EP #60

Is Drama Driving Your Drinking?

alcoholic minimalist podcast

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In this episode, Molly guides listeners in changing their drinking habits and fostering a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Molly discusses the connection between emotional maturity and drinking habits, emphasizing the importance of understanding and managing emotions without relying on alcohol. She challenges societal norms and highlights how women often face unique challenges in this regard. The podcast advocates for breaking free from ingrained thought patterns that associate alcohol with solving emotional issues, encouraging listeners to question and challenge their habits for personal growth. Molly also promotes her book, “Breaking the Bottle Legacy,” offering tools and resources to support those seeking a healthier relationship with alcohol.

Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I am your host, Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I used to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse, more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking, and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast with me your host Molly Watts coming to you from a really cold Oregon today. It is February 22 to 220 22. Love it. For those of you I don’t know if you remember but 22 I said in the when I was done launching the alcohol minimalist rebrand for 2022. I talked about the fact that 22 is my favorite number. So you can imagine that today’s a good day when it comes to 20 twos. Anyway, it’s also really, really cold. So before we get started on this week’s show, I just want to remind you that there is a book available that I wrote called breaking the bottle legacy how to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. It’s available in ebook anywhere you buy ebooks. So Apple Cobos, Google and on Amazon, if you’re looking for a paperback, and of course Kindle as well. And it currently has all five star reviews. So I hope you’ll check it out. I hope it will provide more tools, there’s actually some free resources that you can only get from buying the book. There’s links in the book to get them. And so I hope you’ll go check it out. And I hope it will help you create your own peaceful relationship with alcohol. Also, if you have read the book and you’d like to leave a review, that would be wonderful because if you do, you will be entered into the drawing every other week for some alcohol, minimalist swag. You can also be entered by leaving a review of the podcast. So if the podcast has helped you at all, would you please please, I’m begging almost I would really appreciate it. If you’d leave a review. It helps people find the podcast. And for some reason I am like really far behind on other people in my genre in terms of the number of reviews for this podcast, even though I get quite a bit of positive response and positive feedback on social media and via email. So if you have the time and you feel so inspired, I would love for you to leave a review. And if you do you will be as I said entered into the drawing for some alcohol minimalist swag. Today’s winner is you have to contact me you have to reach out to me Molly at Molly watts.com. And let me know who you are and that you were the person that one for this week that your reviewer name is are you ready? Night One, Fox three. Night One Fox three. All right, if you are night one, Fox three, then please email me Molly at Molly watts.com. And you will get your alcohol minimalist swag. All right on to this week’s episode. So this month despite a break last week to hear from Dr. George QUB. From the NIA A, we are talking all about emotional maturity and emotional resilience. In episode number 58, we talked about three key parts of building your emotional maturity skill set. And we talked about why making the connection between your habit of drinking and your emotions is so important. If you want to change your relationship with alcohol, that habit evolves and gets rooted in a habit cycle. But it starts first because we are trying to change our emotional state in one way or another building emotional maturity fluency or resilience. All those terms really mean the same thing as far as I’m concerned. Some people have a strong negative association with the word maturity. Maybe you’ve been called immature by your parents or other loved ones, and it might have happened as well. adults have some less than perfect choices. So I get it, you might have a past story with the word immature. And if that’s used, then choose emotional fluency or resilient fine. We don’t need to add any drama to just naming the topic. And how fitting right? Because drama is what we’re talking about on this episode is drama driving your drinking. Now, I bet there are some ladies listening to this right now, who are already bristling at the word drama. And let’s face it, women get the short end of the stick on this one from society. There is no equivalent to the title drama queen for guys, right? Well, if a guy is being dramatic, he might even be called, you know, rhymes with which, which, again, just implies that being dramatic is somehow an emotional female trait. Well, let’s just clear that up right. Now, hear me loud and clear on this. I guarantee you that the kind of drama I’m talking about is 100% gender neutral. And it’s the hallmark of someone who needs to improve their emotional maturity, fluency or resilience. But nobody still likes being told they’re dramatic, right? Do they? When I hear that phrase, or say that phrase, what do you hear? being dramatic implies? There is an element of exaggeration of being overly emotional, right? And while yes, we can all likely recognize a time or times in our lives, when we really just lost it. Like, you know, you got totally crazy about something in a completely disproportionate