Drunkorexia? Yeah it really is a thing . . .

“That’s all drugs and alcohol do, they cut off your emotions in the end.”

– Ringo Starr

Thank you to all of you that took my survey. I really appreciate it.  The survey results reflected what a lot of the research shows. A lot of middle aged women are drinking too much wine and it’s affecting their health and their families.

A few women who took the survey wrote personal notes to me; and most of the notes described the same thing – that the stress of trying to do too much was driving a lot of women to drink too much.

Somewhere along the way, the message that so many women in the 60s and 70s fought for –  that ‘A woman can do anything!’ got translated to ‘A woman must do everything . . . and do it well!’ And most of us are holding ourselves up to a pretty high standard. We’re trying to do it all and it’s killing us! Not only are we trying to do it all, but we want to look good while we do it.

A phenomenon nicknamed “drunkorexia,” (Urban Dictionary) is now impacting middle aged women. This phenomenon is an eating disorder compounded by alcohol abuse; it occurs when someone eats less to allocate more calories to alcohol. “Drunkorexia” used to be primarily found on college campuses, but more recently it has become a problem among middle-aged women.

We are pressured by others and indeed pressuring ourselves to excel in every way: professionally; to be sexy wives or partners; be good, diligent mothers; good home makers; be politically and socially engaged; and be beautiful with a great bod as well. The more stressed-out we become, the more we are turning to wine’s socially acceptable and absolutely encouraged numbing out quality to cope. But it becomes a worry when we realise that in reality we are not coping well at all.

I was fortunate today to be interviewed on ‘Breakfast’ – the wonderful morning show on TVNZ.

Here’s a brief clip from TVNZ where I am talking about Drunkorexia.

It was actually a really incredible day today! Not only did I have that interview on TVNZ, but right after that I went over to Coast FM Radio Station for another interview.

I’ll close this post with a short video from the radio interview.


I’d love to hear your thoughts about Drunkorexia. And as always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

23 thoughts on “Drunkorexia? Yeah it really is a thing . . .

  1. As a woman who suffers from both anorexia and alcoholism, I find this insensitive. The term “drunkorexia” is a combination of two very serious illnesses. My initial impression, given your article title, was that you were using this term as a means to catch a reader and thus provide insight to this phenomenon and educate. So, okay. Yet, the repetition of this word demeans these women, myself included, as both conditions are more complex than being thin, and while comorbid, require separate approaches in treatment and are far too serious for a term as glib as “drunkerexia”. 💔😔💔

    Liked by 1 person

    • I apologize for any insensitivity! I’m so sorry that this offended you. I lifted the term from some recent research on the subject, and pulled in the definition off of Urban Dictionary. I certainly did not intend to come off as glib and insensitive! I watched my own mother die of alcoholism, and have watched most of my family, myself included, deal with one addiction or another. So I absolutely know the horror of addiction. So please forgive me for any insensitivity. I sincerely apologize!


    • Hi Seabeesf… Using the modern common term “drunkorexia” isn’t insensitive. What many women and some gay men did in my college was actually to binge drink and then throw up the alcohol so they could get rid of the calories but maintain the drunk. They had anorexia or bulemia and drug/drinking addictions. The merging of the words simply defines a new phase of self esteem and vanity in conjunction with the illnesses… now extending into middle aged female drinking patterns as well I guess. This author (who I do not know and am only newly reading) was very generous with you in her response… careful like a counselor should be I guess… but It’s more important that you seek help and do the work for your recovery than get hung up on words being used by sensitive people like Patti Clark. From what I’ve read from her posts, she is very sensitive and caring. I think we solve the problems by using the words and facing the reality, not by curbing speech. It’s okay to admit you’re an alcoholic. It’s not an insult. etc.
      I wish you wellness and peace.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Patti Clark, my a.k.a is Tabby Ren Elle (not Renelle) the Ren is the phonetic Chinese and means: human. The Elle is the french… for “she” or “her.” My real name is Katherine Legry. There’s actually a real Tabby Renelle (which I didn’t know until a long time later…after blogging) so I figure I should clarify. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the clarification Katherine. I love the a.k.a though. Very creative. Do you like to be called Tabby or Katherine? Either way, with any name, I appreciate your thoughtful words. An important conversation.


