Episode 97: Shea and Sidney Gomez, The Real Sisters of Sobriety
Karen speaks with Shea and Sidney Gomez, sisters and hosts of The Real Sisters of Sobriety podcast, a podcast about being sober in a booze obsessed world. Shea and Sidney are going to share their personal stories that led to their journey to sobriety, and how being boozeless today brings them much joy and happiness.
Intro Voices 00:04
Where do I go? It only happened once. I think I was singled out. The phone calls began about one month ago. What is hazing? Something happened to me when I was younger. I'm worried about my safety. He said he was sorry. Can someone help me? Where can I get help? Can someone help me?
Karen Ortman 00:30
This is You Matter, a podcast for the NYU community developed by the Department of Campus Safety. Hi, everyone, and welcome back to You Matter, a podcast created to teach, inspire and motivate members of the NYU community who have been victimized in some form or fashion and to identify resources both on and off campus that can help. I am your host Karen Ortman, Associate Vice President of Campus Safety Operations at the Department of Campus Safety, and a retired law enforcement professional.Today I welcome Shay and Sydney Gomez, sisters and hosts of the real sisters of sobriety podcast, a podcast about being sober in a booze obsessed world. Shay and Sydney are going to share their personal stories that led to their journey to sobriety and how being bootless today brings them such joy and happiness. Shay in Sydney. Welcome to you matter.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 01:28
Thank you. We're so excited to be here.
Karen Ortman 01:30
I am so excited to have you. And I'm really excited for our conversation. So Shay instead your sisters? Yes. Already said that in the intro. Have you always been close?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 01:44
Ah, okay. I mean, I'm the oldest. I'm 29. And I'm the youngest. I'm 25. So we there was definitely and we have one in between us, one sister in between us. So there are definitely times where we got under each other's skin. We are definitely both like a little mouthy. Like, that's why we love having a podcast, like we like to just keep it real. And we definitely have always kept it real with each other. Sometimes too much like we always knew what to say to get each other under each other's skin. Yeah, in our older, older age, we've definitely become closer and both of us getting sober has just made our relationship so strong. Yeah, it's been such a connector for us.
Karen Ortman 02:25
So let's go back to prior to sobriety. And talk about what circumstances in your life led to where you are today.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 02:40
Okay, I'll go first. For me, I actually didn't drink until college. I was very much like a goody two shoes in high school. And I was very proud to be, you know, I wasn't drinking in high school or anything. I wanted to follow the rules. So I didn't have my first drink till I think like sophomore year of college. Really what kind of kicked my drinking into high gear was I went through a breakup senior year of college. Also, I worked in the service industry. So I worked at a restaurant and you know, you go out after and you're drinking till the sun comes up, and then you wake up and you do it all again. And yeah. After I moved to New York, which of course is the city that never sleeps and love me some New York, but I definitely got caught up in the social aspect of it. I was such a social drinker. And my drinking I thought looked so similar to that of my friends or my co workers, so I never saw it as problematic. But then there were those nights, of course that you blacked out, don't remember how you got home, checking for your debit card the next morning? The hangovers not so great. You know, I'm finding out that you said or did something while intoxicated and not remembering it and having your friends or coworkers tell you and just was not not great? Yeah. But again, you know, I there's such a stigma around sobriety that you have to be like some stumbling, bumbling person hiding alcohol. And I had this picture of it in my head. And I felt like I didn't match that description.
Karen Ortman 04:28
So of the person who was out of control.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 04:31
Yeah, I didn't think I was like, out of control. I didn't think I had a quote unquote, problem. But you know, of course, looking back, my drinking was problematic because once I started, I had a hard time stopping and especially when you're out on the town and your dreams on the dance floor, which I love to do. You're not keeping track of how much you're out how much alcohol you're consuming. Yeah. And so I'd always be like, Yeah, of course. I'll have another drink. Okay, let's do a shot, you know. And it was so normalize that kind of drinking.
