Sobriety and the Importance of Being Honest to Ourselves with Laura McKowen
We dislike it when people lie to us. But somehow we tend to lie to ourselves more. It's hard to tell how we genuinely feel due to the fear of being ridiculed, criticized, or vulnerable.
The thing is, lying doesn't help anyone, moreso to ourselves. All of us have different coping mechanisms for stressful events. Some people act like a chameleon to show people they're okay, although they're not. But some go through addicting habits to hide the pain. All of us go through hard times; for us to overcome it, we must first be honest with ourselves.
In today's episode, Laura McKowen will share with us her journey toward sobriety and the importance of being truthful to ourselves. She will also talk about her book We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life and give advice to anyone who wants to start anew.
Check out the episode highlights below. Be sure to subscribe and listen to this podcast for a thorough discussion!
About Our Guest
Laura McKowen is a yoga teacher, speaker, and author of We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life. She is the former host of the HOME Podcast and Spiritualish.
She mostly talks about addiction, sobriety, and saying yes to a bigger life. She had a long and successful career in public relations and advertising. After deciding to become sober in 2014, she is now a leading voice in recovery and personal development.
Sobriety and Being True to Ourselves
Laura's Addiction and Journey to Sobriety
- Laura grew up in Colorado with a family who treated drinking as normal behavior.
- Drinking had become a part of her life in college and when she started working.
- She gravitated to people who drank as much as she did.
- She coped with her issues through drinking. It made her feel that everything is possible and made her forget about her distress.
- She later realized that drinking alcohol is a short-term fix to her problems.
Addiction as a Way of Coping
- Addiction is something anyone can relate to because all of us have coping mechanisms.
- It tends to feel good because it takes away the feeling of discomfort. After a while, you start to feel disconnected. It brings you to the end of the spectrum.
- Alcohol only works for a time.
- Coping is our body's natural desire to seek comfort until it manifests unpleasantly.
Motivation for Writing We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life
- After her separation with her husband in 2012, her drinking habits worsened.
- At her brother's wedding, she left her four-year-old daughter in a hotel room overnight unguarded. Her daughter found her family, fortunately.
- She realized that even if her daughter was physically fine, it must've been hard for her emotionally. She then started to work on her sobriety.
- She has always wanted to write, and it has helped her organize her thoughts.
- Addiction is a more significant problem than alcoholism. You have to peel everything in your life to fully recover.
How We Are Dishonest with Ourselves Without Realizing It
- While working on her sobriety, she discovered that she has been lying ever since she was young. She grew up in a dysfunctional family and had to learn to lie and play roles to hide her struggles.
- When you lie to yourself, you're invalidating your experiences. You start mistrusting yourself.
- She wanted everyone to like her, and it worked because people seemed to like the image she presented. Alcohol allows her to pretend even more.
- It became vital to her to create one version of herself to maintain sobriety.
- Women tend to be more dishonest with themselves because people-pleasing is perceived as a noble quality.
- Dishonesty can lead to resentment with ourselves and feeling victimized in our relationships and life.
- There's a distinction between being honest and becoming difficult.
Relationship with Social Media and Her Advice on How to Be Honest with Ourselves
- It's fascinating how much we try to pretend to have a perfect life.
- We must have a base level of awareness to be honest with ourselves.
- Writing journals can help us find our truth.
- Dishonesty is born out of adaptation. We're lying because we're afraid.
Laura’s Gift to the Readers of the Book
- Laura wrote the book for herself initially.
- She dedicates the book to mothers who struggled with addiction. She wants to remind them that it is a human experience.
- A beautiful life is available to all of us.
Lessons Learned After Writing the Book
- Used to leaving things early, she learned to become someone who stays with something for a long time.
- The generation today wants to escape.
- She believes in the human spirit and our capacity to triumph.
5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode
- “I kept drinking more to try to fix it. That's the thing. All these things that we do to cope, they do work, for a while. They're this short-term fix first. We find these little band-aids of things that work.”
- “I just started talking about what was going on because I had the sense that there was this much bigger thing than just like, ‘Laura has an alcohol problem.’ We're all hiding. We're all numbing out. We're all lying about how we're doing.”
- “You learn to leave yourself and to lie and not trust what you're experiencing. So I just carried that forward. I kept being that person because I wanted everyone to like me. I shapeshifted very easily.”
- “I was people-pleasing. A lot of, I think, women especially do this and sort of think of it as this noble quality. And it's dishonesty, right? Because you're not presenting the truth of who you are, what you want, and then it creates resentment inside of you, and you feel like you're victimized by your relationships and by your life.”
- “I also believe in the human spirit and the capacity to triumph in these amazing ways.”
To know more about Laura and her journey toward sobriety, you may visit her website and connect with her on Instagram.
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