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I Choose Clarity and Awareness!

living consciously after abstaining for 30 days

in-depth plan

In my experience after the 30, it's best to have the most in-depth plan that you can, based on what you've found out during your 30.

During my last one, after reviewing my problem areas and knowing several of my triggers and habit/automatic response things, some of my basics were:

  • No drinking and driving (had already been in place)
  • No drinking the day before a "must go" (places like the in-laws' where I feel like I have to or should be) event - instead use that as a day to plan for and find something that I can enjoy about the event.
  • No trigger drinking (anger, suddenly hub's gone, etc.)
  • No drinking during my witching hour: Wait until later.
  • Don't start at the same time each time (to avoid setting up another witching hour), but alter times of day, especially if consecutive.

additions to the plan

Later on, I altered my plan and added:

  • No more than 2 days in a row.
  • Make sure that dinner is ready to go before starting - definitely no more than 1-1/2 drinks without starting to eat.
  • Being honest about my intention on drink limits. If I was pretending 3, but thinking 6, then don't drink at all, and consider that something (a new trigger?) is going on.

I had others, but don't right now remember them - they've become incorporated into my new habits and I no longer have to remember them because they're automatic.

altering and tweaking the plan

As I went on, I altered and tweaked my approach based on my experiences - what worked and what didn't, what became easy and what was more difficult than I wanted to deal with.

Many of the old triggers disappeared and new ones surfaced and needed exploration. Some were the basis for additional rules, most didn't need them (because of my 'no trigger drinking' rule).

But knowing my rules and following them worked. I didn't always follow them - but having them always there in the back of my mind at least kept me honest about what I was doing. Mindfulness and honesty went a long way toward staying in check while I worked on what was left. And, when I wasn't as in check as I wanted to be, I still carried the knowledge and belief that I was in control here!

So, I always knew I could change whatever it was that I didn't like as soon as I was ready! (I just needed to do more work to get ready sometimes and with some areas!)

living through the triggers

My last major area of wanting to numb out (that I'm aware of so far) had to do with my relationship with myself first and some dealings with hubby and prefering to go away rather than stay and figure things out.

I finally got to a point where I was ready to stay with triggering situations and feelings and instead of simply knowing that it wasn't necessary to drink right then, actually proving it to myself by working through them.

choosing clarity

I've also added greatly reduced frequency to my rules list (to make sure my tolerance doesn't build up) and avoiding complacency about what my real thoughts are at the time when I want to drink.

When I drink, I want to make sure that everything is in place to enhance an occasion rather than to stuff or hide something away, or at the very least, to be aware of the difference! If I choose to drink in less opportune circumstances, it's not somewhere I would want to stay for any length of time!

I choose clarity and awareness for myself.

Moving forward, I will continue to mark my calendar when I do drink and note the amount. But in the coming weeks I plan to closely monitor my thoughts and feelings from more of an overall perspective to make sure that drinking is keeping a back seat in my day-to-day and week-to-week life.

(Deep breath!) So, there are my plans, past and present! Wish me luck! Happy Moderating to All!!!

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Revised 07.26.2003 mm@moderation.org