Have you ever found yourself getting possessive over the last glass of wine in the bottle?
When having a drink, do you feel like you can’t possibly leave any alcohol behind?
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. I know this rings true for so many women, and I used to feel the exact same way. The idea of wasting any wine, in a glass or in a bottle, was so troublesome to me. And when I wanted more, I became possessive about it, declaring the remains of the bottle as mine. My husband wasn’t allowed to touch it.
I was afraid that I was going to run out. That there wasn’t enough left in the bottle to keep me going. I felt that alcohol was scarce. And it caused me to behave in ways I didn’t like.
Join me this week as I explore why our minds get so crazy around alcohol, and how to start thinking differently and behaving more rationally. It’s about not being possessive over alcohol and becoming a woman who can take it or leave it.
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 35.
Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.
Well, hello my DLL ladies. How is everybody today? I am celebrating over here. I received my inner voice facilitator training certificate. So I am practicing some inner voice sessions with my clients, and with my friends, and family, and anybody who is excited to do this work with me. So if you’re not familiar with your inner voice I would like to say that your intuition, your inner guidance, your knowing. If you’re spiritual based that might be the Holy Spirit that resides within you, the universe source, whatever that is.
But I am so excited about this work and here’s why. I’ve spent so many years drowning out my inner voice, and my feelings, and not thinking feelings were okay to feel. And thinking that if I was sad, or crying meant I was weak, or pathetic, or I shouldn’t show up in the world this way. I’ve done so much work trying not to feel.
And I think a lot of us have, we’ve been trained by corporate America, or maybe by parents who were in the military, or just this poker face that we are not supposed to share emotions, we’re not supposed to talk about emotions. And I get it, it’s not always appropriate. But I think we do ourselves a disservice when we shut down from all of our emotions around the clock. Now, there is an appropriate time and place to display them and all of that. And we have to feel safe to do that.
And here’s the thing. When I do inner voice facilitator training sessions and when I have had them done for myself it’s this totally safe space to go within and to just be with your emotions and it’s all okay. Why I love this so much is because as I learn this from Jess Lively, when you release these emotions, and she calls them emotional beanbags. And Eckhart Tolle if you’re familiar with his work, he calls it the Pain Body. When you release these emotions they are gone forever, for good.
So if you’re processing old hurts, old traumas, things in the past that have been kind of stuck with you, stuck with you in a subconscious way, stuck with you in an emotional based way. When you do these sessions you can totally release that energy. And that’s all it is, it’s trapped energy in our body. And when we release them, wow, it feels so amazing on the other side.
Now, it’s not to say you can’t have new trauma and new emotions come up but what you’re releasing is the past. You’re releasing what you’ve been carrying around which can feel like weight for a lot of us. It could feel like physical emotional weight. And I’ve been releasing some beanbags in my own life and man, it really does feel like you’re carrying yourself lighter, fresher, like it’s a renewed sense of energy because you don’t have this trapped emotional energy stuck with inside of you.
So I’m so excited, I’ll be incorporating a lot of this work into my program and helping my clients if they are interested in releasing any of their feelings in a protected, safe, non-judgmental way. I am super excited. And we’re going to be updating my website to be able to offer these sessions, if you want to experience them yourself or try them out. And it’s really made a difference in my life.
Now, that’s taking this work to the next level because I think a lot of us drink because we’re not comfortable with our emotions. So this is just next level that you can get to be with those emotions and become emotionally resilient. And not in the fact that you have to carry them forward, and the fact that they’re processed released and the energy moves away and through you so that you can be more free and lighter.
So I wanted to share that all with you because I think this is such important work in releasing the past. And that’s one of the things we really focus, there is a whole module on that and about releasing the past in my program Drink Less Lifestyle.
Alright, so for today I want to move in and talk about, gosh, I didn’t know if I should entitle this Alcohol Scarcity, Alcohol Brainwashing. There’s just so much that came up in the past couple of coaching calls with my clients and I’m noticing this is a trend. And so when we were discussing it in my program, it was mentioned that, “Man, this would be a great podcast idea.” And we all started laughing because all of us on the call, all of us professional, smart, talented women were like, “Yes, I experience that too. Yes, I experience that too.”
And it was like this significant relief, this sigh collectively amongst the women going, “Oh my gosh, you mean that happens to you too? I’m not the only one that experiences that?” And just to do a little side tangent, this is exactly why I have moved away from one-on-one coaching and went towards group coaching.
