12oz of Sobriety

Interview: Roxanne McDonald, Comedian & Life Coach

August 16, 2022 Pat, Robbie, and Carson Season 1 Episode 16
12oz of Sobriety
Interview: Roxanne McDonald, Comedian & Life Coach
Show Notes Transcript

In this interview episode, we talk with Comedian & Life Coach, Roxanne McDonald, to discuss her 25 years in sobriety. We get into what has kept her sober for over 9,000 days and what lead her to comedy.

To find more on Roxanne, visit her website at Roxannerecoverycoach.com, or e-mail her at Roxanne@Roxannerecoverycoach.com

Want to see her perform?
Check her out on August 27th at the Ain't She Funny Comedy Show at Booth Play House in Charlotte. For more information or tickets, please visit www.blumenthalarts.org.

See Roxanne regularly on the Funny Bus in Charlotte: Visit funnybus.net


 Salute. And welcome to 12 ounces sobriety podcast. My name's pat sharp here with my wonderful cohost Carson. Woodell welcome Carson. We have an awesome show for you. As we had mentioned last week, we have an interview coming up in just a minute.

Uh, check in real quick, Carson you're I'm past five months. Now it means your past four, correct? Yes, we are. I think we're within one month. We just discovered recently. So you're exactly 31 days apart. I am. Yeah. I am a little bit over four months here. So I'm at 126 days. According to my, I am sober app.

Mine's 158 days. So I guess we're 32 days apart. Hell yeah, dude. Hell yeah. So just hit the five month. Mark actually picked up five month chip on Saturday, three days after my five month. Celebration. Cause I only go to most meetings. I go to only do 30, 60, 96 months, nine months. Yeah. In year chips. But I do go to one on Saturday nights and they have a chip for each month that you are sober.

So yeah. Went in, pick one up. And so that was exciting. And if you aggregate our days, we're almost at a year. Yes. Yes. We're getting closer. A lot of soberness in this house.  and as they say one day at a time, one day at a time as always give us five star reviews on apple or Spotify, five checks out on Instagram or Twitter, 12 ounces.

So variety podcast. And if you have any questions, comments, concerns, anything like that. Please shoot us an email at 12 ounces, sobriety pod, gmail.com. Again. We are about to hop in this episode. Um, we ask great episode with somebody that has a, a lot of time in sobriety and ha has really kind of focused their life around sobriety.

And so we're super excited about that. Um, if you guys have any questions after the interview that you want to ask us, we can always reach out, , you know, send us an email, shoot us a direct message on Instagram or Twitter. And with that, we'll get to the interview. Absolutely . We are, , hanging out in Plaza Midwood right now.

It's my old stomping grounds. I'm very happy to be back. Uh, you know, there gentrifying the hell out of this area, but you know, there are a lot of, there are a lot of great, uh, a lot of roots here and, uh, we love this place so very happy to be here. And, , without further ado, I'm going to welcome our very special guest.

, her name is Roxanne McDonald. She is a local comedian, very funny. , and, uh, she also is. , life coach, a therapist within the addiction realm. She specializes in assisting families, um, get through, you know, some trying times when it comes to addiction and the everyday struggles of life. , so be sure to check her out and if you are, you know, looking for any extra assistance or , addiction or whatever that may be, you know, please feel free to look her up and reach out to her. But Roxanne, thank you so much for joining the show. We're very happy to have you. I am so super excited to be here. Thanks so much for having me so real quick, what did he leave off of your introduction?

Yeah. Tell me what exactly you all do because there's a bunch, say it better than I could've ever said. So, um, I am, I do life coaching, but I do specialize in, um, addiction, recovery. I work with, , people who have a substance use disorder, but I also work with families, , families who are struggling to support a loved one in a healthy way.

I do interventions.  um, primarily I don't work in a clinical environment any longer I'm in private practice. So I just do coaching interventions. And then I do some, um, aftercare case management stuff as well. , in addition to being a comic, I got into comedy to be a recovery comic. Um, comedy has been a passion of mine forever, so, , it's fun to be able to sit down and kind of do something creative.

Yeah. I mean, so, you know, comedy obviously plays a, a, a large role in most of our lives. I know pat and I are, are big fans of it,  so Roxanne, you know, you, you obviously do comedy. We're big, we're big fans of comedy. Um, where do you see that being a fit and how that can be beneficial for, you know, really people in their everyday lives or people that are struggling with addiction?

I mean, is that a coping mechanism to your personal viewpoint? Or how do you really see that in that particular light?  so, um, I think comedy is my superpower. I think it's my superpower because, , in my profession I'm able to disarm people. I'm able to I'm relatable. I think I can, , make you feel safe. I can make you feel like you could tell me anything.

,  I think if you're laughing, you're healing. That's what I think. And I had the privilege of, , of using it in a therapeutic environment and I got to see what it did. And it went something like this. You could probably relate to this. , I was running group, uh, I was, uh, running a group in a treatment.

And it was one of those days, I call it peeing in the punch bowl. You know, somebody did not being a band Mo and just peed in the punch ball and everybody was hamming a band day. And I was like, oh, like, I don't even wanna be here right now. Right. So I just, I didn't, I didn't even know what to do. I just started screaming everybody outta your chair, outta your chair.

