January 18, 2024
Glennon Doyle: Welcome back to, we Can Do Hard Things if you are here. You are brave because you did the exercise that Laura asked us to do in the last episode, which is to figure out what our thing is that is keeping us from peace, freedom, truth, integrity. Whether that thing is [00:00:30] overworking, over shopping, drinking, codependency, whatever it is, you sat with yourself.
You asked yourself in the quiet, two questions. How do I feel and what do I want? Laura McCowan is the author of the bestselling memoir, We Are the Luckiest, The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life, and Push Off From Here, Nine Essential Truths to Get You Through Life and Everything Else. She has written for the New York Times and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Today Show, [00:01:00] and more.
In 2020, she founded The Luckiest Club, a global sobriety support community. Laura lives with her daughter and partner on the North Shore of Boston. Laura! If these people are ready to confront the thing. that they want to stop in their lives, to rip off the band aid so that they can finally address the trauma beneath.
How the hell do [00:01:30] they do it? You have nine truths that you walk people through. Can I repeat them now? Please do, sister.
Amanda Doyle: One, it is not your fault. Two, it is your responsibility. Three, it is unfair that this is your thing. Four, this is your thing. Five, this will never stop being your thing until you face it.
6. You can’t do it alone. 7. Only you can do it. 8. I love you. 9. I will never [00:02:00] stop reminding you of these things. Can we start with 1 and 2? Yeah. We talked a little bit about 1 on the last episode of It Is Not Your Fault. Number 2 is It Is Your Responsibility.
Think that your framing of responsibility is so correct and liberating because I think that we live in this world [00:02:30] where. Responsibility feels like something we owe to others and your concept of responsibility, not being a burden, but responsibility always leads to freedom. Yeah. Can you talk about that?
Because when we take responsibility, we are taking our freedom back.
Laura McKowen: I first want to say about, it’s not your fault just to, cause it will set this up. So it’s not your fault. People have a very strong reaction [00:03:00] to this, not surprisingly because of the Sort of glorified notion of personal responsibility that we worship in our culture and, and the, the misunderstanding of what that means.
So it sounds very victim me to say it’s not my fault. All that means is there are things in your life that you could not control. for everybody. You couldn’t control how you grew up, the environment you were in, your body, your appearance. There are so [00:03:30] many things you can’t control. Okay. That’s all that means.
And just acknowledging that because it sets aside. Enough of the burden of what we think responsibility is so that you can actually take responsibility. Also,
Glennon Doyle: there’s queerness, there’s being different races, there’s ableism, there’s, there’s a million things for how you could have been born into the world.
That we live in that caused you trauma. Okay. But also as a person who [00:04:00] is, and Abby will laugh, semi obsessed with trying to figure out if I’m a good person or a bad person. I don’t understand. I’m constantly like, I don’t know. I think I might be a really bad person. Is she a good person? Is he a good person?
How do we know if we’re good and bad? Your moon situation?
Your moon metaphor or has helped me so much, Laura.
Laura McKowen: Believing you are good is like [00:04:30] believing in the half moon. I didn’t say that. That’s. Thomas, Thomas Floyd quals or quote that right for me, but, um, I did not say that, but yes, believing you are good is like believing in the half moon. Believing you are bad is like believing in the half moon.
The whole moon is there all the time. The whole moon is
Glennon Doyle: there all the time. And so this is what helped me about it is that because when you are a person who lived with as an addict for half your life and then you become sober [00:05:00] and you’re being good. You don’t know if you’re a bad person who’s now acting good , or if you were are good person, who in the beginning was acting bad?
Okay, so what? And you’re both frauds, , and you’re both frauds, right? So that’s why every time I make a mistake or I’m late or do something, I’m scared shitless because I think what’s happening, it’s amazing, is that my badness is being exposed, revealed. So. I went through something a couple days ago and I made a mistake [00:05:30] with someone and I felt so awful because I thought, this is bad.
I’m a bad person. And I remembered your writing and I thought, no, no, no. What’s happening right now. Is this part of me? Is being illuminated like the moon right now. Yeah, I did
Laura McKowen: this a full moon right now. Yeah, it was a full moon. It’s not
Glennon Doyle: like, why did I do that? I’m a good person. Why did I do that? No, it’s like, no, I did that because there’s a part of me that’s like selfish [00:06:00] and kind of scared.
