Janet White – Choosing Joy: A Nurse’s Guide to Sobriety

In this motivational episode, Janet White, a registered nurse and positive psychology coach. The conversation delves into societal challenges, the benefits of sobriety, and the power of positive self-talk, inspiring listeners to reflect on personal growth and challenge limiting beliefs for a more fulfilling life.

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Hi and welcome to the You World Order Showcase podcast. Today we are joined by Janet White. Janet White is from finding bliss beyond the buzz. I love the title of that. She's a registered nurse and certified positive psychology coast coach and she has been embracing sobriety for.


Almost five years. Well, it will be 5 years by the time this episode drops, so congratulations on that, Janet. That's a big deal.


Thank you.


So tell us your story. How did you get to this point in your life?


Yeah, you know.


It's always interesting when someone asks you for your story. It's like, where do I start? Because there's so much that happens over our lives and we have so many things, things that impact us and make changes. I think I'll give you the short version obviously, but I was in a pretty toxic relationship for many years when I got out, I was kind of floundering, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted.


In life, I turned to alcohol because it was comforting. It was, you know, something that.


Helped me cope with the grief and the PTSD and all the other things that I had been through. And then I realized when my first grandbaby was born that, Oh my gosh, I'm killing myself with this stuff. I mean, I didn't drink more than anybody else, really, but just having that habit of every night and eating that glass of wine to calm down.


For my stressful.


Job to relax. I thought I realized that it wasn't healthy and so I really.


Name convinced that I needed to do something different, so I changed my stressful job. I became a coach. I gave up alcohol, all those things, and basically really started my self development journey. You know, probably I've probably been on myself development journey for quite a while. Maybe when I left the toxic relationship but really heavy duty.


You know past 5-6 years. So what I do now is I help other people.


And I, you know, men, women, doesn't matter. But I kind of gravitate towards women because they are the ones I feel like that we so often put ourselves on.


The back burner.


And we just push through life with our children, our career, we take care of our parents, we do what the community wants, our church wants we do it all to our own detriment. And so.


I think my message is stop putting yourself last and start, you know, doing things for yourself. Make sure that you get rid of these toxic relationships. These bad habits develop good things for yourself while you're younger.


And stop listening to those limiting beliefs in your head that you're not worth it and you can't do it. So that's kind of me in a nutshell.


Hi. Yeah, I'm just over here shaking my head. Yeah, yeah. Going right along with you. And it is true. You know, when you get older, you have a lot more, lot more things have happened to you in your life that have really got you to the place where you're at made a lot more decisions. So when you embrace sobriety.


Was it?


Absolutely. I mean, let's face it, every single thing that we do is involves alcohol. I mean, it's very difficult to be social in our culture without having to drink. I mean it. It's if you go to the football game, you got to have a beer. If you go to a nice restaurant, you got to have wine. I mean, we have, we have booze.


That baby showers. I mean, let's that. That's ridiculous. But we do. And so when you make the decision that you.


Want to stop?


It's kind of like what? Why would you do that? And then there's immediately the, oh, you must be a terrible alcoholic. I feel so sorry for you. No, maybe I just want to quit drinking. I mean, it's not healthy. So, yeah, you got to change up a lot of things in your life and kind of rethink about it.


The way that you socialize, I can sober dance with the best of them. Now. I'll meet you down at the club and we can do some.


Sober dancing, but.


At first it was really tough to try to figure.


About who I was and how to cope with all these raw emotions that I had been numbing without the alcohol.


It's interesting. I told you just before the show that I recently embraced sobriety and.


I didn't. I don't. I don't know why, but I haven't found it particularly difficult and I was drinking quite a bit. You know, I had like two or three glasses of wine every night, at least.


And I just decided I decided on.


It was September 7th. I had decided before that was my our anniversary. My husband said my anniversary and I had decided that a few days before that, after the anniversary trip, I was going to embrace sobriety and not.


Participate in drinking because it was making me feel bad.


It was affecting my health in a lot of ways that.


Were kind of subtle.


I wasn't ever really hungover, but you always have this low level hangover if you've drunk consumed alcohol for a long period of time, it just you're never just really.


All there.


Because your body just hasn't had time to like detox.


From all of.


That crap. So.


I had this encounter with a hawk.


And I.


Think maybe it was.


From the encounter with the hawk that.


It just it hasn't been difficult for me. It's like other people drink around me and I don't care. I have other things that I particularly enjoy. I I'm not a I'm mostly a water drinker and I drink tea. I love coffee first thing in the morning, but I can't have caffeine.


