegas. We were hung over for two weeks. So that was tough. And I also got a DUI when I was 23. So another reason why I don't drink anymore, I would tell my 23 year old self it's okay to have a drink. You don't always have to be the life. You don't always have to be the drunkest one at the party. Maybe that would've changed. And I wouldn't be sober today. If I told myself that, because I'd still be able to, you know, have just one and not a hundred, but at the same time I would tell myself, Hey, it's going to be okay. You're going to be just fine. What am I? 34, 11 years later. You're going to be just fine. You're going to be happy. You're going to have two beautiful kids, a beautiful wife, and everything's going to work out. So yes, maybe. If I would've given myself some advice, I'd still be drinking today, but at the same time, I think everything happens for a reason.

And I think that I wouldn't change my journey. I wouldn't change my experiences, you know, even including the DUI, it was a costly mistake, but it was a mistake that I learned from, and I'm at the point where I think everything I've done and everything I've chosen to do has kind of led me to where I am today. And. I wouldn't change any of that. 

Brittany: I can't even imagine like you drinking now.

Chris: It's normalized at this point. It's just something I live with and I know who I am. I know what my limits are. I know what I'm capable of when I'm not capable of, and when you're able to do that, self-assessment, it makes, makes it a little bit easier. And again, Andy talked about it, you know, last week, but. being honest with yourself and asking yourself the question, ask yourself, am I an alcoholic really? And being able to be truthful with yourself and knowing that you might not like that answer, but accepting that and saying, okay, you know, I am, as the Lord made me and I've accepted that. I know who I am. I'm comfortable with who I am. It was tough early on. It was tough, you know, deciding to do this. But like I said, I don't need the confidence that drinking gave me back then I needed it back then, but I don't need it anymore. And I'm comfortable with where I'm sitting and I'm comfortable with the decisions I've made.

Brittany: Yeah. I love that. I can't imagine life any differently. And I'm proud of you for sharing your story. I think it's kind of funny how you don't like AA meetings, because I feel like it's a lot of feelings. 

Chris: It's opening up and being like oh, let's hug it out. Like, oh, that was a great share. And I was never a big sharer and now I talk on a podcast about it. So, I guess I can thank you for that. 

Brittany: Even when we were going through IVF, you were not like, let's keep this close to the chest, which I think there's a time and place for that. But it's been really cool in my seat to watch you just be so confident in your decision and to be so okay with yourself and pour your heart and soul. And all of that energy you would spend maybe in the past, drinking is now going into something else that you love with running and with raising a family. I feel like you're reaping so many positive benefits. That you remember. I'm very proud of you as your wife that nine years later, you're still just as confident. And if not even more confident that this was the best decision for you and for our family.

Chris: Yeah. I think the biggest thing is early on. It was definitely hard, but now, I do have that confidence. I thank you, for kind of forcing me to open up, like I said, I did not wanna do the IVF stuff. I wanted to keep that close to the vest, but like I said earlier, it's just, I saw the positive impact it had on people. And my hope with this is if you decide to get sober, everyone's, journey's going be different.

I had friends who tried, who unfortunately didn't make it. And it's one of those things where I hope that while the IVF stuff, you know, help people. You know, shed a positive light on it. I hope that this sheds a positive light on it and somebody can, you know, even if it's one person take something away from it, I feel like it's kind of my, Duty's not the right word, because that sounds way too serious, but it's my obligation to, you know, say it's going to be okay and. You know, find a mantra, find a tip, whatever works for you. And like I said, mine's just start with, I'm not having a drink today and take it one day at a time. It sounds corny. I know, 

Brittany: But it's worked. 

Chris: It worked for me. It really worked. And it was especially at the beginning, it was, I'm not going to have a drink today and then wake up the next day. I'm not going to have a drink today. I wake up the next day. I'm not going to have a drink today and taking it a day at a time. Because for me it would've felt way too overwhelming if I'm like, I'm never going to have a drink. I mean, I was 25 years old at the time I was not mature. I was an idiot. Oh, you know, say I lived at, you know, 80, oh, for the next 55 years. I'm not going to have a drink. Good math real quick. No big deal. that would've been overwhelming for me, but instead it was okay. One day I'm just going to do today and then we'll wake up and we'll talk about tomorrow, tomorrow. So again, that worked for me. My mantra of one's too many and a hundred's not enough that's why I'm sober today. I hope that something I shared today might help you. It may not, but I hope it does. And I hope it'll help you just have a little bit of hope that you can do it and it's worth it. 

Brittany: Well, I'm proud of you. Thank you for joining me on today's episode of Life with Loverly. Next time, we'll have him back for some like lighter conversation. But these are really important topics and it's, you know, I mean the podcast Life with Loverly these are life things that we go through and talk about. I just think that even if it's not somebody listening to this, somebody that maybe can share this with somebody else, this is going to impact people's life in a positive way, which we love doing over here at Loverly Grey, so thank you guys so much for joining us today.

Chris: Thank you for letting me ramble on and on.

Brittany: Until next time friends.

Thanks for listening to today's episode. I can't wait to continue these conversations with you over on Instagram. Make sure to follow along at Life with Loverly until next time.

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