The Secret to Winning My Alcohol Battle – Jenn’s Naked Life

Imagine waking up one morning, stuck to the side of your couch, feeling the aftermath of a night filled with both an alcohol hangover and a vulnerability hangover. This was my turning point, the moment I decided to change my life. Hi, I’m Jenn, and I want to share my inspiring (and probably relatable) journey of winning my alcohol battle with people just like me, who are feeling stuck and exploring a change in their drinking habits.

winning my alcohol battle - jenn's naked life - woman in a white cover up and hat with arms stretched out

Alcohol in My Early Years

Winning My Alcohol Battle Begins in My Teens

I started drinking in my early teens, seeking a sense of belonging and a way to rebel against my parents. My journey was marked by many moments that are rgrettable and could have ended very, very badly. These moments should have served as wake up calls, but it didn’t stop me from trying to hide my drinking and continuing down a destructive path.

A Friend’s House and “Ralph”

One vivid memory that stands out is from 9th grade when I got incredibly drunk at a friend’s house. I had lied to my parents about where I was, and they had to come pick me up. I’d thrown up all over the house, and my parents had no idea what to do. After I sobered up, they made me write an essay on the effects of alcohol and grounded me for a month. I wrote the essay, did my time, but I just learned how to be sneakier. My nickname throughout high school from this group of friends was “Ralph,” and I strangely thought it was endearing.

Exploring Alcohol as an Adult

Balancing Success and a Fun Party Girl Persona

As I entered adulthood, I excelled in school, my career, and family life. Yet, I was known as the fun party girl. Alcohol was a constant companion, but it bothered me, especially in relation to my weight. I struggled with weight loss, trying to control both calories and alcohol consumption.

The Endless Struggle with Control

I experimented with various methods to control my drinking: only on weekends, never alone, limiting to two drinks per week, dry months like January and October, and even changing the type of alcohol I consumed. But I always failed and felt awful about myself.

The New York Move

One significant event was in 2014 when I was 42 years old. My twins were 9, and my third child was just about to turn 3. We’d finally been able to afford to buy a house in New York after renting for over 6 years. I was no longer working and had decided to be a full-time mom. This was a big change for me as I’d always been the breadwinner in our family. The move to New York was great for my husband’s career, so we thought it would be best for me to stay home with the kids, and I thought this was what I wanted.

Discovering This Naked Mind

A Turning Point: Annie Grace’s Insights

I remember the first time I heard of Annie. It was March of 2021. We were getting ready to go on our first real vacation post-Covid. It was March, so it was post dry January. My husband and I had developed quite the “quaran-tini” habit over the past year. My stress and anxiety were at an all-time high. I was also on a major self-discovery journey that had nothing to do with Covid. In 2019, I’d learned a huge family secret that turned my world upside down. I found out that the father that raised me wasn’t my biological father. At the time, I found out I was 46 years old. My “parents” who were still married had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. So, my dad that raised me didn’t know either. My mom had an affair with her boss early in her marriage, got pregnant, and never told anybody the truth. Never mind that my biological father was Greek, while my dad that raised me was Irish and Scottish. My whole life I was asked if I belonged to the “milkman” or if I was switched at birth. I don’t resemble anyone in my family. I was in a dark place, I was open to listening and I was searching for meaning in everything.

Changing My Relationship with Alcohol

I heard Annie on the Ten Percent Happier podcast with Dan Harris.   Everything she said,  was so aligned with all of the “”inner work”” I’d been doing.  I immediately bought the audio book and started listening.   It was like it all just clicked together.  For the first time,  after listening to that podcast,  I though… I’m not the problem. Listening to Annie’s podcast and reading her book reshaped my relationship with alcohol. It was like a veil had been lifted, and I couldn’t unsee the marketing and glamorization of drinking. My commitment to quitting alcohol for six months was the start of a significant transformation.