Beyond that, it's like if it's 8:00 and I'm drinking coffee, I'm going to have.


Trouble sleeping it so.


Ohh my.


I have to get up early.


To have my cup of coffee.


But it it's just been an interesting.


An interesting journey to me, and I'm always interested in how other people have adopted. Have you found other things that you're incorporating into your life instead of alcohol?


Yeah. I mean, I think for me, it was I think part of it depends on why you, why you use alcohol. I mean, let's face it, it's.


It's not if, if when we start out it doesn't really even taste good we acquire it tastes for it, it's ethanol, it's not good for us and so our body immediately rejects it. But as we flavor it and should you know do all the things we build this. So it's usually not.


The poison.


We're not usually drinking, at least at first, because of the taste. It's more for the.


Feeling. And I think that once we kind of get accustomed to it, it depends on why we're drinking. I am absolutely so curious about this hawk. I can't wait to, you know, I'd love for you to tell me about it. I don't know. This is not my podcast, but I mean, that is so intriguing, but I think most of us, it has to kind of have a replacement. So what?


What I think, and this is what I tell my clients, is.


There's some reason you want to quit drinking a lot of times. It's the health I mean for no other reason. Alcohol. Absolutely. 100% wrecks your sleep. I don't care if you think it relaxes you or make I mean, just do the research. It absolutely wrecks your sleep. It's not. It's not healthy. It makes you wake up.


A lot of us have palpitations. Your enzymes can get out of whack. I mean, we're talking liver disease. There's all kinds of things. But that what you described, that's what I called my.


Chronic fatigue, my chronic muh. You know that I just never woke up feeling. Let's go. It was like, OK, you know, and I got up every day. I went to work every day, but I never felt 100%. And once I got off that alcohol, it was like, Oh my gosh, I thought I was.


You know I'm over 50. No wonder I'm feeling like this. No, it wasn't that. It was the durn booze. That was what was bringing me down. Slept better. My heart rate went down. I could keep my fitness routine because let's who in the?


World wants to.


Go to the gym after they've had a few beers, you know, and I my, my.


Food and nutrition was better because the food I'd prepped that was healthy. I actually fix instead of calling after a half a bottle of wine.


And ordering.


The pizza I mean. So it's there's a lot of things related and I think that what happens is when we start feeling those benefits.


It does become so much easy.


Easier because why do you want to go back to feeling that way? And so I think that that's, you know, it's just making that break and depending on why is it because you know you're having health issues? Is it because you're, you know depressed? I mean, there's a lot of reasons that we drink.


And a lot of times it is.


Social. Maybe your partner.


Drinks every night and that's what you guys do together. I mean, it can be difficult for a lot of different people and you need and everybody kind of needs something different. I say ask put down your why's why do you want to quit? Those won't change. I mean, even if you feel like you want to have a drink, you're wise. Take a look at that.


And then you should replace it. You really should replace it. What do you want to replace it with though? A lot of us replace it with sugar at first, that's not a good replacement. Maybe try exercise or meditation or yoga or writing or paint.


There's a million things that you can do to replace it with, but if you don't replace it, you may be longing for it. And so I've found with my clients, I say what have you been not doing that you wanted to do because you're too, too intoxicated or too mellowed out or whatever you want to call it?


To actually get up and do it. So let's use that as a reward for you not drinking, and go do that and think of all the money you save. How much money.


Have you saved you?


Hundreds, at least hundreds of dollars, you know, and it hasn't been that long for me.


So I replaced it with.


I like. I like tart drinks. I'm not really a Big Sugar person like I like chocolate, I admit. But I would. I would rather have something tart. And So what I started doing was drinking cherry juice, which also has the precursors for melatonin in it, so that.


It actually benefits you and helping you to sleep better, but I add Pellegrino to it so it's carbonated and it makes me feel like I'm it's the right color.


And it makes.


Me. Feel like I'm having that adult but.


And it's really good for me other than, you know, carbonated things aren't really good for your bones, but I don't drink a lot of it. So and it's not soda pop, which is like.


Terribly horrible for you. It's just poison in a different form.


So I do that, and then there's.


Also, this other drink that I found.


It does have caffeine in it, so I have to be really careful when I.


It, but it's called ancient ones, and it's a mushroom drink. It too is carbonated, but it comes in like cola or root beer or lime flavors. And they're the kind of reminiscent of beer without actually being there. And I know there's like non alcoholic wine and there's non alcoholic beer.


And if you really feel that.


Need to do that? That's up to you.


But I don't.


When I quit something and I quit smoking years and years ago, so I'm familiar with the idea of, you know, giving up a bad habit. But I do feel that if you have some new habits to put in, like, I started drinking tea at night before I go to bed, we have a nightly ritual. My husband brings me tea, and we just have tea.


As we watch television and whatever, but.


Places where you normally drink alcohol. If you have something that you could just move right in there and then it becomes the habit that you do that instead of the habit of.


Drinking the wine or whatever. It's just my thoughts on it.


Yeah, I mean, and I've had some non alcoholic drinks. I I'm not a huge fan, but.


I do think they serve a purpose, especially when you're in a social setting. I mean it's, you know, a lot of people really struggle with telling people that they don't drink or going under the scrutiny of why don't you drink? Our society is really not all that keen on, you know, what everyone drinks. Why don't you drink? And if you don't drink, what's?


Wrong with you.


So I think just to put that at ease, we.


Have gotten more and more.


Confident in our in our sobriety, in our movement that I just don't drink, I choose not to. I like to feel happy. I like to feel good. I like to have more energy. I like to sleep better. But until you're ready to make that statement commitment and you're that having a non alcoholic drink instead of a drink, a regular alcoholic drink.


It's a great.


Option. So yeah, I'm with you. That's not what I do all the time, but.


I think at first, especially anybody who is struggling with alcohol, they want to make the change they want to make the break. What does it takes? I mean, you can tell people you're on a medication.


I mean whatever.


You want to do until you embrace it. Like you said, I love that term that you embrace sobriety. I.


I like that.


I chose it on purpose, I've.


I've actually tried to quit drinking that the whole.


Quitting something means that you're denying yourself.


That thing that.


If for some reason your brain just like.


Hi want to.


Have it's just like anytime you're on a diet, you like suddenly can't live without all of these things that you know you really could live without because you don't.


Really like them that.


Much, but because you're on this diet and you can't have them, suddenly it's this big deal. And so I chose the word embrace.


Embracing sobriety because it's a positive way to look at what I'm doing. I'm. I'm choosing this path.


And you know, for right now it's serving me really well. It's not that I can't drink because I'm perfectly capable of drinking. I didn't quit because.


For any other reason then I'm just choosing to be sober.


And however long that lasts, that's how long it lasts, and I'm leaving that open.


Yeah, I love.


Well, you know, and I think it is, it's about mindset, isn't it? I mean, it really is about stop, you know our limiting beliefs we tell ourselves thing.


And make it difficult on ourselves. We are our own worst enemies. And so saying I can't versus I don't or I don't want to or some other positive spin sends us down that negative pathway. Of course we become defensive our we automatically decide. Ohh well. If I can't then I want to, I mean.


We've done that since we were little kids, right? Just tell, just tell my granddaughter she can't have something. That's all she can think about.


And we're no different really. Even as we age. And so we have to almost learn to.


Embrace as you said, or to groom how we talk to ourselves and that's another big focus in my practice is I have so many people who come with all these limiting beliefs. They're stuck down in these toxic relationships. They're tolerating things. They don't set their boundaries.


They are stuck into these unhealthy habits and patterns, and part of it is you have to learn how to talk to yourself. You have to be able to. Instead of saying I can't do this, I don't choose to. Instead of saying, you know I'm a bad person, I made a mistake.


You know how what we say to each other ourselves?


Really does matter and we hold on to these negative beliefs. These limiting beliefs that we picked up along the way that have no valid, they're not even valid #1.


But not reality.


But yeah, we hold on to them and we let.


Them control us.


You know, I, I love the story about one of my clients and.


She came. We were talking about what she liked to do or whatever, and she said I really, really always wanted to sing. Well, she was in her 40s and I said, well, why don't you sing? And she goes, well, I'm not good at it. And I said, well, what do you mean you're not good at? Sure. You know, what have you tried? What she goes well.


When she told me.


A story about middle school that when she.


Was in middle school.


The coach or the instructor, whatever in music class told her that she wasn't any good, that she shouldn't sing, that she should take up an instrument, which she tried and didn't like.


And she'd held on to that for all these years. So she actually went out and started trying in a community theater. Guess what she does? Once a week, she performs in her community theater. I'm like, you go, girl. I mean, why do we let these things hold us back? But we don't challenge?


These beliefs, we believe alcohol relaxes us. We believe we're going to be popular and cool if we drink, we believe.


That it, you know, if we don't, we're going to be boring. We believe, you know we.


Have all these.


Beliefs and we need to start challenging them that we are. We are enough that we're good enough that we're smart enough that we are able to make decisions for ourselves that we don't have to tolerate these things if they're not good for us.


We don't have to put up with them and I wish that I would have known that earlier and learned it. But like you said lifes, A, lifes, a journey. There's lots of lessons and sometimes some of us have to learn the hard way.


You know it's OK that that our past experiences us to where we are and it gives us empathy for other people that are also struggling. And you know, maybe they're just not there yet on their journey and it's OK everybody's.


Everybody's allowed to be where they are.


I do love your idea about.


Painting your mindset Marissa Pierce has a line that she uses. Just tell yourself a better lie because nothing is reality unless you create it yourself.


We create our reality around what we're thinking.


And what we're thinking other people are thinking about us.




Truth is, no one is thinking about you. They're always thinking about themselves and wondering what you're thinking about them, and you're not thinking about.


Them either.


Right, that, that that is a, that's a wisdom gem if we could if no one heard anything else that we said today.


Except that they would be so worth it. I mean, I think we do this subconsciously. What happens is we call someone and they don't call us.


Back well, what happens? The dialogue begins. Well, are they mad at us? Have they done something wrong? What if it all becomes a? Well, she didn't even call.


Me back. Maybe it accidentally.


I delete it, maybe it never even got there. Maybe she's busy, but we turn it in and we start feeding the dialogue. Like you said, in our own minds has nothing to do with the other person at all.


And then weeks go by and we're angry that they didn't call us back. Maybe they didn't even get the message. So yeah, I think it's being able to recognize that so much of what we believe.


It's not even real. I mean, that's kind of freaky when you think about it, but it's it, it's the truth. We make up, so why not?


This is this is the this was the.


Key for me.


So if I'm going to go ahead and believe whatever I want, why don't I believe something positive? Why would I not believe? Ohh well, she must have my friend. She must have been busy or that.


Must have slipped off her radar. I'll just call her back. Why not go ahead and believe something positive.


Instead of something negative.


Yeah, there's science behind.


The way that we remember things.


In that if we're.


If we're hanging on to something from our past, it's a memory and the memory.


And this kind of goes around trauma a little bit, but we have memories of things that have happened to us or situations that we're in, like the woman in and the singing she's made-up this story in her head of this memory.


If you ask, that instructor probably wouldn't even remember who she was.


No, no.


To begin with.


And it probably had to do with the fact that.


They've said this so many times in their.


In their career, and they've forgotten that everybody.


Starts at 0.


Nobody is just born with this innate ability to do whatever. Well, maybe there are a few.


People that are.


Born with are gifted that way. But you know, we're all gifted in some way. And so you know, but it doesn't mean we can't do other things or pursue other things. But the, the crux of what I was trying to get out.


Is that if we change how we perceive that memory, if we adjust our thinking about it, it actually changes what that other person remembers about it to if you get back together.


You can you can attach whatever emotions, feelings, thoughts you want to any memory that you have that's not serving you very well.


It just make it a better story. Make yourself the hero of that story. It's gonna empower.


Not only you.


But anybody else that was involved in the situation?


That. Yeah, and I and I think you know, the way we criticize ourselves, we are always our own worst critic. And you take the take a photo, a group photo. Now, what do you do when you look at that group photo in on you? That's right. You zoom in on you and if the pic you think the picture.


Look at yourself first.


Looks bad of you guess what it's.


It's a bad picture, so it's it. It's very interesting how we take so. So we take all the information personally, but we're our own worst critics. Someone else may not see it that way at all. And I think that's been another great revelation for me. I look back at some of my pictures back in the past in my 20s.


And back then I thought it was fat. I thought it was this and that and.


And you know, and I'm like, Oh my.


Gosh, I looked pretty.


Good back then, you know.


I mean it's like we never appreciate who we are and what we have and that's another big part of what I do is trying to get people to embrace their unique qualities. You said it we all have talents.


We all have our own abilities and we're all different, and that's good. That's a good thing. And every experience that we have makes us stronger it.


Us more empathetic. It makes it gives us the strength to do what we do. And so when we look at look at ourselves, instead of picking on our flaws, our quirks are what a lot of times, those are the things that endear people to us. Let's, for instance, I have this horrible habit. And now.


How in the world would anybody who has this kind of habit?


That get on podcasts and talk, but I call things the wrong name a lot of times, like restaurants and my family laughs at me so hard because it'll be the old smokehouse, and I'll call it Smokey Joe's. And I'm just always naming them, and then they we laugh and we all call it that, you know? So but.


It's like get.


