I have a special treat for you today. I’m sharing an interview I did with the fabulous Lindsey House on her podcast Direction Not Perfection, which is what we’re all about here too.
This episode really reflects upon my journey with alcohol and gives you insight into where I started and where I am today. I’m still shocked some days knowing that I have a podcast on alcohol! Never did I imagine I could talk about this issue in my life and put it out there for the world to know and for others to judge me.
Oftentimes, we forget how much we’ve accomplished and all the tiny steps we’ve taken to change the trajectory of our life. And as you listen, reflect on your journey with alcohol and see the progress you’ve made in this area too. Let’s celebrate together how far we’ve come!
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 76.
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 fabulous friends. How are you doing? Today I have a special treat for you. I am sharing an interview I did with the fabulous Lindsey House. And she has a podcast called Direction, Not Perfection. How awesome is that title? As a recovering perfectionist I have to say it’s a pretty awesome title. And I want to share this podcast with you because it really reflects upon my journey with alcohol from where I started to where I am today.
And I know oftentimes we forget how much we’ve accomplished. We forget all those small baby steps that have really added up and really changed the trajectory of our life. And I know I have struggled with alcohol, been ups and downs, on and off. It’s been back and forth. And just reflecting on my journey and how far I’ve come, and what really changed for me, and what really changed my trajectory and really helped me get tremendous progress I share in this episode.
And as you listen all the way to the end you will hear me say, I had no idea I would be able to talk about this issue in a podcast format. Where I started to where I ended I had no idea I could get as far as I have come. And I know that’s what alcohol does to us. It traps us into this tunnel vision. It traps us into thinking that life can’t be better with less alcohol, or there’s no way I can get to that life with less alcohol. Or there’s no way I could get over all the shame I have around it.
And this was an issue in my life for so long that I couldn’t even touch with a 10 foot pole. I didn’t want to look at it. I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I just wanted to keep drinking and I didn’t want anybody to tell me anything about it. I didn’t want to hear about it from others. And I certainly didn’t even want to accept that it was an issue. It just wasn’t there until I was. And the pain was just nagging too much that I’m like, I need a change.
And I see this in women that I work with on the daily, whether it’s my free consult calls that I’m talking to women who are just struggling, just struggling with the pain and just not knowing how to find the answers. And they keep trying the same thing over and over again like I did. And then I see the women who actually leave the shame behind. And they have a different life. And they are creating magnificent results for themselves.
So, I think it’s always a great reminder to reflect on how far we’ve come and if we’ve made the progress we want to make. And if not, what’s holding us back from making more progress. And so, what I love also that I highlighted in this conversation I had was the skepticism I had. You try all these things and they keep failing, it’s like is there going to be something that works? So, I love this conversation that I had with Lindsey House on my journey to drinking less. Please enjoy.
Lindsey: So, before we get into your topic, just your background. How did you get where you are today? Why are you passionate about it?
Sherry: So, I went to pharmacy school right after high school. And I really wanted to help people understand their bodies and heal with medicine, loved pharmacy. Oh my gosh, I never thought I would leave it. I really loved teaching people about their medicines, their body, health conditions, how to get better, how to heal from them, how to make them less of an issue or less of a stress in our life. And then I wasn’t managing my own stress well.
I was using alcohol as a coping mechanism when I came home from work. It was once I had my daughter, and just going through the motions of life, and coming home and feeling, now I’ve got to do all the mommy things and make dinner. And I started using wine as a transition. It was like, okay, I’m starting to cook and let’s have a glass of wine, that sounds great. And then you have another with dinner. Well, over time my habit increased because now it was like, well, toddler bath time is not so fun, so what would make it more enjoyable? Well, I’ll have another glass of wine.
And I just kept convincing myself that another glass of wine would be a wonderful thing to handle mundane tasks or deal with my emotions at the end of the day. I’d always call it a long day or a hard day. Or I’d tell myself I need it to relax. And I became emotionally and mentally dependent on it. I wasn’t physically dependent on alcohol. If I stopped I wouldn’t have shakes or anything life threatening. But I just looked forward to it. And so, it became this habit where I was drinking about a one bottle of wine a night.
