Ep #98: Situational Drinking

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Situational Drinking

Last week, we talked about emotional drinking and why it’s the number one reason women overdrink. Today, we’re diving into another reason I’m often given for why women tell me they drink: their situation.

Whether you’re drinking because you’re unhappy in your marriage, having difficulty with parenting your children, or experiencing stress in your job, I invite you to tune in this week to discover the real impact of your situational drinking, and how to start fixing it.


Are you ready to create good, healthy habits that last?  My 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 – on the way to achieving your goals. Click here to register.


Are you ready to permanently change your relationship with alcohol? If yes, I invite you to join EpicYOU. You’ll learn how to become a woman who can take it or leave it with alcohol while creating a life you love. Join EpicYOU here!


What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • What situational drinking looks like and how to diagnosis it
  • How situational drinking is impacting your life and your inability to experience certain emotions.
  • What you can do to address your situational drinking and start implementing real solutions to the problems in your life.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:


You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 98.

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. I am back from vacation. Before I left I batched a few podcasts and now that I’m back, took a little bit to readjust to the time zone because we went to Italy and Spain and we had a great time even though we lost our luggage. But we had a great time and I feel now refreshed now that I’m adjusted back to this time zone. And I’m so excited to be recording this podcast because there’s so much I want to tell you. Wow.

So, my team and I have been working on a number of changes. And I’m just thrilled that we are about to launch them and I cannot wait to tell you more about the changes that are coming. But first I want to remind you that there are a few open spots available if you want to come and join me at the retreat that I am hosting at the end of September.

If you are looking to reignite your passion for your life, and looking to shed some of the things that are just not working for you anymore, or they’re holding you back then come to this retreat. And at this retreat I will be teaching the process of total transformation. And what that means is you will be shedding bad habits or things that are no longer working for you and stepping into that new version of you. And this requires the inner work for that to happen.

So, this retreat is really for anybody who’s looking to uplevel their life and to stop feeling stuck, and really embrace a huge change in your life. And it’s designed really for the woman who’s not feeling joy and feeling satisfied with her current default mode, the way things are operating now. So, this is a way to reinvent, and renew, and reset your life going forward. Maybe you want to shed some weight. Maybe you want to change your relationship with alcohol.

Maybe you want to really start investing in certain relationships in your life, or there’s a different goal, maybe it’s getting fit. But whatever it is I’m ready to help take you there. So, at this retreat I will be teaching the three steps for a total transformation process that happens from the inside out. And I want to mention that I have not taught this process in my programs before so this is totally new information that you will learn at this retreat. And I want to tell you, it is magic.

So, if you’re interested in joining me at the end of September here in San Diego, go to drinklesslifestyle.com and you will find the link to sign up for the retreat under the Work With Me page. There are just a few more spots left, so grab your spot today. So, this process is part of what’s coming for the transformation in my business and the big changes that I will be sharing here very, very soon on the podcast. So, I will be sharing it here on the podcast as well as my website and as well as those of you who follow me on my newsletter.

I am so thrilled for these changes to come and I think you will be too. I’m so excited to be taking my business to a whole new level and it’s so fun to give and to grow with all of you here in my community. And speaking of my community, I’m loving all the posts that I’m seeing in my private Facebook page and all the posts that you are commenting on my Instagram page. And I really appreciate those of you who take the time and send me an email.

And I just want to give a shout out to the males who listen of this podcast. I know that you reach out to me, especially you Brady, who sent me an email recently thanking me for all of this information in the podcast that has really helped you change your drinking. So, thank you for sending that, I really appreciate hearing from all of you. So, I know last week we talked about emotional drinking and that is the number one reason why women drink.

And today I want to talk about situational drinking. This is another reason why women tell me they drink. When they look at and analyze why they are drinking it’s because of a situation in their life. So, what this looks like is women will tell me, “I drink because I just can’t handle my husband when he comes home from work, he’s just negative. And there is just this energy he brings into the house. Or maybe it’s when I come home from work and he’s at home and he hasn’t done the things that I have asked him to do so I get really angry and I just want to drink.”

