Synopsis: Chris Scott and Matt Finch discuss alcohol substitutions for alcohol recovery such as CBD drinks, kombucha, non-alcoholic wine infused with CBD, and many other beverages or elixirs that are healthy mood-boosters. They share stories of alcohol substitutions they’ve used and why, the reasoning behind alcohol replacement drinks, and much more.
Matt Finch: I used to call Budweiser the nectar of the gods. And I think you had an interesting name for some type of alcohol too. But I called cold Budweiser in the glass bottles, the nectar of the gods. That's just so silly. Thinking back to how my brain was wired to look at alcohol that way compared to how my brain feels towards Budweiser now.
Chris Scott: And obviously, there's some tweaking that needs to be done from person to person. Some people don't respond well to some supplements, but they do to others for various biochemical reasons. But it's worth trial and error because they're so overwhelmingly more safe than say, pharmaceuticals on average, that it's worth, it's just worth a try. And I remember the first time it occurred to me. I used to be okay with putting a handle of vodka in my system, but I was nervous the first time I took five HTP. And that seems silly to me.
Chris Scott: But if that's something that can help so many people before they're even ready to make a serious emotional, psychological, or social or spiritual change, it can actually put them in the zone where they're more likely to make their spiritual changes, or other changes in their lives.
Announcer: Thanks for tuning in to the Elevation Recovery Podcast, your hub for addiction recovery strategies. Hosted by Chris Scott and Matt Finch.
Matt Finch: You know what episode it is? It's episode... Check it out. This is episode 179. That makes it season nine finale. The very last episode of season nine. So, makes it a few things. Number one, the season finale, number two, the last episode before we go into double digit seasons. Because the next episode after this will be season 10. And I feel I just remember we just started, we launched with eight episodes, July 1st of almost two years ago now. So this July 1st, will be our two year anniversary.
Matt Finch: And now we're on YouTube too for anyone listening to this that doesn't know. We do YouTube videos of some of the podcast on Fit Recovery YouTube channel and Elevation Recovery YouTube channel. We make some clips too and videos. And of course, we've got the audio version, Apple podcasts, elevationrecovery.com and etcetera. And so we... Chris and I just want to welcome you guys to the season nine finale.
Chris Scott: That's right. And season 10 is going to be a good one. We'll have some new guests. We'll have on some guests that we've had in the past and haven't talked to in a little while. And I know I've had a little hiatus here. So Matt might have a... I might give Matt a break for a couple episodes. But people seem to love the episodes where it's just you and me shooting the shit. And that's good, because it's... That's where we came up with the idea for this podcast was we would have these long mastermind calls about all of these supplements and holistic strategies. Books we were reading, things we were learning, studies that came out.
Chris Scott: And God knows what everything. And then we decided to just make it public. To broadcast our phone calls. To give up our right to privacy for our calls for the sake of hopefully bettering the world. And it's been a lot of fun.
Matt Finch: Our edited calls. Because if they listened to a real unedited mastermind, might scare some people. It might make a lot of people love us more, but it might turn some other people off.
Chris Scott: Maybe I don't know. I'm from New Jersey and you used to use every drug under the sun so that... Yeah. The raw calls might be a little much, but not necessarily in terms of content, maybe just tone. Right. Yeah. It's that this is a lot of fun. And it's also brought us closer to some really interesting people. People like Julia Ross, Dr. Umhau. Too many to list. Really, I don't want to leave anyone out. But it's also nice to get messages from people that are super interesting, who we otherwise wouldn't hear from if we didn't have this podcast.
Matt Finch: That's one of my favorite things that happens during the week is getting a text or an email from someone that is really loving the podcast. Or seeing a new five star review written about the podcast. Or hearing from a client on the phone as we're having a check in or maybe their first session how much the podcast is helping them. And so that feeds my passion and obsession more than anything and getting... Because once you do something, a creative project, a business service or whatever it is, you might be able to think it's really cool.
Matt Finch: But until you start getting feedback, how are you really going to know how other people think of it? And so yeah, we've gotten quite a few one star ratings too. And so there was a period and I was, "Man, maybe our podcast isn't really that good." Then I realized, those were the people that thought Elevation Recovery. Oh, this is a recovery podcast. So they probably had some type of idea already in their head of what that was going to be. And then they started listening to it. And it's... We're a pretty atypical recovery podcast for sure.
Chris Scott: [inaudible 00:05:40] a lot of views.
Matt Finch: But then I really came to total acceptance of that. That, "Oh, no. People are going to leave bad ratings and reviews." Who cares? Because our podcast is for the people that need it. It's not for everyone. And I always have to remember that. Our podcast is for people that want to recover from addiction and live awesome lives and reheal their brain. But they don't want to do it the way that everyone else is telling them that they should do it necessarily.
Matt Finch: People that are more open minded, people that are more creative free thinkers that are more into empowerment. And so yeah, it's been a wild ride. And Chris, how much more do you know about addiction and about related topics, compared to before we started the podcast? Because now this is Episode 179. So out of all the episodes that just you've done and talk to people and learn from. I got to say that I've learned a lot from not even just the guests that are on there to teach something, but from people's just recovery stories that come on as well. I've learned so much and been so inspired by our guests.