And over the course of time, it just never felt like it used to in my 20s. It was starting to feel like this major crutch I had. I knew better, I knew the statistics, I took care of people in healthcare that didn’t take care of their liver or all the things. And I wanted to kind of break up with it. I wanted to break my habit of overdrinking and I couldn’t. I tried for years. I tried all the traditional things that we learn about, like the dry Januarys. I did sober Octobers.
I have done juice cleanses. I have done Whole 30. I’ve done the diet plans to get healthy. But yes, that was great to take a break. However, once I started introducing alcohol back in I noticed I went right back to the same pattern within a couple of days. I was back to my bottle of wine at night. And so, I was like, I’m not figuring this out. Time is just going by, I’m not figuring this out. I’m forgetting conversations. My sleep is disrupted. Now I’m gaining weight. I’m not processing it the same way in my 40s. I have worse hangovers, they last longer.
I’m actually embarrassed by my drinking habit. And it was then that I’m like, I need to do something different because I’ve been doing the cleanses, the fasts, the reading of the books, reading of the blogs. And I wasn’t making sustainable traction. It was good short term but it wasn’t good long term. I wasn’t changing the habit that I had built. So, I hired myself a coach and she taught me a lot of tools.
And since I’ve worked with her, I have discovered more tools and more strategies to manage that transition time, manage my stress, manage the emotional components of my life so I’m not overdrinking. And I’m at a place now where I feel in control of alcohol and not vice versa.
Lindsey: So, I think this is really interesting. And before we hit the record button I was telling you, I’ve all of a sudden been more introduced to people exactly like you, professionals that are coaching in this, you know, a lot of times we feel we either have to label ourselves as an alcohol and we actually need help. Or there is, like the spectrum seemed very black and white. And you’re filling this nice, fluent, in between space. I don’t know, just it doesn’t feel right. I was questioning it. I want to change.
Do you have a lot of those conversations and your clients are feeling very relieved that somebody like you exists?
Sherry: Totally. When I talk about it as overdrinking, or as a habit, those were words that resonated with me. And I learned about them from the NIH, and when I started doing my own research into alcohol use disorder. And I was like, “Yes.” Because I didn’t feel like an alcohol because I mentioned I didn’t have the physical dependency. I didn’t need it right once I woke up out of bed. Or I didn’t have significant effects when I took a break for 30 days. And so, I was like, “Gosh.”
And I didn’t want to bring this to my doctor because I’m a pharmacist at the time. If I was discovered or any trace of…
Lindsey: It’s in your chart.
Sherry: Yes, it’s in my medical record for life. And I didn’t want people to know about that about me. I didn’t want that to harm my reputation, going to a meeting even though they’re anonymous. They see you, they see who you are. They see that you’re a member of this city. It didn’t feel so anonymous. And I also feel that my story wasn’t devastating enough that I kind of would be like, what is she doing here? She’s fine. Compared to me, she’s fine. She’s just got this bottle of wine at night. Who’s this girl?
So, I didn’t even feel that was the right venue. Also, it wasn’t the right goal. I didn’t want to abstain. That wasn’t my goal. My goal was to learn how to control it, be around it. Be free from the pull of it. But not have to never have it again.
Lindsey: So, I love that you’re saying that and how you said it. My question to you is, do you feel that happened for you or once you went down this path now you do abstain from it just because you have all this other information and want of it not being in your life? Where have you landed with that?
Sherry: Yeah. For me I have it occasionally. And I have it on my terms. So, I have specifically defined for my life when it feels good. I like to say when I’m at peace with it. When I know I’m not going to overdo it. When I know I can trust myself around it. And so, I’ve built that relationship with it over time. It didn’t just happen. All of a sudden many of us just want to swallow a pill for something to happen, or the change to take place instantly. And that would be great but it’s not realistic. So, I’ve built this relationship with it where I call it just alcohol. It’s just liquid in a glass.
I don’t feel I need it at the end of my day. I don’t feel I want it most days. I feel I get to have it and enjoy it from more of a celebratory mood or maybe it might be vacation or a holiday. It seems to me appropriately placed in my life, not a default.
Lindsey: Yeah, that’s what I was going to ask you. So, when it is choiceful, even maybe the people that you choose to have it with can feel like safe people, or the people who you don’t feel like. There’s good stopping points that – can you keep defining that a little clearer?
