Come down under with Annie as she interviews Nicole, a participant from the January Live Alcohol Experiment. Like many countries, Australia has a drinking age of 18 and for Nicole, that’s when the partying started. For her, drinking became synonymous with anything and everything she did – celebrations, happy moods, sad moods….etc. She decided something had to change and that’s when she found The Alcohol Experiment and describes it as ‘life changing’. Find out why and how life is different for her now.

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Download EP:197 Transcript

The First Drink

The first drink was late teens, park somewhere or something, in my local neighborhood with my girlfriends. I hated it. It was Vat 69. I don’t even know what type of drink that is actually. It’s probably whiskey or scotch. I don’t even know. It was disgusting. Then really, I sort of consider my alcohol journey to start around the 18, 19 mark. That was just going out with my friends. We finally hit 18, which is the legal drinking age here in Australia. We were able to go out to clubs and nightclubs, and just spend all night out with each other partying.

Starting The Weekend Early

It was good fun. I remember our weekends used to start on Thursday nights because we went to our local bowling club. There would be 40, 50 of us all there. That was our traditional Thursday night out. We would get so drunk on those Thursday nights, and then get up and go to work on the Friday morning. It was every single week. For years, we did that. Then, of course, the weekends. All just drinking moments.

Party House

As we went into my 20s, we had this tradition of showing up at my friend’s house. We would have this one house most of the time that we would all go to on the weekends. We would just walk up there with a box of wine on Friday afternoon without any plans other than drinking our boxes of wine. Then we’d get home sometimes on the Sunday, and get up and go to work on Monday. That was just the routine. That was it for a decade.

Drinking More

Through work, I got to know a group a friends. I got to make a group of friends there that were the regulars. That’s where they went to drink every afternoon after work. So, I would then sit down with them and have a drink after my shift. One drink became two drinks, became three, became a bottle of wine. Sometimes I was getting home at midnight, getting up and going to work, then going to my job after work. Yeah, because I had my full-time job, and then I had this job after work.

It was a busy time and just riddled with alcohol. Everywhere I went … I’d finish work. I’d grab a wine. Yeah. There was alcohol every where. Of course, every party I went to, there it was.

Looking back on it now, I can see how the tolerance increased. One bottle was never enough. If you went to a party, you always had to take two. Because you didn’t want to get to the end of one bottle and just want one more glass.

Drinking Moments

Then you started to drink two bottles. Everywhere you went was just a two bottle thing. That was in my 20s. That was a big tolerance, I think, to have built up in such a short amount of drinking time really. One of my besties and I, we had this saying that, “Was I drunk at the time?” She’s got an amazing memory of our 20s. We lived in each other’s pockets all through that time. She remembers so much more than I do. I just straight out don’t remember what she’s talking about. It’s scary. I was there. I used to say, “Was I there at the time? Was I drunk at the time,” and just laugh it off.

Settling Down

Later, I became pregnant with my first child. So, I’ve got two daughters. I’ve got Mia whose five and Amy whose two. Easiest person in the world. And Al is my partner. Parenting just puts a whole new level of drinking into the equation for me. I stopped drinking when I was pregnant, of course. I was breastfeeding and had a horrendous time breastfeeding. Just finding it really hard. My supply was bad. So, I was mixed feeding, and doing everything that I could to do that. I always dreamed it would come easily and naturally.

More Drinking Moments

So, through the mixed feeding. Eventually, I stopped it about three months, I think, because she was so unsettled and wasn’t getting what she needed. So, we put her on formula. Then I was drinking because I could. We’d go for a walk. Al would take a couple of beers, and I would take wine. We’d be walking around the street with our child in a pram drinking. It was a lovely time for us. It was like family connection time, because we’re debriefing about our day. We’re out exercising while we’re drinking beer and wine. More drinking moments for me.

Traumatic Events

There’s been two traumatic events in my life. I don’t necessarily need to go into them, but one was when I was pregnant, and one was when I wasn’t pregnant. The one where I was pregnant, of course, I think I had a glass of wine because I felt like I needed to. I had to just feel everything. I had to feel and live and breathe through every single emotion. It was intense and hard for me, awful. But when I wasn’t pregnant and that happened, I just drank my way through it, drowned myself in it. t was interesting that that was sort of the first reaction that I had to deal with that. It was the loss of my friend. He took his own life, and it was awful.

When I was pregnant and having to deal with something, that’s what it’s like now. For me, the part that I’m choosing to do it now is just feel everything, and work through it, and do what you’ve got to do.

But there were times, particularly in the last 12 months, where I’ve realized that this isn’t really working for me. I’m drinking every night. It’s not really serving me. I wanted to moderate. I tried so, so many times to moderate.

Moderating

What was really alarming for me, and probably what drove me to your book was countless times I had woke up in the morning and say, “I’m not going to drink today. I’m not going to drink today.” Then that night, I would be sitting on the lounge and go ahead and take what was probably my third or fourth sip, and go, “Oh, I’ve got a wine in my hand.” I hadn’t even thought about. I was in so much in auto pilot mode, that I had obviously poured wine, or it’d still been in my fridge, got the glass, poured the thing, sat down and drink it. There was countless times, as I said, that I had woken up, “I’m not going to drink today,” and then found myself drinking a wine on the lounge before I realized that I had done that. To me, that just became scary.

Getting Naked

So, I started to read your book. This Naked Mind. I must’ve started following you on Facebook and stuff at the same time. I saw the live experiment being advertised. Finding it reasonably priced, I was like, “Yes, I can do this. 30 days. 30 days, I’m going to give it a go.” Of course, that’s laughable because I can’t even get through a day. So, how the hell am I going to get through 30 days? But I signed up. I got myself so mentally ready for it.

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Tune in to the complete podcast to hear how the Live Alcohol Experiment changed drinking moments into thinking moments for Nicole.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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