Completely stuck and struggling to keep it together. Sound familiar? For today’s guest, that was her reality. Annie welcomes Calley to the podcast. Once Calley decided it was time to unveil what was behind the curtain of alcohol and let her mind get naked – it was moving day for drinking. She no longer sees drinking as an ‘activity’, but a ‘substance’ used for intoxication. Join us to learn more about how Calley won the battle to control her drinking.
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I had my first child at 30 and then I had another child at 32 and I was still working. When the second child was one, I stopped working and became a stay at home mom for the first time. I tell people I think that was really hard because I didn’t have the ramp up to being home with your kids all day long.
It was like all of a sudden I was home with them all day long and I had this one and three and a half year old that were very, very hard. They were very wild and hyper and crazy, and it was very hard for me to be with them all day, every day. I see some moms do it and just love it. I think I really struggled with that, I still do. It’s just kind of tiring for me. I’m an extrovert sometimes, but sometimes I just really need that quiet time and I just wasn’t getting it. Since I didn’t have to go to work any more every day, I think it became a lot easier to drink more often. I didn’t need to control my drinking.
Learning To Control My Drinking
Instead of drinking just on the weekends, or maybe just two or three times a week, I was almost starting to want to drink every day. But I knew that, that didn’t sound right to me either. So I started to have the tug of war, like where I don’t want to drink this much, so I’m going to moderate. I’m going to try really hard to just drink what you’re allowed to drink right up to the line and then not drink too much and not get a problem. Not wanting to develop a problem I was really struggling with holding it together and I do that pretty well.
From the outside I’m able to look like I have everything together. I’m pretty good at hiding that and so I was hiding this internal battle. I think even my husband would say, “I think it’s okay what you’re doing and what you’re drinking.” It’s just very normal and I think everybody would have said that like, “You’re just a normal drinker.” But they wouldn’t have known what was going on in my internal struggle. I wasn’t ready to admit I couldn’t control my drinking. In fact, I don’t think I really understood it either. It was just kind of this growing worry inside of me that like, “I don’t really want to be doing this. I wish I could just drink a little bit. I wish I could just drink one glass and be okay.”
I was that person who would be at dinner and like you’d have one glass and I’d be wondering, “Hey, when’s the next one going to come?” Deep down, I knew that internal battle was starting to grow and starting to bother me. To help me I was journaling about it too, because I do my prayer journals. When I look back, I mentioned alcohol several times without actually full blown admitting that I wish I could stop or something like that. I just was always like, “Okay, I’m just praying that I could drink a little bit less or that I didn’t need it.” I started to pray about it a lot in my 30s. So then fast forward, now I have three kids and we moved to a new city about two years ago.
New City, Same Problems
We moved to a new city and I had just had the baby, like literally, she was 21 days old at our closing and we were in a new city and it’s winter. I really wanted to connect with people, but I wasn’t. So I was super lonely and I think I had some postpartum feelings. My husband was having his own depression. My drinking got to a level that really bothered me because I didn’t know anybody and I was pretty upset and didn’t have anybody to talk to. I wanted to see if I could control my drinking. Definitely bothered by how much I was drinking; I downloaded an app on my phone. It kept track of how many drinks you would have during the week.
I would track everything and try to be really accurate. Then I looked up what were the guidelines and I said, “Oh no, I’m above the guideline. I got to be in the red on the bar graph.” That really bothered me and I was like, “I’m just going to stay within the guidelines. I’ve got to do this, I don’t want to have a problem.” So I tried really hard to stay within the guidelines. No able to do it, I deleted the app several times just to delete my data and start all over again. I just kept trying. That was kind of my head space when I stumbled upon your book.
I had been on TED Talks, actually researching ADHD because my oldest has ADHD. Just watching TED Talks about ADHD and then I fell on a TED Talk by a lady who wrote a book about women and drinking. It was kind of about women being marketed to and all the stuff. I thought it was really interesting. So I went on Amazon to look up her book and that’s where I saw your book pop up.
Honestly, I’m not sure why it struck me. I think it was the title. Something about controlling your drinking. I was like, “Well, I want to be able to control my drinking.” I didn’t want to give it up. At the time, I wasn’t thinking that I was ever going to give it up. I mean, if you had said that I could live without alcohol, I’d be like, I just didn’t think that’s possible. So I listened to your book on audio book. At the beginning of the book when you said something about how you don’t have to do anything. Just listen to the book and it’ll work, it’ll work on your unconscious mind while you’re listening to it. I just really doubted that.
Have you thought “I’d like to control my drinking.” just like Calley did? Start reading This Naked Mind today and see how that is possible!
I didn’t think that it was going to do anything, but I was definitely willing to listen to it. Listening to it once and I started to feel like, okay, like when I would drink wine, I’d notice the things that you pointed out. It started to work on my mind and I started to recognize these things. Having drinks at an event or something and I would notice that it wasn’t connecting with the person I was talking to. I wasn’t remembering what we were talking about. I wasn’t fully present and wasn’t being myself. Those are the things I started to notice. So I listened to your book a couple more times on audio book. Really want it to get it in there good.
My Whys to Control My Drinking
I also made a list of all the reasons that I drank. Everything that drinking does for me and I wanted to be able to come back to each one of those reasons. So with my list on my iPhone app, on my notes, I would just write down the reason. Later it would come to me why that reason wasn’t a valid reason. So I kind of knocked off several of them real quick.
Having a good time, socializing was obviously not as fun with alcohol because I didn’t feel like I could be present and really listening to that person. That’s really important to me, is to feel like I’m connecting with someone. I want to get past the small talk and really start to get to know people. That wasn’t happening drinking because you just kind of get scatterbrained and you’re not paying attention.
So some of the reasons were really easy to knock off the list. But as I got down the list, some of the reasons were really hard. Like Alan Carr’s book says that there shouldn’t be any reason left, any benefit at all for alcohol before you stop. But there really was a benefit for me. I think the numbing, I wanted to be numb. I wanted that feeling because sometimes my negative emotions or my hard day would make me just want to feel the numbness. So it actually did do that for me, alcohol will numb you.
Check out the complete podcast to hear how Calley went from controlling her drinking to not drinking at all.
Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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