Sherry: Yeah. So, one of the issues I had was – and this wasn’t known to me until I started working with somebody because sometimes you can’t see your own stuff. And I noticed that I would use alcohol a lot when I was frustrated or angry. I’m frustrated about my day. I’m frustrated that these patients don’t pick up their refills. Or these people don’t feel la, la, la, take work stress home. Or I’d get stressed because my daughter, she’s neurodivergent so she’s not always very good at follow through, and school activities.
And so, I’d get frustrated. And it came from a bit of my perfectionism, wanting things to be perfect, wanting things to go my way. And so that frustration and anger was a major source of my emotional connection to alcohol because it was the thing that calmed me down. It was the thing to say, okay, everything’s going to be okay, just have a drink, numb out a little bit and you’ll feel better about this. And so, it was my calming mechanism when I had those strong emotions that I didn’t know what else to do with.
And I didn’t see them as problems. I saw other things like my daughter as the problem or work as the problem. I didn’t know how I can control those emotional responses I was having. So once I understood that now I don’t want to drink when I’m angry. Or I don’t want to drink when I’m frustrated because I’ve spent so many times overdrinking when I was in those roles that now it doesn’t even feel good to drink when I’m angry.
Because then I get mad at the alcohol and I’m like, “Wait a second. This is not the relationship I want to have with alcohol. I don’t want to be mad at the alcohol.” If I’m having alcohol, it’s like if I’m having cake, I want to enjoy the cake. So, it wasn’t something that I noticed until I started working with somebody. And then we were developing tools to manage, effectively manage my stress, my anger and my really wanting things to be a certain way or perfectionism.
Lindsey: I mean this aligns with overeating too. It’s the same general thinking that we can head towards food for comfort. And at the end of the day, it’s very momentary, it’s very short lived. And then if we look forward, to your point, we can be mad, why do I do that? Going down that whole rabbit hole of now it’s not enjoyable, we’re overthinking it. We’re mad at what we did. Where I like that you were able to put a new connection with alcohol. That you can look forward before the first drink happened and say, “Is it going to give me what I’m seeking out of it?” And the answer was ultimately no.
I have a question though because you mentioned bath time with a glass of wine. I can say the same thing about a boardgame, but a little glass of wine is a lot more fun than not. And so, I picture, for those out there who are like, “I’m carrying it with happy times.” What’s some of your talk that you have around that? Because even if you fast forward, forward, there’s not necessarily a negative consequence from it but maybe it’s not aligning back to the integrity type talk.
Sherry: Yeah. So, I would then have my clients or have yourself think about what is the goal I want with this? And if it is that you’re in control and you can stop after one or two, and that’s what you want, that’s the quantity you want. Then is there a problem with it unless you’re playing boardgames every night?
Lindsey: All day, every day.
Sherry: And so, a lot of times this comes up with ladies that I work with who drink while watching a movie. It’s like I’m having popcorn, or instead of popcorn I do my glass of wine. And if it’s not a problem and it doesn’t lead to overdrinking. Do you still want to keep this as a habit? Because it really is a habit, if you’re conditioning your mind to think, when I watch a movie I also have wine. So, is it something you want to continue? And if so, in what capacity? And define that for yourself. Give yourself that permission to enjoy life because life is meant to be enjoyed.
But it shouldn’t be your only pleasure, and so we work a lot on what other pleasures can we have that doesn’t include drinking, especially overdrinking. Yeah, a glass here, a glass there, or two, or whatever your body can tolerate. You just don’t want any of those negative effects coming the next day, whether it’s poor sleep. Some people get hot flushes in the middle of the night when they overdrink because the estrogen kicks up when we overdrink. Some people have problems staying asleep because it alters our melatonin.
So, there’s a lot of hormonal disruption that comes from the alcohol alone. And if we are not getting any of those effects maybe that is an okay thing to do. And if we are getting those effects, for me it was forgetting conversations. That’s so embarrassing when you’re talking to your family, or talking to your friends and you don’t remember parts of the night, or you don’t remember the sequence of events. Or you completely don’t remember some conversations when they say, “Hey, remember last night, we were talking about such and such?” And you don’t remember.
That to me is a telltale sign that the brain is getting too much. And let’s look at why. And let’s look at how we can still have it in our lives if we still want it in our lives because there’s no pressure to have it in our lives. And if we do want it in our lives how can we have a relationship with it where it’s not causing any of those negative consequences.
