At the beginning of the month, I posted my plan:
My May goal is to stick to “by the book” moderation, which means following the Moderation Management limits. For women, that means no more than three drinks on any occasion, no more than four drinking occasions per week, and no more than nine drinks in any week. Those are limits, not goals — I intend to drink below those limits most occasions/weeks.
How’d I do?
I had 28 drinks in May, five of them on one occasion. That was the only day I went above moderate limits, so 30 days in May were at-or-below moderate limits. Per week, I was within moderate limits except for one week, when I drank on five separate days and had thirteen drinks in total. This was the week that included my red five — in other words, if I had stayed abstinent on that one night, I would have been within “by the book” moderate limits for the entire month.
This month was a huge success for me, the closest to a fully moderate month that I have had since starting MM (excluding my 45 days of abstinence, anyway). For the majority of the month, it felt really good. In fact, this was the month where moderation actually felt the closest to “normal” that I have yet been able to experience.
Toward the end of the month, which was also immediately after my vacation, I started feeling like my motivation was faltering. This was the week with five drinking days, one of them above moderate limits. No dramatic cause at work, just a feeling of mild fatigue, slight rebelliousness, low motivation, and general crankiness.
During that week, I had three beers at home Sunday night (immediately after the long drive home from our vacation — I do not regret those beers in the slightest!). Then one of the remaining beers Monday night (no strong feelings either way on that one), and a drink out at a restaurant on Tuesday (which I did not want, but ordered because I hadn’t fully made up my mind not to drink — that is a drink I could have skipped). Thursday, we split a bottle of wine at home, which again was something I didn’t plan on but just kind of went with (three drinks, and I would have been happy to skip those too). Saturday, for some mildly complex but not very intense reasons, I opted to go overboard with five beers (eh…not really worried about this one, even though it was my “immoderate” night for the month. It just kind of fit how I was feeling, and if I hadn’t had so much earlier in the week, I could have accomplished the same basic experience with only three drinks).
What’s most noticeable is how much more of my drinking that week was done at home, and how much more casual I was about exposing myself to triggers without a firm plan. That attitude is what I call “low motivation” — like I just can’t really be bothered sticking to my goals, and just kind of want to say “fuck it.” My drinking tends to escalate if I drink several days in a row, which I also did this week (three days in a row, even though two of them were “onesies”).
What’s also noticeable is that it just wasn’t a huge deal. I had thirteen drinks, spread out over five separate nights. No damage done, no real regrets. Thanks to being below moderate limits for the rest of the month, it didn’t even add up to that much…though it did total almost half of my monthly drinking. Not a problem if it’s an occasional thing, not something I want to become any more frequent.
My most interesting week, however, was the one before, when I went on vacation and felt more like my favorite version of myself than I have in…forever. That is the week I’d like to spend more time thinking about and learning from. Out of this past month, that week continues to stand out as the most important.
May was a good month.