Ep #30: Listener Q&A

By: Dr. Sherry Price
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Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Listener Q&A

On today’s podcast, I’m answering your questions in this special listener Q&A episode.

I recently asked the members in my Stop the Overdrinking Habit private Facebook group for questions that they’d like me to answer on the podcast.  Many of the questions that came up were some of the same questions I had when I was cutting back on drinking. You’ll hear the one thing that works for everybody when it comes to drinking less, and how coaching can help you get in touch with your inner voice and cut back on drinking in a way that works for you.

Let me know what you think of this format and if you have a question you want answered on a future podcast episode.  My mission is to empower you to live a Drink Less Lifestyle and feel amazing.  Our happiness is not determined by our circumstances.

Are you ready to regain control and change your relationship with alcohol? I would love to help you on this journey. There are spots open right now in my Drink Less Lifestyle group coaching program. Click here to apply.

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

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How your thoughts might be holding you back from the actions you want to take.
  • Why coaching is the best gift I have ever given to myself.
  • How ‘white knuckling’ impedes your success.
  • What thoughts create feelings of desire around alcohol.
  • Why there is no one right way to cut back on drinking.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 30.

Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.

Well, hello my friends. I am fresh off a vacation. I just got back yesterday actually from a trip out to the river. So my family and another family, each of our families rented an RV and we drove out to the Colorado River at a campsite and just had a good old fashioned fun and some really nice connection time. Our daughter is really good friends with one of their daughters and so our two families went out and the older daughter had brought along a friend for her so we had four girls, they have a dog, we have a dog, so four girls, four adults and two dogs.

And we just had a nice time together camping and enjoying the environment, and the scenery, and some nice 85 to 90 degree weather. We did have some things that didn’t go according to plan. And I was just talking inside my Facebook group to both my clients and then my free Facebook group page as well about how we handled that. And in the past I talked to them about how we would handle that in the past. And in the past I would just drink, there was disappointment, I would drink to self-soothe.

Our boat started drifting and it drifted into another boat and we thought our engine was on and it wasn’t. And so it caused a bit of a ruckus at our campsite and then we threw the anchor over and the anchor at that time wasn’t attached to our boat. So we lost the anchor and had to go diving for it. So it was just a series of things that I can laugh about now. But I’ll tell you, it was embarrassing. And a lot of people were trying to help us and we’re the newbies figuring this whole river thing out.

And literally that would have drove me to just reach for a drink, and another drink, and another drink to handle the embarrassment, the frustration, the anger and just wondering why the series of events didn’t go the way I had it planned. I’m so glad that I have these tools where I was able to manage my mind, and manage my emotions, and know that it’s okay, humans make mistakes. This is how we learn. This is not something we normally do so of course there’s a learning curve to it all. And I’m just thankful nobody got hurt in the process.

And I just have to say this is why I love this work so much because yes I learn these tools to stop overdrinking. And yes, I have learned these tools in that program. And then hired another coach, helped me with managing my parenting skills and understanding my relationship with my daughter better. And these tools I just keep applying to other areas of my life and literally and seriously it really just helps me to understand how my brain is working, why it’s wired that way and how to really navigate life so I can appreciate the richness of all of it.

That’s not to say I’m happy all the time, that’s not to say I have less emotions than other people. It’s not about that. It’s really about taking control of what you can control and letting the rest go. And while I was there I was doing a lot of really self-reflection. And the same tools that I tell my clients to do, look at your thoughts, don’t be afraid of them, try to understand them.

Because I had this whole thought that I’m not a river person, the whole reason I thought that is because that’s not how I grew up, it’s not how I used to vacation or how I’m used to vacationing. And that narrative just wasn’t serving me. It wasn’t serving me at all. And it’s not that there’s anything negative to thinking you’re a river person or non-river person. But I noticed how when I was thinking I’m not a river person, it didn’t make me want to do things on the river, like jump in, go tubing, learn how to drive the boat. All of those things I was holding myself back from just by my thoughts.