Lindsey: I loved in your podcast, you do a really nice job of going over this. Let’s talk through some of those inner conversations in one’s head that can happen in a day where it might be a little red flag that goes up that’s like, maybe this is something you should work on.
Sherry: Yeah. I’m thinking back to some of those. And for me it was this is just what I need to relax. It seemed it was the only way I knew how to relax. And we don’t always have 50 minutes to run out and get a massage, or 50 minutes to do a yoga or Pilates class. And it’s not that those are the only things that help us relax but a lot of times that’s what the brain will think. It’s like, well, I don’t have time to do that and here I could just have some wine and it’s really quick and it does the job.
So just constantly watching how you justify it, I actually say look for all the excuses your brain wants to have it. And start seeing which ones you want to start changing that conversation. So, if you’re needing it for certain emotional periods, for me like I mentioned, it was the frustration or the anger. For some people it’s the relief of boredom. They might be empty nesters or they might be kind of fearful and not wanting to go out these days because of COVID and all the things going out in the world. And so, it seems safer to stay at home.
But now they’re isolated or bored and so they’re looking for a form of entertainment or a form of enjoyment. And so, overdrinking happens especially with women now during this pandemic. It’s been a significant increase of overdrinking in women particularly this pandemic has hit the most. So just looking for that emotional connection, what is driving my drinking? It’s not to judge.
If we get into that place where we’re judging ourselves, or condemning ourselves, that’s only going to add to the guilt and the shame. And then we’re going to want to drink to get rid of those. So, we don’t want to build up those emotions. All we do is want to explore it saying, “Okay, when does it serve me and when doesn’t it serve me?” And what area can I choose first to start changing that relationship with alcohol?
Lindsey: I love that again that you’re mentioning as a judgment free zone which I think a lot of especially women have trouble getting themselves in that space. Do you have any special tips or tricks to help get that information and that insight without linking it to the judgment?
Sherry: Yeah. So, I have a lot of women who say, “If I bring this up with my girl friend or with my family I feel they’re going to judge me.” Because then they’re going to think, well, if you think you have a drinking habit, then what are you saying about me? Especially because drinkers hang around with other drinkers. So sometimes it doesn’t feel like a conversation that you can have in a mature judgment free kind of zone. I know I have a private Facebook page where I see a lot of the ladies sharing and posting about how they feel about alcohol.
And so sometimes just having that space to explore it with somebody or in a forum where we know it’s not going to be perceived as, hey, I’m calling you out on the carpet. Or maybe you don’t want your spouse’s input because you’ve had it too much and you know exactly where they fall. And you just don’t want to open that pandoras box again. And it doesn’t feel like non-judgment. So, finding those places is really important because I feel that is the tip of the iceberg where we could start to look deeper.
Okay, why is there so much desire for the alcohol? For some people it’s because they’re not living the life that they want. And so, this is just numbing the life that they’re ‘tolerating’. So, is there changes we could be making that are short term, quick results? Just to get somebody started on that process of change because you want to eat an elephant one bite at a time, looking at changing something could be overwhelming for someone. So, I think having those zones is so key, it’s so key.
So, if it’s not feeling like you have a girl friend that’s going to understand or a spouse that’s going to understand, it’s really finding somebody to help you process this. I said, for me, I spent over eight years continuously trying all these different modalities again and again. And what’s the definition of insanity? Keep trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
So, it wasn’t until I had somebody that can walk me through judgment free questions, judgment free, just really understanding how this habit came to be and then how we can make changes that are going to be effective long term. Just avoiding it has never worked. I mean just look at the just say no to drugs campaign, that completely failed. So just saying no is not an effective strategy. Actually, it led to an increase in drugs during that campaign.
And so, I feel when a lot of people feel that they just have to avoid it, or cut people out, or just not buy it, those are temporarily maybe helpful but not long term because then we internalize as people that we are the problem, we are the bad person and we can’t be trusted around it. Whereas I’d rather empower the person, empower the female to say, “Hey, no, I can be in control of it. And it’s just alcohol. It’s just liquid on a shelf or liquid in a glass.” Yeah.
Lindsey: Yeah. I mean it’s exactly, it’s diet mentality around alcohol is what you were describing there. It’s like anybody can do anything for a short period of time. It’s when the short period of time ends and life happens, we get crazy, our energy gets worn down, now all of a sudden we’re back to, we slip into what feels the easiest, where it feels normal.
