View Full Version : Ch-ch-ch-changes!

August 11th, 2009, 10:16 AM
"Every day is a fresh opportunity to continue the quest toward our mission." -Harold McAlindon

I have decided to stop the madness of saying I am moderating and then having a month of overdrinking with excuses like "I'm on vacation", "I'm stressed and need a drink" etc.

So, I am asking myself..."What's going to be different this time?" "What changes am I really willing to make?"
"What other lifestyle habits do I need to incorporate in order to be more successful?"

Some of these questions we have addressed before so this may be more a thread about getting our thoughts going without a lot of feedback coming back.

What changes am I going to make?
1. I'm going to record on the drinktracker daily. This is one of the best ways to be accountable to myself and to others that I am in this struggle with.
2. I am going to get more immersed in other projects to keep busy. It's easier to say no to that glass of wine because it will make me too tired to complete my project than if I have nothing that I'm working on or motivated to complete/do.
3. I am going to get more physically active. Too easy for me to say no to the gym than not.
4. I am going to remember that I can p.m. folks if I am really struggling and don't want the whole internet world to have access to my posts, thoughts, struggles.
5. I am going to remember to offer gratitude daily to the wonderful things in my life with my MWO friends being at the top of my list.

The start of truly drinking moderately is simply making that decision to do so and abiding by it.

1. Short term goal: No more than 7 drinks per week
2. Long term goal: Learning how to really drink sparing and only on special occasions.

Good thoughts,

August 11th, 2009, 11:07 AM
Eve, great post! I love your resolve, and believe these strategies will work for you. Of course, only you can decide that. You have moved on from the occasional thought about whether you can moderate, to YES, I can learn to drink moderately, and these are the tools I will use to do that. Make it happen! I posted many of my gratitudes here daily several months ago. Kept doing it until I ran out.

August 11th, 2009, 12:14 PM
Sunbeam;690300 wrote: You have moved on from the occasional thought about whether you can moderate, to YES, I can learn to drink moderately, and these are the tools I will use to do that.

When I first came here (only seriously almost 1 year ago) (lurking and not doing much about moderating) the year before, I did question whether moderating was really possible.

I have learned in this past year that there really is a difference between a true alcoholic and one with just a drinking problem. As this article states:

'Problem Drinker' versus an 'Alcoholic'

by HM1 Alvin Grant, USN

Strictly speaking, there is a difference between the terms "problem drinker" and alcoholic." A problem drinker is anyone whose drinking causes a problem. He or she may not drink all that often, but if the use of alcohol is affecting the individual’s life (or someone else's) in a negative way, then this person is a problem drinker.

The alcoholic is an addict. He is dependent on alcohol. This dependence may be physical (like any other drug addict. He or she will suffer the physical pain of withdrawal if they don’t get their daily dose of the chemical, which in this case is alcohol). Or the dependence may be psychological (he doesn't feel as good emotionally when he can't have a drink; he urgently wants to drink).

My drinking was creating a "problem" with me getting too tipsy at parties, too slurry in speech at times, and having hubby being angry at me the next morning thinking I had embarrassed him because I had appeared too have imbibed too much. But I was never dependent on alcohol - never experienced physical withdrawal, never felt abnormal without a drink. My drinking too much was usually never more than 5 glasses of wine...so was/is moderating possible for someone like me? After a year of working at moderating I am going to say YES but it takes WORK and if a person isn't working it properly then it's easy to slip back into bad habits.

Moderation Management has an alcohol dependence questionnaire - go to Moderation Management (http://www.moderation.org/) go to Tools for Moderation and click on Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire to take the test. I score on the border of low to moderate dependence so why can't moderating work for me? I have just needed to not only learn the tools to moderate effectively but to apply those tools as well.

For me, I really need more face to face support and feel I have been slipping without that.
I actually wanted to start a face to face support group where I live but knew that it would take up too much time as I get too immersed in some of my passions and I know my family would feel neglected when it's something they are not a part of. So, I have slipped recently but have a new resolve to get on track and stay there. I will just p.m. my MWO buddies more if I need additional support and hopefully some of the folks who contacted me when I was going to start a group here will come to MWO which I referred them to.

Thanks for your support Sunbeam and to my other MWO friends as well. So much love here - thank you!

August 11th, 2009, 04:20 PM
I forgot to say, and hope you assumed: pm me ANYTIME! But I'm adding: once you get your frequency down, I don't think you will need the support you are now wanting. It is such a feeling of freedom to not be craving a drink all of the time.

August 12th, 2009, 04:08 PM
Some things I've learnt

Excellent post Eve and very helpful. I'd like to add a few thoughts I've had, if I may - things I've learnt about modding that help me personally.

1) Some AF time is a must. For myself, I have set minimum 2 days AF, but as Sunbeam has pointed out, as I drink less, the easier the AF days become (and thus increase in number!)

2) If I plan to drink moderately, I need to decide in advance the upper limit.

3) I also need a plan of action to STOP drinking when I reach my upper limit. (This is something I figured out fairly recently).

4) If I am really craving a drink, I'm "not allowed."

5) If I choose to drink it will be because "a" glass of wine will truly enhance my meal or my social situation. It must never be because I "need" it and really, really not in order to get a buzz.

6) I can't forget that I had a problem with drinking too much. I must remember and believe that it can come back if I let my guard down. However, if I do slip and have one too many, I won't beat myself up. I'll just do a string of AF days to get it out of my system. (This is the plan if the plans above fail...)

P.S. I do really enjoy reading your research Eve. I agree wholeheartedly about your addendum to the "alcohol is poison" post. Many substances are poison in excess.