Today we have Amanda White, an amazing therapist who treats anxiety, eating disorders and substance use. Amanda is coming onto the podcast today to talk about her book, Not Drinking Tonight and how we can all have a healthy relationship with alcohol. Amanda White talks about ways you can address your relationship with alcohol, in addition to drugs, social media and other vices. Amanda White also shares her own experience with alcohol use and abuse and her lived-experience with sobriety.
Easiest place to get Amanda’s book with all links amandaewhite.com/book
My therapy practice therapyforwomencenter.com
ERP School: https://www.cbtschool.com/erp-school-lp
This episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit is brought to you by CBTschool.com. CBTschool.com is a psychoeducation platform that provides courses and other online resources for people with anxiety, OCD, and Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors. Go to cbtschool.com to learn more.
Spread the love! Everyone needs tools for anxiety...
If you like Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast, visit YOUR ANXIETY TOOLKIT PODCAST to subscribe free and you'll never miss an episode. And if you really like Your Anxiety Toolkit, I'd appreciate you telling a friend (maybe even two).
This is Your Anxiety Toolkit - Episode 219.
Welcome back, everybody. I am thrilled to have you here with me today. You may notice that the podcast looks a little different. That is on purpose. We have decided to update the cover of the podcast. It now has my face on it. There were a lot of people who had reached out and said that the old podcast cover art looked like a gardening podcast. And I thought it was probably time I updated it. So, that was something that I had created years and years and years ago. And I’m so thrilled to have now a very beautiful new cover art.
Okay. This episode is so, so important. I cannot stress to you how overjoyed I was to have the amazing Amanda White on the podcast. She’s a psychotherapist. She’s on Instagram, under the handle Therapy For Women. She’s so empowering. And she talks a lot about your relationship with substance use, particularly alcohol. But in this episode, we talk about many substances. And this is a conversation I feel we need to have more of because there are a lot of people who are trying to manage their anxiety and they end up using alcohol to cope.
Now, this is a complete shame-free episode. In fact, one of the things I love about Amanda is she really does not subscribe to having to do a 100% sobriety method. She really talks about how you can create a relationship with alcohol based on whatever you think is right. And she has a new book out, which I am so excited that she’s going to share with you all about.
Before we get into the episode, I’d first like to do the review of the week. Here we go.
We have this one from Epic 5000 Cloud 9, and they said:
“This podcast has absolutely changed my life and made my recovery journey feel possible. After completing ERP, I felt lost and confused as to why I did not feel ‘better’. Kimberley has given me so many tools to build my self-compassion, grow my mindfulness skills, manage OCD, and do all the hard things.”
So amazing. I’m so grateful to have you in our community. Epic 5000 Cloud 9. So happy to have you be a part of our little wonderful group of badass human beings. I love it.
Let’s go right over to the show and so you can learn all about Amanda and this beautiful, beautiful conversation. Have a wonderful day, everybody.
Kimberley: Okay. Well, thank you, Amanda, for being here. I’m actually so grateful for you because you’ve actually brought to my attention a topic I’ve never talked about. And so, I’m so happy to have you here. Welcome.
Amanda: Thank you so much for having me, Kimberley. I’m excited to chat with you.
Kimberley: Okay. So, tell me a little bit about you first. Like, who are you? What do you do? What’s your mission?
Amanda: Yeah. So, my name is Amanda White. I am a licensed therapist. You might know me on Instagram from Therapy For Women as my handle. I’m also sober and I’m really on a mission to destigmatize sobriety and destigmatize the idea that you can question your relationship with alcohol. And it’s really why my Instagram page and everything I do isn’t sober only focused because I want it to be something where people who maybe aren’t necessarily sober or haven’t thought about it can, in a safe unstigmatized, unpressured way, also explore their relationship with alcohol. And that is what led me to write a book. And my book is called Not Drink Tonight.
Kimberley: So good. So, I already have so many questions. Why wouldn’t one question their relationship with alcohol? Because what I will bring here is a little culture. I’m Australian.
