How To Stop Using Alcohol to Cope With Stress and Trauma – Kat’s Naked Life

Growing up, Kat’s life seemed relatively calm. She was blessed with loving parents, a caring sister, and a household where alcohol was present but never overwhelming. However, in her 30s she realized alcohol had taken over her life. She found herself using alcohol to cope with stress and trauma. This is her story of transformation and how “This Naked Mind” played a pivotal role in her journey.

using alcohol to cope with stress and trauma - kat's naked life

No Problems To Start With

Childhood was my calm before the storm. I had parents who loved me and loved each other. A sister who held my hand through the chaos of growing up and continues to, through all the storms of my 44 years of life. Alcohol was present, but never in a repressive or dominating way. My experience with alcohol was that it is part of celebrations and gatherings, for my parents that was in moderation. It took me two decades to twist that into creating celebrations so that I could drink.

From Happy Hour to Foreboding: Alcohol Takes the Wheel

In my 20s, alcohol was part of my life, by my 30s it was my life. While I would never be seen as the person I felt like I was becoming, there was a whisper in my mind that became a shout. Happy hour was no longer spontaneous but planned to absolute execution. Through each day lingered a sense of foreboding that would be actualized through my final choices before sobriety. Where my thoughts throughout the days became consumed by my vision of that first sip, the release of the guilt and shame through continuing the cycle.

Using Alcohol To Cope With Stress and Trauma

I have a child with complex chronic illness. We have spent over 50 weeks inpatient for IV therapy to combat lung infections. My fear of losing them, has always been my excuse. I reached for a drink each night, leaving my fears in a pretty little box to be reopened in the morning. I had been trying to “moderate” through self-devised challenges, and hypnosis for 3 years. Every attempt failed, bringing back to my baseline sad story of the “mommy drink culture.” During our last hospitalization in early December, my other kiddo came to the hospital to stay the weekend. I bought all our favorite snacks, downloaded Christmas music, grabbed gingerbread houses, and a Christmas tree, and decorated the whole room with the kids. A week later, when we were discharged I looked at the photo of that special night together and saw my coffee cup by the gingerbread house, remembering it was full of wine, I sunk into disappointment and regret. Why couldn’t I access that place of joy without alcohol?

The Beginning of The End

Two weeks later we spent Christmas at a local eatery with our favorite people, accompanied by 2 glasses of wine and 2 neat pours of bourbon, it was a special occasion after all. Christmas is followed closely by my daughter’s birthday on the 26th. So, we have always tried to make her birthday an even bigger celebration to compensate for the competition of Jesus. We created a whole plan for the day, go to the city, have breakfast out, just the two of us, go shopping, and get a manicure, it was perfect. After those four drinks and a light dinner, I woke up too hungover to be able to get into the car, she was so understanding and said, “I’m sorry you don’t feel good Momma, let’s just walk to breakfast in town.” Breakfast was grueling and fueled by guilt, my hands were shaking and I was so wholeheartedly disappointed in the person I had become. I proceeded to vomit in the alley. This was the beginning of the end. 

Failed Attempts at Control

To control my drinking, I paid for three hypnotherapy programs and signed up for coaching with other colleagues (not alcohol specific, I did not divulge that, just subbed a different activity for the real one I was working on). I signed up for Athletic home delivery. But mostly, I made deals with myself every night at 3 am. I sat alone with my thoughts, a racing heart, and my overwhelming guilt and disappointment. 

Discovering Annie’s Programs

My turning point came when I stumbled upon Annie’s podcasts. Desperate to understand why I couldn’t moderate my drinking while others seemed to do so with ease, I started listening to the stories of people who had battled the same demons.

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Are you ready to stop using alcohol to cope with stress and trauma? This Naked Mind can help! Start reading the book for free right now!

How “This Naked Mind” Helped Me

Initially, I wasn’t seeking sobriety. As a craft cocktail bar owner being sober was not my goal, I wanted to drink “moderately” like my husband. I wanted to have a take-it-or-leave relationship, versus mine, which felt more like a prisoner to its ways. While making the 1.5-hour drive up to the city to pick up our liquor order, I didn’t feel like music. I wanted inspiration. I searched for sobriety podcasts and listened to a woman my age talking about the other side of being married to this demon. It felt inspiring, yet still impossible. I clicked on the next and the next, totally diving into the rabbit hole. And then something clicked and I felt the strange overwhelming sense of relief, like it was over.

I realized I had been doing the work for years to become sober. I had a yoga practice and meditation practice. Also, I do tapping for stress, I walk every day. There are all these things I do to balance out my anxiety that are not just intertwined with, but rather an effect of alcohol. I can’t explain spontaneous recovery except to say it is my story. I had enough guilt and regret to fuel an army and the tools in my toolkit to find equanimity. All I needed was the inspiration that it was possible from others who came before me. That is what I found in TNM podcasts. 

Life Now

I am a superhero in my own story. There are so many people out there who are sober, but I know the demons I was fighting to get to this point. Now, I now am free from that. I have always swam in the waters of vulnerability. Through my child’s diagnosis and fight with cystic fibrosis, through my first husband’s battle with depression and subsequent suicide, and countless other battles, I speak. I speak for those who can only whisper. I speak so that others can have their voices heard without risk of judgment. And, I speak so that I can offer a light in the darkness.

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Share Your Story

Have you stopped using alcohol to cope with stress and trauma thanks to “This Naked Mind”? Did you use our booksthe appthe podcasts, or another program? We want you to share your story here and inspire others on their journey!