Andree tried to take control of alcohol using willpower and it never seemed to stick. Discovering This Naked Mind meant once and for all finding freedom without willpower.
Fear of Alcohol
I always had a kind of healthy fear of alcohol. My parents didn’t drink until I was 14 so I spent most of my childhood years not experiencing parental drinking at home. I would hear stories of grandpa having alcohol problems or uncle so and so having a problem but that was the extent of it. So I guess I was aware that it held a negative tone to it but did not experience many adults drinking.
I started drinking when my parents started drinking as their marriage started to go bad. When I had my first drink I was maybe 15 and I thought it was fun. It became scary after I watched my cousin get black-out drunk on a camping trip with my family. I felt pretty neutral about it- until it quickly blew my family apart through the horrible divorce of my parents. I didn’t tie the divorce to drinking at the time.
Drinking to Cope
Fast forward into my mid to late 20s when I started realizing that no events were without alcohol; not even a child’s birthday party. Even though the idea of that bothered me in my rational mind, it didn’t stop me from drinking. In my early 30s, I went back to work after having my children in order to help with the businesses we own. It wasn’t what I wanted to do but it was what I needed to do at the time. So I drank in response. I used drinking to cope with the fact that I wanted to be with my children and making a home more than I wanted to be working. A few years later came the pandemic when all rules and social norms kind of went out the window. I could drink anytime. That was the kickoff.
Alcohol was a Problem
Alcohol was probably always a problem for me. I had a high tolerance and could never just have one. I drank to get drunk. To have a lot of fun or to bury and blur bad things that happened in life. I remember being 16 and throwing up on a family vacation from drinking too much- mind you, I was with my parents who were also drinking. I had maybe a breakup with a boyfriend or something that went wrong and drank to cope with it. Drank too much. Later in my 20s, I remember using alcohol to cope with sad/mad feelings over my parent’s divorce and problems in my relationship with my boyfriend (who is now my husband). The biggest of all was being 34 years old and wanting to quit drinking but not being able to. Being emotionally dependent on alcohol.
Not Winning with Willpower
I would try to put limits on myself which I never would adhere to. When I realized I most likely had a problem or that it was becoming a problem I would see how many days I could go without drinking. When I didn’t exhibit physical addiction symptoms I thought “ok I don’t have a PROBLEM”. Still, the problem became apparent when I started looking at myself from the outside. Ashamed because my want to drink was stronger than my rational mind knowing I shouldn’t. Or wanting to quit drinking but feeling unable to.
Freedom without Willpower
I decided I wanted to quit for good. it had been a few weeks and I was just using the willpower method. Luckily I came across This Naked Mind on Instagram and decided to listen to the book. It changed my perspective on alcohol. I learned things about alcohol that I didn’t know before about its effects on the body and mind. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person so the fact I didn’t know these things was surprising. It seemed like I should’ve known them but I didn’t. When you’re looking at something on the basis of facts it changes your mind.
My life is more peaceful now. I am more mindful and in the moment. Now, I am busy creating a life I do not want to escape from. I have more patience with my kids and the people in my life. I am learning to say NO to people and things that drain me. Today, I am aware that there are things about myself that I need to work on and things I want to work on and overcome. I can now do it with a clear mind and perspective. Every day I can look forward to everything improving.
You can find freedom without willpower using This Naked Mind as well! Begin reading the book for free right now!
We’re not alone
In 7 short months of not drinking, I can see things improving. I look forward to being better and more productive. But most of all I want other people who are like me to know that they’re not alone and they CAN do it. I want to meet other people who are interested in this as well.
We live in Milwaukee where drinking is almost cultural. I want to find people, groups, and activities that we can do that don’t involve drinking. Sometimes people might not think it’s a problem until their car is wrapped around a tree or they need to seek a treatment plan. Being on the other side of it I can see that it is a problem. It’s the source of many people’s unrest.
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More on Freedom without Willpower
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