Or women can have that story around their kids like, I take care of my kids all day and it’s just so exhausting. And they’re so demanding. And they want all of this attention. And I just don’t get a break. I get no downtime, or no quality time for me, or even no quality time between my partner and I, so I just turn to alcohol for that break, for that downtime, for that reward. Or it could be a woman who works outside the home and then comes home and has to take care of the kids, make the dinner, read them stories, do bath time, do all of these things.

And it can feel like it’s demanding and that they have to keep putting out and being on all the time and doing all the things while these littles ones are interrupting conversation at dinner and want all the attention. And then they have to clean up after dinner and do all the things. Yes, it’s true, those things are things that we do for our kids. Those are things that we do around the house. And those may be the situations that we’re living in.

In the past I was running my company called RxPrep. I had employees, I had things to get done, I had books to write. I had test banks to make. I had all the things and then I get off work and then I have my daughter to deal with and she had temperamental issues at the time. And then I had to do all the dinner stuff, of course my husband helps, it’s not just me. But it just felt so demanding and overwhelming. And I had to deal with all the emotions of my employees. And I had to deal with my emotions. And then I had to deal with the vendors and then my clients at that time.

And when I came home I just didn’t want to deal with any more meltdowns and emotions, I was tapped. And it felt like I just didn’t want to make one more decision. I had been making decisions all day long. Even the decision of what’s for dinner felt overwhelming some days. So, we can get in this place where we can feel won over by our own life. We’ve chosen all these things, I loved my job, I loved running the company. I loved doing that. I loved being with my family most of the time.

And it’s like we’re always looking to strike that good balance. And then we know prioritizing our kids, whether you stay at home or don’t stay at home, prioritizing your kids a 100% of the time is not a way to get all your needs met and live in balance either. And so, when women come to me and they’re like, “Well, this isn’t working, my marriage, or my kids”, we have to really look at what is going on in those relationships. What is going on in that situation that is so disturbing to you.

So, I recently worked with a woman who would come home from work and her partner would be raising these two little kids and these little kids would just constantly interrupt them at dinner, need much of their attention, where they felt that they got no quality time together. And that can feel like we’re on two different playing fields, one person’s at work doing all the things, one person’s at home doing all the things.

And so where is that middle road that we can meet and talk, and talk openly without being interrupted by the children? Because if we don’t create that time, if we don’t create that connection we know that that’s a recipe for divorce down the line if we are not watering and taking care of these relationships that are so important to us. So, when the kids go off to college, or move out, or even sooner, the two individuals left at home can be looking at each other and go, “Now what? What do we talk about? What do we have in common?”

Because what we know is adults, we need love and attention too. And we need to be not only giving it but receiving it as well. And so many of us become blocked in whether we give it, maybe we give some love but we don’t give fully our love. And it oftentimes comes from feeling like we’re not receiving love. So, it makes us want to withhold. And this even happens in relationships where maybe the couple had a strong relationship when the kids were little, when the kids were in the house.

And now that the kids are gone the spouses are looking at each other like now what, how are we going to define this relationship in this next chapter? And I’ve worked with women on this end of the spectrum as well, where everything was peachy, and rosy, and going great until the kids moved out or until retirement came. And now there’s more time and more chances for disagreement and arguments. And so, there’s many women at this phase of their life, they turn to alcohol to numb those feelings.

They weren’t drinking much in their 20s and 30s or while they’re raising kids but now that they’re older in life, now they’re turning to the bottle. And so, their situation is, well, my partner doesn’t have the same interests as me. And what used to bring them together and their interests, maybe they’re starting to diverge. I often hear one partner wants to be more social while the other partner wants to stay at home. Maybe one partner is more extroverted and likes the external world and one person likes more of the internal world and is more of an introvert.

