top of page

The MLPC Meets: Brenda Bennett

Meet Brenda Bennett! She is a free-spirited, change-driven ex-corporate bohemian who lives to challenge the status quo and pave a better way forward. Despite her hard-earned success as a Senior Vice President at a large bank, Brenda had always known that corporate life wasn't for her. Ignoring her intuition initially led her down a path of unhealthy coping mechanisms, until she discovered the invaluable methods, teachings, and tools that empowered her to change course at the height of her career and pursue her dharma of helping others heal by teaching them how to develop and trust their own intuition.

When did you start drinking?

I was actually in my second year of college! I was such a rule follower growing up. The first time I drank I felt unstoppable…that high, looking back, should have been a HUGE clue of where alcohol would take me. I drank like most other people in college, but my default was weekend binges. It seemed normal at the time as most other people were going that too. But I had two hospitalizations for alcohol poisoning in my early 20’s. It didn’t make me think as much as I should have and didn’t seem to sound alarms for anyone in my life that should have cared.

How did your drinking escalate over time?

Through my 20’s I continued weekend partying. I met my current husband in my early 30’s and it changed from partying to “cultured” drinking. He turned me onto wine “culture”. We drank with every dinner we prepared together. We drank after dinner while we watched TV or listened to music. We drank the best wine with dinners, hosted big parties where his cooking and my drink choices were the focus. Our vacations were alcohol filled. And it was ALL SO MUCH FUN and I have great memories…until I didn’t.

What was the turning point where you decided to quit drinking?

I knew for a couple of years that things were getting out of control. I had tried to slow down or make rules to follow. In September 2021 though, on my flight home from our annual vacation to Washington for 10 days of hiking and exploring, I knew I needed to be done. I was bloated, exhausted and miserable. I had drank away most of our vacation. I realized that on my hikes in this beautiful part of the world where I should have been so engrossed that I was instead counting the steps until we were done and retracing the route to the closest place to get a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I was literally drinking my life away. I didn’t want to do that any longer.

That was the beginning. I read all the books, did all the research, joined all the groups. I went four months and thought I could “moderate”. The next two years were varying periods of sobriety followed by even lower lows.

On March 8, 2023 I dumped my final glass of Sauvignon Blanc down the drain at 4:00 pm and I have never and will never drink again. Between 2021 and 2023, I did the self-work needed to truly turn into a non-drinker. I explored my habits, my patterns, my WHYS. Through parts work and intuition development I started truly listening to myself and integrating all the parts of myself that were trying to help me (in destructive ways) and I become…self-led into the person I truly always saw myself being in my mind. A non-drinker. And so much more.

What was the hardest part of sobriety?

Seeing myself in situations where I would normally drink and trying to figure out how I would fit there without alcohol. I kept putting off the final date until ANOTHER vacation passed or another event passed where I “needed” to drink. I truly had to walk into my new existence as a non-drinker. No excuses, no more holdouts for a better time. While my husband was supporting, he still drinks. And that was challenging to navigate at first as well. The first six months were white knuckling it…but as events passed and I survived them sober, and I could remember them…I decided I wanted to thrive instead of survive. I learned how to navigate the old situations I would have drank in, replaced old habits and patterns and beliefs and truly walked into the life that I had seen myself living in my mind for so long. I was happy and healthy and finding a new love for life.

How did you start doing the work you're doing now in sobriety?

Quitting drinking gave me the clarity, courage and belief that I could quit my high paying corporate job and chase my dream of helping people. I’d always wanted to be a coach…I have been through so much in my life and have so many tools and experiences and strategies that I know could help others. But while I was still drinking I felt like too much of a fraud to even consider making it my life’s purpose. After I quit, an entire new world opened up to me and I am so excited to be living out making my dream come true.

Any advice for anyone who wants to quit drinking?

Love yourself through the process. Appreciate so much that a part of you wants to make this change and honor the bravery that it takes. Even love the part that has the unhealthy coping mechanism – at one point it was a mechanism that served you or helped you (even if it was misguided). Learn all that you can about what alcohol does to your body…while drinking, of course, but also what it will be like as your system recalibrates back to homeostasis. I found that to be key to giving myself grace, space, patience and the nurturing I needed in the early days. Learn all that you can, find a support system (groups are fabulous to start) and know that it takes time and many starts and stops are absolutely normal. Each time you learn more about yourself.

5 views0 comments