What if…? asks Annie Grace


I started “my” February book. This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness, and Change Your Life by Annie Grace   (Book Notes in draft stage)

I am going to declare myself Annie’s number one fan…at least on February 13, 2017. I am gobbling up everything I can find about the background of this book.  It is fantastic!

I spent today listening to an amazing recording on Home Podcast – Episode 26: Annie Grace.  During the episode there is a brief mention of ….


After the podcast, I googled annie grace returning to a state of non-drinker and clicked open a great review of the book which reminded me that the first line of  Annie’s Introduction is:

What if, by reversing years of unconscious conditioning, you could return to the perspective of a non-drinker? (Grace, p18)

This all really got me thinking back to when I started drinking and what are things I remember in youth that did not have any alcohol involved?  Did I do anything in high school, college, or early adulthood that didn’t have liquor as part of the event? Was every developmental landmark of early adulthood pickled with juice??? (Folding laundry provides a lot of think time and I was at least pleased I could come up with some alcohol-free moments)

Since my brain usually does such an amazing job of remembering every embarrassing, humiliating, shameful, drunken mishap (that wasn’t wiped out in a blackout haze) – I’m going to remind myself of some more positive highlights before age 20.

{Why that age? I think that is really when the wheels started coming off the WAGON….Really says the 53 old mother of three to herself…Honestly…it was probably senior year of high school at age 17 that control was slipping…It has taken 35 years to figure this out}  Merry reflects on all of this with kindness and compassion to herself!

Good Sober Stuff

  • Swimming in the ocean for hours on end with feelings of relaxation and exhilaration
  • Competing in various athletic events and embracing the butterflies and nervous energy
  • High School dances AND proms (not all of them…but some of them sober from start to finish)
  • Summer Camp and all the adrenaline firsts of riding a motorcycle, repelling backward off a mountain edge, jet skiing, running a horse across a field
  • Sorority Rush (it was the Frat parties that “conditioned” my tolerance levels)
  • Bonding with Roommates (we weren’t always partying)
  • Work (it wasn’t until post college that drinking became a networking requirement)
  • Arts, Music, Crafts, Sewing…being creative
  • Reading for pleasure
  • Dating, First Kisses, Break Ups and Heartache (then there were the drunk episodes in this topic…Sober = No Regrets vs. Drunk = Many Regrets)
  • Movies – Double Features
  • Miniature Golf, Bowling, Go-Cart Racing, Chinese Fire Drills, Driving around Town
  • Slumber parties, High School Sports Games (at least until Senior Year of HS)

As I look back at this list, it is full of emotion.  The type of feelings that I used to use alcohol to dim and numb and squash.  Friendships were fierce and intense in junior high and early high school.  The horizon for independence and freedom was in sight…exciting, yet scary.

Was I bored? Scared? I truly don’t think I knew what was sneaking up on me...(but wondering all of those things is for another day.)

For now…

I’m actually experiencing a feeling of giddiness as I realize I can get back to having

….a perspective of a non-drinker!  

Thanks Annie!




6 thoughts on “What if…? asks Annie Grace

  1. We will have to fight for the number one fan title! Her book is amazing and so well researched. I started drinking at 13 so don’t have all that many memories that aren’t tainted by alcohol. I am looking forward to making some though. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Annie (and you) have just described what I’ve been trying to do myself. Remember who I was!! I am so excited that there is a way out. Thank you for sharing this … it’s exactly what I needed to read today.


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