way, absolutely, categorically unleashed a dramatic response to something. Okay, well, if you haven’t, I certainly have. And those are those kinds of moments when it’s just kind of embarrassing, because you know, you’re being dramatic. And it’s completely out of sync with the size of whatever’s going on. Honestly, I’m not really talking about those kind of one off dramatic type moments, I want to talk to you about drama, that is a lot more subtle. And it isn’t drama, that is necessarily going to have big emotion behind it, but it’s probably happening more regularly. And it’s probably fueling your desire to drink even more consistently. And that is drama in your thinking. As a refresher, we drink in response to feelings that we create from our thinking, right? So even if I’m talking about saying that this is an emotional maturity, emotional resilience, emotional fluency month, we have to talk about our thoughts, because our thoughts create our feelings. And we’ve trained our brains to equate alcohol as a solution for solving problems of feeling anxious, bored, lonely, angry or depressed. And for most of us, we’re very used to blaming the negative emotions that we have in our life, not on our thoughts, but on the circumstances of our lives. It’s Friday night, you don’t have any plans to go out, and you start experiencing the feeling of boredom. In your mind, you want to believe it’s because of the circumstances of not having any social plans. That’s the reason you are bored. But of course it isn’t. You’re bored because of what you’re thinking about not having any plans, you are bored, because of what you’re thinking about not having any plans, you could have a completely different view of not having plans. If you’ve been running around all week, putting out fires left and right, you might view the fact that you don’t have any plans as relaxing and as a relief. Your thoughts create the feelings of boredom, your thoughts create the feelings of relief and relaxation. So what does that have to do with drama? None of that sounds too dramatic, right? But that’s just it. Drama doesn’t have to always mean big and exaggerated. In our daily lives, I want you to recognize the drama. That means something that is imagine created or produced. It means the stories that you tell yourself about your life, about your own capabilities, and about the world around you about the circumstances. What I want you to really hear and really understand is that the choice always exists. The same choice that we are talking about on this run of the mill Friday night. To think that not having plans is either boring or relaxing. is a microcosm of the choices We can make all the time to add drama, or choose peace in our lives. It’s also the choice we have to stay stuck in believing our past stories, or choosing to believe in something new and different. When I was preparing this episode, it reminded me of a quote from the book chasing cupcakes by Elizabeth Benton. And of course, I’ve shared the book on the podcast numerous times I’ve shared her podcast, primal potential, and I will link it in the show notes. But in chasing cupcakes, chapter six, which is titled stories that sabotage at the beginning of the chapter is this quote, remove the veils. So I might see what is really happening here and not be intoxicated by my stories and my fears. Elizabeth lesser. Let’s hear it again. Remove the veils. So I might see what is really happening here, and not be intoxicated by my stories and my fears. Drama doesn’t have to mean that you act in some loud, exaggerated, emotional, out of proportion way. Drama can simply mean that you create stories in your own mind that aren’t true. And yet they influence every decision you make. Here’s what Elizabeth says and chasing cupcakes, quote, you’re constantly telling yourself stories, stories about who you are, how you act and your patterns, abilities and limitations. You tell stories about what you’re capable of, and what your future looks like, what you’re good at, bad at and everything in between. You manufacture stories about the people in your life, their intentions and their feelings. I do it to these stories box you into a familiar experience and a limited scope of behavior. You’re giving yourself a very small set of potential choices, those you’ve pulled from your past experiences, you limit yourself to the problem and the past patterns, you can find yourself with walls you’ve built. These walls are made of beliefs, you cling to about your weaknesses and limitations. When you are trying to change your relationship with alcohol, especially if you’re someone who’s like me, who was had a very established habit of daily drinking for years, for me, it was decades really the possibility that you can actually create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, where you can literally take it or leave it where you aren’t wanting to use alcohol to change how you’re feeling can seem like an impossible goal. Why is that? It’s because of all of these stories of all of this drama that we hang on to about the past. We believe we are who we are. We believe in our identities that have been created from our past patterns. Instead of believing that we can write new stories about the future. Here’s a few of the characters I played in my own drama. I’m just someone who desires alcohol more because of my genes. I’m someone who needs to drink to relax. I’m just someone who doesn’t have enough willpower. I’m someone who starts strong, but can’t finish. I could never take a 30 day break from drinking. I just like beer too much. When you repeat these kinds of statements, which are really drama statements, right, they are absolutes kind of black or white thinking, which is dramatic by nature. And when you repeat these kinds of thoughts to yourself and to others, you’re reminding yourself and you’re Boxing, boxing yourself further in. And