My Journey Figuring Out Why I Drank – JC’s Naked Life

Have you ever wondered why you drink? Perhaps it’s a habit, a way to unwind, or a coping mechanism. For me, it was a combination of all three, and it took a journey of self-discovery to figure out why I drank and ultimately, to find a better way to live. I never questioned my drinking until it started questioning me. I began to see it as less of a harmless relaxation technique and more of a crutch. It wasn’t until I started figuring out why I drank that I could truly address the issue.

JC bravely shares the ups and downs she faced on her journey and figuring out why she drank and what it would take to gain control over alcohol.

jc's naked life, figuring out why i drank, blond haired woman with glasses smiling

My Early Relationship with Alcohol

My childhood wasn’t heavily impacted by alcohol. My mother, deeply affected by her own childhood experiences with a family member struggling with alcohol use disorder, enforced a strict “no alcohol” policy in our home. While I never witnessed the negative consequences firsthand, I knew there was a dark side to alcohol, a side I never wanted to experience.

Therefore, I didn’t start drinking until college, and even then, it wasn’t excessive. It was only after getting married and having children that the nightly “cocktail hour” became ingrained in our routine. It felt like a harmless way to connect with my husband, to unwind after the responsibilities of the day.

From Willpower to Figuring Out Why I Drank: Breaking the Cycle

Looking back, I realize my attempts to control my drinking were based on willpower, a tactic I now know is ineffective. It was a constant internal battle: “If I don’t drink for a few days, then I can have one on the weekend.” This mindset only perpetuated the cycle.

So, figuring out why I drank became crucial. What was the real motivation behind this nightly ritual? It wasn’t just about unwinding; it was about a deeper need I wasn’t fully addressing.

Feeling The Effects of Alcohol

A few years ago, I noticed my nightly white wine habit was becoming problematic. I found myself unable to stick to just one glass and began experiencing negative physical effects, such as poor sleep and a foggy mind. Despite these signs, I lacked the motivation to make a change. For the past two decades, my husband and I had established a routine of enjoying 2-3 drinks each night, only pausing for a 21-day cleanse during COVID and a few other sporadic attempts to cut back. At 58, I was aware this wasn’t healthy, yet I didn’t fully understand the impact on my body until discovering insights from TNM (This Naked Mind). Upon realizing white wine was adversely affecting me, I switched to vodka and tonic, mistakenly believing the tonic or seltzer water would offer better hydration. Looking back, this rationale seems absurd.

From Cocktail Hour to Mocktails: Embracing Change

The first time I participated in The Alcohol Experiment, roughly two years ago, the information was mind-blowing. As a nurse, I crave understanding the “why” behind things. While I absorbed the information, I wasn’t fully ready to commit. I continued drinking, occasionally reducing my intake, but the knowledge stayed with me.

Over time, my drinking worsened. I consumed more, felt its effects stronger, and ultimately, a year later, attempting the program again proved even more challenging. Realizing I couldn’t go a single day without alcohol felt hopeless.

Amidst this, I received a rare movement disorder diagnosis and began medication. Though aware of the potential risks of mixing alcohol and medication, I continued to drink. Additionally, with a child facing personal struggles, my friends’ well-meaning advice to “not worry about it” due to the stress only reinforced the cycle.

Finally, a turning point arrived. Inspired by my sister’s success in The Path program, I discovered the 5-day Live Virtual Event offered last month. While I missed the live session, watching the recordings leading up to Thanksgiving weekend sparked a crucial shift. After consuming alcohol that weekend and feeling unwell, I woke up on Monday and recommitted to The Alcohol Experiment.

A Life Transformed: More Than Just Abstaining

Two weeks into my alcohol-free journey, I feel like a new person! I have more energy, sleep significantly better (even with occasional wake-ups, I’m no longer anxious or worried), and can fully focus on my work.

Going out for dinner is no longer a problem. Mocktails are just as enjoyable, and I’m already subscribed to the podcast for further learning after the experiment ends.

Be kind to yourself and be open to growth and change, no matter how scary it may seem. - figuring out why I drank quote

The best part? My physical symptoms from the movement disorder have improved too, though the connection is unclear. Regardless, I’m grateful for this positive change and confident it will last.

The key, I believe, is education, not willpower. I’m incredibly thankful to Annie Grace, the coaches, and the entire TNM community for their support.

While I don’t expect perfection, the future feels brighter than ever. Ironically, despite always being seen as positive and happy, I now realize that daily drinking had slowly led to a low-level depression. Even moderate alcohol consumption can have significant impacts, and I’m glad I finally understand this.

Share Your Story

Was figuring out why you drank a pivotal part of your journey? Did you use Annie Grace’s booksthe appthe podcasts, or another program? We want you to share your story here and inspire others on their journey!