Get you know, you should know the name.


Of these places.


But that's they all laugh and it's kind of funny, but that is just something quirky about me that I do and instead of feeling stupid or I, why can't I remember that or beating myself?


I just go with it and so many times we pick on things that we can't change, things about our appearance, things about our personality or our past, and we hone in on how horrible they are. We want to wish that they were different and you know, I'm all for self improvement and I've done a lot of self improvement.


And I want I think everybody should strive to be the best they can be, but some.


Things you can't change.


Change and you have to embrace and accept that we're all you know. We all are flawed. We all have imperfections and it and it's OK, you know, and accepting yourself and loving yourself even with those. It's a big challenge because we want to be the critic. Let's be our own best fan. Let's be our you know.


I couldn't agree with you more. It's just so important to.


If you don't love yourself, how can you expect other people to love you?


I mean.


If you're constantly putting yourself down and highlighting the things that aren't that flattering, why? Why would you want? Why would you think anybody else would want to be around that? And you know it comes, it does come down to boundaries in some ways, where if you put good boundaries around yourself.


And you're only around people that really are more positive.


Live in their outlook on life. They've too have done a little bit of self improvement work and they're interested in in talking about, you know, the possibilities rather than the past.


Every mirror in the car is.


Really small.


Because you just need to glance at it every once in a while, make sure that you know nothing's going to come up from behind you and whack you in the head.


But mostly that windshield's really big because you're going forward, go forward, you want your life to be amazing, make decisions that are going to have that kind.


Of an.


How come you just?


It's really not that difficult.


That so many people struggle with the idea that.


It's possible for them too.


And they're worth it. They're worth.


They're worth loving themselves. Everybody has something that's so special and so spectacular.


Highlight that redress.


You know the whole dress for success. We dress to flatter our figures however they look.


Right. I think you know you mentioned you mentioned trauma and I think that's where a lot of us get stuck. I think you know, I had a very toxic marriage, a long term marriage and I heard every day how horrible I was and all the things. So my net negative critic.


Was not only that little voice in my head, but a real life person who honed it for many, many years. So when I left.


It was almost like I had to, you know, just retrain my brain from his voice from my own inner critic voice. And it was very difficult. So I understand how difficult it can be to make the break. I said I used to put myself down.


Say mean things about myself. I would say it out loud. I would say it in my head and we called it the Janet Hating Club and I and you know my current husband he's wonderful and he's.


That you know, you are the only member of the Jana Hayden club. There ain't nobody else in that club but you and.


You know he.


Was right and it took time to.


It doesn't exist anymore. There's no more Janet hating club period because I have to. Yeah. Do I disappoint myself? Do I do things I wish I hadn't have? Or yeah, I'm not perfect, make mistakes. But I give myself so much more grace these days. And I'm so.


Grateful my attitude of gratitude.


Replaces that negativity of, oh, why is this? Oh, look at that. I'm grateful, grateful that I'm where I'm at today. I'm grateful that I'm healthy. I'm grateful for, you know, all the things. So I think that that has been a big mind shift again and trying to get rid of those negative.


Yeah, they're so helpful. I know you.


Have a little guide that you like to give to people on your website you want.


To talk about that for a minute.


Yeah, I don't think I mentioned to my book, which is finding bliss beyond the bus. That's my that's available on Amazon. Kind of goes through the story about how I quit alcohol. It goes through my toxic past.


I love that.


But I wanted to give a free guide away today. If you guys are interested and it's how to calm that inner critic. So the inner critic is what I talked about. You know, the Janet Hayden club, the oh, I'm no good at this. I can't do this. How can we change that? And if you're stuck there, this guy.


Kind of walks you through some verbiage that you can, you know that you can replace. So it's a practical guide of how to replace it. So I think it's hopefully it'll be helpful.


I I'm sure it can't hurt because.


Yeah, right.


It's like the number one thing that you.


Got to fix first.


Is still in that inner critic, so I'll make sure that I put a link to that in the show notes below and a link to your website is there. One thing that you would like to leave the.


Audience with today.


I think the most important thing is to listen to your listen to your, not the inner critic, but that little voice inside that says yes, I can, because don't stay stuck in a toxic relationship, don't stay stuck in these limiting beliefs or with these negative habits give.


Give alcohol a chance. I mean break, take a break and see how you feel. If you don't like it, you can always go back to drinking. But give yourself the space to explore and figure out what what's best for you. And you're worth it.


You are worth it.


Thank you so much for joining me, Janet this.


Has been a lovely conversation.


Thanks for having me.

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