We are such a black and white thinking type society, and then needing fast results and all of that, that it does help to just hear this out of your mouth, somebody who’s been through the journey and you’ve coached other people through the journey that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Which is, I feel you don’t hear that very often. I feel to hear that out of alcohol talk is kind of new. And I think would be new for other people to be hearing too. I guess it would probably depend on a personality.
Do you have people who are more fall in the addictive? I don’t know. Is there that line of the person who really shouldn’t and can’t?
Sherry: Yeah. So first there is a couple of questions in there and I want to tease each of those out. So, the first was, I remember when I was still practicing as a pharmacist and somebody would have new onset diabetes. You would never tell a person who has diabetes to avoid sugar, avoid carbs. You don’t say that to people. So, I started to think, okay, why do we do that, alcohol, just avoid it? Because sometimes when you tell somebody to avoid something that just makes them want it even more?
So, strategies to cut back, strategies to cut down. We had pamphlets. We had food trackers. We had all this stuff you can look at to manage sugar, and carbs, and how it is going to affect if they went on insulin and their insulin dosage. And then the ADA came up with pre diabetes. It’s like okay, you’re trending towards becoming a diabetic. You might have pre diabetes, let’s implement some lifestyle strategies so you don’t get diabetes. And I’m like, “That’s what we need for people who have this relationship with alcohol that’s starting to tend up and go up towards alcoholism.”
Now, they don’t call it alcoholism. They call it alcohol use disorder. But it’s the same concept. It’s like, okay, let’s get those grey area drinkers who might be on their way to becoming physically, and emotionally, and psychologically dependent. Let’s give them strategies so that doesn’t happen. And then they could change their ways to embrace their wellness and their health more. And it’s not about avoiding it. It’s like people with diabetes still can have sugar, they just have to be careful with it and not have to much and all of that. But it’s not like you want to take that joy away.
And then to get to your next question, so I work with the people who are in that grey area. They’re overdrinking but they’re not quite addicted or severe alcohol use disorders, the appropriate diagnosis. Now, once they get into that category they need professional medical help and should be monitored as such. So, I do believe that there are people that cannot touch even a drop or two of it because it does lead to catastrophic events in their life. But that is a very, very small percentage of the current over-drinkers.
Lindsey: Which is so interesting because that is who everybody compares themselves to. If anyone’s trying to decipher if they have a drinking problem or not, we always go, “Well, not the person that is passing out at the end of the night.” Or like you said, waking up and craving a drink in the morning, or it doesn’t look like that.
Sherry: It’s missing all these days at work or choosing to fund their alcohol addiction rather than pay their mortgage. That is not most people. Most people are just overdoing it by a couple of glasses a couple of times a week or they’re binging a couple of times a week, or whatever it is. It’s a different pattern and it looks differently for everybody. And of course, it’s also influenced by body size and how much your body can handle. Because I have a lot of women in my program who are like, “But I should be able to keep up with my husband.”
I’m like, “But your husband is twice the size of you. No, you shouldn’t be able to drink like he does.” So just breaking down these ways that society has told us to look at alcohol and just assessing if they’re appropriate for our life and our lifestyle.
Lindsey: So good, I love the comparison with the diabetes too, just the pre diabetes comment of hey, just a red flag went up again of maybe this is a watch out, maybe it’s just something to consider and here’s some tools on how to do that. It’s awesome. Oh, my goodness. Okay, something else that you said and again just to get everybody’s brains on the same page. You have this on your website even. Did you wake up after a night of drinking and swear that you’ll never do it again? That night, you’re definitely not going to drink and then the afternoon rolls around and you start considering that potential of having a glass. And the cycle continues.
Go into that because I think that’s like, if we’re talking percentages of norms, what a lot of people would day.
Sherry: Absolutely. And for me I called it my witching hours, five, six, seven o’clock. And now that we’re a lot remotely, some people are like, “Gosh, I’m starting to drink at two o’clock and I just put it in a different flask, or a different bottle that my Zoom call, they can’t know. They don’t know what’s inside.” Or they’re not on Zoom calls and they’re just working from home and they’re starting earlier. So yeah, you don’t have this desire in the morning so it’s very easy to commit. It’s very easy to say, “I’m not drinking today.” Because you don’t have any desire.
