Mythbusting: Moderation Management
In this episode of the Alcohol Minimalist podcast, Molly invites listeners to join her “More Sober October Challenge”. She defines a peaceful relationship with alcohol as the ability to take it or leave it without feeling deprived, enjoying a glass without guilt, and avoiding the need to finish the bottle. Molly asserts that with science on their side, listeners can shatter past patterns and eliminate excuses. The episode features an interview with Mary Hickey Reid, the executive director of Moderation Management, addressing myths and truths about moderation and discussing the Kickstart program. The conversation explores the organization’s guidelines, support mechanisms, and the benefits of moderation for individuals with diverse backgrounds and preferences. Molly and Mary also discuss the intersection of moderation and abstinence and share success stories of those who have successfully moderated their drinking.
Hey, it’s Molly from alcohol minimalist. What do you do in this October? I would love to have you join me in my more sober October challenge. What do I mean by more sober October, it simply means that we’re going to add in more alcohol free days than you currently been doing, whether that’s one or two or 31. It’s up to you, you get to set your own goal and that’s why it’s more sober October. You can check it out and learn more at get got sunnyside.co/molly It’s totally free. I’ve got prizes, I’m going to be going live every week to announce the prize winners, and it’s just going to be an awesome event. So I would love to have you join me. You can learn more at get.sunnyside.co/molly and you can get registered today. Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I am your host Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I used to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking, and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast. With me your host Molly Watts coming to you from a still dark or again this morning. I’m recording this early on right after daylight savings time started. And it’s one of those. You know, when daylight savings time starts, you’re still trying to adjust and it’s still dark. It was still dark when I started to record this. Yikes. I am so excited to share this week’s podcast with you. I asked Mary Hickey Reed, the executive director of moderation management to rejoin me she hasn’t been on the show in almost a year now. And lots has happened for both of us in terms of our work with both moderation. And I’ve gotten way more involved. And she’s been such a great support. And I really just wanted to talk a little bit about some of the myths and truths about moderation management. And I love this podcast. I love this episode. And we’re also sharing some great information on kickstart, which is coming up here for moderation in April. So here is my conversation with Mary Hickey Reed. Good morning, Mary, thank you so much for being back on the podcast. It has been a while since you were on the show probably about a year ago. I think that you and I first connected and seems like a lot longer, doesn’t it? Yeah, it is. And it’s great to be back. And you and I have worked together in other areas. And it’s been it’s been a productive year. Yeah, big year, big year. In fact, I was just reflecting before we jumped on about dry you weary So folks, for those of you that didn’t participate in dry you weary this year, I hope you will next year but dry you weary 2022 If I’m not mistaken, Mary was the biggest for mm for moderation management. Since moderation started really supporting that event. It was we had over 1200 people sign up this year, which is probably smiling, you know, compared to the ones that happen in the UK and Australia and such that are kind of government sponsored dry erase, but we’re pretty proud of that it’s grown every year. Yeah, it’s grown every year was a big jump from where I went for where I first jumped in and 2021 and I know it was a real substantial percentage wise, it was a big jump. So and we’re gonna do even greater things in 2023, folks, so stick around, come with us and participate next year. Well, I wanted to have you back on the show. We’re going to talk later about kickstart, which is another moderation program that’s getting ready to get going here in April. But before we get there, I said to you, I want to have a conversation kind of about the truths and the myths of moderation management because there’s a lot I get a lot of them I get a lot of questions from people I get a lot of I see a lot of posts that are kind of from people that don’t really understand or their question you name things. And I think there’s a little bit of confusion. So and there’s just some some stories that exist about moderation that I think we want to address. And so, first and foremost, I know this is this is something that you and I talked about in terms of just the elephant in the room, I guess is what I will have to call it because I think that that’s when you’re talking about moderation and people wondering about its origins, we cannot skip around the stories of Audrey Kish line. And so, let’s talk a little bit about Audrey and the Audrey Kish line. For those of you that don’t know, she was the founder of moderation management, and went on to have a pretty sad story. So, and people associate that with