Karen Ortman 05:01
So how, how long of a period would you say? You drank to the point of blackouts and shattered did something that you didn't recall the next day. But how long was this timeframe?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 05:20
I think I mean, about six or seven years. But again, everyone's drinking looks similar to mine. I thought, like going out on the town. And, you know, I always thought that having a drink in your hand was like, bougie and classy and like, you know, doing fun boomerangs, like I, it's so normalized that I did not realize that, you know, it was problematic that I was constantly thinking, like, oh, like, I wonder if I could have another class, like, you know, sometimes I go out to dinner with people, and we'd have a bottle of wine and my head, like, I wasn't in the present moment, I was more consumed with, okay, like, and I get more wine? Or are they going to order another bottle? Or when the server comes around? Like, am I getting enough? You know, like, that's where my head was. I'm like, Well, that is problematic. That is not, quote unquote, normal. Like that can't be. So that's when I started questioning my relationship. And I took breaks like I did dry January, no drink November, all these things. And really, I think it just made me feel better about myself. Like, see, I can't control myself. But then I go back to the same drink patterns. You know, I specifically remember working at a restaurant in New York, and there was a guy who worked there who didn't drink in, you know, he shared that. And I was like, Oh, I'm so jealous. Like, that was my response. as if like, that, like, Wow, you're amazing. Like, looking back. I was like, I'm in control of my own life, like, I can control what I'm consuming what I'm not. So the fact that I was like, I'm so jealous. Like, as if I couldn't do that myself, is just an interesting thing. It wasn't until I got into a relationship and moved in with my boyfriend at the time. And notice that my drinking was affecting another person. You know, I could live my single dreams and go out and drink socially and get home and not remember how I got home. But like, I was only when you had to deal with that. It wasn't me having to explain to another person like, oh, yeah, I remember getting home or Yeah, you know, like, right. So another person involved, like, I really didn't want to mess up the relationship, you know.
Karen Ortman 07:27
And this other person knew that there was an issue.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 07:34
That's the thing is like, again, it's not like I was hiding alcohol. It's not like I was drinking every single day. Um, so I think he was concerned, you know, when I would drink too much and get a little like slurry and stuff, I would say that I would normally say in a sober mindset. But also, I had times where I like, locked myself in the bathroom and like, fell asleep in the shower. And, like, that is so embarrassing, and also really scary. And for like, my partner at the time to have to like jimmy the door open. Like, that is not okay, you know? Yeah.
Karen Ortman 08:06
So, Sidney, how about you?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 08:10
So my story is very different. I was like, the bad child. Like I was the rebel. I was always doing stuff first. Like, I started drinking. I was 16. So we started drinking, we realized at the same time, I'm just like, on different
Karen Ortman 08:26
but she's four years older. So yeah,
Shay and Sydney Gomez 08:29
so I was thinking like, early, I never. I never thought I really had a problem or anything. But the last few years of me drinking, I would like, black out all the time. I was drinking maybe like, three times a week, three to four times a week, even just my own house, like drinking wine and stuff. And then I kind of like what made me realize, what am I doing was, I got my DUI, and I was like, I'm never drinking again. But then I started drinking again, because I was trying to like, cope with that. And I, I don't know, it was obviously not a good decision. I should have just ended then. But really, what did it was my last time drinking? I actually got roofied feed. And I was like, What am I doing? Like, why am I putting myself in these positions that I don't even know what's going in my drink?
Karen Ortman 09:24
Shay and Sydney Gomez 09:25
So Shay at the time was, what was it like a month or? Yeah, she was like, a month and of not drinking. And I was like, I'm just I'm not gonna drink. I'm just gonna see how that goes.
Karen Ortman 09:37
Yeah. So how did you want to talk to each other about what was going on in your lives and the fact that you were, you know, having these embarrassing moments and blacking out. And both of you seem to come to the decision that you need to look at how alcohol was affecting your life. Did you ever talk about it?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 09:58
Not really. I I mean, I think at that point when we were drinking and stuff, you just kind of like, oh, yeah, I'm so hungover. Like, you're kind of like laughing about it. And like, Oh, I'm at work, and I'm so hungover, like something you have in common in a weird way. Yeah. We all have like the same drinking patterns, like we'll drink and then we'll get blacked out. And then we'll have like, anxiety the next day, and then we're thinking about everything we said. So our drinking patterns are really, really similar. Yeah.
