by Halley Suitt

Red Red Wine

in Social Issues

Tue, 17 Feb 2004, 18:03

I had a glass of wine the other night, on Friday.  And also some on Saturday -- Valentine's Day.    First I've had since we started this.  Just felt like it.  Wasn't about stress or craziness, just felt like socializing with friends at their house.  Didn't get drunk.   Was eating dinner.   I've always been moderate and temperate about drinking, so I thought NEVER drinking didn't seem very reasonable.   I'll be back to tell you when and if I drink again.  What I've realized is that drinking isn't an addiction for me and I don't understand how hard it is for people who are addicted to it.   I've become more sensitive to how hard it must be many people, but I really don't understand it personnally, but I'm glad this blog has helped me have an empathetic awareness of that desire.




Feb 17, 2004 6:56:43 PM
1 - Bill Gray

As it says in Keys to the Kingdom... "Our hats off to you!" Please do keep "us" informed.

I sincerly wish you well.

Feb 17, 2004 7:02:21 PM
2 - enoch

good luck!

Feb 17, 2004 8:55:58 PM

I've always had trouble with alcohol, but never had trouble with say, pot, cocaine or whatnot. I wonder why booze hits such a weak spot but other drugs don't. Funny, that.

I drink about once a month now. I feel I'd be better off even without that but like you said, "never" seems so utterly unreasonable.

Feb 18, 2004 12:15:41 AM

Did you get bored of not drinking? ;-)

I still haven't had a drink since I quit.

But do let us know how this drinking in moderation goes...

Feb 18, 2004 5:57:37 AM

Joi, good question ... did I get bored? I think I got tired of being "odd man out" and explaining that I wasn't drinking and why and all the conversation it brought on in the past few months, but in this particular situation, I was with a new friend, listening to music and hanging out and it felt like it might be pleasant to have some wine -- and it was. The next night it was a dinner party with wine glasses as part of the table setting and with a big pasta meal, it just seemed right and cordial. Both times, it was with new friends and it did function as a "social lubricant" I admit. Neither was about "escaping" a given reality, but rather trying to enter in and be closer to the participants.

Feb 18, 2004 9:56:19 AM
6 - Pam

I have never ever tried or taken drugs and dont desire to do so but over the last 6 months or so I have been using alcohol as a "comfort" since my ectopic pregnancy and my mothers death. I know it is wrong and can see it being a potential problem so I *try* to avoid it now completely during the week and to only drink socially at the weekend.

Feb 18, 2004 10:00:52 AM
7 - george kurious

it's said that alcoholics, when falling off the wagon, rationalize it through various means, both original and not so

Feb 18, 2004 1:20:54 PM

Hi guys = Thanks for all your comments. BTW, I'm getting a lot of email saying "WAY TO GO" and giving me encouragement TO DRINK which is surprising me. I don't know what to make of it.


Feb 18, 2004 5:18:36 PM
9 - Ed

I'd hardly say congratulations are in order for drinking or not drinking. I also think that the fact that alcoholics rationalize doesnt make Halley one. Everybody rationalizes. Many times rationalization is, well, rational. Only time will tell if your rationalizations are appropriate. If nothing else, you have a fundamental awareness of the role alcohol plays in your life. That's more important than a drink at dinner. If you're happy, that's where the congratulations should be directed. Congrats!


Feb 18, 2004 5:20:52 PM
10 - Ed

Also, congrats for having the stones to tell the world about it, rather than fading off into obscurity.

Feb 18, 2004 7:59:47 PM
11 - fp

For me... and this is about me right? I mean, here's Halley, sharing this important stuff and my first impulse is to relate my own trip which makes me a pretty self centered schmuck. On the other hand, the phrase "the piece of shit the world revolves around" seems timely placed right now too. Anyway... more power to you, Halley, if you can drink in moderation and not suffer bad health from drinking. I always thought I could do that too, but for me... (see, it gets back to that) my decision to quit using drugs of necessity included alcohol, even though it wasn't my drug of choice. I do know that it impairs my already dubious judgement enough that I might just forget about not doing all that other bad stuff. You are probably blessed with a simpler set of circumstances.

Feb 22, 2004 10:40:36 AM

Congrats for having the courage to tell on yourself .. and for taking a decision that felt right at the time.

I really wonder about the "either/or" ness of things like drinking too much versus not drinking at all. Fermented carbohydrates have been with us pretty much since forever, and some people do use it in excess ... others not at all ... and the vast majority more-or-less as it suits them.

So, finding out how it suitts you is a key issue I guess.

I have spent a lot of time in France, Spain and Italy (where yes there are a lot of alcoholics), where there are many people that consider somewhere between one and three glasses of wine during the day an absolutely normal part of life, and where, in my experience, these people would likely never have more than three glasses in a 24-hour period. And I don't think they worry about it one iota.

