Ep #99: Habitual Drinking

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Habitual Drinking

We’ve spoken about situational and emotional drinking, and these two things can eventually turn consuming alcohol into a habit, even when the situations and emotions have improved.

This week, we’re tackling a third form of drinking: habitual drinking. If you’re drinking but there doesn’t seem to be an emotion or a circumstance leading you to doing it, your drinking has become habitual.  Tune in this week to find the solution.

 

Are you ready to create amazing healthy habits that last?  The Elevate You, Elevate Your Life Women’s Retreat has a few open spots. Learn how to live empowered in your life – with energy, zest, and passion – as you are achieving your goals. Click here to register.

 

 

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • What is habitual drinking and what it might look like in your life.
  • How patterns have led to your alcohol consumption becoming a habit.
  • The powerful work you can do now to change your habitual drinking.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

 

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 99.

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 friends, I am so excited to be with you today although I am sweating. I have to tell you, it has gotten to be really hot here in San Diego. And we usually don’t experience this level of hotness this early. So, I don’t have central air conditioning. And I have this unit that I use in my office when it gets this hot and we haven’t set it up yet. And even if we did set it up I will tell you that I couldn’t run it while recording this podcast because it would provide too much background noise.

So, I just want to say, if you’re out there sweating, I’m joining you along with that process. And do you know, I know I’ve heard some ladies say, “Yeah, I don’t sweat, I glisten.” Yeah, that’s not the case for me. I go all in if I’m sweating. I mean when I do a workout, maybe this is too much information but I soak through everything. It is just full on sweat. So, I am sitting here detoxifying. Maybe that’s a better way of saying it. But it is really hot. I don’t know. It’s just off the charts hot in a lot of parts of the world this summer.

But that is not going to deter me my ladies because I really want to record this podcast for you. I spent all day coaching clients, making videos for Epic You, planning out my content for what’s to come and as I mentioned in last week’s episode and I will mention again in this episode. There are some big changes coming and I am so excited about them, so excited. And I can’t wait to share those with you and hopefully I get to reveal that in next week’s podcast.

Now, I just want to remind you, for those of you who are interested in the retreat, we still have a few spots remaining. I have some exciting things planned for that retreat. If you like walking we are going to do a walking along the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego in the morning. And walking is so therapeutic and it’s a great way to connect with other women. And so there will be an opportunity to do these activities that are planned throughout the retreat.

And I have to tell you, I just received the workbook and it is impressive. I was working hard putting together this beauty for you all and I am delighted with how it turned out. It’s 55 pages of goodness, of inspiration and a process that takes you through human transformation and what makes change stick and tons of exercises that some we’ll get to do at the retreat and some you will be able to complete after the retreat because it’s the gift that keeps on giving. So I’m so delighted that it turned out so well and I can’t wait to share it with all of you ladies who are coming to the retreat.

Alright, so in this week’s episode I want to tackle another form of drinking that women relate to and that’s habitual drinking. So, inside my programs like Epic You, Drink Less Lifestyle, we tackle three forms of drinking. So that’s emotional drinking, that’s situational drinking and this final component which is habitual drinking. So, I talked about in previous podcasts how to work through emotional drinking, how to work through circumstantial or situational drinking and now in this week’s podcast I’m going to walk through habitual drinking.

What does it look like? And how do we overcome it? Because when you talk with most people that’s what they will say are their three problems with their drinking. It’s emotional, it’s because of my circumstances or my situation that I found myself in. And sometimes it’s the situation that started it and then it’s led to habitual drinking. So maybe it was a past job, or a toxic relationship, or a divorce, or the death of a loved one. And that was the circumstance or the situation that started the drinking.

But then many women find themselves in this place where hey, that situation was years ago and now I just find myself in this place where I’m habitually drinking even though the circumstances are much better, or they’ve improved and I’ve healed somewhat from that trauma, or that past event but I still find myself drinking more than I want. So, I like to use some synonyms around habitual drinking. I define it as drinking that’s just on autopilot, you don’t know why you’re doing it, you’re not aware of why you’re doing it and it just happens.

