My Life Required Alcohol – Ruth’s Naked Life
Ruth shares how she lived with the belief that she required alcohol to fit in and face anything challenging in life and how This Naked Mind brought her freedom from that belief.
Alcohol Changed Everything
When I was young people and my peers were starting to experiment with alcohol, I was home. I was shy and quiet and not invited to those parties. I went to college determined to not be labeled as a nerd or to be as shy and introverted. So, I went to a party first chance I got. I felt uncomfortable and out of place but someone offered me a drink. Instantly, I was in awe of how it made me instantly fit in and feel comfortable in my own skin. I could talk. I could dance. Finally, I was “cool” and accepted.
My freshman year was a blur of parties and binging and many nights not remembering how I got home. That summer I met my future husband. We went to different schools so we were working on the long distance relationship. He would come to my school on weekends. He was not a drinker so my drinking was tamed down. Still, I did manage to corrupt him a bit and he started drinking with me on occasion.
At this point I knew I required alcohol to help me fit in and be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. It helped me to feel cool and accepted. Then I had another interesting experience. I was a business major which included many projects and presentations. Public speaking was not my thing!!! My professor announced in class that if anyone was uncomfortable speaking in front of groups to come see him for tips during office hours. So of course I went and he had one tip … drink a beer before you come to class to present. It worked so well. Every college presentation included chugging at least one beer in preparation. I always received A’s but I honestly couldn’t tell you how I actually did because I couldn’t remember.
This technique just solidified in my mind that anything hard or challenging required alcohol.
I could not do it on my own. I was not strong enough to handle tough situations and as a Christian I was also telling myself that Jesus was not strong enough either.
After graduating and marrying, my husband and I started going to church and planning for a family. Life was good. And I didn’t find myself needing alcohol. I felt very lonely because my husband worked long hours and I stayed at home, but for some reason, at this point alcohol didn’t even come to my mind. It was only something you did when you went out and we didn’t go out very often. I didn’t have any presentations or uncomfortable situations that required alcohol. So alcohol was really irrelevant in my life for the next 15 years through my 2 pregnancies and early years of motherhood. At this point social media and “mommy juice” was not a thing, or if it was, I was oblivious to it in rural Pennsylvania.
Parenting Teens Required Alcohol
When my daughters hit the teen years things got a little more challenging. Nothing most parents couldn’t handle. I had 2 amazing girls who got good grades, never drank, smoked, did drugs. The oldest was still a challenge for me. She was a perfectionist and when things weren’t perfect the whole house knew it. The rest of the family used to hum to ourselves “I’m walking on eggshells” to the tune of “I’m walking on sunshine.”
I remembered that a beer can relax me. So every time she threw a fit and I got anxious or upset I would crack a beer and just chill. At this point my mindset is, alcohol helps me fit in and be social, helps me give presentations and feel more comfortable in front of a group, and it helps me ease my anxiety and relax. All of these situations required alcohol.
Suddenly Everything Required Alcohol
Then my babies left the nest. Over the years I had given up on my husband meeting my companionship needs and I just turned all of my attention to my daughters. When they went off to college I was left to sit in all of my loneliness. I began visiting my dad every day. That was a good thing but he had wine and I had read that one glass of wine a day is good for your heart so of course, I thought this is great. Every day I would have one glass of wine with him. That would have been fine if I would have just left it at that but one glass became a glass filled to the rim … more like 2 glasses. And then I would decide I should have another.
He started to question me on how much I was having so I started to sneak glasses. I would go over when I knew he wasn’t there and start early. Then I also discovered it helped me fall asleep so I would have wine with him and I would fill a coffee tumbler full to take home to drink before bed.
My Magic Cure-All
I started buying it myself and at 6 when my husband was due home I would go to my bed and have a glass. Then 6:30 when he still wasn’t home. Again at 7 … 7:30 … 8. Drinking until I either passed out or so gone that I couldn’t even talk to him. I take anxiety meds so some of those evenings I would mix the two and my husband would tell me scary stories about how he would come home and I would be talking incoherently to the chair. When he would question me I would become irate and start yelling words that made no sense.
So many mornings I would wake up and dread talking to him because I couldn’t remember the night before. I would wait for the “how drunk were you?” question.
Or if that didn’t come there would be conversations where I would have to try to pretend I had a clue what he was talking about.
Consumed By Alcohol
The absolute worst was when one of my daughters would call and I would ask them something and they would say “Mom, we talked about this last night. Don’t you remember?” That’s such a horrible feeling but it wasn’t enough motivation to quit. I am ashamed to admit that when my girls were home I started sneaking vodka into my drinks because they were always yelling at me about the wine. Of course they still always caught me. I caused them tears on many occasions and yet still I wouldn’t stop or admit that alcohol had become a problem in my life. My triggers had become so many by this point.
My family made the joke that I needed a drink on any day that ended in y. And they were right – everything required alcohol. I wanted a drink to celebrate, to grieve, to relax. There really wasn’t a time that I didn’t want a drink and wasn’t thinking about when and how to get the next drink. Alcohol consumed my entire life. I couldn’t wait to be alone so that I could drink without all the judgement and shame I got from my family.
Needing A Change
I started out drinking to fit in and to help me deal with loneliness. Then I no longer needed to fit in because all I wanted was to be alone with my drink. Alcohol is such a lie. I’m so thankful that I found Annie Grace and This Naked Mind so that I could finally see the truth. I decided in January to do dry January and when I was searching for information on it I came across The Alcohol Experiment. I bought the book and did the videos and now I’m doing the Intensive. Currently I am 83 days alcohol free. I no longer see any benefit to alcohol in my life. I love that I will no longer make my daughters cry or my husband want to walk out. This new freedom I have is amazing. Most of all, I love no longer being obsessed with a poison.
I have so many more stories and insight I could share but I would have to write a whole book.
I remember when my life required alcohol for everything as well. If you’re living that life and need change – that change can begin now! Start reading the first 40 pages of This Naked Mind for free right now.
Share Your Story
Thanks Annie for opening my eyes and showing me that I can live free. That I am strong and I don’t need anything to numb my feelings, emotions, or life. I get to live it, love it and embrace it! Has This Naked Mind helped you stop living a life that required alcohol? Please share your stories so you can help others!