Feb 23, 2004 3:31:34 AM
13 - Gabrielle

Like you, I've had a couple of drinks and stayed in control. Until last Thursday when 'the just one more kicked' in. I got home at 3.3oam in the morning and felt like cr*p all day Friday. Got through the weekend with no drinking. On again off again....I know I can't drink but the "me who can have a drink or two" doesn't know it well enough yet obviously. My partner is not being very nice to me right now and seems always to have a drink of some sort in his hand. I wonder if watching him make an ass of himself if helping me, and if that makes me not a nice person...

Feb 23, 2004 5:36:06 PM
14 - Michael

Well, I am glad to hear that all went well for you. I can only share my own experience. I have had many successful attempts at controlling my drinking. Some lasted longer than others. I would however, at some point completely loose control of my drinking. At first I could manage for a week or more. In my last days it was but a night if I was lucky.

The Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) makes point to this in the late Dr. William D. Silkworths letter to A.A. printed in "The Doctors Opinion". If you are alcoholic, there is little chance that your drinking will remain managable. If you are truly an alcoholic, then you suffer from a disease, one that no amount of willpower or human intervention will overcome. The allergy to alcohol (your inablity to control your drinking once you start) and the obsession (that this time.. just a glass of wine wont hurt) will eventually catapult into a world of pain and humiliation, that is.. if you are an alcoholic.

So, what I think many here were saying is "hats off to you" if you can manage your drinking then you are a better person than I. If you find that you cant, and you need someone to talk to, you can always email me at

Best wishes
M. Heitland
Sober since 9-18-96

Mar 1, 2004 9:35:13 AM
15 - pat rock

A counseling prof once told us that a relatively accurate way to test if someone has a drinking problem (notice I don't say alcoholic, since not all people with a drinking problem are alcoholics. Although all alcoholics have a drinking problem.)

Anyways, the test is this:

Can the person with the drinking problem come home and drink just one drink every night for a month?

His point was that it is easier to go on the wagon completely than hold yourself to one drink if you are in the grip of a drinking problem.

Mar 2, 2004 4:20:06 PM
16 - jennifer

Maybe an "Alcoholic's" problem is their amazing ability to rationalize any situation to their benefit. People with non-addictive and destructive personalities know what is right and wrong for themselves and others, without compromise of values or selfish rationale. Good luck if you think you can do this, but it sounds like the same old "I am not one of them" routine. For myself, drinking a glass of wine is like loading a bullet into a gun and playing Russian roulette. What is the point to lie to myself? I have been trying to rationalize reasons to drink like normal people for years, I have found there is no real reason to drink. If you need a drink to feel accepted in within a social crowd, maybe you should find some more accepting friends or learn to improve your sober personality. Learn to let loose, without letting loose. If you continue making the posts that you do you obviously still think about alcohol more than those damn average people. Wouldn't you rather stop letting alcohol mind-fu@# you, and cut it out for good? Yes, I realize that I am making a post and concerning myself with alcohol, so I am being hypocritical. I am one of those funny little closet drinkers wanting to let it go...I am just not there yet. I know how to do it and why I should but the rationalizing part of myself wins everytime. It's okay, I can stop tommarrow. I'll be that better person tommarrow. I haven't made it past 2 weeks of sobriety, if you have ever made it sober for a significant amount of time consider yourself lucky and just let it go. Good luck, be careful.

Mar 12, 2004 3:10:41 PM
17 - Jenna

I am not sure why M. Heitland thinks that one who can have one drink off and on is better of a person than he. That is the silliest thing I have ever heard. We're all just human trying to do what we feel in our hearts we need to do for ourselves for better. Did that make sense? lol. Anyways, I've been trying to quit for years and since I was a teen I have always,more times than not, drank more than I should have. I drank for the buzz no doubt about it and there is one reason I shouldn't drink. I don't like the taste (except a nice cold beer) but if I can only have one or two drinks, I personally don't see the reason to drink at all. I like to have six beers not two. And sometimes more than that. Unfortunately, being now in my early/late 30's I have slight blackouts, where I can't remember the entire prior evening which makes me nervous in the morning at how my husband will react towards me. It is very unsettling and because of getting drunk and unruely as well as hungover as hell, I don't drink and will not drink ever again. Worried? OF course, I don't want to let my self down again. The only problem with not drinking is how to tell people that I don't drink when they serve booze. I hope to get to the point where I am proud I am a non-drinker. I am sick of the stuff and ready to get rid of it. The hangovers are horrid!
One day, just like cigs now, alcohol will be taboo and people will finally start to realize how deadly and toxic the crap is. I am thankful that celebreties are finally getting it out there that they don't drink for many reasons. Like Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Mel Gibson..that brown haired pretty woman on Sex in the City. Who cares that some people enjoy having a glass of wine off and on. Big deal. And who knows what will happen to them ten years down the road if they continue to social drink. One never knows with alcohol and that is the problem.

