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What To Do When You Feel Shame?

What To Do When You Feel Shame?

We are humans.

And, by nature, humans are not perfect.

Humans make mistakes.

We do things that we wish we didn’t.

This goes for every human.  No exceptions.

We get stuck in certain patterns of being and doing that we can’t seem to find the way out of.

Like with our drinking.

We can feel helpless.

And powerless once we start drinking.

We feel shameful about not being able to stop and about who we are.

We compare ourselves to others who seem to have no problem with stopping.

Our shame makes us feel like we are bad humans.

It makes us feel diminished and unworthy.

Hanging on to the shame does not allow us to embrace our humanness and make the necessary changes to move forward.

Shame leads to more of the same.

A continued pattern of drinking.

How do we break the shame?

With acceptance of it and with self compassion.

We can choose to accept that we are a human that has learned and practiced over-drinking.

And we can bring in self compassion for our trained behavior.

Embracing self compassion moves us into a place of peace.

We make peace with what is.

Full acceptance and self compassion open us up to move into taking action.

Making a change that enhances the new script of our brain.

Your journey to cutting back may need to start with a hefty dose of self compassion.

In love and health,

Sherry

Sherry Price, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, APh

As an accomplished pharmacist, business owner, wife and mother, I used wine as the way to relax at night and to cope with the day’s stress.  When drinking that first glass of wine, I immediately felt relief and began to relax.  My anxiety level came down.  And the day seemed better.

But, I started to desire more wine to achieve the same effect.

One glass became 2……then 3……then more…..on most days.  And then daily.

The mornings became unpleasant and my sleep was not restful.  I gained weight and made poor food choices when I drank.  I tried to cut back over and over; only to white knuckle it for a few days until I gave in and started right back up again.  I still desired it.   It seemed impossible to cut back.  My willpower didn’t last.  And I craved the relief and pleasure the wine brought.

All of the programs I knew about focused on an all-or-nothing approach.  Abstinence programs.  Treatment centers.  Meetings.  Declaring a problem.  Sponsors.  That wasn’t for me.

I didn’t want to stop drinking.  I just wanted to be a normal drinker.  And to not think about drinking so darn much. 

I needed a solution.  With my pharmacy training, I understood the biology and how the brain works, the neurotransmitters involved, and how the wiring of the brain occurs.   I desperately wanted to figure this out.  Through my life coach training and additional courses, I have created tools where I blend the science and the behavioral application to cut back on drinking permanently.

By Suzanne Soliman

Dr. Suzanne Soliman earned her PharmD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004. She then completed a residency in primary care with an emphasis on education at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and a teaching fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Suzy worked as a clinical pharmacist, a medical science liaison and national field team educator prior to becoming an Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. She most recently was an Associate Dean at Touro College of Pharmacy New York and an independent pharmacy owner.

Suzy has 75 publications and has presented at numerous national meetings. She is a Rufus A. Lyman
award recipient which is granted for the best manuscript published in the American Journal of Pharmacy Education. Suzy has served as a medical expert on a number of pharmacy issues and has been a reviewer for Annals of Pharmacotherapy and Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. She has been quoted in “Crain”, “Chicago Business Magazine” and “Time Out Chicago”. Currently, she is the Chief Academic Officer for the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs (ACMA). Her areas of interest are assessment and development of medical affairs professionals.

Suzy loves spending time with her husband and children, cooking, baking and eating!! She recently
started working out and is addicted to the “barre”. For years, she struggled between work/life balance and the support from the Pharmacist Moms Group has really helped her. Ultimately finding that balance is something she works on each day. She tries to live by one of her favorite quotes by Rumi: “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor”