Hiding your drinking is common among women who overdrink.
Maybe you sneak in a glass (or 2) of wine before your spouse or kids get home, do some “closet drinking”, put your alcohol into a coffee mug or thermos to conceal it, hide a flask in your purse, have your hidden stash or back up supply, do a quick “pit-stop” after work, or some other creative way to be sure no one finds out about your habit.
I used to go into my kitchen, quietly open the refrigerator and take a few sips straight from the nice, chilled bottle of Chardonnay, and then go back to doing my thing. It was just a few sips – no one would notice that small amount gone. And what’s so bad about drinking straight from the bottle?
And I was the mom with a flask in her purse at all the toddler birthday parties my daughter was invited to and sipping from it while using the restroom. Clever me!
And I would grocery store hop purchasing my wine as I didn’t want any of the cashiers to think “Here comes that lady again for her Chardonnay. Why doesn’t she buy more than one bottle and save herself some trips?”
All the things we do to hide it and try to tame the beast!
Not being totally truthful with ourselves or others about how much we drink is normal when we feel it has gotten out of hand.
We do these things thinking no one will know.
We hide our drinking from others because we don’t want to feel judged.
But WE know.
We fear the judgment from others because, deep down, we are really judging ourselves.
We don’t really want to be doing this to ourselves.
So we project this judgment onto others. And we think judgment from others is what hurts us.
But it’s the judgment we have about ourselves that is the most painful.
When you are happy and confident about who you are and the decisions you make, you don’t fear judgment from others because YOU don’t have the negative judging thoughts.
Think about it: If you’re wearing your favorite top and someone comments on it that they don’t like it, you don’t really get upset. Because you love that top and don’t have any negative judgment about it. You allow their opinion to be theirs and you go about your day.
But when you have a negative judgment towards your own behavior of drinking because it isn’t something YOU WANT to be doing, then of course, you’ll be sensitive to others judging the behavior. It’s because you know deep down it bothers you.
Hiding our drinking is a form of shame.
Hiding is the action we take when we feel embarrassed or ashamed (think-feel-act cycle).
It’s what we do when we are critical and bestowing judgment upon ourselves.
Ironically, shame continues to fuel our drinking. We can’t change the behavior if we stay in this critical space because we identify as being at fault or morally bad.
We have to strip the judgment away and use self-compassion and empathy instead.
The emotion of shame does not allow the brain to shift into change or healing.
It keeps us locked into the same pattern without any relief.
Which is why the relief from drinking becomes the only relief we can feel.
My coaching program helps women heal their shame and stop the hiding so we can work on changing the overdrinking habit permanently.
Cheers to good health & happiness,