It’s just what you do, it’s the habit or the pattern, maybe you notice it’s something that you start every night at five o’clock like I did. For some people it’s every weekend. For some people it’s only when they go out and find themselves in these social events which brings on maybe a level of anxiety, or a level of pressure, or a level of I want to fit in or belong. And so, I’m not aware of it but maybe I have insecurities and now I’m just masking those. Or I want to be more extroverted.

I know that was for me. I was an introvert and I was quiet and alcohol allowed me a way to open up, let go of some of my insecurities, let go of some of my judgment. And so, it was my habitual way of showing up when I entered the external world. So, it’s what you do, it’s just how you behave. It’s just how you act. It’s kind of like I don’t even know why I’m drinking this much or I don’t even know why I’m overdrinking, it’s just something I do, it just happens.

And I want us to bring us back to really looking at why it happens because without that piece which we’ll talk about as we go further into this podcast, without that piece we really can’t solve this type of drinking. We really can’t do much that’s going to be sustainable for this type of drinking. So, I want to bring us back to that think, feel, act cycle. So, we are all about acting. We are all about that. I love taking massive action. I talk about power moves all the time. I am about results. I am all about taking action.

So, a lot of times we come at habitual drinking just saying, I don’t know why I do it but I want to stop. So, we just look at the doing, the action. I drink or I don’t drink. And if I drink, sometimes I overdrink. And it’s not the drinking that bothers me, it’s the overdrinking that bothers me or for some people it’s all drinking that bothers them. They can’t have any peace around any amount of alcohol, a sip, or a glass, or a bottle, it’s all the same in their brain. So, I know that many people when they find themselves in habitual drinking you know what they do? They try to change the action.

They go after drinking, they’re like I’m going to drink less, I’m not going to drink at all, I’m going to make these rules, these regulations, when I get to have it, when I don’t, all of that. And that, while that in and of itself is very admirable, and our brain thinks that’s the solution. I want to tell you, for most people that doesn’t work long term and maybe you’ve tried it. You may feel like, okay, I’m going to put these rules, I’m going to get this amount of alcohol, or I’m not going to drink, I’m going to take 30 days off. And I’m really going to try to enjoy life without any alcohol.

So, you’re focusing on the action of drinking or not drinking. And when you do this and you cut out alcohol, whether it’s mostly or completely, I will tell you, most people feel like something is missing from their lives. Because their brain on some level still desires it, still wants it. And the brain on some level if you’ve been drinking a long time and this has developed into a habit, your brain still thinks you should be able to have some because after all you’ve been having some and maybe your life isn’t that crappy.

Maybe the circumstances aren’t that bad, maybe the consequences, yeah, a little weight gain, yeah, not sleeping well and yeah, you’re kind of justifying, it’s really not that bad of a habit. So, if you just focus on the action part of the think, feel, act cycle I will tell you this is where I spent a lot of years just focusing on the action, if I’m going to drink, if I’m not going to drink. And I never really understood how the thinking and the feeling compartment or components of that fit in.

And when you don’t change how you think and how you feel about alcohol I will tell you, it’s so much harder to change the actions because you’ll still feel like you’re missing out, or you can’t relax, or you can’t destress, or you can’t be yourself, or you can’t let down the pressure cooker and feeling like you’re taking the edge off without having a drink. And when you’re feeling this way and thinking this way you will tell yourself, I can’t have alcohol. I can’t have a drink. And I just want to ask you, when you tell yourself you can’t have a drink, is that really true?

Now, as an adult with freewill I want to tell you it’s absolutely false. You could have a drink, you can have two drinks, you can have a bottle, you can have cans of beer, you can have alcohol. And so, when we question that thought, first of all it doesn’t hold up in a court of law. It doesn’t even pass our test. But here’s the thing, when you tell yourself you can’t have a drink, how does that make you feel? When you can’t have something what feeling does that create inside of your body?

I know for me it creates depravation. It creates restriction. It creates this idea that others can have it and I can’t so why am I the bad the person? Why am I not allowed to have this? And then it starts feeding into this binary thinking that I’m good when I don’t overdo it on alcohol and I’m bad when I do. And so, this cycle starts to play on us mentally.

And when you’re in this cycle I want you to notice it’s a lose/lose proposition for yourself. Because if you’re defining your morality by if you drink or if you don’t drink and yet you want to be neutral around alcohol you’ve already set yourself up for failure. Because you really aren’t finding alcohol neutral. You are really tagging it as either a good thing or a bad thing or yourself as a good person or a bad person depending on how much or if you drink.