Summer of Transformation

I’d like to say that right after that podcast and listening to the book, I just quit forever. I did quit for a while; I probably went about a month without drinking. During the pandemic, I started volunteering for Meals on Wheels once a week. Being a stay-at-home mom and dealing with everybody’s demands led me to get out of the house and help people that might actually appreciate me. So every Friday morning, that’s what I did (and continue to do today). So every Friday that summer of 2021, I listened to Annie’s podcast, and I loved them. I saw myself in so many of the stories. I kept telling myself that I was going to quit, but the idea of doing it in the summer was too much. Summer is my favorite time of year, for many reasons, but most of all, it was white wine and rosé season. So much of my summer activities revolved around wine and time with friends. But that summer, as I was listening to the podcast and after reading the book, my relationship with alcohol was changing. I could feel it.

Last Sip of Freedom

The same way that learning the truth about my paternity felt like someone had come in and cleaned the dirty window I’d been looking through, so did Annie’s book. It was like all I could see now was the poison we were putting in our bodies, the marketing of alcohol everywhere, the glamorization of drinking in every TV show, movie, etc. I couldn’t unsee it, and I realized that alcohol was the problem. In August of that year, my husband and I went on vacation together alone, in Bermuda. I’d already cut way back on my drinking. But our vacations together always revolved around drinks. Drinks by the pool, napping, drinks at dinner, cocktails after, sleeping in, and doing it all over the next day. I always came back from vacations, 10 lbs heavier and hating myself. This vacation felt different; I drank, but not as much, and I knew it would be the last time. We got back from vacation, and on Labor Day, we went to the closing day party at our pool club. I had a couple of glasses of wine and that was it. That was September 6, 2021, our 24th wedding anniversary. This time I didn’t put any time limit on it. I just stopped drinking.

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Winning my alcohol battle started with This Naked Mind. If you’re looking to win your battle with alcohol, start reading This Naked Mind now for free!

Life After Winning My Alcohol Battle

Challenges and Reflections

Quitting alcohol was just the beginning of my journey. Life without it has brought its own set of challenges, especially within my marriage. My husband’s increased drinking has created distance, and it’s a struggle I face daily.

The Struggle in My Marriage

I wish I could say that quitting drinking was exactly the thing I needed and that my life is perfect now, but really it was only the beginning. Today, I just listened to the podcast that Annie did with her husband. It was hard for me to listen to because I think that’s what I want my story to be. Sometimes I listen to the podcast and I always wonder about what happens with the spouse when someone stops drinking. Drinking was a huge part of my marriage. I met my husband in college. We were in the Greek system, and it’s what we did. It’s all we did with our friends. Every social event revolved around alcohol.

The Unexpected Outcome

I’d like to say that my quitting caused him to also reevaluate his relationship with alcohol, but I think it did the opposite; he drinks more. He doesn’t drink every day; he’s extremely disciplined. He only drinks on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, but here’s the thing, he ALWAYS drinks on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, no matter what. And I see the changes, I feel the disconnection, after one or two drinks I can’t be in conversation with him. I’m looking through the clear window now and not liking what I see.

Creating a Life Worth Living

Despite the challenges, I’ve accomplished so much without alcohol. I’ve embraced girls’ weekends, celebrated milestones, and even ventured into a new phase of life as my twins left for college. The journey continues, and I’m excited about the possibilities ahead.

Overcoming Temptations

During my journey, I faced numerous temptations. One of the toughest was a vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico with friends. I had always associated summer with white wine and rosé, and this vacation was no exception. However, something had changed in me. While I ordered a couple of drinks here and there and took a few sips of my husband’s drinks, I just didn’t enjoy it anymore.

Something Annie says, always resonates with me, something about  having to create a life that you don’t want to escape from.  The truth is, there are still many parts of my life that I do want to escape from and while giving up alcohol,  I’ve found other ways to escape,  mostly eating too much,  online shopping and doom scrolling.  I always assumed I’d lose weight when I quit drinking.  The truth is I’ve gained,  a lot.  This is tough. But alcohol would make it even tougher.

winning my alcohol battle - jenn's naked life - woman in a white cover up and hat with arms stretched out

My journey to winning my alcohol battle has been transformative. I’ve learned that I’m not broken and didn’t need fixing. If you’re exploring changes in your drinking habits, remember that you’re not alone, and there’s hope for a healthier, happier life with This Naked Mind by your side.

Share Your Story

Inspire Others on Their Journey

Are you winning your alcohol battle thanks to This Naked Mind? 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!