23: Changing Your Relationship with Alcohol with Angela Mascenik

Jul 24, 2023

Angela Mascenik recently joined me in a discussion around how to build the relationship with alcohol that you want. Angela ended a 20 year battle of over-drinking and has now coached hundreds of women to permanently change their relationship with alcohol. She shared the tools that helped her stop over-drinking and outlined the best way to start taking action now. 

  • Be honest with your doctor

A lot of people feel scared that if they change their relationship with alcohol or share that they need some support with it, that they're going to be labeled or judged or not be able to have fun anymore.

If you do share your issues around over-drinking with your physicians or other medical providers and are met with judgment, find another medical professional to talk to. It is important to be honest with someone you trust. Remember that doctors are there to help you, no matter how you choose to live, and not telling the truth can have serious implications.

  • Be honest with yourself

The first step to tackling over-drinking is gaining awareness of the issue. Be very honest with yourself about what you're doing with alcohol, and how much you're drinking every week. Start being conscious of how and when you're using alcohol. Is it after a long day to help you relax? Is it to numb feelings so you don’t have to think about anything? 

This can help you to identify your drinking patterns more clearly, and you can’t change things unless you see your patterns. Give it a couple of weeks to observe yourself and note things down in whatever way is easy for you. Most importantly, do this without any shame or judgment.

  • Imagine things in a positive way without alcohol 

Visualizations are great for this. Instead of picturing the old scene where you're drinking with all your friends. practice visualizing a different scene. A good exercise for that is just writing it down. What if it was a movie and you wanted to have a different outcome and drink less? What would it look like? Get detailed about it in your journal or in your mind and practice thinking that way and seeing that happen. 

  • Be intentional

Writing out your drink plans can help you decide ahead of time how much you’re going to drink and what kind of drink you’re going to have outside of a 24 hour period. Because when we're in same-day decision making territory, we don't make the best decisions for ourselves. We're acting in response to that pleasure cycle, where our brains want a quick next hit of dopamine.

Angela recommends making an advanced drink plan of at least 24 hours. A weekly drink plan allows you to be really intentional because you can think through your social events and give yourself some space and time to consider.

  • Consider a coach

Having a coach can help you see your drinking patterns more clearly, and how you’re approaching your goals. It also opens yourself up to new ideas that you may not have thought about before. You might know you want to change, but not know how you're going to access that change. Group coaching in particular can create a safe place to explore without judgment.  

As I often say, we can never see our own brain - you need two brains to see it! 

  • Let go of rigidity 

Just like with diet mentality, we often want to seek out the quick fix. When we start to work on our relationship with alcohol or food, it's because we feel so frustrated with ourselves and are almost making those decisions out of desperation. Sometimes that's good to decide that you need to make some changes, but often that comes with extreme thinking. But as we (hopefully!) know, those quick fixes usually work out. So pump the brakes, and be prepared to go slow. 

  • Be willing to sit with your feelings

 Just like trying to understand why you're wanting to snack more, it’s important to understand why you're wanting to drink more. It’s a sign that you’re not dealing with the underlying emotions and using it as an emotional blanket. If you want to make permanent changes and solve this issue, you have to be willing to sit there and see what feelings come up, what's going on in your mind,  and what other needs you are not meeting. A lot of times it is tiredness, exhaustion, stress, overwhelm, and anxiety.

Once you have identified those emotions, you can start introducing some other tools, besides alcohol and food, to process them. This can include setting boundaries with others, making time for yourself each day, or even setting specific times to check emails and texts so you don’t feel constantly bombarded!

More about Angela:

Angela Mascenik, the founder of the Stop Over-drinking and Start Living podcast and numerous stop over-drinking coaching programs for women, is dedicated to helping high-achieving women address the underlying reasons for over-drinking so they can make permanent changes in their relationship with alcohol -- while having FUN doing it!

Angela knows the pain of a life of over-drinking and overeating, and through life coaching, she has dropped the weight permanently, quit drinking, and hasn't looked back.

When Angela isn't coaching other badass women to start living the life of their dreams, she's drinking coffee, running, hanging out with her 3 crazy kids, reading all the latest self-help and business books, traveling, and enjoying her friends.

Connect with Angela

Alive AF! Quarterly Subscription Box: https://aliveafbox.angelamascenik.com/