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Setting Goals: Moderating, Abstaining & In-between

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  • Setting Goals: Moderating, Abstaining & In-between

    Here's where you can specifically discuss your moderate drinking limits including abstaining.

  • #2
    _______________________________
    from JJ on baby steps
    _______________________________

    At the risk of making some people uncomfortable, I want to say that baby steps are fine, and even necessary for most people, but only to a point. If you are waiting for a commitment to be easy, or waiting until you don't have a craving, or hoping (I personally do not think that word belongs in the MM vocabulary) BTB will come naturally, you won't make much progress. You will be stuck at "baby steps", and IMO we all must take some very uncomfortable leaps into unknown territory if we are going to tackle this problem. You will not learn to moderate (or abstain) by giving in to cravings. You will not lower your tolerance if you don't spend a lot of days without alcohol. You will not change your drinking habits if you don't change your drinking habits. When I came here I was ready to change, and I took on some hard challenges right away. I know not everyone is ready to do that, and by all means take your time, but remember that your drinking habits will not change themselves, and at the very least while taking baby steps I encourage you to be thinking about what your first Big Step will be, and when you will take it.

    Comment


    • #3
      _______________________________
      from JJ on milestones
      _______________________________
      I just need to talk to someone. I took my daughter to the airport today (she was here for a visit, is going home now) and I'm feeling sad. I have a sense I won't see her for awhile, several months. (She's 20.) On the way home I realized that today is the last day of the first year that I have successfully controlled my drinking. I started last October 1. Not started here, but started more or less successfully getting a handle on my drinking problem. It has been a big year. The drinking thing, of course. And my daughter moved several states away on January 3, 3 days into my 30, so I had to get through that without alcohol. Summer without my daily *refreshers*. Turning 50. A second 30 in July/August that encompassed not one but two girl trips out of town ~ no alcohol for me, of course. Multiple social functions without alcohol. Getting ready for multiple social functions without alcohol (I think that's even harder). Now there is only one fear left, and I'm actually not that afraid of it anymore, and that is the holidays. Anyway, what I was feeling and why I started this post is loneliness from missing my daughter (only child) and gratefulness for my family here, because MM is such a huge part of my day, every day, and I'm so thankful for all of you. There aren't a lot of people I can tell that today is the last day of the first year of controlling my drinking, you know? It's just not something I bring up in everyday conversation. And I'm not telling you guys because I want congratulations or anything, because I don't, but it seems like a worthy enough thing to tell SOMEONE about.

      Comment


      • #4
        --------------------------------------------
        JJ on Difficult Times, nominated by Bee
        BTB = by the book
        --------------------------------------------

        I suppose there are some who would say Do a 30/60/90, or You've got to get to BTB or less, or give other advice but even though we all know what we 'should' be doing (and yes, we all know what we should be doing, that's why we're here) sometimes the mindset just isn't there to do it. Most of us have realized that this is going to be a lifelong issue for us and there will be times we handle it better than others. Ebb and flow, potholes and smooth sailing, surfing the urges and diving headfirst into the bottle ~ all of it goes along with this journey. Sometimes if we take the pressure off ourselves ~ let go of the shoulds and should nots ~ our preoccupation with drinking lifts a bit and we find we don't actually want that drink all that much after all. Taking the focus off of drinking and putting it on enjoying the things we can ~ full moons, last day of summer, leaves turning, new TV arriving today, new pet in the household.... ~ lifts our spirits and quiets that drinking voice. If we beat ourselves up a little less and occupy our minds in another way (a good book works well for me) we start to feel better. Take care G-Love, you are in difficult circumstances, to say the least.

        jj

        Comment


        • #5
          ---------------------
          Bill on abstaining
          ---------------------
          March 31, 2014 - Day 90.

          Looking back on this year so far, I realize that time passes and things happen way too quickly. Especially when it comes to my children growing, my relationships enhancing and life and death overall. Then I reflect on the idea that today is my 90th day without alcohol and realize how time passes in a different way.

          90 days. That's what Mike recommended when I shared my story at abs chat back in January. He read my experience with alcohol and suggested I take some time for reflection, to restore my health and rebuild my spirit. He suggested that 90 days would be a better signal to my family and friends that I was serious about change. It was about learning, he said... learning what motivated me, what influenced me and how life without alcohol might REALLY feel. Peace. Health. Spirit. Learning to feel again. It's all happened in some way or another this year.