So our thoughts really create our feelings, which really and truly create our actions. So I wasn’t taking the actions that I wanted to be taking because I had this narrative in my head and this thought that I’m not a river person. Now, once I just looked at that thought, once I started to say, “Why am I thinking that? Where did that even come from?” Is that even true? Who is a river person? Is a river person somebody that’s been to the river and vacationed there 10 times, 20 times, 30 times? When do you reach status of I’m a river person?

I just found it so interesting that my brain serves me up these thoughts that sometimes are helpful. And in this case it wasn’t helpful at all because I wanted to be doing the things that the girls were doing and I wanted to learn how to drive the boat that we rented. And really I saw how my head and my thoughts were really holding me back. So I’m doing this thought work along with you all.

And I really have to say it’s the best gift I’ve given myself is understanding my brain, understanding how my brain works, the gift of coaching. It really is, I think it’s a necessity. In order to create the results and do the actions you want to be taking in life you have to know how the brain is either helping you or hurting you from getting there.

So I’m just so eager to always share this information with you and always share how I’m using it and exploring and learning about it in my life. Because I really want you to see that it’s not just you do it once and everything changes. No, it’s a process. It’s like walking. We don’t just walk one time and say, “I’ve got walking down, I’m never going to walk again.” We want to walk. We want to move. Walking helps us get to whatever goal, whether that’s walking to the refrigerator to prepare dinner, walking to our cars to go pick up our children or run to the grocery store.

Walking is needed and that’s how I think about this thought work that we do, this cognitive work. It’s practicing, and practicing, and understanding how the mind works so that we get that life that we want because you can truly have the life you want always. I firmly believe that. Like you can have the type of relationship you want with your kids. You can have the type of relationship you want with others. And you can have the type of relationship you want with alcohol, speaking of which I did drink while we were camping.

And here’s the thing, I drank but I never over-drank and for me that means I didn’t have any negative consequences coming from my drinking. So if I had a drink or two, that means I still remembered conversations. I didn’t have hangovers the next day. I didn’t need to chout out on some ibuprofen. I didn’t say anything that I didn’t mean or I didn’t say something that I regretted saying in front of the little girls that we had with us or in front of the other family. I didn’t air any dirty laundry that I didn’t want to be said or I didn’t say any hurtful comments about my spouse or others.

I didn’t act in a way that I felt was inappropriate. And on some of the mornings I had planned to exercise, do my squats and my planks right there on the yoga mat that I had brought. And I still did all that. Alcohol truly didn’t interfere with anything. There was no negative consequences from it. So therefore I feel I didn’t over-drink. And that’s my definition. And here’s the thing I didn’t feel compelled that I had to drink. I didn’t feel like I had so much desire like I just have to drink.

When our boat bumped into another boat it’s not like I need a drink right now, oh my gosh, it’s the only way I’m going to calm down, or when I was learning how to drive the boat before the little incident, it’s not like I need a drink, I need a drink, I need a drink because I was nervous.

And just as I was mentioning in my Facebook Live it was like, “Hey, if all the alcohol somehow exploded, or disappeared, or whatever, when we got to the campsite it’s not like I would feel like my vacation was ruined.” Because alcohol truly doesn’t have that much significance in my life anymore, it’s not going to make the vacation or it’s not going to break the vacation. So I love being at this place with my consumption. I truly feel at peace with alcohol.

And because here’s the thing when you create peace with alcohol, you just don’t think about it. It’s just not important to you. It’s no longer on your mind. You don’t feel tethered to it. You free up your brain space to focus on more important things in your life, things that are truly meaningful, things that can truly bring you joy like vacations, and connecting with other people, and being involved in your family’s life. As I mentioned from a previous podcast, those true pleasures, those lasting pleasures.