Amanda: Yeah. I was going to say.
Kimberley: I live in America. The culture around drinking is much different. I have some great friends in England, the culture there is much different. So, do you want to share a little bit about why one wouldn’t maybe question their relationship with drinking?
Amanda: Absolutely. I think I can only speak for America specifically, but I know enough people in England and Australia, too, that there is a culture of drinking is good, drinking is normal. We watch our parents or adults drink when we’re young. We think that’s what makes us an adult. If you look at the media, you look at movies, TV shows, it’s what everyone does when they’re stressed. Women pour themselves a glass of wine. Men pour themselves a bourbon. So, I think that we’re just raised in the society that doesn’t ever question their drinking, because alcohol use is so black and white, where you either are normal and you should drink alcohol and it’s what’s expected, or you’re an alcoholic and you should never drink alcohol. And there isn’t a lot of space in between. So, if someone questions their alcohol use, people assume that they’re an alcoholic.
Kimberley: And so, now let me ask, why would we question our relationship? What was that process like for you? Why would we want to do that? Some people haven’t, I think, even considered it. So, can you share a little bit about why we might want to?
Amanda: Absolutely. I think it isn’t talked about enough of how much alcohol really negatively impacts your mental health. For a while, I know doctors used to talk about there are some heart-healthy benefits of alcohol, which new studies say is not true. There really aren’t any benefits to drinking alcohol in terms of our health. But really, I think especially anxiety and alcohol are so intertwined and people don’t talk about it and don’t think about it. And what I want people to know is when you drink alcohol, it’s a depressant and your brain produces chemicals because your brain always wants to be in homeostasis. So, your brain produces anxiety chemicals, like cortisol and stuff like that, to try to rebalance into homeostasis. And after alcohol leaves your body, those anxiety hormones are still in there and it creates the phenomenon where you end up being more anxious after you drink. There’s other mental health effects too. But I feel like, especially on this podcast, it’s so important that people realize how intertwined alcohol and anxiety is.
Kimberley: Right. You know what’s interesting is I do a pretty good amount of assessment with my patients. But really often, I will have seen them for many months before-- and even though I thought I’ve assessed them for substance use and not even abuse, they will then say and realize like, “I think I’m actually using alcohol more than I thought to manage my anxiety.” And I’m always really shocked because I’m like, “I swore I assessed you for this.” But I think it takes some people time during recovery to start to say like, “Wow, I think there is an unhealthy relationship going here.” Is that the case from what you see or is that more my population?
Amanda: No. Absolutely. Because I think it’s easy to lie to yourself. Maybe not even lie, just like not look at it because again, it’s so normalized because we have an idea in our head of what someone with a problem with alcohol looks like. We don’t consider ourselves to have that problem. But just because we aren’t drinking every day or we’re not blacking out or something like that doesn’t mean that we might not be using it to numb, to cope with anxiety, to deal with stress.
Kimberley: Right. You know what’s funny is I-- this could be my personal or maybe it is a cultural thing because I always want to catch whether it’s an Australian thing or a Kimberley thing, is I remember-- I think hearing, but maybe I misinterpreted as a young child that you’re only an alcoholic if you get aggressive when you drink, and that if you’re a happy drunk, you’re not a drunk. You know what I mean? And that it’s not a bad thing. If it makes you happy and it takes the stress away, that’s actually a good coping. So, I remember learning as a teen of like, oh, you get to question what is an alcoholic and what’s substance abuse and what’s not. So, how would you define substance use versus substance abuse? Or do you even use that language?
Amanda: I mean, yes and no. I use it in terms of it exists, and it is part of the DSM. So, it is in terms of, I do diagnose when needed and things like that. A lot of times though, I think the current narrative and I think people spend so much time trying to figure out if it’s use or misuse, that they miss out on the most important question, which to me is, is alcohol making my life better.