          Back then, I never would have thunk it possible (the thinks I did not think) to be sober, even for a short time. I knew intellectually that I needed to change. I registered all the signs of those around me - I drink too much and I knew it (at least in my mind). Even when I was drunk and slurry, I could see the destruction I brought on myself. I knew that I was damaging my relationships, my health and risking a good lifestyle to experience that moment of escape. A fleeting moment that never really turned out the way I hoped. It never helped me avoid anything; often it made things worse. Fun was only a perception in my own minds' eye... I wasn't much fun as a husband, father or friend. Alcohol filled a void and in many ways it was filled without knowing why or realizing true benefits from my "adventures".

          As I look back, I realize there were lots of environments and situations that I thought were linked to drinking. Parties, business dinners, sporting events, vacations, camping... the list goes on and on. These were just rationalizations to help me feel better about my choices. In fact, alcohol got in the way of my experience in these settings and never really helped much. Experiencing many of these things sober proves I was clueless about what was going on around me. I ignored all the negative signs and signals that suggested a change was in order. All for the sake of a drink.

          Mike was right. I do feel things differently. I feel friends with people around the world knowing that you all have similar experiences and offer support at exactly the time I need it. I can call on you anytime day or night and get a positive, empathetic and honest response. I have developed new awareness of and relationship with my practice of love. I can see the non-verbal reactions to my outward performance. I am aware of how to nurture others (even in my shortcomings). I demonstrate a healthy lifestyle and attitude unlike anything I've personally experienced.

          To all of you who helped me to get to this place, know that I love you and will always be grateful. To those who find a bit of themselves in my journey, I am thankful that we can relate at some level and in some small way I might be a help. To the many who struggle in denial or resist their future, I offer a bit of hopefulness... while it might seem that I am getting through this in some kind of ideal way, I struggle with the best of them. I recognize that I too have and will experience situations that make me question my direction. In fact, to know that others struggle and overcome these challenges gives me strength.

          I must confess, I don't feel very inspirational (even though some have suggested as much)- my life's attitude is to walk forward... one step, one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month... at a time. In the situation of my experience, I recognize that I have challenges like everyone else and when I reflect on the tremendous costs and burdens so many around me bear, I am grateful for a less resistant road to recovery.

          So, today, on day 90, I offer you a message of renewal. We move forward into Spring and approach Easter with a new light to guide, grow and nurture us. I am a different person today than three months ago and look forward to what the future might look like. Thankfully, I can see more clearly that path that is before me and I am grateful the fog of alcoholism is lifting.

          Blessings abound,
          Bill

          Comment


          • #6
            -------------------------------
            House of Change by Pierre
            -------------------------------

            Newbies,

            Here is my welcome message.

            I took a look over the railing and I saw that you just came out of the cellar, dazzled by the bright light, astonished by the loud noise of the busy crowd in the staircase. Maybe you are skeptical or hopeful, maybe you are distressed after so much tries, perhaps a bit shy or intimidated, but perhaps already feeling the warmth and compassion of the population of the staircase. Whoever you are, you are among friends here.

            And so read the small story I wrote for you, hoping and thinking that it may be yours.

            Welcome.

            The House of Change.

            The house of change is crowded, especially the cellar which is damp, dark and cold. But the house of change has also a roof terrace where the sun is bright and life is good. The way to change goes up from the cellar to the top by means of a huge staircase. Its steps may be of variable height. The house of change has also large floors where people can rest on their way to change.

            Some people in the cellar are not considering change. The are unaware that high over them there is a sunny, warm place where the view is beautiful, the air pure and the ambiance soothing. They shiver from time to time in the cold and moisture, sometimes they have a feeling that there should be a better place to be, but in the dark of the place they are in and the darkness of their mind they don't see a way to get out. They don't look for a change, may be out of pure ignorance, well established indolence or sheer despair. They stagnate in the stage of precontemplation.

            There are those who stumble around in the dark , knowing that they need a change of scene, may be driven and haunted by the memories of better days, groping about to find the latch of the exit door they know to be somewhere. Sometimes they are exhausted by the search, some give it up for good, but most are struggling and after a rest resume the search of light and a better life. They live and search in the stage of contemplation.

            And suddenly in the dark you see a small stripe of pale yellow light, almost undetectably. You stumble towards the light moved by a wild hope, you get the doorknob, you open the door and you are overflowed by the bright light of a staircase. On the wall sticks a poster informing you that you are now in the preparation stage and that the staircase is a magic one where you can program the height of the steps depending of your mood and ability of the present momentum. And now you plan the first steps to take, you move on driven by your determination to advance, fleeing the dark, damp and cold cellar, up to the light. You are in the action stage.

            In the bright light of the large staircase you can now see your fellow occupants the presence of who you only felt in the dark of the cellar of the house of change. They are of all races, of all continents. They are small or tall, slim or big. There are males and females of all ages, most go upstairs, some come downstairs. You are yourself melting with this community, exchanging your impressions and experiences. You are warned that you may slip downstairs, that there are some traps where you can go right down to the cellar again, but always with the knowledge that there is an open door and a staircase to go up.

            And so you go up and down, but always averaging to the up, sometimes with ease, sometimes with pain. So you are passing the floors, taking a rest or not, sometimes finding yourself back on a floor where you have already been. Oh yes, this may be your fate in the action stage, but finally you reach the upper and last floor. On this floor there are club chairs where you can take a rest and meditate before opening the door to the roof terrace. You look back to your struggle, you catch a glimpse over the railing to the basement and you are proud of your journey. You are older and wiser than you were in the cellar and oh so happier. You are in the waiting room to the final stage, you are in the maintenance stage.

            Finally you open the door to the roof terrace. You are in a beautiful garden, richly flowered, bees are humming, the green is greener than it was ever in your memories and dreams, the sun is brighter and the sky is bluer. You are at the end of your cycle of change.

            Pierre

            And a last bit of information. When you have opened the door leading from the cellar to the staircase, don't look for the escalator. There is no escalator in the house of change (LOL).

            Comment


            • #7
              ------------------------------------------------------------
              Alex on By the Book: 1001 Days, nominated by Bee
              ------------------------------------------------------------

              Dear fellow MMer's,

              I haven't written a lot lately, in part because I haven't had a lot to say... I did most of my soul-searching the summer I joined MM, so I haven't felt a big urge to write. Plus the Trike roster (and real life!) keep me plenty busy; and I don't really like writing about myself all that much.

              But today's a big day: I'm celebrating 1001 days of BTB since I joined MM. It seems like a good time to look back.

              A little while ago, dmo asked me what it's been like for me: before MM, while I was learning to moderate, and now. I thought I'd try to answer.


              Before MM.

              My time before MM would sound familiar to most of you, I would guess. From the age of maybe 13 on I was a drinking problem waiting to happen. My mom drank way too much for as long as I can remember: usually tipsy in the evening, given to hiding her drinks and passing out on the couch. My dad barely drank at all. So maybe I had a genetic predisposition for problem drinking, and maybe I never had a moderate role model. More likely both; but whatever the cause, even when I was young there was almost no kind of alcohol I didn't like. And I definitely liked to get buzzed.

              To make a long story short, before I found MM I had spent more than thirty years of my life struggling with alcohol. I loved the buzz, and loved to escape my cares with it. That was the good part. But when I started to drink, I often found I couldn't stop. I would pass out at parties, and embarrass myself in personal and professional situations. The drinking, which I increasingly hid, was starting to interfere with my marriage and my health. I loved, hated and feared alcohol, and felt stuck on a merry-go-round with no exit. Well, you know the drill.

              Then on May 26, 2010 I found MM, and everything changed.


              Learning to Moderate.

              The first six months or so after I joined MM were the toughest. The first lesson was that learning moderation is work, and lots of it. I had to totally revamp the way I drank, when I drank and the end even why I drank. I thought and wrote a lot, trying to work out what the new me was going to be. I had to face some tough truths about myself (reposted recently by Donna) and change my viewpoint both about myself and about alcohol. Moderation didn't come for free; I had to give up certain kinds of behavior altogether (e.g., no shots, no mixed drinks). I had to learn to count drinks and figure out quickly how much alcohol one had. I had to learn to drink very slowly, and to start late. I had to learn to plan and to be prepared for moderation challenges, like Thanksgiving dinner with relatives. Some of my drinking buddies are still my friends; but if so, they are no longer drinking buddies. I don't do that anymore.