Chris Scott: Yeah, I've learned a huge amount. And I started doing one on one over the phone recovery coaching years ago. Maybe close to five years ago now. And I was struck by how much I would learn from helping other people. And how much I would learn even from them in terms of book recommendations and spiritual or nutrition teachers who they had heard of and had studied and I hadn't. So it's like I started accumulating this massive and ever growing amount of knowledge from people I was helping.
Chris Scott: And then when we started the podcast, I've been doing coaching for several years. I've created my online course, Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0. I've written my book, Drink and Sex. And I've written about 200 articles on the website, all of that had been informed by a lot of my experiences with coaching clients and obviously learning about how different people react differently to different things and about the hierarchy of recovery.
Chris Scott: But this just turbocharged it. Because then we had additional recovery stories. Maybe people who would be a better fit for working with you than with me who you've interviewed. And also experts who I otherwise would not have necessarily been able to get on the phone with or do a call with. So yeah. It's been really cool. And I always like to say I have an open ended view of recovery. I don't think that I have the ultimate answer for everyone. And we're not doing this show for everyone so that we can get all five star reviews.
Chris Scott: If someone wants to leave us a five star review, that's great. And I'm pretty sure we have way more five star reviews than one star reviews. And that'll probably always be the case. But the important thing is that we're doing this for the people who understand us. Who are part of our tribe. Who benefit from this. And if there are newcomers, then that's awesome. And if anyone's ever confused about what it is that we stand for. And we do have beliefs, we're not trying to impose them on people.
Chris Scott: I would say, a certain almost an axiom of our approach would be that nutrition is important. That what you put into your body is important. That was my biggest lesson or one of the biggest lessons from my drinking career if you will. Was that I had put toxic alcohol, endless amounts of toxic alcohol into my body for years and years and years and watched my biochemistry and accordingly my mood and my spiritual health deteriorate.
Chris Scott: And when I stopped doing that and I started putting in things that weren't just neutral, like a ham sandwich but actually really helpful targeted amino acids, vitamins, minerals, herbs, etcetera. Combined with what we call the basics, more sunshine, grounding, paying attention to your breath, sleep optimization, I started feeling way better. And that's... I don't think that should be a very controversial point. But it is one that is still ignored nonetheless, in most mainstream programs that a lot of them like to pay lip service to it because it's trendy now.
Chris Scott: You'll see the words the term biochemical repair on some mainstream 12 step based programs. And that would be awesome if they were sincerely integrating biochemical repair into their programs. But it seems that it's more of a marketing ploy to get people into their funnels. So I think it's important that we talk about things that people might not have exposure to. And if they ultimately choose a different method, if they want to go to five AA meetings a day or a week for the rest of their lives, then great. Maybe they can feel even better during that with some of the information that they pick up here.
Chris Scott: So I hope that people can just listen with an open mind. And try not to... Try to understand before judging. I always try not to judge. I know, sometimes it sounds like we're a bit critical of other approaches. I don't think we intend to do that. I think it's easy to be irritated by zealots of any kind. So that's just going to happen. If there was someone who said, "There's only one way to recover and that's by taking this one specific vitamin," I would be critical of that zealot as well.
Chris Scott: So, I think it's good to be fair, it's okay to be unorthodox. It's okay to try to be empowered instead of powerless. But if you choose the powerlessness approach and you just want to repair your biochemistry, then there's something for you here as well. So open ended is ultimately what I strive for with our program. But hopefully also innovative and also giving people access to underrated information.
Chris Scott: And as a quick aside and as part of the underrated information, people might have seen me take a sip out of... I don't know. Some kind of beer glass. I liked it so I bought it. And I have Golda made in Atlanta, Georgia, Kombucha. It is Citrus CBD, a Hopped Georgia Citrus. So it has Hops in it as well. And it's extremely relaxing. I get a nice little CBD buzz. It has 20 milligrams of broad spectrum hemp extract. And I actually don't make any money from this product.
Chris Scott: But I'm technically affiliated with it because what happened was, I was doing a bunch of work in a coffee shop and I had paid $7 for a can of this. And I thought this is amazing. And I want to share it with my email list. So then if you're on my email list at Fit Recovery, you've probably heard of this already. And the fact that I like it. And so I emailed their CEO. And I said, "Look, I have an email list with however many people and I'd love to spread the word about your awesome Kombucha, but $7 A can might not fly." So she gave me a coupon that's FIT25 F-I-T-2-5. So if you go to the Golda website, Golda Kombucha website, you can get 25% off of your order.
Chris Scott: I just bought 36 cans, so that brings it down to a little over $5 from seven. It's not a huge... It's still not cheap, but it's not going to be cheap. If you get CBD Sparkling Water, it's going to be at least $4 or $5 a can. If you get a good Kombucha, it's also going to be 3$ to $5 per can. So this is both in one. And I really like it. And I have that coupon. But it was really... I was just happy to get that coupon as I would if they had made me an affiliate or a distributor or something, which I'm not.
