Maybe you go back and forth with no, I’m not drinking today and then you find that you are drinking by the end of the day. The next day, you start the process again.
You said you weren’t going to have any today. This feels good until around 2pm when it doesn’t. Then you convince yourself that one won’t hurt today and you can start with none tomorrow.
You play out this script over and over; so much so that’s it mentally exhausting you.
It’s like you’re in a constant wrestling match with yourself and there’s never a winner.
If you can just find that magic formula that’s going to solve your overdrinking, life would be so much easier.
Tune in this week to find out why this happens and how to stop wrestling with your drinking so you stop this mental gymnastics and feel free again.
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 91.
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. How is everyone today? I am feeling so amazing. I’m just back from vacation and we went to beautiful Destin, Florida. We’d been there last year, we fell in love with it. We decided to go back again this year. I invited my sister and my two little nephews to come and her husband. My nephews are three and four and they’re just so fun. Kids in the sand and in the waves, it’s so, so fun. And they say the silliest and funniest things that just make us laugh.
So, we had some great family fun, mini golf, arcades, good ice-cream. Man, it just felt so good to be with her and her family and enjoy some sunshine. And as you can tell by my voice I’ve still got this cold and it’s okay. It’s funny because I sound way worse than I feel. I feel so energetic and it’s not slowing me down at all. It’s just I have some hacking moments that occur and we’ll just get through it. I’m also having so much fun because my husband had a milestone birthday yesterday. We celebrated all weekend long and the funniest things just happened.
We rented a boat and invited a lot of friends to come on the boat. And we did it, it’s this Vrbo service for boats. I didn’t even know they had that. And so, when we rented this boat from this guide through the service we were into our journey of boating and then the engine doesn’t work. So, we had to throw our anchor, we had to call the guy. They had to swim out to us. And then they had to call a tugboat. Oh my gosh, it was so fun. But it was delightful. We just got to be on the water. It was beautiful because the Marine Layer had burned off here in San Diego.
And so, we had a beautiful day on the water, spent time with friends. And then when we got back to shore we continued our festivities and the fun. So, there’s just so much excitement going on in our life and it’s just such a fun, fun time. I hope all of you are having a tremendously fabulous summer so far. And I don’t know if you guys are like me but I get so excited about going on vacation. The anticipation of the vacation is just as good sometimes as being on the vacation.
And here’s also something that’s interesting is that I love coming back home. I miss my home, I miss my city, I miss some of the normal activities. I enjoy the going on vacation and I also enjoy coming home. So, I’m excited to be back. I missed you guys. I missed my clients. I was sharing some pictures with them in our Slack channel. We took a beautiful sunset photo that I even put on my Instagram page. It’s just so gorgeous, such different sunsets than what we get here in California.
Alright, so I’m back and I’m loving it because I’m finishing up the retreat workbook and it’s powerfully amazing. Can’t wait for all the ladies who are coming to the retreat and going to experience this radical and major transformation in their life because that’s what we want. We want to radically change in an area where we’ve felt so stuck for so long. And that’s what I want to dive into a little bit on today’s podcast is this is something that I see come up over, and over, and over again.
And so, I wanted to highlight this in a podcast episode and I’m calling it that we wrestle with our drinking. And how I’m defining this is this mental gymnastics that we play in our heads around alcohol. It’s like we say we’re going to drink there, or we’re not going to drink here, or we’re going to change it up come this, and change it there. And it’s like we’re constantly thinking about will I drink, when I drink, how much will I drink. It’s this head game because our brains will tell us we have to have that magic formula around alcohol that will solve all my problems with drinking.
So, this came up while I was working with a new client yesterday and I saw her just like so many other clients doing these mental gymnastics, doing these mental head games. And on our first call together we were really identifying how she’s overdrinking, where it shows up in her life, where she does feel in control of alcohol. Where she doesn’t feel in control of alcohol, if she’s using alcohol in any fashion or form to cope with something else going on in her life. And what changes she’s hoping to make while in the program.
Because I’m all about defining success for the client, what is your definition of success because it doesn’t look the same across the board. My definition for take it or leave it might be different than somebody else’s definition of take it or leave it. And there might be a different goal that they are trying to achieve. And of course, we don’t just talk around goals around alcohol. That would be very limiting, that would just be saying that alcohol is truly the only problem in our life which we uncover that oftentimes it isn’t.
There’s something else in our life that we’re not happy with and we’re using alcohol to cover that up. So, as we’re going through all the changes she wants to make by working with me, and we kept identifying, okay, what does success look like for you? It was interesting because she kept moving the goal posts. I want this over here but then over here I want this. And then over here I want this. And when it came to alcohol there were points in our conversation where she was contradicting herself.
She was saying she wanted this and then a couple of sentences later she was saying something else. And I see this all the time, this is not alarming for me. This is not a red flag. This is something our brains will do especially if we’ve tried for years to conquer this on our own. And what she was doing was really limiting her options of what she thought was possible for her.