The nasty. That’s why, because there’s a part of me that is those things and that part’s being illuminated right now, but everybody has a part of them that is that thing. So now I just need to apologize and not be in a shame spiral
Laura McKowen: about it. Yes. I’m so glad you said that because for me, I could not have written that chapter until I was eight years sober because one of my therapists joke, we named my coping mechanisms because it makes them funny and [00:06:30] Easily identifiable, and one of mine is categorically wrong, like you’re just categorically wrong or bad would be another way to put it like you’re just bad.
You’re wrong. You’re bad. And so you take the blame for everything. And you’re just a bad person and sorry, you know, like the yuck feeling that you get when you like what you just described. I lived in that like all of my life and it’s really only started to clear up [00:07:00] now in the last couple of years of sobriety and it still gets me, but I get what you mean.
And the thing that I have to remind myself of. And that everyone needs to hear is that what Abbey said earlier is something that I wrote in We Are the Luckiest, which is we are all capable of everything, not because you’re uniquely bad or you are a defect at the factory or like some people have it and some [00:07:30] people don’t.
No, we are all capable of everything. It is sometimes called the shadow. It’s in everybody. This is another reason why addiction is such a gift or any initiation through letting go of your thing and going through the pain of that because you can see how fallible and vulnerable you are as a human being and how [00:08:00] capable you are of darkness.
And then also how capable you are of light and goodness and that those things are always there. But when we go around acting. Or trying to just be good and believing, therefore, that other people are bad. We are always going to be stuck and we are always going to be in this personal hell of our own because we can’t [00:08:30] avoid the fact that the moon is false.
We just can’t. The thing about it’s not your fault is like, I resisted this and resisted this and resisted this because this is not the culture I grew up in. It was very, you know, personal responsibility at all costs. We are not a victim. We never act like one. And, and there was a whole gaslighting layer there around, like, just not acknowledging reality for people.
Accepting that it’s [00:09:00] not my fault. Specifically, the addiction was very hard for me. So I, I want to really let people know that this doesn’t have to come easy. You don’t have to actually believe it. Just maybe consider that there is an entire system that you were born into. There’s an entire family that you were born into.
There’s an entire culture. And to imagine that everything good or bad that has come [00:09:30] from your life is a result of
Not only absurd and unhelpful, but it’s kind of Ridiculous. Like that just, you are not, you are not God, you know? So it’s almost like a logical leap more than a, uh, like heart spiritually. Let’s just look at the facts here. Let’s like, look [00:10:00] at how things really work. It’s a surrender. It’s a surrender. Yeah, and this is why, again, going back to why I wish everyone was in recovery is because unless you have seen that the limits of your own capability and your own will and your own control, you are always going to think that you are driving everything.
Yeah. That’s right. Right. And you will have no compassion for other people. Yes. That’s
Glennon Doyle: right. Yes. Let’s go to number two. I feel like I could talk [00:10:30] to you about every single one of these for 16 hours, but let’s go to number two. So we’ve accepted that there are things in our lives that we cannot. Control. We have accepted that it’s not our fault, and also it’s not their fault.
The things that happened to them. Tragically, number two is the bad guys. The good because I’d be okay. Just Ending after one, which is why I’ve been sober, I’ve been sober for [00:11:00] 22 years and I am on the first step. I’m considering it. I’m considering step two. Okay. It is not your fault. It is your responsibility.
Sister is obsessed with this one. So it makes sense sister that I’m obsessed with. It’s not your fault. Do you like how it’s like one and two? Let’s not even talk about one. I know. I know. I
Laura McKowen: know. You know, what’s so funny is having now knowing what Enneagram numbers you all are because I’ve studied Enneagram for [00:11:30] so long.
This is an aside. I thought I would not learn anything listening to Suzanne Stabile and it totally blew my mind and I love her, but now it is so Enneagram 3 to be like, let’s just go to the responsibility part because this is so fun. I love this. I love that it’s my responsibility. And I rock it.
