from the crew
Weeks Three and Four

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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


Don't walk into a potential drinking situation w/o a plan.  There is nothing wrong with avoiding a situation (kids in candy stores)  where you think you could get into trouble or the temptation to abandon your plan would be so great.  Just don't go.  Easy.  So you miss a few laughs.  So what?  What did you gain?  Tons.  There will be laughs and fun again - maybe different though.  Just a question for you to ponder  What exactly is that first beer really going to do for you?


I'm telling myself here that, sure, 15 days of abs is to be recognized and possibly even rewarded.  But I'm not going to even 'think' about rewarding myself with alcohol.  That would just be too ironic. 


I cannot stress it enough. The 30 days (or whatever you make) is not, let me repeat that, NOT going to "fix" you. You will NOT wake up and all of a sudden be a moderate drinker just because you abstained for 30 days. You may, but I think it is highly unlikely. Face up to the fact now that you will likely slip. You may even return to your old ways, or as in my case, get worse. Whatever. Just use this time to plan for and anticipate that.

Have a plan!!


...but compare your 3 slips in the 2 weeks to how you were before starting your 30...I know my cruise chart would have had a lot of red stars in December...bloody..only 2 for me in January..


Tell that demon to take a long walk on a short pier in a deep cold lake, nekkid.


Of course the hardest part will be seeing and smelling everything I can't have.  I just have to tell myself I am only committed to this for a month and it's already more than half way over. 


To the newbies who are wondering how and if this will ever work: It DOES work. All the effort you put in toward attaining that moderation goal will end up paying off in ways you can only imagine. Your relationship with alcohol, with others, with yourself will all finally come into a more gentle balance. I don't think it comes easily; it's a tough habit to break and all the myriad reasons we turn to the comfort of the buzz need to be addressed. Keep chipping away, and to all who are doing a Jan 30 - a BIG WOOHOO at your halfway point!


We have had our time alone without drinking, just a few days ago and "OH WOW!" I might just pick up another obsession!!


New Poem

It's been a pleasure here
        The sound of the guitars
                and the snare drum
        sound so good with everyone's

        I have to leave. That moon
        is slow to rise without the lanterns lit.

        That's what I do.

        I will lead you through the fireflies
        The dogs barking at dawn
                 the blue fog.

        Later, we can eat. Leave the windows open
        The window sill will pool rain.

        The wagons filling with water.
        Tonight I will see the seams
        of her dress.



When will the "good" stuff come back?

Give it a month, maybe two. When it comes back, strap yourself in and hold on to your hat, you're in for the ride of your life. When the brain realizes that it's been cut off from its mind numbing fix, it becomes a sponge. Feed it well, read, write, think, learn. There's not a better feeling in the world than a highly functioning clear sharp mind.
When simple pleasures become thrilling you'll have your "ah-ha's" back times 10.
Enjoy the ride!

St. Paul Dave (making up for lost time)


My love is with you... You are not the only one to fall hard. The question for us is what led up to it? The patterns and feelings were there. Don't feel like a failure. Pick yourself up and hold my hand, and we will overcome.



I told my husband that becoming successful at this program was going to take a long time, and their will be slipups, and I will be actively trying my hardest, etc. and to let me be, so I can work on me. 


My admiration goes out to all of those being honest about their stumbles. You know, I joined the list in '97 or '98 and every time I quit looking at it was because I had some drinks and was too ashamed to say anything about it to the list but couldn't bring myself to lie. I see now that, if I had gotten back on and posted, I would've gotten some support and wouldn't have had to rejoin and try so many times!


This is hard, this work that we're doing.  Excruciatingly so, sometimes. Some of us have an easier time of it than others.  But we're told that moderation isn't for everybody, that some of us will be better off choosing abstinence and/or an abstinence-based program.

You know, choosing long-term and/or permanent abs does not mean we've given in.  It does not mean that we are powerless.  Au contraire.  What it means is that when all signs point to it as being the best thing to do, we are TAKING control and  using our POWER to (finally) make a good decision on our own behalf and on behalf of those near and dear to us. 



Thank you both for your reality checks. I think that many of us newbies may have got, somewhat, caught up in the successes we are reading about. In my case I read the wisdom that was being offered and, mistakenly, thought that agreeing with what I was reading was the same as understanding what was in front of me.


