At Thrivalist, we work with women at all different stages of life, helping them to change their relationship with alcohol and build a wonderful sober life for themselves. From the sober-curious woman in her early 20’s up to the retired grandma in her late 70’s, we support women from all walks of life to change their relationship with alcohol in an empowered way.
Addressing a drinking problem can be a daunting process to begin with and we find that it’s the women in the 55+ age category, who really can’t imagine their life without alcohol because it has been part of their life for so long. The fear of failing at sobriety, and not being able to unwind, celebrate and enjoy retirement fully without alcohol holds so many women in our empty-nester community back from quitting drinking.
When consuming alcohol, the brain releases a huge amount of dopamine, which makes us feel really good for a short period of time. Because dopamine is usually released in response to us partaking in survival activities such as eating, drinking water and having sex, the prehistoric part of our brain, which is known as the Lizard brain and is responsible for initiating cravings for all survival activities, is tricked into believing alcohol is essential to our survival. The Lizard brain is essentially that voice in your head, persuading you to drink, telling you it’s OK just to have ‘one’, when you consciously know you don’t want to drink anymore.
Coming up against this voice is really tough, especially during these times of stress and uncertainty as people are relying on alcohol to self-soothe more than they usually would. And for the lovely ladies who have been stuck in the drinking trap for 20-30 years, reliant on the dopamine kick and the numbing effects of alcohol, it can feel nearly impossible to break the cycle.
But it is not! And it is so worth it.
Breaking the cycle and freeing yourself from the alcohol trap allows you to fully enjoy life, improve your health, feel more vibrant, have more energy and zest for life no matter how old you are. Not only does alcohol negatively impact your mental health, research tells us that unhealthy alcohol consumption increases the risk of numerous cancers, can cause high blood pressure, heart failure or stroke. All of the things you are working so hard to avoid right now.
By stopping, you immediately improve your mental and physical health, and your body starts repairing the damage that alcohol has done to it over the years. You give yourself an opportunity to work on the real issues in your life, rather than just numbing and keeping yourself small. But one of the most beautiful gifts sobriety will give you is that finally the weight of guilt your drinking is causing you will be lifted off your shoulders as you now truly commit yourself to ensuring your retirement years are full true bliss, not artificial and unhealthy highs.
We have worked with so many women in the 55+ age bracket, mainly within our 8-week course, who stopped drinking and found joy again. One of our students in her late 60’s shared with us “I haven’t felt this incredible in years. My retirement days are now filled with connected, present moments with my family, (mainly the grandkids) rather than battling hangovers and alcohol related shame and guilt.”
Another student in her 70’s had gotten to a point before finding Thrivalist, where she wasn’t sure there was any point quitting alcohol anymore. “I really thought there was no hope and no point. How would I relax, sleep, and enjoy life without my beloved wine. I had been using it for nearly 50 years”. As she neared the end of the 8 week course, she shared with us on one of our group coaching calls that she had finally discovered her real values, the things she loved to do and even began a new hobby that brought her so much more joy than alcohol ever did. She was so shocked with how incredible she felt and excited to be the grandmother she had always wanted to be. She told us how grateful she was to have found this now, rather than never at all.
It’s never too late to live the life you truly desire, aligned with who you really are as a person, and doing the things that bring you real, intoxicating joy. Life is too short to waste another moment of it numbing out.