Ep #62: Divorcing Your Drinking Habit

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Divorcing Your Drinking Habit

It’s the holiday season, and I know for most people, that means more drinking.

We tell ourselves that it’s a time for overindulgence, and the month of December can turn into a free-for-all.

If you’re of the mindset that more is better, that overconsuming is going to bring you more enjoyment over the holidays, maybe it’s time to divorce that type of thinking.

Would you stay with a person who made you feel bad about yourself? Of course not. And if alcohol is not treating you right, maybe it’s time to consider divorcing alcohol and leaving it behind.


Are you wanting the skills to change your overdrinking habit? If so, I invite you to join Drink Less Lifestyle. It’s where you learn how to become a woman who can take it or leave it, love your life, and be healthy again. Join Drink Less Lifestyle here!


What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • The messaging we receive that leads to so much scarcity and overconsumption over this holiday season.
  • Why you have the ability, as a woman in her power, to get up and leave.
  • How to know when it’s time to leave your current relationship with alcohol behind.

Featured on the Show:

Download my free guide How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit.

If you’re loving this podcast, please rate and review this podcast and help others discover their Drink Less Lifestyle.

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 62.

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. It is December. What? I cannot believe how fast this year has gone but you know what? I’m also super excited, you know why? I get a little crazy. I get a little Christmas crazy. So the month of December is so fun for me. If you look at my calendar you will see that I have so many things going on from family events, friend events, things to do around San Diego. It is just going to be so much fun. And actually that’s exactly what we’re talking about this month inside Epic You, it’s how to create more pleasure, more joy and more fun.

And I believe especially if you’re drinking less. If you’re taking away a form of pleasure for you in your life, you have to replace it with another form of pleasure because life is meant to be full of some pleasure. So yes, we will be talking about all things pleasure and that includes sex because that should be pleasureful too. And if it’s not, there are things we can do to make it pleasurable.

Alright, so let’s move on to today’s topic which is about divorcing your drinking habit. Now, it’s the holiday season and I know for most people, imbibing will go up. People’s drinking consumption will probably increase, that’s just typical for holiday seasons because we tell ourselves, it’s a time for overindulgences, we usually spend more than we planned, we eat more than we planned and we drink more than we planned. It’s like this month turns into a free for all.

And that’s why come January when we’re all feeling bloated and crap in that we’ve been overdoing it in so many categories that we conveniently make up new year’s resolutions that we think we’re going to stick to. And a lot of us think we’ll just whip into shape once January 1st rolls around.

What is it about this time of year and the holidays that creates so much overconsumption? Well, I think we know, we’re marketed to quite a bit and this year we’re even told that there are supply chain management issues which led to many people buying early, getting it out of the way, things being backordered. And of course that creates more demand. And all of that to buy, buy, buy, we love to do that when we feel that there’s a sense of scarcity.

So by having supply chain issue problems and creating demand and that scarcity mindset, then we’re like, “We need to buy it now before we can’t get it.” Hence like a sale, there’s Black Friday sales, all of that. And yes, that may be true for certain products, certain things, absolutely. But last I checked there was no shortage of food and there’s no shortage of wine, toilet paper maybe. And I think we get in this mindset that since it’s the season for joy, and a season for getting together with people, let’s double and triple up on that joy and pleasure by overdoing it.

More cheesecake, more eggnog, more hottie totties, more cocktails, more wine, just keep it coming, keep it flowing. And we do get together, food and wine do bring us together. And it’s not something we need to avoid per se, especially food. But it’s something that we should be mindful about our intake. And so maybe if we’re supposed to be thinking more is better, maybe it’s time to divorce that type of thinking. And we can look at divorcing the habits that make us fat, or grumpy, feel embarrassed, or feel shameful. We just don’t need that in our life.

And if you think about divorcing a drinking habit, I like phrasing it that way because you would divorce somebody who didn’t treat you right. So maybe in your life you’ve experienced a relationship where you were not honored, maybe you weren’t respected, or maybe you were treated poorly. This person was just not nice to you or they were very unkind, or worse, maybe even abusive or manipulative. And would you stay with somebody who treated you like that constantly to where you felt bad about yourself? No, of course you wouldn’t.

Acting as a woman in her power, you would leave this dirt bag behind and kick him to the curb. You’d be like, “No, I deserve better. I’m sorry, I’m divorcing or leaving this relationship.” When our connection to something isn’t good, we have the ability to get up and leave it. When a relationship isn’t working out for you and you feel that there’s no way to change it where it can work out for you, the obvious next step is to leave it. So once the relationship isn’t working out, we leave it, we break it off, we divorce from it.

