from the crew
Weeks One and Two

(Click here to skip forward to Weeks Three and Four)


* Don't sweat it if you find yourself developing other temporary
obsessions (house fix-ups, computer upgrades, writing projects were some
of mine). This is a time to make abs the priority, not perfectionism in
multiple areas.

* Procrastinate creatively. If you're feeling tempted, figure out how
to hold off for an hour or a half hour at a time and do something
enjoyable during that time.

* Make a back-out plan. When I continued abstaining after my 30, mine
was: "I won't have my next drink unless I've planned it a week ahead."
Then, when faced with a situation where I wanted a beer, my
self-coaching was "I can have that beer if I really want it, but not
today. I'm free to plan it for a week out, if that's what I really
want." During a 30, you could use 48 hours instead of a week. After
all, circumstances might make make the 30 days of abs unworkable for
whatever reason. The back-out plan helped me feel like I was in control
and still making my own decisions, yet challenged me to avoid breaking
my abs on impulse.

* Don't rule out improbable options. Remember that ending your abs
prior to 30 days is an option, but so is continuing the abs well beyond
30 days. If you haven't exercized much before, think about finding new
ways to play or exercize. Try new foods. Check out unusual teas, soft
drinks (ginger beer, birch beer are interesting root beers). Ride a
rollercoaster. Take a weekend road trip.

* If you're a parent, REALLY enjoy your kids. If you don't have kids
but you're an aunt, uncle, neighbor, whatever to kids you enjoy, do
something special with them.

* Be gentle with yourself. Changes in mood, appetite and sleep are not
unusual. Don't sweat it if/when you find yourself overtired, depressed,
irritable or low in libido. Typically, these things will pass.

* Reconnect with long-lost friends. Have dinner with those folks you
didn't connect with very well because they didn't drink, or drank very

* Think about interesting people you've met who don't drink, especially
anyone who was quirky or unique or intriguing. (Some of the healthiest,
high-spirited folks I've met have either never drank or used AA to
switch to abstinence.) Picture yourself as one of those healthy,
quirky, fun folks.

* Plan some fun stuff ahead of time. Make sure some of it encourages
you to giggle or be silly.

* Believe that it's possible for 30 days of abstinence to change you.
It won't solve all of your problems, but it can make a very real


While the 30 day abs/cruise should be fun..Let's also keep in mind that
it is only 1 step of the 9 listed in our program.  Also abstaining for 30
days is only a part of the step..the rest of it is to complete steps 3-6

3. Examine how drinking has affected your life.

4. Write down your priorities.

5. Take a look at how much, how often, and under what circumstances you used
to drink.

6. Learn the MM guidelines and limits for moderate drinking.


While it's great to not drink for 30 days, it's is also important to find
other activities to replace the drinking. Depending on how much we are used
to drinking, we will find that we now have a lot of free time..not drinking
and not recovering from the effect of drinking.  What are we going to do to
occupy that time?  reading, movies, volunteer work, exercise..whatever it is
that each person enjoys.




It helps (in fact is very important) to have & set your Planned
Limits firmly in mind BEFORE you pour the first one.  Visulize how you're
going to stop at that limit...  Think of what 'sometimes' causes you not
to...  Should you drink slower?  Have something non-alc between each?  Make
sure to eat?  Buy or have less around?  (each person is different so these
will be your own answers as you come up with them, etc)

It's best to have as much of a ("conscious") plan 'each time' going in as
possible...  Also, try to learn from those times when you don't (or haven't)
moderated, but went over.  What were the circumstances (thoughts, emotions,
atmosphere - whatever) before, during & after, either the first decision to
have something, or at the point where you went beyond moderate or your set
limits? (no more than 3 per day for women, 4 for men is MM's
recommondation...  also no more than 9 per wk for women, 12 <I think it is>
for men...  with 3-4 days per wk off...  There's Much info on the website,
if you haven't been there yet you might want to check it out, browse around

The best advice (& you'll hear it often here g) is set your goals, "have a
plan" & then practice...  As you go along try to learn as much from your
'mistakes' as you can, alter your plan accordingly & move on...  Try to be
patient with yourself too - it takes Time to change patterns & habits...  (&
tell your bf if need be, to Calm Down!!  This is "your baby" and You are
working it Your Way!! ;)  You'll get there!

BTW, since you "often do well", I personally (it worked for me) think it's
important to explore a bit all the circumstances of THOSE times too!!!
Those 'may be' the best for your plans...  You can gage 'those' times (& how
you're thinking, feeling, etc.) from the others & know when (at least for a
while, until you've uncovered some of your 'triggers' - i.e., using alc
instead of other coping tools that you'd prefer & will set up), it's best to
Wait & Not have anything that day or time (be able to Save your mod times
for when you know you can simply Enjoy your one or two as an addition or
accompanyment to other things, etc. - rather than for instance, ferverishly
trying to block something out or 'feel different', relieve bordem, etc)...

"Use your Successes" & they will grow, while you're learning from the 'less
thans' & fading them out...



