How to Go From Teetotaler to Daily Drinker – Erika’s Naked Life

How does someone go from teetotaler to daily drinker? Erika shares the story of how she did that and why she’s now living alcohol-free thanks to This Naked Mind.

from teetotaler to daily drinker

A Late Start

The most distinguishing feature of my alcohol journey was when I started drinking. It was very late. I was the youngest of 6 kids. My mother was a high-functioning alcoholic. She was unaffectionate generally and downright mean and scary when she drank (every day). So the effect of this completely chaotic, dysfunctional environment in childhood made me seek the exact opposite.

In high school, I drank twice. Ditto in college & law school. I was a non-drinker. In 1991 I finished law school. I then had 2 children 3 years apart. Still no drinking.

From Teetotaler to Daily Drinker

So, when did I start drinking? And why? On my 10th wedding anniversary, my (now ex) husband and I went on a trip to Paris. I was 33. In Paris, I had no interest in drinking but a French friend of ours who we were visiting continued to pressure me at every dinner. “Just one sip. It makes the food better. Come on try it.” Eventually, I did. I got the rush. I got more in the mood for sex so my husband thought “this stuff is great”. And so, the downward journey started incrementally in 1998. So no drinking for 33 years….and then down the rabbit hole. How quickly one can go from teetotaler to daily drinker!

I think the true ramping up occurred in 2004 when I became licensed to sell real estate and also kept my full-time job. My marriage was strained by the resentment I felt about how little time my husband spent with me and the kids, about how much I was working, and the interference by my father-in-law in monopolizing all of my husband’s non-work time. I had a number of scary blackouts. After one particularly scary blackout in 2006, I tried to stop and managed to stop for 100 days. I was then pulled back in at a friend’s anniversary party.

Taking Others Down with Me

In 2013 I left my first husband. I met my current husband in the process of that separation. My 2nd husband, when I met him, was a 1-2 beers a year kind of guy, but little by little I took him by the hand and showed him the wonders of wine. That is one of my greatest regrets….bringing someone else down with me. As time and tolerance increased, we got to 1.5 bottles of wine a night each.

Attempting Alcohol-Free Life

Somewhere in 2018, I found This Naked Mind. I read it. I tried the Alcohol Experiment (not sure which year) and did not complete the 30 days. I know I read This Naked Mind again in 2019. In November & December 2020 I reread This Naked Mind and a few other Quit Lit books. At the end of 2020, I made it AF 55 out of 60 days. I returned to wine in January 2021 and quickly returned to 1.5 bottles daily. The cycle of teetotaler to daily drinker to living alcohol-free kept repeating itself.

I was aware of watching a train wreck in slow motion. This time my brief foray into the alcohol-free lifestyle I was fully aware of my progressive and rapid decline into the ABYSS….but could not stop it. It solidified that I cannot be a moderate drinker. For me, there is no moderation as the first drink lights up the old neural pathways and I am off to the races. Obviously, the daily shame, the waking up for hours, the feeling of weakness to a substance….all of this made me miserable.

How to Go From Daily Drinker to Living Alcohol-free

This Naked Mind played a pivotal role in taking Erika from daily drinker to living alcohol-free. Begin your own journey to freedom now with a free download of This Naked Mind!

My Last Drink

In October 2021, I decided that my last drink would be 10/30/21 with a day 1 of 10/31/21. I signed up for the November Live Alcohol Experiment. I did the work and joined the community. Ever since then, I have been alcohol-free. So fast forward to 4/24/22. My adult son (29) went to the ER for unrelated issues. He was definitely misusing alcohol. His bloodwork showed very elevated liver enzymes and an inflamed liver. He was told he must stop drinking. He detoxed at my house. I introduced him to This Naked Mind at that time. He joined the May 22 Live Alcohol Experiment and is now a month AF. He credits me with helping him find a way to start his AF journey. So, after a 23-year foray into the Abyss, I am ready to live Naked and Free.

Share Your Story

Can you relate to going from teetotaler to daily drinker? Did This Naked Mind help you start living alcohol-free like Erika is? Whether it was our booksthe appthe podcasts, or another program we want you to share your story here and inspire others on their journey!