Something that many people fail to grasp is that the recovered alcoholic often swears to “never drink again”…however, as many of us know, it is difficult to truly NEVER drink again.
Many factors lead to this…maybe you have a special occasion when a Champagne toast is expected, or there is some other reason specifically that makes you want to have a drink.
The truth is, yes, a recovered alcoholic can have A DRINK again. Maybe even a few drinks. But there needs to be a special balance, and the willpower to not let it become a habit again.
Giving up drinking can sometimes be similar to dieting. Let’s say you are dieting, and so naturally candy bars or that sort of thing is off limits – but what if you were on a strict diet and just had *one* candy bar? No, nothing devastating is likely to happen to your diet from one little candy bar…But if you don’t have the will power to only limit yourself to one candy bar at least every 3-6 months apart, you’re likely to start eating candy bars once a month, then once a week, then before you know it you are having one everyday.
If you are a recovered alcoholic, and wondering if you should never drink again, it’s important to take a few things into consideration to prevent a relapse. Here are a few careful considerations recovered alcoholics need to take before being tempted to have *just one more drink*:
1. Ability to have just one: When you have “just one drink” chances are it’s going to give you a pretty good buzz, especially if you’ve been sober for several months or longer. And y’know what? It’s going to feel good. Great, even. At that point, you have to be able to say it’s just ONE drink.
If you’re going to have two drinks or more, you may be setting yourself up to either get sick from drinking that much or quickly falling back into the habit.
2. Time Between Drinks: Every recovered alcoholic needs to carefully monitor the time between drinks. If you begin drinking every month or every week, it could easily tempt you into drinking more and more. But if you only limit yourself to say a beer on the 4th of July and a glass of wine at Thanksgiving dinner, chances are you’ll be fine. It’s the balance of making it at least 4-6 months between a drink that will at least prevent you from becoming physically addicted again.
3. What You are Drinking: There is a big difference between having a beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of whiskey. Many people may be okay having one beer, but just a single shot of hard alcohol could have very negative effects on their personality, judgement, and overall feelings.
4. Your Ability to Say No: Before you go ahead and indulge in one drink at a special occasion, it’s very important that at other occasions you were able to say no when offered a drink and felt okay by saying no. It’s a hard habit to get into to say no when offered or pressured – so before you start letting yourself have the occasional drink every six months be sure you are totally comfortable by going sober at those types of events for at least a year or more.
It’s a very delicate subject to see an alcoholic take one more drink after being sober for a period of time. Yes, with willpower and moderation, the alcoholic can have one more drink. Chances are, the alcoholic may think it tastes terrible or makes them sick feeling. But for some, it may rehash some memories of “the good ole days” that needs to be very carefully considered. If you can be strong and only have one drink every six months, you’re okay. But if you’re tempted to go binge drinking every six months or drink moderately in a lesser period of time, you are highly at risk for falling into relapse, and so it would be best to avoid drinking at all.
What are your thoughts? Can a recovered alcoholic really never drink again?