I didn't even know what I was gonna do. I just knew I had to change the energy. Right. Because it, and um, so what I started doing was I started doing improv, but I didn't tell 'em I was doing improv. And what I witnessed was people who suffered with anxiety and depression, all of a sudden came to life. And I was like, oh my gosh, what's happening right now.

And then I started playing with that. And what I saw was people who were anxious are anxious.  uh, about being themselves, they can get up and they can talk about, they can pretend to be a tree, have a golf swing. Talk about you, be aunt may. I mean, they can do it's being themselves that made them feel so anxious.

So I found a way to draw them out. And I also saw the people who really suffered with depression, like just come alive. And I was like, what's happening. So I just started playing with it and playing with it. And what I found was.  that I could teach them without telling them what I was doing  that they could think on their feet because let's face it.

If we're sitting in a 12 step meeting and it's going around, what are you doing? You're thinking, thinking, thinking about what you gonna say, what's your turn, right. And you've just checked out of the meeting, right? You're not even there because you're worried about what you're gonna say. Um, or you clam up and, and you can't say anything at all.

So what I taught them was is they could, they could think on their feet, they would survive. And what I knew was because I had so many years in recovery was that if I could teach them that, that it was more likely that they were gonna participate in support communities outside of a treatment center, because I had been I'm 20, I'll be 25 years sober.

This. Congratulations. Oh, thank you. It's over 9,000 days. She did. Yeah, she did the math beforehand. It's over 9,000 days. Yes. Over 9,000 days. And, um, and so I had seen so many new, so many people come into the rooms and, um, if they came, they sat in the back of the room , , and then just one day you would notice they weren't there anymore.

Right? You would just, they just weren't there one day. So I knew that if I could show them in this way, um, that they could participate in their own recovery, that they really had a much better chance of a positive outcome. Not only with the recovery, but with a life. I was going to get back to that. But you had mentioned 25 years sober.

I do  wanna back up a little bit, 25 years sober. What was your kind of sobriety story of why you chose to get sober? Or did you have a bottom? What exactly kind of led you into a life of sobriety? So, , I got sober, uh, October 8th, 1997, and I got sober because a California judge decided that my life , that was powerless, sober alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable.

And, uh, I had a California judge decided that, , I should do some time and a maximum security penitentiary, and I did, and that's how I got sober. I had my first meeting in a jail cell and I worked, uh, uh, I belonged to a 12 step fellowship. And, , I worked my 12 steps through the mail, , from a prison cell.

And that's how I did it. You know, what's interesting you about that. You say, I, I know somebody. And this person had been to rehab quite a few times. And, uh, that person had failed at it every time as well.  That person was faced with either jail time or going to rehab. And the judge was like, I'll give you, you can go to rehab and avoid jail.

And said, you know what? I wanna go to jail. , I've been to rehab and it hasn't worked for me. I'm hoping two years in jail will get me sober and it worked mm-hmm , which is crazy. Mm-hmm  well, um, it's, , it's a big deterrent. Let me tell you that.  um, I, I don't know. I just know it's something I'm not gonna do again.

It was, it was quite a deterrent for me. Now. Real quick on that too. I. With my alcoholism, my anxiety and depression were, I mean, that's, that's why I ended up getting sober just because I couldn't go on day in and day out because my anxiety and depression had just gotten so bad and I, the only way to fix it temporarily was to drink.

But then it would just keep coming back, keep coming backwards and worse. Did you struggle with anxiety at all when you were drinking? I did not. , but as a result of all the consequences of my drinking, I suffered massive, massive depression for about a decade, if I were honest about it. So it wasn't the, it wasn't the effects of alcohol itself.

It was the effects of what alcohol caused you to do. And those events that co you, that you, you know, lived through and the things that you did. Inherently caused depression and, and kind of in that maybe shamefulness not to put words in your mouth. Oh, guilt, shame, remorse. I mean, I had just, I had just torched everything.

I torched my life, the life of countless others around me. Um, I just had a horrible ripple effect in the world.  yeah. And I felt, you know, I so much guilt and shame over that. Yeah. I was going to get to was, you know, then once you're standing up in front of an audience full of people, you know, and did any of that pass.

Depression or anything like that sneak up on you or do you just feel free as a bird when you're on stage? No. Then you get to find out what judgment feels like.  okay.  yeah. You're like, Hey, bring on some judgment and failure. What, what I'm sure. I can't even imagine doing that. Well, yeah. I always thought it was ironic that in sobriety, I would turn to something that had mandatory failure in it.

I don't know. That's just always really surprised me because inherently were so failure adverse. Right. So to just walk in eyes wide open. Yeah. Let's bring on some judgment and, and just embracing failure at the forefront, you just said absolutely embracing it and, and, and enjoying it and learning from it.

Well, but here's the deals. I did it sober so sober. I can do anything. So this is what I discovered in recovery, um, is I could. Anything before that I couldn't get off a bar stool long enough to stop lying about all the things I was gonna do.  well. Right. And, and why is that? Do you think that, because I notice in 12 step meetings and stuff like that, people are so scared sometimes to succeed in sobriety as far as their life moving forward, because they've lived this life of just drama and disaster that finally you remove the alcohol and the drama is no longer there, but sometimes they it's like they have that mental block or that fear a little bit of success.

