Take a Break
Learning to Trust Yourself Again
Getting coached on your habit is a powerful tool for understanding your relationship with alcohol. In the 30-Day Challenge, you get the opportunity to get coached live or listen in.
One of the common themes that come up in coaching is self-trust. From trusting yourself to be around alcohol to trusting yourself to know when you’re trying to distract yourself from your habit.
Tune in today to hear part of a live coaching call with three of the participants in the 30-Day Challenge. You will gain valuable insights into why shaking your desire to drink is so hard, how to spend your time not drinking, and how to rebuild trust in yourself.
What You’ll Discover
Why enjoying your break from alcohol doesn’t eliminate your desire to drink.
How to figure out how to spend your time when you’re not drinking.
Why self-trust is a muscle you develop when you take a break from drinking.
Featured on the show
You are listening to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart, episode 219.
Welcome to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart. If you’re an alcoholic or an addict, this is not the show for you. But if you are someone who has a highly functioning life, doing very well, but just drinking a bit too much and wants to take a break, then welcome to the show. Let’s get started.
Hello, hello everyone. So listen, we’re doing something a little different today because one of the questions I get asked all the time is what is it like to be coached by me? What is it like to actually do this work with a coach that’s helping you understand the habit of drinking and your relationship with alcohol?
And because so many of you listen to the podcast and you’re learning all about these concepts, but many of you haven’t seen the think-feel-act cycle in action. So today, I’m actually going to share part of a coaching call with a couple participants in the 30-day challenge.
Now, during this call, we’re going to look at a couple different things. So you’re going to hear me coach them on why it can be hard to shake your desire to drink, even when it feels really good taking a break and you like all the results that you’re getting from not drinking. We’re going to talk about what happens when you replace alcohol with food and how to start to change that, and also how to begin to figure out how you like to spend your time when you’re not drinking.
So I hope that this will be really, really helpful for all of you who have never really had a taste of what coaching looks like. I will add this, no matter the topic, while you’re listening, I want you to ask yourself, how can I apply this coaching to my own life and my own situation? And do notice how different it feels to observe the problem from a distance, when you hear someone else talking about it, rather than when you’re in the middle of it.
So if you want more where this came from, do check out our next 30-day challenge, which starts on the 1st. I hope you enjoy this call.
Rachel: Hey Sue.
Rachel: How are you?
Sue: I’m good, thanks.
Rachel: Alright, so I have your question here and you were saying I can’t work out what wine offers for me. So you are – are you two months of taking a break?
Sue: Yeah, that’s it.
Rachel: Okay. And you’re at this point where you’re tempted to start drinking again, you just can’t figure out what the wine offers.
Sue: Why? Why would I want to start? I feel better, and I don’t know, I just cannot work out – I’ve done so many – tried so many different ways. Why do I want to drink? What is it that the wine – it’s only really red wine. That’s what I tend to drink. And I can’t work out – throughout these two months, I’ve done so many different things and I haven’t been tempted.
It’s just kind of like, no, it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine. People around me have been drinking the whole time, no worries. Now I’m thinking it would be lovely. I said to you before, I live in France. We have a big wine cellar here and wine is just really a big part of everyday life here. And my 92-year-old mother-in-law has a glass of wine with her lunch every day and has done since she was about 16. And I’d love to just do that. But why?
Rachel: Yeah. So it’s so interesting. I’m going to want you to actually go back and rewatch this so you can hear how you describe it. Because you’re like, “So I’ve been saying no and it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine. But it would be lovely.”
Sue: I don’t understand it.
Rachel: But listen, do you want things in your life to just be fine? You’re like, it’s fine, it’s fine, I can say no and it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine.
Sue: When I say fine, I just mean I haven’t found it difficult.
Rachel: Right. But you also haven’t found it enjoyable.
Sue: Oh. I don’t know. A lot of the things I’ve done, it has been enjoyable. I mean, I think I’m using the word fine to mean that it hasn’t been at all difficult. I don’t feel that I’ve missed out on anything. I didn’t feel while I’m sitting opposite, in a restaurant, opposite my husband who was drinking fine, while he was choosing the wine, I didn’t feel deprived. So I think I’m using fine to mean I didn’t feel I was missing out on anything.
