Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just a Little?

For dessert, bananas emerged with a syrupy sauce that was part vanilla, part brown sugar, and part rum.  It had been cooked a bit, so there wasn't any risk of consuming enough alcohol for a buzz without also getting an extreme stomach ache, but there was some risk associated with consuming some small quantity of alcohol that I can't deny.  The question here is how strict you want to be at the non-drinking game.  At what level does your system recognize booze and switch from a mildly content but at times irritable person to one that has deeply embedded salivary glands for cognac?  I'm not sure.  I'm not sure if I have to abstain from all alcohol, including cough syrup for instance.  If I allow for specific purpose exceptions, then may I allow myself one glass of wine to congratulate a friend's marriage, or birthday, or etc.?  Have you ever been empty handed at a toast?  It is not too comfortable.  What is stranger, the fact that I point out my problem with booze by not drinking, or the fact that I could be more normal by drinking, even a little bit at a time?  I know, I know, the basic response always clicks right in when needed: You cannot control your drinking, so you shouldn't drink even a little bit.  But what if that is not so true?  And what parameters do I apply to "control" (in all seriousness)?  Should I abstain this weekend because I'm fearful of late September, or of September 2011?  There's probably a balance, I agree, but it just isn't that easy to locate. 


Anonymous said...

I may be wrong, bu I think a vast majority of people with a drinking problem who choose to abstain do not do it because they think any amount of alcohol is dangerous for them. Taking some cough syrup, or even having two sips of proseco at a wedding is not going to throw you into a wild binge or set off alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Most people who abstain do it because bright line rules are easiest to follow, and the line doesn't get any brighter than when you tell yourself "no alcohol whatsoever, no matter what." It's just easy to police your infractions that way.

But, you can also keep the line bright by basing the rules on the context of the drinking situation rather than the amount of alcohol. It's fairly simple to construct easy to follow rules that do not require that you refuse a toast glass at a New Year's party.

hmm said...

Thank you for the comment. I think this is a good topic to respond to in today or tomorrow's post, so please check back soon.