Chris Scott: I think it says affiliate coupon when you put that into their site, but we don't really have a financial relationship, except that I save a bunch of money each month because I buy from their online store. That's the second order I placed for 36 cans. So that means in the last two and a half months, I've gone through 70 cans of Golda Kombucha. And it's also I should say it's alcohol free. And whatever the lowest amount. And what no more than 0.2% or something like that. And I've also given away a bunch to friends and family.
Chris Scott: So I myself haven't had seventy cans. But I can have... if I have one in the morning with my breakfast, I feel calmer throughout the day. And there's also no sugar. So it's good stuff. That was a long rant on my part. You can hop in Matt.
Matt Finch: Well, it never ceases to amaze me.
Chris Scott: I don't want to cease to amaze you.
Matt Finch: It never ceases to amaze me how often we appear to be subconsciously in sync on similar or same topics. Before this call, this episode, I was thinking, "I feel we should talk about alcohol substitutions. Things that people..." Because, drinking is not only a substance that can be addictive for people but the habit too. The ritual, the... So you're actually drinking something. And so alcohol substitutions where you're not drinking alcohol or maybe there's very, very little alcohol not nearly enough to have psychoactive effects.
Matt Finch: But where people are using something as a replacement, whether it could be for life or just for a while. So we've got the zero or super low alcohol kombuchas. We've got the CBD infused non alcoholic wines. And there's even THC infused THC/CBD infused non alcoholic wines. And there's a lot of other things as well. There's so many different substitutions. I used to do milk. We talked about this on a few episodes ago, how I would chug milk. Or there was another substitution when I was in my 20s and I'd go to parties or I'd have parties. And if I wasn't drinking, I would often take Valium.
Matt Finch: And I'd drink Red Bull on the rocks. So I would have an energy drink on the rock so it looked like I had... So it looked like I was drinking so people didn't ask, "What's wrong with you? Why aren't you drinking?" And the Valium... And sometimes I'd have other pills too. And so some people need really need alcohol substitutions, at least at the beginning. Because of that drinking behavior. You're not using it as a substitution. You're just using it because it's really good for your health. It tastes really delicious.
Chris Scott: Now, I also have an oral fixation for sure. I never stopped that. I tell people sometimes I still have a drinking problem. I just don't drink alcohol. Right now I'm double fisting tea, the Dragon Herbs Spring Dragon tea, which I love and get on Amazon and this Kombucha. It's not uncommon for me while I'm doing work to have several beverages. I need some oral stimulation. I never stopped that. And right after I quit drinking, it was coffee. And I had too much coffee. I'm not anti-coffee, but I might have two cups in the morning. Now it doesn't affect me and I never have coffee afternoon.
Chris Scott: Back then I would drink a pot or two a day. And because my dopamine levels and endorphins were so diminished that I'd get and take anything I could get. And I would get high on coffee. I'd also get really jittery. Again, I'm not anti-coffee. I think it can actually be a good thing to switch your euphoria time. If you're a drinker who used to drink at night or who drinks at night, it's not a bad idea to make the morning your new euphoria time where you get a workout in, maybe have a cup of coffee or several.
Chris Scott: As long as you can handle it and you're not hyper sensitive to caffeine, which some people are. I talk about that in my book, in my blog and in my course that it's not bad to switch that and to have substitutes that are healthier at least than alcohol is. Because everything's on a spectrum. Kratom you can... It's arguably much healthier, less toxic than alcohol. You don't necessarily want to be doing Kratom all the time. It can be addictive, but I have seen a lot of people helped by switching to that temporarily and then tapering off of Kratom.
Chris Scott: But yeah. Botanical or herbal teas, Kombuchas. There are several drinks that I've had lately that I really like with dinner. And I'm always looking for sugar free ones because it's easy to find non alcoholic drinks packed with sugar. It's actually disappointing sometimes I'll see a really cool bottle of kombucha and whole foods or something. I'm, "Oh, I got to try that one. Look at their marketing is really great." But then I look in the back and has 40 grams of sugar. I'm, "No, I'm not even going to read the what they have to say on the bottle.
Chris Scott: But I had... I just pulled up on my phone, I'd taken a picture of this. It's called... For anyone who likes bitters or anything like that. It's called Hella Cocktail. Yeah, Hella Aromatic Bitters. And it's bitters and soda, dry aromatic made with gente and tincture, ready to drink now or mixed with your favorite spirits. So that's what it says on the can. It seems I like it a lot. Because I always liked bitters and Gin and club soda or whatever. I always had a... Never really a sweet tooth. More of a dry tooth, if that makes sense.
Chris Scott: A bitter tooth. And then there's another one called Betera which is B-E-T-E-R-A. And they have a delicious Rhubarb one and a delicious Elderflower version as well. And I think they might have a few others, but those are the ones I've tried so far. And they make really good drinks with dinner. Almost like how people have digestifs or... I'm sure I'm pronouncing that wrong because I'm not French. But they have things to stimulate your appetite or help you digest things.
Chris Scott: I feel the bitter sugar free cocktails can help with that. And yet they're not just totally bitter. They have some botanical essences or whatever. Tastes like a cocktail without the alcohol. Just not sweet. Of course if you want to make it sweet, you could always get some monk fruit. You can go to the Dragon Herbs website and get the liquid monk fruit extract as well. Because it can be hard to dissolve the monk fruit granules as I've learned.