Rachel: Right. So it’s just kind of like, what I want to offer to you is you’re kind of describing like, I didn’t feel the negative emotion. I didn’t feel the deprivation, I didn’t feel that I was missing out. So it’s like, there an absence of negative emotion but what I just want you to be curious about is did you feel addition, an increase in positive emotion?
Rachel: Okay. Maybe that has some connection to it.
Sue: So I’ve got to find the positive emotion that…
Rachel: I just don’t think we want to go through our lives just being like, well, I just had an absence of negative emotion. Like, that’s good. But is that ultimately what we want is just the absence of negative emotion?
Sue: No. Definitely not.
Rachel: We want to feel more alive and more expansive and more connected. And so I think it’s amazing to do this work and be like, oh my god, I could do this, and I could go all these places and my partner could drink and I could be around it and I could be okay and not feel deprived and not feel like I’m missing out. I’m not saying that that’s not amazing.
I’m just also suggesting that maybe there is also this desire to have more pleasure and more connection and more kind of experience that feels enlivening. And this is why I talk about the pleasure piece so much. This is why the pleasure piece is one of the advanced things that people do when they continue on because I think that we don’t want to just be like, well, I didn’t feel deprived.
Sue: So are you saying that I’ve been looking to wine to give me pleasure that I’m not finding?
Rachel: Maybe. Or just maybe you’re having a desire for more positive. Not just the absence of negative, but more positive.
Sue: That makes a lot of sense.
Rachel: And then it’s like, oh, if I can use this work to help me see, oh, I can actually change what I’m thinking, I can actually realize yeah, I don’t have to feel deprived, I don’t have to feel like I’m missing out, can I also use this work to create more pleasure?
Rachel: Why is this making you laugh?
Sue: Not much pleasure at the moment, France has gone back into lockdown today for at least a month. My daughter-in-law is talking about coming and living with us with her two-year-old son.
Rachel: Yeah, it’s like this is what we start to see. This work isn’t just about how do I learn how to deal with my desire differently, how do I start to have less negative emotion. It’s to also how do I create more pleasure? How do I create more positive? And that’s what I think maybe you’re just being called for or called towards.
Rachel: And of course it’s just like, well, I could just start drinking again. Because your brain has learned that’s why we do it. That’s how I create more pleasure at a meal. That’s how I create more connection or that’s – whatever you taught your brain specifically around it. I’m not really having that kind of pleasure, so add in a glass of red wine.
Sue: Yeah, that does make a lot of sense. Life has been very, very flat for a number of years actually. In one way or another. Lots of negative things going on and not much fun, yeah.
Rachel: We don’t want a flat life. And I think that this is a really powerful thing, especially for anyone, for you or for anyone listening who when you change your relationship with alcohol and you start to change the habit and sometimes, you’re like, I’m not having as much negative or negative repercussions.
We don’t just want the absence of that. That can be a big first step, but then we realize like, I don’t want a flat life. I don’t want a fine life. I want to feel alive, and I want to feel connected, and I want to feel pleasure and I want to just feel like lovely.
Rachel: And so then it’s like, okay, how can I start cultivating more of that?
Sue: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. How?
Rachel: On my own. That then takes this work that you’re doing to the next level. And then when you realize that you actually are capable of creating more pleasure and more connection and more feeling alive yourself, without red wine, without chocolate, without buying something new, without all of the things that we’ve used in the past to try to create that temporary pleasure, when you realize that you can create it yourself, then you get to have a totally different conversation about do I want to bring it back in? And how do I want it in my life? I can create this.
Sue: Yeah. Pleasure’s quite hard to find.
Rachel: I know because you think you’re finding it instead of creating it.
Rachel: You see that difference?
Sue: Right, okay.
Rachel: Pleasure is quite hard to find, versus I create it.
Sue: Okay. Yeah.
Rachel: So I know you’re not quite there yet in terms of the advanced work. You’re not yet at the work that we do around pleasure. But one of the things that I want you to consider is that we experience pleasure through our sense. Through sight and smell and hearing and taste and touch. It comes through our senses.
And so one of the things that you can start to do is like, how can I bring more attention, how can I find more pleasure in what I’m seeing, in what I’m touching, in what I’m feeling, in what I’m smelling? We don’t tend to go into the senses very much, except if it’s like, I don’t like this. I don’t like how that smells, I don’t like how that feels, I don’t like how this looks.