Okay, so for today’s topic what I want to do is answer your questions. It was a few weeks ago I posted a couple of posts in my free Facebook group page and I asked the ladies, “Hey, what questions do you have? What questions do you want me to address on an upcoming podcast?” So I printed those out and copied them down. So I’m going to address probably three or four of them that we can get through in this episode.

And if you like this style and this format of this podcast let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can always reach out to me on my free Facebook group page or you can leave me a DM or a note on Instagram. And I’d love to hear your thoughts and particularly if you have questions for my next Q&A session, I’d love to hear that as well. Because I bet if you have a question somebody else out there has the same question you do. And a lot of the questions that came in this time I had as well when I was cutting back.

So I had many of you write in questions but again due to time constraints and not having this episode go longer than an hour, we’re going to just cover a few of the questions that came in.

So here’s the first question. I’m a daily drinker and not a binge drinker. And I particularly drink at the end of the day. My question is, is it best to keep tapering down or quit completely and white knuckle it for a few hard days? It’s just so hard to do this and I don’t know the best approach. I love your podcast, keep them coming. Alright, so thanks for this question. And I think a lot of us have this question. Should I just cut out? Should I taper down? What’s the best strategy to do?

But I want to point out two things in this question before I dive into answering it. So the first thing is white knuckling it for a few hard days. So when I hear that I know that we are resisting the process. White knuckling means that you think you just have to get through with a short period of time and that everything will change on the other side. And white knuckling it to me means the same thing as willpower. And willpower is forcing yourself.

What I suggest and what I have my clients do is actually come from a place of wanting this new space, wanting this new relationship with alcohol because if you’re white knuckling, and resisting, and saying, “I just have to get through a few hard days.”

What happens is, is you create depravation on top of the experience and that makes the experience even harder. It’s like you’re making climbing a hill into climbing a mountain. And here’s the thing, many of us think it’s just going to be a few hard days. But what happens for a lot of people is if they’re adding on that depravation to it, it doesn’t mean it’s just going to be a few hard days. It means it’s going to be a few hard weeks or a few hard months because we’re adding additional stress and additional negative emotion to this process.

And I’ll tell you, the brain doesn’t like it when it’s negative. The brain doesn’t want to do more negative things. So when you put more negativity on top of this guess what happens? You’re going to find that it’s harder, not only that, your brain is going to want to cave and get relief from the alcohol. Because that’s how our brains have been wired if we’re drinking all the time is that’s where we get our relief from is the alcohol. So by saying you’re going to white knuckle it.

It’s like somebody who diets and says, “I’m just going to eat chicken and broccoli for three to four weeks. And I’m just going to get through that phase and then everything will change on the other side.” But what you’re not doing is changing your relationship to alcohol along the way. You’re just thinking I have to get through this painful period and then my relationship with alcohol will magically change on its own.

No, what you have to do is put in the work while you’re going through it to change that relationship with alcohol. But by just white knuckling it we’re not changing our pattern with alcohol at all. We’re just thinking we are successful if we get through this short period of time that’s really hard. But when we get to the other side, guess what? It’s still going to be hard not to drink if we didn’t change our relationship with alcohol if we still think it’s how we relax at the end of the day, if we still have all those narratives around alcohol on how it benefits us.

Now, also what I wanted to point out with white knuckling it for a few hard days, this means there’s fear. If I could just get through this period, I’m fearful. And so go back to the podcast on fear. We create more fear with our thoughts than the fear we actually experience in our bodies, and this is truth. A lot of us do this. I do this going to the dentist. I have so much fear going to the dentist that when I actually go to the dentist it’s not that bad of an experience. So we create more fear with our brains. We create more fear with our thoughts.

And our thoughts are going to lead to our feelings, that think, feel, act cycle. And then it takes more effort like white knuckling, like willpower to take the action that we really want to be taking. And that’s all backwards. That’s completely backwards. If we really want to be taking that action why don’t we feel good about it? Why are we telling ourselves we need to white knuckle it? Why are we creating more fear with our brain than what needs to be there?

