Drinking alcohol in moderation, does it work?
The Sober Journey

Why I found drinking alcohol in moderation doesn’t work

When I realised I had a problem with how much red wine I was drinking my first thought was to cut down, I would change my habit and just have a couple of glasses on Monday through to Thursday, then at the weekend I would have my usual bottle or more of red.

I figured this would significantly reduce the number of alcohol units I was drinking and make me feel better about my (out of control) habit (the truth was I was still having 70+ units even with my moderation plan).

Here’s the problem with moderating, generally us alcoholics ‘enthusiastic drinkers’ can’t do things by halves, that is why we have this problem, we are ‘all or nothing’ kind of people. This is a fantastic trait to have in many areas of life, but it isn’t so good when you start playing with a highly addictive substance.

For me I found moderating my drinking became a huge internal mental struggle, all I was thinking about on the ‘drink less’ days was the fact that I couldn’t have my usual amount of wine and I would feel miserable all day and all evening because I wasn’t getting my usual fill of the red stuff.

Inevitably what happened was that I gave up on moderation, I didn’t like it and soon returned to the bottle (or more) a night wine habit.

My opinion is that moderation doesn’t work, it is a bit like a fad diet, we might stick at it for a week or a few months, but in the end we tend to go back to our old ways.

The only way I found to truly break free from the booze was to make ONE decision to stop forever, I looked at it a bit like I was ending a troubled relationship and I decided it was time to break up, so me and alcohol got divorced.

By making ONE decision it meant that I never have to make any other decisions and I can get on with my life, there is no daily struggle as to whether I should drink tonight or not and if I do drink how much should I have. The decision was made months ago, it’s over and that’s the end of it, simple(ish).

If you are reading this and worrying about your drinking, by all means, try cutting down and if it works for you that’s great, but I strongly suspect the true long-term solution will be quitting totally.

The good news is all the wonderful things that completely quitting alcohol unlocks in your life, all the hidden surprises that just keep coming (check out my other posts for some of the highlights), all the good stuff far outweighs any benefits (are there any?) that alcohol gives, trust me on this one as I know it doesn’t feel like this in the first week or so of not drinking.

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