As opposed to if I could tune into my senses more, can I use that as kind of a way to dial up pleasure? I was talking about this on the private podcast. It hasn’t come out. It’s going to come out either today or tomorrow. I was talking about the difference between cooking, and I would chop celery and one day I was chopping celery and I was like, wow, celery, kind of smells amazing.
I’m not a celery lover but I was like, all of a sudden, I was tuned into it. All of a sudden, instead of being off in my mind in what I have to do and oh my god, there’s so much going on and I got to get dinner on the table, all of a sudden it was like, there was so much available to me in that moment.
Rachel: And it was like, when I talk about the world becoming more technicolor, it’s not because the world has changed. It’s not because I’m existing in a different world. I’m engaging with it in a different way.
Sue: Okay. I’ve been doing the sensitize practice every day. And to start with, at the end I’d be thinking I have no idea what I was feeling, I have no idea what emotion. But now, just a thought about emotion will just pop into my head. Like today, and I just sort of thought, “Tense.”
I thought, “Tense. Gosh, I am tense.” And it’s just really weird. I’ve not been aware of it at all, and I don’t know why – well, I do know why I guess it’s because I’m becoming more attuned to my body. But it’s just very strange that these words, describing an emotion just pop into my head as I’m doing it.
Rachel: Yeah. Because here’s the thing; we’re so used to engaging on autopilot. And we don’t even realize it. We don’t even realize that it’s just like our unconscious mind. And we’re unconsciously thinking thoughts and we’re unconsciously feeling feelings and we’re also unconsciously ignoring our body.
And so we have all of this disconnection, but yet we’re still thinking it, we’re still feeling it, we’re still having the experience of it. We’re just not tuned into it. Then we get to the end of the day and it’s like, okay, where’s my relief? But we don’t even kind of know sometimes what we need relief from.
And now all of a sudden, it’s like, you’ve gotten this little piece of wisdom. Like oh, tense, I didn’t even know that was there. Where did that even come from? I am feeling tense. And so now you can address it so much more quickly because you have awareness of it, as opposed to like, I would go through the whole day being like, no awareness that I was feeling kind of tense and stressed out and then wonder why I was like, let’s open the bottle of wine, let’s inhale the Ben & Jerry’s. Because I didn’t have that awareness.
And so that’s what you’re gaining. But I want you to see that this work isn’t just about the absence of negative and how do we kind of remove that. It’s about how do I actually generate and create more positive. And it’s totally available to you. And so you can see it makes sense why you’re like, I don’t know why I have this desire to reintroduce wine right now. Can’t figure it out. Things have been kind of flat.
Rachel: That’s the real work. Let’s figure out how to make them not so…
Sue: Yeah. That’s great. That’s really helpful.
Rachel: So good. Thank you, Sue.
Sue: Thanks very much.
Rachel: You’re welcome. Alright, I can’t stress this enough how important this is that we don’t want to just have the absence of negative. I want you to feel more connected and more alive and have more pleasure and that’s how you change your desire. Because it’s such a different conversation to be like, I’m not sure, do I want to drink again?
It’s such a different conversation when you’re like, oh, I don’t have to find pleasure? I can create pleasure? I can bring more of that into my life? It totally changes everything. Okay, let’s see. Who is next? Phoebe? You can go ahead and raise your hand. There you are. Hey Phoebe. You’re 58 days in.
Rachel: At least when you wrote the question. And you’re feeling stuck.
Rachel: In particular around eating.
Rachel: Okay. Tell me why you’re stuck. What’s going on?
Phoebe: It was really interesting listening to the last person because I’m always fighting with the idea of going back to drinking, but I don’t want to. I’ve really made a commitment that I don’t want to do that. And I’m going to do any work I can to not do that.
Phoebe: So I listened to almost all of your podcasts and read your book before I started the drinking break. So by the time I started it, I was really ready. Really ready, and I feel really good about the – not 58 days, but that I don’t have a lot of desire around alcohol. But I could be kind of slipping back, which I’m committed to, but I’m still shoving in food.
And I write about it every day. I do it right after my sensitize practice every morning and somehow, I’m still – what happens is I go and eat something and shove it in and then I’ll say, oh, was that an urge? Did I just miss something? And I’ll make little lists, and it is a little bit better, I am being more mindful but there’s something about that reward I can’t let go of. And I’m not progressing. So do I do another month? Do I stay in this practice? I don’t know.