Amanda Doyle: Well, specifically the idea of responsibility that I’m obsessed with is your framing of it not as you take on the [00:12:00] burden of responsibility to fix all of this shit.
Responsibility is a taking on of your freedom. You say responsibility always leads to
Laura McKowen: freedom. Yeah. So responsibility. Is there’s a, an important distinction that I make it’s, you are not responsible for everything, but you’re just responsible for your experience. And even that needs to have a few caveats because some people are in environments [00:12:30] where they can’t control what’s happening around them and to them, but at the base level, let’s just call the inner sanctum of our minds.
We have to be responsible for that space and finding where we have a choice, acknowledging that where we are making choices versus where we aren’t or can’t, [00:13:00] and choosing even if we are consciously choosing things that we don’t like, that we don’t necessarily want, that we have to do, we are in choice about it.
Meaning like, yeah, a lot of people confuse obligation and duty with. Responsibility. Like, I’m so responsible, but I’m so angry. I’m so resentful. I’ve done everything [00:13:30] right. I do all the things I’m supposed to do. That’s not taking responsibility for your experience. That’s right. Taking responsibility for your experience.
The hardest and probably the most important thing you could do is to ask for help, which is counterintuitive. The number one most important thing that most people can do to take responsibility for their experience is to ask for help. [00:14:00] Hmm. So. saying, I don’t have this. I am out of depth. I don’t know what to do.
That’s like the ultimate act of responsibility. I know it’s cringe. It’s so cringe.
Amanda Doyle: Because to me, responsibility is the opposite of like, things are happening to me. And therefore there is only one [00:14:30] available Because what is one to do when all of these things are happening to me? So my response is a foregone conclusion in light of all of these things.
Laura McKowen: Exactly. If you are just working so hard to be good and you are doing all kinds of things in your life that aren’t who you actually are or what you actually want, you’re doing them to be good. and you’re calling that [00:15:00] responsible, there’s no freedom there. Because
Glennon Doyle: responsible means able to respond,
Laura McKowen: able to respond from
Glennon Doyle: integrity.
So if you’re just reacting all the time, responsibility is the pause between the stimulus and the reaction, the yes or no, the yes in my life for that or the no in my life for that. Responsibility is stopping, deciding how do I feel? What [00:15:30] do I want? And then responding. If
Laura McKowen: we are just
Glennon Doyle: hitting balls back like a tennis thing,
Laura McKowen: tennis games,
Glennon Doyle: then
Laura McKowen: We are
Glennon Doyle: acting from our subconscious the Carl Jung if we do not take responsibility for
Laura McKowen: our life We will we what we do not bring into consciousness will come to us as fate Things will just keep happening to you.
You will keep dating the same narcissist [00:16:00] You will keep having the same interaction with your mother the same dynamics will keep showing up in your relationships, in your life, in every part of your world. Because you are not able or willing to ask yourself what your part is in what’s happening. That’s right.
So that is where responsibility comes in. It’s not I have to take on the weight [00:16:30] of the world and fix everything. It’s what is my part and the part I can control and where do I have a choice and am I choosing that?
Glennon Doyle: Which is so interesting because it’s the opposite of how we present responsibility.
Laura McKowen: It’s the opposite of it.
Totally. We use personal responsibility as like this cudgel to like just beat people down like you’re not where you should be because this is where everybody who you know is and you should be there by now. Or whatever. Yeah.
Amanda Doyle: Responsibility culturally is [00:17:00] have you met your achievement framework
Laura McKowen: metrics?
Exactly. Yes. Have you hit your home run? Right. Right. Right. And it’s really the opposite. As opposed
Glennon Doyle: to are you doing your life
Laura McKowen: on purpose? Yes. Are you? That’s what responsibility is. To
Glennon Doyle: the extent that you can, based on your particular you know, this is not to say you can just create the life you want. Like, I don’t believe that.
But within the framework you have, [00:17:30] have you taken the time to decide how you feel, what you want? Yeah. When the world comes at you, are you deciding
Laura McKowen: yes or no? On purpose. Yes. On purpose. What I wrote in the book was, am I aware of how I’m contributing to my suffering and the suffering of those around me?
