MM > FAQs > Moderating > Inventory
one person's questions at the end of a 30
attitudes toward drinking
Looking forward to that first drink?
Scared to take it?
Planning to enjoy it?
Are you finding it amazing how alcohol has faded into the background of your life after only a month without? Or is this the end of a month of torture for you? Something in between, perhaps?
How do you rate yourself, (1 = dismal failure; 10 = complete fulfillment), as of day #1 and as of day 30?
If you came into this program thinking you were an alcoholic according to the 12-Step/Hazelden model, do you still think so? Why or why not? If you came into this program thinking it was impossible to moderate your drinking behavior, do you still think so? Why or why not?
coping with your urges
Were there any days when you weren't sure you would make it without taking a drink? Which days were they?
Chart the days on your calendar. Is there a pattern--daily, weekly, monthly? Is it related to anything cyclical in your life; cooking dinner, weekends, PMS (no joke) or otherwise?
Were there any one-time stressors that caused strong urges? Could any of those (in-laws, boss, mortgage, etc.) be grouped together?
How long did the peak of the urge last, usually?
How strong were the urges on a scale of 1 (not even a thought) to 10 (physically picking up the bottle, glass, or can)?
Did you take any actions to interfere with the urge? If so, what did you do? What was the effect? Was it more effective or less effective than you expected?
reactions of others
How did hosts, buddies, etc., react when you declined a drink? Was it as embarrassing as you had feared?
What did they say, if anything?
Did you tell any social-drinking friends that you were abstaining for a month? If so, did you get any positive reactions such as, "Wow, I should do that myself?"
Did anyone put you down?
Had anyone pressured you to do something about your drinking? Did you tell that person you were not drinking this month? If so, what was their reaction upon hearing that you were going to abstain for 30 days? Upon hearing that you had, in fact, done so? Did your relationship with this person or these people change over the 30 day period? Was the change positive or negative?
Has anyone been openly supportive of your decision to moderate? Has anyone been openly critical? Has anyone surprised you by confessing that they think their own drinking might be a problem?
(Note: These questions are not intended to enforce by-the-book moderation or, indeed, any particular plan of moderation. The moderation plan that works for you is the one that you will DO instead of just talking about it and wishing you had imbibed less, the morning after!)
What is your plan for your moderation?
Does your plan have any hard and fast rules (such as, "No drinking before 7 PM")? Do you think you need such rules? Why or why not?
Have you planned for non-drinking days? Do you think you need to? If "yes," why and how many? If "no," why not?
Does your plan have realistic limits based on your individual tolerance? Will you be counting drinks or going by a feeling in your body, or both? Would you be willing to revise your limits downward if you find your tolerance has decreased considerably by virtue of 30 alcohol-free days? If not, why not?
Does your plan have any accountability built into it? Is there an MM meeting in your area? Will you be checking in with the list, or with a moderation buddy?
Do you have some sort of "crash guard" built in to warn yourself that you are backsliding? Is there some behavior that you know you only do when you are drinking heavily? (For example, finding your recycling bin overflowing; getting up late and hungover?) Can you install that as a failsafe to let you know you're going over boundary? Doing this can prevent a slip from turning into a disaster.
Have you become aware, or increased your awareness of, any of the following in yourself over the past 30 days:
positive lifestyle changes
Have you started any good habits during your 30, such as exercise, better eating, better work habits, meditation?
Have you noticed some things you can't tolerate, which never bothered you before?
How is your self-esteem on day 30 compared to day 1?
How is your personal productivity? Many people are amazed at what they can accomplish during a 30, that seemed overwhelming or downright impossible before. Was this true for you in any way?
Has there been any change in your feeling of personal integrity? Do you feel that you can count more on yourself, to do what you say you will do?
Do you consider yourself a moderate drinker?
How do you see alcohol fitting into the context of your life?
Revised 07.26.2003 firstname.lastname@example.org