I worked in the wine/alcohol industry for 19 years, selling, marketing, and reporting wine. I considered myself to be a “normal” drinker but I now realize I was becoming reliant on wine to relieve stress as a single mom and I used alcohol to push down negative emotions.
Food was my first addiction; I was always hungry and I didn’t know the feeling of being full. I gained over 100 pounds in a couple of years and my solution was to have bariatric surgery. I lost the weight with the surgery but unbeknownst to me my sleeve gastrectomy made me highly susceptible to abusing alcohol. I rapidly increased my tolerance and amount of consumption to drinking two bottles of wine a night.
For years, every morning I would wake up with brain fog, feeling hung over, and would make a resolve to not drink that day. Then every day after work I would drink wine to relieve the stress, then pass out on the couch, wake up at 2 a.m, have insomnia, resolve not to drink the next day, and then the cycle would continue the next morning. This was my secret.
My entire identity was tied to wine: job, friends, family, and social life. How could I stop? Every time I tried to stop drinking wine, I could not do it – I felt completely weak against alcohol. For years I knew I needed to stop but I could not get out of the cycle. I constantly worried about my health, my liver, my brain, lack of sleep, and I had anxiety. I wanted to be a good role model for my son and live to be an active grandmother (when he has children!). I knew I was not living the life I wanted to live with goals, growth, and contributing to society.
During this time, I tried different diets and would follow the diet plan except I would continue to drink alcohol. Every time I drank alcohol on a diet plan, it would decrease my determination and I would eat more than I intended. I subsequently gained much of the weight back I had lost from the surgery.
In January of 2019 I took this opportunity to finally put myself first and was determined to figure out how to stop drinking alcohol. A friend recommended the book This Naked Mind by Annie Grace and I learned that alcohol abuse is not my fault and that anyone can become dependent because alcohol is an addictive substance. I had a complete mind shift after reading the book and I moderated for a couple of months. I was shown a different way to think about alcohol (mind blowing concepts) and this gave me hope that I could beat this obsession and stop drinking for good.
I made a decision to stop drinking alcohol for the rest of my life. By committing to not drinking alcohol, I was open and able to also overcome my food addiction and I have lost the weight. I have reached a goal of starting my own business as a This Naked Mind Certified Coach and this never would have happened if I were still drinking alcohol. My mission is to help as many people as I can to overcome their alcohol abuse disorder and live a life free from alcohol.
Join my Book Club
Every Sunday at 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) I will facilitate a one hour "Annie Grace Book Club" where we will discuss a chapter from one of Annie's books: This Naked Mind, The Alcohol Experiment, or 48 Stories of Finding Freedom from Alcohol.
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