What’s holding you back from accomplishing your deepest desires? What are you tolerating?
Happy New Year my friends, we’re finally here in 2021! Many of us are eager to put 2020 behind us, and bid farewell to all the chaos and uncertainty 2020 brought. A new year brings a clean slate, and by understanding that your thoughts create your reality, you can truly become who you want to be this year, and stop tolerating those things you no longer want.
When we overdrink, we are using alcohol as a buffer in an attempt to escape our lives. But we only do this because we’re not truly looking at what we’re tolerating in our lives. When we acknowledge that, we can change our habits, take action, and go after the things we want.
In this episode, I’m explaining why overdrinking is the result of numbing out of your life, and how learning to think differently will enable you to take action and fulfill your deepest desires. I’m showing you how to make space in your brain to think about what you want in life and teaching you how to start making decisions that serve you. Get ready to thrive in 2021!
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 15.
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, Happy New Year my friends. We are finally here in 2021. I know a lot of us are eager to put 2020 behind us. And while that year brought a lot of chaos and uncertainty in certain areas that we weren’t anticipating it was really a good year for me. When I reflect back on 2020 I reflect back on all the good things that happened. I reflect on how much I’ve grown as a person. I reflect on starting this podcast and how my business is thriving. And I’m helping all these women stop overdrinking.
And I’m also grateful that my husband’s doing well in his career and that my daughter is doing awesome in her online hybrid learning model. I mean I think we’re making the best we can, given the situation and I’m very proud about that. And as I mentioned on the podcast before, the year of 2020 was the year we got our little puppy, our little yellow lab. And at some point he won’t be so little. So it really was a good year for us, our family.
Nonetheless I do love starting off in a new year. It feels like you get this fresh start. And I have a bit of a new attitude that I feel invigorated to accomplish some things, make some changes in my life and really go after it. And now that I know that my thoughts really do create my reality my years become so much more productive. I become that next version of me that I really set out to achieve. And just think about it for you, how do you start off a new year? Are you invigorated? Do you have a lot of motivation and you really want to make some changes?
And just believing in those new things and those new possibilities ahead, that’s where we get our motivation. That’s where we get the vigor to make the change. From our thoughts is how we fuel our emotions. So I love a new year because it feels like a clean slate to me and I could build on top of it or make the changes that I need to make or that I want to make.
So for me every year I do a vision board. Anyone else out there do this? And I love it because it serves as my guidepost for the year. I love putting all my hopes, and my dreams, and my goals, and everything I want to accomplish and watching them come true throughout the year. And it’s so fun for me to do this because I really enjoy knowing that I can create whatever I want in my life.
So as we’re beginning this new year my friends, what are you creating this year? What are your deepest desires that you want to accomplish in this year? And how do you connect with them and bring them into existence? Do you have a daily practice?
When I work with women in this area on these questions I find that many of them are not connected with their truest desires. They may start out telling me what they want to happen and want to accomplish this year. But oftentimes they start focusing on the past and what they didn’t accomplish, and how they’re not able to do it, or what happened long ago when they tried. Or these other reasons that really don’t mean that they’re not going to achieve it now but in their mind they think their past truly does affect the present and the future.
And then they go on, and on, and on to tell me all the reasons why they can’t be who they want. And I hear about all their additional responsibilities like taking care of the kids, or maybe they’re taking care of elder family members, or they feel like that ship has sailed, or they’re too old, or their spouse will think they’re crazy. Or just some other reason they feel they can’t achieve their deepest and truest desires. Or sometimes they say, “I just don’t know how to get started.” Or, “I really don’t know what I want to do.”
And so for many women they’re not connected with themselves and what they truly desire. And I’ll tell you in my experience one of the biggest things that disconnects us from ourselves is drinking because drinking numbs all of our feelings, including the feeling of connection with ourselves and the feeling of desire within ourselves. And so when you’re not connected with yourself and you’re not connected to your truest desires, you’re not in touch with that. And therefore it feels like you’re waffling, you don’t know what you want.
You’re not making a decision and you’re not moving forward and that can make us feel stuck. And so if we feel stuck, we feel that indecision, or that we don’t know what we want, what I see a lot of women do is stay in that indecision and then indecision brings discomfort. And in that they want to get rid of the discomfort so it becomes more attractive to drink because drinking will numb that discomfort.
So drinking will disconnect us from ourselves and our truest desires. And it’s not just alcohol, I mean people use food, or online shopping, or scrolling through social media really to distract from themselves, or to numb out from themselves, or just to escape life. So in this episode I’m going to lump excess drinking, and excess food, and excess scrolling on social media, and excess online shopping, all those things that we do to escape our lives and that we use to buffer. And I think we do that because we’re not truly looking at what we’re tolerating in our lives that we want to stop tolerating.