Okay, so I just had to point those two caveats out because I hear this a lot from people about white knuckling and using willpower. And if I could just get through 30 days, or if I could just get through two weeks, or if I could just get through a week, or if I could just get to the weekend. We come up with all these arbitrary numbers and days thinking we’re going to experience something different on the other side. And what I find often happens is we don’t if we’re not getting to the root cause of the problem.

So it’s like you’re selling yourself on these lies and wondering why you don’t feel better when you get there. You’re like, “Yeah, I have less alcohol in my system but I don’t feel that good. I’m still craving it more than I want. I’m still desiring it more than I want.” Yes, because you haven’t done that work.

So back to the original question, is it best to keep tapering down or quit completely? And I’ll tell you, either way works, I’ve seen both work. For me I tapered down but I’ve seen many people quit completely depending on where they want to be. You never mentioned where you want to be with alcohol. Do you want zero relationship with it where it’s never in your life? Or do you want a take it or leave it kind of relationship with it? We didn’t talk about the destination. So how can we get in a car and know we’re going the right direction if we don’t know the destination?

And that’s what I think a lot of people; they just want to cut back or not drink so much. But what does that mean? How will you know you’ve arrived at your destination? How do you know Google Maps is going to say, “Hey, you’ve arrived at your destination?” So for me I’ve told you what my destination was. I wanted to be this woman who can take it or leave it which meant alcohol had no significance if it was there or not there. And if it was there I can control myself around it. I can be confident around it. I would never over-drink. So I have arrived. I know I’m successful.

And I’m completely at peace because I’ve defined what peace looks like for me in my relationship with alcohol. And so I encourage all of you to do that for you. Your relationship with alcohol does not have to look like mine. It does not have to look like your spouse’s. It does not have to look like your best friend’s. It’s completely yours to own.

Okay, this next question, it’s so good it makes me chuckle a bit because so many people have a similar question. So the question is, how do you handle telling friends and family that you’re cutting back on drinking without them wanting to enroll you in a 12 step program? I’m afraid if I talk to them about it that they will look at me as a full blown alcoholic.

Alright, so good, so many clients who come to my program they’re like, “How do I tell others? When do I tell others? Do I tell my spouse? Do I not tell my spouse? Do I talk to about my kids? Do tell my friends? What do I say, how to say it”, all of these things. And I want to tell you there’s no one right approach. So I always ask my client, “What do you think you should do?” And it’s funny when I offer that up, they know exactly what to do.

I think a lot of us stay in confusion, we don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to do it because you know why? We’re afraid of how they’re going to perceive us. And I just say, “What if you’re not afraid?” They’re going to judge. Some people think I was an alcoholic and said I should have been in a 12 step program. I’m sure that there are people out there that thought of me. But that didn’t feel right to me. And that’s okay that they had their opinions and I had mine. So there is no one right way.

And here’s the thing I sometimes find that some people it’s better if they don’t say anything, they don’t tell people if it doesn’t feel right, if they don’t feel like they’re going to get their support. Or that they’re going to feel so judged about it that it’s going to hinder them from taking the appropriate action, from them doing the work that needs to be done for themselves.

So this doesn’t have to be somebody else’s business unless we choose to make it their business. And we can tell them what we want, what our goal is, what our plan is or we don’t have to tell them any of that. Or we can just say, “Hey, we’re cutting back in our own way and I’d appreciate if you would support me on that.” And maybe offer them guidance on how they can support you, is that asking you? Is that monitoring you? Is that serving as an accountability partner? How would you like them to participate if at all in this journey?

Again there’s no right or wrong. For me I didn’t want my husband participating on the journey. I wanted to do it my way. I let him know I was on this journey but I didn’t ask for his support per se. I didn’t ask for any accountability per se. I just said, “This is what I’m doing for me.” And sure, he had judgment. And yes, he’s allowed to have his opinions. He’s allowed to have judgment and that’s fine. So go back to what feels good to you, what feels in alignment for you. What do you want to say?