Am I doing what I can to decrease that suffering? Am I willing to let go of what I can’t control and change what I can? Do I have a sense of freedom in my heart and in my [00:18:00] mind? And if not, what’s the next step that I can take? The freedom part to me is the biggest, because if you genuinely know that, to use an AA phrase, that your side of the street is clean, you are genuinely showing up in, according to your values.
You are telling the truth. You are [00:18:30] admitting when you’re wrong. You are noticing the patterns of your own behavior that contribute to the dysfunction around you or the suffering of your life and others. There is a freedom in your mind when you know that you are doing that. Yep. Yep. And when there’s not, you feel resentful, you feel angry a lot of the time.
So here are some good tip offs to know if you’re not in responsibility. And there’s [00:19:00] no morality around this, by the way. It’s like a tool you can pick up. Are you angry a lot? Are you resentful a lot? Do you feel out of control? A lot. Like things are just happening to you. Those are pretty good tip offs that you’re not taking responsibility for your experience.
And it is a hard pill to swallow. Yeah.
Glennon Doyle: I can’t believe we’re only at two. [00:19:30] Shit.
Okay. Three. It is unfair that this is your thing.
Laura McKowen: We kind of talked about this in the last episode, but this is really just about needing to be seen [00:20:00] in our Pain and our sorrow and having someone say, I’m so sorry, and this sucks. It’s like emotional honesty, really, because for me, it was all pretending it’s fine.
I’m fine. Everything’s fine. I shouldn’t feel sad about letting go of this thing that is killing me and ruining the lives of the people around me. I shouldn’t feel sad about that. Who am I to feel sad about it? I just need to fix it. [00:20:30] And this is acknowledging like this just sucks. It’s painful. I learned from Tara Brock, when our pain and our sorrow is not witnessed, we don’t feel real.
And when we don’t feel real. We feel inhuman. It’s the one of the worst things that we can feel is to not feel like a human being. Like our experience is valid and when someone just [00:21:00] says to you, this sucks and I’m so sorry it’s happening. It’s not fair. God, that it’s such a relief and it’s so simple. Yeah.
So it’s just that acknowledgement. I love it.
Amanda Doyle: Until you get that affirmation, until you really can have someone see you in that and you can accept that this is not fair, then all you’re going to be doing is circling around in that it’s not [00:21:30] fair. Yes. Like it is a conditioned precedent to getting beyond that, to just be like, The reality is this is not fair, and I can live here for the rest of my life, or I can accept that this is not fair and continue down the road.
Laura McKowen: and like the other things, the number one and two, three and four go together. Like, it’s unfair that this is your thing, but. But sorry, it’s your thing. This is your thing.
Glennon Doyle: Yeah. It helped [00:22:00] me so much to think about. I was thinking back on my early recovery this time and last time. And all of your talking about your obsession with, okay, there’s two doors.
One is the door where I’m drinking. The other is the door where I can drink, but I refuse to believe that there is not a third door.
Laura McKowen: Yes.
Glennon Doyle: That is, oh my God, I don’t know how to explain to you how much [00:22:30] that is always what I’m thinking honestly,
Laura McKowen: but. I know. No,
Glennon Doyle: truly. I mean, in hard decisions in all that you can know it’s this or this, and you will die believing that there might be a third door.
So this is like really important in all decisions, not just sobriety. Can you just say what is important to you that people know about number four? Yeah. This is your thing. [00:23:00]
Laura McKowen: Yeah. I mean, this is all about acceptance that reality is reality. The third door for me, we didn’t cover this, but I didn’t stop drinking the morning after leaving all men a hotel room.
It took me a whole year after that. Yeah. And I was in what I call purgatory, which is like you’re straddling two worlds. And
I [00:23:30] was looking for the third door because I just could not accept reality.
Amanda Doyle: And
Laura McKowen: I mean, there is no third door. I will give everyone that spoiler alert. There is no third door. Sometimes we face what is in the true Greek tragedy sense of the word, a dilemma where neither option is good or feels [00:24:00] good. And yet we have to make a decision. We have to take one foot out of one world and put both feet in the other.