So when we’re tolerating something in our lives that means we actually want more. We want that thing that we’re tolerating to change. And if we are not actively taking steps to make the change we want to not think about it. We want to just numb out of our lives and so we tolerate it by doing these things, these buffering activities. So really instead of improving what we want and going after it full force we deny it. We tell ourselves we don’t want it and then we try to comfort ourselves or escape from that want or that desire.
So let me give you an example. Maybe you want to lose some weight, whether that’s 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 30 pounds, the number doesn’t matter but you just want to lose some weight. And instead of going after losing that weight and committing to that process and doing what it takes to get the result you decide sometimes we’re just not going to care about it. We’re going to just overeat sometimes or eat off of our food plan. And that makes us tolerate our current weight because we’re not happy with our current weight.
And I find this is true with a lot of women who over-drink, the reason they’re overdrinking is because they’re tolerating something else going on in their life that they truly want to change. And instead of taking the action to change that area it’s just easier to numb out and escape. And this is interesting because if we really look at it, it makes no sense because we keep using the food, or the drink, or the shopping and the social media scrolling to tolerate what we don’t like in our lives instead of really truly figuring out how to change it and making the change.
And of course doing this buffering will create no change and it’ll cause us to want to buffer even more so it actually will reinforce the habit. We’ll reinforce the activities that we’re doing that we truly want to learn how to stop. So this fuels the problem and continues the problem and then the brain says, “Well, I don’t understand why my life’s not changing. I don’t understand how to help myself. I don’t understand what I need to do to get out of this cycle.”
So all is we did is habituate the process of tolerating using an outside substance or an external source. It could be just scrolling through social media rather than digging deep and doing in the work and stop tolerating and actually fixing it.
So let’s just look at the facts. If we have a weight problem or we want to lose weight, maybe we don’t find that it’s a problem. We just have excess weight and we want to lose it. Well, people lose weight all the time, totally doable, absolutely. If we have an excess drinking habit we know that that could be fixed. People change their habits all the time with alcohol. People change their relationship with alcohol all the time, it can be done.
Maybe there’s relationships problems going on. We know we can mend relationships. We know that we can change those, get help if we need to get help, or if somebody’s really not willing to change and you want them to change, we can choose to move on from that relationship. We can choose to distance ourself from that relationship or we can choose to end the relationship. Or if they say they’re not going to change you can also make the choice to love that person anyway.
So telling yourself you can’t fix something or you can’t solve something is an absolute lie. And believing that you can’t fix it, or believing that you can’t change it, guess what happens? You prove that to be true. So just having that thought proves it true because you don’t take different action. So this is how the think, feel, act cycle works, by saying to ourselves and thinking this can’t change, this won’t happen, I’m always this way, this person’s always this way, whatever it is. We begin to take the same action which will give us the same result.
But the funny thing is that actually none of that is true because we can see other people make changes. We can see other people taking different actions to get the result that they want. So their thinking doesn’t match your thinking and that’s the difference. That’s how they’re able to take different action because their thinking is full of possibilities and how can we solve this? And how can we make our lives different in the area that we want to make different?
So I bring this all up because I want to know what are you tolerating that you need to stop tolerating because we know more alcohol is not going to solve the problem, it’s not going to change the situation. It’s not going to change the outcome. And do you know what happens when you stop tolerating something? You move into taking different action because your thoughts about tolerating that are now different, you’re not going to do it.
So for me I think back to when I had an overdrinking habit that was going on nightly. Now, I was so disconnected with myself, I didn’t understand if I had any additional desires, life just felt same old, same old. I did my job which I loved, and I came home and I spent time with my family which was nice and I’d drink at night. And for a long time I didn’t see that it was holding me back from things. And what I began to realize was I was really getting tired of the habit.
The drinking wasn’t that fun anymore, it wasn’t bringing me as much pleasure and joy and my life just started to feel the same. I was getting sick of the habit. I was getting sick of thinking about drinking all the time. I was getting sick of the effects. And I was thinking there’s probably more to life if I learn to cut this habit out. And I knew I wasn’t showing up as the wife, and the mother, and the woman that I really wanted to be. So I had made the decision that I just wanted to stop tolerating this behavior from myself. I just wanted it to stop. I wanted it to end.