I cringe a little when someone comes in here and jumps right away into the 30 day ABS. I know it's all exciting when everyone is doing a virtual trip...heck want to join!! Us oldbies even do. But we back away a little and get a careful grip. Dip our toes in the water before jumping in.


Experience is quieter and doesn't need to flash its edge in neon.



The worst part about all this email stuff is that we can't physically be there for eachother.  So many times I have wanted to reach out hug some one, and (((()))) just doesn't seem enough.



My self loathing is over. Hey..I to pick myself up dust myself off and get on with this thing called a moderate lifestyle.


In that note he recognized me for everything that I've been and done lately. He validated my worth and affirmed that I was working hard at a lot of issues.  I cried when I read his note, with my tears this time being loving emotional ones, not saddened neglected ones.

Such can be spousal support.



It's a choice every day, isn't it?

Ach.  Every hour, even.

YES!  I have the power.  :)   )))))


("yes, i have the power" ... i must remind myself of that every single
minute ... and of what power will come to me when my choice is mine.)


Today was one giant trigger and guess what?  The gun is still loaded so to speak.  Drinking as a fix did not occur to me.  I knew it wouldn't help me one bit.  Probably it would make everything worse.  No internal struggle.  Just not the solution.  I feel good.  Inspite of all the shit flying around, I feel good.  Bath and candles.  There are silver linings.  


The truth is I DO want to talk, and I APPRECIATE the offers. I just have a hard time talking to people...especially people I don't know that well or have never really met. I was over-whelmed by the responses I got and they made me fight back tears every time I read them.


Every few weeks I bring home fresh flowers for her, especially in the winter. That is hardly enough though.


I took my first sip ... tasted every part of it and enjoyed it (not just a big gulp)!  I made another decision at this point and this was to continue to taste every sip and enjoy every moment.  I DID!!  I stuck to my 2 glasses over a two hour period and left the 1 glass in the bottle ... old habit would've been to suck down all 3 glasses in the first hour (barely taste it at all).  I thought, I decided, I enjoyed and I followed my rules!   Still learning and practicing ... onward!!  


I will tell you ..I fell on my ass...but I have lost nothing of the work I put into the program...I just got complacent. my own personal demon. Journaling works. Logging drinks works. And when you write what is really in your heart and soul.


OK they're here, they went to the beer distributer before they got here.  There's a case of Laser malt Liquor, a case of Chesterfileds, we're still going out tonight.  They are leaving tomorrow.  AHHH!!!  I went to bed and when i got up (their call woke me up) I think it's like one of those movies where one section of the person gets up and the other stays sleeping (like separated)  Beast has awaked.  It says I haven't drank since November (how this makes it a good idea to drink, I don't know).  I did remind them about my not drinking too much though, so maybe I'll be able to be ABS tonight, at least drinking isn't expected of me.  3 people, a case of malt liquor, a six pack and a case of hard root beer, and at least 2 bars planned.  This is how I used to drink everyday.  Thank god I'm much better now lol.   *hugs*


It's been good for me as I feel like I have friends I can talk to or listen to (even if the listening for me is sometimes just reading the posts.) Easier for me as this is a part of my life I really don't share with my day to day people. It keeps me on my toes and aware like nothing else has done for me in the past.


A part of me feels like I'm letting myself down, but another chunk feels excited like I'm setting off on a great new adventure. I recognize and honestly believe there is no going back to my old ways. Posting this message is step one because, on the former two or three attempts, I just quit posting or reading on the list.

So, here goes. Wish me luck. I'm confident, but not overly so.

I'll be aboard ship tonight, and see you all on thetrain!



Having a plan, a plan you can live with and will commit to is vital. You DO NOT need to complete a 30 to be successful at moderation. What is more important is the steps that you have done. Identifying the positives and negatives to drinking. Journaling. Identifying your triggers. Formulating a plan for when drinking situations arise.

Just remember, you decide when, where, how much and with whom you decide to drink. The choices are all yours. One of the cornerstones of MM is personal responsibility and it is yours for the taking. You can do it.


