Did you wake up after a night of drinking and swear that you will never do that again? That tonight, you are definitely not going to drink?
Then the afternoon rolls around, and you start considering the potential of having a glass.
You go into duplicity mode. You know – where the angel is on one shoulder and the devil is on the other. And we know who often wins out. This split feeling, these 2 voices, this duplicity is unnerving. It leads to inner conflict and not being at peace.
In this episode, you’ll learn why living in alignment – living in your integrity – is the secret to creating inner peace and stopping this duplicity. Getting rid of the angel and the devil is a skill needed to break the overdrinking habit and find peace in your relationship with alcohol again.
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 60.
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 beautiful friends. How are you today? Wow, episode 60, I can’t believe it. I have been podcasting now for over a year. That makes me so excited. I remember when I just wanted to do this and this was just a dream, it was just something in my imagination. And it was something my gut, my soul told me that I wanted to do and I had to do and I had to put this work out into the world. And I had no idea how it was going to be received.
And I have to tell you that each week I hear from so many of you saying how this podcast has helped you, has inspired you and has really transformed your relationship with alcohol. Whether you are drinking less or you’re not drinking at all, so this delights you. And I just want to say thank you, and I appreciate you, and I see you, and I hear you. And it just feels so wonderful to receive your comments, read your reviews and know that you’re listening and that this is helping. So amazing to me and now my heart is just overjoyed.
So thank you for your outpouring of love and kindness. And I want to keep helping and healing people. It’s one of the biggest reasons I do this work. And I know how much it has been impactful in my life. And I can see the transformation happening in my clients’ life. And suffering over and over with a bad habit and things that you don’t want to be doing in your life, it feels so good to be healed from that.
Another way I will be helping and healing people is through a retreat I am throwing next February. You have heard me talk about it on the podcast before. And just to give you a little bit of details. It’s going to be a very small intimate retreat because what we’re going to be focusing on is having a major breakthrough in an area where you’ve felt stuck for a long time. It could be maybe you’ve been wanting to lose the same 20 or 30 pounds for years and you just can’t seem to do it. Or you want to heal from a drinking habit or a drinking issue that has just been nagging at you.
Or maybe it’s another goal that you have and you want to achieve but you’re just not doing it. So at this retreat it will be deep dive coaching. I will be using different tools that help you dissolve things that have been blocking you for a while. I have had this type of deep dive coaching happen in my life and it’s been so transformative, totally amazing. When I experienced this for myself, I was like, “I have to bring this to others it is so good.” The Sherry Price that walked into that room is different than the Sherry Price that walked out.
That is the power of this type of deep coaching. And I just tuned in, I listened to my inner voice and it said, “Sherry, you have to do this for others.” So this retreat is going to be powerful, it’s going to be amazing. And everyone in the room will be going through this deep transformation in this intimate environment. It will be so delightful and you know I’m going to make it epic in so many ways, so many surprises for the attendees who come and they just can’t wait.
So if you’re coming, I look forward to seeing you there. It’s going to be so much fun. We’re going to have so much growth and transformation together. And this leads me into today’s topic which is about living aligned. It’s about living with integrity. And I want to dive deeper into what it means to live a life with integrity.
So if we go to Google and we look up the definition of integrity we will find two different definitions. One, the state of being honest and having strong moral principles or moral uprightness. And two, the state of being whole and undivided. Now, I’m going to take a piece of the definition in part one and add it to the definition of part two. I don’t want to get into moral principles. What I want to focus on is being honest, particularly with ourselves and being in the state of being whole and undivided.
When we act as just one thing, we wholly stand for one thing. We don’t feel divided against ourselves. Now, I wanted to talk about this on the podcast and partly because I just finished reading a great book called The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck. And the book was filled with great words of wisdom and wonderful exercises in this book.
I know, I’ve heard of Martha, I understand she’s a life coach and I’m familiar with some of her work. But I was really unfamiliar with a lot of her personal journey and her personal trials throughout life. And wow, she talks a lot about them in this book. And talk about a woman who has really broken through some serious cultural programming. And based on the environments and the society we grow up in, we receive social, and conditional, and cultural programming. And I think it’s quite interesting and liberating to look at it.