Amanda: And if it’s not, if it’s right-- I have exercises in my book and I talk a lot about like, what are the costs of your drinking, and what are the payoffs? And if it’s costing you a lot or it’s costing you more than it’s bringing to your life, I think that is where you should question it. And I think your life can change. You can go through different things in your life and maybe that’s when you can ebb and flow with your questioning of it, especially people get so obsessed with the idea of whether they’re an alcoholic or not. And the term ‘alcoholic’ is completely outdated. It’s not even a diagnosis anymore. It’s now a spectrum. So, to me, that word is just so outdated and unhelpful to think about really.
Kimberley: Right. And even the word ‘abuse’ has a stigma to it too, doesn’t it?
Amanda: Right. In the DSM, it’s alcohol use disorder and it’s mild, moderate and severe. But it’s wild thinking back. I mean, I was in grad school. Oh my gosh, I’m going to date. I don’t even know how long ago, 10 years ago.
Kimberley: Don’t tell them.
Amanda: A certain amount of time ago, I just remember being in ‘addictions class’ as it was called and we were talking about what is the difference between use and abuse and what makes someone an alcoholic. And I think people also get very attached to being dependent. It means it’s abuse. And it takes a lot to become dependent on alcohol physically. So, we’re just missing out on so many people. I say often, we can question so many things in our life. I’m sure you do too with your clients. I question how their sleep habits interact with their mental health. We talk about how getting outside impacts their mental health, all these different factors. But for some reason with alcohol, which is a drug, we don’t question it or we are not allowed to.
Kimberley: Right. Yes. I will address this for the listeners, is I think with my clients, one of the most profound road, like if we come to the edge of the road and we have to decide which direction, the thing that really gets in the way is if I put a name to it, then I have to stop. And that can be, a lot of times, they won’t even want to bring it up – be in fear of saying, well, like you were saying before, is that meaning now-- as soon as I admit to having a problem, does that mean I’m in AA? Is it black and white? I think that there’s so much fear around what it means once we really define whether it’s helpful or problematic. That can be a scary step. What are your thoughts?
Amanda: Yeah, I completely agree. And that’s why I really believe in looking at it as a spectrum, especially I think about disordered eating, right? It’s like, we know that based on studies, if someone engages in disordered eating, they’re more likely to develop an eating disorder. So, in my book, I coined this term ‘disorder drinking’ and how I really think we need that term where people can-- it makes the barrier to question your relationship with alcohol much lower, where I find in my practice because I work with a lot of people with eating disorders. People are very open about saying, “Yeah, I’m maybe engaging in some unhealthy, disordered eating. I don’t know.”
But there’s a whole step there before maybe you recognize that you have an eating disorder, where I really think that that is what we need with alcohol. We need to be able to talk about how, like, yeah, most of us in college engage in disordered drinking. It’s not super healthy, the way that we drink. Or we may go through a period of time in our life because we’re super stressed or something’s going on, where we engage in that. And that doesn’t mean that you have, for sure, a substance use disorder or you’re addicted or you have to never drink again. But I think it’s important to recognize when we start to fall into that so we can change that pattern.
Kimberley: Right. Particularly with COVID. I mean, alcohol consumption is, I think, doubled or something like that in some country. And I think too, I mean, when we’re struggling with COVID that we have less access to good tools and less access to social. So, people are relying on substances and so forth. Yeah. So, what is this solution? There you go. Tell me all your answers. What is their options? How might somebody move into this conversation with themselves or with their partner or with their therapist? What are the steps from here, do you think?
Amanda: Yeah. So, I think that the first step is to try to take a break. I think 30 days is a good starting point. A lot of times, if people just start off by cutting back, they don’t really get any of the positive feel-good benefits of taking a break, which is why I recommend starting with taking a break first. Obviously, I believe in harm reduction. And if you are in a place where you can’t take a break, moderation is definitely a good tool and better than nothing.
Kimberley: Can you tell what harm reduction, for those who don’t know what that means?
