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Massachusetts women recovering from alcoholism find success with sobriety podcasts

Massachusetts women recovering from alcoholism find success with sobriety podcasts
Massachusetts women recovering from alcoholism find success with sobriety podcasts 03:32

BOSTON - Dry January has been gaining in popularity for many, a chance for drinkers to push the alcohol aside for a month. But, for a trio of Massachusetts women, they have said goodbye to the booze for good and it's brought success along with it.

Gillian Tietz was a self-described alcoholic. "It was my best friend and the only thing I cared about," said Gillian.

Three years ago, the 29-year-old says her drinking was out of control and her thoughts turned very dark.

"It really ruined my self-worth and my self-esteem. and eventually that led me to feel suicidal," Gillian explained relaying her pain. "And that's why I stopped because those thoughts were getting really scary for me."

Gillian Tietz
Gillian Tietz CBS Boston

Gillian eventually reached her breaking point during the pandemic with her husband by her side.

"I remember we were up the whole night and I looked over at him and I was like I can never drink ever again," she said. "And I just knew that was it."

Gillian then turned her time and energy into starting a podcast about sobriety which has been a huge hit.

"I just kept posting," Gillian said. "And uploading every week and eventually a lot of people discovered it."

Research from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows misuse is on the rise amongst women.

And women tend to be affected more by alcohol than men, leading to more hangovers, blackouts and damage to major organs like the liver, heart and brain.

And Gillian's not the only one. Friends Kimberly Kearns and Catherine O'Brien launched "The Weekend Sober" podcast back in 2021.

Both began drinking in their teenage years and continued through adulthood, marriage and parenthood.

"Oh, my friends are doing it," explained Kimberly. "I'm at a playdate with all these other neighborhood moms and we're cracking open the wine at 3 in the afternoon. So, I'll have a glass why not, this is fun."

The Weekend Sober
Kimberly Kearns and Catherine O'Brien CBS Boston

Kimberly says her life as a wife and mother of three children suffered. "Most nights I didn't remember putting them to bed," Kimberly says of motherhood.

Catherine says her drinking peaked following the death of her father and recalls a painful memory of getting sick.

"I was extremely upset, and I was grieving for my father," said Catherine. "My daughter, I thought I had cleaned everything up. She asked me if I threw up in her bathroom and I just lost it."

The pair have tossed the bottles aside with a renewed focus on self-care.

Kimberly has written her own memoir, "On The Edge of Shattered."

"I feel and there's only one way to describe it," said Kimberly. "I feel so free."

Catherine has created her own mindset coaching called "Shift Into You."

"We're on the other side and it's such a better side," she said.

Three women, no longer handcuffed by alcohol with a clear vision and drive for the future.

"I thought my life was bad and the couple hours I was drinking was the good part," says Gillian. "But what I didn't realize was that it was the other way around." 

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