Ep #29: Creating Connection

By: Dr. Sherry Price
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Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Creating Connection

Do you think giving up alcohol will hinder your connection with others?

We want to connect with others; it’s a core human need. And our brains may think that cutting back on drinking will affect being able to connect with others. Especially if it’s the way we’ve connected with others in the past.

My husband and I used to connect over wine and cocktails in the past.  My brain would worry that if I cut back, what would our relationship look like?  How would we bond and connect?  This is something I learned to navigate and discovered this is common for my clients too.

We think that alcohol helps us connect, but it actually does the opposite – it disconnects us.  This may be hard to see at first but cutting back on my drinking has allowed me to experience more connection. The relationship we have with others doesn’t have to change when we change our relationship with alcohol.

Join me on the podcast this week to hear why creating connection has nothing to do with alcohol and how to stop convincing yourself it is responsible for your connections. I’ll show you how to view cutting back on alcohol differently and how to take ownership of the ways you want to connect with others in your life.

Are you ready to change your relationship with alcohol and get your confidence and control back?  My Drink Less Lifestyle program teaches you the tools you need to become a woman who can take it or leave it with her drinking. Click here to apply.

Also, check out my free guide How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Why alcohol does not bring the fun to your life.
  • How to decrease your desire for alcohol.
  • What really causes your connection with others.
  • How to determine your true intentions around alcohol.
  • Some questions to ask yourself to develop your connections.
  • How to connect more effectively without alcohol.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

 

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 29.

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.

Hello my friends. I am super excited to be chatting with you today. Today is a good day. I just finished talking with a few of my clients who are finishing up the Drink Less Lifestyle program. And they could not be more excited. So I want to tell you a little bit about what they experienced by being in the program.

One of the ladies in the program went really deep on the module in the program called Emotional Regulation. And it has really helped her with her anxiety. She recently while being in the program and under the advice and direction of her physician came off her anxiety medication because it just wasn’t helping and it seemed to be making things worse. So we worked with these cognitive tools in the program to really help her manage her anxiety better.

And what I love is by doing this work not only does she feel her anxiety has lessened tremendously, her husband and her kids have noticed as well. They noticed how she’s different and she’s not worrying all the time and spinning out on worry and how she just looks more calm and relaxed.

She said it has been so transformational on her anxiety that she’s actually teaching these tools that she’s learned in the program to her kids as they manage their emotions going through the emotions that you get in teenage years. And the emotions that come up when you’re in the group or out of the group and all of that that her kids are currently experiencing. And when we were on the phone we were laughing because it’s like this work just keeps on giving. It just keeps giving results and more results, and more results, the more you use it.

And I love it when my clients share this work with their kids, their families, with others so they can help them live a fuller life. She was also commenting how her marriage is better, how she recognizes things that she didn’t see before, how she’s transforming her mind around that relationship and how that’s just blossoming better. And of course her relationship with alcohol has changed dramatically too.

Now, when I was chatting with my other client she was telling me how she was super excited not just because the radical transformation she got with her drinking but other factors as well. So she was someone who drank roughly 40 drinks a week on average and now she’s down to six drinks and most of the time less per week. Over the course of being on the program she’s also understood what it takes to lose weight and she’s lost some weight and she feels like she just sees life differently than when she started the program.

She said she’s feeling more lonely and more blue especially as the days of Covid just started to wane on and drag on, and she was feeling pretty much in the space where nothing seems to be getting better, things are just kind of average and status quo. And I’m not feeling very good about it. And now that she’s learned these tools and been applying them to other areas of her life, she’s just like, “Wow, this is so mind changing and life changing.” And here’s the thing, nothing in her life has changed. She doesn’t have a different job.

Things didn’t open up in her city where she’s back out to pre Covid, or coming out with Covid, she’s still at home. She’s still with the same people. It’s just now that she understands and has the tools to manage her mind which allows here to see things differently, experience things differently and most of all, feel differently. And this is what I mean, that your thoughts are everything. When you have the ability to manage your mind, so much is possible.