I mean as women we receive a lot of programming in our society, that we should be polite, we should have good manners, we should be kind. Some of us grew up thinking we should support the men and the children in our families, and men are to be the breadwinners. Or we can have social programming that when someone offers us food or a drink it’s just rude to turn it down.
But then we go to other environments where we get different types of programming like hey, if you’re in a work environment you need to be assertive, if not you’re going to get passed over for promotions and job opportunities. And you have to put yourself out there and sometimes be even aggressive they might say. And for a woman to do this they might be perceived as a B-I-T you know what. So we get this kind and nice way we should be operating. But at the workplace it might be different.
So it’s just really interesting to understand what’s considered acceptable by social programming. And not to go down this rabbit hole because we can open up a whole new can of worms there. But just highlighting how things become so ingrained in us that we don’t even question it or we don’t even know why we believe what we believe, not until somebody points it out. Or we start sensing or feeling inside of us that something’s not quite right, that something’s out of alignment. It’s like that inner knowing or that inner guiding light that we have that’s like, I’m doing this but it doesn’t feel right.
And I like the way Martha talks about it in the book is that could be a warning sign that we are out of our integrity, meaning that we are not feeling at peace, we are not whole. And when we are not whole, we are divided, we become two things. We operate in duplicity and we can feel that inside. And it just feels wrong.
And to use an example that we can probably all relate to, it’s when you wake up after a night of too much drinking, you feel completely awful because of how much you drank the night before. You’re mad at yourself, you’re berating yourself, and you’re thinking to yourself, I am not going to drink tonight, there is no way. I do not want to do that again to myself. And as the day goes on the conversation in your head begins to change to it’s 3 or 4 o’clock one drink doesn’t sound so bad. I’ll just stop at the liquor store or at the grocery store and pick up a bottle and one drink will be fine.
But you don’t stop at one drink, you keep going because it feels good and you desire more. This is so common. I hear this over and over again from all the women, all the women in my program. We stay in the cycle where in the morning we don’t want to drink but by the time the afternoon rolls around it’s a completely different story. And how many of us stay in that cycle for months, to years, to maybe even decades? And how does it feel? It feels awful because you feel divided. You feel like two different people, a Jackal and a Hyde.
I hear oftentimes that women talk about the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other shoulder. And these dual conversations keep eating at you, they’re eating at your soul, they’re troubling you mentally. You keep experiencing them time and time again. And I know that you have all experienced this. And I know what your brain is also saying, “I just want it to end.” I remember thinking I just wanted this mental chatter to end about alcohol. It didn’t feel good. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like that version of me. It didn’t help me operate at my best.
I didn’t feel good when I overdrank. I would take it out on others. Whenever I overdrank, no one got the best of me and I felt crappy about myself. Yes, because you’re not living a whole aligned life, you are divided. You are doing something you wish you didn’t. And when you do something you wish you didn’t, you’re not living your best life.
And let’s take it even one step further, when you feel divided you are not living a healthy life because you’re not at peace. And when you’re not at peace that means there’s some suffering. In fact this is oftentimes when people get sick. This is when disease hits.
In the book, Martha Beck talks about how when she was divided, she was in the Mormon church and that had its own set of principles and social programming. And that didn’t fit with other programming she had when she went on to achieve a Harvard based education and had different programming from that environment. And during this time she was going through some personal issues and she developed stomach aches, headaches, migraines and some autoimmune conditions, disease struck.
And if you break down the word ‘disease’ you get dis-ease, which means your body’s not at ease. So when your body is suffering, when it’s not at ease it means your body’s not at peace, something is wrong.
And as you read her story, she takes you through her journey and how it’s led her to live a life in integrity and that is what has helped her heal. The stomach aches went away, the migraines went away, the autoimmune conditions magically disappeared. It wasn’t because of medication it was because she started living in alignment. It was because she started living in her integrity. I loved the book and I think she’s a beautiful storyteller as well.