Your triggers aren’t around, you’re not normally a drinker at eight in the morning, or 6:00am, or whenever you get up. So, you think and you feel in your body that you’re totally aligned, you’re not drinking, you’re 110% committed and it’s going to happen. And then the afternoon rolls around. And then it’s like I would call it my bipolar self. It’s like all of a sudden this alter ego comes out and I just wanted alcohol again. And why is this happening? Why don’t I feel like I did at six in the morning?
Why am I even thinking about alcohol? Because it’s the way I have been for almost a decade. I just drank at the end of my day. So, to think that I’m not going to have desire is kind of erroneous way of my brain thinking that it’s just not going to be there. No, it’s going to be there because it has been there for the past decade. Oftentimes we internalize it to think I’m flawed, I’m broken, I’m not, I don’t have as much resolute or not as resolute as I was in the morning, or I’m not as committed. Where did my commitment go? Where did my willpower go?
We start questioning all that but it’s not even about that. It’s just the desire is now there where it wasn’t there in the morning. That’s really just what happened. And so, calling it commitment, calling it all these other things, or shaming ourselves is only going to make us feel worse and guess what most of us wind up doing when we feel bad? We feel like, okay, now we really need to drink. Or saying, okay, it’s desire, an urge, it’s my witching hour. It’s what happens to my body because I’ve trained my body to expect alcohol at this time of the day.
It’s how I’ve been operating for the past few years, few months, whatever. And so having strategies to harness that desire and not drink, what to do with those urges, what to do with that desire, what to do with those, maybe those emotions. Maybe it’s not desire. I have some women that say, “You know, I don’t feel desire, I don’t feel urge, I just feel really bored or really lonely and that’s what’s driving me to overdrink or to start drinking.” And so, looking at, then I say, “Well, then you don’t have a drinking problem, you have a boredom problem.”
Because drinking is your brain’s way of saying, “Hey, here is a solution.” So, it’s not up to your brain, drinking is a solution, not a problem at that time.
Sherry: Yeah, just like food becomes the solution to my boredom, or my sadness, or not feeling good about something in my life. So, let’s address the real cause. Let’s address the boredom or the sadness, and where is that coming from? And what would you rather be doing than putting this stuff down our esophagus? What would be more lifegiving rather than life sucking?
Lindsey: Yeah. No, that’s good. And you’re giving fabulous examples. And the bottom line is whether it’s food or whether it’s alcohol, it’s an individual, Sherry, cannot fit across the mic here and tell you what’s going to work for you until she can work for you individually because everyone’s so different and their needs at that moment of, I’ll call it weakness. But it is like – again, I always think when energy is down or when – and if we’re relating this with food again. It’s when people get really hungry, when hunger kicks in, that’s when we go, “I want it.”
When we’re really full we’re readily saying, “I want that, I want that next thing.” And that’s how I feel, like you said, it was reminding me of the wake up at 8:00am and being like, no problem, I’m not going to have drinks today. And I think that way when people are nice, and content, and full, it’s like no problem, I’m not going to do my nighttime eating tonight. And then you get to it and maybe at that point you’re now hungry and different triggers. Different triggers for alcohol, different triggers for food.
So, when you’re working with somebody and let’s say it is bored, you’re replacing, how long do you feel it takes that person to start getting in the right momentum of this is working, I care, moving forward?
Sherry: Yeah. It was really across the board. I have worked with some women who just get it done and it takes just a few weeks. Then I work with others who there’s a lot going on that’s leading to the drinking. And so, we need to look at each piece of that. And we tackle a piece here. We tackle a piece there. Some people are like, “Just help me with drinking at home.” And then that’s done and good, and they’re at a good spot. And then something else happens. So it could be, I overdo it and I didn’t realize how much I overdo it on vacations, help me with that.
So, it could be different circumstances, it could be different triggers. And just depending on when those trigger arise. And if it’s the same theme from another trigger. Once you get the theme contained, it doesn’t matter the trigger. But certain triggers often carry different traumas or emotional responses in our body. And so, we just want to heal those. And so, it could be a couple of months, for some people they’ve been working on it for over a year. And I don’t think – I know we’re such a results focused and I want to be results focused.
I actually have a whole podcast on how we get lazy and we become less results focused which is why it takes so much longer for a lot of people to lose weight or to do other goals. However, if you’re working on it, you will feel like you’re making progress and you will be fueled by that momentum. You’ll see, okay, I can now handle my mother-in-law when she comes to visit. This is amazing. I used to storm my fridge. You have these little successes in your life where you’re like, that no longer sets me off the rails. That no longer causes me to storm my fridge.