So I just wanted to give you a flavor of what to experience when you go through the program because so many people think it’s just going to be all about alcohol. And it’s actually quite the opposite. Yes, we do talk about changing your relationship with alcohol but so many of the modules as you go on my page, on my website will talk about how to manage yourself emotionally, how to handle urges, how to create the life that you want. Who is it that you are becoming?

What is it that you want to improve or change in your life? Not from the place that it’s broken and it needs to be fixed but from the place that hey, I’m not happy with the status quo, I want to make it better. Or I’m not happy with the current results and I want different results. And please give me the path and the tools to get there. Actually on the group coaching calls we hardly talk about drinking. I mean all other areas of our life come up because those are the areas a lot of times driving the drinking.

So we talk about our kids and how they’re misbehaving or how to manage homework time better. Or how to manage work life balance, if that’s an issue, or we talk about how to feel our bodies, or how not to become so obsessed with overeating. And one of the times we were talking about supplements, what supplements people take and how they do mornings, and what their morning routines look like.

We also talk about handling grief, and sorrow, and the passing of others, or stressful situations like handling the in-laws during this time when they think differently than the family thinks about Covid issues or whatever issues come up. Our calls are a mixed bag, it’s just what you’re experiencing in life, bring it to the call and then we find solutions.

We get resolution on how to handle it, not only this time but how to handle it in the future, because what your brain needs is a map, it’s like, okay, my map isn’t working for this, it’s leading me to results that I don’t want. I want to create a different result so now I need the path to get there. And I just get so energized because I see how this work really changes lives in such a short period of time. It’s not like you have to spend years and years in therapy.

And it’s work that’s enjoyable, you know how I know? Because the women coming out of that program want to join my next program called Epic You. And just so you know, Epic You is my invitation only program, it’s the program after Drink Less Lifestyle, if you want to join me in that program and you’re invited to join, that we take this work and we apply it to so many other areas of our life.

And the reason right now it’s by invitation only is because I really want women who are committed, committed to doing this work, committed to getting different results in their life and taking their life to the next version. And I have to say that group of women is super special to me because we just don’t settle for a life defined by others, defined by society, defined by other people’s expectations. We get to define it for ourselves and going through that process and discovering how we want to define it in the different areas truly helps everybody.

As we show up vulnerable, willing to have the tough conversations, willing to ask the tough questions and answer them so that we get the results we want. That’s what this work is about and that’s why I’m so passionate because you can get quick results in a short period of time. And here’s also the thing, it’s also fun to do this work with other women who want to do this work. I feel so lucky to have these relationships and these connections to these women in my life.

But here’s the thing, it wasn’t luck, I say I feel lucky but it really wasn’t luck because I curated it, because I wanted it. I wanted it for me and I wanted it for the benefit of others as well. So next month in Epic You we’re focusing on the topic, getting it done. And I just can’t wait. The ladies in that program are so in for a treat because we are going to get maximum results within a very short period of time. And I can’t wait to share in a future podcast how we’re all doing and what we’re all working on, and the strategies to get there. It’s so fun my friends, so fun.

So I want you to notice how I take ownership of the way I want to connect with others in my life, just like I love connecting with all of you here on this podcast. I love reading your comments. I love when you email me. I love when you message me. I love when you tell me what’s on your mind and what could be helpful. I love connecting with you. And thank you for giving me an important piece of you, your time and your attention.

We only have so much time throughout our day and I value your time. And I want to deliver you tremendous value and tools so that you can think about them; you can implement them in your life. So alcohol becomes less important so that you get to the point where you can take it or leave it. I mean get to that point where you don’t even think about alcohol. That is amazing. And your brain can get there again.

So today I want to talk about that in more detail, talking about creating connection. And here’s why I want to talk about this topic, because I hear from a lot of women and men that they bring up this as an issue to not wanting to cut back on drinking because they feel if they cut back on drinking how are they going to connect with others? How are they going to connect with their spouse who drinks, or their partner who drinks? Or how are they going to connect with ladies who invite them out for a wine time or a night out with the ladies and everybody’s drinking?