Hello All:   Just wanted to post a bit about the upcoming weekend.  I know for me, the hardest part about a thirty was the first two weekends.  Alcohol had always been present on my weekends, even if I didn't overdue it (rarely).  The first weekend without was sort of like cutting off an arm.    I mention this not to scare anyone but because so many of us "cruising" are doing a 30 for the first time, and one of the big keys to success is planning.  What are all of you going to do this weekend?  If you are going to be out with friends, what are your strategies for not drinking?  What are you going to do at 5:00pm on Friday, Saturday?  This is going to be a big change after all the events surrounding the holidays.    It is hard, but easier if you have your time filled and I mean all of it.  You know when your trigger times are -- have plans.    Focus on how good it feels to not have had anything to drink for four days.  Stock up on seltzer, tea and snacks.  Remember your body is used to alcohol calories and it will be hungry.  Unbelievably hungry.  I didn't focus food issues for two weeks.  I let myself have sweets as a reward for not drinking and got in the grove.  (less calories actually)  I didn't want to set myself up to fail (aside from being totally impossible to live with).   Expect mood swings   Exercise   Read   Journal   Sorry to be the blowhard. I just remember how hard the first few weekends can be if you are unprepared.  Okay you can keelhaul me if you want....   :)Dach   PS.  One more thing.  For me cooking and wine were synonymous.  I got take out or went out or kept it really simple for a while -- associations are a big part of habit changing.  I avoided those situations until I felt more confident.


One thing that my H and I might do is take in a long, well rated movie.  I've never once had an urge to drink in a movie theatre.  ( mindyou, on one lonely occasion, I went to a movie theatre 'after' having eaten and drunk too much in a restaurant and literally slept though the entire movie, "The Patriot". What a waste of Mel Gibson. )  Maybe I would have anyway, I don't know.  :-)   Another thing might be to go to a completely different kind of restaurant- some place where the cuisine is totally different than anything I've tried before.  Focus on the new food items as opposed to what I wash it down with.   Plan a bedroom date.  One where I will experience complete clear-headedness.  On weekends, how many of us compromise our love life because of dulled sensory perception?  ( Oh boy oh boy, am I ever looking forward to this idea! ) Start out by sharing a bath together and letting it lead to one thing after another..... Add a girlie magazine ( or boyie magazine ) that you can actually see without closing one eye..   Rent a classic movie- something that you ( and your significant other ) have always wanted to rent, but thought that it might be too long or detailed for a dulled mind to fully appreciate, follow, or even remember for that matter. Add extra buttery hot popcorn and a soft drink like sparkling diet cranberry. ( the butter and the diet drink cancel one another out, you know. ;-)   ) View while tucked cosily under the sheets.   Scrabble. ( or some other kind of thinking board or card game )  ( I know I'm weird. )  I used to love playing scrabble many years ago, but when with my ex never got to play it.  I tried playing it with my hubby once since moving here, but I had been drinking and that took all the fun out of it because of my limited concentration power.  Watch out!- I've got an "X" and I'm going to use it on a triple word score space!! As for cards, after a couple of drinks, I'm a completely useless card player.   Plan on making a brand spanking new dish...something that requires you to go out and buy up various novel ingredients, and something that takes time.  Compliment your ongoing work of art with sparkling grape juice or a non alcoholic variety of wine. Soothing background music to round out the adventure.   Train your dog. ( that goes without saying. ) Gerri


I think it's because I'd sort of planned on "one last
binge" New Year's Eve, but I worked so late that there
just wasn't enough time to get into trouble. I feel
like I'm short a binge. Agggh!


Eat mud and die.  And hey!  Look at me, dipshit. 
I'm not done in, on the ground, or beaten. 
And I'm not drunk. 
I bet you are.
Whew.  Was that over the top?  Well, maybe it was.
I feel better.


1. Journal - Identify your triggers. Ask yourself: "what makes me drink
and why?" What new feelings/insights does being abs provide you?

2. Plan - Although, a huge accomplishment, completing the 30 is NOT a
silver bullet. You are not "fixed" when you are done. You need to be
accountable for your actions and have a plan for when the 30 is up. Even
if you do not make the 30, no one can take that from you. It is still
positive steps in the right direction. PLAN for the next time. What will
you do different?

3. Stay vigilant - Don't get complacent (see I told you I would say it
again). That boomerang has been known to return with a vengeance, trust

4. Don't beat yourself up - We are only human, not perfectionists. You
(likely) did not develop this habit (debatable in the treatment
community, I know) overnight and you will not (likely) change it
overnight. Be patient and keep doing the work. You build it and it will

What's on the agenda today folks??

Redneck Rudy


Excuse me my dear Ana, you are not on square one.

You have the Knowledge that you can be moderate.
You have the Knowledge that you're human.
And you KNOW that every once in a while the two don't
quite coexist.

And if no temptations come... you'll never be able to use that
knowledge. That would be a real waste

You are strong.


So, I guess the point of this is that even tho I said here that I wouldn't
tell lpeople about my 30 day abs, I guess I did, and I'm glad it came out. 
If I would have known that they would have felt the way they do, I probably
would have told them about the first one too.  I'm not sure that they'll be
overtly supportive because they have so many things on their minds (like
schoolwork, etc.) but knowing that they are cheering for me sure will help.


Just a world to all of us.  I can relate and understand where the first timers are.  
I am with all of you - I know is tough -- so...

HANG IN THERE!!!!!  The craziness IS ONLY TEMPORARY!!!!!!!!!!!!


Being ex-navy I wretched at the thought of the cruise but at sea was the only time I never drank. My wife and I were talking yersterday and the last three days were the first time we could remember in the last ten years I hadn't drank willingly! What a shock! Yesterday was brutal. Chainsaw ran fine all morning but the afternoon it stalled. A good test that spiraled me down into despair. Noticed, though, that I wasn't swearing like I usually do. You are helping me through this. I can see February Island on the horizon already. It's the realizing of how bad it had gotten that is motivating me. I have a keg of beer left in my house from New Year's. ICE COLD KEG! Not even a temptation at this stage and I' still on vacation. Thanks for the support and all you suffering out there keep fighting. Thanks to all!


