Leann found herself constantly starting and stopping the drinking cycle. It was time to get free and get naked. Read how This Naked Mind helped Leann do just that.
I grew up in a small town in middle America with one brother and one sister. I was the middle child. My parents were 10 years apart in age – my mom was 10 years younger and her father had a drinking problem. His drinking was the cause of financial problems, so my mom became very uptight about alcohol. Being the middle child, I was the rebel and the first time I drank was at a party when I was 15. I got so drunk that I literally had a two-day hangover.
Starting and Stopping The Drinking Cycle
I did not grow up in a very loving family, so I had no one to talk to about alcohol. I drank for the next 10 years – mostly on the weekends, as marijuana was my first choice of a substance abuse. I married for the first time at 20 and drank on the weekends until I became pregnant with my first child at 26. It did not seem hard giving up alcohol at this point and my husband continued drinking and I think I always resented it. It was not a happy marriage.
Divorcing at the age of 45, my drinking picked back up for the next six years – on the weekends for sure and sometimes a couple times during the week. There were times I could have one or two drinks and there were times I could just not stop. Soon, the cycle of binging and getting into stupid arguments with my husband and my daughter took off. Then came the blackouts.
The hangovers started to get worse also. I dabbled with the idea of quitting but it was terrifying to think that I was an alcoholic. I equated drinking with having fun for the first time in years. There was a lot of fun at times, but the anxiety and hangovers were really starting to affect me. I started googling and found Annie’s book. Years ago I had gone to Over Eaters Anonymous and did the 12 steps in regard to my food addiction. I did not care for the mentality of AA.
This Naked Mind
I just didn’t see the ‘all or nothing’ approach, so when I read Annie’s book it was so refreshing. The blackouts continued to be more frequent and it was so embarrassing to hear about the things I had said and done and could not remember. Most mornings I would literally have to sit and wait in terror for my husband to comment on where we had been the night before and what we had done and what I had said. Some other things happened while I was drinking that I can’t even talk about here because they are so embarrassing and shameful.
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At the age of 58 years old, I was limiting my drinking to once a week. Sometimes I could maintain and then just like that – I would get so drunk I would black out again. This last September 30 I finally hit bottom. It was a Sunday night and I was probably only about six drinks in when I decided to walk to my car and wait for my husband. I wasn’t driving but when he came out to the car I was face down in a gravel parking lot. I remember very little about even being at the bar but I had a split lip, cuts on my forehead, and a banged up knee. I was so lucky I didn’t lose my front teeth. It was like my dad from heaven (or whoever) just reached down and kicked the shit out of me to wake me up. I will never tell someone else they have to completely quit, but I think for me, that’s the way it just has to be.
Drinking ended that night. Luckily, cravings have only hit three times since then. I still read everything I can get my hands on in regard to recovery. Listening to Annie’s podcast the other night with the author of the book “The Abstinence Myth” spoke to me. From here on out I’ll tell everyone about this version of dealing with a drinking problem because I really do think this approach will finally begin to help millions of people in all areas of addiction. I am enjoying alcohol-free wine and the only thing I really miss is going out to bars. Like Annie says – it’s not the drinking I liked – it was the people and the atmosphere. I feel so much better and so much freer. Every day, I just feel so lucky that I found her book or I don’t think I would’ve lived very much longer.
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