My Alcohol Experiment: Day 13

Day 13 of The Alcohol Experiment: urge surfing and deconstructing the mommy juice myth.

“I need alcohol to handle parenthood.” Another day, another moment of (naked) mind-reading as Annie Grace tackles an aspect of drinking that hits home for so many of us.

But first: Surfing the Urge. Taking our cravings from mindless to mindful is a huge yet simple shift that can have a lasting impact on our ability to move past cravings in a constructive instead of destructive way. But it takes practice and discipline. And I have never been patient with things I’m not good at right away. So this is going to be a challenge for me.

Here’s how to surf an urge. When a craving strikes, take a moment. And ask yourself these questions:

  • What was I thinking right before the craving started? What was I feeling? What was my emotional state?
  • What am I thinking and feeling right now? How does my body feel physically? Am I nervous, sweaty, anxious, nauseated?
  • Are those thoughts and feelings true?
  • Would I feel better not thinking these thoughts? (Yes, this one’s rhetorical. Because of course we would.)

Annie promises us that the more we practice this – even if we give into the craving – the more detached we will become from our cravings. We will be able to observe them instead of mindlessly indulging them. And in that detached observation lies our power.

I need a LOT more practice with this. I still find myself feeling the need to “treat” myself or have a “moment for mama” multiple times per day. Chips, chocolate, wine – I want something that’s just for me because I do everything for my kids all day long.

This is my story. And guess what – it’s not even true! Because I DO get breaks from my kids when they’re in school. And I have my workouts, my volunteer work, my writing, activities that I enjoy and find fulfilling. I text friends and check Instagram and Connect throughout the day when I need a distraction or a boost. So I get PLENTY of moments for mama. My life is not the sleep-deprived frazzlefest it was when I had a two-year-old and an infant. I am more balanced now than I have been in years.

Yet my brain is programmed to replay my exhausted mama story, day in, day out, on repeat.

But I have broken the loop. I have a long way to go in dealing with cravings but I dig mindfulness and I believe in its power. Just gotta put in the practice!

Today’s video on alcohol and parenthood… so much to say. I never thought about the impact of my drinking on my kids until I read This Naked Mind. But this is now my greatest motivation to cut out my nightly glass(es) of wine. Because I don’t want my kids to turn out like me, spending two decades of life sliding down the pitcher plant. I NEVER want my kids to feel that alcohol has control over them. And I don’t want them to grow up with an image of their mom with a wine glass in her hand.

There’s only so much I can control. But there is so much I can control. As Annie concludes her video, “We’ve been doing the best we can with the information we have. And now we can do the best we can with the NEW information we have.”

Information is power!

[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind. For more information: www.alcoholexperiment.com.]

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