Gosh, I don't even know what day it is...but I feel great.  I'm not really
focused so much on how many days I have as much as how good I feel or how
clear my mind is becoming.  My enthusiasm to accomplish work tasks and
recreational stuff is increasing.   I'm developing a new rhythm and building
new associations. I've taken  three people captive with me ( I must be a
strong influence?) yet they are not participating in these postings
(although I did mention it to them).  It makes it much easier and more
enjoyable to have others to share the challenge with. 


That monster in my head wants to get the best of me - but a fattening oily pizza with a fattening coke will get a hold of him.  I am more powerfull!!!!   :0)
Got to go - pizza time.


What a crack up!  I thought it'd be smooth.  When does it get smooth?  Is there a White Squall ahead?  Off to bed so I can wake early and check in with anyone who might respond with some encouragement!  Does it get more challenging than this?  I don't totally want to do abstinence...atleast I was talking myself out of it tonight.  I fear what might happen after abstinence...will I go beserk and over do it?  Feast after the famine?!?!? 


I'm glad too but my problem can be that I get confident too quickly...after 4 or 5 days, I'm likely to say, "I can do 30 days, but why bother or I can, but don't want to" or something like that. Have to keep the target of long term moderation in clear sight and not let it slip away.


Empty calories are empty calories, no matter
where they come from. I've decided I don't want to
substitute one bad habit with another. So, I'm trying
to watch how much candy, cookies, soft drinks, fruit
juice etc. I eat / drink. Several on this list have
said it before, we need to have a nutritional plan in place.


My kids know.  There will be no lying between me and them.  I want them to know
mom is human.  I make mistakes.  I'll admit them.  I'll work on fixing them.  And
when it's their turn to make mistakes, I'll be here.  They can be honest and we
can always try to make it better.


I was reflecting (and that is what part of the 30 is for) on the times past, the hangovers, the scrambling at all costs to get more alcohol, even endangering your life (or others) to get the fix, the blackouts, the mystery bruises, the PDI's (public display's of ignorance), the mystery empty wallet, etc., etc. It almost makes me sick now to think of those times. It is such a Jeckell and Hyde persona for me. I don't know who that person is and frankly, I don't care if I ever see him again. 


For all those on a 30, here's a couple of things that helped me.

Remember Maslow
At first I concentrated on the very basic essential needs, good food, adequate sleep, exercise, overall physical health. If I don't feel good physically I usually don't feel good mentally.
More on Maslow.

Enjoy the ride
I believe in goals, but I find that accomplishing the little things on the way towards the goal much more rewarding than reaching the goal itself.
I found that the satisfaction I received from doing things like getting up early, keeping the house clean, exercising, paying bills, and reading, is what made the 30 day abs worthwhile for me. At the end of the day, all the little piddly things I did made me feel a huge sense of accomplishment. Drinking or hungover, the first things I would ignore were all the little piddly things.

Hope these thoughts are of use to some of you.
Onward, forward, have fun, and drink lots of water.

St. Paul Dave


Last nite, Tyler came into my room to give me a kiss good nite and asked
what I was reading.  I showed him the cover (MM book) and told him that it
was a book to help people not drink so much ... that mommy was going to
not drink as much wine as she used to.  I told him that it would help mommy
drink more water and things that were good for her.


I'm kind of relieved you're finally really angry.  It takes a
lot of energy to hold the anger back.  And anger, as a former
therapist of mine used to say, is problem-solving energy.


"Finish every day and be done with it.  You have done
what you could; some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day;
you shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a
spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
--Ralph Waldo Emmerson


Everybody get away from the guard rails and  back to your cabins. It's the
notorious Saturday Trench. Home of some of the most vicious creatures alive.
Throw the lines over the side in case someone falls overboard tonite. They
can catch the lines streaming behind the boat and pull themselves back
onboard. Get the eyeglass out and man the spots we've got to save anyone of
misfortune from those sharks. Mean and unrelenting they are! They'll bump
you and nudge you until you're delirious and then they'll leave you. We've
saved many a soul from this trench and most get back to normal after a wee
bit of remorse. Aye maties we have to be careful tonight!

At sunrise there will be a school of flying fish around the boat and at
about 8:00 a.m. the dolphins will conduct a show followed by the whale
escort through Sunday Straits. When through the Straits we'll be heading
into the vast open waters of Second Week Sea. It's a wonderful body of water
where anything can happen!



Another thought...these 5 days have been a cruise..relatively easy..the next 4
should be easy..but my resolve towards a full 30 was weakening a bit last
night..heady with my own success..what would be wrong with 1 or 2 drinks next
weekend?  why can't I have a few and be normal like everyone else? 
answer...because I have forfeited that right..due to my past behavior...there
was a bit of a craving..not for alcohol..but for be like
everybody else and have a few...interestingly, that thought went away when I
got my NA beer..


YAHOOO Robert!!!  I think, like yourself, we're all feeling a great sense of
accomplishment ... just think how we'll feel later this week ... and the
following week ... and the following week!!!


I have found that, aside from this list, I have
learned the most from falling on my face a few times.
A crooked nose is not all that high a price to pay for
these valuable lessons.

Hang in there and keep learning!


