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Old 05-20-2007, 11:51 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Can a recovering alcoholic decide to drink moderately?

Mine says she can and it will not be a problem, but she was so deep in alcohol that she lost everything. She believes that she can start up drinking again, but have control over it and only do it once a month or so, or just a few on her off days?
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Old 05-20-2007, 11:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Edit: Besides my personal failures trying to moderate, here's a few threads (Attempting Moderation--why its not a good idea)
Life Happens
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To reiterate, as GlassPrisoner said: no. In fact, make mine an unequivocal no. I frequently have heard A's with years of recovery mention how they sometimes wish they could drink like "normal" people. I've also heard them speak of their amazement about how a normal drinker can leave a half-full (to a non-drinker a half-empty) glass of wine or a mixed drink sitting on the bar and leave.

I recently responded to a post with something that was said by a gentleman with 22 years sobriety in an open AA meeting I was attending: "I am a gratefully recovering alcoholic. I also know that I am always just one drink away from being a drunk."
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Sad

It has been my experience, and several other recovering alkies I know experience, that controlling alcohol cosumption is IMPOSSIBLE.....The recovering A might, at first, think they are in control , but that control will soon be lost and the downward spiral will start again........ just my .02 worth......

Work Hard and Enjoy Life....NED
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No matter how much recovery they have under their belts, I've never personally seen any alcoholic successfully drink in moderation. She can choose to drink again and there's nothing you can do about that. But you can choose never to be subjected to her alcoholism again.
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good grief, no. Thinking of my own AH who has also lost everything, including me, the thought of him kicking back and controlling his drinking makes me laugh out loud. I can just see him having a beer or two in a social setting...NOT!

Sounds like just another twist on manipulation, denial and her unwilingness to quit.
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Old 05-20-2007, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Moderation does not work for an alcoholic.

Have you ever heard of Moderation Management? It is a 9 step alternative to AA and the goal is to take control of your drinking. Here is their website:

The founder of MM, Audrey Kishline, was involved in a DUI that killed 2 people. She ulltimately joined AA. Google this and you will find lots of data on it.

It is only by the grace of God that I am not incarcerated - I could have done what Audrey did many times.

Has she looked at AA at all? Did she reject AA? Please tell us more.
It is easier to practice total abstinence than perfect moderation
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've no idea whether an alcoholic can ever "do" drinking moderately, anything is possible and people are different, plus I'm not an alcoholic.

But I would have to ask.......(at least to myself) if someone is so certain that they can control their drinking and moderate successfully why on earth didn't they do that in the past??
and if she lost everything because of alcohol, why would she want to risk it.

I can drink moderately, but I don't have to plan it or control it or moderate it, I don't have to think about it at all, but like I said I'm not an alcoholic.

So what are you going to do if she does (sorry I don't know your story),
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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In my experience, absolutely not. He still thinks he can - but I am no longer along for the ride. Blessings.
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Old 05-20-2007, 07:04 PM   #10 (permalink)

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ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! This i sjust one of the many lies they tell themselves.

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Old 05-20-2007, 07:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Alcoholism is a disease of denial, sad, and it sounds like that's where she is right now. I've been told that alcoholism is the only disease that tells you you don't have a disease. I've also been told that the alcoholic brain doesn't know the difference between a little and a lot of alcohol, and doesn't care whether it's the weekend, a day off, Good Friday, Yom Kippur, St. Patrick's Day (ok, well maybe not that last one ), in the living room, on a boat, in a bottle, in a glass, someone's looking, no one's looking, etc. and so on. All it knows is that it's being fed alcohol and that it wants MORE... NOW. Cravings can be overwhelming---just ask any alcoholic. It's really all chemistry when you get right down to it.

In Al-Anon (a wonderful resource for people who love and care about alcoholics), I learned that my thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions. I believe this to be the same for the alcoholic. Recovery is a solution that doesn't have to be forced. Rather, it needs to be embraced in order to be effective.

Of course, I've also learned that the alcoholic is gonna do what the alcoholic is gonna do, no matter how loudly, subtly, clearly or repeatedly I offer suggestions and information. I need to make sure that I don't get between an alcoholic and his/her "bottom". If I do that, they'll land on me and I'll end up crushed...

I wonder if the "recovering" alcoholic in question is in a 12-Step program and, if she is, whether she's run this new idea past her sponsor or support group, or shared about it in a meeting.

Here's a link to find an Al-Anon meeting, if you're interested:
Oh, yeah!!!

Recovery is not a mysterious process. The only mystery is why it took some of us so long to get here... and why some choose not to stay.
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Old 05-20-2007, 08:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My AH tried that after 7 years sobriety, managed his drinking well for a couple years even, but when his alcoholism kicked in fully again, it was off and running big time. That lasted six years before he realized he couldn't drink moderately and went back to treatment.

Save yourself the heartache, it will NEVER work.
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Old 05-20-2007, 08:45 PM   #13 (permalink)

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Alcoholism is a Lifetime Chronic Disease
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Old 05-20-2007, 08:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm a recovering alcoholic. The answer is NO.
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Old 05-20-2007, 09:35 PM   #15 (permalink)

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No... and from my experience (as co-dependant/enabler) I was never able to sit back and be comfortable in the situation. My worry/fear/anger always kept me on pins and needles. I would be counting the beers for him, listening carefully to his speech, watching closely how he walked, making sure he was keeping it in "moderation"
It wasn't fun. Not for me or for him.

Yes a few times he was able to stop while there was still alcohol in the house (a big accomplishment, really) But those time were few and far between. And like another poster stated a downward spiral will soon follow.

Believe me, we have tried several times. Only on the weekends, only on holidays, just two days a week (no matter what day).
We also tried limiting the number of drinks consumed. Just four beers a night, one time it was six beers at functions. It NEVER worked... Like I said a few times he "proved" to me that he could "control" it, but I think he just actually did it those few times as a form of manipulation to get alcohol back in the house again because it had been banned.
And actually attempting to control or manage it made things ten times worse because he would sneak it!!! Then he would 1) lie about how much he consumed 2) lie about how much he bought 3) drink in the car or outside the store (a 32 to kick things off and then the four or six he would get at home) ugh ..the list can go on and on...
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:24 AM   #16 (permalink)

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Sadly I realize from what all of you say, that we will never be able to enjoy a drink together. I'm not an alcoholic, so I like to have a drink or a few occasionally, but I don't know if it's fair to her that I drink while she can't. If I have to, I will never consume in her presence?
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi Sad,

Even though my XABF thought he could have a few whenever he wanted after claiming to be in recovery for 3 years, I would never drink around him today if the situation ever presented itself (I'm in no contact with him right now).

I have too much respect for recovering Alcoholics to do that to them. Even if he says it's okay. JMHO

Too bad his family doesn't feel the same. Last I heard he showed up for x-mas breakfast at their place and they were all drunk by the time he got there.
Free At Last!
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sad#3 View Post
If I have to, I will never consume in her presence?

Why would you even consider drinking in her presence? I personally feel it is disrespectful to drink in the presence of someone you know is in recovery. My choice is not to drink at all, but ofcourse I have such a loathing for alcohol it isn't even an option. Why would I want to consume something that has brought soooo much grief and heartache into my choice only everyone has to find their own way and what works for them.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Someone offered me a drink recently (I don't drink) but the thought of it sent chills through me. For me it was like sleeping with the enemy.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:51 AM   #20 (permalink)
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No way, one drink, two drink , three drink,,,, floor.

As far as drinking when they are around that’s a tricky one.
It’s kind of difficult for a recovering “A” to go anywhere without someone drinking in front of them.
So it must be a personal choice.
They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.
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