Ep #122: 10 Warning Signs You May Have an Unhealthy Relationship with Alcohol

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | 10 Warning Signs You May Have an Unhealthy Relationship with Alcohol

How do you know when you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and when is the right time to start addressing it?

If you want to know if you’re on the path to overdrinking, this episode is for you.

Once you start down the path to overdrinking, it gets harder and harder to course correct.

It’s easy to get complacent around alcohol.

However, these are my 10 warning signs you want to look out for.

These warning signs aren’t a reason to beat yourself up.

But they are a reason to take action.  And get out of the danger zone.

So tune in this week to discover my top 10 signs you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, so you can take action and  become the person you want to be instead.

 

If you’re listening to this episode the day it comes out, I want to help you put a cork in your wine habit.  I’m running a masterclass TODAY, January 25th 2023 at 4PM Pacific (7PM Eastern).  I’ll be discussing the common mistakes people make when coming off of a Dry January, giving you tools and strategies so you don’t go back to your old ways and lose progress. Click here to register!

 

Are you a woman wanting to drink less and live a happier, healthier life? If so, join me inside EpicYOU! Click here to join.

 

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Are you spending too much of your mental energy on alcohol?
  • 10 signs you may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
  • How to see these red flags around your drinking so you find solutions.

 

Featured on the Show:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

 

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 122.

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 is everyone today? If you are listening to this podcast the day it comes out I want to remind you that I am hosting a free masterclass on how to come off a dry January. So this masterclass will be given today at 4.00pm Pacific Time, 7:00pm Eastern Time and you must register for the event in order to get the link sent to you so you can view it. And if you want a copy of the replay emailed to you so you can attend at the time I go live, no problem but you must be registered to receive the replay link that we will provide.

Now, I know many of you are using January as a 30-day break to restart your relationship and have better health and change your habit around drinking. And so by delivering this masterclass I really want to help you make this effective so that you don’t lose all the effort you put into January and you can make it last beyond January. Because I want this to be the year it changes for you, your drinking habit changes for good, And I want to empower you at this masterclass with all the tools that I will be teaching.

So come and connect with me. I want you to come and ask all your questions because I will be leaving time at the end to address those questions. And I think there’s nothing more powerful than learning from somebody who’s been there themselves. So I’ve been where you’re at if you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. And I want to empower you to change that relationship for good. So please come ask any of the questions you want, anything about my journey, anything about your journey and how you can get over this overdrinking habit for good.

Now, the link to register is in the show notes and it’s also in my free and private Facebook group. If you are a member there you can find the link at either of these two locations. And speaking of that, you know that I run this free Facebook group. It’s where I love to connect with you and some of you tag me and ask questions. And some of you want to find others to support you on your journey to drinking less. And so I want you to have that support. And in the past, I’ve done extensive trainings in there. I’ve done coffee chats. I’ve done live coaching calls.

All of that you can find under the video section inside that free Facebook group. If you are not currently a member and you want to come join us I invite you to do so. The group is called Stop the Overdrinking Habit because here’s what I know about getting over this habit, support and connection is so important to have on your journey. Because I know it’s so easy to give up on yourself. It’s so easy to just say, “That’s not important and I’ll start tomorrow.”

And what we know from the literature is that it’s really hard to break a bad habit. And so getting support is critical to your success. Inside the Facebook group, I recently posted to the group, what topics would you like to hear on the podcast? Because I’m always checking in, I’m hearing from you, I love to know your thoughts. Thank you for all the DMs, the emails, the private messages and public posts to that question. Because I’m here to provide value to you and help you get to where you want to go.

So when I asked this question recently inside the Facebook group, one topic that I heard come up was how do I know when I have a bad habit or a problem with alcohol? How do I know when I should start addressing this? And I got an email where somebody said, “Let me know what to look out for because I want to make sure I don’t fall down the rabbit hole of overdrinking. And I really want to know if I am an over-drinker. I really want to know if I’m on that path to overdrinking.”

