Why We Should Stop Shaming Moderation

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen sober coaches, sober Instagram pages, sober podcasts, books or articles shame moderation. I believe that the concept moderation isn’t here to be shamed but to be shared because the majority of us wouldn’t have even got to more positive drinking habits or indeed sobriety without it.

The concept of moderation to anyone with a difficult relationship with alcohol can seem like a unicorn that they can almost touch but as much as they try they somehow just end up back on the drinking horse. It can seem like an impossible dance back and forth trying to reach the promised lands of moderation.

I spent my life in this dance for years. Wanting my drinking habits to be better, thinking that this time would be different, thinking I could just have one or two (and sometimes I could). Then I would always end back into my cycle and feel deflated, guilty and like I had let myself down again. I know how difficult this can feel but I think there is much value in moderation and much to be learned from the concept. 

I have noted below my tops reasons why I think moderation shouldn’t be shamed and can actually empower us on our journey; 

Moderation can feel like a less scary place to explore than sobriety – moderation can often be the first step into a sobriety journey. Many people start to think that their drinking habits are having a negative effect in their life and want this to change. The thought of giving up alcohol FOREVER or for a long period can seem terrifying but moderation gives us a first step into exploring a life with less alcohol.

Moderation can highlight the help you actually need – you might arrive at moderation thinking you will just start to have one or two on a night out and slowly start to realise that you are drinking more than you intended and that moderation isn’t actually possible for you (no judgement by the way its a difficult place to straddle for sure). This can often lead to people reaching out for further support and looking into other options (hello sobriety).

Some people can genuinely moderate – I know people that are moderate drinkers, I know people that have had serious drug and drink issues and can have the occasional drink. I realise this might not be the majority but these people exist and who are we to take that away or shame this option when for some people it really works and helps them to lead a healthier and happier life.

Moderation can make sobriety easier – the thing is if you have tried to moderate and it hasn’t worked out for you it might make it easier to land in a totally alcohol-free life. It can make you feel like you have explored all avenues and feel like an easier segway into sober living without feeling like there is something else you need to explore.

Moderation has helped me in my own journey from both sides of the coin. I have experienced this being useful  as I once had a very problematic relationship with alcohol and moderation was never an option for me despite trying so hard and this is what made me realise I needed to get sober. 

Then after my years of getting to the root cause of my drinking, therapy, changing daily habits, training in the many courses I have done around addiction and transformation and no longer needing to escape my life, I found myself in a situation where I was able to indeed just have one or two on occasion and the concept of moderation allowed me a space to explore.

I don’t think that without being 4 years totally sober and doing such deep work on myself I would have gotten to a space where an occasional drink was possible for me. My months of moderation also gave me greater insights into what alcohol gives me and the truth of that is that it makes me feel vibrationally lower and living alcohol-free is how I want to live my life. 

Moderation can be the reason someone gets to sobriety, moderation can be the reason someone is able to cut down their drinking and moderation can be the reason why someone is able to look at their relationship with alcohol in the first place.  Let’s not shame it!

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