My partner and I have decided that we would like to learn to drink in moderation, and have already begun to see if it will work for us. But we're not trying to reduce
our intake-- we've each abstained from alcohol for over five years and are starting from a place of not drinking at all. Basically, we're un-quitting drinking, and want some guidance. Is there some sort of support or literature that can help us make sure we're on the right track as we learn to have a healthy and casual relationship with alcohol?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (35 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Recently we each came to the conclusion that it's entirely possible that our prior dependence was due to external factors that have now been addressed and mitigated, and that there's an excellent chance that we can learn to have a healthy relationship with alcohol. We each had untreated mental health issues that are now well-managed. We have learned to face, deal with, and process difficult emotions without the use of mood-altering substances, and intend to keep doing so. Neither of us has a family history that includes alcoholism or abuse. In fact, we're not doing this because we especially feel the need or want to drink, it's because there are elements of life (especially social) that we'd like to re-introduce to ourselves in a healthy manner. This is an experiment, one that will end if it doesn't work out for either one of us, and as with all things our open communication is the key to seeing if this will work. The following are things that have been discussed and on which we are in complete agreement.
Here's what we're thinking constitutes healthy, moderate drinking:
-- A few social drinks on Friday or Saturday nights
-- Playing board games or some such activity together once or twice a week (to replace our current 3-4 hours a night of mindless television watching)
-- A couple of glasses of wine on the rare "date night" that we'll be able to have together (once every 2 months or so)
-- 1-2 glasses of wine with a nice meal that we've made, once or twice a week, maybe
-- On vacation, should we ever be able to take one
-- Absolute maximum 9 drinks each week (per recommended guidelines for women), no more than 2 on any night, and no drinking at all for at least two nights each week
+++ All of the above will be our guidelines for a couple of months down the road-- we're currently limiting ourselves to two drinks each on only one weekend night per week, until we have a better idea of where we stand+++
And here are some of the things that, should they present themselves for either of us, will stop this experiment immediately:
-- Desire to drink to drown feelings or to "deal with" stress
-- Inability to have alcohol in the house without consuming it
-- Any form of obsession or planning activities to "create" reasons to drink
I'm looking for support and/or literature to guide us in this process-- we met after we stopped drinking, and neither of us had occasion to learn what moderate drinking looked like before we stopped. I'm trying to determine if my lists above sound right to someone who has experience drinking in moderation.
Our experiment is going well for us so far-- no obsession, no need to "control", etc. I'm sure there will be many opinions on what my partner and I have decided to do, but what we could really use is some guidance on what drinking in moderation looks like so that we have a yardstick against which to measure our intake--but mostly against which we can determine if we can have a healthy, normal relationship with alcohol after all. If we can't, then we have plans in place and support to "catch" us, but we are already in the process of giving this a shot and would appreciate comments, advice, and resources that can help us in this direction.
We are fully aware of all the ways in which this can go wrong, and have heard all of the stories and warnings, I assure you (we both have multiple years of AA under our belts). We also believe that it can go well, definitely not for everybody but in our specific cases, and with the right guidance. We are both mentally healthy and have built a pretty great life together. I'm looking for support, guidance, literature, or programs-- and if you have any, examples of what worked for you or someone you know. Throwaway email: email@example.com