And I think asking this question is a very valid question and something that needs to be addressed. And so that’s what I want to address on today’s podcast episode really looking at what are the things that I consider warning signs or red flags to say that, hey, maybe my drinking is in the danger zone or it’s in the danger zone to become excessive or I’m already there. I’m calling this my top 10 warning signs or red flags to know that you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

Now, I first want to say as we go through this list, you will notice that there is a significant overlap between some of the warning signs. And I think it’s really good to hear this list because it can really alert us. It can be a nice wake-up call because sometimes we get complacent in the way we go about life, in the way we do things. And so I want to not only educate you but also help you and support you if you need help in this area. And when I say that, please hear this.

I know for me I needed to hear it from someone else and understand that they understood what I was going through in order to get help. And getting help, my friends is not a sign of weakness, it’s actually quite the opposite. It’s a sign of bravery. It’s a sign of courage. It’s a sign that you care about yourself and your loved ones and that you want more for yourself. I mean this is not just about drinking less. This is actually about getting a better life.

And I will tell you, there’s nothing weak about that. It takes a sense of boldness, it takes a sense of bravery, and it’s really committing to saying, “I’m worth taking action for to be the person I want to be.” And here’s what I also want you to know. I just don’t tell you to drink less because that leads to just want, want. I want you to drink less so that you get more on the other side. And we talk about and define what more is for you. It’s not about taking away something.

It’s about giving you more pleasure, more reward in your life that doesn’t revolve around alcohol or something that makes you feel worse about yourself in the long term. Because hear this, there are plenty of ways we could derive pleasure, have fun, feel fulfilled, have satisfaction in our lives that does not include alcohol or includes just a little bit of alcohol and so much else of something else.

And that’s what I want to fill you up with and fill your life up with as it’s very limited thinking to think all joy and all pleasure just comes from alcohol when there are so many other sources of pleasure and joy out there, so many other ways to fulfill your life and satisfy your soul. And that’s the journey I’m inviting you into. So let’s start with the top 10 warning signs as I see it.

So number one. You think about alcohol way more than you want to. I mean I say this all the time, I was thinking about alcohol so much it just felt like it occupied so much of my mental space. I mentioned for me it would generally start around 3:00pm in the afternoon and I would start thinking about it, should I buy it, if I don’t have it at home? If I do have it at home, how much should I be drinking? Should I limit it to one? Should I have two? I certainly don’t want to do the whole bottle. And then once I got home and I started cooking, of course, I started pouring my chardonnay then.

I started consuming it and I’d consume it for probably the next three or four hours. And so if I look at all that time I spent drinking, thinking about it, pouring, cleaning up from it, all the things, it really occupied a lot of my mental capacity. And then the next day it’s not that I was craving the alcohol, it was I was beating myself up for my behavior around alcohol from the night before. So in essence I felt like alcohol kind of was always in the back of my mind. And here’s a question I want you to think about for you.

Maybe you don’t think about it as much as I did or maybe you do. But if you think about what your mind spins on throughout the day, just tell me what those top 5 to 10 topics are. Is it your finances? Is it your kids’ behavior? Is it how much you want your relationship with your spouse to improve? Does alcohol make that list? Because if you’re spending so much mental energy on it, just think all that mental energy that you’re spending on thinking about drinking or thinking about alcohol you’re not putting it towards other areas of your life.

And we know that our mind cannot think about everything, that would be really totally distracted and get nothing done. And so I want to invite you to think about, how do I spend my energy? How do I spend my mental energy? What am I ruminating and thinking about all the time that I want to stop doing? Because I can free up so much of that mental energy, so much of that emotional energy that I could put towards something better in my life. And that’s the work we do inside of EpicYOU.

We are inviting you into a more epic version of you. That can mean you do less. That can mean you take more naps. That can mean you do self-care however it feels to you, whatever feels good to you. Do not hear that you have to do more. Actually, when you drink less, you’re doing a lot less. There’s less buying. There’s less thinking about it. There’s less time consuming it. There’s less cleanup from it. There’s less regret. There’s less shame. There’s less disappointment. And I will tell you emotionally that frees you so immensely.

I know for me when I got this monkey off my back it gave me back hours to my day. At three o’clock my brain is no longer thinking about alcohol, thankfully. And when I cook dinner it’s not an automatic that I drink. My brain is not looking to put something in my hand. I have squelched that feedback loop in my brain. And that’s what I’m inviting you into doing for you.