I can’t tell you the transformation you’re able to get in a group environment is so much quicker because you realize you’re not the only one suffering with this kind of thinking, suffering with this kind of issue, thinking you’re the only one. Thinking I’m the only smart professional woman with these issues or I should be happy because look at everything I have on paper but yet I am not feeling fulfilled in my life and so therefore I turn to alcohol to fill that void, or whatever the reasons are that we’re turning to alcohol.
And when you can see that so many other women have similar issues, I’ll tell you, nothing cuts through shame quicker. Nothing drops the embarrassment quicker. Nothing makes you feel like wow, I feel understood and that there are other women out there like me. So that is the power of these calls. And it was a collective group hug on the call when we started sharing about this. And that is one thing I am always about is showing up to be radically honest with yourself because you can’t change unless you are radically honest.
If you still want to cover up your drinking, if you still want to make excuses for it, if you still want to blame others, you’re not going to get the change that you come for. So we show up being radically honest, holding space for each other, being non-judgmental, totally compassionate so that we can create the best environment to get the change we all desire.
So I’m not going to say that this behavior pattern that we were discussing on the call is universal but I will say it’s extremely common. So we were talking about splitting a bottle of wine. And it came up that one of the women in the group was saying, “Gosh, when I split a bottle of wine with my husband”, now this could be insert partner, insert friend, whatever.
When you split that bottle and you notice you’re getting towards the end of that bottle, you become kind of entitled to wanting the last remaining bit in the bottle. Has this happened to any of you? And you notice you start doing things like maybe the glass of wine that you currently are drinking, you drink it really fast so you get dibs on the last remaining amount in the bottle. Or you just might reach for that bottle and then pour the rest of it in your glass because darn it, it’s yours, you’re entitled to it. You want that last remaining bit in the bottle.
Or heck, you might even declare that whatever’s left in that bottle is yours. You might just state it like, “Honey, the rest of that bottle is mine, don’t touch it.” And if they want some, they’ll have to go open another bottle. And we started laughing on the call because everybody was putting their hand up in the air like, that’s me. That’s me. That’s me. And we all had our own flavor of this version of a story.
So one of the women chimed in that, yes, when they go out to dinner and they order a bottle of wine they actually want exactly half, it doesn’t matter that their husband is taller, and weighs more, and can handle more alcohol, they always want to split it halvesies. They want it to be 50/50 down the middle. They don’t want him to get a drop more. But you know what? It wouldn’t be so bad if we got a few drops more. It’s like you’re entitled it. You want your fair share of it.
And I was sharing with them on the call that this was certainly the way I behaved back in the day. When my husband, Michael and I would split wine I would always declare the last of it. I’m like, “There’s a glass left, that’s mine, don’t touch it.” I’d be very direct, very specific. And he knows if he went to go touch it there would be kind of war at home, like, “What did you just do? Now you have to run out and get me another bottle.”
So it wasn’t this friendly declaration. It was kind of this entitled declaration like, “That is mine, hands off, don’t touch it. And if you do there’s going to be negative consequences for you.” It’s that kind of there’s going to be hell to pay if you do this, and you go against my word. Yes, that’s how serious I was about getting my alcohol. That’s how I would refer to it, “The rest of that is mine, my alcohol, my wine.” It was like I feared somebody taking my wine away from me.
And if we weren’t splitting a bottle and he said, “I’m not going to drink tonight”, or I noticed he wasn’t drinking and I was. And then I’d go upstairs and I’m tidying the house or putting the laundry away and I’d come back down for a refill and heavens if the bottle was empty because he took the last glass, because he decided to start drinking later in the evening, and I didn’t know that that was going to be happening. And here in my brain I was like there is another whole glass down there waiting for you Sherry. I would get so mad. I would go storming and I’d say, “Who drank my wine?”
Now, you have to find that story funny because there are only three of us that live in our household. It’s me, and Michael, and my daughter Morgan. So Morgan being the toddler that she was at the time I’m sure she wasn’t sneaking in the fridge and drinking my wine. So when I was asking the question it was completely rhetorical. And it wasn’t to say, “So solving the mystery of who drank my wine.” It was more blaming him and pointing the finger and letting him know that he crossed me.
And it wasn’t really letting him know so much that he crossed me. You know why I was doing it? I was doing it for the response of, “Sorry honey, I didn’t know. Would you like me to go get you some more?” So it was totally manipulative of why I went after him and attacked him and said, “Who drank my wine.” Because I was wanting somebody to go refill it and I didn’t want that somebody to be me because I was already a few glasses in.
So since I didn’t want this to happen and I didn’t want to get mad at him I just started declaring my wine, what I was entitled to each and every day, this is my wine. If you want wine you go buy it or you open another bottle but this one is mine. Because it provided so much happiness for me, it was my happy juice. I called it that for a while.
