This week’s podcast is a collaborative effort between Dru Jaeger of Club Soda and Victoria Volk of Grieving Voices podcast on grief and alcohol. Victoria is a grief recovery specialist and hosts Grieving Voices. If you subscribe to her podcast as well, you’ll get to hear this again.
In this conversation, Dru and Victoria talk really frankly about their experiences of childhood bereavement and the ways in which they’ve lived with grief and how alcohol has played a role in that life.
You might find some of this conversation upsetting. If you need support, it’s okay to hit the pause button, reach out to the Club Soda community or your friends around you. And remember to take very good care of yourself.
Who is our co-host, Victoria Volk?
Victoria is a self-published author, certified grief recovery specialist, creator and podcast host of Grieving Voices, Reiki Master, YouMap® Cert. Coach and End-of-Life Doula. She aims to use her strengths and skills through a variety of offerings to help those whose lives have been upended by grief and loss go from surviving to thriving. When she’s not helping hurting hearts, you can find Victoria enjoying quiet living with her husband, 3 teens, and pooch in rural North Dakota.
Why was this conversation about grief and alcohol so important?
When I was drinking most heavily through my 30s, I don’t think I would ever have reflected that that was in any way connected to my experiences of childhood loss. But looking back at it now, that is such an unavoidable conclusion that I wonder how it ever is that I could have imagined I was doing anything else.Dru Jaeger, Club Soda
We know that many people turn to alcohol when coping with big life changes and emotional turmoil. Grief, no matter how recent or long ago, is a raw emotion that causes many to seek respite through a few drinks too many. In both Victoria and Dru’s experience, grief and alcohol can be a very lonely experience that cuts us off from the emotional and intimate connections we need to help deal with grief.
Drinking to forget doesn’t work. In fact, it leaves you feeling more disconnected from your emotional state, dealing with the same difficult emotions but with a hangover. If like Victora and Dru, your loss was in childhood, then your drinking habits might have stemmed from feelings you didn’t understand or suppressed. In fact, it might be that giving up drinking is the only way to contextualise your grief and realise that it was the trigger for problem drinking all along. Whatever stage of grief you might be in, this conversation, and voicing your grief, is important.
We know that this episode will resonate with many listeners who have also hit the bottle to drown out grief. If you’ve found this conversation triggering and need to reach out, our community is here for you.