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It’s common to feel less inhibited when drinking. You’ll often hear friends talking about having a drink to “let loose” or “let their hair down.” But have you stopped to consider why you might be censoring yourself in regular life?
In this episode, we’re diving into The Release archetype. One of the eight Drink Archetypes that can influence our relationship with alcohol. Learn about the role that perfectionism and impossibly high standards can play in your drinking. If you’ve ever felt pressure to live up to other people’s expectations, you’ll want to tune in. Listen to hear how to create more freedom for yourself—even while choosing to drink less or not at all.
Discover why setting rules or swearing off alcohol forever can backfire with this archetype. When you work with The Release, you’ll stop searching for a way to blow off steam and settle into an easy rhythm with yourself.
Click here to listen to the episode.
What You’ll Discover
How obligations, pressure, and expectations all influence your drinking.
The gap that you create between “sober you” and who you are when you’re drinking.
Why the antidote for this archetype is becoming more of yourself.
Featured on the show
You are listening to the Take a Break Podcast with Rachel Hart, Episode 367.
Hello, friends. I am back with another episode about The Drink Archetypes, and today we’re talking about The Release. The Release is one of eight unconscious patterns that influences why you drink and why you reach for another, and today’s deep dive into The Release is all about using a drink to unleash parts of yourself that you would normally hold back. It’s what happens when the drink represents freedom.
When you have The Release archetype operating in your unconscious brain, I will tell you this, setting strict rules for yourself or shaming yourself for drinking too much or focusing on how alcohol is bad for you, these things are not going to help you cut back or stop drinking, at least not long term.
You might get some short term success with these tactics, but eventually the pressure will be too much, right? The pressure will build. And that’s why I like to think of The Release archetype like a pressure cooker because at some point you just feel like, “I can’t take it anymore”, right? Just feels like you might explode. It’s that thought, “I need to blow off some steam.”
Now remember, knowing which archetypes apply to you is important because it helps you see the unconscious patterns behind your drinking. It matter if you have all the motivation in the world and you’ve got all these good reasons why you really want to cut back or stop, it’s going to be hard for you to say no.
It’s going to be hard for you to keep your commitment. You’re going to be frustrated with your attempts to change unless you’re able to identify and address what’s happening beneath the surface of the habit. That’s where The Drink Archetypes come in. You really need to know the archetypes that apply to you so that you can really start to understand, “Hey, what’s going on with this desire that feels insatiable?” Yes, you like the taste, but over time, your brain also learned that the drink represents something more than just a reward for your lower brain. And that’s what The Drink Archetypes are all about. Helping you to address what the drink symbolizes. That’s how you create lasting change.
On the podcast so far, I’ve covered The Upgrade, The Connector, The Reward, The Escape, The Mask, The Hourglass. And today we’re going to do a deep dive into The Release. Now, next week I’m going to talk about the final archetype called The Remedy. If you want to figure out how The Drink Archetypes apply to you, take my free quiz at FindYourDrinkType.Com and you’ll get a full report, including your primary and secondary archetypes.
Okay, let’s talk about The Release. I will tell you, this one kind of makes me laugh because when I was developing the archetypes, the first seven, they just came to me so quickly and so easily. I’ve worked with thousands of people. I have collected so much data on different reasons why people drink. But I had those first seven, and I kept feeling like, “God, something is missing.” But I could not, for the longest time, I could not put my finger on it, and it kept nagging at me. I kept feeling like, ” Yeah, this just isn’t complete.”
And I remember one day, my brain was like, ” That sense of drinking when you just feel like hemmed in by your life” and the sense of, “Yeah, I follow the rules, but I hate being constrained.” I laughed when this all happened because The Release was for sure one of the main archetypes that I had to do a lot of work on in my own journey.
When it comes to The Release, this archetype can show up for lots of different types of people. You might be a perfectionist, or maybe you’re a high achiever who sets impossibly high standards for yourself. People who struggle with making mistakes. Sometimes find that drinking will give them the freedom to temporarily stop having to be perfect and do everything right and just cut loose. You might find yourself struggling with imposter syndrome or feeling like you’re putting up a facade. So what the world sees on the outside doesn’t match how you feel on the inside. This can be really exhausting. And again, in this situation, The Release can appear because drinking can offer a temporary freedom.
I’ve worked with people who have this archetype and feel a ton of pressure to provide for their immediate or their extended family or they feel like someone else has mapped out their life for them and they don’t really have a say. It can show up in people who feel like the black sheep in their family or community. The Release really is just connected to feeling hemmed in by the you you are supposed to be, and the you that you really are.
To me, a lot of this archetype traces back to the fact that we are taught to censor who we are as kids. We learn mistakes are unacceptable, emotions are childish or silly, dreams that we have we learn that they’re unrealistic or irresponsible. So we get the message a lot that what is happening on the inside, it’s wrong. So what do we do? We try to abide by the rules and be who we’re supposed to be, and over time, living up to everyone else’s expectations becomes more important than being yourself. What happens when you feel trapped in a life that isn’t really you? For some people, drinking can be this temporary freedom. It acts like the pressure valve. It’s a way to unleash parts of yourself that you have been holding back. But what happens is that instead of finding freedom, this chasm develops. It’s a chasm between who you are when you’re sober and who you are when you’re drinking.
