Danielle Baldino started drinking while in college and over the next few years found herself shifting from drinking with friends for fun to weekend binge drinking as a way to cope with loneliness and life as a newly married woman being at all what she expected. Danielle shares her story with Annie and describes her recovery journey where she has now been alcohol free for 6 months. Danielle has a blog about truly living life with the good, bad and ugly and she also started a meetup for women in recovery in the San Diego, CA area.

Episode Links:
Danielle’s Blog: Morning Soda
San Diego Meetup

Download EP:85 Transcript

Welcome to This Naked Mind Podcast. Today I’m really excited to share a Naked Life story, and I am here with Danielle Baldino. She shares her story of drinking to cope and getting free.

The Beginning

My drinking started probably around 19. I didn’t drink in high school or anything like that. Honestly, I was kind of a goodie two-shoes amongst my friends. I remember getting upset at my still best friend for taking a sip of apple pucker at a party when we were 17. I thought she must be some kind of raging alcoholic. They kind of teased me for that. Around 19, 20, I was introduced to alcohol, and I would say … I feel like I had a normal experience in my early 20s, college era. It never occurred to me that I might have a problem, or I was using alcohol in any different way than anyone else.

Drinking To Cope

Around age 23 or 24 I met my now ex-husband Brian, and I think around that time my life was very hectic. I was just finishing up college and had signed the contract to join the navy as a nurse. I was supposed to be moving to North Carolina within the year, pretty much, of when I met him. We got engaged very quickly, and I moved to North Carolina on my own in about 2011. The plan was for him to follow me within the year. I think this is where I kind of pinpoint the milestone of where my drinking went from fun, friends, weekend kind of binge drinking, to I was drinking to cope.


My first week in North Carolina I discovered two things that are very important: that Walmart sells wine. Could not buy wine anywhere but a liquor store in Connecticut. It’s very accessible. And I could get a bottle of Moscato, which was very sweet and easy to drink, for less than $3. I’d never had it before. Thought that was the best thing, and I would stock up on it whenever I went to Walmart. That’s when I started this trend of drinking most nights, even week nights, and I was by myself. At the time I kind of defined it as self-care. I was 24 or 25, living alone, it was very lonesome there, I didn’t have a lot of friends, I missed my fiance.


When he moved down when my drinking really took off. It was standard for us to have wine every night with dinner. I started drinking a pretty heavy amount by myself. Marriage, I don’t know if marriage is ever what you expect, but it was definitely not what I expected. I just wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be. I was drinking to cope with that, being a new nurse and new to the military, everything was very stressful, and my only coping skill was drinking.

Alcohol Problem

I was in North Carolina for three years, so my third year there, in 2014, is the first time I said, “Okay, maybe I have an alcohol problem and I need to stop drinking forever.” That’s when I found Allen Carr’s book, The Easy Way to Control Alcohol. It worked like a charm for me for like a month. I remember I finished the book, I did as he says, drink your last drink, make it something you don’t necessarily love. I had a gin and tonic, heavy on the gin, and I hate gin, and I didn’t even finish the drink, and I was like, oh my God, I must be cured, I didn’t finish a thing of alcohol.

Not Drinking Anymore

I told my husband, I remember sitting in the kitchen, I said, “I’m not going to drink any more. I think it’s forever. Can you deal with that?” I don’t know why I put so much weight in, can he deal with that, but I was like, is this going to embarrass you? A part of me wanted him to say he couldn’t deal with it so I’d have an out I guess. I don’t remember, necessarily, his reaction, but I remember mine, and I just burst into tears when I said it out loud, “I think I need to stop drinking forever.”

I remember feeling like I was mourning the loss of a best friend, alcohol, like oh my God, what am I going to do without this?

The Last Time

Last summer, so almost a year to the day, when I decided for pretty much the last time, I’ll say to start my real recovery journey, it was like June 25th,is when I really decided to make the change.

Keep Listening

Listen to the complete podcast to hear how Danielle stopped drinking to cope and where life took her from there.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License