Have you ever asked yourself – Can I maybe learn to control my drinking or have I completely lost my off-switch with alcohol? I asked that question many times and always found through trial and error that the answer was the same for me. If other people had a switch they could flip off to stop drinking when they’d had enough, my switch was faulty. It wasn’t completely broken but I never knew if it would work or not. During these past 7 years since I finally decided to stop drinking once and for all, looking back at my past attempts to moderate or control my drinking has helped me protect my quit when a casual drink starts to seem like a good idea. And reading the stories of others, especially the tragic story of Audrey Kishline the founder of Moderation Management, has helped me stick to sober when I start to become complacent.
When people who have had some sober momentum going slip or slide it is rarely with the intent to relapse. The attempt to go back and try to drink moderately is something that many people who stop drinking find themselves eventually doing. We think that we have control. We think that we can drink for a time and then get back on track without too much consequence. But although there are people who are ultimately able to reset that off switch and go from problem drinker to moderate drinker after a few months alcohol-free, for most of us picking up a drink is just another step back onto that booze elevator that only goes down.
“If success in moderating, is measured by whether or not you get drunk, I can successfully moderate for many many months before I get drunk. I don’t believe that getting drunk or not getting drunk is a good measure of success for me because it ignores my state of mind. My experience with moderating is that once I decide I can and will drink moderately, I become obsessed with alcohol. Years ago, I recall AA people talk about “the obsession” and I thought “that’s ridiculous! I never obsessed over alcohol!” Now, I see that I do. ”
read more in this post Thinking about Moderate Drinking
Do these questions sound familiar?
“I was feeling so healthy and strong and balanced that I questioned whether I ever had a problem. Daily drinking started as a reaction to a very tough time and those stress points were gone. As effective as AA had been at getting and keeping me sober, the mindset that’s promoted there, that I had a “disease” or was broken or genetically special, did me no favors. I never identified with the label Alcoholic and none of those shoes felt like a fit. I had been the AA definition of a “normie” nearly all my life. Why not just go back to being that normie? Surly with everything I’d learned about living sober I could evolve a healthy moderate drinking lifestyle.”
read more in this post Moderation? Not for Me
“I tried to cut back, and I did okay with that at times. I was able to really, really space out my drinking so that I felt a little more normal – at times. There were still times when I started first thing on a Saturday; times when I called in sick to work to have a full day of drinking; and times when my 6-beer-a-day-limit doubled. But I really felt like I could get to a point where I only drank after work (or after noon on weekends) and where I limited myself to 6 (or so) drinks in one sitting. But I was still obsessed with drinking, and I was obsessed with counting drinks. Wanting to make sure I didn’t go overboard, but also making sure I had enough to get me through. Even though I was “cutting back,” my life still revolved around drinking – even when I wasn’t drinking.“
“You know what I found? When we start making RULES about drinking, when we start to plan, to organize, to measure and moderate our drinking, it’s likely time to stop. You KNOW you have a problem with alcohol so you stopped drinking, and now you are about to reintroduce it. So what has changed? More knowledge? More self awareness? What happens to heroin addicts if they just use on weekends? Or smokers if they pick up one cigarete at a party after quitting? It doesn’t take long before you are right back in that pit. Your brain knows where you’ve been. There is real science behind this. Knowledge is power.“
I’ve learned over time, that I am an “all or nothing” type of drinker… so by drinking nothing, I am gaining everything. ❤❤
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