From what I've seen I'd say that there are many more successful moderators that have done longer than 30 days than those that have done none.



I look at the cruise status each day, and frankly, I'm as impressed by those folks who resume their Abs after a day or 2 of drinking as I am by those of us who've done a straight Abs.



An Earlier version of Micah

There is the story of the sunken treasure off of this coast.

Rumors that began

when a man looks

across the table at a woman who

he has never seen before who fits the frame of the window

like a picture.

That moment the room becomes familiar, he remembers

why he came to this locale-the seemingly "end of the road".

He becomes an Interpreter...

As she passes, the corona fades, the change on the table piles up, and the

wash down on the beach reminds him of his

buried treasure and

its tiny hands


Think I need a shower. Yak. What a hideous mag! Searched using several different wordings but all I got back was something about an alcohol intake thing and a bunch of jokes. Also a page of drinking games. Woohoo. Party on, Garth.



Gee- what are you doing this weekend, Ger?   "What am I doing, you ask?  I'm going to do my best to not get involved in other people's problems, that's what."


First step is to admit that we are powerless over magazines....



Actually, I hope that I wouldn't be responsible for taking anyone away from a 30 day abs.  I hope to gosh that what I posted didn't aid in keeping others from the original goal. 



Thank you.  I am back in AA - It is easier for me to stay sober through them, than to control my drinking.  I don't want to mess up the good things I have achieve in this last 6 years.  I did not enjoy drinking at all and the day after effects either.  That stuff can kill me.

Thank you for all your support - I do have a high respect for what you all doing there at MM.  It is just not for me.

It is time for me to get sober again.  good-bye for now.


I am still left on the ship.  I will be until I have a good reason to leave.


I just got on tonight-- replacement crew! Never fear--someone will always be here.


so... is this the whole point of moderation, you guys? getting enough initial control so you can set out "here is the kind of ritual I want to drink at: weddings, songwriting collaboration nights, my birthday" type of thing, but then extricating drink out of other parts?


For the first time last night, I could smell the wine on her breath. That was just after one glass. Made me think what I must have been like after 4 or 5.


That was why we moved out here, to get away from it all. The farther we move the closer we move to it. ...
Life is too short for high maintenance people.


I'm struggling here. I had to fight myself last night not to drink and woke up this morning in a funk. 


I went to parochial school, and that chart with the stars just takes me way back. Only on this one, the gold stars aren't the good ones!!!


Everyone was given a raisin. They were told to feel its texture, smell it, roll it around in your mouth and feel the texture in your mouth, take one bite ....yada....yada... yada. It took 1/2 an hour for these people to eat one raisin, but the point really hits home with me.


If that chart reflected my old drinking habits, I would have mostly red stars, maybe a few blue and very few green!!! 


Just a few sips occasionally is--for now--my way of having my cake and eating it too. Your mileage may vary.


I imagine I am living a polar existence. Nothing but clear skies and ice. The girls are that light in the window.


Seeing the kids, payin bills, moderating/ abstaining (not cruisin too well but offerin up the lotion as required), sleeping (poorly until I saw the doc), stay'in sane, reading posts & wish'in I had more time to contribute.


What I have learned as I have matured...

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you.  All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.

I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just assholes.

I've learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better have a big willy or huge boobs.

I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you think.

I've learned that you can keep vomiting long after you think you're finished.

I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.

Karen C


I'm leaning towards quitting altogether. I don't want another day 4. That sucked. I've got a good strong run on it. Better to stay focused and kiss it goodbye.


....just got home after successfully moderating at a dinner party...with a tv without cable..people took turns holding the antennae...I got home just in time to catch the OT.


Well this was prophetic, I've decided, after 14 day of abs (longer than I've ever done before) to come off the cruise. I think I was doing it for the wrong reasons, i.e. just to prove that I could. Like many others here I'm stubborn and I think I could have done it out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Having said that 14 days is a long time, for me, and I have felt the benefits, more energy, a clear head as well as seeing what it looks like when someone else is really out of it and you are sober. I couldn't have got this far without this group.


Good morning MM village and cruise ship,

Last night, walking home past the liquor store, there no longer seemed to be enticing voices calling me from within. 

