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


4 comments on “Moderation : Is it Real ? How to Make it Real !
  1. Kary May Hickey says:

    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

  2. Sallie Arvison says:

    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 down with a bad cold. Last night I did want to drink some wine “to help me feel better,” but went to bed instead. Hope I can keep up my promise to myself and finish this out!

  3. donna.dierker says:

    Sallie, drinking lowers inhibitions, so it gets easier and easier to say yes to the next drink. You got right back on the horse, and were very smart to go to bed when the urges started nagging. Sleep always makes me feel better and reduces cravings the next day — my experience, anyway. I hope things get easier for you. Have you been reading the posts on, too?

  4. Judy Brown says:

    Hi, well I’m new here. Thanks Katy, you’ve let me know I’m ‘normal’. I’m lining up for ‘dry july’ here in Australia. I’ve been trying not to drink during the week but of course last night when our house guest of two months finally was somewhere else for a night that was reason enough for a ‘nice pinot’. Ah well, would have been fine without it too…

    So as June winds down, I think ‘should I be practising being dry, preparing for my July?’… the other voice of course is saying ‘get in as much as you can’… I’ll be leaning towards the advice of the first voice, but know the second one, in all reality, will get a look in here and there.

    So, wish me luck

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