If we weren’t hiding from their judgment, if we weren’t afraid to receive their opinions and their judgment of us because like I always say, we can’t change somebody else but we can certainly change ourselves.

Alright, so this next question is another good one. In your experience can you name the top two or three things that cause people to change their desire for alcohol? I love this question because I think a lot of us always want, if I do this, this and this it will work. If I do this and this, it’s going to work. We all want that magic secret source, the magic formula, like the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. If we just mix all the ingredients this way it’s going to come out the same.

And here’s what always works, changing our narrative and our relationship to alcohol will change your desire for it. How you go about doing that is about looking at your thoughts, analyzing them, finding which ones work for you, which ones no longer serve you, which ones increase your desire for alcohol, which ones decrease your desire for alcohol. Because that’s truly what causes our feelings of desire is our thoughts. So it’s not this thought is going to work for everybody, if that’s what the question is about, which a lot of us are, “Just tell me what to think. Just tell me how to do it.”

And it’s a process of discovery of what works for your brain. Our brains are all wired differently. If I told you what worked for my brain it may not work for your brain. But I’ll tell you what does globally work for everybody is changing your thoughts about alcohol. Now, some people say, “I just think of it as toxin or poison and I never touched it again after that.” Great, that never worked for my brain. Any time I thought about it as a toxin or a poison I wanted it more.

So it’s interesting how one thought for one brain totally changes the desire to decrease it. But for my brain totally changed the desire and increased it, that’s because we are all wired differently. We’re humans, we all have different fingerprints. We all have different make-ups, and chemistry, and what makes us tick, and what brings us joy, and what brings us pleasure, and what makes us unhappy, and what makes us sad. So there’s no universal thought that’s going to work for everybody but there are thoughts that work for everybody.

And that’s why I love coaching so much is because you have somebody there, my coach was there for me to help guide me find the thoughts that would work for me. My coach was there in a safe space where I was allowed just to say whatever came out of my mouth without being judged and to fully understand the way I was thinking about alcohol, and where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to create in my life. And then we tapped into how my brain would get there.

This didn’t just come with signing up for a program where I did it a do it yourself kind of way. It was through coaching, it was through the active process of communicating, breaking down the thoughts, looking at them, structuring it in a way and trying on new thoughts where they may work. And the only way I knew they worked is when I tried them on and if it changed my desire for alcohol in the moment.

Just notice when you wake-up in the morning, most of us don’t have a thought about alcohol right away right out of bed, I need it, I want it. Most of us don’t crave alcohol in the morning. It’s not till like 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon, with Covid maybe it’s now around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. But our thoughts in the morning generally aren’t the same as they are in the evening. So what triggered that change in thinking? We’ve got to find that out. We’ve got to discover that and learn from that so that we can reprogram that.

So just to recap, remember, desire is that feeling of wanting, that feeling, I need it, that feeling, this will make things better or this will take the edge off. Those are those thoughts creating the feeling of desire. So we’re going to have to look at our desire, see what the thoughts are creating it and then change it over time to thoughts that don’t create desire or over-desire. And the only way to get there is by doing the work and being willing to do the work for yourself.

And what I love about the whole process is once your brain changes it’s like your brain can’t go back and see something differently. It’s like that whole cliché; once you see something you can’t un-see it. And I know a lot of people worry. Well, will this stick? Will this be permanent? Look, I cannot look at alcohol the same way I used to. I just can’t see it for all the lies that I had believed for so long because I proved them true to be lies. I have proved them as false. And once you do this you won’t see alcohol the same.

And so I’ll hear people in my program or my friends that I’m hanging out with and they’ll talk about alcohol and these glorious ways that I used to as well. And now I’m like, “So I just see how my friends’ brains are wired like mine used to be.” And how I put in the time, and the effort, and the work to change that wiring, but I never want to go back to my previous wiring. And like I said, I see that that’s just a narrative that didn’t serve itself true.