The longest I have ever gone is 5 days.  I am just sick about failing last night but I am going to pick myself back up and get on board.  I've been cruisin all day today.  I get extremely ansty and I am aware of every drink that is being served on TV or otherwise.  I do have cravings and I want things to feel normal, to me drinking is normal.  I feel deprived when I am not drinking.  After doing a few 4 day abs throughout the week things get a lot easier.  My biggest trigger right now is if I get upset or my feelings hurt - then I say who gives a crap!  When really I do.  The best part is how you feel in the morning.  Someone on the list said that they think about drinking and then they remember how great they feel in the morning.  And I sleep better too.  Everyone is so different.  It takes lots of times and baby steps to change a ingrained habit.  I too feel like I have lost a friend.  But it was a very unhealthy friend, that is how I keep looking at it.  I don't know if any of this helps but I thought I would share.   :) Dani


I am not giving up. I will never give up. I will conquer this demon no matter what, no matter how long it takes.


It's just the Beast getting really bored and annoyed that the asking nicely for another drink hasn't been working :o)  Boy is my Beast pissed off at me.  So, it saves its energy and fights only occasionally in really strong bursts now :o)


To all--

Well, this seems like a good time to reprise this. We have lots
of new people since I last posted it. I personally am feeling the
need to remind myself of how important all of you are to me. So,
with no further ado, I submit this metaphor:

Next Fall when you see geese heading South for the Winter...flying
along in V formation, you might consider what science has discovered
as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates
an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation
the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range, than if each
bird flew on its own. There are 5 basic truths I agree with in what
geese do each year.

1. People who share a common direction & sense of community
can get where they are going quicker & easier because they are
traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag &
resistance of trying to go it alone...and quickly gets back into
formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

2. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with
those who are heading the same way we are going.

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing &
another goose flies point.

3. Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up
their speed.

4. We need to be careful what we say when we honk from behind.

When a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots, & falls out of
formation, two other geese fall out with that goose & follow it down
to lend help & protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able
to fly, or until it dies, & only then do they launch out, on their own, or
with another formation to catch up with their group.

5. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other
like that.



I am doing great so far without drinking. But sometimes, I want to just go
and buy a bottle and hide! Who would know? ME!!! That is the only reason I am
not doing it.


It's not the abstaining that I personally need to work on.
It's the aftermath.


The canada goose is an amazing bird, you may also note that it mates for
life. All these reasons why I stopped hunting geese many many years ago.
That and the fact I think they were smarter thatn me cuz I never got

One of the important things you forgot to mention about the V formation
is why one side of the V is longer than the other.... the reason is that
there are more birds on the that side.


[You can have your lotion privilege taken away for that. Now go sit in the
corner for twenty minutes. <g> Mikey]


In essence, it's that one can more easily accept abstinence once honest efforts at moderation have failed. ... I have a whole different daunting task ahead of me--learning to abstain. That's my only shot, at least for the forseeable future, of getting any balance and harmony back in my life. Take care everyone, and Alohaoe--which means, among other things--til we meet again.
Aloha Dave


My turn to give back, because (to use a cliche) only in giving do you truly receive. (And another) What goes around comes around. I have been rather successful in avoiding any serious consequences from my drinking in the past so, I think it is in my best interest to be prepared (and SOBER) for when it comes back around. No telling in what shape or form it will show up, but it will, I just know it.


-- glad to hear you're writing, Roomie!  I've been doing it at night
before I go to bed.  Not exactly all that I want, but getting in the habit of
at least putting down a few things.  I've been walking and I'm definitely
going to try to keep up on the yoga, alternating days with walking.  Probably
try to combine the yoga with the bands on those exercise days. 
My weekend -- Went well.  Yesterday went to a Bears Party (go Bears!)  and
had only one Clausthaler and diet Pepsi.  I feel really good, no cravings,
can sleep, finally writing in my journal. 


Before I came to MM I had jillions of false starts.  In fact, I knew about the group for about one and a half years before signing on.  I was just ready to do the thirty when I signed on.  There are many people who never complete a thirty and moderate successfully.  Didn't you just read Heathers post -- two years and just now getting there.  That is where I would have been if I had joined when I found out about MM.  At least Heather worked at moderation for two years.  I just drank.  She built skills.  You are building skills and learning.


I was in a crappy mood since I was dwelling on the fact that I couldn't drink.  Finally I decided that my attitude was horrible, (to say the least), and changed my thoughts to, "I CAN enjoy myself without bloody alcohol!"  ... The evening turned out wonderful for me since many of my friends were giving me raves about my willpower.  I felt I was really gaining a deeper respect.  I was also grateful to be able to find our boat on the way back and take care of the poor H who was one hurting unit this morn.  Well, I said it better this morning but I felt Grrreat! 


As for the pirates...I dare them to board.



...there we were..2 people..2 wine glasses..
I was tempted to try..for the taste...but didn't.

[I found a nice trick for this one. When they set the glass down in front of you, turn it upside down. Most times they'll take it away right then.



That is not what I want from my life.  I did not like that self-destructive feeling anymore.  It was awful!!!!   

I also want to try moderation.  I want to be able to not drink alone and I think I may struggle with that issue -- who knows.  I have been so busy that I know I can't drink or I will screw up this one.  

You hang in there and keep your chin up.  Nobody has failed or drowned here, they only got wet.  


Day 7 of my abs, and not only have I shattered my previous best ( I never made it more than 4 days w/o a drink or 20 in the last 12 years), but tonight I actually turned down alcohol. TWICE!  :) ... First at work (I'm a cook), the bartender brought me back a Vodka/Lemonade (extra vodka) and I let it set there taunting me for about 10 minutes before I realized it wouldn't kill me to just pass it up. So I just handed it to another cook, BOY was he happy!! ....... But I was sitting there with 3/4 of that tall glass of wine right in front of me. Man do I love the wine........But I actually had will-power and turned it down. Me? Will-power? Where the hell did that come from?!?!?!??


