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Activities, Rules, Imperfections and Goals

new awareness after a 30

alternate activities, new rules

For me, having alternate activities (begun while doing the 30 day abstention) was a key factor.

Also, since I have been drinking irresponsibly for quite a few years, I knew that 30 days would not be long enough to make this habit just disappear. So, part of my plan was to abstain for a least 4 days a week (3 days being consecutive and at least 1 more being a Friday or Saturday).

Now, I abstain much more often...sometimes for 1-2 weeks.

Mainly I have eliminated drinking in circumstances that were dangerous for me in the past. I no longer drink in response to stress or frustration (biggies for me!), to alleviate pain, or to aid sleep. For the most part, I limit my drinking days to social occasions.

imperfect, but not stuck

If you don't moderate perfectly, don't berate yourself. Some time ago, I read a good description of what change can be like. I'll quote it in full:

"You did not get stuck overnight. Life was not perfect one day and a horrible, ugly mess the next. You took your first detour a while ago, and it will take some time to wind your way back to the turning point that will take you to the road you want to travel. You may encounter your share of potholes, washed-out bridges, and fallen trees along the way, but you will be on your road and going where you want to go. You can get beyond those obstacles if you work at dismantling them. Be patient. Be resolute. Remember what stuck feels, looks and sounds like. Ask yourself if stuck is where you want to stay."

Dr. Sidney B. Simon, GETTING UNSTUCK: Breaking through your barriers to change

specific plans, positive goals

I might add that I think it's very important to have a positive goal towards which to strive as well. Wanting to get out of a negative pattern is a fine place to start, but it's crucial to know what you want.

Just as when you decide to take a vacation and want to get away, you have to decide on a destination and then make specific plans on how to make the trip a reality.

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Revised 07.26.2003 mm@moderation.org