So let’s go back to the definition we talked about in the beginning for integrity. When you are being in your integrity you have the quality of being honest. And she talks about in the book how she one year gave up lying for a whole year. It was one of her New Year’s resolutions. And it was one of the hardest things she’s ever done. She no longer told a lie to other people and she no longer told a lie to herself which means she cleaned up all the areas she was lying to herself and to others.
Think about how that would dramatically impact our lives if we stopped lying to ourselves particularly. How many people say, “One more drink won’t hurt?” That’s a complete lie. Or “My drinking habit’s really not a problem”, when you know deep down inside it’s eating at you, it’s eating at your soul.
And when you’re doing something in life you don’t want to be doing or when you have dual conversations about it like at one part of the day you’re like, “No, I’m not going to do that today.” And by the end of the day you’re doing it, that means we are living a lie. We are living out of our integrity. And the long term ramification of that is it creates us more pain and suffering that we continue to choose to be in. And the fallout from that, you begin to feel helpless, and powerless, and like things can’t change.
So living that lie perpetuates the lie that you are helpless and powerless or that you’re not capable of changing. And then it becomes even more frustrating because then we layer it. We continue asking ourselves like I did, “Why do I keep doing this to myself?” It seems like such an innocent question with no good answer. But I’ll tell you what, the answer is so simple. If we are just willing to face the truth it’s so simple. Why do you keep doing this to yourself? Because you’re in a habit. And you lack the skills to stop.
You turn to alcohol because you’re conditioned to think it’s a solution. But that’s a lie, alcohol doesn’t solve the real problem. So again the lie continues, lying just begets more lying, begets more lying, and begets more lying, which begets more suffering, more suffering and more suffering. So until you can walk in your truth and stop lying to yourself, you’re going to continue down the same path which continues the suffering. And you don’t feel good about yourself because you’re not walking in your integrity.
And then we keep convincing ourselves that our lies are true, that drinking will help this thing that’s causing you pain, go away. But the real truth, alcohol doesn’t fix the root cause of why you’re drinking. The thing that you’re looking to avoid is still there and now you’re less likely to cope because now you’re moody from a hangover. You’re upset with yourself because of the effects alcohol has on your brain. And those effects don’t make you more capable of solving the problem, they actually make you less capable.
And here’s something to think about. Does your brain learn more from the words you say or from the actions you take? Your brain learns from what you do. And if you keep taking the same actions of overdrinking, you’ll keep getting the same result. And that feels pretty crappy. And when we drink it just keeps us away from actually taking the action to solve the problem.
I can’t tell you how painful it is for me to see so many smart capable women talking about their drinking issue over and over again and it’s like alcohol is the problem. And they’re experiencing so much pain, so much disappointment, they even talk about their despair and thinking and hoping that this drinking just will have to change, if they just commit harder, and they tell themselves that they can’t and they won’t have it. I see people making this declaration all the time in the Facebook group. And I made that declaration all the time for years but it never worked.
And I talked about this in previous podcasts, willing yourself out of this is not something that’s sustainable. Willpower never leads to lasting change and that’s a truth. Willpower will work for a finite period of time. And if we keep trying to white knuckle and willpower our way out of this, we are going to continue to live a fractional life, a dual life, a life of duplicity, a life that’s not in alignment and that is exhausting. We continue to feed the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. We continue to feed the duplicity.
And for me it led me to feel like I was part crazy. I’ll tell you what, nobody wants to feel crazy. I’ll tell you what feels delightful and amazing is to not have any of this go on, to completely solve the duplicity, to be at one with yourself, to solve the overdrinking issue. That’s what feels delightful. But to solve the drinking issue means we’re not looking at the alcohol, we’re looking at why we want the alcohol. We’re looking at the root cause of what’s causing the behavior of drinking. It’s not more complicated than that.
And when you live your life with truth, that empowers you. It’s the fuel for lasting change. Because who doesn’t want lasting change? Nobody wants to be on the wagon, off the wagon, on the wagon, off the wagon. And what’s the difference? Again, it’s aligning to your integrity so you can work to be empowered. It’s a skillset.
Think about anybody who’s lost weight, won the Olympics, done something amazing, stopped overdrinking, it wasn’t because they had willpower. It’s because they felt empowered to change their life. They found teachers, they found coaches, they found mentors who helped them gain skills to get what they wanted. And this is all that it requires to overcome a drinking habit.