Chris Scott: I made brownies a few months ago with monk fruit crystals or granulated monk fruit. Whatever would be the sugar alternative. And it's actually... It's technically monk fruit and erythritol which is the safest technically artificial sweetener. But studys show that it just passes through your system doesn't even get absorbed and doesn't really break down. It's indigestible where [crosstalk 00:20:29].
Matt Finch: Was that the one that leads to anal leakage?
Chris Scott: I have no... No I think that's xylitol. I could be wrong. Maybe it does. I don't think it causes problems. But I could be wrong. I also... If it does cause problems, they seem to be benign. I haven't seen any studies saying that erythritol causes that or worse problems. I wouldn't consume aspartame at this point after what we know about that. And even sucralose is a bit suspect.
Chris Scott: But anyway, I made brownies with this monk fruit. And the problem was that it didn't melt in the hot butter. Those brownies is... Not that I'm a chef, but I'm pretty sure at least the recipe I used there was melted butter, you're supposed to stir the sugar in there and I used monk fruit with some eggs and whatever the... And some flour. I think I used Buckwheat Flour or something. They were pretty different trying to be healthy brownies.
Chris Scott: But the problem was that the monk fruit didn't fully dissolve. So there... You had crunchy monk fruit granules. And I had a similar problem trying to make mocktails. I don't even like the word mocktail. I don't like to make a mockery of my cocktails. They just don't have alcohol. So my non alcoholic cocktails, I would try to put the granulated monk fruit in but it wouldn't dissolve. You have to heat it pretty high actually in order to dissolve it.
Chris Scott: So anyway, you can get liquid monk fruit which is a good idea for these mocktails if you'd like a little bit of sweetener. But I do have a range of things that I drink. I'm always on the lookout for it. And I feel we're entering a different era with non alcoholic options. There's more stuff being offered. Obviously right now, it's difficult to keep your finger on the pulse of restaurants because some restaurants are not even open in a lot of parts of the country. But luckily, where I live in Savannah, not only are restaurants open for the most part, but some new ones are opening.
Chris Scott: And I've seen all of them have non alcoholic beers, it seems. Some of them. Not most of them, but some of them have non alcoholic wines. And all of them will make you a really good non alcoholic cocktail if you say, "Make me a non alcoholic cocktail. Make it damn good. Surprise me and don't put in too much sugar." That's what I always say. And I'm usually pleasantly surprised. And I wouldn't be surprised if they're using some of these things such as the dry aromatic bitters in a can. That I don't know if it's organic or not, but it's good.
Chris Scott: And so yeah, there are more options. I'm trying to be more active on Instagram. And that's something that some of our listeners may know. And my handle there is Chris Scott Fit Recovery. So follow and you'll be stay posted for more non alcoholic options.
Matt Finch: Alcohol is so cunning, baffling and powerful when you're in that addiction. When you're... Or even if you're not addicted, but you find yourself down a downward spiral and it could lead to actual addiction. I'm trying to think of all the different alcohol substitutions I did. And it was just years and years of trying so many different things. Like I said, I'd try drinking milk and getting really full if I had alcohol cravings.
Matt Finch: I would take pharmaceutical pills with Red Bull on the rocks. I would do that. I would do cannabis and pharmaceuticals but no alcohol. So that was my substitution. Always doing things... What's the magic combination of better living through chemistry of me being my own wild chemist knowing that I didn't like how I felt sober normal. What can I do to make myself feel like I want to feel but without alcohol? Because alcohol made me feel like that. At the right dosage, alcohol was perfect as far as making me just confident enough to be able to do life.
Matt Finch: But I couldn't stay at that one spot. I went to that spot and then I would keep drinking until I'd get... Usually I'd drink more than that spot. And then there was a fine line from being in a better mood and more confident and funny because I had a little buzz going from that till all of a sudden blacked out. And I'm smacking girls on the butt at the beach that have gigantic boyfriends. And the guy one guy came up to me, grabbed me by my neck and I was blacked out. I was drunk all day, 4th of July, blacked out at noon and it was around 8:00 PM I guess from what my friends had told me.
Matt Finch: And after I slapped this girl in her butt for the second time after the guy told me he was going to kill me if I did it again. I guess he grabbed my neck. I'm not sure if it was... It had to have been with two hands. Pulled me up and choked me out to unconsciousness.
Chris Scott: Sounds like you deserved it that time.
Matt Finch: And I totally deserved it. And my friend that day punched me in my mouth and chipped my tooth. So after that bender, I didn't drink for a year Chris. Because I was so embarrassed, so much guilt, so much shame from what I had done that day. And all the people I had done those things in front of. So I didn't drink for a year because of that. And... But during that time, I wasn't doing good. I was trying other... I was just still taking different drugs, but just not alcohol or not hard drugs.
Matt Finch: And there's nothing wrong with that. But I wasn't doing the fundamental work, which was changing my nutrition, figuring out deficiencies and taking supplements. Because I didn't know. At that point, I just didn't know about that type of stuff. I didn't have a growth mindset back then I didn't feel I'd get too much smarter. So alcohol substitutions did get me through a lot of periods where I wouldn't drink for weeks. I wouldn't drink more often.