Karen Ortman 10:25
Did your experiences with alcohol, you're blacking out? Or you saying something that you don't recall the next day? Did it ever adversely affect you, um, academically, in school, or professionally? In your job?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 10:47
Um, I mean, I think, I think professionally, you could say, um, and I guess academically because I was drinking at the end of my senior year, and I remember I went to school for musical theater. And, um, and I remember we all went out the night before, like our dance final, let me just say, I was not so good at the dance the next morning. Is that time you kind of laugh it off, let me oh, well, it's funny, you're talking about, like, these moments that bring you together and all of these things. And so you think it's like normal that like, Oh, it's so funny that I like don't remember that. Or, you know, and then fast forward to New York. Obviously, when you go into an audition room, and you're singing, like alcohol affects your voice, if you're dry, if you're dehydrated, all of these things. Um, so, you know, even if alcohol, you know, didn't necessarily affect an audition for me, it still be in my head, like, maybe I didn't hit that note as well, because I had a glass of wine two nights ago, like, it was on my mind.
Karen Ortman 11:52
Shay and Sydney Gomez 11:55
And I definitely went to work hungover and had to work like doubles. And I was miserable. And I'd have to go sit in the bathroom stall. And, you know, like, that's just not like, my quality of life was not as good as it could have been. And I was the one in control of it. Right, you know,
Karen Ortman 12:10
right. Geographically, you're both in California?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 12:15
Mm hmm. Right now. Okay. And moving back to New York on Friday.
Karen Ortman 12:20
Oh, you sure you are? Yeah. Okay. And Sydney, you're staying on the West Coast? Yes. Okay. How about your family? Did your did your parents or any other relatives, close family friends? Think that there was a problem with either one of you when drinking around them?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 12:49
I don't. I mean, I don't think so. But the thing is, my drinking was really when I was away from the house. I wasn't drinking, like, in my family home. Um, so our parents are divorced, and I'm very close to my mom, like I talked to every day. Um, but you know, she doesn't get to see me stumbling home at night or anything like that, because I was in my own apartment in New York. So, you know, I definitely have times where I'd like FaceTime her like hysterical after a night out of drinking. And I think that was probably really scary for her like, also having a daughter alone in New York. And like, the fact that I would take taxis or Ubers home drunk and not remember, like, any parent is going to be nervous when you're, your daughter or son is off on their own somewhere for their safety, but especially when drinking is involved. That is really, really scary. Yeah.
Karen Ortman 13:46
And Sidney, how about you?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 13:48
Um, mine was a bit different. Since I started drinking at such a young age. My mom was just, like, thrown off because the other two girls didn't do that. So she thought that something was wrong with me, she would get me like, she picked me up from friends houses and like breathalyze me. And yeah, I think it was really hard for her to navigate at first because she didn't know what to do. And I don't know. I think it's also like, on top of all of that, it's like, you know, not only is our drinking affecting us and all of this, but like at the timeline of everything. Like our parents had just gotten separated. My mom was trying to figure things out on her own Sid and, our mom's name is Carol, we call her Miss Carol. Sid and Carol are like living together. And so I'm sure it was like, Oh my gosh, my daughter's off at these parties. And I know she had to like go to parties and physically take Sydney out. Um, so I think my mom got to see Sydney's drinking and like firsthand, which is really, really probably scary for a parent to see your daughter and Sid always, you know, was with the fast crowd of girls. You know, they're always like having the parties have the boys over drinking, oh always rebelling.
Karen Ortman 15:03
you get to a point both of you. And there's a four year age difference where you come to the realization that your relationship with alcohol is not healthy. What steps did you take when you decided that your relationship was not healthy? With alcohol?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 15:21
do you want to go first? Um, you can go first. So for me, again, I was living with my partner at the time, what really, you know, a lot of people say that they have like a rock bottom, or like the last straw before they, you know, as their wake up call to stop drinking. But I don't know if that's necessarily true for me. But we did go to a wedding with an open bar. And I took full advantage of the open bar. And, you know, just embarrassed myself and I was there his friends from high school there. And I was really, really anxious going into this wedding. And so, you know, what did I do to cope with any emotions, I didn't want to feel I would drink. So I was drinking before I was drinking during I went to the after party, I was like, falling at the bar. I called myself an Uber home, I was crying hysterically all night, like, and I had the worst hangover ever. And I was just kind of like, I can't do this anymore. Like, this is not okay, behavior. I'm not only embarrassed of myself, I'm embarrassing my partner. I'm doing things that like, make no sense like calling myself Uber, like, I don't know what I was doing. And so from then on, I kind of was like, I need to take a significant break, I've done one month breaks. And obviously, nothing has changed with my relationship with alcohol. So I committed to a three month break. And that is where everything changed for me. I turned to a friend who is sober, and he, you know, went through AA and that's something that I didn't personally do. But I was able to lean on him for support. I looked on Instagram, I would you know, hashtag sober, curious, hashtag sober. And I found these amazing sober accounts with these women who were like young as well. And like, looked really happy. And I was like, Oh, wow, this is totally doable. I read Quizlet, which is quit literature. And I started with the book, this naked mind by Annie grace, and oh my gosh, that helped change my life as well. I got rid of all the alcohol in my apartment, I stopped my fridge with booze free options. So that when a craving occurred, which of course, you know, those three months were definitely navigating cravings and navigating what life looked like without alcohol. You know, I had something to pour in my glass instead of alcohol. And so that's really where things changed for me. And then I just kept extending that break. I was like, Oh, I have like a performance. Let me just do another week. Let me do another Yeah. And I think, you know, finally hit me that this is something I want to do forever. And I was really scared, because committing to forever sounds very final and scary and very unknown. But um, I knew it's what was best for me. And I started the Instagram page, no booze, babes when I was six months sober. And that's been amazing to connect with other people who are in the same position. other young women. Yeah. I mean, you just don't realize from all over the world. And yeah, so I have really been sober ever since going on over two years now.