moderation, and they don’t they don’t even know they hear it. It’s kind of like an urban myth. Is this true? So tell me Mary, is it true? What happened with Audrey Kish wine? Yeah, it is true. Now it is funny because we use it anytime you saw mentioned in moderation management in any publication, or an online publication, the first comment that you would always see it’s like, oh, yeah, that worked really well for Audrey didn’t it? And some of that’s kind of gone away. And a lot of people don’t know her story anymore. But for a long time, that was our legacy. And it like you said, we can’t skirt around it. We address it on our website. So otter founded. Mmm, and 1994 95 I think somewhere in that time. And, you know, I can remember I actually remember when she was going on the talk shows and I saw her and and she was on Phil Donahue and some of the big talk shows back in those days. And I thought, wow, this is this is for me. Finally, there’s, you know, I was already was in my maybe early 30s, late 20s. I was already worried about my drinking, but I didn’t want to give it up. So. But also, it was very controversial at the time, you know, everybody a 12 step was really all that was around. And everyone said, well, oh my gosh, this is this is going to be disastrous. This is going to have all the alcoholics that have been in AAA for years, and now they’ll start drinking. And everybody that really needs to join AAA is going to just bold themselves by thinking they can moderate. And plus, you know, recovery is big money. It’s big business. And so all of those people were there. Let’s just say she didn’t have a whole lot of support from government and nonprofit for a non lay lead. Yeah, right. Right. Laylat. So she struggled, and she kept at it. And as I am the executive director now 20, some years later, and I’m impressed by the groundwork that she laid for it and the work she did to start it, then I was not involved in that in those years I became involved at in 2010 2010, or 2011, which was shortly after her tragedy. And what happened was, and she’s written several, she wrote one book, at least after this incident, so you can read about that. But in her own words, she she was struggling with moderation. And, and anything I say here is not an excuse for what she did. There is no excuse for what she did. And but maybe it’s what I think is my insights into why it happens. You know, she was struggling. Here. She had introduced this, this new organization that was very controversial. And she was felt like, you know, it was she needed to succeed as a founder, she needed to be able to succeed at moderate, right? What was it going to look like if she couldn’t, you know, how could she admit to anybody that she wasn’t succeeding? What she was struggling, and can’t, and she finally did admit to the people in moderation management. I think we had the listserv going and probably the forum at that time. And she did come on, admit, say, and it’s not working for me. I support to those of you who are still trying to moderate but it’s not working for me. And I don’t know if she left the community can completely then but she and the stories are again, these are stories I’ve heard, not directly from her is that she joined AAA. I don’t know if she did or not. But to at some point, I think in 2010, I think was the year she she drove drunk and the runway on the freeway and ended up killing a man and his young daughter. And so she went to prison after that. And she came back and she actually joined mm again and I wasn’t member at this time she didn’t interact a whole lot. She was active in the mm ABS search group is a subgroup of people of Anam who have chosen to abstain, and I was in that group at that time. She was still struggling with drinking. And anyway, so she went on to write books and it’s She went on a book tour with the woman, the mother of this, this girl, young girl that she killed. And then eventually, as I said, still struggling with her drinking and eventually committed suicide. I’m not sure what year that was, but 2012, somewhere between 2012 and 2014, I think, yeah. So, so, and really just an underscore of something that I talk about. And I know, Dr. DE Jaffe talks about in his work, this idea that if you don’t treat the underlying mental health issues and the mental, the mental side of why people are drinking, if you focus on just the substance and not, you know, controlling the substance and not really getting to the root cause, it sounds like Audrey never really was able to figure out what was driving her to, you know, to continue to, to abuse alcohol in a way that was that’s clearly not the goals of moderation. And and for some people, and this is you brought up the abstainers. This is another I guess, and we’ll go right into that myth about one of those myths and untruths about Mmm Is that abstinence and sober living is somehow not encouraged or frowned upon in moderation. So, or that, you know, you’re an outcast, if you’re, if you’re a sober, if you’re sober or an abstainer. Is that would you say, I mean, that’s clearly not the case at all? Not at all I can I can say that with two because I have sent with with MMS, my support group for eight years and, and actually made me the executive director during that time when I was abstaining, I am now exploring moderation again. But so we do we do support people who