Amanda: Yeah. So, harm reduction is the idea that rather than focusing on completely eliminating a behavior or especially completely eliminating a substance is we think about cutting back on that. And I think about specifically, if someone is in an abusive situation, if someone has a lot of trauma going on and alcohol is the one thing that’s keeping them afloat, that to me is like, of course, I’m not going to say you must quit cold turkey or something like that. And even if you’re talking about, alcohol is very dangerous to physically detox from if you are drinking every day, which a lot of people don’t know. In those cases, yeah, it’s really important to get support and detox in a safe environment.
Kimberley: Right. Okay. So, sorry I cut you off. Take a break--
Amanda: No, it’s okay. Yeah. So, that’s what harm reduction is. But yeah, in general, I recommend starting with taking a 30-day break, seeing how that goes, see how your health improves, see how your anxiety might be reduced and improved. And really to me, the goal is to learn how to live your life without being dependent on alcohol. Because if we can’t process our emotions, set boundaries, socialize, go on dates, whatever, without the help of alcohol, we never really have freedom of choice over drinking or not drinking because we need it on some level. So, my whole goal is for people to learn how to do some of those skills so that they don’t have to rely on alcohol, and then they can use alcohol in a healthier way for celebrating or in a way that positively impacts their life and they don’t use it as a crutch.
Kimberley: So, that’s so helpful. I’m pretty well-versed in this, but I wouldn’t say I’m a specialist. So, I’m really curious. So, if somebody is using alcohol or any other substance to manage their anxiety, would you teach them skills before they take the break so that they have the skills for the break or would you just start to take the break and then pick up what gets lost there? What might be some steps and what skills may you teach them?
Amanda: I think it’s a bit of both. I think if you only teach skills before, someone might never take the break, which is fine. But I think if you are only teaching the skills, a lot of times, the skills, I think that’s really good to start before you take the breaks. You can learn how to start dealing with your emotions maybe without drinking, for example. But some of the other stuff like going to a party, without drinking is something where if you don’t actually take that step, it’s probably unlikely that you’re ever going to do it until you’ve pushed yourself to take that break. But in general, yeah. I mean, I think one of the most important ones is learning how to cope with your emotions. People use alcohol all the time, especially alcohol becomes a way to deal with loneliness, to deal with stress, to deal with sadness. And I think--
Kimberley: Social anxiety is a big one.
Amanda: Social anxiety. Absolutely. And I think a lot of us literally don’t know how to process an emotion, say no, set that boundary, take care of themselves on a basic level without drinking. So, those are some of the skills I think are really important to learn.
Kimberley: I mean, yeah. And for a lot of the folks that I see because their anxiety is so high, would you say they’re using it to top off that anxiety to try and reduce it? In the case where if you’re not drinking, you’re having high states of anxiety. Is there any shifts that you would have them go through besides general anxiety management?
Amanda: I think the example I’m thinking of is maybe social anxiety. If there’s a specific instance, right? I know you talk about this a lot on Instagram, like exposures can really, really help with reducing anxiety. And I think there are steps that you can take that are small if you have a lot of social anxiety about going to a party and not drinking, for example, and you’re relying on alcohol to deal with going to a party. I mean, some of the things off the top of my head I can think about are like driving to the place where the party is before it happens, talking to someone who is going to be at the party – taking these small steps to desensitize yourself to it so you can build up your tolerance before you go. Or maybe you go, if this is the first year and you only stay for a short period of time, rather than going from nothing to expecting yourself to go and have fun and stay at the whole party the whole time.
Kimberley: Right. What was your experience, if you don’t mind sharing? What were those 30 days like, or can you share it, put us in your shoes for a little bit?
Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. So, I struggled a lot with an eating disorder and I kept relapsing in my eating disorder when I would drink. And I had said to my therapist at the time, “I think that I might have a problem with alcohol. I don’t know.” And she recommended me do those 30 days. And it was really hard for me. I didn’t actually make it to the first 30 days when I originally tried because I was so afraid of the pushback of friends, of people asking me why, of not being able to be fun. A huge part of my identity at that time was all wrapped up in what people thought of me and going out and being the fun, crazy one.