And when you see that you have changed that relationship with that person, and with yourself, and with alcohol, it really empowers you to say, “Okay, now I got it, how it worked there, now I just need to flip the switch in my brain for these other circumstances.” And so just to summarize, it could take as little as a few weeks, to months, to over a year. And I don’t think there’s any good or bad to how long it takes because this is something that’s permanent, that’s going to last. Yeah, as long as you learn the tools and the modalities, yeah.
Lindsey: Yes, I totally agree. And it’s the idea of almost maintenance thinking within this a little bit too, even if you don’t feel like you’re getting these huge shifts of call it, I stopped drinking enough, I’m not even seeing weight loss. Things that maybe somebody was hoping to see out of their journey. The pure fact that they’re working on it right now means that they’re going to come out of that year looking different with alcohol than what they would have looked like if they would not have been working on it.
Sherry: Absolutely. And I love how you said that because a small portion of what we do in my programs is on alcohol, very small. It’s about your life because when you’re getting the life and the results you want, alcohol plays a very small part. When you’re not getting the life you want or you have all these pain points that are unresolved, or you don’t know how to work through them, alcohol becomes more important because your brain thinks, this is what I need to stop my suffering or to stop this pain point. And yeah, it temporarily stops it but it’s not a permanent fix.
Lindsey: Right. You said it and this is so interesting, thank you for all of this. When you’re working with people, I am hearing individual. Do you also do kind of courses with your clients? What does all of that look like?
Sherry: Yes, actually I offer a lot. I have an online course where they would watch videos and learn the tools. They would understand how to identify what their triggers are, emotionally if they’re connected, how they’re connected to it mentally. So, breaking it down to the root cause of the drinking because remember, my idea is our brain sees it as a solution, not the problem. So, we want to identify what the real problems are. Is it my marriage? Is it my job? Is it how I don’t handle stress very well?
Is it that I bottle my emotions so much and then I just explode and I don’t feel safe to explode because then there’s going to be an argument in my household? And so, there’s all of that that we need to discover. And so, I do that multiple ways through video courses like I mentioned, and workbooks.
Then we do group calls because I have to tell you, when you don’t feel like you’re alone in this, and you see other women struggling who are professional and let’s just say put together because we all have the stereotype of the person who’s an over-drinker is not put together. Or just has this disheveled life. And it’s like, no, no, this happens to professional women or women who take care of themselves in other ways. It’s just that they have isolated to this drinking thing.
And so, it really helps them shed the shame really quick when you can hear other women. And the group calls I have to say are for a lot of the people that I work with, their favorite part. And then there are a few that don’t want to do that because maybe – I don’t know – they have their – just how they’re wired. They’d rather be more introverted and not be on the phone with anybody. Or they don’t want others to know. Maybe they have still got to deal with a lot of shame. And so, I do private one-on-one coaching for those individuals because that’s where I was.
I never thought I would be podcasting about an alcohol problem. Are you kidding me? I’m a pharmacist, this destroys my career. I cannot believe I’m doing this. If you were to tell me this five years ago, I would have said, “There’s no way. You have the wrong Sherry Price.”
Lindsey: Not happening.
Sherry: It’s not. I was way too buttoned up and had to be prim and proper and worried about my reputation and how it would affect me. And so, I get it, for me confidentiality and having somebody that I can just talk one-on-one with and feel safe and secure and held in that space was totally needed for my transformation. And so, I want to offer that because I know that was part of my journey and really important. That nothing could be discovered on a medical chart or medical record, nothing. Nothing, no history.
So, I love to offer that version as well for people that feel that they would be best supported in that nature.
Lindsey: Yes, I think relief with just hearing you say that. Okay, that’s an option. I also do want to point out your podcast, Drink Less Lifestyle. It was another fantastic place for the person going, even hearing all of that would be confidential. And I don’t know if I could my toes still in that water because it means I’m admitting something. Just to start plugging your podcast in somebody’s ears weekly or even better, daily. Do you feel just by listening you can start to see how that can start to make changes in somebody’s life?
