Adrienne Grace has recently celebrated one year of living alcohol-free, and she dives into her experience with Blair. This is her story and she is resilient.
Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.
About the Guest:
Adrienne Grace is a Mindset and High-Performance Coach, Consultant & Speaker. She helps high achieving professionals and entrepreneurs become leaders in their field and make quantum leaps in their business, finances, personal growth and impact.
Adrienne spent 16 years in the finance industry as a successful, high performing VP of Sales and earned the prestigious CFA designation – the highest distinction in the investment management industry. She is a certified Proctor Gallagher Consultant and was mentored by Bob Proctor – the world’s foremost thought leader on personal performance coaching and mindset.
She enjoyed her career in finance but was always plagued by feelings of unfulfillment or that she was “meant for more.” After getting to the point whereshe was stressed out, burned out and it was taking a toll on her mentally and physically, she found Bob's work and underwent a powerful transformation. Now she’s on a mission to share this information and help others change their lives by changing their mindset & habits.
About the Hosts:
Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment and lifestyle brands. She is the creator of the Social Media Empowerment Pillars, has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards and more.
Blair is listed in USA Today as one of the top 10 conscious female leaders to watch in 2022 and Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is an international bestselling author and has recently published her second book, ‘The Global Resilience Project.’ She is the co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast and in her free time, you can find Blair growing The Global Resilience Project’s online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.
Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/
The Global Resilience Project: https://theglobalresilienceproject.com/
Alana Kaplan is a compassionate mental health professional based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She’s a child and family therapist at a Winnipeg-based community agency, and a yoga teacher. Fueled by advocacy, Alana is known for standing up and speaking out for others. Passionate about de-stigmatizing and normalizing mental health, Alana brings her experience to The Global Resilience Project team, navigating the role one’s mental health plays into telling their story.
Engaging in self-care and growth is what keeps her going and her love for reading, travel, and personal relationships helps foster that. When she’s not working, Alana can often be found on walks, at the yoga studio, or playing with any animal that she comes across.
The Global Resilience Project: https://theglobalresilienceproject.com/
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trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I learned Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me, Blair Kaplan Venables, and I'm here today to talk to you about resilience, of course, because that's what this podcast about. I'm really excited about this guest because I actually met her in New York. And we live in different countries, but we just hit it off. And we connected when we got back from our trip. And I just knew I had to have her on the show. Adrienne Grace is a mindset and high performance coach, consultant, and speaker. She helps high achieving professionals and entrepreneurs become leaders in their field and make quantum leaps in their business, finances, personal growth and impact. I met her in New York, and we were there just for professional development. But we clicked and we clicked on many things. And it's funny because offline, we were talking about what do we want to talk about. And it's true, like all of us, humans have multiple ways in our life that we have to be resilient. Like you don't just like get born into the world, and life is easy. So we're going to talk about all sorts of things today. So Adrienne, welcome to the show.Adrienne Grace:
Thank you. Thanks for having me. Super excited to be here.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, so we were just catching up. And what you said to me was very exciting before we hit record, and it was that you just celebrated your one year alcohol free?Adrienne Grace:
Yes. Yeah. Just in a couple of weeks ago.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Oh my gosh, like, so tell me about that. Like I am as someone who's very open about her sobriety. You can share whatever you want. But I would love to know if you want to share your story about why you chose to live this life and what this last year has been like for you.Adrienne Grace:
Sure, sure. Yeah, I would love to. Well, I will say that I always like had in the back of my mind, like someday I'll stop drinking. Someday I'll stop drinking. I don't know why that just like, was a thought that I had a lot of times, but I thought that it was way down the line. And I if you had asked me I never really thought I had a problem with alcohol. I but I did. You know, I had a career in finance. And I was in financial sales. And I was out entertaining all the time. And so I was always constantly drinking. And, you know, when I really thought about it, I mean, I had, I had never really stopped, right? I never did like dry January or anything like that. If I can go week without drinking. I was like very excited. And just because I always had these work dinners and happy hours. So what happened was I actually went through a plant medicine ceremony. So it was something called combo. I don't know if you're familiar with that. But it was, which is like a frog poison. This sounds kind of strange. But we did five days of that, which is just that's not a site where you lickBlair Kaplan Venables:
the toad? No, that's Bufo. I've done both. So before. Oh, you have a ceremony? Yes. So we all the toes. There's so many matches.Adrienne Grace:
This like clears like your whole lymphatic system. It's really interesting. It's only like, it's on your skin for 15 minutes, and it's just like 15 minutes of hell. But then you get relief after and whatever. So and after five days of that it culminated with a ceremony of San Pedro. So during that ceremony, so a lot of people use combo, actually to stop drinking, because it resets your relationship with alcohol. They say I don't know if that's necessarily true or not. But, um, but I wasn't going for that. I was just going because I was interested in this. There's a lot of healing involved. And but what happened in the San Pedro ceremony, where is that it showed me all the ways that I did have a drinking problem in a lot of ways. And I was blind to it right that I, you know, started drinking when I was in high school and basically never stopped. It showed me how, you know, I have an ex husband who was a big drinker, and I always kind of blamed him for that, but I never looked at myself and I was just as bad in a lot of ways. And so it showed me this really eye opening very uncomfortable. Just view of my life with alcohol in it. And I was like, oh shit. I really that whole night was really challenging. And I kind of tossed and turned all night thinking, I can't go without alcohol, like, I'm going to Paris in a couple of weeks, like how could I not drink and blah, blah. And I was like, who is holding on to this so tightly? Because basically, the guidance I got was like, you have free will, you can do anything you want, right? Take it or leave it. But this is, this is the true picture. This is the truth of your reality. So I made the decision that I was going to stop drinking. And yeah, it was. It was hard. And really hard in the beginning, it gets easier with every No, right and every time you pass it up, I'm sure as you can attest to. But it's been a really rewarding year and journey with it.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I'm so proud of you because it is hard. And the whole first year, it's like you have to relearn how to do everything. Exactly, exactly. Showing up to dinners, like your social circle interacting with certain people. Like you're like when I stopped drinking my social circle changed, huh? Yeah, I can No. So, so Wow, you so a whole year and it's funny, like that you were on medicine. And that's what showed you stop drinking. You also mentioned that you live like you're divorced, was that after the ceremony? Was it in the last year?Adrienne Grace:
No, I actually got divorced, like seven years ago. So it's been a little while.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Congratulations. Thank you. Um, what are some of the biggest lessons you learned in the past year of sobriety?Adrienne Grace:
I love that. I will say that. One, it's really helped me learn how to cope in a different way. Right. It's taught me a lot about myself, and how much I reach for things to make me feel more comfortable in certain situations. And it had to get me to like, totally, like, reprogram my mind on how I interact in situations and how I handle uncomfortable emotions that come up, right? I would say that's like the number one thing. Number two, is that a lesson is that a lot of people are uncomfortable with you not drinking. Right? And you have you cannot take it personally, because I think it very much just is a reflection of them. And their relationship with alcohol. And so it's hard sometimes not to take it personally. Like I get upset because sometimes I find out my friends do things without me. I got invited to things. And I'm like, What the heck? Right? And I think it's because I'm not drinking anymore. Gosh, yes.Blair Kaplan Venables:
You know, I It's interesting. So I moved to a new city last year. And I've never had to make friends as an adult sober. Like everyone in my life before was already friends with me. Yeah. And I've become friends with my neighbors. And that's great. But I was like, I should make some like friends without kids. Because all my neighbors have kids. And I don't have kids just, you know, for those, like, Let's go for dinner randomly. And like, because having kids seems to be like a lot of coordination. And so I invited myself to Halloween party with a friend and I was going to meet them there. And I got dressed up as a whoopee cushion. And I was like, Oh, I don't want to go my husband's like go, you need to make some friends. So I got dressed up with a whoopee cushion and did my makeup and like I was getting ready and listening to hip hop and getting pumped up. And I sat down on the couch and it was now 10 o'clock, which is past my bedtime. And by 1030 like I was just trying to muster up like the energy and I was like, no, because everyone there's drinking. I'm just gonna go to bed. So like, dressed up for what? As well, because she was like an hour on sat on the couch. But like, it's funny, because like, things are just different with friends. Yeah,Adrienne Grace:
totally. Yeah. And I would actually say that number three is dating. So because you'reBlair Kaplan Venables:
single, are you single? Well, IAdrienne Grace:
have a boyfriend now. Okay. But we've only been dating for a few months. And so. So I dated for a while without it. And what I realized is that it's so easy to get along with people when you have a couple of drugs in your system, right? And we make judgment, just bad judgment decisions based on it. And this could be friends or dating, right? Because you realize that some friends are probably just really drinking buddies. But dating, being being so hard dating was able for me to see how like, Yeah, I think I just, you know, it's you can get along with somebody you're like, oh, yeah, there's like false chemistry when you're drinking. And so it really helps you gain a ton of clarity on a date with somebody. So that was a really interesting process.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Oh, yeah, wow. I can't imagine, like, has 11 years ago is when I met my husband and like, I love online dating. That's how I've met my past few relationships has been like, lava life are plenty of fish. Like I met my husband on plenty of fish. So like, we got to know each other. sober and not sober, you know, but, like dating sober. I mean, like, I can't even imagine. Cuz like, it's learning thing, right? Because you know, you have that liquid courage. Yeah, now you're going on a date with someone you don't know. How does how does like he respond to is he also sober?Adrienne Grace:
He is? Yeah. Which is awesome.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That's awesome. Oh, my God. You know, and it's interesting, because a lot of people don't talk about if they're sober or not. But there's actually a lot of people who don't drink.Adrienne Grace:
There are actually because I, you know, I just I wrote a post about my one year of not drinking both on LinkedIn and Instagram, and got so many responses from it from very surprising people. And, and, yeah, it's true. There are a lot of people and I think people just don't, you know, aren't really overt about it. And I understand why.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, I mean, and I think everyone has their own journey and their own reasons. Right. Exactly. And, like, it's not, like it's not okay to, I mean, some people are okay with it. But like, you know, if you are with someone, and they're not drinking, it's really not your place to ask them why they're not drinking, just like it is what it is. And, uh, you know, you don't have to be uncomfortable around it. What I found really funny is when I went so when I stopped drinking, I still got invited out sometimes, and like, I'd go to a party, and I knew everyone was drinking. So I always had this rule that when everyone's on their second drink is when I leave, like, you know, once they get to that loud, like, repetitive stage. It's a great idea. And, and like, bed like sleep is important to me to like, I don't if I don't have to stay up late. I won't like I've watched the sunrise once in last year, a couple years, right. And I know it's because I was in Mexico, and I want to watch the sunrise because that's cool. But yeah, I, I found I find it funny because my friends circle and people in my community know, I'm sober. And I always find it funny because it'd be when someone's having a couple drinks, or they're like a couple too many drinks is when they come to me and they're like, I want to stop drinking, we should get together and talk about it. I'm like, whatever you want, but then they never reach out. And that happened a few times. But if anyone ever, like sober, curious or wants to know about what my life is like without drinking, or they want to talk about my process, like I'm open, like, I have strangers reaching out to me on Instagram. I have friends I you know, depending on the situation, I connect them to resources. Yeah, like, you know, it's it's interesting, because I think sober curious. The concept of being sober, curious, is more accepted. And I think people are getting comfortable with it.Adrienne Grace:
100% Yeah, I think so too. And I think, you know, for a while, and even people still think like, if you've stopped drinking, it's because you had a problem. You were an alcoholic. And when I hate labels, right, I don't want to like the labels, I think, you know, or just whatever. But people assume that so people don't want to like put that out there. And then if that isn't quite the case, right, like, I actually don't consider myself a quote unquote, alcoholic, but I don't even you know, I don't even know what that means. I actually bought probably our alcohol. Maybe I wouldn't be where I was. Anyway, I just, I think that. Yeah, people are definitely more interested in it. And yeah, people have been reaching out to me like, oh, like, how, you know, I tried doing it for three months, like good for you. I've always wanted to do it. Right. And so you're right. I think people are definitely getting more curious about it. It's getting more acceptable. I'm okay. Thinking people, like thought I had a drinking problem, right. I mean, I don't care. I'm open about that. I think sometimes it makes people in my circle uncomfortable. Like, my sister, for example. I think she gets like defensive of me. And I was like, I don't care what people think. Right? I don't care if somebody thinks I was an alcoholic. This was my own journey, my own path. And yeah, I didn't have a healthy relationship with alcohol is the bottom line.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, I'm so proud of you. And it's so interesting. When I stopped drinking, people would be like, are you an alcoholic and non alcoholic? Yeah, exactly. I'm like, Well, I have a problem with alcohol and it makes me make bad decisions and certain things I can't say no to if I have alcohol in my system. Yes. I don't wake up every day and start drinking and yeah, I can have a drink and stop. But in certain situations, it's kryptonite.Adrienne Grace:
Exactly, exactly. That was. That was something I saw on my ceremony was like, every bad decision I ever made was because I was drinking.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Gosh, yes. I mean, like, I have to do a full analysis because I've made so many bad decisions. But I've made some pretty I've got myself into some pretty terrible situations. And actually my last relationship Before Shane, like I dated an abusive alcoholic, and I didn't know he was an alcoholic, so I moved in with him and like, he was verbally abusive in the day, he put his hands on me, I left him and I ended up homeless for three weeks until I got my apartment. And I just couch surfed and it was really traumatic. And that should have been an indication like, okay, Blair, you need to stop drinking. But I'd obviously like it had nothing to do with me drinking, but then everything to do with me drinking, because my whole relationship with that person was around drinking. Yeah. But yeah, it's so interesting. Did you? Did you just stop? Or did you get support from any sort of tools or community members are?Adrienne Grace:
I did just stop. Yeah. And you know, I'm very thankful to that combo, that that frog poison, basically, because they say it does reset your relationship with alcohol. And so I think that actually really helped to because and what I did also, it was like, I sent out an email to my email list and telling, you know, announcing that I was giving up alcohol. And so that public accountability was huge for me.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Well, you did an announcement. It's amazing. It's like a pregnancy announcement. Announcement.Adrienne Grace:
Exactly. Because I felt like, Okay, if I like, you know, if I share this story, this is going to help keep me accountable to this decision that I'm making. And I think public accountability is huge. Well, you know, I'm a mindset coach, right. So. So I was able to use a lot of my tools in my toolbox for that, to make this decision and to stick with it. So while I didn't get support, I think that there's, you know, great, great resources. And I think AAA is a great place. And I think the 12 steps are amazing. I've actually considered going through them just because I think that everyone should almost go through them because it's like a great personal development thing. So yeah, I didn't do it with any any help. But that's not to say I might not need it down the line.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah. Well, you didn't have help, though. You have the tools from your coaching? Yeah, mindset coaching. So you do you actually went into it with some tools? Yes. That's amazing. Okay, I want to go back to something you said in the beginning about how you had a trip to Paris planned and what were you going to do? Were you and did you come home from that trip and immediately become sober? Or did you be like plan like, this day is my last drink.Adrienne Grace:
I just because I knew that if I started drinking again, after I did that, the combo and everything it would then it would get the alcohol back into my system, or it would be harder to start from scratch. So I knew that I had to just make that the day. I and so I went to Paris and I told myself, Okay, I'm not going to drink, but I'm just gonna allow myself to eat whatever the hell I want. And just like so I literally went to Paris and she's faced the entire time, right? Yeah.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Oh, my God. So much cheese.Adrienne Grace:
Yes, a lot of cheese, a lot of chocolate. A lot of crystals.Blair Kaplan Venables:
You know, it's interesting, because I live in wine country, like where I live is a big wine region and Canada. And it's funny, because every time I tell people where I live, they're like, oh, there's so many wineries and like, yeah, like, I'll go and listen to music. And sometimes I'll like bring my own, like snacks or drinks. Because a lot of like, I mean, they're getting better now. But a lot of times breweries and cideries. And vineyards don't have like an option. Yeah, but um, yeah, it's, that's cool. I think that's really special because I decided I was going to stop drinking. And I was like, okay, New Year's will be my last day, I'm going to go out with a bang, my friend from Australia was here, we went down to Vancouver, I went to a big party like this with my best friends. And the next morning, I was like, okay, and I woke up to an apology letter from my dad. So for me, it was just like, the stars aligned. And I was like, okay, and I didn't say Oh, I'm going to be sober forever, or here, like maybe just, you know, for a year like I thought I can't navigate my father's end of life. With alcohol, it increases my depression and anxiety. You know, it's a really great way to escape and my dad was an, you know, someone who lived with addiction, and I'm a lot like him. And it was scary. Because if you know if I stayed on that path, with all the trauma that happened in my life, who knows what would have happened? So, yeah, I didn't know how long I was going to be sober for. And it's interesting, because when my dad died in February, which was like three and a half years after I decided, like, I learned he was going to die. I did think oh, like, do you think I can drink again? Like, would things be different? And then I was like, No, I've come so far. Like, I don't even but it was just like, a cross my mind like, oh, would it be different, but addiction is progressive. And so it's like, I this is a lifestyle forever. Now for me.Adrienne Grace:
I know I think about that too, because I'm like, Oh, do I maybe at some point I'll drink again or maybe I'll be able to have a glass of wine with dinner but I'm like, But why why do I want like a glass or like dinner and and then like or or quote unquote, special occasions, right? Because then where do you draw the line? Because everything's a special occasion. There's always like a birthday or a holiday something going on. So yeah, I understand. So I think it is a lifestyle choice, and I don't see myself returning to it in the foreseeable future.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, no, that's brilliant. And yeah, I just I'm so happy we're having this conversation and that it went a different way than we like, originally started. Your your business, your coaching business? How long have you been doing that? Like, were you drinking like the last year of sobriety? Like, were you running your business before the last year? Like, how has this impacted your business? Yeah, soAdrienne Grace:
I started my business in March 2021. So I did have, you know, almost a year, nine months, or whatever that is, of running my business while I was still drinking, I would significantly cut down on my drinking during the pandemic, so I really wasn't drinking a ton. But, you know, actually, I was dating somebody last summer, who was a big drinker. And when I would hang out with him, I would see that I would drink a lot. And then yeah, I would just be thrown off, or D. So what was really interesting is that doing mindset work, I would be able to tell, even if I had like one glass of wine the next day, the anxious thoughts, the worries, whatever I mean, just heightened so much. And so when you start becoming conscious of your mind, and what's going through it, you realize how much alcohol is not good for?Blair Kaplan Venables:
Oh, my gosh, totally. I love this. I feel like I can talk to you for hours. I know. Right? Adrian? How, like, if people are curious about this, and they want to maybe work with you on mindset? How can people find you?Adrienne Grace:
Yeah, I think the best way is on Instagram, my handle is gracefully underscore, Adrienne, or on LinkedIn, Adrienne grace. Yeah, reach out to me, I would love to talk to anybody about this, because I am really passionate about it. And if you're curious about sobriety at all, or how to use some of these mindset, mindset techniques, to to get sober, I think is super impactful. So we'd love to chat with anyone about it.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That's brilliant. And I'm going to put your links and your full bio in the show notes. So I invite you to go into Adrian's world like she's just a bright light and super awesome. And I want to thank everyone for spending some time with us diving into sobriety, talking about resilience. And Adrienne, thank you so much for joining us.Adrienne Grace:
Thank you. So fun to be here.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Amazing. And we'll see you guys next week as we tune in to talk more about resilience. Thanks, everyone.