Because we know when people aren’t willing to change, we can’t force them to change. We can’t make them change. And just notice these parallels with drinking. If alcohol’s not treating you right, it’s not respecting you and you’re feeling poorly about the relationship you have with alcohol, then maybe it’s time you divorce it, you change it, you break it. You break up with that relationship you currently have with alcohol especially if you can’t trust yourself in how you will act around it. Because nobody wants to be in a distrusting relationship, not with people, not with things.

When you can’t trust yourself around something that is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. So if you get any of that nudging internally like, hey, this doesn’t feel right all the time or this doesn’t feel right most of the time maybe this relationship should end. You’re probably right because we know when a relationship is not good for us.

We have the inner knowing but are we taking actions where we actually do change the relationship? Because there are some people that won’t, they will stay around in a battered relationship, they will stay around in an abusive relationship, they will stay around. And why do they do that? It’s because they feel powerless. And very similar to being in an abusive relationship or a relationship that’s not working out, you’ll hear oftentimes, “I just don’t know how to leave. I just don’t know where I will go. I just don’t know x, y or z.”

And oftentimes this is very similar to people wanting to cut back or change their relationship with alcohol. I just don’t know how. I just don’t know what’s going to work. Maybe you fell in love head over heels for this guy and now you’re not so in love. Maybe you fell head over heels for alcohol and now you’re not so in love because it’s mistreating you, it’s not feeling good in your body, you’re getting lots of negative consequences from it when you do it or when you overdo it.

And like I said, you can’t trust yourself. This is like a plea for help. This is like, help, I’m ready to be done, I’m ready for this to change but you don’t know how. Well, the good news is, is that it’s much easier to change your drinking habit than it actually is to get a divorce. There is no legal counsel you have to seek. There’s no paperwork to file. There’s no lawyer fees to change. People’s names don’t have to change. There’s no court appearances. And we don’t have to worry about the negative effects of any kids or anything else in this scenario. It’s much easier in that regard.

But why don’t many people do it? Research shows that such a low number of people actually reach out for help when they’re overdrinking. They’re either waiting for it to get worse or brushing it under the rug because they have so much shame and embarrassment and then just keep saying, “It’s okay, I’ll take care of this one day.” But they really don’t know how. And you know what? Just like with the divorce, it’s okay if you don’t know how. There are people out there that can help you. There are people with the knowhow to be able to solve this problem.

And it’s not embarrassing if you can’t take care of it on your own. I know I felt that way for a while but then I was like, “Wait, there are ways and resources to get help in this area. And I don’t have to figure it out, I can learn from mentors, and guides, and coaches, and other people who will walk this same journey. Please enlighten me. Let me learn from you.” Because you can learn to drink less and learn the skills to drink with confidence and control to where you feel so comfortable not even having a drink, that you don’t even desire it or depend on it anymore. It changes you.

So when you divorce your current relationship with alcohol there is nothing but goodness on the other side. There is really nothing negative that comes from cleaning up your drinking habit. All your relationships improve, including the one you have with yourself which is the most important relationship. Because often when you fall in love with alcohol and that’s the priority, and that’s what’s so important, you’ve fallen out of love with yourself. You’ve fallen out of love with how to best take care of yourself and developing other coping mechanisms that are more effective.

So great, step one, recognizing that it’s time to divorce the current relationship and then take the necessary action. And by taking the necessary action you’re looking for all the reasons why you are drinking because drinking is just the symptom. So we’re identifying all the reasons that are leading to the drinking. Maybe you’re upset with the academic performance of your child at school. Maybe the COVID pandemic has been a little traumatic for you as we talked about in the last episode.

Maybe you’re having difficulty finding other coping mechanisms that are effective and that work for you. Maybe you can’t handle the boredom or the isolation. Maybe you get social anxiety when you’re around other people and you don’t know how to navigate being in large groups of people without alcohol. Maybe you’ve become an empty nester in the season of life and you don’t know how to navigate that territory. Or maybe you feel something from your past just hasn’t been dealt with properly and so you just keep nosediving into more wine, or more cocktails, or more beer to just numb that pain.

Or one of my favorite ones is I have no idea why I drink, which that is actually quite common. When I’m talking with women on the phone who are considering joining the Drink Less Lifestyle program, they may tell me they literally have no idea why they’re drinking. And within 15 minutes I’ll tell you why they’re drinking. I know exactly why. It’s just that you can’t see it oftentimes when you’re in it but I can.