Okay, number two. Another warning sign that you may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol is that once you start drinking you can’t stop. And I hear this a lot from my clients. You keep going and oftentimes you keep drinking until either you get so sleepy you just go to bed or you pass out. So if you consider it so rare that you would stop after one drink or maybe it’s so rare that you would have an alcohol-free day in your week, consider that that’s a warning sign. It means you lack control. And it’s like your off button or your stop button doesn’t work.

And what I want to tell you is you’ve just lost the ability to activate the off button. Now, I used to feel this way and that’s why I created a mini-program called How to Get Your Off Button Back because I remember thinking my off button is broken. I want it back. And so this mini program really goes over the key steps on how we lost the off button and yet how to get it back. In this program, I teach simple and effective tools that get you right back on point and that can activate your off button again.

This program is still available on my website but it’s also a piece inside the EpicYOU program. However, I know some people are wanting to just get access to this small mini-program because once you buy it, you have it for life. And you can keep coming back to the tools and you’re learning and re-using them again and again because once you purchase How to Get Your Off button Back like I said, it’s yours to keep and you can keep coming back to it as a refresher.

And I know some men listen to this podcast and they want help and a program to get the tools so they can become someone who can take it or leave it. So as I mentioned How to Get Your Off Button program is in EpicYOU if you join us in EpicYOU. But EpicYOU currently is for only women. However, I do have other ways to work with me online, on demand. And one of those courses is called How to Get Your Off Button Back. I will put a link to the program in the show notes for anyone who wants to access it.

And again I hear that a lot, once I start drinking I can’t stop. And I just want to remind you, you’ve just lost the capability or ability or it’s just lying dormant and we need to reactivate it. And you can do that using simple tools.

Alright, warning sign number three. You wake up with regrets about your drinking whether it’s something you said or something you did, or maybe it’s something you forgot or you don’t have recall, or maybe you’ve made promises and you’ve broken them to others or to yourself. I will tell you that this leads to a layer of regret and shame the next morning. And for some people, they may not call it regret. They might say, “I just keep beating myself up because I keep drinking more than I want to.”

Now, I want to be very cautious here because I don’t want you to hear this and think that when you’re cutting back there’s no room for error, there is. Because typically when people slip up or they have a little bit more than they should. In the beginning stages of learning to cut back, slipups are common. So I don’t want you to think you should never have one, that you’re doing something wrong because we know that this journey is not about perfection.

And if your expectations are about perfection, guess what, you’re going to constantly be beating yourself up and you’re going to make this journey so much harder and so much longer. So it’s not helpful to your healing journey, to you learning to live a drink less lifestyle by beating yourself up. And I’ll tell you, that’s a lot of the work that we talk about inside EpicYOU because it seems that many of us are so good at beating ourselves up. And we’re so good at just that feeling deflated and disappointed. And we don’t want to use this against ourselves.

What we want to do is learn from what had happened, what went wrong or what went off course that we want to course correct next time. Because this is how you rid yourself of any regret, bitterness, shame. We want to use compassion and caring and focus on learning because that is all that’s required for growth. And if you look at the most effective research on how to break bad habits it’s always about compassion, non-judgment, inquiry and learning.

So if we know what works we have to be mindful to keep using the tools that work. And something that stood out for me when I had Maia Szalavitz on the podcast that we did together she said something that really hit home was that you can’t punish addiction out of somebody. And I’d just like to modify that phrase just a bit to say that you can’t punish yourself out of a bad habit, it just doesn’t work long-term.

Whether you do this with alcohol, whether you do this with food, whether you do this with your parenting. I have seen many different flavors of this. So not only isn’t it effective do you know it also takes longer if you choose to punish yourself. It takes longer to break bad habits. So anyone listening to this podcast please hear me, do not beat yourself up. Learn from where you went astray.

Okay, number four is that you hide your drinking. Now, this is one I really didn’t do in the typical sense. I didn’t hide my drinking from my husband. I didn’t hide it from my daughter. I didn’t wait till she went to bed. I would just start drinking right when I started cooking dinner. So in the traditional sense, I didn’t hide it from anybody, however, you may recall if you’ve listened to these podcast episodes, that I used to put bottles of chardonnay in our garage refrigerator to keep it out of sight from myself.