And so this is just about acceptance and it’s a process. It’s not a light switch. I love, love, love Cheryl Strayed’s line of acceptance is a small, quiet room. And I think of that constantly when I am. Trying to accept things that I [00:24:30] don’t want to accept. It’s a process, but there’s also on the other side of that, on the other side of this is your thing.
If you can allow that to land in your body, it will hurt so bad. It will break your heart. It will seem like the end of everything, and it might be, but you will also notice that there is relief. There’s [00:25:00] always relief. And that’s how you know. And now I think
Abby Wambach: even at this point in my sobriety, it took me, I think a while to get here, but I kind of wear the acceptance of it as like a badge
Laura McKowen: of honor now.
Yeah. Like you wear the acceptance of that. This was your thing as a badge of honor. Yeah,
Abby Wambach: like you were really fucked up and it’s like, okay.
Laura McKowen: Yeah. You claimed it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I like [00:25:30]
Abby Wambach: put like a period exclamation point at the end of the sentence. Now, like, this is my thing. And it also. Keeps it very close to never forget like the fact that I can wear it with an honor is like no No, this is your thing, dude.
Glennon Doyle: Yeah. Yeah, it’s amazing that this is your thing is not a once and done like I know it’s all Every day like Laura I am What 27, 000 years in, [00:26:00] I am in another layer of recovery. I understand everything. I talk about it all day. I’m doing, and I still, this morning we’ll be upstairs going, I mean, it’s probably, I probably don’t need breakfast today.
It’s probably okay. Yeah. Like, wow. And then I still have to be like, Oh, no, no, no. This small quiet room of you have lost privileges of deciding permanently. This is why
Laura McKowen: number nine exists because we have to [00:26:30] continually be reminded forever and ever and ever. Yeah.
Glennon Doyle: Yeah. Okay. So tell us about this will never stop being your thing
Laura McKowen: until you face it.
So it’s one thing to accept that this is your thing and that’s huge.
We have to actually do the work, unfortunately, and what that means is a little bit different for everybody, but it’s always something [00:27:00] about self awareness, what we just talked about, how am I contributing to this, to, to my life? What’s my part in things? What’s underneath it? So that big boiling scab that we’ve been talking about, usually trauma, what’s under there?
Like what happened? How did this happen? And how did I get here? What is this pattern of lying? [00:27:30] Like for me, that was the biggest part is what is this pattern of lying and why, where did it start? And what I found was so much more benevolent and kind than what I thought. It wasn’t that I, I’m just a lying, cheating piece of shit.
It’s, I was afraid I was a kid who didn’t have choices. And so I did what I did to survive and it worked and. We just keep [00:28:00] going. We keep doing what works. So you got to face it. And there’s a few different parts that I identified. Five of them. Um, one, and this would be what the work consists of or is, is around these principles.
One is acceptance, acceptance of self and acceptance of everything else. Two is honesty. You gotta learn to be honest. And this goes for everybody. For me, that is the bottom line [00:28:30] measure of sobriety now. Like, am I being honest with myself and other people, or am I not? And if I’m not, for whatever reason, if I’m holding a little bit back for myself, or if I’m outright lying, I’m not well.
I’m not sober. And that will happen long before I ever pick up a drink or do anything else. So honesty, learning how to be honest because it is a learned thing. Uh, connection, which is very annoying to me. I don’t [00:29:00] like it. I need it. We all need it, but I’m not. You know, I, I say all the time, I’m like not a joiner.
I’m not warm and fuzzy in groups, all the yummy, wonderful, lovey things that people say that they get out of connecting with others in a group and recovery and all that. I don’t feel that way. For me, it’s more of a practical thing. And of course I do desire connection more than anything. I mean, I do need it, but, but I’m talking to the people out there who kind of cringe at that, like, uh, [00:29:30] I get it like connection, but I don’t want to do that.
And then there is embodiment, which I don’t think you can heal without involving the body. I don’t think you can face your trauma, your past, your history without involving your body because your body. Has so much more information than your mind and in service. And service [00:30:00] is a tricky one, especially for women, because they feel like their entire life is service.
And like, what do you mean I need to be of service? If you just learned how to be honest. With yourself and others, that is the biggest act of service in the world. Just existing as an honest person in the world. You’re, you’re, you’ve checked that box. You’re good. So rare. God, it’s so rare. It is. I know.
