When Rita Wilson’s Ted Talk Meets The Primed Drinker
Omg!! From about 9 minutes, Rita’s message could have been an excerpt from The Primed Drinker.
Rita doesn’t mention she has any history with alcohol concerns. But I don’t coach and teach about addiction either.
I think that’s what made Rita’s message so surprising to me because it’s so in line with The Primed Drinker’s message.
I was faced with the realization when I got sober seventeen years ago that I drank because I felt trapped and hopeless and stayed sober by never settling for what is and keep entertaining, what else?
I’ve been coaching that misusing alcohol is born from an unspoken or unidentified need that’s not being met for nearly a decade.
And I have been adamant for even longer that not all alcohol concerns should be funneled into the same conclusion (chronic brain disease) and rely on the traditional protocol that’s damn near impossible to avoid.
THE PRIMED DRINKER CASE STUDY
One of the case studies in The Primed Drinker is, Susan. Her story demonstrates Rita’s message perfectly.
“…Susan was a homemaker and mother of two young kiddos. She was articulate and decisive. She was trying so hard to be accepting and happy with the life she designed, but lots were going on inside. When I asked her what she wanted, and she grappled for the right words, she said what so many women do: “I have everything I could want. A great husband, healthy and happy kids, a nice home in a fantastic neighborhood.” When she continued, “How could I want anything more?” I could almost feel the relief she felt finally letting those words free. And then, there it was. I saw it, but it wasn’t recognizable to her-yet. She felt guilty for wanting anything more than she had been blessed with. As decent human beings of the female persuasion in modern society, we strive for three basic things:
And sometimes these intentions lead us astray. We overcompensate to the point of causing harm.
Here’s what I mean.
- In the attempt to be grateful, we don’t allow ourselves to want for anything, but we feel a nagging for something more. RESULT: Guilt.
- In the attempt to be positive, when we feel pissed off, we stuff it down. RESULT: Resentment.
In an attempt to be strong, we never let them see our hurt or pain. RESULT: Shame…” excerpt — The Primed Drinker
So many women have no idea. They move through their seemingly perfectly designed life uncomfortably numb, often misusing alcohol.
“What do you want?”
It’s the question that can unlock so many undiscovered truths, broken dreams, stuffed down desires.
WHAT DO YOU WANT
“Identify What You Want
What do you want? is a very powerful question. In fact, it’s the first and last question I ask when working with clients. And when I meet a woman who wants reassurance that her drinking is not a problem, I ask it then, too.
Do you know what you want? Really want? The problem is, if you’re not clear, you’re likely to drift aimlessly into whatever comes across your path. And when you don’t know what you want, you’re more likely to settle for the so-so mate or job, or life-and only do what you have to do to get by.
Essentially, not knowing what you want means you simply survive. You go through the motions without any intention, meaning, or purpose.
If you want to take control of your drinking, this will never do.
Because here’s the thing: Getting by or settling is often the crux of misusing alcohol.
Let me say that again, in another way, your passive approach to life might be the reason why alcohol is an issue for you. OK, now is when you might be saying things like:
“My life isn’t so bad.”
“A lot of people have it much worse.”
“I should be happy.”
“I designed this life. How dare I ask for more?”
Remember Susan? This all may be true. But if you have to reason with yourself that your life is okay… that’s not living.” — excerpt The Primed Drinker
Women need to hear this message.
Women need to understand they are not broken.
Women need to know that they are not alone.
And if they are misusing alcohol, they need to read The Primed Drinker to avoid being misdiagnosed with alcohol use disorder and shoehorned into a one-size-fits-all system that may cause more harm than good.
Please help me get The Primed Drinker into the hands of those who feel trapped and misusing alcohol to medicate in order to tolerate their lives.
They can learn how to avoid getting swept up in the alcoholisms.
“I was not even a year sober when I found myself without a program. No sponsor, no meeting, no steps, and no other support. Since the age of twelve, I hadn’t done “sober.” And all I knew was what I had been told repeatedly, the alcoholisms:
- I have a disease called alcoholism.
- My disease is going to tell me I don’t have a disease.
- My disease is incurable and getting stronger, no matter how long I abstain.
- I must work the 12 steps, go to AA meetings, and have a sponsor forever or I’ll get drunk and kill myself or someone else.
For months, I feared I’d be overcome by a sudden compulsion to drink that I wouldn’t be able to deny. I wasn’t going to meetings, and I waited for the demonic possession that would claim my mind, my body, and my choices. I knew I wouldn’t be able to control myself because that’s what everybody said. But there was no possession. No compulsion to drink. Day after day after day, I remained in control. Weeks turned into months and then years.” — excerpt The Primed Drinker
WE ARE NOT DONE
Bottom line. We are not done. We were designed to continue to learn, grow, and become until we no longer have breath in us.
It’s when we stop exploring and experimenting with life that we feel the need to numb the pain of feeling, “Is this all there is?”
So, just as Rita asks in her Ted Talk, I ask you now,
What do you want?