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Moderation vs. abstinence

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Deetee, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Deetee

    Deetee Member

    I grew up “afraid” of alcohol and didn’t have my first drink into months into my freshman semester at college...and I never turned back. For the last 15 years, I’ve loved to party. I got away with it while I was single but now I’m married with two kids and it seems like my husband and I have a lot of intense discussions about my behavior the night before...but last night was the worst. He was out of town so I hired a babysitter so I could meet a friend for dinner and drinks. At 5 pm. Friend left, and I stayed out and partied alone. I didn’t come back until 12:30, when a complete stranger drove me home. I was lucky but it scared me.

    I don’t have a dependency...I can go months without a drink, but I love beer. I don’t want to quit but I’m afraid I’ll never be able to manage my drinking. I don’t know if moderation is right for me...has anyone had success?
  2. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @Deetee hey there! thanks for reaching out. i know some that can moderate, but from my experience, those that tend to "drink too much" usually have to stay away completely. they may be ok for a short time, but eventually they begin to binge again.

    sounds like binging behavior... once you start, you just want to keep going... even when it causes negative experiences.

    my story is somewhat similar. i partied like crazy from 17 to 21... stupid crazy and lucky to be alive.... then i'd had enough (and DWI, crashed into a house). that was my wake up call. went to AA for a year and decided to cut it out and settle down. married, raised kids, went over 20 years not drinking... then after divorce... and toxic relationship, thought i could social drink again. and i did for a while. but deep down i always had the thought, "one beer makes no sense to me. i want to get a really good buzz." and there were times i drank "too much" and then regretted it.

    i opted to embark on an emotional healing journey, and that included giving up beer (my fav too). the more i learned about alcohol and addiction in general, the more i wanted to stay away from it... so for me, i chose to not have booze in my life... not even a social drink. i know i can let loose and have fun without it, and not have a hangover! :)

    but to each their own and you'll know in due time if moderation would work for you. if it doesn't, try not to think of it as having to give up something... but, rather, you're GAINING freedom from it..from its power over you....

    hope this helps.
    Cametobelieve0202 likes this.
  3. Cametobelieve0202

    Cametobelieve0202 Community Champion

    When deciding to get sober I had to be real honest with myself. I would think, “why can’t I just drink like everybody else and just have a few?”But the fact of the matter is I don’t want a few drinks, I have never wanted a couple, I want lots, I want ALL the drinks. Today I have a few years sober and those thoughts occasionally pop into my head like “ I’ve been sober for a while I could probably drink like a normie if I wanted to, I could have a glass or two of wine”. Then I think about it a bit more, that’s “slick” (my alcoholism trying to get me to use the substance that was ultimately going to kill me). It seems like common sense right? It’s the idea of putting your hand on a hot stove. How many times does alcohol have to burn us before we stop using it? Not to mention the idea of having 2 glasses of wine and stopping there sounds AWFUL to me. For me it is soooo much easier to not take the first drink than it is to try and control my drinking once I’ve started. It sounds like you may be in the same boat as me, once we start drinking it’s very difficult to predict what will happen or how much we’ll consume. I like to tell people who are considering getting sober to weigh the good versus the bad alcohol brings to your life. When the bad starts to outweigh the good it might be time to say goodbye
  4. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @CMMW it's especially challenging if life sucks at the moment... drinking when in a bad place, it's tough for some to have one or two. before they know it, they've downed MANY and are crying about life. that's happened to me before.

    i have to watch myself when it's a beautiful day and i'm in a really happy mood.... this thought will come "a couple beers will make this day even better!" but that thought is so not rational. if i'm already in a happy state, why would i want to be happier? why can't i enjoy that happy state??? without booze? we think that booze will make it better...and that first couple sips may increase the endorphins, but then we keep drinking to try to recapture that euphoric feeling that comes with the first half of the drink and we can't. anyway, i've learned to enjoy good moods without relying on alcohol to "make it better". and i love it b/c i can and do have fun and not have to poison my body, feel tired later, or be filled with regret or guilt later or the next day.