choose to add abstain, a lot of people lose their fear of abstinence through moderation management, because we do include absent days as a moderation plan. So we, we kind of feel like we’re a gateway, we get people who are not ready or don’t ready to abstain in the door to support and, and eventually they are able to choose their paths right through that. So that’s moderation or abstinence. Yeah. Okay. I like that. I like that idea. That whole while you’re exploring and trying to figure out you’re, you’re correct path or your you know, best relationship with alcohol. Moderation is a great for people, especially who, again, the focus doesn’t need to be completely on what, whether or not you choose and I just thought I just did a episode on this, you know, which path is right for you isn’t the right question to be asking all the time, it’s at first you got to figure out your your own, the reasons that you’re drinking was just kind of what we were just talking about. So another another one of these myths, actually, because it is pretty clear, if you look on the website, you can find it but people like to say that the moderation goals or limits or recommended guidelines aren’t clear for people that they aren’t clear as to what they are. That’s not true, they are pretty clear on the website in terms of what the guidelines are for recommended drinking. But tell me why people think that or why why do you think people think that it’s not clear? I think I can understand why people say it’s not clear because they are guidelines, they are not limits, you know, unlike apps and that’s it you know, which has one limit was just zero, our guidelines or what we see recommendations, you know, we’re even thinking about changing the word get that applies for the steps, the recommendations and some people will decide that they’re drinking is that they’re okay with their their drinking at a higher level than what the guidelines are at a reduced level from when they started mm. But but but maybe higher than what are we our guidelines say is healthy, and then some people will decide you know, really I don’t I don’t want to drink that much. So I mean, they’re guidelines they’re not saying our goals they’re not goals are not limits. And so they might say I make I don’t want to drink that much. You know, I want to drink by the NIA. A Yeah. Which is what I talk about here is the I talked about there’s a wandering for weight or very occasionally you know, just for special Yeah. And I you know that I over a might hear it on the alcohol minimalist, I definitely talk about the low risk guidelines which are are from the NIH AAA. And neither here nor there in terms of they are just slightly different than the moderation management guidelines. I just stick to those because they are considered to be low risk and they are evidence based. So that’s where my goals and that’s you know, but I talk about it all the time here I talked about creating a peaceful relationship with alcohol, and much to your point that for some people is going to be zero. That is for some people, they are going to be happiest and at most peace when they are at zero. But the premise of moderation is to give people some, some, you know, some bumper rails on the in the, in the alleys to kind of set you up. But then you are finding your own comfort level and your own peaceful relationship, your own best moderation plan. If it’s excessive, you’re not going to, you’re going to, you know, there’s going to be side effects that are going to be unpleasant that you’re going to not like and it’s you know, that’s the bottom line when you when you drink to access. It’s never pleasant for most people, you know. And so that’s, you’ll figure that out, I guess is my point is you’ll figure that out on your own. Eventually, if you’re really working the steps and you’re working the program, and you’re really trying to figure out how to reduce your drinking. The guidelines are based on a study by Martha Sanchez, correct. And that was back in the early late 80s or early 90s. Again, and she said that women could drink mix 16 drinks a week and women could drink 14, I believe. And when I first read my Audrey’s first book that came out moderate drinking, I think that’s what her guidelines were in that book, if I remember, right, it’s been a long time. And then somehow, along the line, that National Institute of alcohol abuse and alcohols studies or whatever it is, is they decided to support moderation or responsible drinking, and they came out with their guidelines. And so and then kind of fell in line with their guidelines at the time, which was what we have now the nine drinks a week for women. And they 13 drinks a week for man. But when they further reduced it to the one drink a day, we did not read route to set for the women. Yeah, yeah. What’s what’s what I think is interesting is that I think that that it’s 14 for men, so it’s fair on the anime. Not quite. Anyway. But anyhow, there’s it’s because they aren’t. So I guess the takeaway there is, the guidelines are clear. They’re not limits. They’re guidelines. So they are recommendations. And that’s why maybe it’s not it feels unclear is because it isn’t as it isn’t zero, just like you said, and it’s not strict by the book, because that’s not really MLMs purpose, nor is it they’re kind of just the overall feel of the organization. Another