And just so you hear me correctly, it’s not skills around alcohol because alcohol’s not the real issue, it’s skills on what’s driving the behavior to drink. It’s using skills to handle that scenario in your life so you don’t need to drink. Now I don’t need alcohol to make me happy. I know I don’t need alcohol when I get angry. I know what else to do when I get angry. I used to drink to fix my kid but you know what? I realized my kid doesn’t need fixing. She needs skills to be able to survive and thrive in this life. And for me to get to my goal I needed a coach to show me the skills.
I learned the skills from one coach, went to another coach, learned other skills that I needed, hired another coach, learned other skills there to fix what was truly driving my drinking. And the beautiful thing about that is I have these skills for life. So now I don’t need to panic should another problem arise because it’s like wait, I’ve got the skills to do this.
I may have mentioned on the podcast earlier that sixth grade, starting out with my daughter this year was a little rocky. She didn’t want to go to school. She’d get massive anxiety on Sunday nights. She was bringing home grades in the 60s and 70s on her test. So we sat down, we identified the root cause of why she was scoring those scores. And it wasn’t what most parents quickly assume, it wasn’t a lack of knowledge, for her it was a motivational issue and a confidence issue.
And once we identified the root cause of her 60 and 70s, guess what we did? We helped her solve the motivational issue and the confidence issue. And for the past three weeks she’s brought home more than 10 tests and 90% of them have been 100s, she got one 93 and the rest were 100s. So if I got all mad out of a 60 or 70, why are you doing this? What’s going on here? Don’t you know better? That’s what we do with our drinking. Why are you doing this? What’s this? Why don’t you quit? What’s going on here?
And if I acted that way with my drinking it never helped my drinking, it never solved it because I couldn’t see what the root cause of it was. If I reacted that way to her, I would never get to what the root cause was of these grades because it could be so many things. And I just never assume what most parents start to assume, which is it’s a knowledge deficit, you didn’t study enough.
There’s so many other things that could be going on for our kids. Maybe they broke up with their best friend, or their boyfriend, or their girlfriend. Or for some kids in America it could be a lack of food. They’re not given proper nutrition to start the day. Some kids aren’t getting good quality sleep, they’re on screens all the time and they’re up at night and they’re hiding them underneath their pillow. So their brain is not operating at full capacity in the daytime.
Could be anxiety, it could be motivation, could be attention, could be anger. Some people are angry, it could be an identity issue. It could be, this is how I get back at people. It could be so many things that are causing the behavior of a low grade. And then when you do get good behavior, you want to bake that in, you want to bake that into your brain. So I make sure I’m baking that into my daughter’s brain. I’m asking her, “How does it feel to get these grades?” And she shrugs her shoulders and she says, “It feels kind of good.” She says, “It feels kind of nice to think I could be smart.”
And then we talk about what that means, the definition of smart and how that could be a loaded word. And we also talk about what’s different now to get this result versus what was happening before that led to that result. And why I do this is so I highlight the real problem. I want her to see the truth. And I want her to stop believing lies. When you don’t know what’s causing it, you’re going to believe lies. I’m not smart. I’m not capable. Those are inaccurate.
She could be smart. She is quite capable. Same with overcoming a drinking issue. To overcome it though you have to first identify the root cause and second, get skills to manage it, get skills to fix it, get skills to solve it. When you have the skills then you can perform.
And this is how I help women stop drinking or be in control of their drinking by teaching them the necessary skills. These are the skills that I teach inside my Drink Less Lifestyle program. And if you’re wanting to learn these skills, I invite you to come work with me so you can live your life the way you want to live it, with integrity and in full alignment of the healthy version you want to be.
Stop living the lies, my friends, stop perpetuating the state of desperation and disappointment. Break through those lies, Martha Beck calls them hell gates, break on through. And how you do this is with skills, so you can feel whole and undivided again. And this brings peace. It feels incredibly delightful. And this is part of the work we will be doing at the retreat and I can’t wait. Alright my beautiful friends, have a great day and I’ll see you next week.
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.