My Story

How I went from being a partying teenager, to a single mom, to a successful businesswoman, to a breast cancer survivor, to finally breaking free from alcohol at age 65!

By Laurie Norris

As I sit and ponder what exactly should go into My Story, the question that keeps popping into my head is “When did alcohol become my best friend?”

Because it wasn’t always that way. I can recall vividly going through life in my 20s and 30s, from one partying event to another, when it wasn’t a concern; rather, it was a “normal” part of life, a “normal” part of growing up. Right?

I mean, after all, as a child, I witnessed my parents, after coming home from their respective workdays, ritually pouring themselves a “highball” every night. I honestly grew up thinking that this is just what you do as a grown-up.

So naturally when booze became available at high school parties, I didn’t hesitate to join in. And, boy, did I join in—vivid memories of sneaking into the house late at night, grabbing a bowl to keep under my bed, just in case, and many a night driving home when I shouldn’t have been. I still to this day believe I had an angel on my shoulder protecting me, because I certainly pushed the envelope many a time and feel so grateful that things turned out okay, being the stupid teenager that I was.

Fast-forward several decades.

A divorce under my belt; single mom to an amazing boy who’s venturing off to college, thus becoming an empty-nester; having established a successful home-based business that was thriving, yet occupying most of my lieu of any kind of social life.

And THAT, I would say, was the beginning of my close and intimate relationship with my new “best friend,” good ol’ alcohol.

I mean, let’s face it, this “friend” was always there when I needed it, was my stress reliever, was my confidant, was my go-to whenever I felt sad or depressed, and was my plus-one whenever I felt like celebrating! It checked all the boxes. It was a miracle elixir that covered all bases. Who needs real, live people when I’ve got this companion keeping me company 24/7?!

At least this is what I believed.

Over what seemed like overnight, but in reality was years in the making, it got to a point where I no longer recognized who it was looking back at me in the mirror. I’d gained around 70 pounds, my skin and hair were both lackluster, and my eyes...oh, my eyes. Puffy, watery...just lifeless, is how I’d describe them. Energy was gone, motivation was gone, zest for life was gone.

I just...didn’ About anything.

Then came the health issues.

The scariest of which was being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. Fortunately it was caught early, Stage 2, yet it did still require surgery and follow-on treatments. You’d think that that in itself would scare me into sobriety, because I knew in my gut that my drinking was THE underlying cause of my getting it in the first place. But, no, I not only kept drinking in the days surrounding surgery and treatments (only taking a one-night break if I was going to be put under general anesthesia the next day!), but also continued full force after all was said and done.

And how sick is this? Because my type of breast cancer was sensitive to high levels of estrogen, I even went so far as to do Google research on which alcohol increases estrogen levels the least! My current “best friend” was red wine, which, turns out, contributes the most, while it showed vodka contributing the least. So of course it made sense to switch, right? From that point forward, my nightly cocktails consisted of vodka with a splash of cranberry juice and lemonade in a tall glass with lots of ice and seltzer water, squeeze of lime. This new “best friend” would suffice just fine.

Then I got curious.

So now with my health scare behind me, but also realizing how alcohol was quite literally killing me slowly, but surely, I began doing more research to see what other solutions were out there that I hadn’t tried.

Over the years, I had made various attempts to stop drinking, with varying levels of success, always temporary. In my mid-30s, I started reading books, which would motivate me for a short while.

I tried acupuncture at one point—another short-term fix. I tried AA meetings of all types—could never relate, could never accept the philosophies that one is forced to accept. It was all so negative and it never resonated with me.

And then I found Annie Grace.

Annie is the author of This Naked Mind and founder of the company by the same name. She had just come out with her second book, The Alcohol Experiment, and was on a talk show promoting the book when I happened to overhear her say words to the effect of “My method will make you not want to drink. It takes away your desire for alcohol.”

My ears perked up. I wrote down her name, bought her books, and that was the beginning of my journey toward alcohol freedom.

Her science-based, compassion-led approach made so much sense and was so vastly different from anything else I’d tried that I decided to give it a shot. And I’m SO glad I did. Because after enrolling in her programs and doing the work I needed to do, it one day just “clicked”—on February 6, 2021 to be exact—and I’ve never wanted a drink since. Not once.

I have since retired from my business and plan to spend the rest of my days teaching others what I have learned so more people can live free from alcohol, able to enjoy life as their true selves...with ACTUAL living and breathing best friends.

I can help you find the freedom from alcohol that you’ve been longing for, all without having to use willpower, with no judgment, no labels, no shame.

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