Essentially it comes down to how will I connect with these people if I’m not doing what they’re doing? And just think about that for a minute. It’s like saying, “How am I going to connect with people if I’m not wearing what they’re wearing, if I’m not behaving in the same way they are?” It’s like how am I going to hang out with my friends if they smoke and I don’t smoke?

I mean we could take that to other contexts and we can kind of see how our brain is kind of being a little crazy about that because it’s just not true. If I’m not dressed like they are, it’s just a commonality that our brain is saying, “If they’re drinking I should be drinking. If they’re in black pants I should be in black pants. If they’re smoking or lighting up a cigarette I should be doing the same.” That’s just our mirror neurons at work. Our mirror neurons tell us we have to fit in so we should look, or act, or do things that are similar to what people are doing around us.

But I want to argue that that’s not connection, that’s just having something in common with one another, but that doesn’t equate to connection. But I understand where this comes from because a lot of women will say, “Well, then how do I show up to these parties? How do I go there and feel like I’m connecting and fitting in? Will I just sit there and look like a bump on a log while everybody else around me is laughing and having fun? Or will I just look like I’m sad and depressed and the Debbie downer of the group?”

Or sometimes I’ll hear, “Yeah, my husband and I like to have a glass of wine while watching a movie and relaxing at the end of the day. And how will I be able to be a part of that and still enjoy the experience if I’m not drinking?” First off I want you to know that this is super common. Our brains all do this, all of us.

I used to think this way too. I vividly remember thinking, oh my gosh, if I don’t drink how am I going to fit in? How am I going to connect? What are my husband and I going to do? And what if he’s drinking and I’m not, how will that feel? How will that work? And it was one of the reasons why I didn’t drink less for so long because my brain was confused on how that was going to look and if I’d have fun. And I’ve talked about it before. It was a major barrier to wanting to be sober because sober to me sounded somber. It sounded like not a lot of fun, it actually sounded quite awful to be honest.

But what I  learned by cutting way back and what I’ve seen my clients experience and other people out in the world who have cut back on alcohol and what they experience is that the fun doesn’t go away. Because you’ve heard me say it on the podcast before, it’s not that alcohol brings the fun, the fun comes from you. The fun comes from the people around you, not the alcohol.

And just go back to a time where you went out with a bunch of people and everybody got drunk or had too much to drink, was that fun? Because we all know there are plenty of times when alcohol in excess is just not fun. I’ve seen people have explosive fights. I’ve seen people get arrested. I have seen people have such forgetful moments because they blacked out, or passed out, or I’ve also seen people just pure embarrassment. They’ve totally embarrassed themselves by what they said, or what they did, or by falling down or falling over, all kinds of things where alcohol stops being fun.

I just want us all to know that alcohol doesn’t have human characteristics. We like to call it fun, and lively, and it causes connection, or it’s evil, or it’s the devil, or hey, when I have alcohol I become the life of the party. We have attributed and assigned all this meaning to this substance. And I just want to remind our brains that alcohol is just fermented liquid in a container, whether you put it in a glass, or a can, or a bottle, that’s it. Anything else that we assign to it is coming from our mind and our brain.

If you think it gives you courage, guess what? You will act courageously, not because of the alcohol but because of your thought that now I am courageous. So maybe your mind has assigned all this wonderful meaning to it, it’s my way to relax, my way to take the edge off, escape at the end of the night. We’ve assigned all these descriptors to this noun called alcohol. I want you to know that your brain can just as easily learn to strip those descriptors away as well.

It’s like when I encourage any woman on a coaching call, if she ever says, “Alcohol is my friend”, I always have to interrupt and say, “Wait, wait, let’s look at that. If we call alcohol our friend we will want to hang out with it more.” But alcohol makes for a terrible friend because this is what I know. I guarantee you that the more you call it your friend the more you will want it. You will only intensify your desire for it by calling it your friend. So you’ve got to change your thinking around that because then it will lessen your feeling towards it, lessen that desire for it.

