Controlling Alcohol Use With Moderation?
At some point, many problem drinkers ask the question, “Should I quit drinking completely or cut back and try to moderate?”
If you take a look around, it may appear everyone else is able to drink in moderation, and you might even feel envious, wishing you could do the same. Especially if you’ve heard the frequently repeated axiom that the secret to healthy living is doing “everything in moderation.”
And that would be great if it were true. But it isn’t; it’s a lie.
The illusion is not real
That would mean that all things, in small amounts, can be good. But if you think about it, that makes no sense. There are some things that are bad in any amount! You know this is true if you fill in the blank with something other than alcohol. “A little murder in moderation, a little poison in moderation, a little heroin in moderation…”
When you put it that way, it sounds crazy! For some things, no amount is good!
And yet, problem drinkers will still come to me and say they still want to drink alcohol in moderation. This implies two things: that to do so is possible, and that there is any benefit to doing so. Both of these are simply untrue.
Is Drinking in Moderation Possible?
First, If drinking in moderation were possible, the problem drinker would already have done so. By the time they reach the point that they are questioning their drinking and looking for help, they have already tried to moderate, and it hasn’t worked. If you are here, reading these words, you have most likely already tried over and over.
You have made rules for yourself, like only drinking on weekends, only drinking beer or wine and not spirits, not keeping alcohol in the house. But you are here because they haven’t worked. Because they can’t work. Because it’s just not possible.
Maybe in the beginning, when you took your first drink, you still had that choice. Maybe you could drink socially. But the time when you could take it or leave it has gone. Your body has adjusted to vast quantities of alcohol, and just one drink won’t do it for you anymore.
The horse has already bolted
You may think that maybe you can abstain for a long enough period that you can start up again and then moderate. This may be a difficult thing to hear, but that is not possible; the damage has been done.
If I continued to blow a trumpet to your ear, over time, your hearing would become damaged, and I would need to blow louder and louder for you to hear it. No matter how long I went without blowing the trumpet, you would still need me to play at that volume if I began again. The damage has been done.
If that is discouraging news or upsets you, it means you still believe the second lie: that alcohol has some benefits. But allow me to shine a light on that illusion, as well. There is absolutely no benefit to drinking alcohol. I don’t mean there are not many benefits. I don’t mean the harm outweighs the benefits. I mean there are absolutely no benefits to drinking diluted poison.
And that’s what alcohol is: a registered poison, capable of killing all life at the cellular level. If you take liver cells, put them in a petri dish, and add pure alcohol, all the moisture gets sucked out, the cell caves in on itself and completely implodes. It’s like a thermonuclear war in a petri dish.
Thermonuclear war in a Petri dish
You are wrong if you think what’s happening inside your body is different just because you dilute the poison with some cranberry juice.
To illustrate how crazy it is to say, “I’d still like to have a little poison, in moderation,” try replacing the drug with the word “heroin.” Imagine if a heroin addict came up to you and said, “I have decided to use drugs only on Tuesdays,” how confident are you that if you bumped into them again in a year, that would still be the case?
Do you hear how crazy that sounds?
Even if you could drink in moderation, why would you want to?!
What Are the Benefits to Drinking Alcohol?
So if, after all of this, you still think you’ve lost something by giving up alcohol, it is because you still hold onto the idea that alcohol has some benefit, and it’s time to take a good look at what you think they are. Because the truth is, any of those imagined benefits can be deconstructed under closer examination.
I need alcohol to sleep. In reality, we know that alcohol disrupts quality sleep. Take a look at the problem drinker walking around the next morning like a zombie holding their head in their hands. If alcohol helped us sleep, wouldn’t the problem drinker be walking with a bounce in their step the next morning, feeling rested and full of energy?
I need alcohol to have fun. In reality, many of the things you thought were fun when you were drinking actually weren’t! When you go back and look at people you thought were funny (including yourself) from a sober perspective, you see that they weren’t funny — they were just stupid.
I need alcohol to have friends.
In reality, alcohol makes us lonelier and destroys our quality relationships. It induces more solitude than before the drinking began. And what appears to be a large social circle of friends is, in reality, a large group of people who like to consume the same drug as you do.
You and they are all under the illusion there is safety in numbers. But this isn’t true with alcohol. It’s like playing Russian roulette. If you held a gun to your head, your chances of firing a bullet are exactly the same whether you are alone or in a room full of 100 other people with guns to their heads.
I could go on and on. But for every reason you come up with why you need to drink, there is a deeper truth that reveals it as nonsense. Because the truth is, there are absolutely no benefits to drinking alcohol. None. At. All.
This may not be what you were hoping to hear in answer to the question, “Is moderation the secret to controlling alcohol?” But if after this you are still thinking that you can, or want to moderate, then you still have some work to do.
The world’s number one quit drinking coach
This is what I do every day through my online course and live Bootcamps, help people like you seriously analyze the reasons they drink and get to a place of understanding how this drug is really manipulating them.
If these are still questions you are asking yourself, I hope you will visit my website at www.stopdrinkingexpert.com and join the free webinar. I will even send you a copy of my best-selling book, Alcohol Lied to Me, just for watching.