Matt says “Understanding why I drank was crucial in finally being able to stop.” With a family history of drinking, rehab, and many attempts to stop under his belt, Matt found understanding and the ability to stop drinking in This Naked Mind.
Parents separated when I was 10.
Mom has a substance abuse problem. I went to Alateen meetings supporting her during her good times and bad. My father raised us three kids. We moved around a bit, back and forth from FL to NY. I even tried living with my mom a couple times; it never worked out well.
Never A Good Fit
Growing up I never felt like I fit in well. I was always shorter and smaller than the other boys. But, when I got to high school, smoking pot gave me a crew of guys and an identity. Then we bought alcohol occasionally and I was a fun dude but my grades suffered. I lost some long time friends because of that and I learned how not to be in a healthy relationship.
But at least I was not my family problems. Or at least, I didn’t think I was the product of them. I was living my life the way I wanted. Not the result of my parents. Unfortunately, I was doing just that, replicating then more than anything. Not fully understanding why I drank, so I just kept doing it.
Rehab Round 1
I was heading to college after graduating high school. We went to my sibling’s summer camp visiting day. I ended up staying there as a counselor. Only to be kicked out due to drinking. Drinking because I felt like I needed that to be social.
At that point, my mom told me I needed to go to rehab. Or else I’d have nothing in life. So, I went. Moving to Florida and not pursuing my college plans. Rehab taught me nothing but how scary my life could end up if I started doing hard drugs. I learned more about drugs than anything else. I went in hoping to gain understanding into why I drank.
Rehab was not for me. It worked for my mom. I was just told “I have the gene.”
Long story short, there was never any long term sobriety.
Finally Fitting In
Time goes on. I move back to NY. Become a bartender. I take breaks from drinking but now all my friends are older. Well established drinkers. Classy drinkers. With excellent taste in IPAs. I was their bartender in a beer haven.
That was a “good” identity. Now I fit in. Finally.
2008. I go back to school. Move to Alabama. I become an RN. Could’ve been an NP but drinking got in my way. I didn’t have the confidence I needed to continue my studies.
I find myself in my first long term relationship. And we drank.
I started to struggle. My anger issues came back. My instability came back. I moved to Florida and stayed in the relationship. I moved in with my grandfather who needed my assistance as a nurse. He brought my drinking to light several times but I made excuses. A few times I’d black out (like my sister’s wedding).
I moved back to Alabama. Became a Case Manager. Started a new job and was doing well, but my drinking never improved. I struggled. Wasn’t myself. I didn’t even know my self was. Last October (2019) mid college football season, in Alabama I took a week off. That week turned into a month. I felt great so I searched podcasts to help me continue.
Finally Understanding Why I Drank
That’s how I found This Naked Mind. I searched podcasts for someone that would help me stay on track with not drinking. Came across TNM and I was hooked. I listened to every episode.
Then I downloaded the audiobook on Audible and it became daily listening. It solidified in me why I don’t need that poison in my system. It made my eyes stay open to the BS being thrown in our faces to make us drink.
Interested understanding why you drink? Download the first 40 pages of This Naked Mind and start learning!
Then I started to find myself. For the first time in a long time.
See, I’ve always been into meditation and spirituality. Before I started drinking, I knew it was the way to achieve a peaceful life. But, I could never feel or see the rewards because I was poisoning myself all the time with the fluctuating chemical imbalance.
Understanding why I drank was easy with This Naked Mind. As a registered nurse, the science behind her research really helped and made so much sense.
It’s been an interesting road, this past year. I’ve begun to see how terrible alcohol is on every level of life. I’ve had the tools to make an educated stance on not drinking and it’s made a world of difference.
Starting Over Alcohol Free
August of this year I moved back to NY. I’ve been without a drink for over a year and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve shared This Naked Mind with countless people and try to inject its wisdom in everyday conversation to cancel out the beliefs I hear people tell themselves like “oh boy, I need a drink after today,” or “I need a glass of wine to relax.”
That’s my life in the smallest nutshell.
I’m so grateful for everything and hope I can share it like the many people have before me that helped so much.
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