point to that, I think would be that there is so it’s funny, because it’s like there’s not a recommendation there or there’s not a limit. There’s not there. But at least when I started, I think there was in the in the content on the website. Something from the from yesteryear, about a mandatory, I don’t know if mandatory is the right word 30 Day abstinence period recommended. So let’s talk about that. Is there a mandatory 30 Day abstinence period? Well, there no, there is not. And there’s not really a mandatory anything in ML. But I do remember when I joined that the 30 Day was really a pushed down, leveraged, strongly encouraged and it was the first thing you saw when you came on the site, you know, the first kind of step in there, you got to get a 30 day absent period. And it kept me Jordan from joining mm for many years, because I knew I couldn’t do 30 Day apps in that period. And so we’ve actually just recently moved that down it we still we still place value on it, we still think there’s value in taking along abstinent period. But we don’t recommend it as it’s not one of our first recommendations anymore. So we don’t want people not to join in and not to get support because they’re afraid that 30 Day apps in a period. Yeah, I would think I would have been I think I was probably right in your same shoes. I wouldn’t have i Well, I never I kind of backed into mmm anyways, because I came in during dry you weary so I waited until I was ready for a 30 day period, but not but not because I wasn’t ready to join previously. All right, so here’s one that’s I think, a great myth. And I think it’s worth again worth discussing. You have to attend meetings, either virtually or in person to be successful with moderation. Is that true Mary? It is. It is not true. You know, and that is one of the reasons I joined them out. And one of the reasons I didn’t join AAA, because I at that time I was when I joined them and I was a heavy drinker and and I’m sure if I had taken the self test it would have said your your chances of success are very low at moderating and I probably wouldn’t find a except for their emphasis on meetings. I just another person that likes to go to meetings. And so I knew that wasn’t something I would succeed at. So I came to Nm. And there was I actually joined a group online. And I said, you know, I want to change my ranking, blah, blah, blah, I just don’t, I just can’t go to me. And they said, Well, you have to go to meetings. And so then I joined. Mm. And, you know, we didn’t have regular meetings that when I joined face to face, which was still our standard meeting, and they weren’t very many, you know, they were in the big cities, New York City and LA, not out in the little Podunk areas that I lived. So, so that wasn’t possible. So we had the chats every night. And I didn’t even want to do those. I probably didn’t do any of those for two years, until they asked me to lead one and then came to video meetings, and you know, how I feel about video. So to me, the people that just they joined, they joined and only do is meetings to me, that’s just me. Oh, my gosh, and then we have people that never go to meetings so that, you know, everybody makes where their their comfort zone. That’s a well, so they’re there I am. Right. So I’ve never attended the moderation meeting. Although I have, you know, I have people that have listened to my podcast people that I that are in my Facebook group that go to the meetings that love them. I know, some of the moderation. I know. I mean, I’ve met through our work on the back end of moderation. I’ve met some of the leaders of the meetings at love beach. And it’s, you know, there’s and so I guess my point here is, there’s real benefit there, and they’re free and go I mean, they’re really honestly great. And nowadays, we have lots of meetings across the the week and the timeframes in terms of virtual meetings that mean we’ve all you know, gosh, gotten so, you know, virtual meetings are second nature to everyone now after this crazy pandemic, but you know, it’s really a such a wonderful benefit. And they’re not the same type of meetings, as I think that people worry about, you’re certainly not going to have to stand up and say, tell your story, or share your experience. If you don’t want to, you just can sit there and listen if you’d like to and get a whole lot of benefit. Exactly, you know, you have that we I always tell people that my meeting on Wednesdays that you know, if you just want to listen, that’s fine. Send me a private chat or just put it out there. So are a lot of people just put it in their name, they change their name to funny, I’m just listening or something. I don’t call on them. But I think they get pretty comfortable pretty fast, because they realize we’re not up there saying, Oh, I will, I’m a success. And here’s what I do every week. You know, luckily, we have success stories. They’re you know, intertwined. But we all go through our struggles. And those are usually what gets shared. So I think I think it makes people comfortable that they can share what they’re struggling with. But just to note, folks, you don’t if you’re a non meeting person, there’s lots of ways to be involved with moderation. Tell me just about a few of those many different ways that people get support at mmm that are not meeting based. Okay, I Well, we have we have two private