And it’s what we do. if we set out to achieve something and we haven’t achieved it, if we keep doing that, sometimes we start to think even if it’s unconscious, we start to think that that’s unavailable, that’s unattainable. Or I’ve tried that and it didn’t work so that’s no longer a possibility for me. And as I mentioned, super common, I see this all the time. And I hear what the person is saying but I know deep down that there are more possibilities than what my client can see and what my client can imagine for their life.
And this is why my coaching is so effective, because I see these patterns. I see how this is common especially for women because we keep ourselves stuck in certain ways. And it prevents us from really getting to our goals. So, I can hear the frustration in her voice. I can hear how she’s tried many times to conquer something and it just wasn’t attainable to her yet. And she’s wrestling with it. She really wants it but then yet she backs down. I want this for my drinking but I know that’s not going to work. And so, she chose a different goal and yeah, that could work.
And why I wanted to bring this up in a podcast is I just want you to see that this is common. And I bet your brain does this too. And if you look at what drives transformation, this is part of the process. So not only is this common, it’s also necessary to talk about it because when you talk about it you can see what’s holding you back. Keeping all this information in doesn’t benefit anybody.
So, as she’s talking about it I showed it to her, I showed her exactly what was holding her back and it hit home. Because she told me in no uncertain terms that you’ve hit it, that’s exactly right. And what I love about this is the issue wasn’t even about alcohol. It wasn’t even around the substance of the drink, the alcohol. And when we’re talking about it, it’s like a light bulb went off. It’s like, oh, this is what you mean when it’s not about the alcohol, it’s not about the drink, because we miss it. We don’t see it.
We’re so stuck in our stories, we’re so stuck in what hasn’t worked, and so it’s like we’re missing an integral part of the information. And this is why I love coaching so much and why it is so effective, because you can get relatively quick transformation in just a few months. Without a coach most people spend years, even decades doing these mental gymnastics, wrestling with their choices around alcohol and feeling so frustrated because they make intermittent progress. And that’s why they invent terms like, on the wagon, off the wagon.
And what’s even more detrimental in this process is doing it longer makes you feel more like a failure. I remember those mental conversations in my head. When am I ever going to figure this out? When is this ever going to go away for me? It’s this small nagging issue in my life but if it wasn’t there I’d feel so much better. I’d feel so free. And as we talked about, I get so much of my time back because it is tiring to listen to those mental gymnastics in your head.
And that’s what leads us to feel more burdened by it. It feels more overwhelming. It feels tiring. And so, we just want to escape it. So, these mental gymnastics actually cause us to drink more. And I think about it like a wrestling match. When you watch a wrestling match, one person gets pinned down and so we pin down alcohol for the day. We ring the bell, we give ourselves yay, we get a point, we won that match. And then a few days go by, we get pinned down by the alcohol. We slip up, we overdrink and then we have no idea why.
And this is detrimental to growth because we can’t move forward if we don’t know why we have been pinned down by the alcohol. So, when people slipup or my clients slipup, which most will do, it’s important to run a diagnostic on why that occurred. And we do that so we make sure that that doesn’t happen in the future or it happens less and less often as time goes on. We’re learning what skills the person still needs to learn.
And I was just helping another client with this yesterday as she’s been working with me since March. And this past weekend she had her first slipup. So, three months have gone by with no slipups and she’s been consistently drinking less. And so, we had to do this diagnostic. We had to understand what happened here and what needed to change going forward because she didn’t want this to happen again. Nobody wants to overdrink if they can prevent it.
So, she went to drinking almost every night to not even wanting it during the week, not even thinking about it during the week, having it be a total non-issue. And just having a few drinks on the weekend. And that was her goal initially. And it’s funny because she’s thinking about even drinking less than that. And I love it because it’s a beautiful thing when we want more progress. It’s like our body recalibrates and resets and then even that smaller amount of alcohol that we’re drinking begins to feel like too much.
And when this happens my clients are shocked. They are shocked at, oh my gosh, I didn’t think I’d even want to drink less than that. And I didn’t even know that I’d have the desire to drink less than that. I think I’d get to this goal and be satisfied. And that happened to me too. Because we’re unaware of how amazing we’re going to feel and how we want to feel even more amazing. And now our brains see that it is possible to drink less, love our lives more and feel that amazing powerful feeling so we want more of it.
And our brain can’t even comprehend that before you start the process so it just doesn’t seem like it’s an option. It doesn’t seem like it’s possible for you. But I see this all the time, it’s no surprise and I just love seeing the transformation that happens. But before you really start breaking this down and making your life so amazing you’re stuck in this mental wrestling match. I want this. No. Now that I’m at this party, now I change my mind and I want this. And the 4th of July is coming and I want to be this type of drinker there.