"You cannot run away from a weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?"
--Robert Louis Stevenson


So, you guessed 'er, Chester, I'm stickin' with the program! New plan is to not only go 30, but might as well do the whole month of January on the induction phase and stay aboard, seein' as how I'm not badly wanting alcohol right now (although I've become hooked on the hot herb tea). Then, I'll have my mod plan -- the Fri through Sun thing with three drinks per day and Abs Train Mon.-Thur. each week. So, I've passed the waffling! Yay (and the crowd went wild).


I cannot believe how good I feel. I exercised last night and went for a ride afterwards. Usually I would polish off a few beers at that time, but I didn't. Wanted to but didn't. My head is really clearing up. I'm sharp as a tack. This is incredible. ... I felt great this morning. No crappy feeling under my eyes. This is so cool to feel good. I hope the rest of you feel somewhat close to this good. So much of this is psychological. I don't have to walk around with guilt about drowning my sorrows last night and the sorrows just don't seem that bad right now.


Congrats to everyone on board. 
One week down.  Ship shape.



I find myself doing things in the evenings that I would normally not do, it would have cut into my slamming beer time.  The kids and I went to the library last night and to the pharmacy.  I feel good too, I'm glad things are looking up for you.  I understand what it is like to let go of some of the "night before" guilt and it DOES feel great. Have a great day.


I believe that most of us here are sensitive, caring people who have a really hard time coping with stress. I believe that the greatest gift we can give ourselves is the courage to face troubles (big and small), without running to the liquor cabinet. Any means that will help us do so is valuable -- whether it is faith, meditation, exercise, reading, standing up and voicing our anger and fears, etc.
Breaking the cycle of fearing to face our lives is step one in moving toward moderation. That is where I am today. Without MM and my friends here, I'd still be back at square one, rather that on my way out of this maze of fear.
Mary Lou (Pitchfork Polly)


My wife is starting to show her faith in my decision to defeat this. She doesn't want to let her guard down to get hurt more. She knows there is something going on. She's starting to believe. You can see it when you look into her eyes. I imagine her happiness when she's alone at home, hoping to God, hoping with all her heart that my evil twin never shows up. Oh yeah she'll deal with it if it does but her heart will be hurt a little more. Better to not hope at all and never be let down than have hope only to have it shattered. At this stage of life you get worn down. I'm tenacious in my life and can take most thrown at me. This cruise is tough but I can make it. She's a bit different. Her endurance is waning but the cruise has her eyes twinkling! If I get what I want she wins,too. Her quiet suport is an important part of my cruise.


I know how you feel - I keep batting away those
feelings of "only 3 more weeks to go!" until what?
Until I can go back to my old ways?  So, I'm writing
down the really cool things I'm experiencing by not
drinking - like more energy, being in better shape,
more productive, clear-headed mornings, etc.  - and
trying to make the non-drinking days something that I
will equally look forward to. 


But, he told me, after I get through this and really stop drinking I'll find
another place with my drinking friends. That's when you can take care of
them. Drive them home, mix their drinks, explain to their SO's that they had
better not talk right now, clean up their puke... all the good stuff. I'll
be the one watching after them. That, he says, is when you'll come to a
realization that drinking just ain't worth it.


I would drink with him, I not only learned how to be a career drunk, I learned what a glamorous lifestyle it is [NOT]. It saddened me to see these otherwise nice guys remain unable to keep an apartment for longer than a month or two ... see them get hassled by the cops b/c people kept leaving their place with bloodied faces (most always from falling) ... all that.  You know.


I asked myself "why couldn't I have some wine ... I've gone 8 days, what would it hurt ... any normal person would just have a glass of wine!!"  I was so convincing to myself that I came very close to crossing that line ... ya know, basically giving up in your mind and then complete determination to follow through with it when you get home (open that bottle and go for it).  I was right there hangin' over the edge ... just like Rose in the Titanic!!

Well, therapy went well and I used the first 15 minutes of exercises in a very quiet room all by myself to sort through my thoughts.  Relax, breath, clear your head of those awful thoughts, relax, breath, clear your head ... Okay, that was great!!  I felt better!!

Now I'm home and the determination to follow through with the horrible plan of jumping ship is nowhere in site!  I'm enjoying my Clausthaler with lime and the H is cooking dinner for all of us.  He's already given me the "go ahead" to eat dinner and retire to the bedroom to watch t.v. and relax. AND, they lived happily ever after!!!



I'm saying that because I feel that's what each of us needs in order to change:  no one else's expectations, and time, and room, and love (self-love is fine).



Now I'm kind of looking at the 30 as being not just 30 but perhaps longer? 
And why would a drink be a reward?  I'm starting to think about exactly how the wine tastes....not GOOD wine, but the kind I would buy in order to drink a bottle a night like before; and you know what, that wine really "tastes" pretty crappy, almost burning my throat right now.  So what kind of reward is that?  Nothing I'm looking forward to.  So I guess I'll just have to wait it out for a time to have a really GOOD wine, with a really GOOD meal and/or good company and the reward will be that I'm enjoying the actual taste of the wine, the food and the company and not the buzz I'm self-inducing.



What kind of a world is it that a woman can't eat her
bowl of noodles in peace!

Helen B.


No one said it was easy -- but is possible.  On the positive side, use it as being aware that tiredness and stress can make you drink.  Is good to find out what triggers you.  Imagine that!  It's taking me all this years to find out things about me.  This is only temporary.  Take some time off if you can and pamper yourself. Sit in front of the computer and keep screaming to us.  We will listen and share - I am sorry you are going throughout a tough time.  