So this whole point takes me to a story I was telling inside my Epic You program to the ladies in there because I was mentioning how I had been to a party months, months back. And the party was to sell a product and everybody was drinking there and excessively drinking. So the host had offered me a glass of wine which I took a glass of wine and I started to sip it. And then she comes around, she starts filling everybody’s cup. And here, here’s more fun, here’s more liquid fun and she’s filling up everybody’s cup and everybody is getting annihilated around me.

And I politely declined, I didn’t want anymore. I just took a few sips, just it wasn’t tasting good. I just wasn’t interested in drinking at all. I had no desire for it, so why do it? And when I was leaving one lady says, “You’re way too sober to leave. You need to drink. You need to have more fun. Come have fun with us.” And surely enough she poured herself another glass, took another few sips and within 10 minutes of saying that she had fallen over. Her dress went up above her head. It was super embarrassing for her I’m sure, especially if she was in her right mind.

And I just thought to myself, wow, she thinks that’s fun. That’s so interesting that her brain thinks that that is fun. My brain doesn’t think that’s fun to fall over and have your dress go up over your head. And I just found that interesting because I’m sure back in the day I would say, “Yeah, where are you going? You’re way too sober. Let’s party. Let’s drink. Let’s have more fun.” But now that my brain sees what people call fun and it just is like that’s not fun for me anymore.

So my brain has just evolved and I can’t see it any differently. That’s not to say that I don’t think any drinking is fun, I just don’t think more drinking is fun. And I don’t think you need a drink to have fun. It’s like fun and alcohol don’t have to be in the same sentence. I can have fun without alcohol and I can have alcohol without fun. Sometimes a lot of people have that where it’s fun for maybe a little bit and then it’s not. And they have had more non-fun than fun. But I don’t have them related. They’re not cousins. They’re not brother and sister. They don’t go hand in hand. They’re not married.

You can have fun without alcohol. You can have alcohol without fun. They’re just not married like so many people think it is.

Alright, moving on to our next question, how do you combat binge drinking? So to this question I have to say the same way you would combat, notice the aggressive force when you say combat. It’s like you’re having to fight. And I don’t think you have to fight. If you seriously want to change you can embrace the process from a positive aspect where it’s not going to be that hard.

In fact I have so many clients so ready to change that when they join Drink Less Lifestyle, they’re amazed how this process isn’t arduous, it isn’t so taxing, it’s not so hard. They had all these falsified beliefs thinking it’s going to be so hard to change because that’s what they’ve seen and heard about in society. But when you’re truly ready for change and you want to embrace that new relationship with alcohol, can I just tell you, it could be really fun.

You can enjoy this process. It doesn’t have to be full of depravation, white knuckling and willpower. There’s no combating, there’s no conquering. You’re not one-upping, all is you’re doing is stepping back into your power, your power to choose, your power to change your desire for it, your power to control the relationship. How amazing does that sound? Doesn’t it sound beautiful, like you want that, like I’m all in? And the clients that come at it from that standpoint and that perspective, let me just tell you, they’re changed within a week or two.

It’s crazy how some of the clients that I’ve worked with have changed so quickly. They’re like, “This is just what I needed. These are the tools exactly that I was wanting and I didn’t know they existed. And I’m so ready for this process. And I’m so ready to cut back and minimize alcohol that I don’t find it good or bad or I’m able to be in this place where it’s just neutral again. This is amazing. I wish I’d known about these tools earlier. I wish I’d engaged this process earlier.” It’s not so hard. There’s no depravation. There’s no woe is me.

They’re actually so proud of who they are and how they show up for themselves now. And I’ll tell you, those are the people weeping, they’re full of joy and gratitude. And it’s so good for the other women in the program to see them. They’re like, “Wow, I want that. But I’ve been holding myself back from getting there. I’ve been thinking it has to be hard. I’ve been thinking that it has to be challenging.” And I’m going to just tell you, those women light up the room for the other women and they help their journey along much quicker.

