My October plan was:
[…] my October goal is to follow the Moderation Management guidelines for low-risk drinking ranges, and my expectation is that this should be more manageable than it was in August & September. For women, that means 0-4 drinking occasions per week, 0-3 drinks on any occasion, and 0-9 drinks in any week.
In October, I had fourteen drinks, spread out across eight well-separated occasions. About two evenings with drinks each week, and an average of just about three standard drinks per week. This was my second ‘completely moderate’ month since I started trying to moderate — no immoderate occasions, days, or weeks. I’m very pleased!
I think my success at this stage reflects the fact that my new habits are becoming more ingrained. October was actually a fairly stressful month, but because my routines were normal, my new habits carried me through without a great deal of effort. The impact of the higher-stress parts of the month was to increase urges — I wanted a drink more, and had more intrusive thoughts about alcohol, during those times — but my actual behavior stayed consistent with what I want. Which is the goal, of course.
I’m still working on strengthening some healthier coping mechanisms. A bad day doesn’t make me significantly more likely to drink, usually, but it still makes me likely to lie flaccidly on the couch, surfing the internet and/or thinking idle drinking thoughts, and I’d like to empower myself to play a more active role in stress-relief.
Moderation in October felt significantly easier and more “natural” than in any previous month, which is a nice trend. Significantly less angst about drinking overall, in spite of the occasional fierce urge. The drinks I did have were enjoyable, of no great significance, and felt like a perfectly generous quantity overall. Since my new habits seem to be producing good results, I’ll keep the same plan in place for another month: my plan for November is to follow the Moderation Management guidelines for low-risk drinking ranges (0-4 drinking occasions per week, 0-3 drinks on any occasion, and 0-9 drinks in any week).