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Recovered Alcoholic friend and I had a disagreement

Old 08-07-2017, 08:19 PM
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Recovered Alcoholic friend and I had a disagreement

Hey there soberfriends,

One of my friends is also a recovering alcoholic, anyway, today we were hanging out and I went to get shopping, and I got some balsamic vinegar for a chilli I am making tomorrow.

He told me there were trace amounts of alcohol in balsamic vinegar, and I said I don't care about the trace amounts in vinegar and I also still use red/white wine vinegar. I only don't use wine in cooking because I don't want to keep alcohol in the house. He told me in that case I'm not sober and when I refused to put it back, left in a huff.

Am I out of line here?

I get it, I'm a recovering alcoholic and I should not consume alcohol, but I don't extend that to foods that may have trace amounts in it. I think that's reasonable and I certainly don't consider that me relapsing.

What's your opinions on this? I mean most desserts have trace amounts, I've heard that technically most bread does. This seems rather extreme to me and I'm totally fine with him not having anything to do with anything with even a microscopic amount of alcohol in it, but kicking off at my choice, which I don't consider irresponsible.

Am I out of line? Did the bbq sauce I had earlier which contains red wine vinegar with my dinner earlier count as a "relapse"?
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:34 PM
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You are absolutely positively not out of line. We all decide where to draw the line for ourselves and he is wrong to try to dictate where your line should be. Hope the chili was great!
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:34 PM
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Sounds a bit over the top to me. I wouldn't spend my life worrying about it. Now you made me hungry.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by soberandhonest View Post
You are absolutely positively not out of line. We all decide where to draw the line for ourselves and he is wrong to try to dictate where your line should be. Hope the chili was great!
I haven't made it yet =)

I actually worked out that the amount I would need to eat over 100 chilli's to consume a single unit.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:50 PM
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I love Grey Poupon & I won't stop using it.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:55 PM
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Hi.
It's my understanding that the alcohol content cooks out in the heating process.
Vanilla extract has alcohol in it. So by this rationale you can forget about baked goods.
It is not as though you plan to chug balsamic or vanilla extract.
I could see if you were picking up a six pack of non alcoholic beer (which has trace amounts of alcohol in it) To me that seems like addict behaviour.
Storming out in a huff was uncalled for IMO.
Also: caffeine & nicotine are drugs...just like alcohol. I've never seen more coffee drinking smokers then those hanging outside an AA meeting (myself included). Lest we forget those who continuously drink Red Bulls etc.
It's splitting hairs.
I'm sure your friend will come around.
Jules
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:59 PM
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There will always be a microscopic amounts left no matter how much you cook, but put it this way, the amount in a vinegar after the cooking process is so tiny that its found in many foods children eat without there being any kind of issue.

People have their own ways of doing things, that's fine. But this really took me back, he's usually a pretty laid back person. It wasn't like I was trying to make him eat something he didn't want.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Andagain View Post
Did the bbq sauce I had earlier which contains red wine vinegar with my dinner earlier count as a "relapse"?
no


my 27 year sober sponsor doesnt use aftershave, cook with any alcohol or even walk down the liquor aisle in the supermarket ... for him these are triggers ... he knows his limitations.

i dont go to starbucks or drink strong coffee because i can catch a buzzzzz from all that caffeine ... thats playin' with fire for me !

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Old 08-07-2017, 11:26 PM
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I think everyone makes their own decisions on this one, and does what is right for them.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:51 PM
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There's a personal line that people must draw.

I don't lay claim to any kind of consistency but I try to rule by common sense.

I don't use alcohol in cooking and I won't knowingly eat food prepared with alcohol....but I do drink juice a lot, & I've used deoderants and some ointments with alcohol in as a base to stop it clogging up...none of those things have woken any beast in me, although I did find I used my alcohol mouthwash more than the non alc version so I switched.

I often post a chart which shows that a lot of alcohol really doesn't burn off at all.



Having said all that I've never worried about alcohol in vinegar.

If I'm in doubt I often check to see if something is halal because the rules there are quite strict.

If it is, I consider it's not alcoholic or at the very least not alcoholic in the intoxicating sense..

D
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:02 AM
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Yeah, I wouldn't cook with actual alcohol regardless of whether it was something that would take several hours to cook purely because I will not have it in my house.

I was just surprised by how passionately he felt about this, and wanted to reassure myself that this isn't considered generally to be the equivalent of having a beer.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:11 AM
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Read the label as a matter of routine and then....to thine own self be true

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Old 08-08-2017, 02:51 AM
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If I thought like your friend, I haven't been sober these last 6 months. Geeze! Agree with others that I don't cook with wine. But I think probably everything has trace amounts of some kind of alcohol. I live on balsamic vinegar and oil on salads as it's healthier than bottled stuff. Just go with your gut. Everybody's journey is different. As long as you are not chugging bottles of balsamic and bbq sauce, I'm sure you're fine.
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
There's a personal line that people must draw.

I don't lay claim to any kind of consistency but I try to rule by common sense.

I don't use alcohol in cooking and I won't knowingly eat food prepared with alcohol....but I do drink juice a lot, & I've used deoderants and some ointments with alcohol in as a base to stop it clogging up...none of those things have woken any beast in me, although I did find I used my alcohol mouthwash more than the non alc version so I switched.

I often post a chart which shows that a lot of alcohol really doesn't burn off at all.



Having said all that I've never worried about alcohol in vinegar.

If I'm in doubt I often check to see if something is halal because the rules there are quite strict.

If it is, I consider it's not alcoholic or at the very least not alcoholic in the intoxicating sense..

