Ash felt like the only thing she could get right when it came to alcohol was to keep failing at quitting drinking. This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment changed that around for her!
Always Failing at Quitting Drinking
After a little over a decade of drinking, countless foggy memories, and embarrassing moments, I made the decision about two years ago that I needed to cut out alcohol. I always told myself “someday.” This journey has been long and hard and lonely. I have “failed” many times over, which have been followed with not so helpful self-shaming. Mother’s Day weekend 2021, I started reading This Naked Mind. I knew going to the beach with my mom was going to be full of triggers. I needed something to keep me grounded.
So, I was at the beach with my mom who loves to drink and loves the beach. Those two components have always been one and the same. We had our girl’s weekend. I drank more than I planned and of course, ended up feeling ashamed by the end of the trip. I was hungover and beating myself up for this feeling. And then it clicked. I feel this way because of alcohol, not because of me. Alcohol is always the common denominator for this particular feeling (morning headache, fatigue, dry skin, swollen face, etc.). Halfway through the book, this is where I decide firmly, I will never drink again. That I will never question this decision. Over the coming days, as my body is purging this poison, I obsess over This Naked Mind video content and join the Alcohol Experiment.
This is my story. I have found the peace and closure I have been searching for and fighting for over two years now. For the first time in my decade-long relationship with alcohol, I finally feel a sense of “this is it.” I can feel my brain destroying the learned conditions of associating alcohol with pleasure. Finally, I feel confident that I do not need to avoid my trigger places (i.e., beaches, restaurants, social gatherings, etc.) to avoid alcohol. I didn’t start drinking until college. Why? Because that is what “everyone” was doing. I learned that was the only way to have fun.
Normal Side Effects
People who didn’t drink were not social and they certainly were not fun. That was the only activity I could associate with fun. Every weekend was full of parties, risky behavior, and foggy memories. Also included were the “normal” side effects of drinking like vomiting, headaches, and hangovers. Plus, the laughter and storytelling with my friends further perpetuated the notion that what we were doing was hilarious, fulfilling, and worth destroying our bodies and minds for. I remember hearing and saying the following quote on multiple occasions: “I would rather take a few years off my life than be boring.”
Boring! Ha! But, it obviously wasn’t all laughs and fun. Alcohol seeps into the depth of our unconscious. The outcome is drunk tears. Suddenly everything painful in our lives is amplified and pouring out of us with no filter.
Later in college but mostly after I graduated, I started dealing with my past abuse as a child and the trauma of being a scared child with a secret. My survival instincts had been desperately repressing these issues. Soon, alcohol morphed into less of my fun juice and more into my coping mechanism, my crutch. Soon, 5-6 beers (I am a 5’3″, 115-pound female) every night after work became my routine. This behavior was further enforced by my roommate who also drinks pretty heavily, along with every single person in my social circle. Then, life took a very lucky and powerful turn: I met my now-husband who doesn’t drink and never has. I say lucky because he came into my life at the exact time when I was completely striking out in the relationship realm. Telling myself that maybe, I need to look for something/someone different.
Life Without Drinking?
I quickly learned how many joyful activities, moments, and conversations I could have without alcohol. I also learned that my relationship with alcohol was unhealthy, toxic, and keeping me down. That is when I began to question and wonder if I could ever stop drinking for good. Which I wasn’t too confident about. With therapy and a healthy relationship, I was beginning to find my way out. Yet, I was still focused on moderation. I found myself looking at my calendar to see when I could drink; when it was socially acceptable. I set counting limits for myself which I could never hold. I have always had a passion for psychology and neuroscience (including addiction research). So I consumed (and still do) as many books as I can on these topics. And yet, This Naked Mind was the one that did it for me.
Feel Like You Keep Failing at Quitting Drinking?
Curious what it might take for you to stop failing at quitting drinking? Start reading This Naked Mind to see what worked for Ash and so many others!
At 30 years old, thanks to This Naked Mind, I realized that moderation is not what I want or need. I will never look at this poison the same ever again. I made the definitive decision to never drink again and I will never question that decision. Looking back at my drinking self and comparing her with my current self, it is so clear that my conversations are more fulfilling without alcohol. I have more energy and motivation. I feel healthier and most importantly, my brain (our most powerful tool) is clear, driven, and efficient.
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