So when this came up on our call I knew exactly what the women were feeling like and what they went through because I had been there too. And I knew exactly what they needed to hear and what they needed to do to get over this. Because doesn’t it make you feel juvenile to be declaring the wine? Here I will share anything. I won’t be hogging other things in my life but I was certainly hogging the wine.
Because to me the alcohol was so important and it was so tied to my happiness that I couldn’t imagine not having it because my brain would tell me you’re just going to be unhappy the rest of the night. You’re going to be deprived. You’re going to be mad. You’re not going to have as much of relaxation, or you’re going to have to deal with not having more wine. And that just sounded terribly unacceptable to me, because my brain was so convinced that I needed the alcohol. So convinced that I would give the evil eye, that I would go charging upstairs and ask, “Who took my wine?”
And to be doing these juvenile behaviors around the substance, I was afraid to be without my wine. I had scarcity around it. What if it’s all gone? And what if I’m not okay to go jump in the car, drive to the store and get more? And I would think this is the only thing that I look forward to at the end of the day so why does somebody have to ruin it for me? Or that just wasn’t enough, I need more. And then I’d wonder why I’d get so possessive about the amount that I get to have. I was really possessive over it. I acted in a way that I didn’t like.
I got so mean over alcohol. I mean I wasn’t that way with anything else. I wasn’t that way with cake, or cookies, or the last cookie, or potato chips, or ice-cream, or anything else in that we had in the house. I wasn’t that attached to sugar, or candy, or desserts or any of that. But you better back off of my wine. I was graspy. I was needy. And I have to tell you it felt so wrong to be this way about wine. It’s like I had so much scarcity around it, that I needed the right amount, that nobody else can touch it.
And here’s the thing, alcohol is widely available. And I could have ordered it off an app or did other things, but that to me, I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to preserve just the amount that I had set aside in my mind and have nobody else touch it because the thought of running out, or not having enough caused my brain to panic. So we allow this alcohol to make it feel like there’s some scarcity to it, that we can’t replenish it. That we’re going to feel like death if we don’t get more.
And so as we were talking about this on the coaching call then another thing came up that’s quite related to this. And again we all had our own version of a similar story. How many of you feel like when you are overdrinking, or if you’re currently overdrinking you feel like you can’t waste any? I know this rings so true for so many women. If you open this bottle of wine you have to drink it all. I mean you can’t waste any. I mean if it’s red wine it may sour or spoil overnight.
You can’t just re-cap a red wine or re-cork it and put it back in the refrigerator for tomorrow I mean because why just leave one glass? Or why just leave just a few drops in the bottle, might as well finish it. And here’s the kicker, you can’t spill it down the drain, not this precious wine. Interesting how many women, myself included, we just couldn’t leave the wine bottle cracked open. We needed to finish it. There was somehow we become brainwashed by alcohol that having an open bottle of wine in the house was not acceptable. We needed to finish it so our brains told us.
And if you mentioned spilling it out, oh my gosh, our brains would go into a spiral like, what? That’s so wasteful. I can’t do that. I paid good money for that wine regardless of the price of the wine. And my brain would even take it to the next level. My brain, if I ordered a glass of wine or a cocktail out, I’d also have to finish it. I couldn’t leave wine in the glass on the table. Or I couldn’t leave a cocktail half finished. That’s just stupid. That’s just a waste of money.
And here’s where my brain took it to the next level, because when I order cocktails out they’re usually about $14 give or take. And if I’m leaving maybe a quarter of the glass behind my brain goes to actually doing the math. Yes, that’s how much my brain took it to the next level. It’s like this $14 cocktail. You’re going to leave one half of it in the glass, Sherry, that’s over $3 you’re leaving behind. You need to get your value, you need to get every penny worth. You better drink what’s in there. Because my brain would point out, how wasteful is that?
Now, luckily I’ve changed my mindset around that. I don’t even have those thoughts anymore. I don’t even think that way. And I’m quite happy leaving wine un-drunk on the table. It doesn’t faze me in the least now. I am so grateful for that. But here’s the thing, and I point this out to the women on the call as well. If we leave some food on our plates, do we get really bent out of shape about that?
If you go out for maybe a steak and you have some broccoli on the side and maybe you eat five out of the seven broccoli florets and you’re just not hungry for some of the scraps of steak and maybe two of the florets of broccoli, you probably think nothing of it. At least your brain’s not going, “Wow, the broccoli as a side was $7 and there’s seven florets so by not eating two that are on my plate I am wasting $2.” My brain never had that discussion around broccoli but yet it did around alcohol all the time.
It’s so interesting, right? And how many of you feel like I can’t pour alcohol down the drain, I can’t get rid of it, that’s so wasteful? But yet we’ll take our food scraps and throw it down the drain and think nothing of it. And nowhere else in my life does my brain think like this.
Now, it’s estimated that we wear 20% of the clothes in our closet. So how many of us walk in our closets and go, “What a waste, 80% of these clothes I do not wear?” And I don’t go and calculate the math of each top, and each bottom, and each everything that I am not wearing and say to myself, “What a waste.”
And if you open my make-up drawer you’ll probably find 20 plus lipsticks. I don’t wear all 20 lipsticks. Some of the colors I don’t wear anymore, I lost interest in them. Did I throw them out? No. But if I did throw them out I wouldn’t think how wasteful, you’ve only used 2% of that stick. You’re throwing out the other 98%, what a waste. If that lipstick cost you $20, you’re wasting about $18, maybe $19 worth. My brain doesn’t do that but yet it did it with alcohol. Because I needed to get every penny’s worth, I wanted to get every last drop available. I wanted to maximize my value.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we let our minds get this crazy around alcohol? It’s like we become alcohol brainwashed and that’s all that we see is what we think about it, how we spend our money, how we spend our time. We need to get the most out of it and alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. Our minds become so obsessed with not wasting it and we’re really not like this in many other areas of our life are we?
And this is exactly how we become over-drinkers, because our brain has made it mean something different about alcohol, that we can’t waste it, that there’s scarcity around it. That we need every last drop, that we can’t look at an open wine bottle and leave it there till the next day. We must finish it. Do you get that? We must finish it. We can’t waste it, can’t leave it sit there, we must finish it.
And this is exactly the way the brain thinks. And that’s exactly how we become over-drinkers, because we keep justifying the next drink, because we keep justifying finishing the bottle, because we declare that we’re going to finish the bottle and become possessive of it. Because we keep believing that the next drink is needed, or at least that we want it. And a lot of times we may not really want it. How many times do you finish a bottle or a glass because you feel obligated, because you can’t waste it?
You see ladies; we allow the alcohol to control our minds. We side with the alcohol. We believe that more is better. We think that we must keep going. And then this becomes our automatic way of being around alcohol. And then we look around and we say, “Why can other people just have a drink or two and stop and I cannot seem to do that?” How is it that they’re able to say no after a second glass and I must finish a whole bottle? How is it that they’re able to sit there and sip, and sip, and sip and I’ve just guzzled down a whole glass or two?
And here’s what I would think. How is it that my alcohol bill always is more expensive than my food bill when I go out to dinner? You see, it’s just become automatic. We’ve become so ingrained to think this way that our mind just can’t even grasp getting to a different version. Our minds cannot grasp seeing alcohol a different way. And this makes us feel powerless. And this makes us feel that we don’t understand ourselves and we don’t understand why we keep doing something that we know is not good for us and that we can’t get out of this cycle.
We keep saying yes when a part of us inside is waiting for us to show up and say no, to take a stand, to put a stake in the ground and say, “This is enough. Enough is enough.” We keep wanting to show up for our wellness and to take it seriously. We take our wellness seriously in other forms. Maybe we exercise. Maybe we eat right. Maybe we don’t do all the sugary desserts. We do all these things. Maybe we do bariatric surgery. Maybe we do all these things to invest in our wellness that we know will improve our health but we can’t seem to do it here.
And we want desperately to take back control in this area of our lives. And what I found when I took back control in this area of my life of overdrinking, so many other areas improved. And I have to say that because I feel that so many people think if they cut back their life will be less than amazing. They will have less fun. They will have less enjoyment. They will complain more. They will be more stressed, more anxious, more depressed.
And the exact opposite is true and you know it’s true intellectually because you know that drinking a liquid depressant only hurts you long term. And when you learn to control it, when you learn to get a handle on it and be able to stop after one or two you will feel better, so much better. You may not even want the one or two and it may surprise you.
That’s what the women in my program find out, that wow; I can change my desire around this. And I love how much better I feel. And I have confidence again. And I have better conversations because I’m actually connecting on surface level topics and there’s just laughing because I’m really not interested in the conversation. I’m tolerating poor conversation. No, I show up and I have more interesting conversation. And get this. I remember it the next day. Bonus.
And then you start learning how to trust yourself around alcohol. Not that you have to avoid it or punish yourself and say, “I’m never having it again”, if that’s not truly what you desire. We can learn to be around it and not have it control us, not have it brainwash us, not having us think that there’s some scarcity to it when there’s not. It’s one of the most widely available drugs. You don’t even need a prescription.