I thought if I didn’t see it in my kitchen refrigerator that I would forget about it if the bottle in the kitchen refrigerator ran dry. Yeah, you know what happened? I never forgot about it. My brain always knew that I had extra chardonnay bottles in the garage and I could just walk out to the garage and grab one. So it’s so funny that I would hide it from myself but I knew it was there. I was the one that bought it and placed it there. It’s like, it’s not working Sherry, you can really stop this. So it’s so silly what we do on this journey, it’s so silly.

But here’s what we know when you hide your drinking. It’s that you are suffering from shame and judgment and you don’t want others to know that you’re drinking for fear of what they’re going to say or the comments that they’ll make. Because you know those comments will hurt on some level because you kind of know they’re right or that they’re true. And so since we don’t want to hear that we hide. I hear a lot of women will go into closets, or they’ll hide it in various areas around their house.

And so we have to really focus on breaking that shame because that piece is so incredibly important to feeling liberated, to feeling like you have the upper hand in this relationship. And it’s often the step that’s just critical for long-term success. You can go weeks without drinking but then you start and then you start hiding it and then all the shame comes back, all the embarrassment comes back, all that judgment comes flooding right back and what happens? It activates and signals that you’re back in the habit again to your brain. And I don’t want this to happen to anybody.

And here’s what I know about shame. There are multiple layers to it. It’s not just I have shame or I don’t have shame. It’s not black and white. There’s multiple layers and that surprises some people because they start to feel free in one area. Maybe they’re telling their group, they’re talking about it on our coaching calls or maybe they tell their spouse or somebody that’s important to them. And that feels liberating, that feels free but then shame takes a different form in other situations.

And that’s why 12-step programs talk about you are as sick as your secrets because the more we hide the more that darkness grows inside. And when that darkness grows we will want to drink more. Okay, so there is a caveat here that I really, really want you to hear me, is that when I say you’re hiding your drinking, please don’t take it to be the complete opposite is what I want you to do. I’m not saying that you should broadcast this to the world, your entire circle, everybody should know about your drinking. No, I am not saying that at all because I believe that’s totally not necessary to get liberation and freedom from drinking.

And what I also know is that certain people in certain lines of work, that could be detrimental to their career. Look, we know that there is a certain stigma about drinking too much alcohol in society and so we want to stay cognizant of that. We want to be careful who we tell them and who we don’t tell. Because we don’t want anybody to be jeopardized because of this, jeopardize their job, jeopardize their livelihood, jeopardize their medical insurance. So we don’t need to proclaim this to everybody.

I’m not asking you to start a podcast to talk about your drinking journey for everyone to hear. However, what I am inviting you to think about is if you are hiding your drinking, let’s just explore why and see what not hiding it would look like. And here’s what I find when you yourself have a healthy relationship with alcohol, you have peace around it. You’re able to control it. Chances are you won’t need or want to hide it. We only hide things we are embarrassed of or shameful of.

And so how to be not shameful is to actually build a relationship with alcohol that you want, one that you don’t have to hide from.

Alright, number five, warning sign. It affects your performance at work and this also means for those people who don’t work outside the home. Maybe your job is taking care of little ones and taking care of the kids. So if this affects your performance at work it may manifest in that you show up late to work or maybe that your brain isn’t functioning as clear. You feel a little foggy, you feel a little groggy, or you feel like you have brain fog in the morning because of your behavior at night.

Or maybe your hand has developed a minor tremor because of the alcohol. Or maybe you’re more sleepy because alcohol really prevents you from getting that deep restful sleep that the body needs because it affects melatonin. Or maybe it’s that you are around the kids and you’re less patient with them, less kind to them, more snippy, more easily agitated. Or maybe you have more anger in the morning or more anxiety because of the aftereffects of alcohol, or more depression because of the aftereffects of alcohol.

And one thing I recommend and that I do myself even though I don’t over-drink is that I like to monitor how I show up in the world. If I’m feeling that I have low energy more so than other weeks, or that I am more angry than I often am, or more angry than usual, I investigate why that is. Is it something I’m eating? Am I not getting the right sleep? Am I not getting the right hydration? Am I not fueling my body the right way?

Because here is what we know. We know that our days on this planet are limited and that we want to be showing up and spending our time and spending our days feeling good, taking advantage of what life has to offer, and simply just feeling better. We want to maximize and capitalize on these amazing relationships in our lives but yet a tired, foggy brain makes us feel bitter and not appreciate the people that we have in our lives. I know a lot of people that I work with will say, “ I should feel more grateful for all the things that I have in my life but I just can’t get there.”

And yeah, this is what alcohol will do to the brain. It will prevent you from feeling grateful and prevent you from feeling gratitude because you feel terrible from a night of overdrinking. And maybe you feel terrible about your relationship with alcohol even if you’re not drinking. But the good news here is that we can clean that up.

Alright, number six warning sign that you may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol is that you feel like you need it. And I’m focusing on the word ‘need it’. How many times do you find yourself saying, “I need a drink?” Notice I didn’t say you feel like you want it. Feeling like you want it is normal particularly if you’ve been a long-time drinker. That feeling of want is going to stay there for a bit. And I think people need to hear this and they need to understand this is not a quick-fix type of thing.

And I think people just expect that that wanting feeling is going to vanish more quickly than it actually does in their drink less journey. However, there are things you can do to want it less and those are the things I teach here on the podcast and in my programs. I want to give you the tools that you can learn to change your desire for the alcohol. And I tell you that is one of the best gifts we have as humans is that we can ramp up our desire and we can damper our desire. We can do this for anything that’s not a necessity in our life and alcohol is not a necessity in our life.

And here’s what I also invite you to do. Notice if there are times in the day where you just don’t desire alcohol. Don’t you find that interesting? For me it was in the morning right when I got out of bed and for the first few hours of the morning I had no craving, no desire for alcohol. Actually, I would say, “I’m not drinking tonight.” And it felt as good as done. I was so convinced and so convicted that that was going to happen that I was shocked when three o’clock came and I’m like, “Wait, I had no desire before why is this desire starting to creep in?”

So notice there are parts of your day that you don’t desire it. And if you could program your brain to not desire it in the evening like I did, that’s your key to success because remember wanting alcohol is a learned behavior. You didn’t come out of the womb wanting alcohol. It is learned, meaning the mind, the brain was involved in that process. So that means the mind and the brain has to be involved in the process of unlearning that desire and that behavior.

And knowing this is crucial to changing the habit long term. So wanting particularly in the first couple of weeks of changing this habit totally normal, expect that to be there. And we talked about how to overcome that in previous podcast episodes. Needing alcohol is another level, it’s next level, It’s more than a want. It’s thinking that your life will be so much better with alcohol in it. And let me just ask you, is that really true? Is alcohol giving you a better life? Because when I ask this, I’ll tell you, people tell me, “No, it’s not.”

I mean they’ll clearly tell me, “No, I don’t feel like I need it and I actually feel like it’s ruining my body, my mind, where I want to be in life. It’s totally getting in the way of weight loss goals, health goals, feeling productive, feeling good about myself.” And so you know that your brain and your body, you feel better without it or much less of it. So notice if you’re telling yourself that you need it. And if you do, do this I’m going to tell you something. It’s only going to enhance and deepen the relationship you already have with alcohol, making you more dependent on it to feel good.

So I suggest if you’re doing this stop doing it right away. Now, even if you decide to drink, fine, but stop telling yourself that you need that drink. And sometimes this is where people need to start so meet yourself where you are at. As I’m going through this list and you are hearing these tools please be writing them down, please meet yourself where you are at so you can free yourself and be the version of you that you desire to be.

Alright, number seven. You don’t take full ownership of your drinking. This is an important one and I see it all the time. Your drinking is something that you either do, or you don’t do, you either drink or you don’t drink. You drink one or you drink two or you drink three or you drink four or whatever it is, or you choose not to drink. Your drinking is not something that somebody else makes you do. So I want you to hear that again. Your current level of drinking isn’t because of your marriage or your divorce or your kids or your past or things you’ve been through or things you can’t let go of.

That’s how your drinking may have started but it’s not why it continues. Because your past is not holding a gun to your head saying, “You must drink this.” Now, again hear me say that these events and people. They could have been the reason that you started drinking to get relief but they aren’t keeping you drinking. You, my friend, pours the drink, you open the can, you open the bottle. You pick it up. You drink it. You pour another. You go grab another. And it’s when you can take full responsibility of your drinking that’s when everything changes.