              But after about six months, the new behaviors started to become more natural, and took less thought; and as time has gone by, I've noticed them less and less. These days I count my drinks and fill out my ABSTAR row as a matter of habit. I can eyeball a 5oz glass of wine. I have a default pattern for my drinking, but I know how to shuffle it around if something comes up. I have loads of excuses for not drinking ready to hand if I need 'em. Almost three years later, moderation has at last become second nature.


              In the Roof Garden.

              I have at times asked myself if I'm really there, at long last: in the roof garden of Pierre's House of Change. I've always believed that MM can't work without complete honesty; so to be honest with myself and you as well, I think the answer has to be "Yes."

              I don't read all of the posts on the list anymore, but I skim most of them and read a few each day. I've seen struggles lately, the same struggles I had for thirty-plus years, and I know them well. The feeling of entitlement; the chasing of the buzz; the many burdensome rules of moderation. You have to count drinks. You have to plan. You have to say "No thanks" even when you'd like to say "Yes."

              I understand that viewpoint, and shared it for many years. But I no longer agree with it. Moderation and BTB are not a burden: for a problem drinker like me, they are freedom itself.

              Freedom, truly and finally! Freedom from hangovers; from guilt; from lies, sneaking and hiding; from embarrassment; from fights with my DW; from fear of an early death like my mother's; from fear and hatred of alcohol, and the self-loathing it always brought. After all these years, the monkey is off my back. I am free! And as I write that, I know it is true.

              So I guess I must be in the roof garden. It is certainly pleasant here, and peaceful. I am not drinking tonight, but I will tomorrow. I'll have a single malt Scotch, and will raise a toast to MM, and to you, my friends and companions on my climb to the roof. I'm here thanks to you.

              Best, Alex

              Comment


              • #8
                ---------------------------------------------
                Big John to a newbie on how MM works
                ---------------------------------------------

                Hey Jack,

                Don't worry about not being 100% sure how everything works because quite frankly even the people who know how it works don't know how it works!
                The thing is, it DOES work.

                MM works...

                ... for those who want alcohol to be a part of their life, but only a small part.

                ... for those of us who believe that *WE* created the problem, so that means *WE* have the power to fix it.

                ... for those who believe that no matter how much we ever know, there is always much more to learn.

                ... for people who aren't interested in assigning blame, and instead are ready to move forward.

                ... for people who accept that life will never be perfect, but know it can be a whole lot better.

                ... for people tired of feeling powerless.

                ... for people tired of being judged.

                ... for people who want to decide for themselves how to live their own lives.

                ... for those who aren't afraid to sometimes accept the helping hand of a friend they've never met.

                ... and to sometimes reach their own hand out in return.

                How does MM work?

                MM isn't right for everybody. But if you see yourself in any of the things I just said, there's a very good chance it WILL work for you.

                Welcome.

                Big John

                Comment


                • #9
                  ----------------------------------------------------------
                  colparker on MM vs AA .. a bit of a rant, nominated by JJ
                  ----------------------------------------------------------
                  Personally I take a slight bit of offense at the anti-AA posts of late.

                  I think there is a grave misunderstanding that all who wander the way of MM can learn to moderate if they only apply themselves and push all the right buttons.

                  "Caution: for some drinkers, responsible drinking means no drinking. We do not
                  mean to tempt anyone back into drinking who has found in abstinence a secure
                  resolution for a previous severe alcohol problem. For anyone who has previously had
                  a very severe alcohol problem, the health and other risks of even moderate drinking are
                  certainly increased, and to an unknown degree. We would also caution anyone who currently
                  has a very severe alcohol problem against attempting moderation, because the chances of
                  success decline with severity of the problem, and the risks of continued drinking are greater."
                  "Responsible Drinking" Rotgers, Kern, and Hoeltzel pg 2

                  Moderation as well as abstinence requires complete honesty with oneself. Drinking excessively in an irresponsible way however requires an ever increasing ability to delude oneself and attempt to deceive others.

