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Old 01-13-2019, 01:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A controversial post


I was sober for almost 7 months. In those 7 months, I had a sponsor, called her every day, got VERY involved in service work, did a 90/90, did another 90/90 and made friends in the fellowship.

Then I relapsed. I felt enormous shame and guilt as I picked up a white chip.

I went back with the plan of being sober, re-setting my sobriety steps, re-working the steps. Then I started to think....

Is this what I really want? Do I really want this life of complete abstinence, of restraint and NEVER being able to indulge in a drink?

I talked it over with my therapist, a couple friends and my significant other....

And I've decided to try moderate drinking.

Many of you will laugh at this post or say it's not possible for an alcoholic to moderate. It's been about a month, and I've been drinking responsibly. I've also nixed the bad habit of smoking and over-caffeinating that I got into when I got sober.

You all might be right- maybe it'll take another month, or even six months for me to return to my unhealthy habit of drinking a bottle of wine a day. But somehow I feel as though something's changed. Last night I had three drinks, and I simply did not WANT more. I felt that I'd achieved a perfect buzz, and there was simply no need to drink any more. More alcohol will make us feel worse; not better. There is no need to binge drink. I do not have that intense craving anymore.

Sounds a little too good to be true? That's what I thought too. But I think maybe, maybe I can finally get it this time. Maybe using mindfulness, maybe sticking to just a couple of drinks a week, I can really do it.

Just thought I'd throw this out there. I know this isn't exactly the audience that's going to tell me I'm doing the right thing, but had to post where I'm at. And if in six months I'm right back to my unhealthy alcoholic ways; well, you can all say "I told you so."
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Its not that controversial
I think everyone tries moderation - some of us try it endlessly.

Most of us have success , at least for a short while - usually just long enough for us to brush over those times when we don't moderate as strictly as we planned...

Before long we're back at square one or worse.

I recommend Allen Carrs book or Jason Vale's - both of them look at what alcohol is actually giving us as opposed to what we think or hope it is.

I understand Annie Graces Naked Mind book covers much of the same territory.

There are some good threads about moderation here too. Lessgravity had one not so long ago:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...oderation.html (My guide to moderation)

here is an older science based thread

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...nd-mirage.html (My view on moderation - the science behind the mirage)

and some personal testimonies:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...e-drinker.html (Can an alcoholic become a 'moderate' drinker?)

This is a really good thread to read - read it through to the end
https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...-drinking.html (Maturing out, moderate drinking)

It makes me sad, but you're going to do whatever you've already decided to do bringmeback.

I hope it works out - if it doesn't I hope you'll set your pride aside and come back and ask for help, cos you'll find it here

My own line? My desire for alcohol stole the things I loved from me, it destroyed my relationships, it stole my hope and trashed my reputation.

If that was a friend you'd kick them to the curb and never look back.

If I was still trying to find a place for alcohol in my life, I'd have to think I'm still suffering from the condition of alcoholism...not getting better from it.

D
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There are programs out there geared toward moderation, rather than abstinence. And some people may be suited for it. It's possible that some alcoholics (whatever that actually means) can drink moderately. However, I don't know of any self identified alcoholics who can drink moderately, and I have met hundreds.

It's possible you might be able to slow down, have just one drink, and enjoy yourself. Maybe you're not even an alcoholic. Do you think you are?
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Do whatever you want to do.
After all you are an adult and responsible for your actions.

There are a lot of factors in the alcoholism equation, age, style of drinking, blackout drinking, frequency, alone and isolated or with friends, risk taking, driving drunk, and such...

In my own case I tried moderating and tapering fully knowing deep down that I was only in the calm of the storm temporarily. Didn't take long at all to get back to my bottle of scotch per day.

Be true to yourself and decide once and for all if you're powerless when it comes to alcohol (or any other drugs or meds)

Hoping for the best for you.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by theVman31 View Post
Be true to yourself and decide once and for all if you're powerless when it comes to alcohol (or any other drugs or meds)
A self identified alcoholic once suggested this simple test. He presented it as a joke. The humor lies in its paradoxical sounding insight. It doesn't address the question of alcoholism directly, but it could be one self observation in a series used to identify a person's drinking profile.