Karen Ortman 18:39
Congratulations. Thank you, is outstanding. Good for you. I was going to ask you that. So you're 29 When you were 27 is when you started your sobriety. Sidney How about you?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 18:54
Um, for me, I think it was like getting the DUI, and then my last night drinking. And I just had a realization of like, what am I doing? What am I putting in my body like this is there has to be a better way to live. And when Shay was like on her break and stuff, and she was always telling us like how amazing it was, and I was like, okay, yeah, I think I can do that. So the steps I took was I kind of took myself out of social situations for a while. Like, instead of going out with my co workers after work, I would just go home, and I also like stocked up on no booze beverages as well. Like I always had something in my fridge that like I could grab instead of like, a lot of times at night I used to have wine and just like watch Netflix. I don't know why that sounds so weird now um, so I would have something like instead maybe like a sparkling water and on alcoholic beer. And then after maybe like a month I was like, This is amazing. Like, this is the way I'm supposed to live my life. Everything was so much easier like going to work Going to sleep, working out. I could like listen to my body and everything. And yeah, I guess there's no turning back anymore. And I'll be two years sober next month.
Karen Ortman 20:12
Congratulations. To be celebrated for sure. That's wonderful. So you were 23? Yeah. Right. So, Shay you mentioned earlier, you made an interesting comment about a stigma surrounding sobriety. So what does that mean?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 20:35
So there I feel like there is such a negative stigma around sobriety, again, going back to that image, like someone who's like stumbling around and like, has bottles clinging and you know, clinking together in their purse, you know what, sometimes that's someone's journey. That was not mine. And so a huge reason why I started no booze babes is because I want to normalize and glamorize being booze free, because I have never felt more beautiful in my own skin, more connected to my body, like Sydney said. Because you can actually listen to your body. You're not like, am I sick? Or am I just hung over? You know? I mean, sleep improves, just being clear headed and being present for your own life is huge. When I didn't want to deal with things I would turn to alcohol when I was stressed when I didn't do well at an audition when I whatever you name it, there's always an excuse to drink, whether that's celebrating whether that's I had a great day, I had a terrible day. It's the weekend. It's a Monday, and I need it, you know, like there's always another reason and I think just normalizing being boots free and having booze free options. I talk about that a ton on no booze babes. Because personally for my journey, and it's not everyone's I'm okay with having like non alcoholic beer and non alcoholic wine. There are so many amazing booze free beverage companies, and it is skyrocketed during COVID I feel like there's always new, like booze free spirits or this or that. So I never feel like I'm missing out. And I think that's a huge thing. When it comes to drinking. You feel like it's such a social thing. It connects people really it like disconnected me from myself drinking because I wasn't me. And things become a blur and you do and say things you don't remember or would never do. So it's so interesting that people think like, that's how I fit in. That's how I this like, don't you want people to like, know you for you. And I think it's a beautiful thing to be your true self all the time.