private online communities that have been around and mmm for a long time. And the beauty of these communities, our forum, and our listserv is that you can you can communicate and interact in these communities totally anonymously. You can you use a fictitional username, nobody knows who you are, nobody has access to any personal information. And, and in their small communities, they’re very close knit. Everybody knows everybody that’s been there for a while, you’re not gonna see, you know, 1000 people on their posting and everything, you’re just you’re gonna have check ins and I liked these communities, because you are able to do the check ins are lists or has a sticky roster every day and is the most popular thing. And everybody waits for that sticky roster. And if you’re not involved in the sticky roster means basically you’re just committing to abstain for that day. So Peggy, our sticky roster later, gets on every morning and says who’s on the sticky today or who’s on my fridge. There’s a story behind it. And you know, people jump on it. They’re waiting for that first thing in the morning. So we’re able to do a little more of that in our, our smaller communities, the forum and the listserv. And then we have our online private Facebook group. And you know, with Facebook, we there’s only so many security measures that are in place there. So you have to be if you join that and you know you’re most people are aware of the limits of Facebook’s security and anonymity even if it’s a private group. It’s been it grows all the time. It’s very active. We have over 5100 people on it and 4100 of those people are active so there’s a lot of posting there’s a lot of discussion going on and it’s good. We have we also have mm Absa lips listserv. We still have that group, a subgroup of you pool that decided to abstain for the foreseeable future. Most of us don’t say forever when we choose says abstain, but some do. And then we have an in an absolute private Facebook group also. And we also have the core group still this right, which is each other. Yeah. Which is just something that I, some of one of my folks told me about, which I hadn’t been familiar with. And so I was like, Wow, that’s amazing. That’s so awesome. And it’s just just kind of just starting to take hold, but proven to be I know, at least from the people that listen to him to my show, that have told me about it that are involved. Very, very, they really enjoy it. Good. Good. And that’s always good to hear, because we kind of let our core groups operate on their own. And the core group came about because we do get the question and I know we were going to discuss this later about whether MGM has sponsors, and we do not have sponsors, because we feel that we feel like there’s their strength in in numbers. And we also feel that all of us are on the journey. And so we have our highs and our lows, and to put somebody not responsible, but in a position of responsibility for someone else’s recovery, or moderation is a lot of pressure. So we don’t we don’t do that it’s, but we did establish core groups a year ago or two, somewhere in there. And these are small groups of four to five people that interact just with themselves, that small group, they decide how they’re going to communicate how often they’re going to communicate. And it just gives them a little more accountability and a little bit smaller group to interact with. Yeah, like I said, that’s what I’ve heard. And they just really, really enjoy that personalized, you know, that there’s just that smaller connection. And I do appreciate the fact that it isn’t a quote unquote, sponsor, I really don’t like that terminology at all. I really kind of hate it that, but But I, but, you know, it’s just so ingrained in the AAA culture that, but I really appreciate the fact that we step away from that. And I think a core group is a much better, happier, kind of supportive and aligns much more in tune with what moderation is. Okay, so this is a funny, this is a funny myth, I guess to me, but I think it’s true, but I bet we get it, we hear it. So they people will say, I’ve never heard of moderation management before. Is it new? Vegas, just, I mean, I thought that I mean, I feel like I had her baby, because I guess because I grew up as an adult child of an alcoholic. So I guess I was familiar with different organizations in alcohol for my whole life. But do you hear that? Mary, do you hear from people like, is this new way to? And I’m always surprised, you know, because I think because I was concerned about my drinking early, I was out there looking, you know, for for options. Not unnecessarily joining them, but I was always kind of looking. And so I knew about and now. And then, you know, it was because I and then it got put in the news again, when Andre accident happened because was in people and it was across the news. So I thought, well, everybody must know. But we do. Now we every day, I hear. I didn’t know there was anything out here like that. And so I guess I could explain it in a couple of ways. Give a couple reasons. One is because we’re a very, we’re a small nonprofit, and we don’t get government help. And, and so we don’t have the money to advertise. So a lot. And so, so the word doesn’t get out there, except through ours. And then, you know, and the thing with Aubrey, I think, you know, we kind of kind of were