Matt Finch: I wouldn't drink for months to several months. But then I would go on a relapse or slip and I'd go on a bender. I was a binge drinker. So I just tried with alcohol substitutions, I'd go to AA. I'd go... I'd try AA substitutions like NA. Then I'd go back to AA. And man for years and years and years, beating my head against walls because none of the things that I were trying alcohol substitutions, 12 step. That type of thing. None of them were working. It was only when I really started to change the way I thought, change the way I viewed everything myself in the world that long change started to happen. Good judgment.
Chris Scott: I think the nutritional component is central. It needs to be understood by way more... Excuse my head of security, we have a...
Matt Finch: He's agreeing with you.
Chris Scott: A UPS delivery and Magnus has saved us from being brutally assaulted dozens of times even a week, as far as he knows. Every time he barks, they run away. So anyway. Yeah, I think the nutrition is something that it's so tragic that more people don't understand it. Because it can start helping you even before you're ready for spiritual change by giving you some biochemical resilience. By making you feel at least like life is a little bit more worth living because you have more energy and you're sleeping a little better.
Chris Scott: And maybe your cravings aren't so bad, freeing some of your focus. So it's doing this invisible work that... And obviously there's some tweaking that needs to be done from person to person. Some people don't respond well to some supplements, but they do to others for various biochemical reasons. But it's worth trial and error. Because they're so overwhelmingly more safe than say pharmaceuticals on average, that it's just worth a try.
Chris Scott: And I remember the first time it occurred to me, I used to be okay with putting a handle of vodka in my system. But I was nervous the first time I took five HTP. And that seems silly to me. But if that's something that can help so many people before they're even ready to make a serious emotional, psychological, or social or spiritual change, it can actually put them into the zone where they're more likely to make their spiritual changes or other changes in their lives, regardless of what those might be.
Chris Scott: So you can go from being despondent, which I was. When I showed up at detox, I was a zombie. I didn't even feel anything. I should have been either in despair or elated that I was about to change my life or shaking with fear. There was nothing. I was standing there wearing pants and a T-shirt with blank eyes. Because alcohol had taken any emotional capacity away from me at that point. I felt nothing. I was numb.
Chris Scott: And that... And I could have changed that situation a lot quicker. I felt numb for several weeks, especially with the benzodiazepine taper but that was the right course of action. I needed that to not have a seizure. But it would have been really nice to have infusions of vitamins and minerals and amino acids and fatty acids and herbs that have been shown to help and maybe break down the toxic byproducts of alcohol. And keep ethanol from binding to my GABA receptors.
Chris Scott: It would be nice. It would have been nice to know all of that back then. But the tough thing about alcohol for a lot of people is that it's embedded within our culture. So I remember once I tried to show up to a party, a house party in Atlanta and this was back when I still drank. And I had made a decision to quit for a week, because I don't remember why. Probably because of a withdrawal experience, I'd pulled through. I'd managed to pull through some hideous withdrawal experience. And I was just going to white knuckle it and just not drink.
Chris Scott: And I showed up at a party with a six pack of diet root beer. It was gross. And my friend's girlfriend, now wife, answered the door, laughed at me, took it out of my hand and replaced it with a six pack of beer. And she was a good girl. She didn't mean to cause me harm. I drank that six pack of beer in about 10 minutes. But she didn't know that she was doing harm. It's just it's normal in some circles to make sure everyone's having a good time, is what they would say.
Chris Scott: So you do have to change your identity. You have to be somewhat independent. You can't be too much of a follower. You have to be strong minded when you make that shift. And if you have trouble with those things, which is normal, because it's normal to feel fragile in early recovery, then enlist the support of friends who can help enforce that for you. And I had that as well. I've always been pretty strong minded. I've never had a problem.
Chris Scott: I'm allergic to all forms of groupthink. I don't like it. Regardless of what it is. But, I decided to have some friends help me out by providing some just... I said, "If I ever order a drink at a bar, then you make sure I go home." And I never ordered the drink at the bar. But they're always there. And yeah. That was... Within three months, I was able to go to a bar and drink five club sodas and have a pretty good time.
Chris Scott: It took months before I could do that. But, I also had these friends who would probably fight me before they let me have a drink. And that was a good thing. I had to get people on my side. Alcohol is tough because it's embedded in our culture. So I had to have some accountability as well as support rather than just making a decision myself and showing up to a party with diet root beer expecting that people would automatically understand that I wasn't going to drink.
Matt Finch: Holy moly. So with opioids, with methamphetamines, with lots of different drugs, there's stigma attached to that because they're illegal. Misuse... Alcohol, not only is there not really a stigma, you're stigmatized if you don't drink alcohol.
Chris Scott: Yeah.
Matt Finch: That's... So with drugs, maybe not with cannabis here in California but with things like heroin and fentanyl, methamphetamines, crack, cocaine, snorting pills. There's a big stigma against that all drug addiction. There's also a stigma against people that don't put alcohol or drugs in their body.