I wanted to learn how to gain control so I found some help. So that was the decision point, it wasn’t rock bottom like many people think they need to hit. It was just this decision point where I’m like no, I want this to end and I want to change course. And so from that place I was thinking differently and so I took different action. I sought out my life coach, I hired her. And she laid out a plan for me and I followed it. And I was so committed to stop tolerating this habitual habit that I knew wasn’t serving my life.
Now, I’ll tell you, when I cut back I didn’t know I had other desires. I didn’t know that there were other things inside of me that I haven’t explored in a long time. All is I knew is I wanted to not want alcohol. I wanted to change this habit. And I’ll tell you what, when my drinking relationship changed I got so much time back. You know why? It was because my thinking about my drinking wasn’t there like it was in the past.
It wasn’t the constant thoughts of should I buy alcohol today, and how much, and where should I get it, and when should I get it? Should I get it after work or should I buy it online and have it delivered, or what bottle size should I get? And how many bottles should I get? And the thinking about I’ll stop here on my way home, or I’ll go out and procure it, and then uncorking it, and then pouring it, and then spending the next three or four hours of the night consuming it. And then the conversation I’d have about it the next day in the morning, or as I’m in the shower, or as I’m getting ready for work.
Or thinking it as I’m pouring another cup of coffee saying, “I need so much more coffee because I’m in this brain fog”, and it just was – freed me up from all of that mental conversation which felt like it was exhausting. It’s like my mental processing just totally got freed up, I made all the space in my brain to think about other things in my life because alcohol wasn’t at the forefront of it like it was in the morning and it was in the evening. And when I look back and think about it I just felt like it was this record, that I kept playing the same message all the time.
It was the same music in my head. I need it at the end of the day. Oh my gosh, why did I do that at the beginning of the day. And it was the same playlist just kept rotating every single day in my head. And I have to say I was done with that record, I was done with that playlist. I wanted to swap it out. I wanted my brain just to not even think about alcohol. So I decided that’s it, no longer, I need a new record, a new playlist, let’s get some new thoughts because these thoughts that I have are just leading me to over-drink and I don’t like the result.
So I had to stop tolerating those same thoughts and I was happy to stop tolerating them. I really wanted a different pattern in my life but it scared me to do so. Because part of me felt like where’s the fun going to be? Where is the joy going to be? What else am I going to do instead? Now, when I say I got so much time back because I didn’t have all this mental exhaustion going on, I know that may sound scary to some people especially now because of the pandemic and a lot of people are bored or lonely. And that’s why their drinking has picked up.
But I want to tell you something, I didn’t find that I became more bored or more lonely when I stopped. And I’ll say that my clients don’t feel that same way either. They don’t feel that since they have more time they’re more bored or they don’t know what to do with themselves. And the reason is when you stop tolerating and stop the habitual drinking you eventually get this surge of energy and motivation that you’re taking the steps to change. And the reason is this. When you stop tolerating and you stop habitually drinking you eventually get this surge of energy and motivation that takes over.
And with more energy, more motivation you start feeling better about yourself, you start feeling better about other things in your life. You even go on to make other changes in your life because you feel good in this one area so other things in your life begin to change as well. Not only that, your brain is no longer looking to this outside source, it starts to look internally. And you start connecting with yourself. You start feeling your truer desires.
You start feeling these desires that you didn’t even know you had, they were laying dormant. They’ve been lying unexplored. They’ve been lying untapped for so long. It’s like your soul begins to talk to you again. And I’ll tell you, when I cut back on my drinking I had no idea what I would do instead. And I thought to be successful in cutting back you need to have – and I thought to be successful in cutting back that you need to have an action that you’re going to do instead of the action of drinking.
And I get this a lot from the women that I speak to, they say, “Well, if I’m not drinking what else am I going to do?” And I want to offer you it’s not an action for action swap. So what I mean by that, it’s not like I gave up drinking so now I’m going to take up tennis, or yoga, or needlepoint. It doesn’t have to be this action for action swap.
And I find if you’re thinking it’s an action for action swap you’re going to fail. Instead what you find is that when you stop buffering out of your life, and you start connecting with yourself, and you start getting in touch with those feelings again you get promptings for things to do. You get promptings for things that you want to do.
You get promptings for creating the life that you want. And you can’t predict what these promptings are going to be ahead of time, especially if you’ve been disconnecting from yourself daily. Because I’ll tell you, what I now do with my life in this extra time I didn’t know back then it would bring me joy. It just sounded like a list of things, or it just sounded like yeah, that doesn’t sound fun. But it is so much more fun. It’s so much more fulfilling.
