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A man takes a drink, the drink takes another, and the drink takes the man.
— Proverb

I’ve heard in Alcoholics Anonymous the  saying, “It’s the first drink that gets you drunk” and to some it may seem a little extreme. What about the possibility of moderation?

Well there are numerous stories of addicted people who started with the idea that they’d have “just one” of whatever it was. Hours, days, or weeks later, they were still in the middle of a binge. I spent years “moderating” and in the end all it achieved was to make me miserable. I couldn’t drink as much as I wanted, and I was still drinking too much. I was stuck in a holding pattern of addiction neither getting any better or ‘enjoying’ the indulgence of unrestricted drinking.


Each drink would be meticulously logged in a drinking app ….. well most would be! Of course I would cheat even that and after I had drunk a few that medium glass of wine would probably be a large one. And the odd extra nip straight from the bottle might get forgotten.

And then I would look at my pretty graphs, sigh, feel bad…feel upset….have another.

2013 Drink Diary

I would promise to myself repeatedly that I’d moderate, though of course I knew deep down from the accumulated evidence in front of me that I lacked the capacity for moderation. I tried…I really tried.  But once I’d start, no matter how good my intentions, that I was under the control of addiction. That craving took hold and no quantity of any drink or drug could satisfy.

There are people who can do in moderation what people filling the seats at meetings couldn’t stop doing, once they started. But I am not “those people”.

Today, I’m strengthened by accepting my need to take special measures to protect my health and recovery.