And I teach my ladies how to have their own back so they don’t fall for the lies that we know are in the drink or in that next drink. And then you go to work cleaning up the stress, cleaning up the anxiety, managing your emotions other ways that are healthy, that feel good and feel restorative. And you actually process the emotions which means they leave your body.
And that’s why I’m so excited about this inner voice facilitator training that I’ve done and got certified in is because we can clean up those feelings, especially if there’s any from baggage of the past. And we get to be that image of health again, health and wellness, we’re taking care of ourselves. We’re being that role model that we desire to be in our families and in front of our kids. And a big kicker is we stop that endless mind chatter in our brains around this problem when it’s completely solvable. And I love that it’s solvable.
It’s so interesting, as I was doing some research on rehabs and statistics from the last masterclass that I did and I hope you were able to join us, but it was awesome. And it just amazed me, there’s such a low success rate when it comes to changing your relationship with alcohol. Because most treatment centers nationwide, they focus on following the disease model. And now we’re getting more and more research that it’s not a chronic lifelong disease for everybody and it doesn’t have to be.
And here’s the thing, when you tell people it’s a chronic lifelong disease and you have to carry around this label with you, guess what people start to think? Well, I have this disease, I can’t help it. I can’t seem to stop it. And so I might as well keep drinking because it’s the disease, not me. So carrying that even forward, if you look at the relapse rates, they are sky high.
The effectiveness of most treatment centers that treat this as a chronic disease and don’t empower the individual and give them the tools they need to be in control, they often wind up back again because thinking you can’t help yourself. And thinking that it’s just the disease, it only fuels the shame. It only fuels the powerlessness that is actually not true. And this is what’s determined to lead to more relapse rates.
Sure, somebody could take alcohol away from you and not put any in your environment for 30 days or however long. But what happens when you’re back in the environment where alcohol is available, is around you? Do you have the tools, the practical tools to manage yourself in that situation? Now, I’m not saying you have to put yourself in that situation.
You can choose to avoid it at all costs, absolutely. But that’s not what most women that I work with want. They want to be able to be around it and not judge other people, but have their own back and know that if they are going to drink they’re going to stick to this amount. And if they aren’t going to drink they feel comfortable with themselves, they feel comfortable in that decision. They don’t want to feel peer pressure to join in. They don’t want to succumb to what other people might be choosing for them. They put their stake in the ground. They are serious about their wellness.
They are serious about keeping the relationship they want to have with alcohol, a peaceful one, one where they’re in charge, one where they’re in control. And that’s exactly the skills that I teach in my Drink Less Lifestyle program, these skills, these tools so that you know it doesn’t have to be an all or none thing when it comes to alcohol, unless you want it to be.
One of the common things I hear a lot of women say, “There is the slippery slope, I went down it again.” And when you work in my program you realize there is no slippery slope. There is no slippery slope when you have the tools. And it’s funny because once you get these tools you’ll realize, there really never was a slippery slope, it was just a made up narrative in your head, because you didn’t know what to do in the moment.
You think thinking about not getting a hangover the next day is going to help? It’s a lousy tool, never works, never works. And if you’re trying that and it’s not working, don’t beat yourself up. It’s not the proper tool.
So as we wrap up I just want to remind you that you don’t have to allow alcohol to brainwash you. And there is no alcohol scarcity, there’s plenty out there. And if alcohol is making you feel juvenile, and possessive, and doing all these things that you don’t like, maybe now is the time to clean it up because the more you do it the more it’s going to be on habit mode and the more the brain is going to want to do it. That’s how habits work.
So if you’re serious about cleaning this up and you want the tools to get lasting results, I invite you to apply for my Drink Less Lifestyle program. You can go to my website sherryprice.com. You click on the Work With Me page.
On the Work With Me page you will see the various programs and there you will also find information about Drink Less Lifestyle. It’s my signature program where you get to results. Click on that and you can fill out an application and we can talk live line and discover if this is really the best program for you because I want you to have peace, confidence and control around alcohol and go on to create a better more fulfilling life. Because it’s not about depriving yourself, it’s about stepping into a more powerful beautiful version of you that you really enjoy.
Alright ladies, that’s what I have for you today. Thank you for tuning in and listening and I’ll see you next week.
Hey, if you’re loving this podcast I’d love to hear from you. Please rate and review this podcast as it helps others discover this work and free them from alcohol. And I’d love to read your review and give you a shout out on an upcoming episode. Cheers.
Thanks for listening to Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with drinking now check out the free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. See you next week.