Rachel: Okay. So there’s a couple things here. There’s on the one hand, there’s this thought I’m not progressing, and on the other hand, there’s this piece about the reward. And I think you have to look at both of them. Because I’m stuck, I’m not progressing has you feeling what? What emotion comes up for you?
Rachel: Frustration. What would in your mind not being stuck and progressing look like?
Phoebe: Well, I’m highly gluten intolerant so it always has been really a challenge to eat anyway, and so I think because of that a little bit, I’m constantly trying to find the foods that I do make more rewarding without gluten and I add more to them – what would it look like? It would look like, I feel like I would look like normal people.
I don’t know. Sometimes I’m dishonest about my food, I’ll sneak food, I’ll make two plates and I’ll bring it out to my husband, and I’ll sort of make sure I have a little bit on my plate for what I want and what I like. And there’s something really dishonest about that. I don’t…
Rachel: Okay. So you were progressing. If you were in a place right now where you were progressing, what would you be doing differently from what you’re doing now?
Phoebe: I would be eating more fruits and vegetables, I would be filling up on the good stuff more. I would not be snacking. I would not be snacking at all. And I am snacking a lot less. I went to the doctor and I had a physical just before the pandemic and I said, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I weigh that much.” And she said, “Oh, I don’t have a problem with your weight.”
And I thought – “because of your age.” And I thought, “Well, I do. I have a problem with it.” I may never weigh 130 again but I know I’m over-nourishing. That’s what I’m doing. I’m over-nourishing. It’s like this idea that there’s not going to be enough for me, or I don’t know if this is a holdover from childhood, but I need to let this go. I want to move – it feels like it’s holding me back a little. A lot.
Rachel: Yeah. So I just want you to notice that your brain is telling you that you know what progress looks like. And progress, your brain’s like, “Listen, I know what progress looks like. I mean, we haven’t done it before, we haven’t gotten to the goal, but I’m definitely sure I know what it looks like.” And it is eating fruits and vegetables instead of whatever else I’m putting in my mouth, and it’s being honest about food and it’s not over-nourishing and I never snack at all.
Phoebe: That’s it.
Rachel: Yeah. And you’re like, if I was doing all those things, I would know that I was progressing.
Rachel: Except if you’re doing all those things you wouldn’t say that I’m progressing. You’d be like, I’m done, I did it.
Phoebe: I would.
Rachel: I think so. You’ve literally been like progress is when I’m at the end goal.
Rachel: You see that?
Rachel: And so what you’re doing – you’re using what you’re doing against yourself right now instead of saying, oh no, this is progress, this is how I figure it out. How I figured it out is by noticing I’m not being honest around food.
Phoebe: Oh, okay. So I have made progress because yeah, you’re right, I wasn’t honest about it before.
Rachel: Right. And now you recognize.
Phoebe: I publicly just said those things about myself. Yeah.
Rachel: You’re like, I’m not being honest, I’m stuck, I’m not making any progress. You’re like, I’m snacking less, I’m definitely not making progress. As opposed to that’s interesting, I was snacking more, now I’m snacking a little bit less, but I’m still snacking. I wonder what’s going on here?
Phoebe: Well, I think it’s because the drinking seemed to – I mean, it was about four days of urges and it was gone. But maybe that felt more imminent. It might have felt more dire, more important. Food gets muddied.
Rachel: Yeah. Maybe you had four days and then it was gone, or maybe that you’ve just redirected that desire towards food.
Rachel: And I think that’s a really important thing to not kind of see it as oh, well this is desire for alcohol and this is desire for food and just understand like, I think maybe there is just some sort of underlying desire and I may just have redirected it. And that’s okay. That’s what all of this work is about. That’s why we do the work around avoiding numbing and we don’t just talk about alcohol because this is a journey that so many of us are on.
Rachel: So here’s the thing; why do you want to make your food more enjoyable?
Phoebe: I guess I still want rewards. I’m still looking for rewards.
Rachel: Give me an example of food you don’t find very enjoyable.
Phoebe: I know it’s like the shishi food. I don’t like kale.
Rachel: Okay. So I want you to imagine that I was like, listen, kale’s going to be your new thing. You’re going to have a life of kale. What do you think about that life?
Phoebe: I wouldn’t be happy.