Mar 12, 2004 7:51:17 PM
18 - Dan

i feel like this has gone on long enough....that goes for this thread as well as my bouts with drinking....I KNOW if i have the 1st one...i will get drunk....maybe not that night or a week from that night...but i will at some point. But thats only if i let my guard down to the enemy. BOOZE....So for me (more self centeredness) i must accept the fact that if i do drink....i will destroy all that i'm trying so hard to get... Its not about being sober...but just living right and having the things i need to be comfortable in life. (my own place, a decent job, a sober relationship) And if i drink i will lose site of all that...once i lose site of my dream, i just keep drinkin....In conclusion Good luck with for i can not control my problem in that way...But hey...I still smoke "I am not the leader of men"

Mar 15, 2004 5:36:10 PM
19 - dumb old sod

I tried quitting for 3 months, and actually thought I could pull it off. I'd done so for a month not long before, and thought I'd push myself a bit further. Long story short, I've seemed to have found myself in a bit of a relapse, and I'd like to find some advice. If anyone would care to drop me an email, I would be muchly apreciative.

Mar 18, 2004 9:09:00 PM
20 - Rik_Van_Howle

Yesterday was St.Patrick's Day. Yesterday I got drunk with friends that I hadn't seen in almost a year. Doesn't sound like such a terrible thing does it?

Well, I've been on a bender that has lasted since around...the middle of February. I went on a ski trip with a few friends to British Columbia, half of this was to kick start myself into something other than a drink. But a tattoo convention in Calgary ended my plans to go down the slopes. But that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Well, starting at midnight on Valentine's day, I started drinking "road rockets" I had made to give the trip a certain Raoul Duke/Henry Chinaski feel. The Greyhound was packed and with my friends asleep I sat awake and drank listening to various CDs. By Regina at 5am I was drunk. The whole day was spent nursing the 1 litre bottles of cuba libres and vodka sevens. By Calgary I was sober enough to attend the convention.

Also by Calgary I learned that my drinking buddys from back home were staying at the respective lodgings that I was to stay in. Now short on funds it sounded like a wonderful plan , to sit around the apartment and drink and to wonder the town...of less than 600 people.

Well the week was spent budgeting my money to afford enough Pilsner and food to live in this "commune." Not to be discouraged on the return trip, I made up another few...what? that's right..."road rockets."

Now a full month later from our trip to the rockies, there has not been a day...not a day that a drink hasn't touched my lips. Last Week I drank 26oz of bourbon in one night, a six pack the next, and I had a rather un-nerving blackout at a friend's birthday party the following night.

It's rough, this living of my army severence pay. No more reveille, no more drill...I am free to live it large on the bill of the government. Quite the life for a 20 year old who is just as of now registering for his first year of university.

Now yesterday was St. Patrick's day, the biggest drinking day of the year. Today I am sober. Let's take bets on how long it will last.

Thanks for listening and Cheers
Rik Van Howle

Mar 23, 2004 2:11:18 AM

I have been through almost all of it by this time in my life.

I conclude that most of us who are addicted to alcohol or drugs don't just have a drinking problem. We have a thinking problem too. After all your best thinking got us to this level of problems.

A lot of people will switch their addictions. The person who had problems on drugs will turn to alcohol and not make the connection.

The person who had problems with alcohol will go to the doctors and come back with some diagnosis and a bottle of "pills" and think he has found a new answer to correct the problem within and somehow make him "right".

Other's coming off the two listed above might turn to gambling, sex, or just spending money.

We have to change our thinking (stinking thinking) to change what we do in our lives. It is the enemy within that we need to understand and change.

Mar 23, 2004 10:31:08 AM

My goal this week is to have some wine, some sex, and some white carbs and ground beef. Bwahaha!

Seriously, I think that if you find you can't indulge in certain things in moderation, then abstinence is a constructive choice.

But I'm a little nervous about this "I must be at 100% all the time or I'm a bad/weak person, therefore I must live like a monk" meme...

Mar 24, 2004 4:55:27 AM

Most people are their own worst enemies. The person who has a drinking/drug problem have found a way to commit suicide on the installment plan. They develope an addiction and they then are usually the last person to recognize or acknowledge it. We call this being in denial.

When they stop, the brain goes on with it's thinking. To break the cycle, we must change our thinking.

Mar 24, 2004 5:04:55 PM
24 - Ed

I've found this site to be very useful. Fall asleep every night listening to one of these people tell their story. I see myself in every one of them. Don't worry about whether you're an alcoholic or not. you are different than most people when it comes to alcohol. It means more to you than most people and you better understand exactly what that is.

Mar 24, 2004 5:22:09 PM

hi all -- there's something funny about this particular post, that everyone comments here, like it's a cozy little lounge, and they seem not to bother putting comments elsewhere on the blog. I find it funny as heck. It's like this post has little bar stools around it and everyone feels comfortable bellying up to the bar!

Still sober after all these years ... wait, I mean, all these months, ... wait I mean, all these days. Yes I drank last about a week ago, so wish me luck with no more drinking. So far I haven't been tempted.