Maria spent most of her life avoiding alcohol so she was shocked to discover herself living a nightmare in her 50s. A life consumed by alcohol with seemingly no way out of it. Read on to hear how This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment ended the bad dream for her.
It runs in the family
I am 53 and alcohol has been a part of my family’s and my life for a LONG time. There are family jokes about my great-grandmother being arrested on numerous occasions for making whiskey. Her son (my maternal grandfather) owned a bar so that he could drink for free. My paternal grandfather and uncle both died of alcoholism. My father died young of cancer. He was a heavy drinker always keeping a keg tapped in our house. I remember being stunned when I realized in a therapy session that you have to drink a lot of beer to keep a keg from going flat. I also remember my parents having boozy parties and that my favorite thing to do was to walk around with my “Tequila Sunrise without the Tequila.”
Not much of a drinker
I was not a big drinker in high school. I actually hated the taste of just about every kind of alcohol. The taste didn’t get any better in college. I did discover that doing shots would bring about the “drunk” effect without me having to drink beer or wine which I hated.
So, I really wasn’t that much of a drinker. Once in awhile, I would drink to excess at a party or a bar with friends, but that was maybe once or twice a year.
Fast forward to my first 2 significant relationships. Both were with alcoholics. Their drinking was so prevalent and upset me so much that I rarely drank. I hated what it did to my partners. Of course, I was the enabler in that I was the designated driver or the one who would purchase the alcohol for them. The second relationship I had with a full-blown alcoholic was like nothing I had ever experienced. He literally poisoned himself to the point where he couldn’t walk, go to the bathroom, eat, or function. I actually had to clean up his filth because he couldn’t make it to the bathroom. I went to Al-Anon and participated in multiple rehab sessions trying to help him with this “disease.” I was suicidal and didn’t know what to do. And, then, he died. Not surprising given the vast amounts of alcohol that was in his system, but it still impacted me greatly.
Living a nightmare
Oh, and did I mention that I am a highly educated and successful woman with a doctorate in clinical psychology. Yes, I helped people for a living and yet, I was living a nightmare.
So, my partner passed away and I took a year to get myself together, change careers and finally start dating again. I met a wonderful man and married him. He’s still wonderful and I’m still married to him :). We traveled a great deal and loved to go out and have dinner and maybe a drink or two. No big deal. But, something happened around the time I turned 50. I started to really, really, really LOVE alcohol- all of it. I planned all of our outings around drinking. Wineries, distillery tours, cruises with the all-you-can-drink package, casinos where drinks flow freely, etc. All of a sudden, I was drunk- really drunk- every weekend. And, blackouts were common. Then I realized that I could have a glass of wine in the evening- why wait until the weekend? One glass of wine a night turned quickly into two glasses and then into at least a bottle and then sometimes even more.
An Alcohol Pusher
My husband called me an “alcohol pusher.” I tried to get everyone to drink with me, do shots with me, and get as obliterated as I was getting. No one in my peer group really went down that road with me so I found people to hang out with at numerous bars (conveniently, I live in a town where you can walk to A LOT of bars) and drank with them. I had to drink to excess. There was no point in drinking one or two drinks. I had to have the buzz, the drunk, the obliteration. While being able to walk to bars instead of driving would seem to be positive, I managed to break my ankle and then my wrist on some of my walks home. A trip to the emergency room for a cast and then a stop for margaritas on the way home. I was out of control but had absolutely no desire to change anything. I couldn’t imagine my life without booze- it seemed like that would be pointless.
Needing to stop living a nightmare
Until one night where I was pounding the wine and doing shots and once again, going for obliteration. I woke up in the hospital with no idea how I got there. My husband wasn’t with me because of Covid and had to wait outside in the car after the ambulance dropped me off. Basically, I passed out. I have no memory of doing so, but that’s what happened. This was at the end of August 2020. I’m not sure why it was the wake-up call that it was, but I started doing some heavy thinking and research. I bought This Naked Mind and read it and it made complete sense to me. I did the September Live Alcohol Experiment and then did the 100 Days of Lasting Change. And, I have not had a drink since that awful night in August.
Ready to stop living a nightmare?
If you’re ready to stop living a nightmare just like Maria did – start reading This Naked Mind for free right now!
A new life
What can I say? I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Healthier than I’ve ever been. I’m actually having moments where I experience self-love and realize that this is what I needed all along. It is still sometimes a challenge to be the non-drinker and to identify as the person who can’t moderate or have just one or two. But, I don’t miss the anxiety, the hangovers, and all the mornings where my husband filled me in on all the crazy things I had done the night before. I am more present for my family, my grandchildren, and my husband. I am so thankful for that.
Also, I am thankful for you, Annie, and all the coaches. I recommend your book to everyone I know and I continue to read posts and blogs to reinforce my choice not to drink. I truly feel like I have my life back.
Share Your Story
Did This Naked Mind, The Alcohol Experiment, or The PATH help you stop living a nightmare? Share your story to give others hope that their bad dream can end as well!