Cutting down vs abstaining, is it possible? Everyone will present differently, but in my experience the short answer to this question is ‘no’; at least not long term.
After several weeks of abstaining, I came into work to be told that my contract was being terminated with immediate effect. As a short term contractor, this shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise, but never the less, I headed to the pub for a quick glass of wine to drown my sorrows. After 3-4 bottles of wine, I booked an Uber home.
I resolved that I’d become a moderate drinker. For the next few days I had nothing, and on my girlfriend’s birthday I had one bottle of wine over a three hour period, which in itself wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately it lulled me into a sense of false security, and little by little (possibly particularly acute as I was waiting to start a new contract) I started increasing my intake of alcohol until I was back up to, and even exceeding, my previous levels.
One drink leads to a loss of inhibition that makes it acceptable to have one more, until you’ve had a skinful. It would be inadvisable for a heroin addict who’s been clean for years to have “just one more hit”, in the same way that, for me at least, cutting down isn’t a viable option and abstinence has to be it. I’ve found that by focusing on what I gain by not drinking, rather than what I perceive myself to have lost (which is really very little), along with enjoying delicious non alcoholic alternatives, helps me stay sober; and want to stay sober.
Please let me know what you think using the comment form below! In the mean time, you can read how to give up alcohol, the effects of giving up alcohol on your body and even browse our alcohol free drink reviews.