::Kat and her virtual dog "Bubba Rudy" wanders out to the beach where the mm campfire was last week. Looks like she is the only one out here. She shakes out her favorite Harley blanket...smoothes a few ruffles with her toes. And plops down, crisscrossing her legs.  She and Bubba wait for any swimmers from the cruise boat to show up::

::Kat gets out the binoculars...and fiddles with the scope a bit:: "We are on a mission...We're hoping we won't find anybody, right Bubba? ... ...but if there is...we want them to know they can come and sit  by our fire and we will always listen to anything they want to talk about.
OH yea..
We'll have a big mug of hot cocoa with marshmallows to give them.
just like what our Moms use to do...when someone needed cheering up"

"Looks like it's gonna be a long night, Bubba"


No one said it was easy -- but is possible.  On the positive side, use it as being aware that tiredness and stress can make you drink.  Is good to find out what triggers you.  Imagine that!  It's taking me all this years to find out things about me.  This is only temporary.  Take some time off if you can and pamper yourself. Sit in front of the computer and keep screaming to us.  We will listen and share - I am sorry you are going throughout a tough time.  


Here's to hot pickled peppers!...(good "whisky-burn" substitute)



But boy, I have been EATING for the last few days.
Woo, hoo! Body wants food! I'm having lots of water
and doing sensible things like having fruit before a
meal to curb appetite for bad stuff, but right now I
nearly fainted when I found some frozen tater tots in
my freezer. Yee-ha! Has anybody else's body gone
beserko? That's about how I feel. But I hope my taste
improves from tater tots.



Hey you guys... how in the heck do you find time to "really" read the posts here, think in depth about them, and respond accordingly? ... This frustration is 2 fold- not only do I miss attentively taking in the great things that you folks have to say, but also I know that I'm being denied the productive time to reflect during this abstention period and respond with my own insights/revelations. And you know-  I just haven't given abstaining a single thought yet- I 'just do it'.  No time.  Sigh.  Yes, I just robotically don't drink.


I always had the dinner parties... Everyone loved to come to "Martha's House" (Molly's) because I wanted to be Martha. But when I held parties, even as few as 1 couple over, that was my excuse to get drunk. I didn't have to hide it. Then I started drinking alone more and more to hide my feelings. I, too, am trying to get to the other side!


Allen left us with a question for next week:  How have we reoriented our thinking since beginning Moderation? What is important in our life now, and how are we bringing it about?

At the diner Alex had soup, Alec had a full dinner, Cannon had a sandwich named after an explorer, and I had a dish of spinach with oil and garlic.  We discussed finance in the context of the New World Order folks, and the guys discussed sports, while I nodded sagely.

The Work Continues.



I will never forget his words to me (or that hug), "don't go through this
my friend. Get a good grip on that bottle and be its master. It ain't fun
down here."

Thanks Frank!




My 30 (or longer) is not just about not drinking.  That's a piece, but the rest is to get on with the life I've thus only allowed myself to imagine.  That takes time and focus.  Abs is the perfect foundation on which to build my new "house" or place for my head to reside. 


Yes, quite often I don't need a fix or a cure, but just a listener.


It was a time for pause and I really looked hard at where I was and where I was going. Didn't like the outlook. Just so happened I was surfing and found this sight with Peg's idea of the cruise. Funny how all you have to do is wish for something and look around and it all falls together. Day 9 and small problems. No cravings. Thanks to all of you for giving me the wakey-wakey.


My H and his OJ in the screwdrivers from hell.  He thinks the stains are the dog's fault.  Like she pees orange! 


Just realized ... tomorrow is garbage day, and there won't be one single beer can in the recycling bin. The garbage men will think someone new is living in my house! (And I guess they'll be right!)


I am convinced if you view the 30 as temporary (and it is but....) and think, only two more weeks until I can drink again, you are setting yourself up for failure.

You need (IMHO) to have a plan. A plan for how the "new" you is going to drink. It is not about taking a break and then going back to it.

You have to be committed to changing or it ain't gonna' happen.


Oh yeah, "robotically don't drink" , maybe that's where I am too, no time to
think about it.  That's why, as someone else (sorry I forgot who) said, they want to do all the steps this 30.  I want to too, maybe that's why I didn't make it all the way the last time and why I find myself wanting to make it this time and really be moderate when I choose to drink again.   


I hate it when people do this to me BUT....

Is it that you "can't" drink or that you "don't want to"?

Picky,picky,picky, I know...but truthfully, that little voice inside you has a way of convincing you that you "should be able to drink but you can't because you can't handle it"

You need to correct that little voice (until it gets the message) that "you don't want to drink right now becaue .....~fill in the blank~"

Its like the little devil on your shoulder and you have to SQUASH him whenever he lets little suggestive thought like that one through....



10 days into it. In the middle of the Second Week Sea:

Waters are calm but we have a report from Rufus in the crow's nest that there appears to be a suspect ship on the horizon. He's used his eyeglass and confirmed it's the dreadful Playoff Pirate ship. Hopefully they'll miss us and let us pass through the weekend. All hands make preparations for boarding and hostage taking!

I don't know about you guys but I'm starting to sweat a playoff trigger. four games, two days and a keg full of beer.
NOW THAT'S A TEST. Anyone else prepping for it?
If I make it through the playoffs I'm rewarding myself during the Super Bowl.
Stay Strong.