If you are struggling to control your drinking, you are not in control of your drinking.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My wish is always for every single person to live their own best life. Includes whatever someone decides about drinking, or not, or...I hope you find the kind of permanent living that is best and healthiest and happiest for you.
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"Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Only time will tell and only YOU know the truth of all of this.
Those of us who choose abstinence do so because we cannot drink in moderation. We also choose abstinence because drinking wasn't fun, or wasn't working anymore (only making life messier as opposed to more enjoyable.)

My question to you is, what do you get out of drinking? What is so great about it that you can't imagine your life without out? I used to think life was more fun, conversations more enjoyable, music more amazing when I was buzzed or drunk. Now at 20 months sober I have discovered I am a new person entirely. The person I thought I was is different than the real me and I never would have known that if I hadn't stopped drinking. Music is absolutely amazing sober, so are real friends and real conversations about the things that actually matter in life.

Anyway, that's just my perspective of course.
But again I will ask you, what is it about drinking that you don't want to give up?
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Controversial topic indeed.

I've always been of the opinion that a very, very small minority of alcoholics are able to return to 'normal' drinking but it depends on how far down the rabbit hole they've gotten. For 99.9% of people I believe it's not possible and just not worth the risk.

I really hope this moderation thing works out for you and if it does I'm really happy for you. I wish so much that I was able to grab the concept of balance and just be able to have the odd glass of wine on a Saturday night like I used to. I think deep down I haven't given up on that one day yet. I don't know what that says for my recovery as I know it's heading down dangerous territory. All I know for now is I am determined not to go back to drinking the way I was.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bringmeback7693 View Post
I was sober for almost 7 months. In those 7 months, I had a sponsor, called her every day, got VERY involved in service work, did a 90/90, did another 90/90 and made friends in the fellowship.

Then I relapsed. I felt enormous shame and guilt as I picked up a white chip.

I went back with the plan of being sober, re-setting my sobriety steps, re-working the steps. Then I started to think....

Is this what I really want? Do I really want this life of complete abstinence, of restraint and NEVER being able to indulge in a drink?

I talked it over with my therapist, a couple friends and my significant other....

And I've decided to try moderate drinking.

Many of you will laugh at this post or say it's not possible for an alcoholic to moderate. It's been about a month, and I've been drinking responsibly. I've also nixed the bad habit of smoking and over-caffeinating that I got into when I got sober.

You all might be right- maybe it'll take another month, or even six months for me to return to my unhealthy habit of drinking a bottle of wine a day. But somehow I feel as though something's changed. Last night I had three drinks, and I simply did not WANT more. I felt that I'd achieved a perfect buzz, and there was simply no need to drink any more. More alcohol will make us feel worse; not better. There is no need to binge drink. I do not have that intense craving anymore.

Sounds a little too good to be true? That's what I thought too. But I think maybe, maybe I can finally get it this time. Maybe using mindfulness, maybe sticking to just a couple of drinks a week, I can really do it.

Just thought I'd throw this out there. I know this isn't exactly the audience that's going to tell me I'm doing the right thing, but had to post where I'm at. And if in six months I'm right back to my unhealthy alcoholic ways; well, you can all say "I told you so."

If you can control your drinking more power to you. For me that never worked. The problems always returned.

As far as saying "I told you so" if moderation doesn't work I don't think you'll hear much of that on SR.

You need to find out for yourself. Me? The warning signs were clearly posted in my early 20's but forget it. There was no way I was going to stop. I had to play the drink out until I reached 35.

At which point alcohol stopped working and I became sick and tired of being sick and tired.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My wish is always for every single person to live their own best life. Includes whatever someone decides about drinking, or not, or...I hope you find the kind of permanent living that is best and healthiest and happiest for you.
I agree one hundred percent.
You're an adult. You can drink if you want to.

I wish you the best
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Risk/reward. Is the "perfect buzz" worth it? Not in my opinion. I wish you luck.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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My oldest sister was an active member of AA for several years around 20 years ago. She lived about 1,000 miles away from our hometown so it wasn't really something that I saw and discussed with her (at the time, it seemed insane to me to not drink at all). Then one trip home, she made herself a drink. I think everyone in the room saw it and noticed, but no-one said a thing (which is so like my family).