So that binary thinking is what really created a lot of havoc for me because I couldn’t find peace with any amount of alcohol when I had that type of thinking. So, I see women do this all the time. They will think that if I don’t drink, or if I don’t overdrink for a few days then I’m good and then guess what? The desire for it is still there. We haven’t changed our story about it. We still think and feel the same way about alcohol. So even though we’re not consuming for a few days, that pressure is building inside.

And then when we do allow ourselves to drink, maybe it’s the weekend, maybe we’ve planned for it, maybe it’s an upcoming event, oftentimes what I will find women do is that they will go overboard, they will overdrink, they will overdo it because that’s a way that they say, “Hey, I’ve been good all week and now it’s time to reward myself. And I thought rewarding myself would have been enough with one, or two, or three drinks. But hey, oh my gosh, I went way over that.”

So, notice that there is an internal narrative going on where you’re restricting yourself, and that leads to pent up feelings, and that you want to compensate for that and reward for those pent up feelings. And then you release with an overconsumption of alcohol. This is very common. And so many people attack themselves by the action of drinking or not drinking. But I want to start with the story that happens way before that, the story that we tell ourselves and the story that is really driving the whole action.

Because we know our thoughts create our feelings and then our feelings create our actions. So, when you tell yourself negative things like I’ll never break this habit, or I don’t know why I do this to myself, or I hate myself when I overdo it, or why did I do this again, or I can’t remember exactly what happened last night, I forget so many things and conversations. Why do I keep doing this? And then you tell yourself this different story that I’m never going to drink again, or I’m cutting myself off from all alcohol for the next week, or the next month.

And that shame hating cycle and the blame cycle continues. So back to restriction, back to putting yourself on an alcohol diet. And I will tell you my friends I have seen so many people, including myself stay in this habit, in this pattern, in this cycle for years, decades even. And maybe you’re there, maybe this is what you are experiencing. And you are just so perplexed by why this keeps happening. You keep trying, you keep restricting, you keep setting rules. And then boom, you binge.

And I’ll tell you why this keeps happening, because you’re caught up in the habit cycle. And what your brain is thinking that’s going to work to get out of the habit cycle isn’t working my friend. It’s not working. It didn’t work last year. It didn’t work the year before. So why would we expect it to work all of a sudden? And what I see so many people do is using negative self-talk, creating a narrative that creates more restriction, more depravation that will ultimately lead to more intense pressure building up inside of them that they feel like they’re going to combust.

And so, they look for alcohol for that release. And then when you have it what do you tell yourself? That you failed. And so, you think you failed, so what do you do? You start the process all over again and you expect it to work the next time. Maybe instead of blaming ourselves we should say, “Hey, the process that we’re trying really isn’t working.” And we know this process doesn’t work to break habits. I will tell you my friends that habitual drinking does not end by focusing on restricting alcohol.

This is focusing on just the action. This is what I’ve talked about in my podcast from the beginning and it’s why it doesn’t work. Because this part is missing big pieces, it’s missing the subconscious programming of your brain. It’s missing the conscious programming of your brain. And if you’re not rewiring your brain for a different relationship with alcohol, what will happen? You will eventually revert back because that is how your brain is currently wired in its current relationship with alcohol.

And notice when you have this narrative running, notice that none of what you are doing is telling you any information about why you are drinking. It’s you’re just drinking or you’re not drinking. But what’s the story? What’s the real story you want the alcohol, what’s really going on for you inside? What’s going on in your body before you decide to take that first sip? What’s going on in your mind before you decide to take that first sip? That my friends is where your power is. That my friends is what needs to change before we can expect the action to change.

Now, we can force the action to change, but I will tell you, you will go on depravation, and you will do restriction and then you will feel like, oh my gosh, this pressure is building, and building, and building and I just need a drink. And when that happens that’s when overconsumption, or a binge, or whatever you want to define it as, happens.

So, if you’re not aware of what’s going on for you mentally, emotionally, you don’t even know why you’re picking up the alcohol, you don’t understand and you’re just in this pattern where you’re not even questioning it, you’re just unaware. You’re never going to get to your truth, therefore you’re never going to get to the answer, therefore you’re never going to solve it long term. You’re going to keep continuing to fight with yourself. How do I know this?