every single time you make a choice that’s aligned with that story, right? The story gets stronger as you subconsciously and consciously believe in it even more. Another quote from chasing cupcakes, quote, I will never forget the exact moment I realized the damage my story was creating in my life. My story had been there for so long that I didn’t even recognize it. It as a chosen set of beliefs that I was free to change. I didn’t initially see these beliefs as a problem because they were the only way I had ever thought about myself and my choices. I had never considered that there might be a different way to think. I didn’t realize that I had been confining myself with walls I was building each time I thought or shared this story in hindsight, I can honestly say that my attachment to, and emotional investment in this story was the primary thing keeping me from creating change in my life. But there was a big problem I’d have to overcome in order to rewrite the story. I believed in my sad story, I believed my negative opinions of myself, I believed in the power of my past patterns of behavior. I didn’t know how to believe something else. Unquote. Now, I’ve shared on the podcast before one of my epiphany moments of understanding this whole process of understanding how your thoughts create your feelings, which lead to your actions. And it was a time when I was driving home from work. And I was just had just been learning about the model and about the behavior map results cycle. And I had sat down in my car trying to commute home from work, and I literally, the thought, I needed a drink came through my brain. All right. Because I was in the process of learning. I took a moment and I observed that thought, I saw the thought I saw it as a sentence in my brain. And I really understood I witnessed right there, that as the thought came up, if I just allowed that thought to be there, if I didn’t question it, if I left it to its own devices. If I accepted it as the truth, I believed in it, and I felt a strong desire to drink, right? Because need is more dramatic than want, right? I used to teach my kids the difference all the time when they were little, because they tell me, I need new shoes, when they really just wanted the latest model of Nikes. And we discussed the difference between need and want. And you have to look for the same kind of drama that you are applying to the thoughts and stories that you tell yourself about yourself every day. If you allow yourself to use more dramatic descriptors, you’re going to box yourself in. The problem for most of us definitely was for me is that I didn’t know how to believe anything else. And so I kept trying to change my behavior without changing my thinking. And that’s why I was unsuccessful at sustainable change for so many years. Here’s what Elizabeth Benton says about that, from chasing cupcakes, quote. When you try to change your behavior without changing your story, you’re asking for struggle, frustration, emotion, and inconsistency. You’re asking for doubt. You’re asking for excuses. If you want to change your behavior, begin by changing your story, just like you created and reinforced the story about the problem, you are 100% capable right now of creating and supporting a story that reflects what you want and where you are going. You are 100% capable right now of letting go of the story about where you’ve been and what you don’t want. Unquote. You have to start small, you have to meet yourself where you were at. I couldn’t convince myself when I was regularly drinking three drinks per night that I wanted an alcohol free night more than that I didn’t, I wanted to drink more than I wanted to not drink. What I could believe that I was was capable of making a plan ahead of time for three drinks, because that’s what I was drinking already. And that by planning ahead, I was learning and training my brain to use the logical prefrontal cortex that I was learning about to create a new relationship with alcohol. I was becoming someone who was capable of making a plan and sticking to it, I could believe that I could believe that I was becoming someone who keeps promises to myself. Those were the types of thoughts that I could believe in. And the thing is, if you know that you’re lying to yourself, you aren’t fooling your brain that won’t work. Your new story has to be one that you believe in. But also one that reflects the positive change you want to create. Don’t be dramatic, don’t go all in got to be perfect, right? You need to meet yourself where you are at. Start there and figure out something that you can believe in and work from there. What you’ve experienced isn’t who you are. It’s not even what you do unless you choose to keep it that way from continuing to practice that right. Your history isn’t your identity. It’s not your destiny. You don’t have to continue to live the stories and submit to pass patterns. You are free to let them go. And if you want to move beyond the pattern if you Want to break an unbreakable daily drinking habit, you must let it go. These patterns and habits they can be and should be questioned and broken, especially if they aren’t moving us forward. All right. Drama isn’t always a big emotion. Drama is really a lot more about imagination and stories and what we’re telling ourselves, right? It’s things that we have control over. It is a choice to be dramatic. It is a choice to decide to tell ourselves stories about our life and about our own capabilities. We can believe in something different, but we need to decide to do that. And then we need to decide what we can believe in about ourselves today. That is what I want for all of us. And drama simply doesn’t help. All right, that’s all I have for you this week, my friends. Until next time, choose peace. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol. Now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com