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Why You Should Stop Asking Yourself “Am I An Alcoholic?”

Smashing Shame + Why You Don’t Need To Ask Yourself “Am I An Alcoholic?”

I was drawn to my guest today immediately because of a powerful post, she wrote about why she doesn’t identify with the label of being an alcoholic. 

I don’t identify as an alcoholic either. I don’t feel like that label serves me or explains my personal experience and unless they prefer it I don’t use that label to describe the women I work with.

Here’s what Beth wrote that spoke to me. 

✨WORDS MATTER✨

The other day, someone called me an “alcoholic.” They were just making conversation, talking about things I’m interested in (which I super appreciate!)…⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

… but I don’t identify as an alcoholic—it’s a label that doesn’t explain my personal experience with leaving behind the booze.

I don’t struggle with not-drinking anymore.

I don’t feel like I’m powerless over alcohol.

I don’t align with the 12-steps.

I don’t personally identify with the disease model of addiction.⠀⠀⠀

Even when I was still drinking, the black and white dichotomy of either being someone who drank or being an “alcoholic” kept me drinking longer than I should have. I thought those were my only choices

And then I discovered this beautiful corner of the internet full of people who don’t drink alcohol, who call themselves all sorts of things:

✨Teetotaler

✨Sober

✨Alcohol-free/AF

✨Non-drinker

✨Sober-curious⠀⠀⠀

Or… nothing at all.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I’ve learned a few things from my experience:

1️⃣ Words matter, and labels can be a significant barrier for folks removing harmful habits from their lives. (And the mental health field needs an update on this. ☝🏻)⠀⠀⠀⠀

2️⃣ You are the author of your own story, and only YOU get to define yourself.

3️⃣ Figuring out what you align with, where your AF identity lives? It’s magic. ✨ It’s freedom, fulfillment, and all the good squishy feelings.

The beauty of deciding that alcohol is no longer working in your life is that YOU get to decide how to think about your decision to stop drinking and how you tell your story – with a label or without one. 

What do I say about why I’m living my life without alcohol? 

I say I quit drinking. I used to drink and I don’t anymore because I feel better without it. 

I sleep better. I have more energy. I’m more confident and better able to follow through with things and go after my goals and dreams. I have less anxiety and deeper relationships. I feel more at peace and more proud of myself. 

And I also say that  it was hard to quit, not only because I loved drinking and it was a big part of my identity as a ‘red wine girl’, but also because alcohol is an addictive substance. It’s literally designed to make you drink more and more often. And I believe that anyone with enough exposure to alcohol is likely to become habitually, emotionally or physically addicted to it.  

I don’t know if I was ‘bad enough to have to quit’ but I do know that my life is better without it. 

In this episode, Beth and I discuss how women can smash shame in sobriety.

And we dive into: 

  • Why you don’t need to ask yourself ‘Am I an alcoholic?’

  • How labels can stigmatize and shame people who have decided to live a healthy, happy, alcohol-free life instead of celebrating their decision to make a healthy life choice
  • How to find a beautiful supportive online community of people living life without alcohol on Instagram
  • Why old shame experiences might be keeping you stuck and how shame resilience work can help you heal

  • The 4 steps to working through shame 
    • Identifying shame
    • Contextualize it
    • Connection
    • Sharing the shame out loud
  • The freedom we’ve found since giving up alcohol

About Beth Bowen

Beth is a licensed social worker with three years of sobriety, who helps alcohol free women reclaim their power and build kick ass lives in sobriety. Beth is a mom of two, a wife and a sober women’s coach who lives outside of Austin, Texas.

Connect with Beth Bowen

To find out more information about Beth and read about her sobriety journey, check out her blog  www.bethbowenblog.com

Follow Beth on Instagram @bethbowen_

Do you have old shame stories holding you back from the kickass life you know you’re meant for? Check out Beth’s free workshop about Shame Resilience in Sobriety

Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson

Drink Less + Live More today with The Sobriety Starter Kit. The private, on-demand coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process.

Grab your  Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First 30 Days

Find out more about Casey and her coaching programs, head over to her website, www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!

ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST

The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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