Rachel: Wouldn’t be happy. Because in the past, you’ve given all the power to the things that you consume as the way to generate happiness. If you were the generator of happiness, you wouldn’t be like, oh, well, I guess I’m not going to be happy if I can only eat kale. Because kale is the circumstance. Kale just is. Now, that’s not to say that you have to like it to hate it or whatever, but kale doesn’t create happiness or unhappiness.
Phoebe: That’s funny. In my sensitize training, one day this week I wrote sometimes I’m so happy that it makes me nervous. I just don’t know how to sort of – I wrote, “I realize how happy I am sometimes, and that happiness can scare me. Like a thing that can’t last. I walk around my house and say how much I love my physical space but often with an eye on how to make it better, how to fix it, how to change it.”
Rachel: So this is so powerful. If you’re telling yourself that happiness kind of scares me, guess what that thought is going to do? It’s going to shut it down. So you get some happiness and it’s like, I don’t know, this isn’t going to last, it kind of scares me, let’s shut it down.
Phoebe: And shut it down by eating.
Rachel: You’re just shutting it down with that thought.
Phoebe: With that thought, okay.
Rachel: So the happiness that you’re generating feels a little, I don’t know, but the happiness from whatever you’re used to consuming, you’re much more comfortable with.
Phoebe: Yes. I am.
Rachel: So then your work – here’s the thing; once you stop the whole I’m stuck, I’m not making progress, and then once you allow yourself to get curious, then you start to see, oh, what I’m doing with my food, not being honest, trying to make everything really pleasurable, snacking more than I want to, eating foods that maybe aren’t serving me that I want to, you start to see, oh, that’s the doorway in to understand why I’m kind of nervous when I feel happy.
Rachel: What’s that? What’s going on there? What is it that my body or my mind has been like, I don’t know if we should fully let ourselves open up to this emotion?
Phoebe: Yeah. I don’t deserve it on some level to be really happy. And yet sometimes I just am and I immediately – it does, it really scares me.
Rachel: Yeah. But this is the thing like, it’s so powerful to recognize that you have a positive emotion coming in that you’re feeling and experiencing, and then you’re shutting it down. And if you never let yourself fully experience it, of course you’re always going to be like, alright, let’s have the alcohol, let’s have the food, let’s have the false kind of pleasures so that I can feel good because I won’t let myself feel good over here. I won’t let myself just be happy because I’m like, it’s not going to last, and PS, I don’t deserve it.
Phoebe: Yeah, right. Okay.
Rachel: But that’s where your brain is confused because we don’t have to deserve happiness.
Phoebe: So how do I fix it?
Rachel: Well, the first thing is just what we’re doing right now. You’ve given yourself this beautiful awareness like, I’m just not letting myself go into fully into my positive emotions. Because I’m telling myself I don’t deserve happiness.
Phoebe: That’s true.
Rachel: Yeah. You’re not alone at all with this.
Phoebe: Good to know.
Rachel: But it’s like, where did I learn that a positive emotion was something that had to be deserved?
Phoebe: From my Puritan ancestral background.
Rachel: Welcome to the club. Me too. You don’t just get to be happy. Show me what you’ve done, how hard have you worked?
Phoebe: There’s a great quote by H. L. Mencken who defines Puritanism and it’s, “The haunting fear that someone somewhere might be happy.” And I have it on my refrigerator for years.
Rachel: Oh my god Phoebe, this is the powerful thing is part of you has known this. Part of you has had this insight for years. You just haven’t – that’s what the power of this work is. It’s like connecting the dots. You’ve known this already. You had this quote for years.
Phoebe: I know. And I read it all the time and laugh.
Rachel: Yeah. But now you get to see that it’s not just oh, that’s funny. It’s like, I’ve been playing that out.
Phoebe: I’ve embodied it.
Rachel: I’ve embodied that belief. What did you produce today? Did you do something? Were you efficient? Were you productive? What did you make? What did you knit? What did you build? Let me see. Let me see if you deserve to be happy.
Phoebe: That’s it. You’ve got it.
Rachel: 100%. But now you get to just see, oh my god, I’ve embodied this belief system, and PS, it’s just a belief system that some Puritans made up.
Phoebe: Everything in moderation.
