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Moderation : Is it Real ? How to Make it Real !

December 29, 2016


This was written by Katy, who asked that I post it on her behalf:

If your stomach is extended and your head fuzzy, the questions always arise this time of year: how can I clean up my act?

Then come the other voices, “well, I’m not really ready for that.” Or, yeah, that sounds great, but do I have the discipline?”

I don’t know your answers for you. I can hardly figure out my own. All I do know is that my body is more toxic this time of year.

Just tonight I was at a party and though I didn’t drink too much ( yet) tonight I did eat a helluva’ lot of chocolate. And to tell you the truth, I swooned over the amazing cookies- truffle kind of fluffy ones and I really enjoyed the heavy cheeses and all the options for alcohol that appear somehow magically this time of year.

And yes, I did indulge, but kept pretty close to my plan – thank God or whoever I am supposed to thank. Maybe partly thanks to MM which is a new miracle in my life…called planning and self-responsibility and having my life be – how I want it to be.

Well, no matter what happens in December I do know one thing for sure. As Oprah would say, ” what I know for sure” is I feel a lot better when I can think straight and when I sleep well and when my digestion works better.

Let’s be honest. There are also the hard moments. And I don’t mean hard liquor. You know what I mean, like anything you really want in your life – there are challenging moments.

If I give myself the great gift of a dry January to be clear thinking and to ponder my year ahead and get things done – I have to be honest with myself :

Will it always be easy? Maybe. For a lot of people it just feels like a cleanse, like wow, why didn’t I do this earlier? Some people breeze through the 30 day.

As for me, will I feel good when I want a drink at five o’clock after a tough, trigger filled day at work?  No. Do I enjoy a “dry” month when I get invited by people to hang out and drink and eat on January 10th because we missed getting together over New Years or Christmas? No.

But the truth is……………there is a certain self-esteem that builds when we rely on our own self-regard and choosing our lifestyle.

I know that when I make a decision that is mine, nobody else, not under any pressure, not from anywhere but my own self:  I have a sense of dignity and well-being and calm that settles in. I can rest and deal with upsets as the moods wash over me, without using another high sugar substance or fuzzy wuzzy mood to get me through to the next day – when I will be even more disempowered by the non-functional fog or the slightly less functional me………….. that just doesn’t operate at full mast.

In the end of January – I know I will feel more grounded -having gone through moods on my own canoe and a little more settled back into a body that says, ” thank you for the break.”

Katy Byrne, MFT


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3 Comments on "Moderation : Is it Real ? How to Make it Real !"

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Kary May Hickey

All so true and shared by almost everyone who takes a month off of drinking, even those who were skeptical in the beginning. Thanks, Katy

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Sallie Arvison
Hi, I am new to moderation drinking.I have tried to do it before but never followed the 30 days of sobriety. I would not drink during the week, but allowed myself to drink on the weekends. Oh what a slippery slope and boy did I slide down it. This time I made a commitment to myself that I would do it the suggested way and stick out the 30 days. 7 days sober and planning on finishing it out. Sat at a bar at dinner this past weekend and just drank mocktails. I have been feeling good but have come… Read more »