Moderation is hard to Moderate



I have been thinking about moderation, and how great it would be to drink in moderation.  The problem for me with moderation is that I can not moderate the moderation.  Once I have that first drink, all thoughts of moderation are gone.  All I see is a full bottle of wine that needs to be empty.  My thought process moves to how to moderate the drinking of the whole bottle so that it lasts until I go to bed.

Start off slow, that is always the initial goal.  Let’s see it is 3:30 in the afternoon, I have done my run, mowed the lawn, weeded, done the laundry, and gotten dinner organized.  It is reward time, just a slug of wine in this refreshing glass of soda water. I open the new 1.75 liter of Sauvignon Blanc.   That isn’t so bad, it is just a splash, and I deserve it, I have worked hard all day and it is time to relax.  Drink it slowly, make it last, at least an hour.  Then it will REALLY be cocktail hour, or close enough.

Hmmm, that is gone, already?  Well it is 4 o’clock now, so I can have another one.  I will use a lot of ice, some soda water, a slice of lemon ( to help keep those liver enzymes in check), and a glub of wine.  That will be all until 5 o’clock.  Let’s go sit on the couch, my friend Mr. Blanc and I, we need to see what the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are up to.

Commercial break, the glass is empty, just ice left.  Well, it is 4;30, one more little one before the hubs arrives home.  It is just so relaxing to have some me time, me and my wine and my housewives.

Pause the television, the hubs has come home from work.  Hi honey, oh not much, just watching some stupid show, oh your going to go to the driving range, okay, see you in a while.  Yeah!!  More time for me and the housewives, and it seems like it is time to refresh this drink.  It is now officially time for drinks, so I can make this one a little stronger.  The hubs will be gone for an hour, I can relax and have my drink and watch more girly shows before I have to make dinner.

Starting to feel that lovely, glowing buzz.  The hubs is back, making his ONE evening cocktail, time to refresh, again.  Huh?  How come so much wine is gone from this bottle already?  Oh right, that last glass I poured, I must have spilled a little on the counter.

Time to start dinner.  Shit, I don’t fell like doing this crap.  Why do I have to make dinner every freaking night?  Isn’t it enough I do everything else?  How come HE gets to sit on the couch, while I am over here, slaving away.  Glass is empty again.  Start with the wine this time, add just a splash of water.

The news is on, I hate the news, why do we always have to watch what HE wants to watch?  I will go get a magazine.  Hold on, while I am up, I can add a little more wine to this glass.  Make it look like I am taking the soda water out, quietly slip the cork out of the bottle, pour it, shhhh stop glubbing so much.  I think I have read this line in this article before, I just read it again.  Forget it, nothing is going into the brain.  I will read it after I eat.

Dinner is ready.  Serve the plates, refill the glass.  I hate eating when I have a nice buzz going, but if I eat a good meal, I can drink some more after dinner, and I won’t feel so shitfaced.  Jeez, it is only 7:30.  How many hours have I been drinking, only four, that isn’t so bad.  Just one more, okay, maybe two.  Then I will stop and go read.

Hey, let’s watch a movie.  Can you pause a minute I have to go to the bathroom.  Refill glass.

Can you pause a minute, I need to get a sweatshirt.  Refill glass.

Can you pause a minute, I need to get a snack.  Refill glass.

Oh, honey, you are going to bed?  It is only 9:30.  I am going to stay up for a little bit and watch some girly shows.  I will be right in.

Let’s see how much is left in the bottle.  Enough for a movie, or for just an hour long show?

Crap, the bottle is empty.  I have more, should I open another one, for just one more?  Or should I go to bed, it is only 10:30.

Go to bed, you don’t need to drink anymore.  Or…, no, go to bed.

At least I made that last until 10:30, that was good, that was reasonable.  That was some great moderation, let’s see, I drank for…7 hours, one bottle, not bad.  (Drunken rationalization)

What should I do with this empty bottle.  I don’t want the hubs to know I drank all that.  I know, I will leave it in the refrigerator with the cork in it, he won’t notice, then when I open another one tomorrow it will look like it is the same one. He will never know.

I feel kind of drunk. I better take a couple of alleve, take a half a Valium, go to sleep, I will feel fine in the morning.

3am: Wide awake.  WHY did I drink so much?  What was I thinking?  I won’t drink tomorrow.  I won’t drink at all tomorrow.  I won’t drink before 7pm tomorrow, well maybe 6.   Where is the Valium?  I need a little more sleep. I need to feel okay tomorrow.

7:30 am:  I have to STOP drinking so much.  My stomach feels like crap, where are the antacids?  I need another alleve.  Get some coffee, you will be fine.  Go for a run, sweat it out.  I am going to STOP drinking today.  Well, not today, there are 4 bottle of wine left, maybe next week, after I finish this weeks supply of wine.  Yeah, I won’t buy any next week, I can do that.

That is my definition of moderation.

“You know what I mean, it’s not really complicated. I had no interest in drinking in moderation. And I still don’t. Just because all that time’s passed doesn’t mean maybe it was just a phase. That’s you know, that’s who I am.” Phillip Seymour Hoffman


What does moderate drinking mean?
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,1 moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days. The Dietary Guidelines also state that it is not recommended that anyone begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits because moderate alcohol intake also is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, violence, drowning, and injuries from falls and motor vehicle crashes.


5 thoughts on “Moderation is hard to Moderate

  1. This post really brought a smile to my face. It is so familiar. I could have written exactly those lines, except I would never have gone to bed after just one bottle, especially after starting so early! Your thoughts and reasoning echoed mine exactly. Why are we all so similar?

    • I think there are two types of drinkers. Us, who look at a full bottle of wine as something to be conquered, and them, who can just have one or two and call it a night.
      I believe it is an addictive brain. I would have all intentions of moderating until the alcohol hit my brain. I was a goner and so was all the wine.
      You can’t moderate that feeling.

      • Exactly. In the years leading up to me giving up, I vowed at the start of every weekend that I would take it easy. I never did. After the first few mouthfuls I would be keeping a beady eye on that bottle to make sure I got more than my fair share. I would feel the panic rising as we got to the bottom of the bottle and I’d be desperately hoping my husband would be up for opening a second bottle. Towards the end though, it didn’t matter whether he wanted to or not. I’d open it regardless and there would be no chance of me going to bed until I’d polished it off (unless I passed out of course).

  2. I would never consult my husband about opening a second bottle.
    Here is how my crazy addictive brain covered that one up. I would leave a mouthful in the bottom of the first bottle, and leave it in the refrigerator. Then I would grab the second one, have a glass or two (or three), and then hide it in a cabinet. No one would know. Except me, awake at 3am disgusted with myself.

    Drinking problem, who me? 🙂

  3. So there it goes. Living in UK drinking is a favourite past time. I am super professional and dare I say it highly functioning. Running 5-6 miles a day, clean eating and the lot for healthy living. Except for the alcohol at week ends. Then I need until Tuesday to recover, go back to my super healthy life style. Stopped for 7 months the longest. A lot of stuns of 30 days and then bang…all over again
    Love your blog

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