Rachel: You can just be like, oh, what if I just start to notice when it’s coming up? Notice what it’s feeling like for me, notice when I’m shutting down feeling good. This is the thing; the work here is not just how do I learn how to have a different relationship with my negative emotions. It’s how do I learn to have a different relationship with my positive emotions. Because if you could go fully into happiness, imagine how different it would be for you to consume food.
Rachel: You wouldn’t be looking for food to give you the false pleasure and the happiness. And you wouldn’t be like, oh god, kale, here we go. It’s the worst.
Phoebe: It’s so short-lived too. Even shorter than…
Rachel: That’s why we go back for more. That’s why we have the insatiable hunger. Because it’s never going to last. It doesn’t matter if this is a buzz from alcohol or the buzz from sugar. It never lasts the way that an emotion can. It’s fleeting. So we’re always like, more, more, more.
Phoebe: At least the buzz from alcohol lasts a little longer but…
Rachel: But did you feel satisfied from it ultimately?
Phoebe: No. I’m really happy I made this decision and I do feel very committed to the alcohol. I just need to kind of transfer it.
Rachel: Yeah. But it’s like, I want you to just – you’re still kind of in that place of the alcohol and food.
Phoebe: They’re two different things, yes.
Rachel: As opposed to like, when am I shutting down happiness for myself? When am I telling myself I don’t deserve it? When am I telling myself I haven’t been productive enough or done enough or been good enough or whatever it is?
Phoebe: All the time.
Rachel: All the time. That’s what we have to change. That will radically change your relationship with everything that you consume.
Rachel: But the thing that I want you to see is that you already knew this. There was some part of you – I think this is so important because I just can’t state enough how much wisdom and how much knowledge all of you have inside of you. There’s some part of you with that quote and seeing it and reading it every day and laughing about it, there was some part of you that knew like, something here does not make sense. It’s so silly.
And now you just get to see, oh my god, I embodied it. I’ve been shutting down pleasure for me. If you can stop doing that, your desire will totally change because you won’t have that same like, okay, so let’s consume something so then I can at least get that sensation of feeling good.
Phoebe: So the next time I feel really happy, which comes over me more often than I think, especially since I quit drinking, I’ll trust it and just go with it.
Phoebe: Instead of question it.
Rachel: Yes. And listen, and if the thoughts start to come up, I don’t deserve this, this feels a little nervous, I feel a little nervous doing this…
Phoebe: I’m having too much fun.
Rachel: I’m having too much fun, it’s not going to last, we shouldn’t do this, are we going to get caught? I think we’re going to get caught for being too happy for no reason or too happy for not having produced something, right? Just be curious with all of that. Just be curious with what’s coming up for you. Just be curious if you’re like, oh, I’m opening myself up to happiness and I’m starting to feel kind of nervous.
Rachel: But that work is going to be so powerful for you.
Phoebe: I’m going to do it.
Rachel: I love it. Amazing what that sensitize practice for those of you – I know not everyone has gotten to that yet. People in the 30 days, we don’t do it in the first 30 days. It’s really in that first advanced class. But that sensitize practice, connecting with your body, it’s so amazing the kind of dots that you can start to connect.
Phoebe: It is.
Rachel: So good, Phoebe. Thank you.
Phoebe: Okay. Thank you.
Rachel: Love it. Oh my god, listen, we all deserve to be happy. We don’t have to prove it. We don’t have to earn it. We don’t have to show our time sheet. We don’t have to show what we completed today. We don’t have to hand anything in. You deserve to be happy. Just want you all to know that. And listen, struggle for me too to believe that. Alright, who am I going to next? Here you are. Hi.
Client 3: Hi.
Rachel: You’ve got some feelings of resentment I hear.
Client 3: Yeah. Well, these other coaching calls have been so helpful. But I’m in my 30 days and I feel very good with not having alcohol. I’m recognizing urges, I don’t drink every night. I drink mostly on Friday and Saturday night with my husband. We sit down, we have our date nights and I’ve been fine, and he has his drinks and I’m fine with that, I want him to enjoy himself and I’m good with that.
And we sit and I’m so pleased that I can enjoy my evening. I’m surprised. I’ve been noticing though the next morning I get up, the first Saturday I kind of felt like, something was missing, like longing. And then I did ask a coach and they helped me to appreciate that when you’re cleaning things out, it’s almost like cleaning out a closet, but now you have this empty drawer, you want to fill it with some good stuff.
