After 36 years in AA I left. A very long time to not drink a drop for sure. I have been gone now from the AA culture and its dogma for 18 months feeling free and happy! In the process I have thought about why I stopped. I do not believe that I am an alcoholic.
One day I had to go to Bev Mo to buy alcohol for a large party I was having. So down the aisle I went with my eldest son. Needless to say, I bought nothing for me, but it was fun to look. So my son and I began to talk about my not drinking for so long and no longer being in AA.
It began a serious question about Moderation vs Abstinence. I had already interviewed Ken Anderson from Hams Harm Reduction and Donna Cornett from drink link moderation regarding a topic I had never even explored on my blog talk radio show Safe Recovery. Recently a blogger began to journal his experimentation with moderation successfully.
“anon” a fellow blogger, began documenting his journey with moderation after 15 years of abstinence in AA. I am going to post some of it here.
Blog away with respect for each other.
Please…No trolling and no AA rhetoric. This is a site to help those who have left or want support in leaving and are experimenting with the idea or the reality of Moderation.
#1 anon wrote: I have 30 days of drinking successfully after attending AA for 15 years.
Keep not coming back.
#2 “I drank last night and really enjoyed it. I waited for my wife to get home from work and we drank together. I could feel the effects but was not grossly impaired. I woke up with no hangover and have had a productive day. I helped a friend with his work on the side in addition to completing my own tasks. I will not drink tonight or probably for the next few days.
Massive, I really liked what you said about AA speak; when I use it today it is in a joking manner.
I think it would be healthy to eliminate it completely.
I still talk to old friends from AA, it is better for all concerned that they don’t know I drink.”
I have to take antibiotics for 10 days so I will not drink during this time. I have not drank since the 19th. I have no craving and feel that these abstinence days are very healthful. I believe that even small amounts of alcohol may cause subtle undetectable withdrawal symptoms, drinking several times within a week may exacerbate or lengthen the withdrawal. I have interviewed many long term normal drinkers who claim to have one drink every other day. I know them well enough to believe their symptoms if any are undetectable. My plan is to drink without restriction except that during periods of family or work responsibility I will accumulate abstinence days. I will also not drink for health reasons with medication as listed above. Abstinence days (ABS) are a HAMS tool.
Why do I want to drink after 15 years in AA?
-I love the taste. I find Armagnac, Calvados, Fine Rye Whiskey, Eau de Vie, Wine and NA beer to be exquisitely enjoyable and rewarding.
-Connoisseurship, study and acquisition is a very enjoyable hobby.
-Alcohol is a mainstay of human social interaction, to deny myself responsible use is to become socially handicapped or different.
-Moderate use can lift inhibitions and make love making more enjoyable.
-Alcohol use aids in setting aside times when I don’t take calls, drive, email, or interact outside of my home, restaurant, or bar.
-Moderate use allows alcohol to become a side issue rater than a mainstay constitutional issue as in AA membership. At times I will go to a meeting and see old friends; I do not have to deny myself anything.