So I say just drop the fear about what are you going to replace the drinking with because you won’t know and you’ll be open to explore whatever your inner voice is telling you. Because you probably have a lot of untapped, because my guess is you probably have some untapped desires just like I did, just lying dormant and I didn’t even know they were there. When I ended my nightly drinking habit I had no idea what was in store for me but I didn’t care. I knew it had to be better than what I was currently feeling and experiencing.
And here’s the thing, I didn’t know right away, but within a few short months of ending my habit I started to think about what it would be like to potentially help other women through this process, teach them the tools that I have learned to really change that relationship with alcohol. Now, it’s funny because I love pharmacy, I still love pharmacy. I love being a pharmacist.
And my friends laugh with all these clichés because they know I’m so passionate about pharmacy, and medication, and how medicine heals the body, and for practicing and studying for 20 plus years, that’s how my brain is wired. That’s how my brain thinks. It’s how I trained it. But when these tools started working in my life to transform my drinking I would tell my husband all the time that, “Gosh, these tools are better than pills.” This is better than the medicine I have been working with and understanding. This changes just not one area of your life but so many areas of your life.
And so the more I practiced these skills outside of drinking I’d just see better results in my life. And I loved it because I thought hey, the people needed to change, or the circumstances needed to change, or all of things needed to change outside of me. I didn’t realize how much power I had within me to change my life when the things around me didn’t have to change. It’s like my life went from good to great and the ordinary felt more extraordinary. I used these tools to clean up my drinking. I used these tools to clean up my eating.
I started caring about the things that I can control and I started to let go of more of what I couldn’t control. I found more peace in my life. I found more joy in my life and I found more love in my life, and more love for myself because I knew how to create that for me. So when you stop tolerating things that you don’t like and stop numbing and wanting to escape from your life you’ll come into this space where you start taking responsibility. And that fuels you to take different action.
Now, for me I know I didn’t want to just tolerate my life. I don’t want to have to rely on things outside of me to comfort me or to allow me to escape my one precious life. I have limited time left on this Earth and I wanted to use it in a way that served me, in a way that I can contribute and love others. I want my life to be so good that I don’t need to tolerate it, or escape from it, or to numb it. I want to enjoy myself, the people, the places, the things, nature, all of it. And now I love connecting with myself and I love connecting with others so much more.
And now I see how I can grow, and change, and evolve and that process is truly fulfilling for me. So now it’s your turn. I’d like to ask you what’s stopping you from going all in on something you really want and to stop tolerating certain things in your life? When I ask this of women a lot of times what comes up is fear, fear of failing, fear of not doing it right, fear of how long it will take, fear if I’ll like myself on the other side of this journey. Fear of what will it look like once I get there, all kinds and forms of fear.
But here’s what I want to remind you, fear will be there regardless of what way you choose. So if you choose to stay the same and continue to over-drink you will still have fear, the fear of your health, the fear of how long will this go on for, the fear of when will I change, the fear of becoming an alcoholic. There is still fear in staying the same and tolerating it. Or you can choose to have fear and move forward knowing that you’re learning and truly becoming who you want to be.
So either way you’re going to have fear. Wouldn’t you rather choose moving forward with your fear rather than staying stuck where you are? Because both choices come with fear, and then a lot of times women won’t say it’s the fear, it’s because it’s going to be too hard. And that’s exactly the same thing. It’s going to be too hard to stay where you’re at too. It’s hard keeping up an overdrinking habit. It wears on you mentally. It wears on you physically. It wears on you emotionally.
Feeling like you need a drink at the end of the day does not feel good, that feels hard. That feels painful. So it’s hard either way and there’s fear either way. So why don’t you choose the way that serves you where you can become the version of you that you ultimately want to be? So stop tolerating it and take action to be that version of you, you want to be to get the life you truly want.
Make 2021 the year you get what you want. And if you want my help in getting to your goal of stop overdrinking I’d love to work with you. We do this together and I make it a lot of fun along the way. I have two programs in which you can work with me. My first program is called How to Get Your Off Button Back. And this is an online self-study program that you do at your own pace and it covers the five pillars to get your off button back with drinking.
And my second program is called Drink Less Lifestyle. It’s my signature program where you learn all the tools to change your relationship with your drinking and with yourself to become a woman who can take it or leave it. You learn how to manage your emotions and so much more in this comprehensive 12 week program. It is the best. You can find out more information about these programs on my website www.sherryprice.com the Work with Me page. It would be my honor to work with you and to help you change your desire for alcohol. That’s my passion.
Alright my friends, that’s it. I love you all. 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.