That made so much sense. The second Saturday morning came, and I felt a little hmm, tightness, a little like maybe the resentment, and I’m wondering, am I feeling like I’m missing out on something? And so I went through my model and tried to start figuring it out, maybe I’m feeling like I’m missing out. Not on drinking, I’m not missing that, but what am I missing out on?
So I started thinking that maybe I just don’t like sitting here. And I love being with my husband and I love having the date night but sitting here is not cutting it for me. And I think…
Rachel: You mean sitting with him on Friday night is not cutting it for you?
Client 3: Yeah. I mean, I love our interchange and our conversation but normally when you’re having wine, you can just kind of numb out and listen to music and talk, which I enjoyed. But I feel like I want to do something now. And so I don’t know if I’m using this – is this a distraction? Or am I exploring new ways to have pleasure? I don’t know what I’m doing.
Rachel: Well, what do you think you want to do?
Client 3: Well, last week I was feeling this way so on Saturday night we went and we both bought modeling clay and I made little clay ring dishes while I had my little lime fizzy sparkling water drink, and he had his drinks, and I made a clay dish that came out very ugly. But it was very satisfying and is this distracting? I actually enjoyed it.
And then I started thinking what else can I do while we are together and he’s having his drinks, I’m not, and I came up with this list of – I’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar, or I love crocheting and I can talk and interchange with him. Can I do this and enjoy our evenings together and feel fulfilled or is this a distraction? So I’m kind of confused about that.
Rachel: Well, let me ask you. When you think to yourself, “Am I just distracting from something or do I just have a deep desire to play guitar or to make a dish?” Which way do you feel like you lean?
Client 3: I feel like I’ve had these things on my little Pinterests and little things over the decades of my life that I feel like I’ve wasted time drinking, and I went through these little things and it was like hey, I want to do that. And I feel like I want to do this.
Rachel: Okay. So like, let’s just trust that.
Client 3: Okay.
Rachel: It’s like, I can’t answer it for you. The only person that’s going to be able to truly answer this for you is you. To really just be like, listen, am I distracting right now? Am I just – is there something going on where I don’t want to be fully present, and I want to just be doing something so I don’t have to be present or something? Or do I just have these desires and interests and curiosities? You’re the only one that can answer that and it sounds like you’re leaning more towards I think I just have these desires and interests and curiosities.
Client 3: Okay. I wasn’t sure because you talk a lot about distraction or observing or whatever you’re going to do with your urges. So I just wasn’t sure, and I thought well, maybe I just need to sit there and think I want to do something else and just sit with that and observe that. And I thought, “I don’t want to sit here and just think about the things I want to do, I want to do them.”
Rachel: I want to do the things.
Client 3: Yeah.
Rachel: I mean listen, if it feels kind of compulsive, if it feels like, I got to do this, you can kind of – tune into the energy around it. Tune into how it’s kind of feeling around it. Let’s just be curious. When you think like, oh, I want to do something more than just – I like having date night and I like talking to my husband, but when you think I want to do more too, how does that feel for you? To think I want more.
Client 3: I love it. Because I feel like I’ve been stuck on a hamster wheel drinking every weekend and then I feel like pookie because I just, I don’t get drunk or anything but it’s just not serving me anymore honestly. Then I feel bad all the way into I don’t sleep good, I don’t feel good, I feel bad, all the way into Monday or Tuesday the next week.
And then I start feeling good and thinking, okay, this weekend I’m going to do better. And I never do because of habits and all that, and then there I am, just on the hamster wheel. I never get a chance to explore anything because I’m so sick or disappointed or full of negative. And I’m just so tired of that life. I’m tired of that life.
Rachel: Yeah. I just want – when you say I love it, I love kind of exploring these things, I want you to see that this work is all about learning how to trust yourself. Learning how to tune into what do I deeply want. What am I actually searching for in this moment? And it sounds like these things you’re finding very enjoyable.
Client 3: Okay.
Rachel: So this is the thing; it’s never about the activity. It’s about what’s the emotion kind of motivating it and behind it. Is it like, ugh, I just don’t want to feel this way and I’ve got to escape, and I don’t like it and I want to tune out, or is it like, this feels good, and I like it and it’s serving me and it’s not keeping me on a hamster wheel?