Kimberley: Yeah. And it’s interesting how the different experience, because I too had an eating disorder. But my eating disorder wouldn’t let me drink.
Kimberley: That would be letting go of control, and what if I binge, and what if I ingest too many calories? So, it’s funny how different disorders play out in different ways. It was actually an exposure for me to drink. What we quote, I think I’d heard so many times “empty calories” or something. So, that was a different exposure for me of that. But I can totally see how other people, of course again, it does-- I mean, I think that this is interesting in your book, you talk about the pros and the cons. It does make it easier to be in public. It does “work” in some settings until it doesn’t.
Amanda: Exactly. And I think that’s so important to normalize and it’s part of why I wrote my book because there aren’t many books that are, you’ll get this as a therapist. I can think of many different situations where, like you said, I wouldn’t tell a client, “You should absolutely stop drinking,” because everything is unique. So, I really wanted to write a book that took into account different things and really led the reader through their own journey where they get to discover it for themselves because while there’s amazing books out that I love, there aren’t a ton that talk about this gray area, drinking, this middle lane, this truth that a lot of times you can feel lonely when you don’t drink because you’re left out of certain things. And that can cause more anxiety. So, we have to navigate all of that.
Kimberley: Yeah. It’s interesting too, and I don’t know if I’m getting this research correct. And maybe I’m not, but I’ll just talk from an experiential point. It’s similar with cigarettes, I think. There is something calming about holding the wine glass. Even if it’s got lemonade in it, for me, there’s something celebratory about that. And so, the reason I bring that up is, is that a part of the options for people? Is to explore the areas? It’s funny, I remember my husband many years ago that we talk about cigarettes, because he works in the film industry, and he would say, “The people who smoke cigarettes are the ones who actually get a break because they have to leave set and they get to go outside and sit on something and breathe and have a moment to themselves. If you don’t smoke, you’re lazy if you take a break.” And so, is that a part of it for you in terms of identifying the benefits and bringing that into your life? Like, I still now drink sparkling cider or something, an alcoholic in old champagne glass. My kids are always joking about it. Is that a part of the process?
Amanda: Absolutely. And that’s something that I completely agree with you. I think sometimes we don’t even want an alcoholic beverage. We want a moment. We want a break. We want a feeling different or celebratory, which is why we take out the wine glass that isn’t a regular glass, something like that. And that is why I really believe, I mean, it depends on the person. And sometimes if someone has more severe drinking a non-alcoholic beverage initially could be something that’s triggering for them. But I am a big believer too. And yeah, put it in a fancy glass. If you enjoy a mocktail, drink something different than water, you can explore different options. And I think some people are really surprised at how much it’s not actually about the drink sometimes, it’s the ritual of making a drink or the ritual of using that special glass, or the ritual of drinking something that isn’t water.
Kimberley: Right. Yes. Or even just the ritual of the day ending. I always remember, my parents would be five o’clock, right? And at five o’clock they would have the-- this is a big family tradition, is at five o’clock, you’d bring out the cheese and the crackers and the grapes and the wine. And it was the end of the day. And so, I could imagine, if someone said, “We’re going to take that away,” you’d be like, “No, that’s how I know the day is over. That’s how I move from one thing to the other.” And sometimes we do think black and white. It means you have to take the whole cheese platter away as well, right?
Amanda: Absolutely. We can get almost in our heads of maybe we think we’re more dependent on that cheese platter or the wine or whatever, without realizing that what we really like about it is the ritual.
Kimberley: Yeah. So, you can share it or not, how does your life look now? And for your clients, give me maybe some context of what do people arrive at once they’ve been through this process and how might it be different for different people.
Amanda: Totally. So, I’m completely sober. I don’t drink alcohol. I’ve been sober for seven years. And in terms of how the process looks for me, I drink mocktails. I drink out of wine glasses sometimes. I love going to a bar and seeing sometimes if there’s an alcohol-free option on a menu, I think that’s really fun. And for me initially, when I was thinking about this and working on it, like I said, it was very tied to my eating disorder.