Chris Scott: The good news is it's actually getting a bit better. So... And I don't know if it's a product of rapid improvement in the last six or seven years. Or if it's just something I've experienced, because of the ways that I've changed my behavior, mostly ceasing to be apologetic. Not that I was ever really apologetic, but ceasing to view myself as someone who's an outsider. I'll give an example. I had a number of coffee dates after I quit drinking. Well, not immediately after, but when I was ready. Because I had a three year relationship that went... That ended quite badly.
Chris Scott: And I would often put a little disclaimer before the first date saying, "By the way, I don't drink. And if you're not cool with that, then that's fine. Probably won't work out." And I noticed that a lot of girls would say, "Oh, well, okay." And some of them would cancel the date. For some reason, when I stopped doing that and I would just show up, I would just say I would always suggest coffee or lunch or whatever. Then once I showed up, eventually it would come out that I didn't drink and they wouldn't care at all.
Chris Scott: So I think if you act as if the absence of alcohol from your life or sobriety, or whatever you want to call it, is your defining characteristic, it's easy to get stigmatized. If you just happen to not drink, then not only will you not be stigmatized... And I'm not saying that it shouldn't be an important priority of your life. It was number one priority for me. For at least a year after I quit drinking was not drinking again. Not falling into that trap. But I didn't advertise.
Chris Scott: At a certain point, it made me realize I can't advertise myself. It's that's the point of who I am. So as soon as I stopped doing that, not only did I find that I was less stigmatized, but I also found people who agreed with me. I started running into so many people who had relatives, brothers, sisters, ex boyfriends, whatever, who had been bad alcoholics. And having a bad case of alcohol addiction. In some cases being abusive.
Chris Scott: In other cases, maybe they had committed suicide or they had just gotten very bad. And so there was a certain level of understanding. And then I started running into all sorts of people who had never had a problem with alcohol, but they just never decided to put it into their bodies. So it was a lifestyle choice for them to not drink. And at a certain point, I may have said, "Oh, by the way, I don't drink. Maybe I forgot to tell you that." And I just started hearing more often, "Oh, neither do I. I never have. I just don't like it. Tried it once. Not my thing. Made me tired."
Chris Scott: So if that's not an illustration of how irrelevant alcohol is for way more people than you think, then it should be. Putting myself out in the world, meeting people and not just coffee dates. Joining different gyms, going to yoga, different activities, rock climbing, whatever. Just getting out there more, which naturally happens as you beat your addiction. You have more energy. You develop a more a better charisma. My alcohol free charisma was like a project that I worked on.
Chris Scott: How can I feel the same way in terms of confidence? And I guess the way I would phrase things I always felt super eloquent when I drank. But I doubt that I actually was. But I felt I was. How do I become more eloquent without having to rely on alcohol to make me feel eloquent? These were some things that I worked on. And I read books. I'd never been into self improvement or self development books before that. But I did that. I started getting out there.
Chris Scott: And as I started allowing the world into my life, by not keeping myself chained to a couch with a bottle of vodka, I started realizing how irrelevant to drink or not to drink was for so many more people than I thought. And it's gotten to the point now, where if someone had a problem with me not drinking, I would think they were a ridiculous loser. And I would not give... I would probably not even think about them anymore.
Matt Finch: Yeah, that's such a big shift. And I think it's a 100% necessary one for continual long term not giving a crap about alcohol, not going back to using it. And this is a very important topic. And it's a very nuanced and really interesting topic too. How people can feel... If you go to a family gathering or some type of party. And one of your friends or family members hands you, "Oh, the drinks are over there." Hands you a drink. "Oh no, I'm an alcoholic. I can't drink." or "Oh, no, I go to AA I'm not drinking anymore."
Matt Finch: People can tell if you feel bad about yourself. If you're still missing it, you wish you could have it, but you're just not enough of a fully functioning adult to be able to enjoy alcohol in moderation. So other people can feel how the person talking about it feels. They can tell if someone feels bad about themselves and wants alcohol. Misses it. Really wants to drink it, but can't. And they can tell someone like you or I where we just don't give it... It's not a defining thing about me.
Matt Finch: It's just a moot substance. It's just a non-subject. It's just... Who even cares. But in that early, those early phases where I was either in abstinence or recovery or replacing alcohol with drugs, whatever it was, I missed it. And I wished that I could drink it. And I wish that I could drink it like a gentleman as they say. I really wished that but it was a silly wish. Wouldn't a better wish than being able to drink a gentleman or something. Wouldn't a better wish being I wish I just didn't even care about alcohol. That's a better wish.
Matt Finch: I wish I could drink... It's almost the same thing. You just have to view it that way to drink like a gentleman. When it's... I used to call Budweiser the nectar of the gods. And I think you had a interesting name for some type of alcohol too. But I called cold Budweiser in the glass bottles, the nectar of the gods. That's just so silly. Thinking back to how my brain was wired to look at alcohol that way compared to how my brain feels towards Budweiser now, it's so crazy how you can shift your perception of a substance.
Matt Finch: And how you can not only be not powerless over it, but you're so much stronger than that little tiny substance. Maybe not at the beginning, but over time, with consistently building yourself up, how you can become so much more powerful than that little stupid Budweiser. Which used to have all power over me. I was at serving. "Budweiser, how much do you want me to drink?" And I would just chug it. And it would make me feel better. And it was so crazy how I would just hold that all this is... It's sick. It's a really sick disorder.