D
Glad Dee posted this.

I personally do not consume alcohol in foods (sugar alcohol is not the same) - I am VERY deliberate about this when dining out and even opt out of eating if I don't feel I can trust the server's responses when I ask for more info. I don't even eat things like tiramisu which is usually made with a small amount of alcohol. At going on 18 mos, this is just a comfort level for me, and not a problem; accidentally consuming alcohol around 7-8 mo freaked me out - it no longer would, but I am careful on the "pre-emptive" end so that I won't ingest any.

I have no thoughts of drinking, so this is really just a choice. My sponsor told me last year that intent is always important - and I doubt anyone wants to really eat that many chilis or tiramisus or whatever....but alcohol just isn't part of my life in any form, best I can ensure that.

I also submit that your friend has his own "issue" to work out with his relationship with alcohol- which is his side of the street. Whether it seems extreme to you or me is really irrelevant and doesn't have bearing on our choices.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:23 AM
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The whole purpose of avoiding alcohol while in recovery (only my opinion) is to avoid consuming something that will trigger cravings and start the whole craving/obsession/craving cycle over again. This threshold is going to be different for everyone. I have no problem taking Nyquil when I'm very sick or taking a sip of wine once in while during communion at church because neither of these things initiates craving. Would I take a sip of NA beer? No way. Because that probably would. Some folks aren't comfortable doing what I do, and that's fine. They're protecting their recovery as they see fit. The point is, it's different for everyone. If a fellow recovering alcoholic tells me I'm not really sober for doing what I do, that's only their opinion, and I don't have to care what they think. I know what works for me, and that's all that matters.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Andagain View Post

Am I out of line? Did the bbq sauce I had earlier which contains red wine vinegar with my dinner earlier count as a "relapse"?
if ya grabbed the bottle and downed it to get drunk, i would think so.
and id think you were SERIOUSLY screwed up if ya did that!LOLOLOLO

its ok to agree to disagree woth people, And.
its also ok to not engage with them if they want to start acting high and mighty.

i mentioned before a meeting i did some baking that day. and got the blahblahblah from someone about alcohol in the vanilla extract andblahblahblah.
i just looked at his cigarette.
then his coffee
then his cigarette
then his coffee.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Andagain View Post
He told me in that case I'm not sober and when I refused to put it back, left in a huff.

Am I out of line here?
Wow... Sorry you had to go through this with your friend.

Me? I don't drink anything... Alcoholic anymore.

Cooking is another story... Using some wine or other ingredient that contains Alcohol is not the "same" thing as drinking. That's just me.

I don't consider a trace amount of alcohol in preparing food... The same thing as "drinking"... Also I don't believe (for me) that it is a trigger.

I cooked with White wine last Christmas... Sure I coulda taken a big swig off the bottle..... But I didn't. But I DID pour the remaining down the drain. (It was cheap and didn't want to serve it to guests).

We are all different... So I guess you have one less friend?
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:07 AM
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I think that what August said about "intent" is really the key here. If your intent is to make a tasty meal, and it happens to contain trace mounts of alcohol, but doesn't trigger you in any way, I think you're fine.

I guess I look at it from a parenting perspective. My kids are 7 and 9. I would never allow them to drink alcohol, but I would allow them to eat tiramisu. I guess, if I would allow my children to eat it then I wouldn't think eating it would impact my sobriety.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
if ya grabbed the bottle and downed it to get drunk, i would think so.
and id think you were SERIOUSLY screwed up if ya did that!LOLOLOLO

its ok to agree to disagree woth people, And.
its also ok to not engage with them if they want to start acting high and mighty.

i mentioned before a meeting i did some baking that day. and got the blahblahblah from someone about alcohol in the vanilla extract andblahblahblah.
i just looked at his cigarette.
then his coffee
then his cigarette
then his coffee.
Thanks for the laugh first thing this morning tomsteve!!

I think all has been said already that I would say.
Your recovery is about you, Your friend should worry about their own recovery only.
But, people can be well intentioned or they can be self-righteous, you never know where they are at.
You're allowed to be upset as much as you're allowed to let your friend's opinion roll off your back.

If you value your friendship enough, it may be worth it to you to give them the benefit of the doubt. If your bond and boundaries are strong enough, maybe if it gets brought up again a quick, "thanks for your opinion, but I guess we can agree to disagree. I am comfortable with my recovery, thank you for your concern though." Or some such.

I think asserting something like this might even be helpful to your friend. A good reminder, we stay on our own side of the street and keep it clean, we respect boundaries and people. And maybe they can reevaluate how strong they feel in their own recovery if they feel a need to direct you in yours.

Don't be hard on yourself Keep your eyes on the prize and work what works best for you.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Michelle009 View Post
I think that what August said about "intent" is really the key here. If your intent is to make a tasty meal, and it happens to contain trace mounts of alcohol, but doesn't trigger you in any way, I think you're fine.

I guess I look at it from a parenting perspective. My kids are 7 and 9. I would never allow them to drink alcohol, but I would allow them to eat tiramisu. I guess, if I would allow my children to eat it then I wouldn't think eating it would impact my sobriety.
You know what, I was having a discussion about this just the other day. My step mom just LOVES to cook with wine and liqueurs.
She would make a syrup for berries just drenched in booze, red wine in cheese sauce, etc.
I don't think she'd do that for me anymore though.
I know the taste of it would trigger something in me, either craving or disgust. So I avoid, and I wouldn't let my kids eat it either. Just me though. All the same, eating something either knowingly or accidentally with alcohol in it, I would never consider it a relapse.

Other body products don't bother me at all. Like body products.
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