And then as the day gets closer and we’re invited to more parties, and then okay, well, now our goalpost changes. And now I’m in another wrestling match because I am redeciding to commit to something different or I don’t know what to decide. And so, people throw their hands up in the air and they’re just like, “This drinking less thing is so hard.” Yes, because you’re engaging in more mental gymnastics and that is going to be draining.
I kind of liken it to when I was dating. There were all these rules my roommate would tell me about like, “Don’t text back too quickly, or don’t email back too quickly.” And there is these unspoken rules about how to play the game. And it just felt like a mental head game. It’s like all these made up rules, you should do that, you should do this, this is what’s appropriate, whatever. How about if we just like each other, we get to go on another date? Because that’s the part that becomes exhausting, all those mental head games.
So, when I was working with my new client I saw how she was doing this. She was creating her own mental head games. And so, I just offered her a solution. “Hey, do you want to stop doing these mental head games? Because this is exhausting to be in this head space.” And oh my gosh, the look on her face, she was delighted. She’s like, “Yeah, how do I do that?” So, I showed her how she was holding herself back with these mental head games and she was literally stunned. She didn’t even see how she was creating her own mental jail prison cell and keeping herself stuck inside.
So, I offered her a key to get out of that jail cell and she just wanted to fly right out. She’s like, “I’m done.” And this is my friends is how transformation happens. This is when it’s sustainable and it feels good and you’re getting progress. And I pointed out that she was missing this certain skill that was keeping her wrestling with alcohol. And then she saw she was trying to solve the wrestling with more wrestling.
So, notice, this is what most people do. She was trying to solve the wrestling in her head with more mental wrestling and more matches going on. And this caused her to focus more on the alcohol which creates the opposite effect of what she wanted. She wanted to be free. She didn’t want the mental gymnastics. She didn’t want to be thinking about the alcohol even more. She wanted to be enjoying her life.
And you can see it, maybe you’ve done this. You’re just thinking so much about the alcohol that you create your own desire for more and you begin overdrinking. And then you’re happy about the alcohol, and mad at the alcohol, and happy about the alcohol, and mad about the alcohol. And sometimes you just get mad about the alcohol. And that’s what many of us try to do, just control the alcohol. But control of alcohol doesn’t actually come from focusing on the alcohol. It’s a byproduct of learning skills.
When I record a podcast I don’t just talk into a microphone. I have learned skills to be able to create a podcast that people want to listen to because I want to create a successful podcast that reaches hundreds of thousands of people. And if you want to be good at anything it requires learning skills.
If you want to be a good tennis player and have good ball control, it’s not about just holding a racket and hitting the ball. You have to learn basic strokes, the serve, the forehand ground stroke, the backhand ground stroke, the forehand volley, the backhand volley and the overhead smash. And those are the just the strokes with the racket. What about footwork? What about power? What about agility? What about mental fortitude? These are skillsets to become better at playing tennis. It’s not focusing on the ball and hitting it, it’s much deeper than that.
And how do you get better at tennis? You hire a coach. And the coach tells you the skills you need to do to get better, hold the racket differently, tweak this, tweak that. And it’s so much more effective because you’re learning what doesn’t work and what does work. So, the same is true with being able to control your drinking in any environment or around anybody you hang out with.
Because a lot of people find that when they hang out with certain people they drink more. And there’s a reason for that, it doesn’t just happen out of thin air. There’s actually a reason for it. And when we discover it we build skills that you’re missing so you can stay in control around those people, or around that environment. And when you do this the mental gymnastics and the wrestling match stops, it’s over, you’re free. You’re free to be the type of drinker, if any, you want to be.
And that’s what we truly want, freedom from the mental anguish and the mental gymnastics we’re putting ourselves through. Because when you’re in the mental anguish, your brain is desperately craving it at certain parts of the day and then your brain is desperately hating you when you overdrink. It’s a catch 22. It’s a no win situation. But what do we do? We engage more in the mental gymnastics. We engage more in that mental anguish and we create more of it which makes the problem get bigger.
The way out of this is to learn the skills to completely end the mental anguish. It’s where you end that mental wrestling match constantly going on in your head. And I invite you to come and learn how to do this when you work with me inside of Drink Less Lifestyle. We look at what’s not working in your life and what’s not working with your drinking and we fix it. So that you can love your life, not just some of it but all of it. We focus on skills that get you transformation so you can be free of the mental anguish.
You can learn more about Drink Less Lifestyle on my website at drinklesslifestyle.com and it’s under the Work With Me Page. You get all the help you need to transform this habit and make it a non-issue for you. This doesn’t just clear up a drinking issue, it clears up a mental issue, and it clears up your life so you can live more free and be more alive. It’s amazing when you feel empowered in your life. Alright my beautiful friends, go live empowered in your life, it’s the best feeling ever. And I’ll see you next week. Bye.
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.