Honesty. And it’s like, that is a continual practice for me. Yeah. [00:30:30] Oh God. Yes.
Abby Wambach: I try to be impeccable with my word. One year after I read like the four agreements 20 years ago, it was the hardest year of my life. No way harder than giving
Laura McKowen: up drinking on
Amanda Doyle: this number five for a shortcut to get an idea about how you begin to face it.
Laura has a question. She said, what would you say if you weren’t trying to be [00:31:00] strong? Hmm. Hmm. What would you say if you told the truth? If you just think about that for a second, what would you say if you weren’t trying to be strong? You might start to get a glimpse of what you need to face. Yes.
Laura McKowen: I love that.
Amanda Doyle: You can’t do it alone.
Laura McKowen: Also annoying. Bummer.
Amanda Doyle: Big capital
Laura McKowen: B bummer, [00:31:30] my least favorite. Is this the community piece? Yeah, this tell us. Yes. Yeah. I mean, it goes back to what I said about responsibility and, and for me and for most people, I know asking for help is the ultimate act of responsibility. Um, I couldn’t get sober alone.
I tried very hard. I did not want anyone to see what was happening, uh, to me, inside of me, and none of that. [00:32:00] I always wanted to keep an extra like 10%, 20 percent for myself. I’m just not going to show you this. And look, you don’t need to be that way with everybody. Um, obviously, but yeah, you can’t do it alone.
Like one of my best friends name is Jim Zartman and he says, There’s sanity in community. Yes. And I love that. And I’ve learned that from him [00:32:30] that we sometimes are not well. And I think Anne Lamott said something similar, like just as long as we don’t all go crazy at the same time. Like we’re good. And if you are in community of people that are paying attention to you and paying attention to your life and you’re paying attention to theirs.
And they can tell when you’re not okay, and they can stand in, and they can take some of the weight. Right. And then when they’re not doing so well, [00:33:00] you do the same. There’s sanity and community. Another way to look at that is like, my mind does not always tell me the best things to do. Like I had to learn how to date and be in a healthy relationship by listening to other people.
Like me, tell an experience of what happened and have other people who had my best interests in mind. Reflect back to me what had actually happened because what my mind would tell me what happened was so colored by trauma and [00:33:30] all of my shit that it was skewed. Yeah, it was not right. And so I, if I didn’t have the sanity that came from community, I would just keep repeating the same pattern over and over and over again.
Abby Wambach: And also, if you’re worried about not having a community yet. That was me when I first got sober, I did not know where to turn. I didn’t, I didn’t ever consider going to an AA meeting. And actually what ended up happening is I got a DUI and the world found [00:34:00] out about my problem before I could say I need help.
And so I then decided I was just going to tell my story. And what I found was with the response from people. Is when I realized that a, I wasn’t alone and then I felt like, Oh, this isn’t just something I have to suffer with silently. I can now go and find these communities. Like, so sometimes you don’t know which communities to go to or how to, how to ask for help [00:34:30] sometimes just saying like the thing out loud without asking necessarily for help is like, I’ve got this problem.
Laura McKowen: good. And
Abby Wambach: like the amount of the amount of people that have come to me that said me too. Me too. Me too. Like the phone calls, the voicemail, the one, I got one voicemail after I got my DUI and it was from this former teammate of mine and it touched me so deeply because it just made me feel less alone.
Laura McKowen: I’m so glad you said that. The other thing is you don’t need, like it only ever starts with one [00:35:00] person. Yeah. I think people imagine that they need an entire squad around them or a giant group of people. And ultimately you do kind of build that hopefully, but it just starts with one person telling the truth to one person.
Yeah. And I like how you put it that way. And it goes back to the whole honesty thing. Like if you can just start to tell the truth a little bit, you will start to have community. Yeah. Because there is so much freedom and honesty. [00:35:30] We all want it desperately. We all want it, but we don’t know how to do it.
Or we’re too afraid to do it, but man, the people that are ready for you and the people that want to be in your community that want to be in your circle when they hear you speak the truth, they’re going to find you. Mhm.