I didn’t wake up after making that little dish and feel like I was kind of down and blue all the way into Monday. I mean, I judged it a little. I judged it by saying it was ugly, but it didn’t have that kind of repercussion.
Client 3: It gives me something more to work on next Friday or Saturday night.
Rachel: This is the thing. It’s about really tapping into like, what do I really want? What is this desire really about? And can I make room for it? Can I acknowledge it? Can I move towards it? I mean, I think this goes all the way back to what we were talking about at the beginning of this call.
This is true for you, it’s true for everyone. I want you to have a life that is bigger and better and more fulfilled and more full of curiosity and connection and enjoyment. Not just like, well, I’m not hungover.
Client 3: Yeah. I love that.
Rachel: No one wants that. You might want that at first when you’re so stuck and you’re just like, ugh god, I just want to get off this hamster wheel. But ultimately what we want, we just want to be alive. And so…
Client 3: I feel like that’s why – one of the reasons I feel like I have used drinking for so long, which was fine for a long time, I enjoyed it, but it was because I want to have fun. I love having fun. I love having fun with my husband, alcohol has always been a part of it, but now, like I said, it’s just not serving me anymore. But I still want fun.
Rachel: Yes. It’s not just like, oh, it’s not serving me so now at least I’m off this hamster wheel. But it’s like, yeah, you still want fun. That original desire didn’t go away and that’s what we have to kind of protect and honor and say like, okay, so what am I going to do? How am I going to create more fun? Instead of what we’ve been used to, which is let’s consume it.
It’s a totally different shift to go from consuming fun to creating fun. But it’s so powerful because then you’re like, wait, I think I can make any moment fun with my brain. Is that really possible? That seems crazy. Then you won’t feel so beholden. It’s not so beholden to like, what am I going to do? What’s going to entertain me?
It’s like, oh, I get to entertain myself. So I love it. I feel like if you’re not sure, this is true for you, this is true for everyone. If you’re not sure, I want everyone first and foremost to just tune into yourself and say like, which way do I think I’m leaning more towards? You don’t have to be like, a definitive answer, but ask yourself first. I always want you to be developing I can trust myself, I can ask myself, I have wisdom and knowledge and guidance in here that I can tune into. Because you’re always going to be your own best authority, alright?
Client 3: Thank you so much.
Rachel: So good. I love the dish, PS. I think it’s amazing.
Client 3: Pinterest is awesome.
Rachel: It’s amazing to start to explore this and I will say, my own personal experience, it can also be sometimes intimidating to be like, I’m not even sure what I want to do, and do I want to do this thing and is it kind of silly and how is it even going to turn out. It can be kind of vulnerable and intimidating, but it’s also that’s where the magic is. So good. I love it. Thank you for sharing that.
Alright, so this is what I want you all to remember. The work that you’re doing here, the work that you are really – the muscle that you’re starting to develop is how do I trust myself? How do I trust what is good for me? How do I trust what I need and what I want? When our barometer has gotten so kind of gummed up.
Because we haven’t been trusting ourselves, we have been trusting that oh, I can consume this thing and that’s how I will have fun, or there’s a little bit left in the bottle and I don’t want to waste it. We’ve been trusting these external things. I want you to have your trust back in yourself.
Because that is the most frustrating thing. When you struggle with overdrinking, when you struggle with overeating, so often the most frustrating thing is this feeling that you can’t trust yourself. And that really is the muscle that you can develop. And when you know that you can trust yourself, then you get to be in such a different place to decide, okay, so what do I want my relationship to alcohol to be like?
When you know that you can generate fun, when you know that you can generate pleasure, when you know that you can create more positive emotion, it’s not just the absence of negative, you have a totally different conversation about what you want your relationship with alcohol and food and other things that you consume, what you want it to look like.
So that’s what’s available to you. I loved today’s call. So good. Thank you so much everyone who shared here. I know it really is going to help a lot of people. I will see you all soon. Bye-bye.
Hey, if you’re a woman who enjoys this podcast and wants to have me as your coach, you have to join the Take A Break program. It’s a 30-day break from drinking that will teach you how to say no to your urges without deprivation, the secret to not needing a drink in any situation, including not needing a drink to take the edge off, and never again feeling like you can’t trust yourself around alcohol. Join me over at RachelHart.com/join. Together, we’re going to blow your mind.