You get out of victim mode and you get into victor or empowerment mode. You begin to realize that you have the power to change the decision which changes the trajectory of your life. Instead of pouring a drink, you’re choosing to give yourself health, wealth, vitality, energy and this is when I see my clients come alive. They start to feel alive like yes, this is working, there’s hope. I feel so much better in my life and then they feel that they have more control than they ever thought was possible. And you get there by taking full ownership of your drinking, owning all of it.

Which leads us into number eight which kind of overlaps, if you use drinking as a coping mechanism for the problems in your life. Going back to what I said earlier, it’s saying that this person hurt me or my relationship isn’t where I want it to be or anything else that’s ‘causing your drinking’. You are basically saying that I just need alcohol to cope. Whether you feel like you can’t deal with your spouse or there’s somebody narcissistic that you work with or in a relationship with, or somebody’s lazy, or somebody’s critical in your life or somebody has this hotheaded temper and you just can’t handle it.

A lot of women will tell me, “My kids, they drive me nuts.” And if you remember my story, I used to blame my drinking on my daughter’s diagnoses, and her temper tantrums which I couldn’t control. So yes I used alcohol as a coping mechanism and I would blame other people for my drinking. But here’s the thing, people get to act how they want to act and they get to do what they want to do. But how you cope with it is your responsibility. And this is what made all the difference in my drinking. I needed someone to point this out to me because I couldn’t see it myself.

And so this is why I want to point out to you, because some people drink because they feel they’re wronged by another person, or they don’t want to be doing the kid thing all the time or they don’t give themselves breaks. Or here’s another one I see. They drink to get back at somebody. They drink because something is preventing them from getting the life they want. And that’s what I mean when I say you drink to get back at somebody or something. But here’s what we know. When you drink it’s only hurting you. It’s not hurting the other person.

It’s like that saying that says when you swallow poison and you expect the other person to die, it just doesn’t work that way. It’s when you drink the poison you suffer and you suffer more. So not only are you suffering because of the situation then you’re adding suffering on top of that situation. And this is the main reason that people have regret and bitterness and anger because they feel trapped like I did in the suffering cycle and just numbing out for a short period of time our brains will tell us, “But there’s less suffering, there’s some relief.”

But in the long run, it’s actually causing more suffering, that relief is so temporary and it feels like relief but in actuality, it’s creating more suffering. It’s preventing us from seeing solutions. It’s preventing us from going after the life we want. And once you see this in your own life my friends you can’t unsee it. Once somebody highlighted this to me in my life I couldn’t unsee it. And it made me want to do something about it.

Yes, intellectually I knew alcohol wasn’t healthy for me and I knew the amount I was drinking wasn’t healthy but I never actually saw how it was causing my own suffering by drinking more. As crazy as that sounds I know I knew it intellectually but I didn’t feel it in my body. I didn’t feel that that was true for me. I felt that that was true for everybody else but me. And I honestly thought there was not another coping mechanism that would work. And I was completely wrong. There were so many coping mechanisms that I wasn’t even aware of.

And that’s what I want to offer to you, my friends. There are so many coping mechanisms out there that you may not even be aware of. And that could set you free from this level of suffering.

Alright, warning sign number nine. You drink daily. Anything that you do repeatedly particularly daily becomes a habit. That’s a fact. You brush your teeth daily, it becomes a habit. If you complain daily that becomes a habit. Your habits are your lifestyle, it’s what we do and how do we know? Well, we look at the results in our life because if you have something in your life it’s because you have a habit that supports that. If you have a clean house it’s because you tidy up the house, you have the habit of tidying up or somebody tidies up your house for you.

And here’s also what we know. Our actions tell us what’s going on in our mind, that’s the whole think, feel, act cycle. Our actions will tell us what’s going on in our mind. And when I work with people I’m a strong advocate for saying that you need to do alcohol-free days because if you can’t have alcohol-free days you can’t experience true freedom. You will feel compelled to drink that day. You’ll feel compelled to drink because the day ends with D-A-Y. You’ll still feel like you want it even if it’s just a glass or two because I’ve seen this so many times.