So that is just one small bio hack that I’m always harping on in my program. We cannot continue to call it our friend. So just going back to that concept that we say, “Alcohol is fun.” And giving it that meaning, which it doesn’t have, we just – our brains just assigned that descriptor to the alcohol. I wonder if that’s the real reason we’re choosing it. Here’s what I think we’re choosing alcohol for when we hang out with other people, it’s because we want to connect. I think our brains on a deeper level really want to connect with others. It is a human need, that connection.

And I think when we cut back or don’t drink, our brains will worry, oh my gosh, how am I going to connect now? How am I going to have meaningful conversations and show up in the way that I’m used to showing up that is part of my identity? It has been who I have been for so long. Now how will I learn a new way to show up and still create that same connection? So you know me, I’m big on words and what they mean. So if we consult the dictionary I just want to read what the textbook definition is of connection.

Connection is a relationship in which a person, thing or idea is linked or associated to something. That’s it. A relationship, you have a relationship to alcohol, you have a relationship to friends. You have a relationship to other objects and things. Some of us have deep relationships to our handbags, or our purses, or whatever. We have relationships with things and with people. And that relationship is connection.

What is our connection to others? And a lot of us put descriptors on those connections. They could be a positive connection. I really enjoy hanging out with this person or I really enjoy hanging out with my family. Some of us have negative descriptors. That person, it doesn’t feel good when I hang out with them. Or we might even have worse descriptors than that like that person is toxic. Or this person when I hang out with, I feel like I’m being manipulated. They’re manipulative. So we have certain descriptors for our connections.

So we now know that a connection is nothing more than a relationship to something or somebody and what determines the quality or the nature of that relationship or connection? You know what it is? It’s our thoughts. It’s our thoughts about that relationship. It’s our thoughts about that connection. It’s not the person, it’s not the alcohol, it’s not what we’re doing and what we’re not doing, it’s not if we’re drinking or we’re not drinking, it’s truly our thoughts about the person.

Now, when you feel like you connect with somebody do you notice what you think? You think favorable thoughts about that person. You think positive thoughts about that person. It could be this person understands me. This person gets me. This person’s been where I have been. I feel like when I talk to this person I feel lighter. That’s it. That’s connection because your thoughts are going to create your feelings. They’re your thoughts so they create your feelings.

Just think when you meet up with girl friends and maybe you both get a glass of wine. You’re talking, you’re catching up. You’re discovering how life has been going for them since you last spoke. You’re listening to them, sometimes you may be laughing, sometimes you may be crying together. You’re sharing stories. You’re listening to them. You are into them, into their story or into whatever is coming up.

But you know what you’re not into? Your own story, meaning your narrative around the story of your drink, if you show up and you are still that person who has the identity of I drink, I drink. This is what I do. Notice that you’re not thinking about the alcohol when you’re connecting with somebody. You’re thinking about them. You’re listening to them. You’re having thoughts about everything they’re telling you about, that’s what’s causing the connection, the thoughts.

So what happens to many people who now all of a sudden want to cut back and maybe not drink or they’re being alcohol free and they meet up with a girl friend who she decides she’s going to drink. Then what happens? What goes on in your mind? Here’s what went on in my mind. I’m not ordering a glass of wine. What should I order? I don’t feel like water. What other choices are there? I don’t know. I’m so used to ordering wine. And what will my friend think of me? I’m not ordering wine. I don’t even know what I want.

Oh my gosh, should I order wine? This feels really awkward. I’m kind of mad. I’m kind of envious that she gets to drink and I’m not drinking. Why can’t she be alcohol free? It would be better for her if she was alcohol free just like me. Why can’t we choose it together? We have this whole dialog going on, oh my gosh, here comes the waiter again. I don’t know what to tell him what I want. I guess I’ll just say club soda. That makes me feel pathetic.

