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Day 22 – The Choice Is Mine

“Time will pass anyway, you can either spend it creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don’t want“
– Unknown

Six months ago, I learned that harm reduction programs relative to problem drinking are found to be quite successful and are recognized by medical doctors as being as effective as abstinence, sometimes even more so. I began researching these programs and found Moderation Management (MM).

I had not consumed alcohol for two weeks when I finally called to participate in my first MM meeting. At that time, I was most concerned about the negative impact on my marriage that overindulging in alcohol was triggering. My first meeting let me know I was on the right path. Yes, my very first meeting. I found compassion, encouragement and camaraderie with people who were taking responsibility for choosing and maintaining their own path of moderation. In addition, using the steps and guidelines of MM, the choice of a plan of moderation was mine. Yes, the choice was mine and that, along with MM guidelines, appealed to me as no abstinence program of rules ever had. Abiding by rules I set for myself are far easier to follow and maintain than those set by others.

At my first meeting, I was already 14 days into my initial 30-day abstinence which ultimately lasted 45 days. The parameters within my plan were quite limited, but, so far, my limits in my plan have worked well for me. I made the decision to not keep alcohol at home, to avoid alcohol when working the following day, to always eat something while drinking, to limit my drinks according to less than MM’s suggested amount for women and to drink some water in between cocktails. This was new behavior for me and I was amazed at how quickly it resulted in a positive effect on my marriage and on my own thoughts and feelings about me. I found that my triggers of drinking to excess, emotions and stress being two of the most common, were not unique. And over a rather brief period of time I felt a sense of belonging to a group of people much like me. New behavior, the choices I have made with respect to alcohol, are becoming familiar, routine and simply my path. We are both pleased with the ways in which MM has shaped the new me.

To the newcomers and those considering joining us in your own Moderation Management journey: I encourage you to join us and reap the benefits of embracing an MM way of life. My plan may not be right for you. Fear not. Using MM information as guidance, the choice is yours, just as it is mine.

Post Submitted By: Tina, MM member