This process is all about helping you get to where you want to go fast. You can take months to get there. You can take years to get there. Or you can just take a few weeks. The choice is totally up to you. So how to combat binge drinking, the same way you change any habit. You have to interrupt the habit. You have to have pattern interrupt. You can’t keep doing the same habit expecting a different result. And how do you change any habit? It’s identifying the cue, working on your triggers, managing your urges in an appropriate fashion. And it’s all about that think, feel, act cycle.

So those are the core tools I talk about in my programs. And we’ve talked about some of that here in the podcast as well, but you’ve got to do the work. And I would love it if everybody would just love this process, it doesn’t have to be arduous. When I dropped into acceptance, when I dropped into okay, this is who I want to be and I’m no longer afraid, do you know how fast I got my results? I resisted for a long time because I thought it had to be hard. I thought I had to be full of fear. I thought I had to be full of trepidation and all that stuff.

But none of that was true when I fell into this is all I have to do to change the habit? Not bad. And I stopped thinking about past, and my shame, and the guilt, and how I didn’t mother the way I wanted to mother and all of that. And I just started saying, “Okay, today I’m a new person. I’ve got the tools, I can do this.” And I see it working. I can’t fix old Sherry, I can’t change old Sherry. I can only apologize for what I did, or say, “Hey, I don’t want to do that again.” And forgive myself. And then man, the journey really took off for me.

I think we block ourselves so much with fear and shame. And that’s why I did a separate podcast on each of those emotions, fear and shame. And shame I think is more guilt, when we feel bad about being who we are, that’s not a good feeling. And that doesn’t propel you to want to change. That doesn’t propel you for transformation. And fear keeps us trapped. We don’t think we’re going to be successful. We think we’re going to fail. So we just fail ahead of time.

That was me not starting my podcast. I had so much fear that I shared with you. I was just like, what are they going to think? I don’t even speak right. And it just kept me playing small. It didn’t help me get out of my own way so I can help more women, so I can get the message out on how you can do this now easily, effectively, without carrying a cross, without carrying a label, without carrying a diagnosis. It’s all about prevention versus treatment. I don’t want people to get to end stage alcohol use syndrome. No, let’s prevent this. I’m in the space of prevention.

I can’t help those who are physically addicted, who need it right out of bed, or who have withdrawal symptoms. No, those are for medical professionals. Those are not my clients. Those are not the people that I’m going to help. I’m going to be in the preventative space. What is in the preventative space? Nothing, because we either glorify alcohol or we stigmatize it and say, “You’re shamed. And if you can’t control how much you drink you must have this huge problem. And you must be an alcoholic.” Which I don’t think is the case, I think it’s an overdrinking habit and the studies support that.

So coming back to the binge drinking, there are many people I have helped with binge drinking. Why do you binge? Why do you soothe yourself with glutinous amounts of alcohol? It’s just like when people binge with food. There’s some relief or there’s some pleasure there. But it’s also helping them soothe some part of them. And so we have to find out what that part is.

I think I’ve heard a cliché or something that you can’t use food or you can’t use alcohol to mend a hole in your heart or something like that. If there’s a hole in your heart from something we’ve got to fix that hole in the heart. But food and alcohol are not going to fix it.

So for me I’m thinking those are just emotions that we need to process. We need to understand what the hole is. We need to understand what the emotions are. And instead of trying to just stick more gauze on it hoping it heals, we actually need to get stitches, and sutures, and really do the work that needs to be done. And yes that takes time and that takes a bit of effort, and it’s different and it’s not as pleasurable as copious amounts of food and copious amounts of alcohol. But I also have to say copious amounts of food and copious amounts of alcohol don’t feel good either.