making strides and then kind of went back behind kind of went quiet for a while trying to re organize and, and get back on some solid ground under our feet. Yeah, agreed. Interestingly, I just want this as a total aside, because I didn’t talk about this in our when we were discussing this this interview. But I think that really truly lately the last couple of years, all of this sober, curious and mindful drinking stuff is actually also probably spurring some of the interest and the refining of moderation. Would you agree? I would agree. And I would agree that set that’s great that you know, I’m you’re probably more aware and informed about cyber curious because it to me, when I’ve read about it, it is mostly abstinence based. So I don’t know what the difference is between them and ask them the space or the ISO. Because what I read it is that they really do tend to to promote abstinence, but maybe I’m wrong about that. I do see some of the some other groups that are out there that you know, that aren’t really saying that they’re absent space in there. But basically So to me, I kind of get that they’re their their main focus is trying to get people towards apps. That’s but yeah, but it has helped us. Yes. And so people are, it’s become popular. Right To Be mindful anyways, it’s popular. Exactly. That’s excellent. All right, so we talked about the fact that there are no sponsors. Are there steps to moderation? Are there steps like that everybody is so familiar with the 12 steps of a, or at least well, I shouldn’t say everybody’s familiar. But that’s, I think that we’re, I mean, it’s, it is when we talk about the foundational basis of those 12 steps and how influential they are in the recovery industry, which is a mega dollar industry as well. I feel like people are very familiar with 12 steps, or their steps to moderation. You know, on if you go to our website, you will see our nine steps to change. And again, we’re discussing that steps beam. For us, we’re kind of looking at the definition of people how to help people to find steps. And that means to us, it seems like you have to do this first, and then this and then this, and then this, and we don’t want that. And, and it’s one of the things that drew me to me, is being on my design, layout recovery, but I wanted people to support that. So I do have steps on. Basically, they’re they’re easy steps. And when we’ve changed the wording that says, you know, when you’re comfortable, you can do this, or you can do these in any order. With so it gives a lot of independence to what anybody’s recovery looks like. Now, I feel like that’s a strain. But there were times when I was really struggling when I first joined, and I really wanted somebody to say, you know, you really need to do this. And we really frown on anybody telling anybody else what they need to do, you know, so. So that’s one thing. mm is you’re not going to hear and if somebody says to you, if you hear one of our members say or you see somebody posts to someone else that you need to do this, you’re gonna see us on there pretty quickly, to say we don’t tell each other what to do we just share what we share. Yes, yeah, that’s a that’s, it’s a big difference. And that’s one of the reasons that, you know, I, that I have my own Facebook group is because in that I can tell people, This is what you know, this is what I recommend, this is what my but still the bottom part at the heart of it all. It’s really what I’ve done and what I did and how I got to where I am. So it’s still the same kind of thought process. And, and but I do appreciate that about mm, there aren’t, you know, it’s not. We don’t hit people over the head with a hammer and say do it this way. And there’s only one way. And I think that’s one of the things that I’ve always struggled with. And one of the reasons that I would have never even set foot in set foot in the AAA door is that I wasn’t going to there was never going to be someone telling me that you have to you can no you’re powerless that you have to do it this way. And I’ve never felt that way from mmm ever that it’s just you know, it’s really about empowering people. And that’s what I love. Okay, so last myth before we talk a little bit about kickstart. And I know what you’re gonna say, because I know this is true. Is it possible for someone who’s been sober for many years to become a successful moderator? Well, I Yes. Now I look at me stuttering ever myself. Yes, I said I you know, I abstain for eight years. And I was happy abstaining. But I never said forever. And at one point when we started, when I started leading the kickstart, I thought here I am talking about all these moderation tools. And I’m an abstainer. And, you know, why don’t I explore it again, and I’m not going to say it was perfect from the start. You were abstaining does not train you for moderation. It’s totally different toolbox. And so there were some stumbles, but I feel like I’m successful. Now. I feel like I’ve reached the point where I am comfortable. I’m no longer afraid of drinking. I have my limits. I know my limits. I stop at my limits. And so So yes, I think that’s a success story we have is I was actually meant much for today we have a by the book roster. You know, we have rosters that people sign up for so every week the people that do buy the book, sign on and we have people that have 4000 days of