                  There appears to be some misconceptions about powerlessness in reference to
                  alcoholism. Powerless does not equal helpless. Nor weakness. Or being broken.
                  For those who feel they have power in all affairs I suggest holding ones breath.
                  Don't let it out. Or more realistically, choose any clinging behavior whether that
                  is drinking, eating, sex, tv, computer use, gambling or any number of pleasant
                  stimulus and just give it up. Let it go. Not for 30 days. For good. My guess is that
                  you will find that indeed we are swayed a bit by contact with our points of pleasure and
                  pain.

                  Be cautious of walking a path of conceited egoism. It tends to bite one in the ass when
                  we aren't looking. It makes the fall that much harder.

                  The fact of the matter is that there are some of us for which drinking any amount is a bad
                  idea. It has nothing whatsoever to do with being flawed, weakness, or defective. So we do
                  what we need to do to let go of our clinging to booze and our aversion to dealing with life
                  as it is and not as we wish it were. For me personally that has been MMabsers, A.A. and
                  following the teachings of the Buddha. For others it may entail S.M.A.R.T recovery, Women
                  for Sobriety, Secular Organization for Sobriety, Lifering, or another method. It is insulting to speak in derogatory tones towards other organizations.

                  As someone who has been devastated by the effects of addicted drinking I don't suggest turning a blind eye (inside joke) to the medical field. Doctors can't help what you hide and cover up. I have spent more time inside of a hospital or a jail than I care to recall. If you think that you are at risk for those problems do yourself a favor. Don't go there. There used to be a saying around here that better is better. All true until better becomes worse. If you are an addict don't worry time will tell out. It doesn't get better by itself. And for the fall down 7 times get up eight crowd, when you are dealing with substance addiction sometimes you don't get the chance. Some people never get up again.

                  Bill W. never once advocated not working at it, not dusting oneself off, and least of all not taking responsibility. In fact the steps of examining oneself for character defects, apologizing, and making amends for the f'd up behavior we have exhibited implies direct responsibility. If there is one thing drinking or drugging will never offer an addict it is freedom or choice. An addict is a slave and the choice is to keep feeding the craving.

                  Just as A.A. is not for everyone, neither is MM. I have seen a lot of people fool themselves into thinking that everything is peachy. And continue suffering needlessly. The door swings both ways.

                  cp

                  "Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.
                  - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ----------------------------------------------------------
                    colparker on morning drinking, nominated by JJ
                    ----------------------------------------------------------

                    Hi Dina,
                    When I drank in the morning it was to try to forestall what I knew was going to be
                    more than a hangover. It would be full blown withdrawal. Like you that would be during
                    a period of drink, sleep , wake up , drink.

                    There are several things that hit me from your email. It brings back some memories.
                    When you say your husband will freak when he discovers you already drinking are
                    you concerned about yourself ? Trying to keep him from finding out , so you don't have
                    to deal with the consequences ? Or are you concerned about your husband. About the
                    fear and probable anger that he feels. The feeling of utter loss of control in the family.
                    The worrying if his wife will be safe and ok ?

                    My drinking only began to change when I became more concerned about others and honest
                    about myself. Being the true and honest YOU to the world entails being true and honest with others. It is not about being selfish..

                    How I stopped drinking in the morning was to stop drinking. Period. There is nothing social about morning drinking. Do not let the addicted mind find excuses for this type of thing. If you are seeking to learn about moderation then morning drinking has no part of that. Don't misunderstand me , I am not talking about a bloody mary with brunch in a circle of friends or family. I am talking about swallowing vodka until the pain recedes. You are already doing as MM suggests , attending meetings and learning about MM. Perhaps the next step is exactly as MM suggests : Abstain from alcoholic beverages for thirty days and complete steps three through six during this time. I am aware that my words may sound harsh to the ear. Trust that there is no judgment nor criticism intended. I know as I have been there.