We have this whole dialog going on inside of our head, no wonder why we can’t connect with somebody, because we’re only worried about what’s going on inside of our brain. Will I look like an idiot? What will they think of me? What will they say when my club soda comes? Do I have to say I’m on antibiotics? Do I have to lie? Do I have to talk about it? I don’t want to talk about my alcohol problem or my alcohol issue, or why I’m not drinking. It’s none of their business. And that’s true. It’s none of their business.

But do you see how your thoughts are just consumed about you and what you’re going to say, and about the alcohol? And that’s why you can’t connect. You’re not even listening to their story. You’re not showing up for them. You’re not showing up for the connection. I want to argue that some people choose to connect with some people just to justify their drinking. The reason why some people get together is because of the alcohol. It’s not even for the connection.

Think about if – I don’t know – the easiest example I could get in my mind is somebody goes out for a drink and maybe I’m just used to seeing this from my brother who would go to the bar, wants to grab a beer. His purpose of going to the bar is to grab a beer. And he would sit down and he just talks to the guy next to him. His purpose wasn’t to find connection. His purpose was to drink alcohol. It just so happens if somebody’s sitting next to him he would talk. So you have to ask are you there to connect or are you really there to drink?

And I think that would shed some light on if what your true intention is, because if your true intention is connection then whether you drink or not makes no difference. And I find this so true in my life. Sometimes my husband chooses to go on a long hiatus where he won’t drink. And I may choose to order a glass of wine. I may choose to have some alcohol that night. And it doesn’t change our connection.

And vice versa, the flip flop is also true, there are times where I’m just not interested in alcohol, no, just don’t have desire for it and he may choose to drink. And it’s not like I feel the connection has changed at all because we’re not making it about the alcohol. My brain doesn’t make it about the alcohol. I don’t look to his glass and sit there and pine and say, “Why can’t I do that? Why am I choosing to be alcohol free?” I’m not having these thoughts of self-pity because I don’t want to create self-pity in that moment.

You know what I want to create? A meaningful connection with my husband, that’s how I want to live my life, on purpose, with intent. I want to show up the way I want to show up for the relationships in my life, for the people in my life. I want to create that because I want the best relationships I can get, why not? And I certainly want an amazing relationship to the man I married. He’s amazing in every single way. And I never want to stop thinking that way. And I feel amazing about him when I think that way.

Now, that doesn’t mean he’s perfect or he doesn’t make errors, or I would choose differently on some of the decisions we have to make, it doesn’t mean any of that. It just means that I’m choosing to create the connection and the type of connection I want with him, and that starts in my mind. That’s on me, not on him. We can’t force people to change. And sometimes the more time you push on somebody to change the more resentful they get.

But you know what you can change? You can change yourself. Are you willing to do it? Are you willing to put in the work? Are you willing to find out how to do it and invest that time and energy into yourself so that you get the relationships you want? I’m so thankful that I learned these tools. I’m thankful that I no longer outsource my connection to just default mode. Well, we’ll see if we have fun tonight. No, I get to create fun. Well, I’ll see if I connect with anybody at that party. No, I get to choose to connect with people if I want.

So I don’t outsource my fun or anything, or connection to food, to alcohol, to outside events. No, I take charge. And here’s also the thing. A lot of us say we want to connect but I really think we just want to be with the alcohol and numb. We want to escape. We want that quick dopamine hit and then just to escape from our life, we want to escape from our thoughts. We want to escape from our emotions. We don’t want to feel any of it. We don’t want to think about it.

And I’ll tell you, alcohol works quite well at escapism, quite well, so does overeating, so does over anything. But here’s what happens when you do it. You don’t fix what needs to fix or change what needs to be changed. And you just keep doing something you truly don’t want to keep doing. That doesn’t make sense. And that’s why I have to teach about emotional regulation in my program, absolutely. Because if we just keep going on what feels good, we wouldn’t move, we wouldn’t exercise, we wouldn’t eat right.

We can’t just keep going off of dopamine hits and what excites the brain. Now, maybe you exercise and it does feel good. Excellent. Do you know what you’ve done? You’ve trained your brain to enjoy exercise. It can be done.

