yours, mine & ours: our relationship with alcohol

Can you imagine going the rest of your life without alcohol? The rest of this year? How about this month?


“Imagine what this means for you. No more hangovers, no more forgotten conversations, no more mystery receipts. Your dinner bills are less than half of what they used to be, you get your Sundays back, you don’t hook up with people you otherwise wouldn’t. Your depression lessens, your anxiety lessens, and your self-worth and self-confidence finally have room to grow. Your skin is better, your liver is better, and you stop having to wonder if you’re drinking slower or faster than everyone at the table. You are no longer stuck in the fraud that everyone around you is stuck in—you are free.”

Holly Whitaker, Quit Like A Woman, p. 165

That could be you, if you decide to live alcohol-free or mostly alcohol free.

I don’t buy most of my books new. In fact, one of my favorite places to purchase is at a thrift store. Books are even cheaper than places like Half Price Books and I always find it endearing to be holding a book that was held by another.

Anyway, one thrifty day I found a book I’d seen on Instagram — Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker. Honestly it sounds like it’s about quitting your job which would be, like, equally as cool.

It’s not. It’s about the “radical choice to not drink in a culture obsessed with alcohol.” We love a descriptive subtitle.

I was intrigued. I have been evaluating my relationship with alcohol for a couple of years now ever since the pandemic when happy hours got earlier and earlier and I resorted to regularly drinking alone.

I continue to be in my healing girl era, so I picked up the book.

Today I write with my takeaways. Please do not only read this post. Please pick up a copy of Quit Like A Woman!

Holly says (and I agree), “You will never look at drinking the same way again.”

TAKEAWAY 1: Alcohol? More like ethanol.

We could ease into this but we’re not going to: Alcohol is literal poison. In every kind of alcohol, there’s poisonous, addictive chemicals and ingredients.

Holly explains it better, but this quote on page 27 sums it up: “…we drink—for fun—the same thing we use to make rocket fuel, house paint, antiseptics, solvents, perfumes, and deodorants, and to denature (i.e., take away the natural properties of, or kill) living organisms.”

I pretty much entirely digress.

I mean, we all know alcohol isn’t great for us. But did you know it’s not even GOOD for us?

It fucks up your sleep, your mental health, your liver, your gut, your body’s detoxification, your skin, your brain, your blood sugar balance, your weight.

Plus, did you know that women who drink three alcoholic beverages a week have a 15 percent higher risk of breast cancer???????

Fuck, people! We’ve been duped.

TAKEAWAY 2: Whether you like it or not, you’ve been influenced

We like alcohol because we were designed (manipulated) to like it… by capitalism. By Big Alcohol. Remember hearing all about how cigarettes were marketed? Yeah, the term is engineered consent — and alcohol products are the same, if not worse.

Engineered consent is a tactic used by men in board rooms to trick consumers into thinking they’re choosing a product because they *like* it, or least because it’s their choice, not because they were manipulated to like it.

Anyway, Holly goes into some intense details of this point which, as a comms and PR person, I find fascinating. You have that to look forward to!

TAKEAWAY 3: Recovery myths abound

SO. MANY. THOUGHTS. around this takeaway. It should probably be 50 takeaways. If my points below don’t make a lot of sense, just know that that’s on purpose. Because I want you to read the book.

  • Mainstream recovery (AA) was not created for women. Or any marginalized identity.
  • There’s not one path to recovery (@AA).
  • Masculine-centric recovery says YOU are the problem, not the substance or system. YOU could not handle this addictive substance marketed to you in all of the ways and one that’s the cornerstone of the culture in this country. And that’s your problem. So YOU must follow a rigid set of rules, including 100% abstinence.
  • Feminine-centric recovery (which exists) recognizes that the system and the substance is the problem, not YOU.

I want to make sweeping changes to my lifestyle, but if I’ve learned anything from the book, it’s that healing comes from little changes across your whole life.

I haven’t yet made the call to never drink again but I’ve been examining and considering and talking to people and judging some people too (separate post????)

I would love to talk more! Slide into my DMs on Instagram if you want to chat.

In the meantime, make sure to order your copy of Quit Like A Woman (not sponsored) and tag me!

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