So I just, I, I only have my story and my story was is that, um, my story showed me exactly what misery and despair was, and I just, wasn't gonna sign up for that in recovery. Like. I knew what misery and despair was. And I just wanted to find out what happiness, joy, and freedom was. And probably freedom, I think was the biggest for me.

And that was. Discovering that I could do anything. My experiences as, as a clinician and sitting in groups with a lot of people that, you know, the, um, initial thought is that it's gonna be a life of, of lack a life of scarcity, a life of a life of limitation. And I am here to tell you I have gone on to do more with my life than I sat on that bar stool and lied about doing no  that's well said, fact,

Were there like, just to briefly go back to the time that you were in the, it was, so you stayed in California when you were in the penitentiary? Yes. Was that okay? That was there. Yes. Well, the state's the world's largest female penitentiary and the state's most dangerous.

Wow. Right. That is, that is something. Yeah. Um, so if there was any takeaways from there, whether it be the people that you were there with, whether it be, you know, the programs that you were in or, you know, really anything in your day to day life, was there any major takeaways that you apply to your life currently?

I mean, anything that you came out of there with that you were like, Oh, my goodness. I can apply this. And this is something that I'm gonna live by. So it's not the answer you're looking for, but it's my answer. And, uh, and I can tell you exactly what it was. Um, there was a day and, um, the day room was filled with people.

There were people everywhere, but there was no bullets flying. There was no Baton swinging. So I couldn't figure out what was going on. And I survived prison by just playing possum, like trying to be as invisible as possible. And so I waited, waited, waited, and as the day went on the crowd thin and thin to the end of the day, it was down to two lifers and they had their faces pressed up against this glass.

This one window, we had one window. And as you can imagine, they have, they've even managed to take mother nature away from you. When you look at all, you see is a sea of just poured rock. Right outside of that window though, a bunny had come and made a nest of babies and there was these two lifers who have since died behind those walls.

And I walked up and, um, and I remember this lifer just saying, thank you, God. Thank you for showing me this. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to witness this. And it was in that moment that I knew cuz I had gone, um, before I was sentenced, I went to out to a 12 step fellow.  and, um, and I knew that if I worked, um, a program, that there was a chance for me that I had a life and I knew that they didn't.

Mm. And so it was this really defining moment for me that I either dug in and I did the work and I did what it took, um, to get this thing called recovery, , or that I was gonna languish like one of these women. And I just looked down at those bunnies and they represented hope and possibility and life.

And, , and I started working, , a program of recovery and, um, working to become, I wasn't gonna let my legacy be that girl. My legacy was gonna be that I was gonna go out helping others. Wow. Now you started a 12 step program in jail. And then when you got out, did you just hop right back into, you know, working that program as well, finding meetings and finding a sponsor.

Did you have a sponsor while you were in. Absolutely. I got a sponsor before I went, I worked the 12 steps through the mail. , I was told, , to go to a meeting within 24 hours and I did, and the arms of my 12 step fellowship were there waiting for me. , I'll never forget. It probably took me half an hour to get through the front door.

They all wrote to me, they were my inspiration. There is a, I brought a service commitment to Charlotte in, um, 2006. I'm very proud of it. We still have it here today and it's called, , correspondence and corrections. And it's a way for you to be a pen pal with somebody who is institutionalized and you don't have to be a sponsor.

You could just be the message of hope and because somebody was willing to give of their time to me was a member. Of this fellowship. , I was able to work the 12 steps. And so I came out, um, with the 12 steps under my belt, and I went to a meeting within the first 24 hours. That's awesome. Yet, one thing that we've been trying to get a, across to people, because sometimes we, these, some of these programs, like a 12 step program, some people for some reason have like a negative connotation of it.

And we're trying to get people to understand like how great of a community, a 12 step program and going to meetings it and finding that home group I've, I've noticed for myself, I have a home group and it's like having an extension of your. Well, I couldn't agree more. I mean, I've been around here for almost a century, I guess.

Um, and I have, I have seen, oh, I've seen it all. I can't tell you how many hospital rooms,  I've been in where we have supported somebody who's, whether it was themselves or their kids that got sick. I've been hospital rooms, funerals, weddings. I mean, I have celebrated my community and my family for 25 years.

That's the way I feel about it. , but I'm gonna go get a little old school on you and say, you know, what it takes, what it takes. And the reality is is you're not ready until you're ready. And if I'm not ready, I can find something wrong with a piece of chocolate. Let me say, I found a piece of chocolate I'm fell in love with, um, so if you're not ready, you're not ready. , and I would say this as a recovery coach, you know, there's a lot of different pathways to recovery. Personally. I support you, right where you are. My deal is I'll support you. Why? Right where you're at today, but how do we move forward? How do we get to the goal and the goal being whether your goal is, is harm reduction or it's abstinence.

Um, I'm a 12 stepper. It worked for me. Now the people you work with on the professional side, are they generally new to sobriety or are they people that have long term sobriety where where's your kind of sweet spot that you find sweet spot.

I think a sweet spot would be somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired.  because, um, my personal experiences is that I've never experienced change personally, that didn't come from a place of pain. I had to be in enough pain to be willing, to make a change. And it's my experience, whether it's a person with a substance use disorder, whether it's a family member that has just said, look, I've tried everything, nothing I do works.

