November report

Last month, I wrote:

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).

In November, I had 37.5 drinks. The month divides cleanly: I had 17.5 drinks during the first three weeks, and an additional 20 drinks over the Thanksgiving weekend (including three nights in the “red,” with 5, 6, and 5 drinks respectively). Not a well-balanced month!

It’s a fairly common pattern for me at this point: healthy habits while my routines are normal, a cluster of reds during a time of disruption, and then an immediate return to mostly-abs once regular routines kick back in. In this case, the disruption was mild, but it led to a string of decisions to over-indulge over just a few days. With overall low numbers, just a few red days can really inflate my totals.

What I’m extremely proud of is that my ‘strictly moderate’ stretches appear to be getting longer and longer — this one lasted for two months (last week in September, all of October, first three weeks of November). My goal isn’t perfection, but rather, a trajectory toward increasingly better habits over the long term. Longer and longer stretches of moderate behavior is exactly what I am looking for on a large timescale. I’m less happy with the cluster of reds — three in a row is excessive, I think, and some better strategizing could probably have made a difference there. I’m also eager to smooth out the tendency for unusual circumstances to upend my habits quite so predictably, which I intend to work on directly in December.

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