by the book moderation. We have people that have 2000 We have people that are resetting in because they they they they broke their streak. But yes, we have people that join after several years of abstinence and then monitor right now 100% successful I don’t know I kind of doubt it but successful and not that they’re they’re continuing on with it. We have a we have a special meeting especially just for those people that are have abstained for a long time and are are either exploring moderation and are or are thinking about exploring moderation. And again, one thing, again, we support people and what their choices are, and we’re not going to push moderation on anybody. And I think I always add probably to be the voice of caution on people that come from a long period of abstinence. And say, they want to drink again, I’m the one that’s maybe tries to talk them out to be very truthful about it. Because you know, the one thing is, that was the one myth I had in my head about it when I decided to moderate again, is that, you know, well, that doesn’t work. For me, I can just put it that way, once in reintroduce alcohol back into your life is not good. It’s probably easier than it was the first time. But it’s still not easy. And so they need to keep that in mind. I think, you know, yeah. That they’re opening a door that does that isn’t may not be as easy to shut as they think it will be. Very interesting. Yeah. And I don’t and I, you know, I always I talk a lot about it from a scientist from scientific base here. I talk about it from a physical health, mental health, financial health, all of these reasons. And I’m always very clear, folks. So let’s be clear about it right now. I am certainly we are never going to encourage anyone that is happily sober. Happily alcohol free to reintroduce reintroduce alcohol into their lives, because there is no, there is no proven clinically 100% safe level from alcohol other than zero. That’s just that’s just the fundamentals. That’s the bottom line. So this is not an encouragement for anyone that is sober or alcohol free living to reintroduce alcohol, but I do we do get the question, because that is something that people do seek it. And I will go back to saying that, again from from Dr. Jaffe and the abstinence myth. The idea isn’t necessarily that, that you know, because many people who stopped drinking successfully turn to something else to buffer away those emotions, whether they overeat or they smoke, or they gamble, or they do something else, you have to address the reasons that you’re abusing any substance, any substance, whether that’s alcohol or something else, or an an activity or behavior, because you have to address what’s going on emotionally and where what’s happening underneath it to be successful period in terms of whether you’re moderating alcohol, whether you’re moderating food, whether you’re moderating social media, whatever it is that you might be, you know, your your substance of choice, right, so, but at this having said that, I just want to say that there are lots of Mary’s just one example. But there are lots of people that are successfully moderating in moderation, whether they come from an abstinence based background, or whether they simply have gotten to a point where they’re looking at their alcohol choices and thinking I need to make a change here. There are 1000s of examples of people who are very successful and myself included. You know, I’m definitely I would be in the, I don’t know, 1000 days club, I’m sure by now of successful moderator if I’m sticking to moderation rules, or limits guidelines, not gonna say rules. Gosh, right. It’s okay. I want to go back to speaking to that. I want to I want to Audrey and you know, the fact that some of the times are are naysayers. The first say as Audrey Ricky it didn’t work processes work for anybody. And you know, is our tragedy arteries are a horror story. In the 12 years, that I’ve been involved with him, I’m sure we’ve had people that have been arrested for DUI, as I’m sure we’ve had people that have had Rick’s and anybody that’s in a recovery organization, those are just part of a recovery organization. I mean, and, and we haven’t had a another tragedy too. So to sit there and, and judge and and shine the light on Audrey and think that light shines on all of us. Is it as unfair as saying, you know, all of us have seen people that have had second DUIs, or triple DUIs or got into accidents that killed people, and they’ve had more than one DUI and and it’s pretty standard across the board that people that I have DUIs as part of their court mandated, you have to attend and most of the time 12 step meetings, so you know, that there’s that too, you know, and nobody says, well, he doesn’t work because this person was had been, you know, into a 12 step meeting. But and that’s not saying he doesn’t work. For me. That works for a lot of people. It’s just that you can’t paint any, any one organization with one color brush. And so we have successes, we have to people that struggle that’s, that’s just the name of the game when you’re in recovery. Yeah. Well put I’ll put, Mary we are. This is a we’ve been on here forever, we could probably talk forever. We know we can. Before we leave, let’s talk about kickstart because AI kickstart is happening. It’s starting in April. It’s a fantastic month long program of