I'm willing to try another way. So I think the answer is somebody who is just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Is there anything in particular that you would like, you know, just as encouragement to folks listening that may not deal with addiction themselves? But have family members, like you just said are loved ones that are dealing with addiction that, um, you feel would be worth sharing just as a, you know, just to be able to help in, in terms of, you know, I I've done this, I've done that.

I've gone to these groups. I, I can't seem to get this person, whether it be a husband, a wife, uh, you know, a loved one, how can I get them? Or how can I get in the right particular place that I need to be in? I mean, is there anything that you see on a daily basis that traditionally helps or doesn't help or is it really a case by case basis?

So I'll just kind of speak to the overarching. Um, the overarching thing is, is why should I change? Why should I work a program? Why should I make any behavioral changes? When my loved one is the one with the, a. And what we know statistically is is that if a family, the family system, as we call it, gets into recovery, uh, the person with a substance use disorder has a 50% chance of a, of a positive outcome.

You and I were in treatment busting a pulse to get what three, seven, 10% chance of, of a positive outcome. Yeah. And they add 50%, um, chance of a positive outcome by getting into recovery themselves. Like that is huge. That's a fact that most people do not know. I didn't know that there you go. They don't know that that's bringing a lot to the table.

And I think what a lot of people don't know, um, and what I help people learn is that you can really empower yourself so much through healthy communication. Like, I can say something to you that you just shut down in a second. And it's like, oh, wa, wa, wa. Right. And you never hear me. I can also say it in a way that is safe.

And you're like, okay, cool. I'll listen to what she's got to say. Right. So even just starting that, like coming together, um, so that as a family, we can start rebuilding trust so

that we can help support each other. Yeah. And I, I think it's, it's important to notice cuz this is something I remember learning in treatment in the rehab, uh, program I went through is, you know,  I was the one caught up in the substance abuse, my alcoholism, however, , my family was going through that as well.

Mm-hmm  of course I didn't see it at and as addicts we don't because. We have blinders on, we only care about one thing and that is our using, and that's kind of one thing I learned a little bit was, you know, encompassing everybody surrounding you into a program because they need treatment as well, because they've been dealing with, you know, lies in deception and everything like that for so long.

It's, it's, it's a horrible place to be in.  imagine. So my first husband died of alcoholism. Um, I have family member and sub with substance use issues that I've been, , in a relationship for a number of years. And it is so hard to watch someone. You love a turn into somebody you don't even know anymore. I mean, somebody that you.

could trust with your life to somebody that you can no, you can no longer trust when you leave the room. It's incredibly hard, hard process to go through. And of course, when you love, you know, denial is fierce protection, right? So we're gonna go to any lengths to try and get you better. For some of us, we feel like it's our, as a, certainly if it's in a parental role, we feel like it's our job.

Like we're not even doing our job if we're not trying to do that. Well, I know from the family weekend that we had, uh, again, where I was at treatment at one thing that they were harping on a little bit is two things. One it's the substance abuser. They can't help it. They do not want to be an addict. I assure you that.

And two, it's not your fault talking to the family member and kind of trying to get those two things and mesh them together a little bit. Well, and a lot of that comes from education, right? So education is a huge piece. Um, I know the place that you're talking about, they have a great family program. They do, , education is everything, right?

Because if you steal from me, like if, I mean I've had my car stolen, I've had, um, my grandmother's gold coin. Collection stolen. I mean, some real FA important family heirlooms have gone. And, and so it's really hard for someone without the education piece to not look at that and go, that was a really crappy thing to do.

How is that? How is that? Not willpower. Yeah. How did you not walk into my bedroom and help yourself? Seems very malicious. Very malicious. It does. Yeah. But you and I know, right. That our brain was hijacked, right. It was hijacked. Um, it changes, you know, risk and reward and how we see things, you know, we believe that we needed it to survive. So recently, you know, actress, Anne hay had just, she just passed away and by all counts, it seems drinking and drug related car crash that, that ultimately led to it.

And so reading articles, new AR news articles. And then I would look in the comment section and, and people were so harsh towards her because she had been drinking and doing drugs and. I made a point to comment on them. I was like, listen, if you're not an addict and you don't know what it's like, you do not know what she's going through.

I assure you, she couldn't probably help herself at, at that point. She didn't. Yeah, she did not want to be in that position of life. And she, I mean, if you, if she had woke up one day and you gave her multiple choice, you know, test, uh, question and said, Hey, do you wish you had, you know, been addicted to drugs or been addicted to alcohol or been in a situation that forced you to be in that she would not have chosen that now it does suck.

And it is a shame, but the empathy that comes with having dealt with something like this, I think goes a long way. And you're able to understand where other people are coming from, because they're not doing it on purpose. No, a hundred percent. Not yet. She, I, yeah. I assure you people. It wasn't just because she just wanted to be a shitty person for the day that had nothing to do with it.

Yeah. Yeah. It does. As you just said, your, your brain gets hijacked. You know, I I've always, I've lived, I'm only 29 years old, but. Most of my life. I've always tried to, I don't try to lie. I don't. I try to live by a relatively sta you know, moral standard, but I lied my ass off. When I was in addiction. I was manipulative.

I was not a person that I intended on being, and it wasn't, it wasn't to hurt other people. I never wanted to hurt my wife. I never wanted to hurt my family. I never wanted to hurt my friends or anybody else that I loved. I just wanted to use. And whatever, by whatever means necessary, I was gonna do that.