She resumed daily drinking, and to my knowledge is able to hold down a job, is active in her community, and lives a very normal life. I don't know how much effort it takes her to manage her drinking, if she needs to at all. All I know is the last time I drank, I was ready to commit suicide. I've buried more than enough friends in the fellowship to know that I don't want to risk going back to the life I used to live.

My sister's choice is hers alone, and if one day she chose to quit, I wouldn't love her any more than I always have. I cannot know what goes on in her head, I choose to live and let live.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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A self identified alcoholic once suggested this simple test. He presented it as a joke. The humor lies in its paradoxical sounding insight. It doesn't address the question of alcoholism directly, but it could be one self observation in a series used to identify a person's drinking profile.

If you are struggling to control your drinking, you are not in control of your drinking.
great post. even if you have to control your drinking you're not in control of your drinking
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bringmeback7693 View Post
I
Is this what I really want? Do I really want this life of complete abstinence, of restraint and NEVER being able to indulge in a drink?
A theme present in many of your previous posts. The inability to accept never drinking again.

I get it. You are only in your 20s. I couldn't accept never drinking when I was 20, or even 30. Oh yeah, I couldn't accept it in my 40s either. Or when I was 50.

I accept it now though.

For the past couple of years, you've struggled to not drink. Sobriety is hard, drinking much easier. I certainly understand.

When drinking becomes the struggle, I hope you can find your way back.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I’ve tried many times to moderate. Never worked for me. One drink and that slow spiral downward began. However; I was an 18 out of 24 hour drinker.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:30 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I've also tried and tried. Do great for quite a long time sometimes but it always creeps up in the end.

These days I've had enough sober time to realize that alcohol isn't really giving me anything I can't do better for myself on my own.

But I would never have believe that when I first quit either . . .

Wishing you the best--be safe and be honest with yourself if it starts to slip.
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All the study in the world - and all the subjective hierarchies - won't get people sober. . .

Only action can do that."


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Old 01-13-2019, 05:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I think some people can moderate. When I was a kid my dad was always drinking beer and sometimes he would get drunk. Then one day all the alcohol in the house was gone. I think this was because of an ultimatum from my mom. My dad had zero alcohol for about 5 years. He then resumed drinking about 20 years. He has approximately 12 beers a week and does not ever binge drink. Well within the american guidelines.

For myself, I tried and failed at moderation many times. It was not until after I quit drinking that I realized I don't want to moderate. I do want to get drunk and that leads to bad times so abstinence is best for me. It is also way easier, I never have to think 'is one more to many" I know the number is always zero.

Please send a follow up post in the future. I would like to know how you are doing.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:37 AM   #18 (permalink)
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My thinking is very clear on this.

Sensible/responsible drinking isn't for me. The thought of stopping or slowing down just as the buzz kicks in is about as bad as it gets by my way of thinking. The only type of drinking that interests me is the getting drunk/smashed type of drinking. The idea of making one or two drinks last all night makes no sense to me whatsoever, it seems like torture.

And this is why I don't drink.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't think there's anything controversial about this. Please don't take this personally, but this choice and kind of thinking couldn't be more normal and typical of someone with a drinking problem.

People who need to moderate can't, those who can don't need to.

Wish you the best, but if expect nothing less than continued and extended pain and suffering on your path.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:41 AM   #20 (permalink)
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If you are an 'alcoholic' I surely won't laugh at the though of you moderating, I do cringe a bit though. You were active in AA. There is a test in there for you to decide if you are alcoholic: go down to the local bar and have a few and stop abruptly, do this a number of times, if you can just stop without desiring more, then you may not be an alcoholic. And perhaps you aren't.

But why did you stop drinking? What damage has alcohol caused in your life that you went to AA for 7 months? And what magic do you think you will find in that bottle?

I've been sober for a good while now and when I look at what alcohol gave me and what it took away I made the right choice for me. But I am much older than you and I drank heavily for decades. There was not mystery to me what was in store for me if I kept along that path.

Many people seem to be able to moderate their drinking. At least it seems that way from the outside. But the more I look closely at it, I think moderation is a stage of drinking. Alcohol is an addictive drug. That is a fact. And the more you take the better the chance you will become addicted.

Tread carefully out there.
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