If you’re thinking about drinking in moderation that means reducing your level of alcohol consumption to a level where you’re not getting the outcome that you want.
What can moderate drinking give you? Does it work? Can you work it?
Today I wanted to talk about planned and managed moderate alcohol consumption; moderate drinking.
Should we try to drink in moderation? Is it possible to drink moderately?
To me, in my mind, it is a huge no, because of the way that we drink.
If you drink to get drunk – and if you’re in trouble with alcohol you do drink to get drunk – whether it’s three or four drinks in an evening or you’re drinking to be social or whatever it is that you’re doing, you are drinking to get to the level of drunkenness that you want to get to.
The whole point of drinking to the level that you are drinking now, is to get to that award that you want at the end of the day. So, if you’re not getting that reward – what’s the point in drinking?
If you try to drink in moderation, you will be fighting a losing battle. Alcohol gives you tolerance, so the more you drink the more you have to drink in order to get the same buzz.
Alcohol is a drug, first and foremost.
So, if you drink a glass of wine every day for a few weeks, eventually that glass of wine isn’t going to give you the same buzz on day thirty as it did on day one, it’s not going to give you the same buzz on day sixty as it did on day thirty – that’s the way it works.
To moderate your drinking, you’ve got to pull back on your drinking and forgo the award that you’re used to, because you’re not going to get that award. The only way that you can get that reward, with the new level of reduced alcohol, is not to drink alcohol for a long time or for however long it takes, to get you to that stage where you can’t drink alcohol and then when you start drinking again, you’ll be able to get that reward, with that reduced amount of alcohol.
But that reduced amount of alcohol is not going to keep you drunk or keep you in that state of drunkenness that you want to get to for very long, because of tolerance, so you will be fighting this never-ending battle, week in, week out, all the way through your life.
That’s the way I tried to do things for so long in my life and it’s a screwball way of doing things, you know, because you’re all the time fighting and thinking, ‘Why can’t I just drink?’ You just want to get back to the same level of alcohol and eventually you’ll give it up.
The only way moderation ever works is for people who drink moderately in the first place, they drink a couple of glasses of wine every so often and they’re not doing it for the buzz, they are doing it for a different reason. They might get a tickle every time they have a drink but they’re not primarily doing it for the buzz.
What we’re doing as heavy drinkers, is to drink for the buzz and there’s no way of getting away from that. Your mind is into that level of habit.
As I said, I went back to Ireland recently and it was just so fucking surprising and scary as well, when my brain went straight back into Ireland mode, even though I’d left five years ago, it was as if five years had never even happened. My brain just went straight back into it and I could have walked around that Town blindfolded.
I lived there a long time but it was amazing how quickly my brain went back to it. It didn’t go to the alcohol thinking because my brain and thinking have evolved way beyond that now, my tools of dealing with my life and dealing with different parts of, different aspects of my life have moved way beyond that, so I was never in fear of that, but it was so fucking scary how my life went back into that groove.
If I didn’t have these tools in front of me, if I hadn’t learned all these things about myself, God knows where I’d be, this is what I’m on about.
When you’re talking about quitting alcohol it’s so important to leave the alcohol behind, to put as much distance between you and the alcohol as possible. To have as much distaste and understanding about what the alcohol is doing to you as possible, because if you don’t you’re always going to have this crutch in your back going: “Maybe one or two won’t hurt me because alcohol isn’t really bad, it’s just my behaviour that was bad.”
Alcohol is bad and shouldn’t be put in your fucking body. That’s what you have to sort of understand, regardless of how it’s packaged up. When I went back to Ireland my Partner had a pint of Guinness, but it didn’t mean anything to me, because I know what’s in there. It’s fucking alcohol, it’s bad shit that I don’t want to put into my body any more, end of story.
I have got myself to that level over many months and years of just drumming this into myself. Alcohol is a poison, a toxin, it’s not going to do me any good. Just by thinking about alcohol on that level and because I know that everything that I’ve gained through not drinking will be gone – instantaneously – if I start dilly dallying with that lifestyle and going back to drinking.
I just want to say that you are kidding yourself if you think moderate drinking is possible for someone who has experienced long term heavy drinking – if you are drinking for habitual buzzes.
Am I saying it’s impossible? No, you can do it, but it’s a life where there’s a constant battle between you and the alcohol, between you and your habits and that’s a fight that I never want to do.
I quit drinking four years ago and that’s it – bang! No more alcohol, no more fight, I won the fucking war. End of Story.
Stay safe, keep the alcohol out of your mouth. Stay positive, keep those thoughts of moderation away, they’re just going to drive you mad. Good luck to you, take care.
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a Habit.”
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!