Today I'm going out to have my nails and toes done, and my eyelashes dyed.  Maybe I'll go to the Metropolitan Museum.  Since I'm reading the History of the World every night, I think I'd like to see for myself that Egyptian art portrays women as independent and sexual and intimate with their consorts.

It's going to be a green star Sunday.



Sigh.    I actually gave drinking some thought last night.   I didn't stoop to that level of soothing my woes/anxieties, but I have to tell you that I found myself giving it more than a moment or 2 of consideration.  Does that constitute a yellow or a green star?  I'll have to give that some consideration.  I wasn't abstaining 'uncomfortably', but I 'did' momentarily consider having a drink(s) because of an outside stressor.



I didn't think they would notice that I didn't have any wine with dinner either -- but a few did and commented on that also.  I had the feeling that I made them uncomfortable.  Maybe they felt guilty -- those that commented were heavy drinkers, the moderate drinkers didn't even notice.


  Reward/Recognition for myself and what I accomplish during a week -- I've come to realize that having a laugh, having fun, going out with my daughter --- THAT is a wonderful reward for the accomplshment of being sober for the week! 


Why does this remind me of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman"?

Just a thought.

Tom B


For me, I've found that when I dedcide I'm going to drink on a particular evening, it's way best for me to hold off the first drink until 7:00.  Then I spend one hour with that one, have one more, and then call it quits for the night.  This postponing the first has made moding much easier for me. 


We're going deep, Ana.
It's time to discover new lands.


Sometimes I wonder if they would even know I was missing if I hired someone else to make random noises around the house and be sure the work was done. 


  Okay, kids...I am done for now. I need to be moderate on my own. Wish me luck.    The Pleasure has been all mine.
Talk to you in a couple months.


  I'm prepared.  I used to be a Girl Scout. ( well actually I didn't have any desire to go past Brownies- too regimental for my liking. )


So if I'm not moderating, and not abstaining, what the hell am I doing? Am I a nondrinker? a teetotaler?
Is everyone either a drinker or a nondrinker?
St. Paul Dave


  I remember when I got my first pair of elephant pants I put them on the chair next to my bed. I was so excited I couldn't sleep! I just kept staring at them and touching them to make sure I wasn't dreaming that my mom had just bought them for me.


  I never heard of Elephant Pants.

I wore hot pants.  :)



  The last 2 nights I stopped and picked up a bottle of  red and both nights drank it before bed. This must stop. NOW.
I have too much to lose. Business opportunities aboound. My relationship to my varmits. I have responsibilities to them and to others. I need to get my focus and my determination back.



I've enjoyed being a drunk. I've had a lot of fun. I was a happy drunk but now I'm a happy person that relates to the people who don't need crutches. It's an interesting change. One that I would like to endure.


So here I am (again). I don't know if the program is BS or my attempt is BS (I suspect the latter), but it appears to be black and white for me right now. On or off. No middle ground. I have 22 days in a row of abstinence right now and I can't figure out why I should ever drink again, except that my spoiled brat inside wants it so bad.


  I've pretty much made up my mind that total abstinence is the only way for me to go. I've been abs since Thanksgiving. When I think about taking a drink, I ask myself, why? One or two drinks are not going to do anything for me. The only reason I drink is to get drunk, period! Why do it? I have better things to do with my life.


  You have a tremendous group of people here that encompass all ends of the drinking spectrum. From the nightly 6-8 drinks drinker, to the occasional weekend binger to even the occasionally slightly immoderate drinker. We are a non-judgemental, compassionate and caring group. Remember, don't be afraid to talk to us. Nothing will surprise us. Many of us will say, "yup, I can relate".


Moderation is not perfection.  We all fall down, and you are very brave to tell us and reach out for help. Sometimes things seem overwhelming and having a good cry is the best thing to do.  Once you've done that pick the most important thing going on and deal with just that and forget everything else.


  You are just "Dave, who chooses not to drink at the moment".

Helen G


  Sobriety is a heavy trip when you don't have the baggage. It's even worse if the problems are there. All of you have been a lot of support and I'm evolving into a decent person again. It's a great thing to realize. I can talk to people and people can, and now will, talk to me like I have something worthy to say. It's a strange world this sobriety. I'm not going back. I'll be cast away on February island.