                    When one is drinking to the extent of morning drinking there will be no easy way. It will involve a certain amount of pain and suffering to change. There will be sacrifices to be made. To think that it will be any other way is to delude oneself. That being said , because you will have made great sacrifice you will gain great rewards. So last thing I will close with is that I agree with Old Salir in that moderation or abstinence will not be a matter of luck. In fact , I will be so bold as to say it isn't about hope either. It is about setting your intention, and being willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goal . To that end instead of wishing you luck I will instead keep you in my heart and offer prayers that you may quickly feel peace and joy and a release from slavery .

                    From my heart to yours,

                    cp

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ----------------------------------------------------------
                      colparker on morning drinking, nominated by JJ
                      ----------------------------------------------------------

                      Hi Dina,
                      When I drank in the morning it was to try to forestall what I knew was going to be
                      more than a hangover. It would be full blown withdrawal. Like you that would be during
                      a period of drink, sleep , wake up , drink.

                      There are several things that hit me from your email. It brings back some memories.
                      When you say your husband will freak when he discovers you already drinking are
                      you concerned about yourself ? Trying to keep him from finding out , so you don't have
                      to deal with the consequences ? Or are you concerned about your husband. About the
                      fear and probable anger that he feels. The feeling of utter loss of control in the family.
                      The worrying if his wife will be safe and ok ?

                      My drinking only began to change when I became more concerned about others and honest
                      about myself. Being the true and honest YOU to the world entails being true and honest with others. It is not about being selfish..

                      How I stopped drinking in the morning was to stop drinking. Period. There is nothing social about morning drinking. Do not let the addicted mind find excuses for this type of thing. If you are seeking to learn about moderation then morning drinking has no part of that. Don't misunderstand me , I am not talking about a bloody mary with brunch in a circle of friends or family. I am talking about swallowing vodka until the pain recedes. You are already doing as MM suggests , attending meetings and learning about MM. Perhaps the next step is exactly as MM suggests : Abstain from alcoholic beverages for thirty days and complete steps three through six during this time. I am aware that my words may sound harsh to the ear. Trust that there is no judgment nor criticism intended. I know as I have been there.

                      When one is drinking to the extent of morning drinking there will be no easy way. It will involve a certain amount of pain and suffering to change. There will be sacrifices to be made. To think that it will be any other way is to delude oneself. That being said , because you will have made great sacrifice you will gain great rewards. So last thing I will close with is that I agree with Old Salir in that moderation or abstinence will not be a matter of luck. In fact , I will be so bold as to say it isn't about hope either. It is about setting your intention, and being willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goal . To that end instead of wishing you luck I will instead keep you in my heart and offer prayers that you may quickly feel peace and joy and a release from slavery .

                      From my heart to yours,

                      cp

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        These replies followed a declaration by a MMer that he was going to permanently abstain from alcohol, and thus was joining the MMabsers list.

                        Carloss wrote:

                        I'm new (a month or so) and truly appreciate this post, because I know
                        complete abstinence may be the final result for me, too. I have been
                        abusing seriously for 15+ years, and trying on-and-off again to try
                        something. I was diagnosed by my MD and an Alcohol Counselor that I was not
                        an alcoholic, but I did have choice, habit and other issues (at the same
                        time I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and a bit of OCD,
                        actually).

                        I'm on a second 30 (successful the first time almost 2 years ago, and will
                        make it through this one, too). The real test comes when I do begin
                        drinking again, and what kind of plan I have for btb mods. We'll see if I
                        can do it. If I can't, I'll know (I'm done rationalizing and lying to
                        myself). Then I'll know abstinence is the only route for me.

                        I don't know anything about MMabsters, though. I guess I'll cross that
                        bridge when I get to it.

                        Caljim wrote:

                        When I first joined MM, the abser group seemed foreign and scary. I
                        read some horror stories, and comforted myself that I'd never gone
                        *that* far off the deep end! Well, deep ends are sort of a relative
                        thing. And falling on our face or our ass enough times it is a very
                        personal assessment. When I did my 30, it taught me to live with out
                        drinking, to lose the daily habit and urges. But it also teaches us
                        how to live a live where alcohol just isn't a factor and it can be a
                        good life without wine/drink of choice. My goodness, we make drinking
                        out to be such a holy grail sometimes, when really it's just a nice
                        beverage to enjoy (thanks Dean)....is it a part of a balanced life or
                        not?
                        The decision hits home especially when the alcohol use causes way
                        more harm than good. The life without drinking is not punitive, but a
                        blessing, a new gift of appreciation for a life lived authentically
                        and unmedicated. And to top all that off, it's still a choice, still
                        not a disease or situation of powerlessness. In fact, its the ultimate
                        expression of power we do have. We still retain the right to drink, we
                        just choose not to. Maybe we'll choose to not drink for every day to
                        come, forever, but a day at a time....Absing is integral to
                        moderation. I respect the hell out of these friends of ours who fight
                        thier battles in deeper trenches, talk about power.
                        I'm realistic, I keep close to them, lol, them are us! MM is a process
                        where we can make intelligent adult informed decisions about removing
                        drinking from our lives from our lives without feeling like it was a
                        court injunction....the force is powerful and strong with such as
                        these. After all it's all about doing or not doing....the trying part
                        is where we have to decide how much wear and tear our lives and livers
                        can take. Yoda was frustrated with Luke, for him it was always how it
                        cannot be done with that one. With us it's how it *can* be
                        done....yeah, we have the Force.
                        May the force be with you....
                        Jim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          -----------------------------------------------------------------
                          ksusier on the benefits of abstaining, nominated by Donna
                          -----------------------------------------------------------------

                          I am going to post to both lists because I hope that someone can relate to my struggles (on the main list) with moderation and it might (?????) help them and I truly in my heart want to be perm abs - I am still really working towards this and I need the support of the
                          mmabsers.

                          I did not drink last night. Not because I couldn't, but because I didn't want to. This was a big accomplishment - I think the first time in 20 years to do so without a glass of wine in my hand. Just another occasion to drink in the past. I made a couple of interesting observations.

                          1. We put up our Christmas tree and I did not get in a fight with dh - that is a first!
                          2. He thought the tree was crooked so we took it back and got a different one - that would have pissed me off if I would have been drinking - who cares - it is fine - if we leave, I have to take a break form my wine! (I would have thought that one to myself - probably on a subconscious level)
                          3. While we were getting a new one - I saw 4 people I knew - I wasn't trying to avoid them bc they might smell the alcohol or I might act stupid. I don't even think they had been drinking! Hmmmm - I thought everyone drank on Saturdays.
                          4. We decided we needed more lights at 7:00. Dd and I went to get more. That would have pissed me off in the past - It's fine - who cares
                          - Why do I always have to do it! - I shouldn't be driving anyway! (I would think that one to myself - probably on a subconscious level)
                          5. We stopped right in the middle - ate dinner and watched a movie - that wouldn't have happened in the past. I get a little hell bent on getting things finished when drinking. Let's just get it done even though dh wanted to watch a movie.
                          6. I did not wake up this morning to a sink full of dirty dishes - I actually did them before I went to bed.

                          Interesting .......

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                          • #14
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                            CalJim on the power of your own path, nominated by Gary
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                            I sincerely wish that no one here is letting any written, religious or dogmatic view of your contest with alcohol has reverted you to a state of blind submission to a "one size fits all" view of taming of alcohol in your life.
                            It's very easy to believe that you are powerless........you've had the same habits for years. so if "they" tell you you're diseased or powerless, it can be very easy to believe.
                            It's my hope that you are in MM to find your own path. One that you believe in and would bet "all your chips" on following. One path that you would be willing to start on, fresh in the hope that moderation might just be for you. Maybe it isn't, but at least you can make your own decision about.
                            Sure, you'll fail, slip, whatever you want to call it. But the key is to keep going. No, you don't lose your chip for having a lapse.
                            Lol, ha ha.....guess what? all you have to do is win today. Forget yesterday, and the future is a huge unknown, in fact it might just end in the next 5 minutes. So make today count, make NOW count. it's all you've really got. The keys to liberty and illumination are just hanging on the hook in the corner of your mind next to the door.

                            .02

                            JIM
                            Last edited by gemdropper; 11-03-2014, 02:29 PM.

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                            • #15
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                              Charlie on the power of the sticky, nominated by Gary
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                              (The Sticky is a daily roster of those who are not drinking that day.)

                              I am in. Thanks again for being here. It is a great help just to say I'm in and of course thanks to everyone. As always, be well. Have a great weekend.

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