And for many people this creates tension and it also creates a feeling of not being loved because their needs aren’t getting met. And so, they interpret this as something has gone wrong and let me just turn to alcohol to soothe that emotion. And since nothing is changing and everything is staying the same this cycle happens the next day, and it happens the next day, and they turn to alcohol the next day, and they turn to alcohol the next day.

And maybe they start drinking at 5:00pm and then they start noticing a creep that the drink goes to 4:00pm, and then maybe the drink creeps up into 3:00pm. And I know for me this is how my overdrinking habit blossomed. I was working from home at the time so therefore I can drink, I can disguise my drink if I was on a Zoom call. There were ways I can start incorporating alcohol earlier in my day to get the relief that I wanted.

And so therefore just notice how that’s conditioning your brain to think that drinking is the solution because it does temporarily make us feel better. But if this is what you’re doing, just notice then you are not living your best life, you’re not living the life that you want. You are not creating the relationship that you want because you’re not even participating in the marriage, you’re checking out. You’re escaping. And this is when love between two people slowly begins to die because we’re not addressing the concerns and we’re not participating in the relationship, we’re escaping from the relationship.

We’re escaping from our life. And we’re escaping it because a part of it is painful part of it doesn’t feel good. And this is what I call a dead end road. And what I mean by that is that the problem never gets solved. The relationship doesn’t improve and it most likely starts to deteriorate, both parties start to harbor more bitterness, more resentment because their needs, their desires aren’t being met and now we’re wasting our time, our money, our energy on turning to alcohol.

And our health goes down the drain, we spend more money on it, we don’t feel good about it and it causes us to overuse alcohol and to use alcohol in a way that doesn’t feel good. That’s what I mean by a dead end road because nobody is getting what they want. And it’s causing a waste of money, a waste of time, a waste of your energy and it’s actually wasting away your life because you’re living a life you’re not proud of. It’s a life you don’t want.

So, the solution out of this is we have to get back to what you want from your relationship, what you want from your marriage and how that aligns with your current partner. So, I have an exercise that I take women through in my program because it helps them get really clear on what they want. Because if you’re not clear on what you want, it’s impossible to know how to create it. So, we want to know what you want and then we get to learn what your partner wants.

And when we do this exercise sometimes we find that the partner and you want the same thing, sometimes they are different and slightly different. And sometimes they’re majorly different. But it’s from this place and only from this place can we begin to understand what the solutions are and open that discussion up for what the solution can be. And it’s only from this place that we can see is the marriage worth continuing. And my friends, this takes a very clear mind and a clear soul.

And what I mean by that is that you are not clouded with anger, frustration, because when you’re clouded with these emotions and of anger, and frustration, and bitterness, guess what you’re going to do? You’re going to point the finger and it’s going to become a blame game. And when this happens we just talk about all the things that go wrong, all the things he or she does wrong. All the things that have not gone the way that you’ve wanted it to go.

And while some of that information is important, what’s not important is the emotional slurry that we get with it. It’s just the spiraling of emotions and that blocks us from actually seeing the solution. Because what happens is when we get fired up and that limbic system starts taking over, our prefrontal cortex and our logic brain starts shutting down. And this is why we usually can’t solve our own problems. We are too emotional. We’re too close to it.

And when you’re so emotional it’s not going to lead to a productive and effective solution. Let me ask you, have you tried the blame game? Have you been so caught up with your emotions that you’ve tried telling somebody of all the things that they do wrong and how they need to change, and how this isn’t working, and how they need to do something differently? I want to ask you, how did that go? Did you get more of what you wanted? Did the person change or did you get less of what you wanted?

My guess is, it didn’t go very well. It doesn’t go well with kids oftentimes unless they’re bribed, or forced, or coerced. And it certainly doesn’t go over well with adults. So that’s why we want to break through that emotional slurry, that emotional tornado that’s going on and really get to that calm, logic brain because that’s when we’re going to find the best solution. And so, this is why my process works, because we cut through all that emotional tornado going on.