And here’s the thing when you decide that you’re going to divorce your relationship with alcohol. As in any divorce, the first thing to expect is there is going to be some discomfort. You’re breaking something off. You are changing your ways. You are doing something different and guess what? Your brain is not going to like it at first. Your brain’s going to be on alert saying, “This is different, why are we doing this? Why is this necessary? Are you sure this is necessary? I think a drink would really be nice right now.”

And if you know that this discomfort is part of the process then you don’t look for ways to escape it. You know that if it’s part of the process, it needs to be there for a period of time before it gets better, before your brain adjusts and it’s like, “Oh, okay, so this is what we’re doing.” Just like people who leave marriages, or leave boyfriends, or girlfriends, you have to learn to be on your own again without a partner. When you divorce your current relationship with alcohol you have to learn how to be without the drink again.

Just like a smoker who gives up smoking, they have to learn to be without the cigarette again. And yes, it will feel awkward. Yes, it will feel weird. Yes, people might have questions for you. But guess what? Big deal. We are expecting this. We know this is going to happen and we know that this is part of the process that gets it done. So there is really no issue here. All of this is known beforehand. All of this, I’m about for you in the Drink Less Lifestyle program so you know what to expect. And here’s the thing, then you’re provided skills and tools on how to manage those specific things.

Because any time you take away a normal routine, a normal way of acting, the brain is going to go on alert and get a little panicked. So after we go through this discomfort and this awkward phase there might be a period where you might grieve because you’re like, “I used to be that person and now I’m this person.” Even though I love this person much more, the one I am becoming rather than my old self but it still feels a little weird and I have to grieve because I kind of miss those certain aspects of my old self.

And I just have to tell you, you are doing it right when you experience this. You are just adjusting. You are learning what to do with your time, with yourself, how to carry yourself, how to interact with others. There is a whole learning curve that goes into changing your relationship with alcohol. And that’s what I love about having a guide in my program. You have me to help you through this entire process. So you know what to expect and you can move through it quicker and with greater agility because now you have tools and skills.

And here’s what a lot of women love, is just hearing other professional successful women feel like, this doesn’t just happen to me, it happens to everyone else too. When you don’t feel so alone and this is a unique experience just to you and you realize there are many other women who experience the same thing, it really starts breaking through the shame and the embarrassment. And that is critical so you can start to heal. And who doesn’t want to heal quicker? We all want to get past old hurts, old haunts, old emotional clutter that just keeps us bogged down.

Because we know drinking because of that emotional clutter is not going to clean up the clutter, it’s still going to be there. So when we can clean up the emotional clutter, guess what? It starts radically changing our drinking desire and our behavior. And then we focus on creating a new relationship. What does that relationship look like? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s one that serves you, one you don’t feel guilty about, one where you don’t have shame. And one where you can be at peace, one that feels amazing in the moment and one that feels amazing the next day.

And you want one that takes you closer to your dreams and your goals. And how many dreams and goals get put off by how much alcohol we consume? We’re not making deposits into those relationships, we’re making withdrawals. We’re not fully present with our family members when we want to be. We’re spending more time, and energy, and mental power on alcohol when we don’t want to be. Maybe it’s even getting in the way of our weight loss goals, or going to the gym, or taking care of other parts of our health.

And so you really want to swap out your current relationship with one that is much better. And that can mean you still get to have alcohol in your life. I am not talking about complete abstinence on this podcast. That is not what I live and what I practice. Maybe you want to enjoy a bit of alcohol so you can appreciate it for what it is and take part in a ceremonial fashion, in a controlled fashion and still enjoy it in a peaceful manner. You’re not lusting after it every time five o’clock rolls around. You’re not lusting for more on the weekends.

And you’re not in a place where you feel you have to be glutenous with it because when we get glutenous with it we know it’s too much. And this is what I’d like you to consider for this month. I know it’s a month of celebration but do we have to celebrate with more food and more alcohol? Aren’t there other ways we can enjoy each other’s company and have pleasure and joy in our lives?

I want you to consider that now is the best time to start divorcing your current relationship with alcohol and start learning the tools and the skills so you can become a woman who can take it or leave it. And that’s what Drink Less Lifestyle is all about, teaching you those skills and those tools in a personalized manner to suit and fit your goals and your lifestyle. It is not a one size fits all approach. It’s tailored to you. Because there is so much appreciate this holiday season. And there’s so much beauty in the holiday season that’s not tied up in the alcohol.

And when you divorce alcohol, and when you divorce your overdrinking habit, you will never want to go back to your old ways because your new way feels so amazing. That’s what I’m all about.

Alright my friends, let’s make it an awesome December and I will see you next week.

Thanks for listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol, check out my free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. That’s sherryprice.com/startnow. I’ll see you next week.

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