My August goal was as follows:
My August goal is to continue to stay within recommended alcohol intake ranges, which for me means following the Moderation Management guidelines. For women, that means 0-4 drinking occasions per week, 0-3 drinks on any occasion, and 0-9 drinks in any week.
I intend to continue to keep alcohol out of the house, for the most part. I have several travel/vacation plans upcoming in August, which will require some thought as they approach. I do not expect August to feel as easy as July did, but I plan to continue the skills and strategies which have been working so well for me.
In August, I had 40 drinks, spread out over 13 separate drinking occasions. Five of those occasions were over MM limits, or “red.” In other words, I missed my August goals by a fairly wide margin.
However, most of my “reds” were low — I had five drinks on one occasion, six on another, and the remainder consisted of four drinks. Four drinks is enough to make me feel like I am going wildly overboard, while still being only one more than healthy guidelines suggest (public health advisory note: four drinks for a woman is considered an episode of binge drinking, so it’s still not recommended). Overall, I had far more control over my drinking than on many previous occasions, despite being on vacation and otherwise faced with unusual circumstances, which is good progress.
I am somewhat ambivalent about my drinking in August, which veered above my usual limits, and I think I could have planned better and set more realistic goals. I also think that I need to continue to grapple with how to handle unusual circumstances (like vacations), and how to handle specific social occasions…which will be an issue that comes up for me again in late September.
My September goal is to continue to stay within recommended alcohol intake ranges for most of the month, which for me means following the Moderation Management guidelines. For women, that means 0-4 drinking occasions per week, 0-3 drinks on any occasion, and 0-9 drinks in any week.
For the last week of September, I will be traveling and spending six nights with a group who are mostly heavy drinkers. At the moment, my tentative plan is to join them in a nightly drink, but restrict myself to 1-2 drinks, with a cap of 9 for the week (in other words, drinking more frequently than the MM limits recommend, but sticking within overall numerical limits). But I will think about it more closely as the dates approach and revise my plan. Learning to plan for unusual circumstances and novel situations is a skill I would like to work on, so this will be an opportunity to do so.