So if we’re not feeling good about ourselves, or our relationships, or something we need to look at that, and mend that, and heal that. And that’s what I help women do in the coaching program. So much of what I coach on is not even about the alcohol. I have mentioned that before. Our calls are really not about much of the alcohol. It’s about what else is going on in our lives. And that’s the power of our thoughts. Our thoughts, we don’t have to change people.

I don’t have to get rid of a diagnosis of my daughter. I don’t have to change her. I just need to change my thinking about her. She’s not the problem. She’s not a problem. She’s beautiful and perfect in every way. It was me expecting her to be different or just super high expectations on how I have to mother. And missing that big picture, that what we all need is love, love for ourselves, love for others. That in itself can cure so much that ails us.

Okay, next and final question. So when should I decide if I want to try to stay sober or try to incorporate wine on the weekend only? Great question, this comes up a bunch especially for people who are taking a much needed break they say, “I’m doing a 30 day dry January, or just a 30 day cleanse, or I’m starting whole 30 and alcohol I can’t have it, or a detox. And when do I consider adding it back in?” And here’s the theme, there is no one right answer.

I know we all want to look towards people outside of us for the answer. But I’ll tell you, the answer is within. So as we’re learning in my Drink Less Lifestyle program to create peace with alcohol. I can’t tell you what that looks like, only you can tell you what that looks like. So go to that place within yourself, what does my life look like from here on out? What do I want it to look like? What would peace with alcohol look like?

Some people feel that when they touch a drink they hit a slippery slope. I want to just caution that there is no slippery slope, that’s just a narrative your brain has about it. But hey, if you don’t want to do the work and you don’t want to stay on top of it mentally, and cognitively, and doing the thought work, and doing the urge work, and doing the trigger work, and all the things, and if it’s easier for you to just not have it in your life then maybe that’s what you choose and that’s okay.

And maybe you’ll look for mocktails and maybe you’ll look for other drinks, whatever. But maybe you just don’t want alcohol in your life but you get to determine that for you. Please don’t look around at your friends and say, “How will I fit in?” Or let society dictate how you should feel about it because I see so many women do that. And if you do choose to bring it back in, why? And enjoy it, be with it, not to use it to escape from yourself because I think that’s majority of alcohol’s use is to escape from life.

I don’t use alcohol personally to escape from my life because any time I’ve done that it doesn’t help me solve what needs to be solved. It doesn’t help me progress on what I need to progress on. And it keeps me in a place of feeling in less control and more stressed. It makes me feel terrible about myself and my life. And I will never give alcohol that power again to do that. And I think that’s so important that we address this question for ourselves and stop looking to others. I think that’s such the value of coaching, you can have a coach get inside your brain for your answers.

Get in touch with your inner voice, what feels good to you and what feels like too much to you? A lot of us can’t even answer those questions in the beginning. We may know that part about us with food. One piece of chocolate cake feels fine. No guilt, no shame, the scale doesn’t move much. I’m okay with that. But we know if we had three, four or a whole cake, we know we wouldn’t feel good, we would feel bloated, the scale would move. It wouldn’t meet our long term goals but yet we don’t do that same work with alcohol.

And so this is the work I do with my clients, it’s so, so important that you do what feels right for you.

Alright ladies, so that is a wrap on the questions for today. Now, as I mentioned, if you have more questions or you like the format and you want me to address your question on an upcoming episode, please drop me a note, you can do that in my private Facebook page as well as my Instagram page which is at Dr. Sherry Price and I will put those links in the show notes for you so you can easily retrieve that information.

And if you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol and want to join my Drink Less Lifestyle group coaching program you can do that. There are spots open currently in the program. So I would love to help you on this journey where we look within. We find the answers that work for you, the relationship that you want with alcohol, one that you’re going to feel at peace with and where alcohol is just not in control anymore. I’d love to help you on your journey to living a drink less lifestyle. And I will put the link to that program in the show notes as well.

Alright ladies, thanks for joining me and I will see you next week.

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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