Karen Ortman 22:41
Yeah. I see nothing wrong with that. Sydney. I mean, your peer group? I mean, Shay, you're only 29. Not much older Sydney, you're 25? How does your peer group accept the fact that you don't drink? Do you socialize with other people who also don't drink? Do you socialize with people who do? And what is their response to your sobriety? Now?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 23:16
I think in the beginning, when I started, when I stopped drinking, and then I started to introduce myself back into social situations, people just thought I was still like taking a break. So they're like, oh, like, you're still on the break. And I was like, yeah, like I'm, whatever, 90 days in or whatever it was. So I think that made it really easy, because then people just like, started to see me without a drink. Um, and I don't really have any problems with anyone around me. I have lost some friends because of it. Because I realized like, oh, they only invited me out to drink. Or we were only friends, if I'm drinking, which is really a thing you have in common. You kind of realize, like, oh, we just do this together and we don't really talk about deep things. Yeah, then you your friends are like some of my friends. One of my friends will bring like, non alcoholics for me, and we'll always have something for me. And I'm like, That is like the nicest thing ever, because it's always nice to have an option to feel like you're included as well. And then my boyfriend doesn't drink so that's really nice. And that's who I'm with most of the time. And but yeah, you definitely see relationships change and see who really wants to be with you like genuinely and not just with you going out and getting sloppy with them.
Karen Ortman 24:32
Do you find that many of your peers are pursuing a non alcohol lifestyle.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 24:44
I think a lot of them are like definitely looking at their relationships with alcohol or even we saw like a shift in our mom like she was like, oh, like don't have to have a drink like that happy hour or whatever it is. And a lot of our friends have been trying like our non alcoholics or when they come over to my I place all I have is non alcoholic. So obviously that's what they're having. And I've seen some of my friends actually pick up the non alcoholic instead of the alcoholic drink because they're like, oh, I want to have fun. But I also like, want to be able to wake up tomorrow. Yeah. So I kind of shift like it kind of opens up doors for other people when you're talking about it, or you're bringing non alcoholics because they have a chance to do that and be like, Oh, wait, I could just start buying this instead. So I've definitely seen that shift. Yeah, I think a lot of people don't realize how many booze free options there are. So I mean, I could have I mean, I have a full like booze free. Crazy. Like, I have a whole a whole thing of booze free options. And I think people don't realize like, wow, there's alcohol free beer, or there's alcohol free tequila, like, yeah, things are happening, there are changes. And what's been cool to see too is different restaurants. I'm having like a zero proof menu or carrying more alcohol free options. But let me tell you when we go out to eat like we're the first ones to be like, Do you have a non alcoholic beer? What cocktails can you make without alcohol? Like, making it more normal to ask these questions that I think people are more fearful of? Because it's not as quote unquote, normal? Right? But like Sid said, I think you also see different friends or even people who have reached out like, wow, like, thank you so much for sharing your story. Like, I'm questioning my relationship. And, you know, to see someone that I know, doing this and being happy like it makes me think I can do the same thing. So I think us speaking our truth is allowing other people to speak their right.
Karen Ortman 26:40
Do you ever see yourself going back to alcohol?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 26:44
Hell, no. One's gonna taste of this life of like, wow, like I'm present. I haven't had hangovers in over two years. I'm like, blacking out. I'm not saying weird things to people like, oh, no, no, no, I and, again, booze free options. Like I'm gonna be toasting some booze free bubbly at my future wedding one day, you know? Yeah. So
Karen Ortman 27:06
could you be with somebody who consumes alcohol?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 27:11
Yeah, I mean, I personally don't want to be with somebody who alcohol is a huge part of their life. But my, my ex boyfriend drank and I was totally fine with that. But I am like, embarking on this new chapter of moving back to New York this week. And also sober dating, which is a whole other thing that I'll be talking about a lot on no booze babes. And we'll be talking a lot about on our podcast, but um, you know, sober situations are one thing, but also, you know, dating and finding a future mate. Mate, it's gonna, it's gonna just weed out the people who are not meant for me, which is, I feel like it's the same for kind of friendships that people can't accept you for you and for you not drinking, then that's not, those aren't your people.