      • You can choose from Katherine, Kate, K.J., super Kat (yes one person nick named me that) Tabby, Tabs… and I’ll respond. 🙂 Most people call me Kate. But you followed my Tabby blog originally so feel free to stick with Tabby.
        Thanks again for listening to my p.o.v. and sharing how you do. The creative visualization and zen mediation posts were also good reminders for me to encounter when I did. I appreciate your gentle approach… as I myself often lack that “thing” called grace.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Super Kate! (I like that moniker) Many people have called me LESS than gentle and it’s something I’ve been working on, so I appreciate your nod in that direction.


      • Super Kate is new! Kat was “cat” in sound… isn’t this becoming ridiculous me and all myself and I’s? Oops. Sorry to distract from the seriousness of your discourse. I do think that risking the use of direct language in order to help people in recognizing any addiction is better than being coy. Addicts and people with eating disorders are easily offended and are also prone to covering up the problems and bluffing which harms everyone in their lives. So… drunkorexia is real. I don’t have eating disorders but I did stop drinking and I come from a family of alcoholics.
        Thank you for your kind forum. I have been called much worse too, btw! So this is a welcome sanctuary space to encounter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your continued conversation Super Kat. Wonderful since the protagonist in my book is named Kat. I really like ‘Super Kat’
        I totally agree, being coy, talking sideways, does not work with addicts. Being an alcoholic and being brought up in an insane alcoholic family I really get that. The people that recover, face things directly. “Half measures availed us nothing” Thanks for this ongoing dialogue. I enjoy it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am VERY interested in this. Did I hear you say you have a book and this former nun was finding it helpful to work through?
    I cannot drink because it causes sugar shock and asthma attacks.
    BUT I have worked all my life until a recent medical retirement. Now I do feel lost and binge or under eating are my back and forth extreme behaviors. I would like to hear/see more. Thanks for sharing. Every little bit of knowledge if applicable does help.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is very interesting to me. I’m in my mid 30’s, I have a high pressure career, and I’m generally very weight conscious. I drink about four days a week. I’ve absolutely found myself restricting my food to compensate for the amount of alcohol I consume. Some days more than half my daily calories are from alcohol. This really gives me something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi – is your name Zeva? Is it ok if I call you that? Thank you so much for your honesty and your willingness to explore this stuff. It’s tough and not very fun to look at. I’m happy that you found the post thought provoking, and I’m open to conversations anytime. It’s not an easy subject.
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.


  4. I do agree with this. women now a days are doing way too much and I personally don’t think we are suppose to do it ALL. We have to do whatever makes our souls happy, and , stop feeding into what society tells us we have to do to be great “independent” women. We all have our own definition of happiness .

    When I was drinking I always skipped meals so I can get drunk faster . When I would sober up I would binge . Now, I’m sober and I’m working on healthy eating habits . Binge eating has been a part of my life for some time. Staying sober and eating right goes hand in hand once you realize how amazing and worthy you are of greatness. I was never able to drink and take care of myself . Oh the joys of trying to figure everything out lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Patti, thanks for a very illuminating blog post. I’m (almost) 55 and come from an alcoholic background. I also tend towards alcoholism myself. I don’t believe I’ve ever consciously bypassed food and had drinks instead — most of the time I eat like a fiend when I drink! Thank you for bringing this issue to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting Gwen.
      I don’t drink at all anymore, but while I was drinking – I didn’t not eat intentionally, but I certainly had occassions when alcohol consumption superceded food. So grateful I’m not there anymore!
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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