So back to this concept that alcohol creates connections. Maybe it’s just a way for people to meet up. You don’t just randomly go up to your friend and say, “Hey, you just want to meet up?” We usually meet up over something or around something, like come over for dinner. Let’s go out for lunch. Let’s have a coffee. Let’s go for a walk.

There are all these ways we can meet up and maybe somebody putting out there, “Hey, do you want to meet up for a drink?” It’s totally fine that they say that but it doesn’t mean when you show up that you’re obligated to drink alcohol. You can choose from the many other liquids out there that we can consume. And just because you choose differently doesn’t mean that your friend is going to reject you. It doesn’t mean that you won’t create connection.

And we all know that when we have too much alcohol there’s not good connection created because we forget things, we forget conversations. How many times have you been around yourself or others who have drank a lot and they’re repeating themselves, they’re telling the same old stories?

Or maybe the last time you guys all hung out you repeated that story then because that’s the story that you keep coming back to with a certain quantity of alcohol. I mean it’s just like rehashing the past with no discovery in that. And maybe it’s fun for a laugh or two but it gets old, doesn’t it? It did for me. And of course that’s how alcohol works, it’s a numbing agent. It’s a sedative, it slows our nervous system. It slows our motor skills, our cognitive skills. It causes the decline of the brain. It actually shrinks the brain if you look at MRI scans.

So over time we’re losing the ability of our mind to create new things and to carry out executive functions and to do what’s best for itself. So then it does feel like more of an uphill battle. Now, sometimes I get pushed back on, okay, yeah, that’s with my friends, sure, if they can’t accept who I am, great, maybe they’re not the right friend for me. Maybe it’s time that this friendship needs to come to an end. It served me for a period of time but no longer serves me.

But what about family, I just really find that I need to drink around my family. They drive me nuts or this or that, whatever. We think differently or they’re going to get on politics, or something’s going to happen that you don’t feel good about it. And here’s what I say to that is that when you drink to tolerate somebody you’re only hurting yourself. And it’s not just from an intoxication standpoint you’re hurting yourself, because we know the harms of overdrinking. But you’re also hurting your own self-esteem because you’re not showing up as the best version of you.

And I’ve done a whole separate podcast on stop tolerating and maybe go back and listen to that if you want some tips in that episode on how to stop tolerating things in your life that aren’t going the way you want. I’m telling you, drinking is just going to cover it up but not change it. And it’s going to weigh on you because you’re acting in a way that’s disingenuous to how you want to be acting. And that’s not to say you have to call out your family member and clear it up if that doesn’t serve you or the relationship. We don’t have to go about it that way.

But you don’t have to be sipping on alcohol to soothe yourself, that’s why we do it, it’s a soothing mechanism. There are other ways you can learn to soothe yourself. And I just want to remind you all that you are the creator of the experiences that you have on this life or in this life. You are the author of your life. And you get the opportunity to create it the way you want which means that’s a beautiful thing, you get to enjoy life. You don’t have to tolerate things.

And thinking you have to tolerate something, is wrong. You don’t have to tolerate anything. You can handle it with grace. You can handle it with tact. But when you tell yourself I just have to drink to tolerate, that’s all the option and that’s the only solution your brain is going to see. It’s not going to see the thousands of other solutions that there are available to handling this issue, or problem, or whatever it is you’re tolerating.

And let me tell you, when you think you have to tolerate something, how does that make you feel? How does that thought make you feel? Frustrated, depressed, upset, stressed out before you even get to that family member or get to that thing you’re tolerating?

I mean I find I was feeling that way that I had to tolerate some of the issues with my daughter and that was terrible. It made me feel terrible about mothering her. And the truth was I didn’t have to tolerate it. There were plenty of other options I couldn’t see but that option served me because truly I wanted to drink on one hand. But then when I got serious about cutting back I said, “Okay, I’m sick of thinking that way, that thinking is no longer helping me.”

