Is drinking in moderation even a thing?

So, the weekend before last I posted on social media that I didn’t want to be sober forever. That is true but I probably need to clear a few things up. I am still very much ON the wagon and today marks 1 year and 1 month of sobriety. When I say I don’t want to be sober forever that also doesn’t mean I’m going to grab a bottle of vodka and go full throttle getting wasted. It doesn’t even mean I’m thinking of drinking alcohol any time soon. It just means that I don’t want to be sober for the rest of my life. What I would actually like eventually, is to be able to drink in moderation. Now I know a lot of people will tell me that I’m an alcoholic and it’s not possible for me to have a few alcoholic drinks and leave it at that but I’m not sure I agree. I’ve made no secret of the fact I don’t class myself as an alcoholic and I think there’s a big difference in craving alcohol and binge drinking. Saying that, if someone wants to label me an alcoholic I don’t mind. It’s a massive grey area after all! Personally I think we should get rid of the A word.

Anyway, back to drinking in moderation. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it over the last couple of weeks and I’ve got a lot more thinking to do. Is drinking in moderation even a thing? Maybe I’m just going through a process that many people go through? Maybe it’s the time of year? Maybe I’m in denial? Whatever it is I can’t stop thinking about it at the moment. The counter on my Sober Grid app which was once oh so important to me, is now like a chain around my neck. Does it really matter if I have one drink and have to delete the app? I’m also worried about disappointing people. I realise my friends and family are very proud of me for staying sober but it’s definitely not easy some days and it’s not really what I want. I’m well aware this may come across as selfish but I’m just trying to explain how I feel about it all and it’s easier for me to explain here. Having a break from alcohol was definitely the right decision for me. It’s given me time to reflect, reassess my relationship with alcohol, address my mental health issues and coping strategies. My life is 100% better without alcohol in lots of ways but I do miss having a drink and joining in on the special occasions. I have no interest in sitting at home getting wasted again. I’m not even interested in going out drinking for drinking’s sake. Back in the day I was doing that to ‘cope’ with other problems. I wasn’t dealing with my anxiety and depression very well so my first port of call was a bottle of red. I’m a lot more sorted these days and I’ve acknowledged my anxiety and depression and I’m managing them a lot better than I ever have, in the correct way.

Then there’s the reminders… 🤔

  • I’ve woken each morning feeling refreshed and full of energy for the last 396 days. Do I really want to feel crap again with that horrible hangover feeling? No. It’s horrendous and I would waste a whole day in bed doing nothing.
  • Do I want to gain weight? No. I feel so much better and healthier due to being more active and my confidence and self esteem has increased more than I ever imagined.
  • Do I want to pay the ridiculous prices for alcohol? No. For the first time in my life I’m debt free and I’ve also got a few quid in the bank.

Obviously drinking in moderation wouldn’t lead to the above if successful but I have to take it all into consideration. Each recovery journey is unique and completely different. We all have to do what’s right for us and I know I’ll be a lot happier if I can have the odd drink on special occasions. But for now it may be easier to stay sober a little longer. What I think is extremely important is that people explore WHY they are drinking. When I looked into my reasons for drinking alcohol it was a definite lightbulb moment and answered a lot of questions.

Bring on day 400 💪

6 Comments

  1. I myself am like you. I’m a drug addict who gave up alcohol because that’s what everyone else does. I never had a problem with drinking but I’m sober as I make better decisions this way. Christmas is coming up and I don’t know how to do this holiday without a drink. You’ve just summed up in words something that’s been on my mind. But I agree until you know how to go about handling it sobriety is the best decision. I think you’re amazing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First off, I think you’re freaking brilliant for taking control of your life and making all these changes to get yourself back on course – I can’t tell you this enough. Secondly, your honesty and how you account for the insights you have come to are the two main reasons why I – when I get a notification that you’ve added a blog post – get rid of all distractions and go in to read with focus and interest. Your blog isn’t one that I half skim whilst I’m also half doing something else – I quite literally dive into it and am all ears. Or eyes, as it were. There, just a few compliments I felt were due. You rock.

    Now then! Moderation… For me personally, I find it hard to believe this would ever become possible. Honestly, I can’t even begin to imagine myself drinking in any other way than full-on guzzling, almost in the same way as I can’t imagine myself getting up and singing karaoke. My boss, when I told her I’d stopped drinking because I can’t stop when I start, suggested perhaps once I’d had a proper break of total abstinence, I might see if I can “learn” to drink in a moderate manner. At the time I smiled and nodded but knew this would never happen for me. And that’s still true – I just can’t see it. But we ARE all different and I 100% agree with you that the real issue is hidden somewhere in the whys rather than the whats. If the whys are ironed out, understood and dealt with, then perhaps a new way can be found?

    For me, alcohol will only ever bring shitty stuff. All the positive things I thought it did or contributed to were just illusions – for ME! Perhaps my view will change but for now it’s a very open and shut sort of case. Also, a big part of it is that of course I don’t WANT to drink anymore. I swear if someone told me “here’s a pill, take it and then you’ll be a normal drinker” I wouldn’t bother, alcohol’s appeal has all but disappeared. For now, at least – obviously I don’t know how I’ll feel in the future. But then you have my husband who truly feels it does bring something positive – for HIM! His experience with alcohol is simply worlds apart from mine. He does stop when he wants to, he is able to. I genuinely don’t know if I will ever unlock something in myself that’ll then in turn mean I can drink in the same way. Who knows! Right now, I just don’t see it and I don’t believe it. But again and again and again, that’s ME.

    Thank you for sharing this, I think this is such an important angle. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – we’re all different.

    Big hugs! Anna xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. It really does mean the world to me that you enjoy reading my blog. I love your posts too – I save them for my Saturday morning in bed with a brew and thoroughly enjoy reading about your week 😊

      I totally understand where you’re coming from regarding moderation and in all honesty I probably will stay sober after reading the comments everyone has posted. But I do feel I have to address these thoughts I’m having. I’m guessing it’s a process that a lot of people go through and I’ll be glad when I’m back to feeling fine with sobriety. I think it’s the time of year. It’s very confusing thought because I drink AF beers and wine which are fine so I can’t understand the need for alcohol now and again. It’s obviously because I want that fuzzy feeling! 🙄 xxx

      Like

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