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Day 23 – Melinda’s Reflections on a Break from Alcohol

Moderation Management (MM) Member Melinda shared these reflections on completion of a 30 day break from alcohol:

First and foremost, MM has helped me tremendously. I am cognizant of the fact that I am just coming off the high of completing my 30+, however, I have learned so much. There were two items that I read early on during my time here. One was “…and then what”, in reference to having one more, or another and another. The second, and related was “Play the movie to the end”. For me, previously, that meant getting sloppy, saying things I didn’t mean (good or bad), doing things I shouldn’t (like peeing in the woods on the golf course instead of driving to the facilities at the next hole – YUP, that was me.)

Again, in no particular order:

  • I’m happy with myself.
  • Weight Watchers really does work if you don’t drink all your points. I get it – those points were meant for nutrients. (I lost 5 lbs in my first 2 months of WW, and 10 lbs in month 3 alone (during my 30).
  • My skin is radiant, my eyes are whiter, my face is not puffy.
  • The house is picked up, very clean, laundry is done as needed, not in a marathon emergency session.
  • I cook at home. No more – how about wings and pizza at 9PM.
  • I’m in bed by 8:30 most nights.
  • I’m trying new things. I went to a toastmasters meeting and I’m going to join. Yes, me, the shy one. Scared shit – but excited too
  • Instead of spending $100+ at dinner out, the bills for the two of us are about $60 with tip at a decent place. Wow.
  • Did I mention saving money – everyone says how expensive groceries are. I agree, they are, BUT, should a family of two really be spending $400 week? Take away the bottles of wine and cases of beer (yes, cases), and wow, what a difference.
  • I am listening more to my loved ones. Appreciating them instead of multi-tasking. Also, I remember phone conversations with my Mom. Very important as she’s 88 and now that I’ve been abstinent, just the thought of knowing any conversation could be our last, I don’t want to be thinking someday, gee, I wish I wasn’t blotto on that call.
  • I’m sharper at work. More like the old me.
  • I appreciate nature like I used to.
  • I’m more apt to strike up a conversation. No worrying that I’m slurring, or not being able to remember what was said 2 minutes prior.
  • Emotionally, I am in a far better place. I am re-appreciating all the reasons I love my husband. Poor guy, he really has put up with a lot over the years.
  • I don’t feel like an imposter quite so much. I have a very demanding job, responsible for a staff of degreed engineers, which I am not. However, I have many years of management experience and my department has always been successful. The past several years I have not been up to my standards (though my reviews are always great). Now without the haze of hangovers I feel like I am worthy of the position I hold.
  • Physically and Mentally, my energy is through the roof.

Next Chapter:

I call it a NOD instead of a MOD. A mod to me, is drinking in moderation. Yes, we have the MM rules, and I can carry them on a business card, or put them in my smart phone notes, but the term MOD is too vague for me. I need something specific. To me, NOD is something that resonates. To me, it means No Over Drinking. I know what that means. I don’t have to stop and think about my drink count, my BAC (blood alcohol content) numbers, (though it plays into it). I know, deep down in my gut, what and when over-drinking feels like and when it starts – it starts with that puffy bitch. I’m going to squash her.

Wrap up – probably the only succinct part of this post:

What once was unthinkable, is still unthinkable:

Pre 30: 9 drinks in one week – unthinkable. (Really, only 9? Sometimes I do that in a day. That’s nuts. Who can stick to that?)
Post 30: 9 drinks in one week – unthinkable. (Really, 9 in one week? I don’t want to even get a buzz. I just want the taste. I can do that over 1 glass of wine with dinner, AND 1 nice craft-brew at the pub beforehand).

So, then next chapter is going to be the hardest yet. Yesterday was day one of my 30 day NOD. Let’s see how it goes.

* * * In closing, thanks for listening everyone, and thank you to Melinda, for allowing yourself to try – and getting over being scared of success. * *  *

This post was contributed by the Forum’s Melinda