How do we change when we don't have a catalyst?
What if we don't want to go to hell for gas before we start driving to heaven?
How do we change our lives without experiencing a life changing event?
St. Paul Dave


Hopefully I'll be able to re-dedicate myself to this goal of moderation soon. I'm still trying and that has to count for something.



 Your MM program is just that, "YOUR" program. We have so few "rules", mainly because each person is an individual and one size does not fit all. Develop a program you can live with. That is the only way it will be successful. It may take time and WILL require much maintenance to succeed, but you can do it if you want it. One of the keystones of the MM program is any positive lifestyle change is a change for the better.


  I need to go back to the basics.  I need to not drink the vodka and begin on the AbsTrain again. I just don't have the motivation.  I am going to ruin everything if I don't get myself back together.


 I really enjoy this list. Such characters! Especially the lethal-tongued Irish woman. My poor husband is married to one of those!!



  Woke up this morning just craving sweet and sour mix, didn't want the whiskey to go with it, just wanted the mix.  Isn't that crazy?  Makes me wonder why is it I do drink?  Is it for the things that surround alcohol, the tinkling of the ice, the feel of the glass, the playing with the cherry... If I can have just as much fun without alcohol as with, why do I still want to drink?  Is it that thing inside of me that goes, nobody is going to tell me I can't.  Some things for me to think about.


"People who take action and fail in the next month are twice as likely to succeed over the next six months than those who don't take any action at all."


  I think I need to decide what areas of my life I am ambivalent about and give them the respect they deserve relative to those things that are truly important. If I am truly concerned about those important things, I will be less able to rationalize straying from my goal path and selfsabotaging.


What in the heck happened to me? I was enjoying my abs and really focused. Now all of a sudden I find myself drinking 5 to 9 beers three out of the last four nights. What gives? How could I be doing so well and then blamo, down for the count. I know I should be proud of my 18 days of abs but I really wanted to do this 30. Maybe if I had moderated I wouldn't feel so bad.


  Something I found out is that if you've decided to do a 30, you have to also decide Going Into It, then over & over again while walking through it, that *nothing* is going to change that plan...  It's sort of like planning/going on vacation...  There ARE in rare circumstances a crisis of some sort that may cancel the plans, but normally no matter what, tickets are bought, reservations made, other arrangements taken care of, etc. & when the time comes, you go...


If I learned not to drink but lost myself, I don't think I would feel very good about it.  This program lets you keep yourself--even know yourself better.  I like that. 


 The part of my abs that I've been enjoying the most is when I kiss my children goodnight, I don't have red wine breath.  It use to be that I would hold my breath as I kissed them goodnight, because I was well aware of the wine on my breath.  Now I kiss them sweetly and tuck them into bed.  It's the best.

Helen B.


  I'm taking baby steps right now and I personally feel stronger than ever. I will never ever let what happened last Tuesday happen again!! That was soooo very ignorant!! My boys were at risk because of me.


Next thing you know I've stabbed the monitor with a pen, or I'm balling up my clothes throwing on the floor and jumping up and down on them all because they wouldn't cooperate going on the hanger, or I'm banging the phone really hard on the desk 'cuz I keep getting a busy signal.



  * pkzippo strides over to the starboard railing *

Folks, I did the best I could with the "Thoughts" section at the Abstar site.  I sustained daily it for three and a half weeks.  I think it's a wonderful and necessary chronicle of some heavy changes we've undergone together.  It was a privilege to get to broadcast your voices back to you. I invite everybody to browse back through it from time to time: and .

But other-life obligations, and getting February's roster ready, has left me with over 550 mostly-read posts that have not yet been culled for good quotes, and I've really tried to do a thoughtful job of it.  In other words, sevvvvvvveral hours worth of sorting and cutting and pasting to catch up the last five days.


I'll hereby wrap up the "Thoughts" section in a little while, and gracefully and put it to bed.  I'll hereby mark all the posts as Already Been Read, in spirit if not with eyes.  I'm moving forward.  We're all moving forward.

KerSplassshhhh.  Blub Blub Blub Blub.

Whew.  That felt great.



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last updated 11 Jun 2003 10:07 PM Central Daylight Time