Friday, March 11, 2011

Want a drink....?

I want to present you with a much is too much?  What makes someone a "casual drinker" and what makes someone an "alcoholic"? defines alcoholism as "Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use will bring on withdrawal symptoms" and Webster's defines is as "continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drink."  And the extremes are easy to spot.

I have one family member who may as well own a vineyard.  Bring a bottle of wine to dinner, it'll be gone before dessert starts.  Bring 2 and it's going to be a long, loud night.  "Just one glass" turns into "just one bottle" turns into passed out and sleeping in.  To the other extreme you have my father.  Don't get me wrong, he used to be a drinker...big time.  But all before I remember.  Now he's one of those people that so far into recovery that he thinks all alcohol is evil and anyone who drinks it is an alcoholic.  He acts as though since he had no restraint, then no one does, especially his children.  

Easy to tell in those 2 situations who does and doesn't have issues with drinking right now.  But what is "okay"?  To most people there is nothing wrong with a glass of wine or a beer now and then.  Many people don't find any problem with going out and having a few too many every once in a while.  I'm a nurse and I work 4 nights a week.  I am practically religious about not having even a sip of alcohol on days I'm schedule to work.  Doesn't matter if it's 10 hours before I'm scheduled to work, not even a sip.  But on my nights off I like to have A drink.  A glass of wine (which is still recommended by many doctors, to make a point!) or a beer. As I sit here typing I sip on my beer.  On a really stressful night I may have 2.  

Is there anything wrong with that?  Not to toot my own horn but I work hard...32 hours a week of a job that is tough and scary and stressful and at time heartbreaking; I pay the bills and deal with the stress of if there is enough money; I do the normal "wife" things like laundry and cleaning; I try to make sure there's time for my husband even though he isn't home until after 7 most nights and I need to leave for work at 10; and most important I am here EVERY afternoon with my child.  I volunteer in her library, have gone on every field trip, been to every school play, and I am the assistant coach on her soccer team.  So is it so wrong for me to want to wind down with a drink on the evenings I don't have to work? I personally don't think so.

But if not, then what IS too much?  Is it too much if you have 2 drinks a night?  What about 3 or 4?  I think we all can agree that if you are drinking a 6-pack every night, 7 days/week, it's not good.  But where is the line?  I think it is different for everyone.  I do realize that I never gave MY true opinion about what is "too much" and what isn't.  I just wanted to start the debate in your head.  It is what my rant of the night turned into! =)

1 comment:

  1. We don't keep any alcohol in the house because we just don't drink much. Occasionally, I'll do like you, and have a glass of wine or a beer, but that's probably less than once a month. Also maybe twice a year, I get irresponsible, but even that's planned out so things don't get out of hand. We don't really associate with anyone who drinks much more than we do either, so that's been nice.