This is what I learned.  In my moderation future, I need to learn to drink a real beer, or one glass of wine, and be satisfied, just like I was satisfied with that one O'Douls.


I personally enjoy all of them, even the ones on the music and the cellular.  Things that have nothing to do with me or of interest with me.  I learn from everyone here.  



Well we are 1/3 of the way through the 30. how manay have been working on the steops?  I have been thinking about it but thats about all.  In previous 30's I never took the time to write things out and I told myself I would do that this time.  So tomorrow I plan on spending some times working on 3 and 4. 

In case anyone doesn't know the steps here they are:

1. Attend meetings or on-line groups and learn about the program of Moderation Management.
2. Abstain from alcoholic beverages for 30 days and complete steps three through six during this time.
3. Examine how drinking has affected your life.
4. Write down your life priorities.
5. Take a look at how much, how often, and under what circumstances you used to drink.
6. Learn the MM guidelines and limits for moderate drinking.
7. Set moderate drinking limits and start weekly "small steps" toward balance and moderation in other areas of your life.
8. Review your progress and update your goals.
9. Continue to make positive lifestyle changes and attend meetings whenever you need ongoing support or would like to help newcomers.

Barb M


The worst thing that drinking has done for me is too cloud me from real life.  Kept me from feeling real feelings, being with real people.  It caused me to do many things that I would never share/repeat because of the shock and disdain I would no doubt receive.  (Not to mention the physical effects of drinking to excess).


I haven't been doing the steps rigorosly but I have been having daily reflective moments. 




I have a couple of bets on my 30 day cruise. Rough crowd I hang with. Even the 51 year old diabetic has twenty against me. JEEEZ! ... I'll tell ya' a few stories but they ain't pretty. I know you probably have your own. Stick around.


I haven't made them fornicate -- well, at least not so I could see.  I did have a couple that had a baby who had now grown to be a fine boy, an A student!  A couple of women are one of my most successful duos, if you count racking up the riches as success.  (I'm not very good at having them make friends ... that's my problem, too.)  My least successful duo was a father and son.  The son kept trying to cook and starting the house on fire ... killed his father.  Kid couldn't get a job so he gradually starved.  :(

I tried putting bars in some of the houses and getting people to drink.  They don't seem to care about it much.  They prefer the espresso machine.



You don't really need a drink tonight, you really want one.  You never need a drink.


Last night I dreamt that I was at a wedding and the wine glass at my table setting was broken.  The 'cup part' was detached from the stem.  I was trying to find a glass that wasn't broken....and then I woke up.

Helen B.


I feel like I am on the edge, I could fall off very easy.  I know I won't start drinking or break my 30.  It's not because I am strong it is because I am stubborn.  Sometimes being stubborn is good but sometimes it is bad.  I think it's what stops me from thinking any other way.


It is a mind game honey. Don't play it on yourself.  The more you have sex the more you want it.  The more you exercise the more you want to.  Get back in the game baby.  Get a good mindset. 


Quitting is tough work.  No doubt about that.  But apparently not quitting is only a quick fix  and you spend the entire next day feeling shitty about it.  That's just too much work!


We are all our own harshest critics at some time or another.  I've been working very hard on just trying to "be"  -- not "be perfect" not "be like so-and-so" because the people who love us, loved us first for just "being".  I'm trying to lighten up on myself, it's funny that I read this post now, because I spent a lot of time this a.m. writing in my journal about just this topic.


I was telling myself that I've done 10+ days and that, honestly, I didn't think I would make it the whole 30 so why not have some when I want it.  After doing so great, what would it hurt if I stepped off tonite and climbed back on tomorrow?  I would have to say that I had myself convinced that I was going to drink tonite ... He made a comment ... "You're trying to make a life style change, right, not abstain forever."  That turned the light bulb on ... giving in would defeat my efforts in trying to make that life style change ...

Not only did I not drink but I exercised somewhat of an evaluation process which, I believe, is the first time for me! 



I wouldn't call it beneficial to have slipped yesterday -- and you should give me a good smack if I try -- but I was also sort of coldly evaluating the feelings in my head and body as I "gave in" -- I just don't know if the high was enough or worth it to me anymore. I've been happy sober. Paranoid, yeah. Cleaning madwoman? Yep. Hungry? Heck, yeah. But there's been a certain serenity of having given it up, in taking pleasure in doing things or spending an evening alone and being able to do it without getting drunk or even having a drink.


I was emotionally hurt not only by losing something that meant so much to me, but also by the callous disdain of the person who did it. I got angry and rightfully so. But it didn't throw me overboard. I've been quietly seething in my room, doing my best not to do something stupid.


Well, it looks like the office bets are up to 80 bucks that I jump ship.
Problem is bigger than I thought. We'll show 'em won't we.


So, here I am again.  3 years later, doing a much needed refresher.  Don't exactly know yet where I'm taking this adventure, but you can be sure that I won't be flippant about taking that next drink again.



I have family, I have friends. I have interests and passions I want to go as deep into as possible. Drinking typifies that kind of action that will distract me from those pursuits. So, besides being a real threat to the course of my life, it is also - in the abstract- a symbol of the things in my life that represent the "easy way out."

Not me.



I will keep fighting my demons and be waving from shore.  But I gotta catch my train either Sun. or Monday for the week ahead.  Be good to yourself.


Now, I'm going through this whole period of figuring out what I really like to do, and, as pathetic as this sounds, I'm not altogether sure. 


The bets are up to $80?  Does that mean if you complete your 30 day abs you'll get the money?  If that's the case, it's a no brainer, go for the bucks, the Budweiser will always be there later.  You show those guys!
Helen B.