And you have to look at that at that, you know, from that standpoint with other people they're hurting and to be able to understand that goes a long way and you're able, and that enables you to be able to help other people and to be able to use your outreach, to, to touch other lives and to be able to get through this together, cuz this it's a problem.

And Roxanne, I'm sure you can touch on this because it, it's kind of in my experience, when I look at kind of what led me down my path is, and, and we've talked about this on earlier, episodes is as an.  the only coping skills I had was drinking. So anytime a problem came up, I drank and you're just burying problems underneath alcohol.

When you do that and you're not solving anything, but at the same time, you don't know any better of how to even cope with anything. Cause you never learned those skills as an adult, a grade. I mean, I had my first drink. I think when I was 11 years old, I was, uh, a weekend drinker by 14 daily drinker by 16 and full blown blackout drinker by 19.

And, um, And, you know, I never had the intention, you know, I like what you shared because I feel the same way. I mean, when I finally hit my bottom and got sober, I was a mother, right. I was a, a mother. I actually had a relatively good career. , I know people think that that's not always the case. It was my case.

I had a decent career. It was a mom. Homeowner had all that. If you looked at me, you never would have thought mm-hmm . And, um, and you know, the deal is, is that whenever I took the, the plug out of the jug, I never knew what was gonna happen. I always knew what my intention was. My intention was I'm just gonna have one or two.

Um, but that's not the reality is when the plug comes out of the jug, I don't know what's gonna happen. I don't know if tonight's bottles, the lion bottle, the cheating bottle, the driving bottle, the shopping Bo like, I don't know what bottle it is. And, and I like what you said there, your intentions were to have one and two, and we all know for us one or two does not exist.

It just doesn't. And that's why we'll never, that's why it doesn't matter how long you've been sober. If you go back to drinking and say, I'm gonna try to control it with just having one or two here and there. It will never work because that doesn't exist in our brains. Well, you drink it and you want to feel good, but then after you feel a little good, you wanna feel better and then you wanna feel better.

And then, well, that's know when that goes. That's where the brain, it says gimme more. Yeah. The brain goes, sound, brain says that was better than I expected. Oh yeah.  oh my, oh my God. That was great. Give some more, imagine what we could do with a little bit of more of this, and then it just goes on and so on and forth, so forth.

So no, but, but you're absolutely right. I mean, if you really think about it, , you know, as we've mentioned, like we're not trying. To hurt other people. And you, you said, you know, you being a mother, you weren't, you weren't wanting to hurt anybody. You have a lot on your plate and you, and you said, I love that you said this, and we've talked about this numerous times and we've, we've made fun of ourselves for the depiction that we had on alcoholism or drug addiction, or quite frankly, just therapy in general.

When I walked in day one, I was like, I'm, I'm too successful for this. I'm not, I'm not, I'm not, Hey, by the way, guess what? I'm not the, uh, the CEO of fortune 500 company I'm relatively successful and that's it. A lot of people are, it has nothing to do with my addictions. It has nothing to do with my alcoholism alcoholism.

I. . Yeah. And I I've, I never knew that. Yeah. I just had this stigma in my head. You know, you think about people that might not have homes or might have abused. It's their fault. They did this. They shouldn't, you know, that's not true. Mm-hmm  now maybe, maybe for some people that is okay, there's always another, but for the majority of things, alcohol can hit you at any time and any life, any part of your life, mm-hmm  you have bad events that happen.

I know for me, COVID started it. When my dad went in the hospital, he was about to die. It went, it skyrocketed and I couldn't get away from it. And that happens to people all the time. And so understanding that again, I'm beating a dead horse, but I'm, we're gonna continue to beat the same dead horse over and over again, because we have to, it there's no re rhyme or reason, but you have to understand that you have to be able to empathize with it.

Not only for yourself, but other people and you have to work to get through it. It's an effort every single day. . So one of our reoccurring topics that we like to talk about just because it comes up so much is, you know, society's obsession with romanticizing alcohol, and we say it all the time.

Hell cracker barrel now sells beer in wine. Mm-hmm  and it really is tough to go anywhere without, you know, finding, I think your face is making me really sad.  Ooh, Roxanne. Oh, cracker barrel is now selling. No, I, I can one up you, you ready? Oh, I'd love to do one. Don't do it. Don't do it. Oh my yes. Cracker does you, you can now do, , children's birthday parties at breweries.

Yeah. Oh yeah. So this morning there is a bar, uh, very close to my office and I drove past there like eight 30 this morning. And because it was all the kids first day back at school. And so they had mommies and mimosa and there had to be a hundred people stand moms standing outside there drinking. I used to be one of 'em.

I started the first day of school with, with bottles of sangria. Yes, yes. I remember that now. Yeah. And that is very acceptable by our society's standards anymore. Yeah. I don't know. I feel like we're gonna going go off topic here, but the whole family friendly bar scene is it's just concerning to me. It's concerning to me as someone who has an addiction.

And it's a concern to me as, um, someone who works in the field of addiction. , I think it's really normalizing and socializing. So. Um, I mean the statistically, you know, not, everybody's gonna have a problem with, , alcohol or drugs, but for the percentage to 20% that are, they're gonna ha it's gonna have been normalized for them.

