Day 595. Hey all! I hear a lot of talk about moderation here. I thought i would share my story of my attempt at moderating. I got sober the first time about 15 years ago. I was living in NYC at the time. I knew i had a drinking problem, i blacked out all the time. I just wasnt very motivated to do anything about it. This came to a head one early morning in my apt. I came out of a blackout in my bathroom and was looking in the mirror, my face was completely beat up. Black eye, chipped tooth, bloody mouth. I had spent the night drinking, taking xanax and i did some coke too. I was horrified when i looked at my face. I immediately popped the few xanax i had left as to numb my brain from this horrific situation. I was convinced i had been mugged, as the money i had on me was gone and i was clearly beaten up. But i really have no clue what happened. Well, i did get sober after this. For around a year actually. I went to AA. Read countless books on addiction and alcoholism. Got really into yoga, spirituality, working out. I even started doing fitness competitions. This whole time i wanted desperately to be a “normal” drinker. Never quite settling into sobriety and in somewhat denial of the situation. I inevitably wound up drinking again. With the goal of moderation. It somewhat worked, for a while. I journaled and kept track of my drinking. Limiting it to twice a week and only 3 drinks. I really thought i had this thing beat. Then, my boyfriend cheated on me. This set off a cycle of binging and extremely destructive behaviour. Fast forward to today….during that time i developed EXTREME anxiety. Panic attacks came on about 4 years ago. Shaking, tremors that have still not resolved. Oh, and i have tried to kill myself twice in the last 4 years. The last time was the last time i drank alcohol. I have spent time in mental institutions! They are not fun at all! So….for someone like me, moderation is just not possible. And it is not easy. U would think with all of that it would be easy for me to say “Oh hell no! Booze sucks and i don’t want it”. But, the reality is it’s not easy. At all. I struggle with it. Not all the time. But it gets pretty intense sometimes. Some things in life we just have no control over. My bodies response to alcohol is one of those things for me. If i have one there is just no telling what will happen. And that is my reality. Surrendering to this fact has helped a little. There is something deep inside of me that is begging me to be sober. There is also a part of me that fights this at times. I wish u all well on your quest to figure out alcohols place in your life. I think we all have the answer inside of us and know deep down. Sometimes it’s just not the answer we are looking for. But i am hoping there is a deeper meaning behind all of this. And i know sobriety is the right choice for me. No moderation for me. Been there done that and got the t-👕! Moderation doesn’t work for me because i really have no way to predict with certainty what will happen to me. Once i have one it’s “off the races” as they say. So….i have none. 💗✌
I agree with you 100% Jesss, there have been so many who said that quitting is harder the second time around. And, moderation doesn’t work. If we’re the type that has trouble with alcohol, that doesn’t change just because we quit for a while. Really happy you escaped. Not everybody does, as you well know. Congrats in advance on the 600 days, that’s a nice number. And thanks for being another voice against “moderation”.
Same! Moderation blows. After 3 years with no alcohol blew it with the moderation theme. Hmmmm! Yes it’s much harder the 2nd time but happy to be sailing again to nearly 290 days and onward. Never again for that bad arse rabbit hole under the guise of moderation @tom4500❤️
@jesss, thanks for sharing your story. It strikes me what a lot of work your previous attempt at moderating was. A lot of monitoring and management and thinking about it all. That’s how it was for me. So much work. Something people seem unable to explain is why they want so very badly to be ‘normal’ social drinkers. Really what is so great about that, that makes it worth that constant work? And how do we convince ourselves that having to work that hard is normal drinking? It says a lot that we think working that hard to drink is worth it. But I can remember that way station. It was like a desperate small town before the final destination; if I could just get off there and stay there, I might never have to go all the way. I might never have to admit I needed to. I didn’t want to find out what it was like to live in that end town. In me was a voice saying that it didn’t have to be me, I was still in control, I didn’t have to give up entirely. It seemed such a big thing to face. Really, I didn’t want to face the not-belonging and uncertainty. Imagining how things will be from that point of consciousness can only ever be a distorted image though. It is much better in many ways. I feel more peace and more belonging somehow. And the people who’ve chosen life without booze are the coolest, smartest, most vibrant, thoughtful, wise and fun people. Like you 🙂
Thanks for sharing this Jesss. You really have had some tough times. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us. I completely agree with your take on moderation. For the people belonging to this site it’s unlikely to be “a thing.” Life’s so much better sober anyway, I’m not sad about that anymore. Ugh stinky alcohol! Wow 595 days congrats!!!!
In my opinion there two possibilities. The first one is, you are realy able to drink moderate. That means, you don’t have to think about your drinking behavior. You drink sometimes if you want to, like you eat a piece of chocolate, if you want to. When there’s no occasion to drink, you don’t bother. No problem at all. Drinking plays no important role in your life, it’s there sometimes and most time it isn’t. There are people who can handle drinking this uncomplicated way (and smoking, eating, shopping…). And to be honest those people are not members of a sober community. Why should they? The second possibility is, that drinking DOES play a role in your life. When you try to drink moderate, there’s always that voice in your head “When will I…? How much may I…? Why is this glass almost empty yet? Should I drink before 6am or…? Yeah, I managed to drink only two glasses yesterday evening!…” You are in an exhausting discussion with your addiction-me almost all the time. It takes your energy, your peace, your freedom. This kind of moderation is a dance on the volcano – how long will it work? And what the hell is the benefit??? It is a big fat illusion of a solution to a problem which is getting bigger and bigger under the surface of apparent control. For me this is no opportunity. I’m very touched by your story @Jesss, applause to you for your strength and your strong will!
So so close to day 600 and what a power-FULL post…thanks so much for sharing this. It reminds me of the 3-4 times I was convinced I didn’t have a problem and binged my way right back into oblivion. xooxoxox
Absolutely love this post @jesss! Legend. I also have the epic fail moderation t shirt. Moderation really blows. It doesn’t work at all. @mrs-d this awesome post is so fantastic for anyone that thinks maybe moderation might work? So well said @jesss❤️❤️❤️