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Alcohol Moderation Management – Bet You Can’t Drink Just One…

Alcohol Moderation Management – Bet You Can’t Drink Just One…

Alcohol Moderation Management – Bet You Can’t Drink Just One…

chips

 

Remember the old Lays Potato Chip commercial – Bet you can’t eat just one? Change “eat” to “drink” and it could be a great commercial for a rehab center, or a moderation management organization. I think the question arises in the dark mind of every recovering alcoholic at least once, “As soon as I get this snafu under control, can’t I begin to drink moderately again? Can’t I have just one drink?”

 

I Can Never Drink Again?

I have told you that my biggest impediment to giving up drinking was getting my head around the notion I would not be able to imbibe again. It was like Poe’s raven was sitting on my windowsill, heralding my bleak future with, “Nevermore! Nevermore!” I thought I would lose a big part of who I was, that I wouldn’t be funny anymore, that my biting wit would lose its bark…

 

Frankly, I’m not as funny as I was. I did lose a piece of myself, but I have yet to find a person (other than me on rare occasion) who misses the drinking Marilyn. My jokes had become too vicious, my revelry a little too outrageous for the likes of innocents…

 

I have come to grips with the situation, but to address the question in the minds of those who have not, the answer (according to Psychology Today) comes down to “what kind of drinker you are – why do you drink, how much do you drink, and how long have you been in this pattern?”

 

The answers to these questions are vital, because the longer you have been in a two-fisted drinking situation, the more your consumption changes the physical characteristics of your brain.

 

This is your brain on alcohol…

Problem drinkers may still be motivated by cognition. In other words they are still thinking, knowing, and remembering they want a drink to ease stress, get a buzz, be social, etc. These non-dependent problem drinkers can oftentimes go from over-drinking into moderate drinking with relative success.

 

But there seems to be a fail safe point after which problem drinkers can no longer manage their drinking. And there is a huge difference between the brain of a non-dependent problem drinker and the brain of a person addicted to alcohol.

 

For the addicted brain, the only real option is total abstinence. Because the addicted brain does not want just one.

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 I am embarrassed to say this commercial kind of reminds me of my late-stage drinking days… Fiona and me in the den of iniquity, with a bottle of hooch and a bag of processed sugar. And what were the Lays people thinking with this obvious nod to addiction?

Bet you can’t drink just one…

Today I’m not drinking because I’m pretty sure I can’t drink just one…

raven

How come you’re not drinking?

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Comments (10)

  1. Kim
    Apr 28, 2015

    Instead it yanks on a worm wiggling in the loosened soil. Its feathers shimmer in the morning sunlight, a malignant green on black as it tosses its beak back, devouring the worm, and then it cocks its head to stare at her, its eyes funereal and questioning.”
    ― Sara Stark, An Untold Want

    And want shall be thy master……..

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Apr 28, 2015

      Wow Quote Girl, this is one for the books… Fabulous analogy for the bottomlessness of addiction…
      Love,
      Mare

  2. Peggy
    Apr 28, 2015

    This post hit home with me. Once I have one drink, no matter what my intentions are, the gig is up. All I can think about is my next one and the one after that and how I can hide it from my husband. And so on. If he only knew what I go through. I’m on day 2. Thanks Marilyn for writing this blog.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Apr 28, 2015

      Welcome. I know exactly what you are going through. I used to drink a bottle before my husband got home and fill it with water (leaving just enough in the bottom to have a legitimate smell of wine). Congratulations and take it one day at a time. I used to drug myself with sleepy-time tea – extra strength about 7 p.m. so I would fall asleep during the hours I usually got myself pie-eyed… Keep reading and thank you for sharing – it will get better, I promise…
      XXXOOO
      M

  3. Nick
    Apr 28, 2015

    Sad how the addicted brain works sometimes isn’t it?… A brain that is able to do such great thinks at work….and unable to just stop the dangerous cycle of alcoholism before it became a problem. Brain pay attention to this slogan….”because the addicted brain does not want just one”. Got it…bolded, visual cues following…got it! WAIT…see the problem….my brain always wants to find a way around the truth.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Apr 28, 2015

      The addicted brain is addicted. Get it smart guy? It does not want one drink or a couple highballs over a long evening it wants the go ahead to guzzle. That is the bitter truth.
      XXXOOO
      M

  4. Missy
    Apr 29, 2015

    How come you're not drinking?
    Because you’re right - I can’t drink just one!
    Marilyn:

    I have been following your blog now for a couple of months, and I love it. I look forward to the email alerting me to one of your new posts.

    This particular one really resonated with me. I am a binge drinker, and have been battling this issue for years. I have been in constant denial, especially since I have been able to control it at certain points along the way.

    However, you are SO right when you say that there comes a point where problem drinkers lose that control. That has been happening to me. I CAN’T drink just one, or two, or even three. After all is said and done, I don’t even remember the number of glasses of wine I end up consuming in one evening.

    I find myself doing well without drinking for a day or so, but then a craving for that buzz comes along, and I end up drinking a bottle – telling myself beforehand that this is all I can have. After the bottle is gone, the need to get more is almost overwhelming. It takes more energy for me to abstain from going to the store than it would if I just didn’t imbibe.

    Reading your blog really helps me keep things in perspective, and keeps me motivated on my quest to be lifelong non-drinker.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences with us!

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Apr 29, 2015

      Thank you and welcome. You have beautifully described the gluttonous aspect of drinking – the bottomlessness of it all. You are very welcome and please continue to share your thoughts.
      XXXOOO
      M

  5. Natasha
    May 1, 2015

    How come you're not drinking?
    I am not drinking because I always overdo it.
    This post was almost uncomfortable for me to read because it almost exactly mimics my actions when I was drinking. No matter how many times I got back on the wagon with a plan to not be a drunken jerk anymore who went overboard, I always failed miserably. It was another night of defeat, fighting with my boyfriend, and worse : the blackout. The morning after would come and my boyfriend would always question me, “how did you get drunk so fast?” “You didn’t seem to drink that much?” He didn’t know that I was slugging the Jameson in the kitchen and filling it with water while he was in the bathroom getting ready. It’s almost shameful now to mention in hard print, but the truth was I felt compelled somehow to slug that Jameson. This is when I start to question things, “am I acting on impulse?” “Or do I really need alcohol that badly?” Asking too many questions and constantly questioning my motives always seemed an excuse to keep playing with fire. To this day no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to have just one (even if I have to sneak it) which is silly if you think about it. But thank you for this blog post. Sometimes I feel isolated in my sobriety but reading your blog provides comfort! I’m glad I stumbled across it.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      May 1, 2015

      Me too. You are not alone, right? And it seems (at least for me) putting it in hard print releases a demon or two. Welcome and thanks for the honesty…
      XXXOOO
      M

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