Not Drinking Tonight
Enjoy this conversation with therapist, author and recovered drinker, Amanda E. White all about her book, Not Drinking Tonight.
Molly introduces the podcast and her guest Amanda White. She talks about her own experience overcoming addiction and becoming an ‘alcohol minimalist.’ Molly emphasizes focusing on whether alcohol is working for you rather than labeling yourself an alcoholic.
Amanda shares her experience as a therapist and author in recovery. She talks about questioning whether alcohol was working for her even though she didn’t fit the stereotype of an alcoholic. Amanda emphasizes doing a cost-benefit analysis of your drinking and treating yourself with compassion.
Problems with the Term ‘Alcoholic’
Molly and Amanda discuss why the term ‘alcoholic’ can be problematic. It prevents people from honestly evaluating whether alcohol is working for them and their life would be better without it. They talk about using the term ‘disordered drinking’ instead and focusing on whether your drinking habits are functional.
The Role of Shame and Trauma
Amanda discusses how shame and unprocessed trauma are often underlying reasons for alcohol misuse. Shame creates a cycle of drinking to relieve negative feelings, doing something regrettable while drinking, and then feeling more shame. Addressing shame and trauma through therapy and self-compassion is important for change.
Mindfulness and Cognitive Fusion
Molly and Amanda talk about using mindfulness techniques like the ‘54321’ exercise to become aware of your thoughts and separate yourself from them. This can help break the cycle of cognitive fusion where you feel stuck in negative thought patterns. Mindfulness provides the foundation for self-curiosity and introspection necessary to change habits.
- Do a cost-benefit analysis of your drinking habit to determine whether alcohol is working for you.
- Practice self-compassion instead of shame.
- Treat yourself with kindness and understand why you do what you do.
- Address any underlying trauma or mental health issues through therapy.
- Use mindfulness techniques like ‘54321’ to become aware of your thoughts and separate yourself from them.
- Focus on living according to your values and needs instead of other peoples expectations.
- Remember that you have the power to change your thinking and habits.
- Transformation is possible!