I remember this so clearly in my own life because most of the time I was a good, responsible, dutiful Rachel during the week. But then the weekend came and I got to be wild, right? I got to have this moment where I didn’t care one iota what anyone thought. I just felt totally free when I was drinking. It was a freedom that I really, really craved in my life. But the fact of the matter is, I wasn’t free because I could only access that part of myself when I was drinking, I was actually beholden.
So when I work with people who have The Release archetype, I will talk a lot about using it as a springboard to become more of yourself. This is where I usually get a lot of pushback from people because what I will often hear people say is, “Yeah, I don’t want to be more of myself. I want to be less of myself because I am someone who has way too much desire. Why would I want to be more of that person?” I remember thinking pretty much the exact same thing myself, but really start to question and get curious and ask yourself if you right now feel like you have way too much desire when it comes to alcohol or food or really anything in your life.
Why do you think that is? Why do you think you have so much desire that you can’t keep in check? Because often these insatiable cravings are really a sign that you’re pushing away your true self. When you push away your true self is that it comes out sideways when you drink. Maybe you only let your silly, wild self out after a couple of drinks because acting that way sober would surely raise people’s eyebrows. You might start drinking when the pressure to keep everyone happy is just too much and you just want a night for yourself where your happiness doesn’t come second. Maybe alcohol has come to represent a way to rebel when you feel trapped by all the rules that you’re supposed to be following.
I think humans for a long time have found themselves stuck in a proverbial box, right? This box of who you’re supposed to be. All the expectations that we carry around with us. Humans discovered, “Hey, you know what? I can’t get out of the box, but I can give myself a temporary reprieve through drinking. Let’s just get drunk and not care for a night and throw caution to the wind.”
Now, the problem is that this freedom that you get from drinking, it’s really short lived. You get to be crazy for a couple of hours, and you get to act like a totally different version of yourself. You get to have this short period of time where you don’t care what the rules are or what people would say. You don’t have to worry that you’re like dancing on the dance floor like a maniac, but then the effects wear off and you’re right back where you started.
You’re still in the box, suffocating under the weight of expectations about who you’re supposed to be. So when The Release archetype is present, it’s really hard to cut back or to drink responsibly because that kind of defeats the purpose. The purpose is not to be responsible. The purpose is to let loose.
You can drink less, but it’s not going to do what you want it to do. The whole point is to get rid of your inhibitions and stop caring. So making rules not to go overboard isn’t going to work. But also making rules that you’re never going to drink again, that’s probably not going to work either. Because what happens then? The pressure just keeps building until you can’t take it anymore. This is why so many people who have The Release archetype flip flop and can go really long periods of time without drinking.
And then one night, It’s just everything goes and they get super drunk because The Release is often associated with drinking to get drunk, drinking a lot, which also means there’s a lot of shame connected to this archetype. It is so easy to wake up the next day and think, “God, why was I so stupid? Why was I such a dummy last night?” And the solution when you’re working with this archetype, and it sounds crazy at first, but the solution is to stop viewing your behavior when you are drinking as illogical. This is true no matter how much you drank and no matter what you did, to stop viewing it as illogical and start seeing it as maybe it has clues for you.
The solution is really to get curious about these things that you would normally really shame yourself for. So if you get wild and crazy when you drink, if emotions just bubble up to the surface, if you engage in risky behavior, instead of being like, “Okay, this is a stupid version of me who makes irresponsible decisions.” What if there was an intelligence behind what was happening?
I know it sounds a little crazy, but I have seen so many people have so much success with this, myself included, when they approach it this way. What if that behavior is trying to reveal the parts of your life where you feel constrained by certain aspects of who you’re supposed to be or what you’re supposed to act like?
I will tell you this though, it is really, really, really easy to miss the intelligence in these moments if you just immediately decide, “Nope, that was me being wrong or bad or illogical or stupid.” The Release’s superpower is showing you how to start to integrate the parts of yourself that you’re used to hiding away.
When that happens, when you’re no longer hiding who you are, you’re no longer this kind of constant pressure cooker, that’s the real solution. When you stop feeling the weight of everyone’s expectations about how you’re supposed to act or who you’re supposed to be or what you’re supposed to do, guess what happens? You’re going to stop chasing after the temporary freedom that you get from drinking because you will have already given that freedom to yourself.
You will find this kind of easy rhythm with yourself rather than bouncing between extremes, right? The extreme of “This is who I am when I’m sober, and this is who I am when I’m drinking.” One of the things we’re working on inside the membership is a deeper desire for every archetype.
When it comes to The Release, the deeper desire here really is authenticity. It’s a desire to be more of yourself because when you are more of who you really are, when you are authentic to yourself, you really grant yourself such a deep freedom and that freedom sounds like, “I’m comfortable being my own person. I do what’s best for me, not what others want. It’s safe for me to do things differently or to travel the road less taken.”
Authenticity is such an amazing superpower that comes from working with this archetype because that really is the goal, to stop feeling like drinking is your only way to break free of expectations. And when you do that, it’s a lot easier to make decisions that are aligned with what you want. Because if drinking gives you a freedom that you can’t get anywhere else, it’s very hard to make good decisions around alcohol from that place.
All right, so that’s it for today. Next week I’m going to be back talking about the final archetype, The Remedy. I’ll see you soon.