But the biggest thing for me is I used to think, well, I can’t totally stop drinking because that’s black and white, and that’s not freedom. Freedom is being able to decide. And I think what is different and unique compared to an eating disorder, for example, is that alcohol is addictive, right? Unlike food, it is an addictive substance that we can live without. And for me, I used to, or for me, I don’t have to think about it if I don’t drink. When I was trying to moderate, it was a lot of decision fatigue. It’s like, “What am I going to drink? How much am I going to drink? When will I stop? Am I going to drink too much?” It was all of these decisions. And freedom for me now actually is just not drinking and not thinking about if I’m going to drink or not.
So what my life looks like now is I’m sober, I’ve been sober for seven years. I enjoy going out to restaurants and getting alcohol-free drinks and things like that. And I used to be really worried that that was too reductive, that I was too black and white if I just said I wanted to be sober. But the truth is unlike food, alcohol is an addictive substance. When you have one alcoholic beverage, it does create a thirst for itself for most of us.
So, for me, the freedom is actually not worrying about whether I’m going to drink or not. It’s so exhausting for some people, myself included, to be constantly thinking about how much you’re going to drink, if you’re going to drink, when you’re going to drink, what you’re going to drink. And now, the real freedom for me is I don’t drink. I don’t think about it. And that’s the freedom because-- sorry, I just got caught up in what I was saying.
Kimberley: No, I think that that is so beautiful. As you were saying it, I was thinking about me in a Fitbit. I will never be able to wear a Fitbit. Because as soon as I know, I could wear it for day-ish. And day two, I’m all obsessive and compulsive. I just know that about myself. And some people can wear it and be fine, and I can never wear a Fitbit. I just can’t. My brain goes very, like you said, on how many? More or less, what’s happening? And so, I love that you’re saying that, is really knowing your limits and whether it’s-- the Fitbit, it’s not actually the problem, but the Fitbit is what starts a lot of problematic behaviors that I know is just not helpful for me.
Amanda: Yes. And I think it’s important to recognize there are factors that make us more likely to be able to moderate successfully or not, right? The amount of alcohol you’ve drank throughout your life, your past drinking habits, whether you have a history of addiction in your family or substance use, whether you have trauma, whether you have anxiety, all of these things might make it more difficult for you to moderate compared to someone else.
Kimberley: Right. I don’t know if this is helpful for our listeners, but I went sober. My husband and I did for the first year of COVID. What was interesting is then I got put on a medicine where I wasn’t allowed to drink and I felt offended by this medicine because I was like, “But you’re taking my choices away.” And so, I had to go back. Even though I’d made the choice already, I’d had to go back and really address this conversation of like, “Okay, why does that feel threatening to you” and to look at it because a part of me wanted to be like, “No, I’m going to start drinking now just because they told me I’m not allowed.” So, it’s so funny how our brain gets caught up on things around drinking and the rules and so forth. So, I didn’t think of it that way until you’d mentioned it.
Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that that can be why people rebel against “I’m not an alcoholic” mindset instead of it being a choice, instead of it being “My life is better without drinking.” I often say, my drinking was like Russian roulette. A lot of times it was fine when I drank, but the times where it wasn’t fine, I was not willing to put up with it anymore. And I don’t know whether I could drink successfully or not, but it’s not a risk that I’m willing to take. And it’s not worth it compared to all the benefits that I have from sobriety. And because of that, it really feels like an empowering choice.
Kimberley: Yeah. My last question to you before we hear more about you is, what would you say to the people who are listening, who aren’t ready to have the conversation with themselves about whether it’s helpful or not? I think I learn in a master’s grade the stages of change. You’re in a pre-contemplation stage where you’re like, “I’m not even ready to contemplate this yet.” Do you have any thoughts for people who are so scared to even look at this?
Amanda: Yeah. For people who maybe are in that pre-contemplation, not sure if they want to do the deeper work to question their relationship with alcohol, what I would recommend to them is start by just trying to reduce some of their alcohol intake. They don’t have to stop drinking. They don’t have to even think about whether it’s serving them or not, but there are so many amazing alcohol-free beverages that exist now. I mean there’s alcohol-free beers and wines and all kinds of things. And you could just try swapping one of your alcoholic beverages with that when you go out or at home and just see how that makes you feel.