support. And on the website, it says that the early bird discount expires on March 15. But we talked about it, this episode is dropping on March 16. And if you go sign up for kickstart today, you will still get the discounted price which is 30% off. It’s not even, it’s not even expensive in the first place. So that’s just let’s just be clear. With the discount, it will be how much? It’s only $20. Okay, and when it comes when it’s when it’s past the discount pays. It’s like what $30 $30? Yeah, okay, so come on. Either way, it’s very affordable, and you should be just paying it anyways, because it’s such a valuable organization. And this is really a nonprofit donation when you sign up for these things, folks. So it’s not like it’s, you know, you’re you’re getting something in return, but you’re supporting a great organization. And so tell me about kickstart. Okay, well remember how I said, we don’t have steps? You know, and how when I came to Nm, still, I wanted somebody to say, Yeah, but you should do this, and then listen to this. So we kind of took that and said, Yeah, this is for people who feel like they need a little more direction. This is a month long program, and that we go through a schedule of tools, basically a schedule of what you should focus on in a month, first month in moderation. And so it starts off, you know, and we’ll introduce a tool a day, we send a post out in the morning through email, and it’s kind of an inspirational or educational. Yours Truly ever there. Molly Watts will be contributing a weekly post about brain brain changes what it brainless? That’s right. So we’ll talk about how to retrain your brain. So it has a daily tool of daily tasks and a daily non alcoholic drink suggestion or low alcoholic drinks suggestion. We have kickstart meetings twice a week and this time we’re having a book club that’s going on at the same time. It’s actually open to everybody and am I we’re going to be discussing the book atomic habits that it will be going on at the same time with kickstart and then kickstart meeting will follow the book club so but kickstart meetings twice a week. But the first week we focus on basically establishing our baseline where are we what we start tracking, we start being honest with ourselves about how much we drink and we start figuring out how much we do great and, and basically just getting comfortable with where we are and where we want to go. And the second week, we start being in the steps to reduce braking. And what we can do different tools to use for that. The third week we talk about triggers and habits and obstacles of all kinds, including our families that sometimes maybe want us to move faster, or want us to abstain. And then the fourth week is how do we continue on this journey. So it’s it’s a fun program. You know, it’s kind of funny, because people don’t really think of recovery as being fun. And most people that come out of there do feel like they they had some fun with it that it’s not heavy. It’s not. It’s a lot of information that wants to information is available for two months. So as it’s available, you can come to the website and read the month after two. Awesome, perfect Well, the link is going to be in the show notes folks. So www.moderation.org Look for it right up at the top is a link to the kickstart Kickstart program. And it’s you know, I should also say that lots of people repeat this kickstart they do it, they do it multiple we do it a couple of times a few times a year, three times a year, two times, three times a year. So yeah, so and lots of people like to rejoin and just refresh and get the group mentality and kind of just you know, some people treat it as a as a 30 day abstinence period. But it doesn’t have to be that it just is really an a way of resetting yourself resetting your mind really wrapping your and really addressing the behavior for some people who are just starting out on this journey. It’s a great opportunity just to get involved from from the beginning. Yes, it is. And we will, as Molly said, we’ll extend that early bird registration a couple of days so you guys can take advantage of it. We do appreciate it. And I just want to say we also we are nonprofit we don’t want anybody not to get join a kickstart because they don’t have the money for the requested donation right now. We have free coupons. unlimited free anybody that needs a free coupon, you just have to write me there’s instructions on the website, and let me know. So if you need if you need that free coupon folks really just reach out to Mary and, and take advantage of kickstart because this is a great opportunity to make strides with your relationship with alcohol. And at the end of the day, that’s what moderation is here for. That’s what I’m here for. We want to help you create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. And so I appreciate it. Mary, I appreciate you coming on early in the morning and on video. Even though everybody else isn’t gonna get to see it. I get to see your smiling face and appreciate you taking the time. I think this is going to be really beneficial for folks. So thank you again, Mary Hickey Reed. Thank you all for having me. And it’s always a joy. So thanks, and it’s not it’s not that early. I just don’t get around very fast. It’s fine. Thanks, Molly. Thanks, Mary. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com