Chris Scott: Yeah. I'm actually grateful that I was accidentally served alcohol on more than one occasion over the last six plus years. Because it made me realize that alcohol is not the substance that it used to be for me. And that it was never something that was giving me something I couldn't have naturally. I just didn't know how to get it naturally. But I was trying to explain to someone the other day, when someone who's actively addicted to alcohol has a drink, your whole body vibrates. You get this blissful feeling, even when you're just bringing it to your lips, which is the dopamine release.
Chris Scott: You're anticipating the reward. That's what dopamine does. And then, of course you have the endorphins and more dopamine and serotonin and your GABA receptors get stimulated. You're relaxed and you're happy and at least temporarily. Right? So you go from this state of extreme deficiency, assuming you're actively drinking and you're dependent on alcohol, to a state of temporary equilibrium. And that temporary equilibrium is where you should be and where you could be naturally, if your diet was good. If you were exercising, if you were sleeping right.
Chris Scott: Getting fresh air, getting sunlight. Properly hydrated. Taking whatever nutrients you might need. You would be here all the time. But when you have that first drink, when you're actively addicted, it's like a pinball machine. You're all of a sudden you go from extreme deficiency to normalcy. But once I had achieved normalcy, naturally, which took months after even years even after quitting drinking, because I had some trial and error. And all of the information that say we talk about or that I share in my online course, was not instantly available for me.
Chris Scott: So it took me time to figure it all out. So eventually, my default state becomes that state that I would be in temporarily and artificially when I drank two bottles of red wine or whatever. Or by the end, the handle of vodka. And then of course, it would go down after that drinking binge even lower than it was before. And then when I would come up, I would come up only to here. I wouldn't get quite to there. Unless I drank more. Now I could get it back. I'd get it even higher.
Chris Scott: But then it would go down even further. So it's this constant... It looks like a graph of a stock market that's experiencing extreme volatility. Maybe crypto market would be a better... That was my mood. My day to day because it's going from extreme deficiency to artificial and temporary stability and then back down again. So here, I'm here all the time. So when I was served accidentally, it was like a little blip. And it wasn't even necessarily up or down. It felt like something.
Chris Scott: If anything, it was just a little bit... I was a little woozy. But I went from artificial... I'm sorry. Natural balance to some artificial blip that felt more like a sleeping pill combined with an anesthetic. It didn't do anything because I'm already here. I didn't need to go any higher. It wasn't going to bring me higher. I wasn't in a state of deficiency. So, whatever it was doing that GABA stimulation that you've obviously experienced from alcohol, made me maybe more calm. But I didn't need to be more calm. So it felt more like numb.
Chris Scott: And maybe even a little bit sleepy. And that's really what it was. Because my GABA receptors had been resensitized. My levels had been balanced. I was feeling good. I'm sure I'd gotten a nice workout in that morning. I'd slept well the night before. I just didn't need this artificial drug. That the instance I'm thinking about is when I basically chugged two or three shots of gin. It was in a... What I had thought was a ginger beer type drink served in a martini glass and non alcoholic beverage.
Chris Scott: And I was, "Oh, it's clear because of the ginger beer." No, pure gin. They had messed up the order. Served me someone else's, I don't know. And it was the hottest day of the year. So I'm. And it's half of it's gone. And it's basically just pure gin. And I thought, "Whoa. All right. So I could go to the bathroom and puke or I could cause a scene. Or I could just experience this and see what happens." And ultimately what happened was that weird toxic buzz that was unlike anything I'd had before.
Chris Scott: Even though technically, I had consumed that substance in the past. It eventually wore off. And I was a little tired. I had to lay down on the couch when I got home. I was a little bit... I was bummed out, but not even emotionally just biochemically. So, could I get back into that state of active addiction? I'm sure I could if I made it a point to go out to bars every night and get trashed and wake up and drink. And puke in an alley.
Chris Scott: I'm sure I could get myself back into an active state of addiction. But I know it and now at least I have the the consolation of knowing that. And comfort of knowing that it would actually take some work. And that what I would achieve with alcohol is actually not very much. Because alcohol was just bringing me from this efficiency to the state of artificial balance. Rather than me being in a state of natural balance all the time. And we tend to experience differences in our state from moment to moment more than absolute states. Right?
Chris Scott: So if you're in a cold tank and you jump into a hot tub, the hot tub feels so much hotter than it actually is. Right? Or if you're in a hot tub and then you go in the cold, it feels much colder. Because we notice the contrast between states. Moment to moment, minute to minute day to day. We don't tend to notice absolute levels of things. Right? If I were out in the tundra of Siberia and then I walked into this room, which is 70 degrees, I'd be, "This is so hot and nice. I love it." But right now I'm just having a natural state I'm comfortable.
Chris Scott: I think there's... It's a similar thing with drinking. You have a certain level of baseline resetting, I guess you could call it. Where your baseline goes... Your normal baseline it's averaged between this artificial high point that you get from drinking or using drugs, to this really low state of deficiency that you would never experience if you weren't drinking or using drugs. The average is still well below your normal baseline.