So we’re not connecting, I hope I’ve made that point pretty clear. I hope you feel you see that in your own life how alcohol does not help you connect.

Now, let’s take this to being by yourself or at home and people want to escape, escape the day, escape the stress, take the edge off, just relax. There’s just so much noise in my house with the kids around all the time and everybody’s home and my husband’s not traveling for work like he used to or whatever. It just feels like big old chaos, lots of mess, lots of loudness. I get it. I’m a peaceful person, I like quiet. But I want us to think about how alcohol disconnects us from us.

So thinking you have to do something, you have to tolerate something or you just want to escape, leaves you feeling drained, and tired, and exhausted, and all of that, that I just said. And you may say, “I just want to disconnect.” Well, alcohol we know allows us to disconnect. But here’s what I find, when you want to disconnect from your life, you’re actually also disconnecting from yourself. Now, we may say, “It’s just to take a break for an hour or two.” But it really is disconnecting you from you and disconnecting you from others.

And I hear this a lot from moms because part of motherhood is that you’re giving, you’re giving to your kids, you’re giving your time, you’re giving your energy. And especially if you’ve got a job as well, that’s taking time and energy, and then your spouse, all of those things. You lose that time to connect with yourself.

So that when it comes to the end of the day you don’t know how to connect with yourself, because you haven’t been throughout the day, and now you’re just exhausted from giving. And your brain is going to think, how I could give back to myself is with a glass of wine. But I’ll tell you, that’s only going to disconnect you further because the more you have it, how many people get to the point where – I don’t know – my kids are growing, or they’re grown and I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what makes me happy. I don’t know what my joys are. My joy is just drinking.

When you don’t connect with yourself you start to lose yourself. And beyond simple mundane tasks, keeping the house clean, keeping the laundry going, keeping making sure everybody has clothes that are clean and smell good, and have lunches or whatever. It’s like what’s the bigger picture. What are my goals? Who am I in this process? And it’s very common for women to lose that identity especially as they’re raising a family. And I’ll tell you what, the answers will not come the more you drink. The answers will not come the more you disconnect from yourself.

You have to look at that time as a way to connect with yourself, as a way to figure out what it is that I want because as we go through different slices of life, our wants, our needs change. And I have to bring up this issue because it comes up so much in my Drink Less Lifestyle program. And it came up for me too.

I just mentioned a few podcast episodes ago how I was not feeling connected to my wardrobe and my style and I had been wearing yoga pants and a lot of clothes that are cheap, inexpensive, just can throw away because my toddler used to spill stuff on them. They used to stain my white pants or stain this. But you know what? She’s no longer a toddler. But I was still dressing as like she was still going to ruin my clothes and she’s 10. I don’t know the last time she ruined any of my outfits. Actually it was probably me.

But my mental programming hadn’t caught up to oh my gosh, I am in a different slice of life, I could choose differently now, and I want to choose differently now, not that I have to, not that there’s anything wrong with those clothes, but they just weren’t representing who I wanted to be in this slice of my life. So I was stuck in that relationship with my clothes. I kept buying the same things wondering why I don’t feel differently in them. So I needed a coach, I needed somebody to help me with my brain, that I felt was in this rut.

And that’s why I went to the internet, I looked for somebody who can help me see myself differently, help me to explain to me what it is I want to represent, give me those words, give me those tools and give me a strategy, because I’ve been trying on my own for quite a while now and haven’t been making the progress I wanted to make. And I don’t want to waste another year, two years, three years figuring it out on my own.

If there is a coach who that’s her expertise, bring it, I want that expertise. I want that knowledge so I could get to my result quicker. And the tools that she gave me were magnificent. I know exactly what pieces I want, I know the colors that look good on me. I know the styles and the fabrics that I like because I was able to show her pieces from my closet that do make me feel great and this was something that I wanted. It was something that my soul craved.

Now I know how to curate my closet going forward. Will it happen overnight? No, I’m not running out buying all these things. First of all I don’t need them right now but as I need them, as I go out and want pieces and it feels right to me I know what to look for and how to spend the money. That feels aligned, that feels amazing. It’s who I want to be.

It’s just like with drinking. I wanted to shed the old identity. I wanted to shed the things that weren’t working for me because of how I felt. So just like I do with my clients, we shed that identity where drinking the amount that they are, the quantity that they are, it’s just not working for them anymore, the results they’re just not happy with in their life and they want different results. So we create strategies and give them the tools so that they could be successful. And you feel more in alignment with who you want to be, you don’t wake-up going, “These clothes again.” “I over-drank again.”

If there are people out there that can help you, I’m all for it. Because I want to live in that alignment with who I want to be. I want to be healthy. I want a certain – I have a certain vision for my life and I think that’s a great thing. I mean who doesn’t want to feel alive, and vibrant, and full of energy, and feel good in their body and feel good in their clothing, and feel good about the human that they are?

And when I feel aligned like that do you know what happens? I have the capacity for more love, more love for myself, more love for others around me, more love for the world at large and I get to contribute in a bigger way because I’m not stuck in my head about myself and how I don’t like myself. And that to me is the essence of this work. Yes, drinking is a part of it but you get so much more out of this work than just conquering drinking or changing the relationship you have with drinking.

And as I wrap up this episode I want you to know that connection to yourself has to happen first before you can create better connection with others, otherwise we’re going to look to other people to fill our needs and give us the love and attention we think we deserve from them. And how does that feel?

I’ll tell you. If you don’t do it for yourself first and you expect it from others, that makes you show up in a very needy, whiny, and sounding like a nag kind of way. I need you to do this. I need you to buy me this. I need you to act this way for me to feel better. That’s going about it the wrong way. And I bet you that’s going to create more resentful relationships in your life. It’s going to have the opposite effect than what you intend it to be.

But when you fill yourself up with the love and attention that you need, when you start paying attention to what your soul needs and maybe you don’t even know that yet. But open up to that. This is an invitation to discover yourself again. And some of us are afraid to go there because we find that harsh critic in our head and I get it. But these tools can help you minimize that harsh critic. I was hearing “You’re not good enough. You just can’t do this right.” No, that is not true. That is not the essence of who you are.

And of course if you listen to that inner critic, what’s going to give you relief? Alcohol, it shuts off the inner critic. But let’s just change the inner critic. Let’s change it for good so we don’t need to over-drink and over-consume, and overeat, we don’t need all that. We can rely on ourselves to fill up our own needs. And I’ll tell you what, when I thought alcohol was helping me I have to tell you I was living in fantasy land because we all know alcohol does not help us. It’s total fallacy. Actually it’s hurting you in so many ways.

For me I had to go within to connect with what my needs were and not have them met by a glass of chardonnay or a bottle of chardonnay. So use this as an invitation to get to know yourself. Create a connection with yourself. Get to know yourself again. Ask yourself some questions like what do you feel you need? What do you feel you want? What feels like it’s missing from your life? What do you want more of? Why do you want more of it? What joy will it bring you? How else can you get that joy? Are there connections in your life you want to strengthen?

Are there connections in your life that you’re ready to let go of? Are there connections in your life that you want to clean up or amend? Or are there connections that you want to make, meet new people, find people that have the same goals as you? And what are you done struggling with? What do you just want to put to bed? Or what have you been putting off that you’ve been wanting to do for so long? This is your life my friends, you get to make it and design it as you like. Don’t let another day go by without thinking about this and let fear stop you. You deserve so much more.

And speaking of connection, I’d love to connect with you. Feel free to come on over and join my free and private Facebook group, it’s called Stop the Overdrinking Habit. It’s a great community of women looking to break this drinking habit and create better, more fulfilling lives. Or you can connect with me on Instagram if that’s your jam. And you can find me on Instagram at Dr. Sherry Price. I love helping you on your wellness journey to living a drink less lifestyle, until next week my friends, cheers.

Thanks for listening to Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with drinking now check out the free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. See you next week.

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