From leaving the car running after a drunk drive home to threatening divorce while under the influence, today’s guest sits down with Annie to share about her journey to a naked life. Erika worked hard to surround herself with people who were like-minded drinkers and had her drinking habits down to a science. Things have changed. If you’ve struggled with drinking, you will find Erika’s story relatable to yours.

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My Story

I did not drink in high school. I’m pretty strait-laced. My parents, they drank. Looking back on it, I can remember parties where I’m sure there was alcohol there, but it wasn’t that apparent. It wasn’t that up front and center. I didn’t really think, “Oh, I’ve got to drink to be cool.” Well, I mean yes. There was an association of drinking to be cool, but I knew I wasn’t part of that anyway, so I really didn’t drink until I went to college. I went to University of Illinois. Pretty much from the get-go you’re invited to parties and there’s alcohol there and it’s good tasting alcohol.


It’s not beer. It always something weird, fruity. Definitely in college I became quite the binge drinker. I didn’t drink every night. I was still pretty studios. On the weekends I would drink. Occasionally there’d be a like a Tuesday night or a Thursday night, but mostly just drinking on the weekends, but excessively. Puking usually. I had a reputation for throwing up.

I would drink to excess and I would throw up.

I’d say after I graduated from college, that continued quite a bit. I worked in Peoria at Caterpillar, and Peoria I feel like is kind of a drinking town. Again, the binge drinking was able to continue.

Slippery Slope

It really became easy to see drinking as a way of handling all of your or avoiding your responsibilities I think. It’s just sort of a slippery slope where I started drinking much more frequently. It was very, very rare if I had wine that I would have a glass or even two. Usually it would be three. Sometimes a bottle. That sort of became much more of a pattern for the past couple of years. It also became sort of a way in which I would determine who I would be friendly with.

If somebody wasn’t a drinker, I would have sort of write them off as like, “Oh, they’re probably not much fun and not my kind of person.”

This is where I really started struggling with drinking.

Struggling With Drinking

My friend and I determined we were going to go out for St. Patrick’s Day. It was definitely going to be a big drinking day, but I also was figuring that we would go out. At this point, I sort of knew that it was like, “Okay. I really can’t just keep drinking. It’s not healthy. It’s not good for me. I knew this.” I was thinking we’ll go out to a few bars and then we’ll probably go home about 2:00.

Why Stop?

There was a point at which we were out drinking and I thought we should go home and she’s like, “No. The guys are watching our kids. Why don’t we still stay up? We can keep drinking! Why don’t we keep drinking?” I was like okay, but I kept at various points in time saying, “I think we’re alcoholics. We need to go to AA. I think we need to go …” Well, rehab. We always talked more about rehab. We need to go to rehab. She’d be like, “Stop saying that. I don’t want to think about that today.” It’s not the first time I had brought it up.

Getting Naked

Facebook has recommended some book to me through its algorithm or whatever that was about controlling your drinking. I read it and I was like, “This one doesn’t seem quite right,” so then I just went online. I thought, “Well, maybe there’s a different option of something that might be more about controlling your drinking if I don’t want to go AA and I don’t want to stop drinking all together.” Clearly I can’t control it, and that’s when I came upon your book.

Wanting To Moderate

I think just based on the reviews that folks had, it seemed like it was the better option. Probably the best option out there of a book to read to talk about controlling your drinking. When I started into reading it, I was really hoping that I could still maintain the drinking somehow. I mean not to the same level, but I had hoped I would be able to moderate better.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (
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