Abby Wambach: Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm.[00:36:00]
Glennon Doyle: So because Laura always gives us. Good news and then bad news. So we don’t have to do it alone, but tragically, number seven is that only we can do it.
Laura McKowen: Yeah, this just could, I almost had this chapter be that sentence. Only you can do it. Okay. Okay.
Amanda Doyle: Okay. No,
Glennon Doyle: but it’s so important because it’s so important because [00:36:30] you can convince yourself that if you just go to enough things, if you just show up at enough meetings, if you just, because it’s the wee, but then it’s the eye in the center of the wee that has to go home and.
Do the work and not drink or not do the thing. Like there is a fierce, there’s a loving we, but there has to also be a fierce, full of dignity, full of integrity. I want to withstand the [00:37:00] time to
Laura McKowen: get back to the week. That’s a beautiful way to put it because like you said the other morning, if you, if you’re sitting there going, I, you know, I could do without breakfast.
It’s not necessary. You could probably get away with it. There might not be anyone to stop you. That’s right. Even maybe if Abby, for example, could stop you, she might not. Right. Because it’s yours. That’s right. Yeah. That’s right. I was using a lot of excuses for drinking, keeping a lot of doors open that [00:37:30] no one really knew about but me.
And I realized in those moments, like, no one is going to stop me. There was a trip where I’m alone on a plane and I could drink and no one will ever know. No one is going to sit on my shoulder, unfortunately, and tell me what to do and make sure that I do it. So yeah, it’s simple, but very difficult. Only you can do it.
Amanda Doyle: And not only will they not be there to save you from yourself, there will always be 1 [00:38:00] million reasons why. Um, you could return and you should return. And the people in your life might most often be the ones that are convincing you, you don’t have to.
Laura McKowen: Oh, thank you for saying that. Yes. The crab
Amanda Doyle: effect that you talk about with the pulling you back in.
I had a friend go through this and she kept talking to me about like how it was unfair that the, oh, no one was supporting her and trying to convince her she’s fine. And, [00:38:30] and. But that is the only you can do it. There’s going to be a million reasons why it would be excusable for you not to. And at the end of the day,
Laura McKowen: the freedom of the
Amanda Doyle: responsibility is that your ass is still the one deciding.
Laura McKowen: Yes. So don’t tell me about the rest of them. I’m so glad you brought that up because that’s More often, almost what happens is the crab effect is, is basically like, if I can’t have it, you can’t either. And when crabs try to [00:39:00] leave a bucket, like the other crabs will try to pull it back in. And when we try to change, especially when we try to grow, especially when it’s breaking a pattern of our family or our unspoken agreements in our friends circles or in our relationship.
It’s met with a lot of resistance because it’s scary for one, you know, it’s threatens the attachment, but also it’s human nature. It’s like, if I can’t have it, you can’t either. So I’m so glad you brought that up. Okay.
Glennon Doyle: Let’s end. [00:39:30] With eight and nine. Okay. Eight is I love you. And nine is I will never stop reminding you of these things.
Laura McKowen: Yes. I love you. Uh, or you are loved as I changed it for the, the community. This one’s hard because love is often just like two. Big to wrap our minds around the idea of loving ourselves or that other people love us. It’s [00:40:00] too far of a reach, but we can find love or think about love as moments where we’ve had acceptance.
From somebody moments where we’ve had grace show up in our lives, undeserved favor, which is what is grace or the definition of it that I like, you know, we get something we didn’t deserve and we didn’t expect, but it happened. I think of that as love. [00:40:30] And the fact that we exist at all to me is proof of.
Life. It’s proof of something. And to be able to hear that, to hear you are loved or I love you, I put it at the end of all these things because these things are hard to hear. A lot of these things are very hard to swallow and hard to hear, but at the end, I love you. [00:41:00] You are loved, period. End of sentence.
It’s beautiful. And then number nine, I will never stop reminding you of these things is just, this is not a once and done. This is a continual process forever and ever. If you stay in it. You get to stay in it, right? Mm
Glennon Doyle: hmm. Mm
Amanda Doyle: hmm. I love that one, too, because it’s not the threat of like, this is your list, you get to read it once, and if you don’t get your shit in a pile, I am out the door.
