Monday, 11 May 2015

What's so Great About Moderation Anyway?

Day 71. For some reason I believe that 100 is the magic number, and that when I get there I'll be over the wall and into the Promised Land. Only 29 more days to go....

Regular readers will know that I, like many of you I imagine, am obsessed by the idea of moderation (stick it in bold). That's moderation (looks even more appealing in italics). MODERATION! (Too much perhaps?).

The reason 'moderation' is our holy grail, and the wine witch's most deadly ammunition, is that - whilst we never want to go back to opening the second bottle of wine, or the totally unnecessary bottle drunk on our own while watching telly, or the sneaky half bottle at 4.30pm while cooking the children's supper - we would dearly love to be able to keep the really 'special ones'.

My special ones would include a glass of rose in the garden with the husband on the first hot day of the year. The chilled glass of white to celebrate arriving at your summer holiday destination. A glass of champagne at a wedding or New Year's Eve. A punchy red with the Christmas Turkey. I'd better not go on or I'll be cracking open the cooking sherry....

If only we could have just those. Can I do a deal with the universe? I'll be really, really good. I'll make all the children, and even the dog, go to church every Sunday. I'll volunteer for every local charity and give all my spare cash to the homeless if I can just keep the special ones.

Then, as I was reading 'Drink' by Ann Dowsett Johnston I got to a passage where she explained that her mother - who was a chronic, low bottom, drunk and had a huge negative impact on Ann's childhood - at the age of seventy gave up all booze except two glasses of wine a day, mixed with coca cola.

WHAT?!?!? Firstly, how the hell did she do that? And, secondly, if you're only going to drink 2 glasses of wine a day, why on earth would you ruin them by mixing them with Coke???

This got me thinking, yet again, that maybe - just maybe - the whole 'moderation' malarkey is possible....

But then I thought STOP RIGHT THERE SOBERMUMMY! We've been through all this before. We know that one leads to another and another (see Moderation. Is it possible? and Moderation is it possible? Part 2). And, here's the new bit, even if moderation were possible, would it be any good in any case?

Ann Dowsett Johnston says that her Mum would pour the first of her yicky drinks at 6pm on the dot, and the second one also at a precise time. Now WE KNOW that she would have been looking at her watch constantly from about 4pm and fighting off the wine witch. Even if we had that self control would we really want to have to exercise it EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of our lives?

Plus, I don't know about you, but the one 'special drink' was never enough for me. It didn't provide enough of the buzz, or the numbness, or whatever I was looking for at the time. All it did was make me want the next glass.

And, finally, if we were able to 'moderate', to keep to one glass of wine a day, or whatever, we would never get to experience all the benefits of being properly sober, properly present, properly in control. All we would be doing is constantly stoking that desire for more, and forever feeling deprived.

So, for the first time since I quit the booze I am, genuinely, starting to think not "can I moderate?" but "who the hell would want to?" and that, my friends, is PROGRESS!

Plus the sun is shining.

Love to you all

SM x

19 comments:

  1. well done, sounds like you'll be in a good place by day 100

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    1. How are you doing Kats? Are you day counting?

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    2. no not day counting, just going with the flow : ) I have done this a few times before so just seeing what happens, not sure I am finished 'forever' to be honest but i think over the next year or two i will stop permanently. I am 38, i think its a good time to stop as from what I can see on all the blogs a lot of us women seem to get in trouble when it all catches up in out 40's. So my timing might be good!! Chat soon xx

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  2. The thought of moderation pops into my head all the time too but I keep coming to the same conclusion, will I really just have one and I love my life so why do I need to be numb to enjoy it. 82 days Sober!!!!

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    1. 82 days! Wow! I keep reading your name as 'mythreesomes'! Lol. You rock x

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  3. You have to wonder what her mom got out of those 2 glasses. And if, perhaps, it became more than that in private.

    The I act her drinking had on Ann when young is more important. My kids are still young enough that they deserved sober mommy.

    Moderation would rob them of that.

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    1. Totally agree with all of that Ann! Hear hear.

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  4. Phew. I was getting really nervous reading your blog today. I was mentally shouting at you NO, NO, Don't you dare. Then you talked yourself out of it and remembered. That wine witch is a sneaky cow alright. It goes to show how we still have to be on our guard. Well done for passing 70. x

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    1. ah, I was just playin' with you, Tallaxo!

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  5. Great post! I have been "craving" a drink a lot the past few days! But, when I really think through it, I know that one drink is not what I want. I want multiple drinks and to feel a certain way - to escape. Good to know others are in a similar spot! :)

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  6. It's like when dieting we are desperate to reach goal weight and then when do we realise nothing has actually changed. At nine months sober I am so keen to teach one year as think that shows I am a sober person but realise in reality I will feel exactly as I do now!

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  7. Moderation for me has been just ONE bottle of wine....what a ridiculous word! I have managed to convince myself if I ONLY drink white wine, if I ONLY drink one bottle, OR in the summer if I ONLY drink beer, if I NEVER touch spirits...somehow I am a moderate drinker....

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    1. I did all those deals too - and never stuck to them!

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  8. There is actual scientific reasoning to you believing 100 days is a milestone. It has been proven that if you change habitual routines for 100 consecutive days you are more likely to succeed at adopting the new ways of behaviour. I set out on the 100 day challenge but have realised this needs to be a lifetime change which is quite a scarey prospect as we all know. I even have a hair appointment and babysitter all arranged for 'Day 101'. Might need to rethink that. x

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    1. RE-THINK! You know it makes sense :-)

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  9. And ditto to the deals. I've done them all too. It's good to know I wasn't alone in my (trying to shake the wine witch off) tactics. x

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  10. Be wary of that 100. I got to it, and then to 120 and felt utterly defeated that I was still battling. I couldn't see my achievement, only that I would never get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I don't have the answer (obviously! ) but don't let the same happen to you. Any round number is just a human contrivance, perhaps for you the magic will happen at 98 or 108. I sure hope it happens for me this time.

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  11. You crack me up, SoberMummy :-D Anyway, I've given up on moderation because the moderate amount of wine - half a bottle at the most - just doesn't float my boat. I would still be practically sober, and then what would be the point? The only amount of wine I'm interested in on a daily basis is 1-2 bottles, and that is not moderate.

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