Chris Scott: So your baseline should be pretty high naturally if you're doing the right things. So you really just have nothing to gain. And that's what I say when I say that's what I mean when I say transcend alcohol. You get to the point where you have this epiphany that alcohol was never really making your life great. It doesn't need to be a forbidden fruit. It's not something that's going to bring you to 10 times feeling better than your naturally optimized state.
Chris Scott: If anything, it'll make you feel about as good as natural optimization will, just with the downside of crashing after that. Because it's an artificial phenomenon. And of course detoxifying your body and causing inflammation and ruining your sleep. Naturally. It's not going to make you feel that much better. It's not going to bring you up much higher than you could get. It's just more noticeable because people who have theirs binges and are dependent don't know what it's like to feel as good as they should.
Matt Finch: When you were talking about to the cryptocurrency, how your moods were like that. Going up and down. It's very likening to the... When someone drinks alcohol that has severe hypoglycemia. So for instance, let's say a bunch of people are drinking at a party. All the people that are at that party drinking, if they don't have hypoglycemia, they start drinking a beer. Let's say it's all beer. They drink the beer while their blood sugar starts to slowly rise up. Then let's say it's the only beer they drink.
Matt Finch: Then once that beer wears off, their blood sugar slows. And so it spikes up slowly, gradually. And then it comes down slowly, gradually. Allowing them to feel good. "Okay, this got my blood sugar up. This got me a little quick little buzz." And then it slowly wears off. Cool. Now let's say someone next to them, say it's their twin sister. She's got really bad hypoglycemia. They're twins, but she's got horrible hypoglycemia because she's been drinking a lot more alcohol.
Matt Finch: And well that's the thing that caused the hypoglycemia. And now she drinks that same beer. They start the beer at the same time. Well, the hypoglycemic twin's blood sugar spikes up way faster. Way faster. Making her feel really good. Really elated. Far more euphoric and elated because her blood just such a huge spike. "I felt that. I feel so good. Oh my gosh." Soon as she's done with that beer. As soon as she stops drinking her blood sugar spikes down way faster than her sisters. And it goes down faster and it goes down lower to where her sister non hypoglycemic.
Matt Finch: Her blood sugar goes down to here. But the hyperglycemic spikes up really fast, really straight. Right down really straight once it wears off and it goes lower than where her blood sugar was before. Which causes hypoadrenocorticism or something like that. The stress response to where when her blood sugar gets that low, after the simple sugar alcohol spiked it and then dropped her further down really fast. The anxiety and the feeling so horrible that it causes complete alcohol cravings to raise that blood sugar again and to shut off that physiological fight or flight stress response.
Matt Finch: The founders of AA discovered this probably 60 or 70 years ago. 50, 60, 70 years ago. And it's not in any of the AA literature. They buried it. Even though they found that about 90% of people with alcohol addiction, on the studies they did had hypoglycemia. It was only when I repaired my hypoglycemia that I didn't crave alcohol anymore. As long as that cycle of hypoglycemia was going, I could never drink responsibly. I always wished I could have alcohol.
Chris Scott: And you fixed it. And yeah as did I. Glutamine was huge for me with that. But as were certain diet changes. So yeah. I think that's enormously important. And also the... Your blood sugar and levels of certain neurotransmitters are correlated. So you have a similar thing going on. And obviously, if you eat a bunch of sugar and you raise your blood sugar, you have some similarities in what's going on with your endorphins and dopamine and serotonin, as what would happen with alcohol.
Chris Scott: Alcohol, just being a highly refined sugar, causing more damage even than sugar itself. which is a poison. Depending on the sugar. High fructose corn syrup is a liver toxin as well. So there are a lot of people even who are getting fatty liver, or even actually cirrhosis. I've seen in some cases from doing with sugar, what you and I at some points had done with alcohol. It's enormously disruptive. So I think we might have to leave it at that Matt, because I have a tornado warning and a dog who's having a hard time with it.
Chris Scott: He has a little bit of PTSD, because we almost got hit by lightning once we were out. He was going number two, I think it was. And it was bad timing on the part of the lightning strike. So luckily, he hasn't [inaudible 00:52:47]. He won't find any alcohol. Because we don't give him access to that. I think the only alcohol here is in my Dragon Herbs tinctures. But he can't reach those. But I did actually give him some CBD. So I think he'll be all right.
Matt Finch: Perfect. Well, I'll just end it with this one thing. People can see our skin on our face, they can see our hair or in our case our lack of hair. People can see our skin all over our bodies, or whatever our clothes are covering. They can see about proximately how much we weigh. And we can see all that too. We want that to look good. No one can see our brains, including ourselves. So when we're taking the substances, when we're eating these crappy foods, we're not seeing the impact they're having on their brain.
Matt Finch: When I... If we had translucent skin and skulls and you could actually see your brain. Or if even once a week, we had technology to where you could just plug your brain and get a full readout. And you could see the health of it and how it's going down from your behaviors or how it's going up. I think if we could see our brain on a regular basis and how our decisions are making it worse or better. I think there would be a revolution of people making better decisions. But I think since we can't see our brains, it's out of sight out of mind for a lot of people. So that's all I wanted to add.
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