I was just speaking with a few of the women inside Epic You and they were telling me that this is how they feel and that they want a real solution. Now, I will tell you, for these women they’ve been in the program and they said, “Hey, I’ve solved my emotional drinking, my negative emotions no longer drive me to drink. I used to feel sad, self-pity, self-loathing. And I’ve cleaned up that part but what’s left, now I’m just drinking because I’m happy and I’m elated, and I want to take that to the next level.”

Great, they solved the negative emotion drinking part. And now they have this other part that they need to solve for. So, whether it’s a Friday night out with friends, or out with their loved ones, or after they play golf, or tennis, or pickleball, or they’re at a party with all the girl friends, or socializing, or at a backyard barbecue. They’re like, “Hey, I get to drink, yay, this is fun.”

And one of the ladies was even saying, “Oh my gosh, I drank so much I passed out. I didn’t expect that. And what’s so embarrassing, I didn’t remember a damn thing that happened at that party. I don’t remember what I said, who I spoke to, how embarrassing.” And she said to me, “This is not the way a 50 year old woman should be acting.” But she acted that way because she noticed when we looked back, she was putting herself on an alcohol diet. I’m restricting during the week, but hey, when it comes to a party I get to have as much as I want.

And she was thinking that subconsciously. She wasn’t even aware she was thinking that consciously. But when we did the work and dove in, she’s like, “Oh my gosh, there it is. I didn’t even realize I was thinking that way.” Now, I’m talking a lot about restriction and then people who once they say, “Hey, I’m going to allow a few drinks”, they go overboard. But I want to tell you, I saw this in my own life when I would just allow some alcohol every single day and I would go overboard.

So, I would restrict during the day while I was at work, or while I was getting things done, or I wasn’t driving. But then after those rules were off then I was like, “Hey, it’s my time, I get to do what I want. I get to enjoy the rest of my night the way I want to and man this feels good.” And if you’re like a lot of people, if one feels good more is better. So, let’s talk about a few things that can extinguish or conquer habitual drinking. And if you’ve listened to this podcast since the beginning I know you’re going to recognize step one.

Step one is where it all has to start. And step one is really becoming aware. So, I call step one awareness. It’s why do you want the drink? What is your real story for wanting to drink? You may find you have a few reasons. And when that happens that’s great. But I really want to boil it down to the real reason. There is generally one reason that’s driving the whole bus. So, some questions you can be asking yourself and you get these worksheets when you join Epic You.

How do you feel when you drink? How do you feel when you don’t drink? Because I want to know and I want you to connect with what’s going on inside of you. And for many of us we don’t even notice. We just drink to numb. We just drink to tune out. We just drink to escape. But I will tell you, this will never help you solve the problem. If you just want to check out all the time it’s never going to help you solve what minor trauma, what major trauma, what minor or major frustrations you’re feeling inside, or maybe they’re not even frustrations but something is off.

When I work with women I find that many of them drink for a sense of belonging especially if they’re out with others because if everybody else is doing it or their husband is drinking, then they think, well, I should be able to do that as well. And why not? It helps me feel like I belong and I fit in. And sure, I want you to feel like you belong and I want you to feel like you fit in. But does that require some alcohol? And does that require you going overboard with the alcohol? Because did you ever notice, there are people that can fit in with just one drink or no drinks?

And wouldn’t you rather get to a place like that than relying and being codependent on alcohol to get you there? Even take it a step further, do you feel you belong the next day? I know for me when I can’t remember the night and it’s foggy, and I can’t remember what I said or how I responded that does not make me feel like I’ve connected with the people that I wanted to connect with. It makes me feel like I was wrapped up in my own world with my drink and I just blacked out, or I just tuned out.

It really doesn’t help me feel more connected. Actually, it makes me feel more isolated. And I will tell you, for most people before they start working with me, they can’t even answer these questions. They don’t know how to uncover this for themselves. They maybe try to ask themselves these questions but then they come up with no answers. And so, this is something that we work on inside the program because I want all women to understand this component because it makes the rest of the process so much more effective.

