Do you ever need a break from yourself?

I bet this sounds familiar.

From the moment your eyes opened this morning, your brain has been on overdrive. Running through a never-ending to-do list.

It’s not just what you need to get done. It’s also everything you want to improve. Eat better. Exercise more. Figure out your relationship (or lack there of). Finally sign up for that class. Improve. Improve. Improve. There’s so much to do, and you haven’t even stepped out the door.

You push yourself to be the best. Perfect even. Despite always being go, go, go, you’re convinced you might be secretly lazy. Weak-willed. Why else don’t you stick to your plans? If you just worked harder, everything would be better. Right?

Despite always being go, go, go, you’re convinced you might be secretly lazy. Weak-willed. Why else don’t you stick to your plans?

It’s no wonder that by the day’s end all you want to do is take the edge off. You just need a little peace and quiet from the constant chatter in your mind. The nagging self-critic who won’t leave you alone. All you want is to not think for a while. Is that too much to ask?

For so long this was me. I had zero healthy coping mechanisms. Instead I turned to a trusted stand by: a glass of wine.

Why do so many women feel this way?

Women are inundated by messages to improve. Do more. Be better. Fix something (usually ourselves). It’s no wonder that most of us are terrible self-critics and have no clue how to cut ourselves slack. At the end of a long day, many of us turn to alcohol for a little mental relief. But for some of us, it becomes a crutch that we don’t know how to shake.

Women are inundated by messages to improve. Do more. Be better. Fix something (usually ourselves).

The narrative around anyone who struggles with alcohol is clouded with shame. Because of that, we don’t want to admit to anyone—sometimes even ourselves—that we don't like what we’re doing. We’re terrified what it might mean about us.

At the same time, we’re surrounded by black and white explanations of how people use alcohol. Either you’re a “normal” drinker and you have nothing to worry about. Or you should admit that when it comes to alcohol, you’re powerless. If you’re like me, neither of those labels feels right.

There are other ways to think about what you’re dealing with. Ones that don’t involve shame and don’t require labels.