Caring for yourself is not selfish as long as it's not all you care about. We all need time to love ourselves.


I've got a lot of growing to do & I can think of no better place to be or better people to learn from. 


I am an optimistic person..but I never allow myself to  forget who I was.....and the things that I did while under the influence....
the telephone calls ....sobbing my heart out to friends and family
the blackouts.....when I had no memory of the night before
the anger I had to deal with the next day and not really
remembering  what I did that made everyone so mad at me

It is painful to look  back on past behaviour....but for me..I need to because I do not want to be that person again......I like me now and it is a wonderful place to be.


You're right about that. This Progress is frustrating, emotional and draining. It's odd to feel so many ups and downs all in one day. At least it's not all downs. But this seems to be a rough spot for many of us. I think we should all plan to do something nice for ourselves tomorrow.


Why is it that a crowd changes things, it isn't cause I care what they think, it is just being there makes me want to drink, maybe it is the mob mentality. 


Telling folks that my hubby and self are doing a January cleanes only brought to others' minds memories of other folks whom they've known who have done the same.   NO   BIG  DEAL.  ( for them or me/us )


When he got here I broke the news to him that I was tee-totaling. He said "that's great I didn't want to come over here too often cause you're runnng too hard and I can't handle it." He's wearing out, too! I'll bet there's a lot of older 40ish people looking to hang with people that don''t drink and I'll bet even more they are looking to cut down if not stop.


When I did not drink for a while, I notice that I hang out with people that does not drink a lot and I enjoy their company.  I start learning what they did that did not need to drink to have fun.  I learned -- they did not think about it.  I do.


Hey everybody (Vision Tom Hanks and the making fire scene) I have made TWO WEEKS! I am somebody. Look at me! Dammit I can do this!!!!! Okay everyone now. I am somebody! Look at me. I can do this! I have made "sobriety"!...

Might be a few triggers up ahead. The second week sea went pretty smooth. Checking the charts we have made pretty good time. February Island is just coming into range. Weather forecast is good.




Too late.  I'll just drink to overcome the fructose anxiety.



I was doing just fine.  I have a friend and they have a house by the river and they are all very nice and love to party and they are fun to be with.  I want it to drink. I could said no - but I did not want to.  I was fully aware of what was going on.  I have 3 drinks and that's it.  I could have a 4th - but I thought about it and said that's it.  

What can I do next? What is to do next?  Can someone tell me?  That is the scary thing.  



I really am not sure how I'm going to approach this.  It's so easy for me to say, well hell with it, I just didn't make it.  I'm thinking about abstaining at least until Friday and then I'll take it from there.  I have a lot in my mind to figure out. 


What to do next?

Either pick up and continue w/ your 30.

Or pick a new goal, moderation within guidelines, or just
a particular part of the guidelines, say, 3-4 abs days/week.

Whatever you do, figure out the lesson that's there for
you.  How would you do it differently next time?

Oh, another important thing: 
When you drank, did
you enjoy it?



I know how you feel when you talked about your slip.  Rethinking all the thoughts and emotions you had just prior to it.  Its like being in a car wreck, you just envision the event over and over - I think we are looking for the outcome to change or maybe to just glean some insight as to why it happened. ... embrace the fact that you boarded the ship to begin with (ARE THE ISLANDERS HEARING ME???).  There's always tomorrow.



So I stood by the railing peering over into the inviting liquid relief below that we were sailing above. So inviting. Oh how I wanted to dive right in and float away in bliss and oblivion. I stepped up onto the rail and leaned far over. I could touch it. I could almost taste it, oh how I ached to. I could have, shouldn't have, would have, but didn't.
Lyn Mari


Don't let feeling shitty take more one minute of your day.  It's over.  Behind you.  Pull the positives from your experience and move on.  Think about where you went wrong and what it got you.  You may make another mistake, but you'll glean something from it too and won't have to make those mistakes again :o)!

Put a smile on your face (even if it's fake) and do something good for you today.



I'm betting I make it but I'm being quizzed by all the office: So when you're done with your 30 is you're evil twin taking over? That's a good question. During the 30 I knew what had to be done and will do it. Journal, schedule, distractions, exercise, goals, what-if list. The whole lot. But after the 30 what do I do? Continue on? Moderate? Become my evil twin? If you have moderated did you stumble after your 30? Does moderation need the structure the 30 day needs? Did you quit totally? Does the 30 lead to quitting? What do the veterans recommend? I'm prepping for the climb of Moderation Mountain-the highest peak on February Island. An old friend told me some of the best climbs are ones he decided against! I'm feeling so good about not drinking and don't want the evil twin to return. That first beer is gonna taste so good! It's only two weeks away! Superbowl weekend for crying out loud. I need a plan! Any input?


There is no going back to "normal". The NEW normal is being carved out during these days of sobriety. I am not deprived. I am not taking a break. I am not counting the days until I can have a drink [again]... I embark upon things where I would have normally heavily imbibed and I have to create a mantra to myself, convincing myself that was then and this is now. Learning how to walk all over again. Learning how to relate again. Socializing without a buzz. Actually talking to people and not just making small talk. Going to bed sober.







-- Rudy


I know there's also a lesson I need to learn from this.
Susie ;0(

YEAH!!! YOU MADE TWO WEEKS!!! Think how many of us in here would just love to make two weeks!! That's two weeks  you got just a little more healthier ... celebrate that! If you don't ima gonna coma ova dar and kick your assa.

outhouse Kat


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last updated 11 Jun 2003 10:06 PM Central Daylight Time