There's the potential to really tie myself in knots over this. If I over think it then it could make what is actually a very simple choice more complicated than it needs to be. I know deep down it will just be easier in many ways to stop forever. No more grey area. No more angst over how and when to drink and doing the moderation thing. If I had to make a decision now, based on a rational approach, I would never drink again.
But human beings aren't always rational. I know I'm certainly not. Emotions come into play. There's the nagging internal voice asking me whether it's necessary for me to give up completely. I could just moderate and I'd probably be fine. So what if I go back to the way things were. That wasn't all bad.
I've found it helpful so far to look at things in a cost versus benefit way.
Here is my list of ways alcohol has harmed me:
- Alcohol has been detrimental to my health (not in a major liver-failure kind of way, but it certainly hasn't made me healthier).
- Alcohol has led me to putting myself in harm's way (being a van passenger in a alcohol-related crash for instance).
- I've made a damn fool of myself at times on the booze.
- Alcohol has impaired my judgement.
- Alcohol has affected my moods (I'm far more even-tempered and happy now).
- Last year a bad hangover led to me letting a friend down in a way I'm still not proud of.
- Alcohol helped me get through uncomfortable social situations (I'm seeing this as a negative now rather than a positive).
- Alcohol has given me false confidence.
- Being a bit cut at my daughter's fourth birthday party led to a bit of a train wreck in the pass the parcel as I was on music duty (I wonder now what the hell I was thinking serving booze to the adults at a wee kid's party!).
- Having alcoholic blowouts (blowout is my code word for vomiting violently at the end of the night) in front of my wife has made me feel like crap.
How has alcohol helped me? Let me see.
- I've had some fun nights out drinking with friends and family (though I see now I could have done this without alcohol).
- I've celebrated and commiserated some big events in my life with a drink or two (I also question this too).
If you look at it in that light, you'd have to ask why would I want to drink again rather than why would I not want to.
It's interesting to me how a simple shift in thinking has led me to see that even the ways I thought alcohol was helping me, it was really holding me back.