Laura McKowen: [00:41:30] like, this is your list for today, if you
Amanda Doyle: come back tomorrow, meeting the list again,
Laura McKowen: I’ll give you the same list. Right. Yeah. Like, the more I learn, the less I know. I have to remind myself of these things constantly. And And we get to, we get to keep doing that. We get to keep practicing.
Glennon Doyle: So when you were young and you suspected that you had some weird, big energy going on inside of you that was going to inevitably have to come out, [00:42:00] you were
Laura McKowen: so right.
Thank you. You are
Glennon Doyle: so. Right. I mean, I just believe you.
Laura McKowen: Thank you. I am
Glennon Doyle: so grateful that you answered the call to the ripping of off of the bandaid, allowing the wound to heal and using your big energy because I can only imagine the people that you’re helping. You’re really good at this.
Abby Wambach: Yeah. Thank you.
You’ve helped a lot of us.
Laura McKowen: Yeah. Thank you. It’s funny. I got like [00:42:30] choked up there. Because I’ve never told you this story, Glennon, I don’t think, but after the wedding incident, when I had knew I had to get sober, but was, you know, searching for the third door and things got really, really, really dark before they got better.
And I would spend a lot of time in my apartment alone because I was afraid to go out and drink. And I found your blog and I went to [00:43:00] your. And I don’t remember anything else you said, except for you said, I think it was like the first sentence. I am a recovering bulimic and addict. And you just said it.
And I was like, I want that. I, that’s what I want right there. I want, I want to just say that, and I wasn’t sober yet. And it was kind of funny because I, I started. Writing and blogging like then, [00:43:30] even though I, I couldn’t say I was a recovered anything. Yeah, it was. That’s what I wanted so bad. I wanted to be able to tell the truth.
And I wanted to say it was like my future self reaching. Reaching back and like pulling me and it came from stumbling on your blog. And so you’ve always just had this incredibly special place in my, in my heart because of that you showed us how to do it. Your soul talk said,
Abby Wambach: I want that. Yeah. [00:44:00] That I want that.
Laura McKowen: Laura,
Glennon Doyle: we are the luckiest. We are. We are just the luckiest. Okay. We’ll give Alma a big from
Laura McKowen: here. She’s so lucky. Awesome. Thank you. That’s your
Amanda Doyle: new book. Push off from here is the newest one. We are the luckiest was prior to that. And can you just real quick finish that relationships book?
Laura McKowen: Because I was hoping we would talk about that, but come back, come back, come back.
I will come back. Yes. I call it my [00:44:30] second sobriety. It was way harder, uh, love addiction, codependency. I don’t even know all the words, but it was just total dysfunction. We are familiar. I know. I know. I listen along, and we don’t talk about it. Like, I, I say all the time the fact that I’m in a healthy, life giving, life affirming relationship is, is as big of a miracle as me quitting drinking.
Glennon Doyle: Will you come back soon
Laura McKowen: and talk to us about this? Cause it’s Anytime.
Glennon Doyle: Obviously. Obviously, that’s the next frontier of sobriety. Sobriety at first is relationship to self, and then we have to try it in the field.
Laura McKowen: Yes. It’s
Amanda Doyle: untenable is what it is. It’s one thing to abstain from doing the thing that you’re pretty sure is going to kill you.
It’s a whole other thing to go out there in the wild west and co mingle with other humans in intimacy. That
Laura McKowen: is craziness. Yeah. It’s so much deeper too. It is the ground [00:45:30] zero. Yeah. Yeah. So yes, I’m writing, I’m writing it right now. It’ll be out in 2025. So, but I’ll come on anytime you want to talk about it.
Okay. Good. Great. Thank you so much. I love you too. Abby, my daughter is just beside herself that I got to talk to you today. She’s a big soccer player. Well, you
Abby Wambach: tell Alma we love her
Laura McKowen: and I would love to meet her one day. I hope you do. She would pass out. She’s 14. She [00:46:00] just got to high school. She made the team she wanted to make.
She is. She’s badass. Like she went all in two years ago on soccer and I’m so proud of her. So good for her. She’s proud of you too,
Glennon Doyle: Laura. I bet. Thank you. All right. See you next time. Bye. Thank you. Bye.