Navigating Big Life Changes, Alcohol Free with Annie Grace
Today I have a very special guest on the podcast. Well, I feel like all of my guests are very special. I rarely have anyone on my podcast that I don’t know well, either personally or professionally. It’s important to me to bring to you people I know, trust and believe in their message - today is no exception. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Annie Grace, creator and founder of This Naked Mind.
I came to know Annie about five months ago when I found myself questioning my relationship with alcohol. You see, I never drank in my marriage. My ex-husband didn’t drink, so it was never really part of our life together. After my divorce, drinking was one of the first things I turned to and over the years my drinking increased, pretty steadily. About five years ago I first began questioning my relationship with alcohol and checked out a bunch of different AA meetings. I realized pretty quickly that AA wasn’t for me. I just didn’t relate to the stories I heard in AA, and my sober friends and I deemed me, “Not an alcoholic.” At that point I figured I didn’t really have a problem, so I continued on my way.
Fast forward to five months ago (about five years after my experience with AA and yes, I was still drinking in excess), I started reading Annie’s book, This Naked Mind. As soon as I started reading her book, I quit drinking. Why? Her book helped me to understand why I felt the way I did, why I was depressed and why I kept turning to alcohol to get through, well, anything. It was a very eye-opening experience. Of course, I started following Annie’s work religiously and even joined some of her programs. Her work has changed my life in a huge way. And now, she’s here on the podcast!
In this episode we talk about the prevalence of drinking in divorce and in mom-culture at large. Plus, we talk about the science behind alcohol use and and its effects on your brain, how your children may be viewing you when you are drunk (and the effect it has on them), as well as navigating your feelings once you’ve quit drinking.
When you start to learn about becoming alcohol free (or, AF), you realize it’s less about deprivation and instead about wanting more for your life.
Annie describes what This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment are all about - “We’ve completely coupled and married alcohol with all the pleasant experiences in our lives. It’s really hard to tell if it’s the alcohol that is fun or if we would be having fun anyway.” (7:49)
When the label “alcoholic” feels unrelatable to someone who drinks, it can lead them to feel like they are “off the hook” with their drinking (13:24)
The stigma around saying, “I think I drink too much,” and how people assume, when you say that phrase, that you’re an alcoholic (16:18)
The truth about alcohol as a substance: it’s addictive no matter who you are, and it’s an anesthetic (17:20)
Alcohol is more addictive when the body and the brain are stressed (18:55)
Some real-life examples of how major life transitions can lead to a relationship with alcohol that is not comfortable - becoming a “gray-area drinker” (20:15)
Alcohol and depression - the science behind alcohol use and your brain (25:25)
How to navigate the wave of emotions that come after you’ve quit drinking (35:02)
The importance of becoming unafraid of silence - “If we can be in silence with ourselves, even if it hurts, so often we discover some really beautiful truths. Alcohol numbs that entire experience and the ability to really get to know and love yourself.” (40:05)
An important distinction between sadness and depression - they are not the same thing (42:51)
Mommy juice messaging: the messages aimed at women about alcohol and wine (45:43)
The lowdown on all the studies that say alcohol is good for us (53:28)
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Learn More About Annie Grace:
Annie Grace grew up in a one-room log cabin without running water or electricity outside of Aspen, Colorado. She discovered a passion for marketing and after graduating with a Masters of Science (Marketing) she dove into corporate life. At the age of 26, Annie was the youngest vice president in a multinational company, and her drinking career began in earnest. At 35, in a global C-level marketing role, she was responsible for marketing in 28 countries and drinking almost two bottles of wine a night. Knowing she needed a change but unwilling to submit to a life of deprivation and stigma, Annie set out to find a painless way to regain control. Annie no longer drinks and has never been happier. She left her executive role to write her first book, This Naked Mind and share This Naked Mind with the world. In her free time, Annie loves to ski, travel (26 countries and counting), and enjoy her beautiful family. Annie lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in the Colorado mountains.
Annie’s website: http://thisnakedmind.com
Annie’s book: This Naked Mind
The Alcohol Experiment
Annie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thisnakedmind/
Annie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thisnakedmind/?hl=en