People say that they want to become someone who can take it or leave it. Well, that means you have to leave it on some days. You can’t just keep taking it. And if you keep taking it guess what happens? You become dependent on it. It’s what you do at that time of the day. It’s five o’clock I have a drink, this is what I do every single day. And so you develop a psychological dependency for it. And that’s where most over-drinkers are. They’re just psychologically dependent. They are not physiologically dependent.

They can go a couple of days without any side effects or tremors or headaches or any bad outcomes. So most over-drinkers are just psychologically, they’re mentally attached to. And this is why the mind is so powerful my friends. It could be your biggest asset and your biggest ally or it could be your greatest enemy. And so if you’re doing something daily you know what happens? You start to see that as part of your identity. It’s what I do.

Think about some of you who may have dogs or maybe you just walk daily but you take your dogs for a walk. You’re just somebody who takes their dogs for a walk, that’s what you do. Or if you don’t have dogs and you walk every day you think of yourself as someone who walks, you’re a walker because our daily actions signal back to our brain who we are. Our actions signal our identity. So if you’re consuming alcohol daily your brain will conclude well, I’m a drinker, I drink daily. That’s how the brain works.

So my advice to you is to make sure you have alcohol-free days so you don’t have the identity of a drinker and then the habit gets easier to break.

Okay, so number 10, this is the last warning sign that I’m going to cover in this podcast that says you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. And this my friends can sum up all the others, is that your drinking affects you in a negative way, if we look back to all of those we could see that drinking is affecting you in a negative way. Maybe it’s getting in the way of you achieving more or achieving important goals in your life, like your health. Or it’s getting in the way of your weight loss goals.

Or now your blood pressure is going up and you really want to control your blood pressure and so drinking less would do that. Or maybe your mood, it’s just cranky, ornery, anxious all the time. You become restless. And we know that all those effects are because of too much alcohol on the body. They could be due to other things but we know adding alcohol to the mix only worsens them. And so I always say that my definition of overdrinking is when you have alcohol and it leads to negative consequences in your life.

Now, another way we can identify an over-drinker is by using the definitions put out by the different organizations. So if you are a female and you drink eight glasses or they call it eight units of alcohol because it depends if you’re drinking wine or spirits or beer but if you drink eight units or more per week you’re considered a heavy drinker. And if you think about it that’s not a lot of alcohol at least according to my previous drinking habits where I was at 42 units of alcohol a week. I was certainly a heavy drinker.

And so I wanted to go over this list to really highlight for you if your relationship with alcohol has gone a bit too far and you want to rein it in. You want to be more healthy this year. And so when we’ve gone through each of these tips I also identified some strategies for you so you can work on this part and so that you could become someone who’s not dependent our has a healthier relationship with alcohol. And here’s the thing, I don’t want you to take this lightly because as we talked about in the last podcast, alcohol can truly be disastrous to our lives.

And so if you have one or more of these warning signs really consider for yourself if you want the relationship with alcohol to change and know that you have the power to change it. It is all within your power. It must start with you. It doesn’t need to end with you but it needs to start with you. And know that many people have changed their relationship with alcohol. Many people have gone before you and conquered it. Some people, they have chosen sobriety or they’ve chosen to be sober, or they’ve chosen to be abstinent.

Some people choose moderation or being sober curious or just exploring ways to reduce their dependency on this drug. And so I offer you these top 10 warning signs to invite you to examine your relationship with alcohol and consider switching to one that’s healthier for you. Guess what? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And in this process, you will learn so much about yourself and you’ll be so thankful for the strategies and the solutions that work. I have literally seen this work bring tears to my clients’ eyes because they’re finally free. And they finally can have the life that they dream of.

Whether you’re a man or a woman listening to this podcast know that you don’t need alcohol to calm you, to give you a reward at the end of the day or to feel that sense of relief. There are other tools you can learn to do that.

Alright, my friends, I love you so much go and live your drink less lifestyle and be the epic version of you. I’ll see you next week.

If you want to change your relationship with alcohol and with yourself, then come check out EpicYOU, it’s where you get individualized help mastering the tools so you can become a woman who can take it or leave it and be in control around alcohol in any situation. EpicYOU is the place for women who want to be healthy, confident and empowered to accomplish their goals and live their best life. Come join us over at epicyou.com/epicyou. That’s epicyou.com/epicyou. I can’t wait to see you there.

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