So, I’ll help you understand and get clear on what’s going on for you. Because this is the basis of habit change. We can’t change something that we don’t know is broken or needs to be fixed. So, we have to get really clear on what’s going on and what’s driving the whole behavior or the whole action of drinking. So, we really have to uncover those thoughts and those feelings going on inside for us. And once we understand what is at the core then the rest becomes easier. We can work with your brain to change it.

Which brings us to step number two. Once we understand what’s driving the whole process we can start to rewire your brain. Now, when we are doing this, I mean the subconscious as well as the conscious part of the brain. So, we’re looking at changing the story, the narrative and the desire you have around alcohol.

Or this could be applied to food, or overspending, or any other overing that you do in your life. If you are overconsuming in a certain way, or overdoing it like overworking we can work to change that. Because there’s a story, a narrative and a desire to overwork, overspend, overeat, overdrink, all of that, which once we uncover it now we can change the story and the narrative, and the feelings around it. So, without this piece I will tell you most people start by setting rules and you will follow them for a little bit and then you won’t.

And you’ll be talking about how good you are, about oh my gosh, I came home from work at five o’clock and then a couple of days later and then oh my gosh, you’re back to coming home late. Or how you followed your drink plan and then oh my gosh, you didn’t. And so, if we’re still trying to tie the action to our morality of a good person or a bad person, this is only going to inhibit you from making faster progress. Because once you feel that the action that you do is tied to your morality, if you’re a good person or not, it’s going to inhibit and thwart your growth and progress.

And this is why I love teaching the concept of alcohol being neutral. Because if we just look at it as something I just do, because it meets a need in my life, that’s not good or bad. I just need to understand the need, its meaning in my life and meet it another way. And then your desire for alcohol just dissolves, it’s eliminated. So inside Epic You, I walk you through a series of tools and worksheets where you can learn how to do this. So, you can be set free from doing the rules, the restrictions and having that internal negative self-critic show up when you overdo it.

Because here’s what I know about women and people in general. We want, we all want to live a healthy lifestyle. There’s nobody that wakes up and says, “Yeah, I’m just going to destroy myself today.” We all want to live mentally healthy, emotionally healthy, physically healthy and spiritually healthy. You know why? Because we know when we do it feels so darned good. And we know that when we say we want to destroy ourselves, we know that, we’re like, “Yeah, that’s going to hurt.” Whether it’s that day or the next morning, we know it’s going to hurt.

And I think that’s one thing that has really come to light going through these past few years with the pandemic. Some of us went through such immense pain and some of us just felt the pain on the periphery and yet we still decided to self-soothe with food or alcohol, or bad habits that we’ve gotten into. And we look at our lives and we’re like, “Hey, this is not where I want to be.” And we know that our health is so important. And when we have it, we have energy and we feel good at the end of the day and we feel good in the morning.

And that’s the life we all want to live where we feel good throughout the day. We’re not relying on things external to us to make ourselves feel good. And I know for a lot of people we had the memes about COVID-15, people put on weight during this time because it was so mentally and emotionally taxing for many people. And some of us lost control around alcohol. And if that is you, know that you can regain and reclaim your control again. And I will tell you, by restricting and binging, that is not a sustainable practice.

It’s like saying you’re on a diet, then you’re off the diet, then you’re on the diet. And you have cheat days. And for most people that does not lead to long term success and the results and the data support that. What does work is you consistently caring about your health and your wellness no matter what day of the week it is, no matter what circumstances are going on in your life. Not only that you’re not practicing restriction. What I advocate for is you practice allowance, you practice for the lifestyle that you want to be living.

Many of us go into, I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to do that and I’ll never do that again. But we lose sight of what we do want. And for many of us we don’t even really define what we want. And so, this is where I help women really give yourself the permission to be the woman that you want to be. If you want good health let’s go there. If you want great health, let’s define it and let’s go there, and let’s get it. A lot of women when they start this work they’ll say, “I want to be healthy.” And I’ll say, “What does that look like?” But yet they can’t really define it.

I want to be fit. What does that look like? What habits do you want to maintain in your life? And they can’t answer these questions. So, we have to start making it so abstract and making it concrete so that it’s applicable to your life. And this is the work that we do in step two, rewiring your brain for what you want, becoming the woman that you want to be.

Which then brings us naturally to step three which is shifting your identity. While you’re doing the work in step two you will be starting the work in step three. So, if you identified as a drinker in the past and you no longer want to identify as a chronic drinker, a habitual drinker, an emotional drinker, a situational drinker, whatever. And you want to identify differently you get to do that. You give yourself permission to make this change and to make this change last. It’s about sustainability.

We talk about sustainability with our farming, and raising salmon, and fish, we want to eat sustainable products. Well, we want our habits to be sustainable as well. We don’t want to be on and off. What does that do to your emotional state? It’s not good. We want it to be sustainable, maintainable, because you’re in it for the long haul. You’re in it for the long game not just a short game. Sure, you can do anything for 10 days or 30 days but is it sustainable?

This is the component that we work on a lot once you’ve started the step one and step two because I don’t want this to be a short term success and then it sets you up for failure because you didn’t do it the right way going forward. If you did it by restricting and by rules, and telling yourself you can’t have it for 30 days and you didn’t plan for what’s going to happen on day 31, day 61, day 91, day 101. If we don’t know where we’re going and the type of woman you want to be, how do we know how to create a plan to get there? You don’t.

So, we have to start working on what is your identity? What is your long term goal? Are you a woman who could take it or leave it and what does that mean? So, when you shift your identity I want to point out that you are giving yourself permission to be living as the woman you want to be. And my friends, that is so critical, so many of us beat ourselves up and say, “I shouldn’t want this. This is going to be too hard. I’ll never get there.” And we create all these obstacles that are just in our head, they’re not even real.

Because if we let all that go you know what happens? I find women just getting there easy, without much effort. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize I just had to give myself some permission to shift my identity and now this is so easy. I’m no longer carrying the trauma of my past or my alcoholic parents or bitter at them, or the life I wanted to have but didn’t. I’m giving myself permission to have the life I want to have, to go after the dreams that are most important to me.” And you practice being her.

Now, of course I have tools where I will teach you how to do this. And you will do this daily because when you practice this, this is who you become. And it becomes your new identity. And when it becomes your new identity you no longer have to practice it. It is just who you are. So, I know when I was doing this work I had very, very black and white thinking which I talked about before on this podcast. When we go into the module on types of thinking, I identified most with black and thinking out of the six thinking styles.

I was like, “Yes, that’s exactly where I am, I’m perfectionistic, things need to go my way or the highway. It’s either or wrong. It’s either one, option one or option two, the patient’s either alive or dead. There were just certain criteria where my brain was trained for black and white thinking. It was very binary. And so, my brain was caught up in I’m either a drinker or I’m not. And I want to tell you, that really kept me stuck because I didn’t want to identify as a drinker but yet there was a part of me that wasn’t ready to identify as a non-drinker.

And I’m still not there ready to identify as a non-drinker, somebody who never drinks. So, for me that binary thinking, that black and white thinking kept me stuck because my identity wasn’t wrapped up in either. So, when I found that it doesn’t have to be binary, that there are hundreds of other choices, hundreds, ladies, hundreds of other choices of the type of drinker you can be, it really opened me up to say, “Well, what type of drinker do I want to be? What kind of woman do I want to be?

And what felt most truthful to my inner knowing was that I wanted to be a woman who can take it or leave it. And so, I had to train my mind to embrace non-binary land. Do you know what that was like? That wasn’t easy because I thought it had to be door one or door two. But now I understood that there were so many other doors. And I have to tell you, if I was stuck in that binary thinking I don’t think my journey would have led me here. I think I would still be stuck in chronically overdrinking. Because they felt so restrictive, I didn’t want to be one or the other.

I wanted my own definition because those other ways didn’t work for me. I didn’t see a path on how to make either of those ways successful, one wasn’t attractive and the other one wasn’t attractive to me either. So, once I became aware of hey, I was stuck in this conundrum. AA tells me I should do it this way. My friends that I hang out with tell me it should be done this way. I have created a life where it’s done this way. That’s all I saw. That’s all I knew. I didn’t have vocabulary for what I really wanted.