They're it's not gonna be a second thought for them to start drinking whether they're of age or not. If you take 'em to a bar every weekend. Yeah. I mean, it give it, it is handed to you and what are you gonna do after that? Yeah. Like, all right, well, I guess I might as well drink this. I wanna fit in, I wanna be a part of this, you know, fun, little camaraderie, this communion, and it just goes from there it's a snowball effect and then happens day in and day out.

And then here we all are. Yeah. Now let's kind of jump back towards your comedy career. I think of standup comedians and doing comedy shows and doing clubs. And I think those places as people drinking the crowd and everything like that, Does that bother you to perform for a room full of people, drinking, being a recovery and alcoholic and a sobriety coach makes it easier to make 'em laugh.

that's the first thing I thought of, you know, it's funny, that's funny you say that because we, we did this book review called alcohol explained by William Porter and it basically, he says in the book that alcohol makes you dumber mm-hmm  and you, you have to dumb yourself. That's why like, people are like, oh, this won't be any fun without alcohol it's because you have to make yourself dumber to enjoy like something like a mindless conversation with another drunken, moron, Roxanne.

I think you're objectively funny. I don't need alcohol to laugh at your jokes. I just wanted to say that, you know, thank thank you. Yeah. How dare are they think that alcohol is gonna make that your show fun. So I didn't start. So let me say this. I didn't start doing comedy until I was 14, 14 and a half years sober.

And I, and I'll tell you how I got into it. Absolutely. So, um, um, I was at a, I hit a bottom in recovery. I was, uh, 14, 14 and a half years sober and. I had a relationship that was, , dear to me, and this relationship was failing and it was a long term relationship and a primary relationship. And I didn't know what to do with all those feelings.

You know, I didn't have the luxury any longer of disappearing into a bottle. And I didn't know what to do with all those feelings. Um, drugs and alcohol were not an option for me. So I had to find a place where I could take all those feelings. I needed to find a healthy outlet. And honestly, that's how I found comedy.

I started doing open mics here in Charlotte and, , I just needed to get all this stuff out of me in a way that wasn't gonna be harmful to me. , I was taught by my program that if my, uh, if I, my motives were pure, that I could go anywhere that I wanted to go and I could do anything that I wanted to do.

Now, having said that. Would I recommend that a newcomer go to a bar? I would not, I was 14 and a half years sober at this time. Um, and I worked a strong program and I had a strong spiritual connection. , and my motives were pure. I would go, I didn't hang out with the people who were drinking. , I would hang out maybe in the green room, um, behind the curtain, uh, whatever it was.

I didn't go there and I didn't hang out with them before I didn't hang out after. Um, probably didn't win a lot of friends if I were honest with you., but I wasn't there to make friends. I was there, uh, for a craft that I learned to fall in love with. So I found comedy as a way, , to get through a really hard, hard time for me in recovery.

Yeah. , 

it's interesting. You say that we did a episode. Our last episode was on coping skills and kind of developing some coping skills to deal with. As I called 'em the grumpy because you can't turn to alcohol or drugs or substances at all. And you know, we had talked about a bunch of 'em and you know, one of 'em was emotional, uh, release.

And that sounds exactly. What you were doing with your comedy, you would be right. , so I was taught in, uh, recovery move a muscle change of thought. Yes. And I can't even tell you the number of things that I have done. , the closest I've ever come to a drink. Um, I. , you know, inevitably it's gonna happen.

Your ass is gonna fall off when your sponsor is at work. You can't reach anybody on the phone. So you've gotta have some tools in your tool, tool, belt, so that you can, , help support yourself in those times. And, , I remember, , one. Toughest times in recovery. I end up, this is the stupidest story, but I'm sober.

So there, , I just went into my closet and I color coded my closet. It must have taken me two hours. , and it kept me sober. I mean, it's a time I was on my knees. Puring my ass off. Another time I used to say, God was in a, a $20 can of paint, like who can't find a wall to spruce up in their house. Right.

Like I can't move a muscle change a thought. And what I know now after, you know, having a little bit of an education and that is, it is scientific. It's really in the brain. When you are moving your body, you are changing. All those levels in the brain. So move a muscle, change a thought, and it doesn't matter how you do it.

It doesn't have to be working out. It could be restructuring your house. It could be going to the store. It could be just anything, just something small goes a long way. Yeah. I've heard that too is from in 12 step programs of there's one person in particular, I've heard this person say this many times.

She's like, if I'm having trouble, I'll just rearrange all my furniture in my house. Like I've done that many of times and, and it's true. And for me, I know if I'm busy and I have stuff going on and you know, I'm up moving around. Whether I don't know. I know if I'm busy doing stuff, my mind never is focused on.

I need a.

All right. So, uh, currently, what, what, um, you know, organizations are you, you know, affiliated with?

Where are you currently performing now within your comedy career? So, , currently going on in Charlotte right now as a queen city comedy experience, that's going on through the end of August, I will be, uh, performing in the ain. She funny comedy show at the booth Playhouse, August 27th, but I'm a regular comic right here in Charlotte on the funny bus.

So if you don't know about the funny bus we're right at the top five best things to do in Charlotte, you're on the funny bus. I did not know that. How often do you do that? Cuz I will book a freaking I was there a day. Get outta here.  okay. That's awesome. Yeah, I'm a regular, I've been doing it five years now.

