Sheila had a 45 year history with alcohol where she thought many times about trying to stop drinking before she finally did. She shares her story with Annie about how she grew up around alcohol being a very normal part of life and discusses when she eventually started questioning her drinking habits. Sheila describes her journey of stopping and starting again and how she is reached the place of stopping and never looking back.

Download EP:91 Transcript


Today I have a great guest. Her name is Sheila, and Sheila is here really to just share her story. So thank you, Sheila. Thank you for being here, being brave, being courageous. It’s awesome. I really appreciate it.

18 Months

It has been 18 months since I had my last sip of wine. My goal on my 65th year was, at the beginning of the year, I wanted to be alcohol-free. I wanted to be a really good example to my children on my 65th birthday. It’s been a wonderful feeling. But let me take you through my story.

Alcohol History

I feel I had a 45 year history with alcohol. It’s been a very long haul. I feel really amazing now, and like an incredible relief, but obviously I did find it a hard transition. But I have enormous thanks to you, because I felt through that 45 years, I felt I was drinking too much and I should stop. I read some books through the years. After my mother passed away seven years ago, I even met with my physician to share with her, I felt I was drinking too much but I wasn’t looking too hard for reasons to stop drinking.

You’re Ok

It was very interesting. She just asked me how much I was drinking, and I said two to three glasses of wine a night. She felt that wasn’t bad, and she said that … Just don’t worry about it. Then I did some counseling too, even the counselor felt I didn’t have a problem, and there was no reason why I should stop drinking my wine. So there went my reasons to stop drinking.

I didn’t have any reason not to drink wine. I felt I’d come to the experts, they feel everything’s okay.

Reasons to Stop Drinking

The evening would be a bit of a blur, I would wake up at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning and feeling anxious, frustrated with myself. I was feeling depressed in the morning, because again, I thought I’d fallen into that trap, where every night I would say, “Well, I’m not going to have wine tonight,” and it was that vicious, vicious cycle.

The First Sip

So I think I had my first sip of wine when I was maybe eight or nine, even though it was sort of a grownup thing to do. Your parents and grandparents would introduce you to wine, so you really felt that it was the thing to do. Obviously in my young years, I could maybe take it or leave it, but in my 30s is when I would start drinking most days. And always, it was just maybe a glass of wine with dinner and things like that. About 15 years ago, I became aware that I was having that two to three glasses, and generous glasses at that.

Finding This Naked Mind

I read your book first in the fall in ’16, and a lot of what you write about for the first time made sense to me. It made the education that I had really labeled myself as an alcoholic, and I hated that label. Then I realized with your education that that really wasn’t my problem. It was just the addiction of the wine itself.

As I read your book, the first time I had a little bit of success, but then Christmas came, New Year came.

Then I read your book again in January of last year, and I just think … I just really, the light switched on. And I thought, “I’m going to do it.” And I did take your video course too. There’s no way I would have made it without the video course too. I think listening, the first thing I would do every morning was listen to a new topic that you had in the videos, and I just think that seemed to just set me up for the day, and just make me feel I could do it.

Keep Listening

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (
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