And I never gave myself permission to evaluate that, to understand that, to talk about it in a safe tender place where I wouldn’t be judged. I felt if I talked to some people and I told them I still wanted to drink a little bit here and there I would be reprimanded, I’d be told, “You can’t do that.” And be told, “You cross the line. I’d be told, “It’s not going to work.” I’d be told all these things that I didn’t want to hear. I wasn’t ready for that. So one thing I love to do is meet women where they’re at because even a small change can lead to huge change long term.

And when I looked at drinker versus non-drinker, I have to tell you both of those were nauseating to me, neither one of them felt right. And so, my chest would tighten, and I felt like, oh my gosh, I’m just going to drink to relieve this pressure. Neither one felt good so of course it led to overdrinking.

It wasn’t until I used these steps and this process that I’ve shared here on this podcast, where I was able to connect with myself, my truth, my body, my emotions. And give myself the vocabulary that felt true to me for the next progression and the next step on my journey to drinking less. And I’ll tell you, most people don’t do this. Most people don’t know how to do this. Most people don’t know the process to do this. But I have the solution, I can help you do this.

Because most of us are told, just keep focusing on the drink, just say no. Or set a drink plan, set it and forget it. Yeah, well, if it’s not working for you there is a reason why. You have a mental stumbling block, let’s find out what that is. Because I’d rather make small change that’s sustainable over time rather than making a huge change and then I’m yoyo dieting on an alcohol diet. I’m on, I’m off, I’m on, I’m off, I’m overdrinking, I’m not. I’m on a cleanse, I’m detoxing, I’m taking a break and then I’m going all in and bingeing.

And we know that this type of cycle, this type of yoyoing, we’ve seen it in the diet culture, it doesn’t work. It leads to high failure rates. It leads to more weight gain over the long term. And we’ve seen it in the drinking realm and it leads to more addiction over the long term. We have tons of studies to show that. But nobody’s talking about that data. Nobody’s talking about these alternative methods which may be more effective for many people.

So, if you follow these three steps I promise you it’ll get it done. It’ll change your drinking sustainably for the long term. Because we know that addictions, unwanted behaviors, unwanted habits, unwanted patterns, they cannot wait. They need to be stopped. They need to be changed. And when you follow these three steps they will permanently change your relationship with alcohol. And let me offer you a piece of wisdom that I found in working with hundreds of women and in working with myself to overcome my habitual drinking is that I couldn’t change it by fighting it.

I think many of us are fighting ourselves, we’re hating on ourselves. We’re shaming ourselves. We’re putting ourselves down. We’re getting mad at ourselves because we overdid it. And so, when we get mad at ourselves, what do we do? We restrict. We tell ourselves we can’t have it. We go on alcohol diets. And we’re carrying around low level depression and anger at ourselves. This my friends is not healthy. This is not the easiest way to go about conquering an overdrinking habit.

Hating on yourself causes other consequences in your life. And it doesn’t feel good. And you know what it does? It will actually ultimately activate the beast within because you’ll get so mad. You’ll get so frustrated. You’ll get so tired. You’ll say, “I can’t do this. I can’t stay mad at myself this long, it doesn’t feel good. I just want to release this pressure that’s building.” And so, the beast gets activated. And how do you quiet it? With a drink. So, this may be a heavy podcast because I know so many people are hurting out there. And when you hurt, I hear it. I feel it. I see it.

And I want to help, because I know what it’s like to hurt and think, I can’t get up and try again, I can’t do this anymore. But yet I don’t like my life when I’m overdrinking. I don’t like who I am. I don’t like the relationships. I don’t like myself. And so, I really want to help you conquer this habitual drinking habit because it could be conquered. And if the traditional ways of conquering it out there you’ve tried or they’re not appealing to you, there are other alternative ways.

I can lead you to books on this, I can lead you to so much work in this area that has been done in just the past 20 to 30 years, that does not have to include abstinence. And if you want that safe spot, that safe place where you can just come and look at why it is you’re doing what you’re doing, to understand it, to get more clarity, to move past it, to end this cycle. Then I invite you to come join me over at Epic You. It is my favorite place to hang out because we do the work that’s lifechanging.

That’s why I call it epic, it changes not only your drinking, but it changes your life and how you feel about you. Not only that, a byproduct of that is you change your drinking habits for good. And when you reclaim that kind of freedom for yourself you become unstoppable. Alright my friends, have a beautiful week and I can’t wait to see you in next week’s episode.

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.

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