That's awesome. Is that where that's not where you pedal, right? You don't, that's not a funny tra so I look like a Petr kinda. I don't think so. Yeah. I don't think so. I don't pedal you don't mess with the pedal and okay. . That's awesome. We'll be sure to check out Roxanne on, come to Charlotte, come to the funny bus, you know, we'll have a good time.

And, uh, we'll, we'll just 12 months of sobriety. We'll book a we'll book, a ticket just DM. When you're coming, we're just gonna hear Roxanne and all her, whatever she's talking about. Yes. We'll go with you. Oh, a hundred percent. We'll go with you. Yeah. Yeah. What I'd like to do is book a sober. Yes. A sober bus.

I'd really, I have been trying to put together sober entertainment in Charlotte. It's really been a lifetime goal of mine after doing, , improv in a therapeutic se setting and seeing people really come alive in sobriety. Um, cuz I also used to do like open mics. , and you could tell a joke, sing a song, write a poem, play a song, whatever.

And so it's always been my dream that I would be able to create a venue right here in Charlotte. That was a safe place for in re in safe place for people in recovery to either go and enjoy sober entertainment. Or a place where they could go feel safe and be in a room with their own peeps and perform their, their own craft.

So if there's, if we have any listeners out there in Charlotte who wanna sponsor or have a venue in mind, it's been a lifetime dream of mind to create a sober place for people in recovery to, , to just find their passions and do what, because it's my experience that if you can find what you're passionate about, your, um, your outcome, your life, , your fulfillment in life will be catapulted.

If you can really find what you're passionate about. I think that's huge because think about it, like not only are you learning to enjoy, you know, entertainment without drinking and without using how, but also when you're taking part of that, Talk about learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable, right?

Mm-hmm  and there's so many skills and, and life lessons you can learn through that. It doesn't have to be, you know, maybe you don't have to be an aspiring comedian or a musician. You can learn those skills and apply them to your daily lives, apply them to your jobs. You know, think about like being in sales, for instance, mm-hmm  I were to go up and do improv mm-hmm  and just be super uncomfortable with a bunch of people looking at me, sober as can be.

You don't have that alcohol buffer, if you will. That social lubricant, that liquid courage, that liquid courage. I can get rejected by anybody. It doesn't matter, cuz I've already been laughed at, by a thousand people in a, in a fun way and in a comfortable environment. So I think that that'd be something huge that we should really push in the greater Charlotte area also really anywhere we there's too many damn breweries for the love of God.

Let's let's, let's have a new phase here, 20, 22. We're changing, we're changing things yet in again with society's views on romanticizing alcohol that I brought up earlier. Again, there's so much room for sober activities out there and more awareness about sobriety and hopefully, you know, the growing trend of, of people getting sober as our society also.

, hopefully is starting to encourage sobriety more. It's it's cooler. It's cooler now. Well that in mental health, I think are starting to get some attention. They need more, but at least we're taking steps towards it a little bit. Would you agree that society shift towards mental health and addiction is starting to grow a little bit?

I know it's baby steps, but compared to maybe where we were 10 years ago. Oh, absolutely. I mean, look, celebrities started going to rehab when celebrities started going to rehab, you know, that is when they started talking about it. Yeah. That's really, when I saw the first shift change, we are seeing a lot of changes and the changes are happening at every level.

And what the biggest. Change that I know that anybody who's listening can make, to create change to be a change maker, right. Is to just is with language, right. Using language that isn't shaming. , I think that right there is the one thing that everybody can do to change it, um, to change the stigma. , there, the cha the stigma is changing today and to speak to your point, , there are a lot of changes that are being making.

A lot of people are getting, , are not drinking today. , maybe not because they have a problem or maybe not because they don't wanna work. Recovery. , but because they want a lifestyle change, they wanna feel better. They know that they're more productive on their job. They know that they have a tendency to have a better social group when they're not, um, doing that.

So there's a lot of changes for a variety of reasons happening, honestly, from a superficial standpoint, they just wanna look good. I mean, think about what drinking dusty figure. Like, yes, I gained so much weight and I was like, oh my goodness. I've, I've gained weight since I gotten sober somehow, but I don't really care.

Uh, you know, it's funny though, in the corporate world, even like, you know, me and cars, both work corporate jobs, and I know corporations have gotten a lot more in tune to addiction issues and mental health issues. Cuz you can, I could take, if I needed to, I could just be like, okay, I'm taking a mental health day mm-hmm  and that's perfectly acceptable now.

I think there's been a great deal of change at the corporate level, all for the good, , I will say for me personally, , the corporations that I worked for, uh, were my biggest enablers. And the reason for that is, is that I was relatively successful. And so it was just show me the money girl. Like if you can hit your numbers, I don't care if it takes you seven days, if you can get it done in.

Um, just show me the money. And so for that reason, because I always hit the numbers, imagine that I got the gift of gas. Yes. I was relatively successful. They turned a blind eye. I do remember a boss saying to me when Tommy was like, damn, how many dentist appointments did you get at? How many flat tires could you have on a car?

I mean, but they, you know, it was enabling, it was passive enabling. I like your Jerry McGuire reference right there. I really appreciate that. Um, but yeah, we we've talked about the corporate environment a lot and, and I think I mentioned this on an earlier episode, but if I haven't, I will reiterate it. You know, I, I do a lot of, , you know, group events when, you know, I partner with financial advisors and.