Sherry: Absolutely. And I have it in my reviews. People will say, “I’ve only listened to your podcast and it’s helped me tremendously. I now have a relationship I feel good about with alcohol.” And a lot of the listeners will come to my free private Facebook group and start posting there. And how much, they have been drinking maybe 50 drinks a week and now they’re down to 10, or they’re down to five. And just seeing the true impact that that has just by hearing, this is what I’m doing. This is why my brain is going wrong.
Wait, this is something I can try, I never tried thinking about that. It’s really not an alcohol problem, it’s a boredom problem. Well, I never thought about it that way. And so now it opens the mind to consider other ways to help ourselves not have this issue. And so, the podcast has really helped a lot of people. So yes, I welcome anybody to come and take a listen and see if it’s the right space for you.
Lindsey: And I think my listeners would kick me if I didn’t ask this question. Let’s talk weight loss for a second with the alcohol reduction. Do you see a direct correlation?
Sherry: 100%. 100%, yes. And I actually do a little bit on weight loss. And how to do that in a sustainable fashion. I don’t podcast that much on it, maybe this is an idea. You could come on my podcast. We could do this. But I do have a course on it within the programs and a lot of times the issue goes hand in hand because of course empty calories and all of that. And oftentimes even when I was overdrinking the acidity in my stomach from too much wine, I needed to buffer that out so I’d snack on my daughter’s Goldfish, or Cheez-Its, or things I didn’t normally eat.
It’s like, why am I eating this? I don’t even like this. But it’s just things you do when you’re intoxicated. So oftentimes we look at, okay, I call it overdrinking, and overeating, and overspending, and overworking, all ways we buffer from feeling our emotions. So, if this is an area because I do work with over-workers, they’re spending many hours working to feel good to get that validation. And so how can we look at working a little less to have more work life balance. The same with food.
Just so we’re carrying around a body that we want to be in, that feels good to be in, it moves, it serves us. It’s not to be a certain size, or a certain weight, or look a certain way unless that’s important to the individual. But really just owning your body and your relationship to it and feeling good and confident about it.
Lindsey: Yeah. I always look at it like if I can lay my head down and this is what I want for my people. If you can lay your head down at the end of the night and most of the time be proud of yourself. You’re going to have days where it doesn’t look like that of course. But if it’s a repetitive cycle and I wish I would have, I wish I wouldn’t have, then it’s just an area, like you said, it’s non-judgmental but it’s an area to consider. And to come into somebody, and you are so [inaudible], I could totally see anybody listening, or watching us via YouTube right now being like, “I could work with her.”
Because there is a lot of people, and again, I think alcohol is super sensitive, that it’s easy to instantly, even if the person is saying, “Don’t feel judged”, feel like, I don’t feel [inaudible], and you have all the right vibes, all the right – you’re the real deal.
Sherry: Yeah. I really want to create that space where we could talk about anything. Sometimes people use alcohol to be more intimate with their spouse because they have body issues, or they don’t feel sex is as enjoyable as maybe their spouse does. So, I want to have these conversations because if we make headway a little here, a little there, a little there, it all starts to add up. And it all is related. They’re interconnected. They’re interconnected.
And to be more confident in who you are, not in an arrogant way. I’m not saying arrogant, but just to say, “Okay, here’s where I’m making some strides, here’s where would feel good to be this type of woman, let’s go after that type of woman.”
Lindsey: I love that. One last time, what’s the best place for everybody to find you?
Sherry: So, I have a podcast like you mentioned, Drink Less Lifestyle. And then they can visit my website for some resources and a download guide on how to effectively break an overdrinking habit and that’s at sherryprice.com. Sherry, just like the red wine, because my name came from my dad who was in bartending school when I was born. So, it was either going to be Sherry or Brandy. And so, they picked Sherry.
Lindsey: So, you were meant to come into this role before you ever even knew it.
Sherry: Exactly. It’s funny how that comes full circle, thinking about that now.
Lindsey: The irony in life. And I love when my interview guest gets to pour their last bit of wisdom over our listeners. And if you could wrap your arms around them and hope and pray that they hear this one thing from you, what would it be?
Sherry: That you can be the woman you want to be. Give yourself that permission. Give yourself that love. Give yourself that grace. Give yourself that space.
Lindsey: It’s so good, thank you. Thank you, Sherry.
Sherry: Thank you, Lindsey.
Thanks for listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol, check out my free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. That’s sherryprice.com/startnow. I’ll see you next week.