Kimberley: Yeah. It’s a great response in terms of like, it is. It could be. Would you say that’s more of the harm reduction model?
Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. Or someone who’s not ready or really interested in the big conversation. That’s one of the reasons I really support and like the alcohol-free beverages and stuff like that because it gives people, I think, an easier way to step into it. And sometimes even realizing too, like alcohol-free beverages can taste really good compared to the beverage that has alcohol in it. So, you’re not drinking this for the taste.
Kimberley: Exactly. Sometimes when I have drunk alcohol, I’m like, why am I even drinking this? It’s not delicious.
Amanda: It’s true.
Kimberley: It’s not delicious. I love that you say that about-- I think one of the wins of the world is they are creating more, even just the bottles and the look of them are much nicer than the general or dual looking kind of bottles, which I think is really cool. I love this conversation, and thank you so much for bringing it to me because I do really believe, particularly in the anxiety field, we are not talking about it enough. So, I’m so grateful for you.
Amanda: Absolutely. I’m so glad that I got to chat about it because, yeah, the anxiety connection is huge.
Kimberley: Yeah. Tell me about your book and all about you. Where can people find you?
Amanda: Yeah. So, my book comes out on January 4th. It’s called Not Drinking Tonight. And 2022, because this is out.
Amanda: Sorry if I messed up.
Kimberley: No, no it’s good. So, for people who are listening on replay, it will be out as of 2022.
Amanda: Yeah. It’s called Not Drinking Tonight: A Guide to Creating a Sober Life You Love. It is broken up into three different sections so that you can learn in the first section why you drink, and I go into evolutionary psychology and trauma and shame. In the second part, it’s about reparenting yourself or the tools that you need to stay stopped. So, I talk about boundaries and self-care and all of the things, emotional health, how we take care of our emotions. And then in the last section, I talk about moderation, relapsing, the overlap of alcohol use and other substances or ways we numb. So, really though my book is structured around alcohol. I talk a lot about eating disorders, perfectionism, workaholism, other drugs, because I think a lot of it is the same in that sense.
Amanda: So yeah. And you can find me on Instagram at Therapy For Women, or my website is amandaewhite.com.
Kimberley: Amazing. Thank you so much. It’s so great to actually have a conversation with you face to face. Well, as face to face as we can be. So, thank you so much.
Amanda: Thank you. This was so great.
Okay. And before we get going, I’m sure you got so much out of that episode. Before we get going onto your week, I wanted to share the “I did a hard thing.” This one is for on Paula, and she said:
“I started ERP School earlier this year. While looking into my OC cycle, I was surprised to find out that I had some overt compulsions. I thought they were mostly mental. And that’s when I figured out I had a BFRB. My loved ones had commented on my hair pulling in the past, but I didn’t realize how compulsive it could be. I watched Kimberley’s webinar on BFRBs, and I got inspiration to be creative. I tried to use hand lotion, so it would make my hands sticky and demotivate hair pulling. I also got a fidget toy to keep my hands occupied whenever I felt like pulling. But what worked best was you using a transparent elastic band to tie up the two strands I used to pull. It’s perfect because it creates a physical barrier to pulling, but also a sensory reminder. If my fingers feel the band, I can say to myself, “Oh, the band, that feels different.” And because I’m trying to make a change, way to go me. Thank you, Kimberley, for all the amazing work you do.”
So guys, this is amazing. If you didn’t know, if you go to CBT School, we have a free training for people with BFRBs. If you have OCD, we have a free training for people with OCD. So, head on over to CBT School, and you can get all of the cool resources there.
Have a wonderful day, everybody. And thank you so much for the “I did a hard thing.” That was so cool. I was not expecting that, Paula. Congratulations! You are doing definite hard things.
Have a wonderful day, everybody.