Thursday, April 28, 2016

Day 81 - Questioning my methods

April 28, 2016
Day 81

I have a very good friend whom also drinks too much and is struggling getting to sobriety.  She also has had a lot of Day 1's.  She decided to go the Addiction Specialist route.  Today was her first was a 3 hour appt.  The Addiction Specialist (AS) works in a way that I had never considered...thus, it made me wonder if my "white knuckling" it will ultimately be successful  (I am VERY hopeful that it will!)  The AS explained to my friend that when you excessively drink, you are using the alcohol to medicate your problems.  If you work on your problems, and ultimately get rid of them there will be no need for you to medicate, thus, you won't drink to mask anything. (I liken this to someone who takes medicine for high cholesterol..If you work hard with diet, exercise, etc. to reduce your cholesterol, you can eventually stop taking the medicine or cut down on your dosage.)   She went on to say that maybe one day my friend might be able to go to a restaurant once or twice a month and have 1 or 2 glasses of wine each time!!!

Now, my friend was very honest about how much she drank.  Very honest.  She was so surprised that this was the method...and she was a bit excited about the possibility of MODERATION!!!!

I really wonder about this method.  I've even googled it using various phrases and still couldn't find anything!  I've always wanted to be a moderate drinker..but know I can't!  I am skeptical.  And, also, probably a bit jealous...MODERATION!!!!

I am happy for my friend that she is trying to stop drinking.  I know the saying "whatever works for you" is the right answer for each of us.  I chose the the white knuckling route, some go the AA route, some go the AS route...etc.  But I have NEVER heard of this other route!  I wonder if it is easier?  Can you work on your problems while you are still drinking?  I don't think I could've...but I never even tried!  I didn't even realize what they were....In fact, at day 81, I am sill discovering what they are!

Of course, I did not voice my doubts to my friend.  Maybe this will be her way.  Who am I to say that this won't work for her?  Who am I to say that she can never moderate?

What if my method of quitting is not the best way for lasting success?

I am curious to what you think of this other method of working on your problems to be able to stop drinking (medicating).  It really has me perplexed!

Wishing you success in whatever method you use to quit the booze!

Sober at 53


  1. I very actively worked on the roots of why I was medicating with alcohol for over two years. There were 3 elements in my life that made me feel trapped and scared. Everything that I used to need alcohol for has now been resolved. I was also very very active in harm reduction moderation support groups and read a lot of books. Yes, from what I've seen, there are a very small percentage of heavy drinkers who can eventually moderate. It seems to take years. One person who has been working at it with me for a year has gone from 17 drinks a night to 5 - 7 drinks a night. But a day off from alcohol is still far away for him. Another person has been steady at 2 drinks a night for at least six months and is now trying to have a few af days per week. But these are really rare stories. Most that I've watched hover at moderation for a while then spike back up and can't get control. The new science does say that it's possible. I just think it's a heck of a lot of work. It occupied my mind more than sobriety does and was filled with so much frustration. It's an exhausting process. And if you listen to Bubble Hour, you will hear stories over and over again about people who tried the same thing and ultimately needed to stop drinking. I hope that helps. I have an awful lot to say about this and I'm very skeptical that it will work but for a precious few. One thing I can say about all the work I've done to resolve my issues before stopping drinking is that the quitting process has been somewhat easy for me. So far. Just a few light cravings here and there and I'm actually looking forward to being the sober girl in the room at social events. And I owe much of that to the advance work that I did. But it's still a very fragile thing. If something bad happens to one of my children. I really don't know what I'll do. That might send me over the edge.

    1. In what realistic world is 5-7 drinks a night....moderating, I have to wonder? That is still a helluva lot of alcohol to put into your system, an amount that has to bring eventual health tolls, an amount that is going to give you a world-fuzzing buzz....yeah, it's less. But what is it changing? Can you drive? Do your kids still you wake up feeling GOOD??

      Did I drink for the 'release' from life's problems, early on. Very likely. Did my relationship with alcohol change, in sneaky fashion, so that alcohol became just another problem? For me, yes.

      I could never imagine stopping....until I STOPPED. And within a couple weeks, my clarity of mind and vision were astonishing to me. All the rationalization and self-delusion could be cut through.....the sensible little voice that had been struggling, for years, to be heard...finally could be.

      There are many paths, I'm sure. And some of them are well-trod. Over and over and over again. I'm just glad I'm on this one....

  2. I agree with Ripleybelle. I think I might be able to moderate, but I KNOW how much hard work it would be and, frankly, having to exert all that self control in exchange for a measly glass or two of wine is just not worth it!
    The other issue I have with the theory of 'solving your problems first' is that a great deal of my problems - anxiety, low self esteem, insomnia etc were CAUSED by the booze. They went away, over time, as the booze did, rather than the other way around! And while you're still drinking, that level of self analysis is tough. I only saw it all clearly after weeks of AF.
    Please let us know how your friend gets on! Am most intrigued :-)
    Hugs xxx

  3. Perhaps you could stick with your method and make it an experiment of sorts between you and your friend? I don't think that method could work for me. I don't even know what I'm medicating, I just medicate. Plus even if I solved current issues new ones will arise one day and I'll medicate the only way I know how. I think we need to change our medication to something else, meditation or even chocolate would cause less harm. I know the only way for me is to stop drinking. Maybe moderation is possible, but for me I believe I would need a really, really long break first, to remove all ties and associations with alcohol.

  4. I tried to moderate my drinking, keeping track of how many days, and how much I drank.
    I still ended up drinking too much, and I was constantly thinking about alcohol and when I could drink, or how much.
    So for me, not drinking is so much easier.

  5. I drank to intensify joy and muffle pain. Still way more triggered by happy events, though. And if I were still drinking, I sure as heck wouldn't be interested in moderation. One or two glasses of wine holds absolutely no appeal for me. Give me as much as i want or don't give me any at all. And that is why, at 55 and four months sober, I choose not to drink.