And so, when I’ve used this process with the women in my programs I’ve helped them create more fulfilling marriages, more fulfilling relationships. And where both parties can get their needs met. Now, sometimes that isn’t the solution. Sometimes the solution is to end the marriage because both parties have differing views on what a marriage is at this point in their life. And I have two women right now who have decided to leave their marriage.

One of the women, we mapped it out carefully. We brought in help, we brought in friends, she got a storage unit and she moved out when her husband wasn’t there because she feared for her safety. And so, we wanted to make sure she did this in a safe fashion where she was safe from any abuse or harm. We made sure she got a new cellphone so she couldn’t be tracked and we planned out all the particulars. And when we spoke a few days ago she is so relieved. She didn’t even realize all the verbal abuse she’s been tolerating until she moved out.

Was it hard for her? Absolutely. Is she at peace now? More so than she’s ever been. Now, she still knows she has a lot of work to do and we’re working through that with some outside help as well but she feels like she’s got a new lot on life. She feels free again. She even says it feels easier to breathe. And in the last few days she’s been able to socialize with people she wasn’t able to socialize with before, she wasn’t allowed because her husband didn’t want to be around those people.

And I want to tell you that this is a very powerful woman. She loves her life. She loved her house. She’s the breadwinner. And she’s a total powerhouse at work. But she kept making excuses for this relationship. She kept saying, I’m a fairly intelligent woman, I’ve done everything right in my life, everything’s working but I don’t know why I can’t fix my relationship. And hear me, we make these excuses for ourselves when we can’t figure out the solution.

I felt that way with my drinking, I kept telling myself I’m smart, I’m well educated, I’m a healthcare practitioner, I know all the statistics for God’s sakes, so why can’t I fix this? Why can’t I figure this out? But just like her, that line of thinking only kept me feeling more stuck, only kept me feeling I had to rely on myself to figure out the solution when I couldn’t. That was just me refusing to see a solution outside of me, refusing to see that help is available out there and giving myself the permission to seek it.

Yes, I want to tell you ladies, we are all smart in our own ways but that doesn’t mean you can figure out every single problem that comes along in your life and especially if you’ve been dealing with it for a while like years or if it’s very emotional. Because that emotional tornado will just swarm over you and you’ll get caught up in the emotions again. And as I mentioned, that logic brain shuts down when we get all emotional. And I know this about myself.

Any time I get really emotional I know I’m not in a good state to make good decisions. I have to cut through all of that to get to the place where I can really define what it is that I want and that’s what I help women do, is to focus on the results, to focus on the solution. And my process helps you get to that solution. I help you get under the drinking so we can start working on the real problem. We must work on the real problem so you can solve situational drinking but you have to look at the situations that are causing you to overdrink, what are they? Why do they cause you to overdrink?

And then I take you through a few exercises that you do in my program so you can stop the spiral of living a life that you don’t want and then get you to the life you do want, the relationships you do want. And oftentimes this starts with the relationship you have with yourself because I see it all the time, when women turn their back on themselves, when they turn their back on their needs, their desires, they start tolerating a life they don’t want. And we are working on living powerfully right now in Epic You and it is changing women’s lives.

I am walking them through the process of tuning into their desires, because when you tune into your desires that’s where you can find real solutions. That’s where you can find where you’ve gone off track. And that’s the first part of the process to learning how to live powerfully to get the life that you do want. And that’s the work we do is get the life that you want. So, if you’re ready to really solve your situational drinking and get the life you want I invite you to come join me inside Epic You. It’s where you’ll learn the tools and get my help to solve what’s not working in your life.

So, empower yourself, ladies, empower yourself on how to learn to change situational drinking for good. Alright my beautiful friends, that’s what I have for you today. Have a beautiful and fantastic 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.

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