Most of it's are, you know, it's revolved around alcohol mm-hmm  and we've even seen a trend change. , you know, especially during COVID there were a lot of zoom and virtual get togethers, right. You meet up and you do some kind of mixology class. You do a cocktail show, our appreciation, well, that's fair, but we've started to do events recently.

And people were like, do you have anything other than, you know, making your own cocktail? Like, I have everything in the books. Like I can afford to create whatever bourbon, quite frankly, I don't even want to show me some food. You know, like let's create some food, let's do some fun, like artsy, Craftsy thing.

Like if you wanna show me your appreciation, quit the alcohol. And, and I really loved that. Not only BEC for my own personal reasons, but it's just nice to see that we're not the only ones that are kind of sick and tired of it. You know, it it's, it's really a trend. That's becoming a lot more, you know, it it's, it's growing.

I was just gonna say, I, you know, I have a sales rep for a beer distributor for about 10 years. So you wanna talk about enabling that was a career. That definitely was. Yeah. 

. All right. As we're wrapping up here. Ask you. So let's say we, some of our listeners, one, if there's family members that we had talked about earlier that are looking for some support and help or, or somebody that's been in recovery for a while, that's, that's looking for some more answers or somebody that's new to sobriety, you know, that that wants some help and, and maybe could use your services.

What's the best way to get in contact with you there. Best way to reach me would be by email. You can go to my website at Roxanne recovery, coach.com. , email is Roxanne Roxanne recovery, coach.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Absolutely. And we'll put it in the show notes as well. That way you guys can reach out to her.

. If you have any questions or anything, you can always reach out to me in Carson as well. Roxanne really appreciate all the time today. It was amazing. Thank you so much Roxanne for joining us. Yeah. Thank you for, , taking me back, , because, , even though I will celebrate 25 years this year, the reality is, is that every day that I wake up, uh, it's like the first day of sobriety.

So thanks for reminding me, um, of what it was like, , what happened and what it's like now, because I don't care how many days you got, man, this girl, we, I just do it one day at a time. So thanks for reminding me. Awesome. We really appreciate it. And what wonderful words of wisdom to close with. Thank you.

   That was an interview with Roxanne McDonald. And what I must say was just an incredible, incredible person to discuss. Her her journey. It kind of what she does within the realm of helping others in sobriety. That was awesome. I mean, not only from the knowledge that she shared, but quite a hilarious person, I mean, what a personality, right?

I mean, we're, we're very pumped to be able to have someone like her on our show and hopefully we can, uh, you know, we find other people that are gonna meet that standard cuz the standard's pretty damn high. Yeah, absolutely. And if you're in the Charlotte area, which I know a lot of people you are listening to us are go find her, go check her out.

Yeah. Uh, check out like the funny bus.net and you see what's going on there since she's a member there. Uh, absolutely hilarious. So I, I just, couldn't be more excited that, that we had her on the show today.

Um, it just, it, it's so encouraging to meet people that have been in sobriety for so long. And what we kind of keep preaching is that your life can change so much. And she is just a great example of that is you can get sober and, you know, the world you're oyster, you know, shoot for the stars. Anything you wanna do is possible.

Yeah. I mean, as she said, you know, she went through a lot of turmoil back, you know, early in her life and she could have either, you know, let that deter. And she could have crawled under a, you know, a rug and just laid there and, and, and pretended to be dead, or she could have used that as her superpower.

And that's exactly what she did. And she's thriving now. She is a huge influence within the community and, um, and it it's paying its dividend. So it's really inspiring to be able to see that. And, you know, it inspires us and hopefully, you know, you guys listening can take that and apply that to your lives as well.

Yeah. It it's truly amazing. She had been sober for, you know, 14 and a half years and, and was going through a struggling a little bit and how easy it would've been probably to slip back into old habits after all that time. But she was able to say, you know, no, and then use those coping skills. Like we had talked about before a, and got into the standup com uh, comedy.

So. You know, you always continue to work on yourself no matter how long you've been in sobriety. And I think she is a Testament to that. Yeah. Find, find your own standup comedy, right? It doesn't have to be the exact trade that she does, but there are a billion things, you know, your world is your oyster.

You know, it might be a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason. There are so many opportunities you have, we've talked about a fresh start. We've talked about, you know, renewing yourself and being able to come into a sober life with just anything, any, anything at your, you know, at your doorstep or whatever you wanna say, right?

So you can do whatever you want. Um, you know, utilize this and, and, and really take, you know, the new opportunity that you have. And don't take that for granted. And so I, I think that that's, that should be a Testament to everybody. Yeah, absolutely. Just wanna thank everybody again for listening, uh, for all the support that we've gotten so far, not sure what we're gonna have out for our Friday episode yet.

We're looking at new books by the way. So, um, we're gonna do another book review in the next couple weeks. We found a few, but if you have any suggestions that you would like for us, please submit them. Um, we'd be very open to, uh, you know, selecting one that you guys are curious, uh, for us to, you know, do a review on and, and we'd love to re you'd, uh, read along with this as well.

Yeah. And you can reach us on Twitter or Instagram at 12 ounces of sobriety podcast, or you can email us at 12 ounces, sobriety, pod, gmail.com. Uh, once again, thank you everybody. And we will talk to you next time. Thanks.