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Extinction Is Just the Beginning

Jun 20, 2023

Recently I was chatting with Karen and she said something so simple that I found to be so true, she said:  "Extinction is just the beginning." 

☝️ BTW, extinction does not necessarily mean abstinence but true FREEDOM from problem drinking and a sense of total regained control. You can learn more about extinction with this video here.

Recently I've been somewhat surprised as I've been going through some tough personal things in life (like we all do) – and even though I'm 5 years post extinction – and 6 years post TSM – I realize that I'm still healing from the reasons why I drank so much. 

Well, on second thought – maybe not so much the reasons "why" I drank  (because I drank for any reason pre-TSM) but the reasons that allowed me to so easily fall into AUD tendencies. 🍷🔄

But, despite these personal challenges – I think what always amazes me in these "post extinction" years of life is that alcohol isn't even on my radar as something to turn to during difficult times.

The desire is just non-existent. 🤷‍♀️

And, even right now as I write this I am pausing to genuinely consider it as a "solution" to cope – asking myself, "Would a drink make me feel better right now?" 

And my immediate answer is "no" because it simply doesn't register in my brain. 🧠 It's like the whole memory of my 10-year relationship with alcohol has been erased.

If I did this exercise pre-TSM – ie, asking myself if a drink would make me feel better – it would have been a "HECK YES" followed by obsessive thoughts and cravings until I got my hands on anything that contained alcohol.

But now....nothing.

Where did the addiction go?! LOL.

Of course, this certainly was not an overnight fix. 

It was a process through TSM of gradually teaching myself new ways to cope – and taking baby steps to "strengthen my coping muscle" 💪 over time as I learned to become more and more resilient.

Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.


I see now so clearly how alcohol weakened my coping muscle as it became my go-to crutch for all my emotional needs.

Looking back on this whole experience, I can say a few things with total sincerity:

  • With practice and persistence on TSM – anyone can strengthen their coping muscle and break the habit of turning to alcohol to cope
    • It gets easier the more you do it
  • This process can feel terrifying especially if alcohol has been your BFF for years or decades....
    • It gets easier the more you do it
  • It's extremely uncomfortable to feel feelings completely raw and sober the first several times you do it
    • It gets easier the more you do it
  • It can be done with baby steps – one moment, one tough emotion or one difficult life circumstance at a time – but, consistency is key 🗝️
    • It gets easier the more you do it
  • AND – the more you practice this – the more you get to know your TRUE self on a whole new level 💗🤩
  • AND – there is true freedom, personal growth and self efficacy in becoming a person who doesn't rely on any substance to cope 🙌 You can truly become RESILIENT

When I look back on my years of turning to alcohol to numb out – I always get this sense that by doing that – I was simply "abandoning myself" in some way. I just couldn't bear to be with my thoughts or emotions so I had to gulp down alcohol to escape reality as quickly as I could.

At least that was how my personal relationship with alcohol worked.

And, perhaps this is something we all go through in one way or another with AUD.... because as humans we LOVE what's comfortable and familiar – even if it's harmful for our wellbeing.

But I really believe if we can get a glimpse into a life that is free from this vicious cycle by coming back to ourselves (even just in little ways) over and over again – without abandoning ourselves – there's so much waiting for us on the other side. 🌈

Believe me when I say, if I can do it – so can you.




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