Karen Ortman 27:56
I hear you. So talk to me about the real sisters of sobriety podcast. It's wonderful. Educational. Funny. You are your authentic selves. So tell me about the genesis of the podcast and how you think it has impacted your listeners?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 28:34
Well, it kind of all started originally before no booze, babes. The Instagram community was born, I approached Sid about doing an Instagram page together like sober sisters. And this way we could keep each other accountable, it could connect us because at the time I was in New York, she was in California. And you know, just introduce us to this amazing community of people. And so we did that together for like, a couple of weeks. And then Sydney was like, I'm out like, you got this. So I kind of took over no booze baby. I'm not good at social media so.... But I think we still wanted a way for us to connect and share our story and share, you know, everyday things that happened, whether that's going out and ordering a non alcoholic, whether that's going on a date, whether that's, you know, whatever scenario we're presented with. And so then the podcast is born. And we love our reality television. We love our real housewives and all of that. So that's kind of like our name is, you know, a little spin on that the real sisters of sobriety because we don't need an alcoholic drink to tell you what we really think. And you just like to keep it real. We often ask our audience what questions they have or different scenarios that they've been in where they've felt like, Oh, help, I could use some advice on this. And we really want the podcast to just be real unfiltered. And also for you to feel like you're talking to two of your best friends like you you're just right there with us in the table. Well, I think it's so special too, that we have each other through this. So to be able to share it with other people, and hopefully they could feel like, they're one of the sisters as well. And it kind of got created when it was like, really deep COVID times, and people were drinking a lot. And I think it really helped people to like, listen and be like, Okay, I'm going through that too, or like, whatever it is, and kind of gave them steps. And like, laughs as well, because we are so weird. And we listened toit and I was like, did we say that, but we are just our true selves. And I just hope people can like relate to it.
Karen Ortman 30:39
And you get a lot of feedback from your, from your listeners.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 30:43
Yeah, they're like when season two, which is great feedback of, again, it's like, I think it can feel so lonely at first to be like, where do I begin with cutting alcohol out of my life? Who do I turn to? And I think the podcast is another reminder for people that they're not alone. It's also two girls in their 20s, which is like, you know, your 20s of your time where, you know, you're turning 21 And you're like drinking and dancing, and whatever. And you know, to have two girls who, you know, you can kind of relate to and who are in, you know, certain scenarios that you would be in as well. It just, again, shows that you're not alone. And we just keep it real.
Karen Ortman 31:25
Yeah. And I think there's more of you than people really realize those who are seeking sobriety at a younger age, you know, not just the older alcoholic person, you know. So I think what you're doing is great, which is of course why I wanted to meet with you and talk to you today. So tell me what is the most interesting non alcoholic drink that you consume? Because maybe I'll try it to
Shay and Sydney Gomez 32:01
the most interesting really a better one. I mean, we are like also sometimes you know, people are really fancy with the mocktails we love a mocktail but they take a lot of work, you know, and I'm not a mixologist. I love just like grabbing a non alcoholic beer Heineken 0.0 is one of my favorites and it's pretty accessible just because Heineken has a lot of money. Big brand. So that I also love like a non alcoholic sparkling whether that be like a Rose or just like a sparkling white. I have some favorites. One is groovy Starla which is like a really bougie beautiful bottle and great brand. But then when we go out to I think people get scared about ordering out I still order like a virgin spicy Margarita with a teen rim. Like you can still do all these things without alcohol. So yeah, I guess I was kind of like a simple answer, because I just love to like kind of grab and enjoy. Yeah, yeah. I usually have like a non alcoholic beer. I love Oh Jewles, which is like the classic turn around. Yeah, yeah. Like, Budweiser. And so kinda reminds me of that. I also do like the Budweiser non alcoholic. Um, yeah, I order like that on alcoholic margaritas as well, which is really nice, but I'm not really mixing up drinks or anything. Also, when I go out, sometimes I'll literally just get a sparkling water, just to have something. I like that too. Yeah, put it in a wine glass, maybe yeah, a little a little squeeze of lime, maybe a little slash cran. If you're feeling fancy.
Karen Ortman 33:38
I would like each of you to speak to your personal philosophy on sober living and what it has meant for you and sort of contrast that to life prior to sobriety.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 33:57
For me, um, when I think about when I used to drink, it looks very dark to me. Like I don't know, I picture like it in a movie. And it looks very dim and dark. And I picture like me going out and drinking and it's not like, lit up. It's not during the day. It's not a happy. It's kind of a weird thought. But now I feel like I feel so free. And I feel like it's like the end of the fairytale when you find not your person but yourself. So I just feel like, I don't know, I feel so beautiful. And I've never felt like this before. I've never had this confidence and I would think like when I would drink I'm like, Oh, if I have a few drinks, I'll feel confident but it was actually putting down the drink that gave me all the confidence that I was looking for. So like I said it's like a nightmare and then a fairy tale like that's what I compare it to because that's how I see it my head for some reason.
Karen Ortman 34:55
Beat that Shay, cuz that beautiful
Shay and Sydney Gomez 34:58
I'm like and the tears coming down my face. Um, I think overall, being booze free deserves to be celebrated a ton of times, you know, when we think of a celebration, we think of a celebratory toast, we think of alcohol, we think of all these things, but to really, you know, pull back the curtain, the alcohol, you know, the haze, that alcohol. I feel like I've like, I mean, it sounds so stupid, but like seeing the light, like, I feel beautiful in my own skin, I feel connected to myself, I, I have no shame. In my sober game, I am so proud. You know, so when people approach me or they find out, I don't drink, I found so much confidence in sobriety. Because I feel like I know who I really am. And I've actually taken the time to do the work on myself to go to therapy to, you know, see what makes me happy, who make me happy. And really, alcohol was getting in the way of that I would turn to it for many different reasons. And it held me back from getting to know my true self and, and I think my true selves pretty great without without the booze fog.
Karen Ortman 36:17
I love it. I love it. Is there anything that we haven't talked about today that you would like to share with our listeners?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 36:28
Hmm, I think I'd like to say, I feel like we try to do this with the podcasts for people to kind of see early on before you have like the pressure of drinking and stuff that there is another option. Like you don't have to do that you could, like seek someone or talk to someone because I think I was so pressured when I was younger, and I was like, in a bad place in my life with my parents divorce that I felt like, I don't know, I felt like I had to do that or something. But there is another way and you don't have to feel like you're alone. And there's always people out there. We're out there. There's so many different Instagrams, there's so many people you can reach out to that. I don't know, I just think I wish I would have done this sooner. So if someone could figure that out earlier, would be great.
Karen Ortman 37:15
Yeah. And if anybody had any questions for either one of you, they could always reach out to you through your Instagram account.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 37:22
Yes, absolutely. Yeah. I think also, I think we briefly touched upon this earlier but you don't have to hit a rock bottom or you don't have alcohol doesn't have to become a problem for you for you to cut it out of your life. If you are already thinking hey, you know what, I don't know if I'm going to show up as my best self if I'm drinking I don't like the way it makes me feel that is completely valid. And I think we get so swept up in you know social situations and alcohol is so glamorized. Oh my gosh, advertisements. I mean, every social event there's a bar or there's an open bar there's this or there's that but like, really like getting sober or just not drinking. You don't even have to call yourself sober. Don't be intimidated by that word. You can say point I don't drink. I'm hangover free. I'm a no booze babe. Like, you don't have to call yourself anything that doesn't feel true to you. But if you're questioning your relationship with alcohol, there are other ways for you to go forward in your life. reach out for support, set yourself up for success with booze free options. Read quit literature. Feel free to slide into my DMs on no booze, babes. If you want a support group where you talk to other like minded people, non judgmental, I can definitely send you some resources. But also Yeah, we're here for you. And you can listen to the podcast when you're feeling you know, alone or when you're feeling like your friends just aren't getting it because like we're your friends. We're here for you.
Karen Ortman 39:00
I love it. That's wonderful. Before we go speak a little bit about quit literature and where people can find it.
Shay and Sydney Gomez 39:08
So quit literature. It is what it sounds like. It is um, you know, quitting alcohol and
Karen Ortman 39:15
it's specific to alcohol?
Shay and Sydney Gomez 39:18
Yes, okay. I think alcohol and drugs Yeah. For me, I went to you know, more like the alcohol route. I can just throw out a couple books that I recommend this naked mind by Annie grace. Sober curious by Ruby Warrington. She also has a podcast which is great. The sober lush what other good ones quit like a woman by Holly Whitaker alcoholic split explained. And there's so many more I actually have an Instagram post on it, but I'm happy to send you more after this.
Karen Ortman 40:00
I am interested if you could just email it to me. Thank you so much. And thank you to my guests. I'm so happy to have met you today and had this conversation. It's a really important conversation, especially for listeners who are questioning whether or not they wish to question their own relationship with alcohol. And to hear two younger people talk about it, I think you're providing an amazing service for for people who need to hear everything that you have to say. So I thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you once again. So thank you again to my guests, Shane Sydney and to all of our listeners for joining us for today's episode of You matter if any information presented was triggering or disturbing. Please feel free to contact the wellness exchange at 212-443-9999 or NY US Department of campus safety and their victim services unit at 212-998-2222. Please share like and subscribe to you matter on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or tune in