At Drinking Diaries, we firmly believe that everyone would be better off crafting a conscious drinking (or non-drinking) life, based on family history, personal preference, health, and many other factors.
If you are concerned about your drinking, or if you’re going through a period where you feel you’re drinking too much, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re an alcoholic and have to quit drinking forever. You may have developed a habit that isn’t serving you well, in which case, you might consider cutting down. You may be drinking because you’ve just gone through a traumatic life situation, or perhaps you’re in college and many of your friends binge drink for fun.
The point is: Women’s relationships with alcohol are multitudinous, and there is no one-size-fits all program.
A new book by Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Recover to Live, respects the fact that there is “a continuum of substance use from none at all, through harmful use, to addiction. It is much more complicated…substance-use behavior patterns are not either/or, nor black/white.” (p.xiii)
In the book, Lawford, who has been in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction for over 26 years, interviews over 100 of the top addiction experts in the world and presents all the options for treatment, from self diagnosis to Moderation Management, holistic treatment to group therapy, and everything in between.
You may be familiar with some of the research, questionnaires, and suggestions in this book, but most likely you will also come across something new. Here’s a taste of just one of the many ideas in this book:
“Your 30-Day Challenge for Alcohol”
(developed by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM)
Do you have a bad habit or a dependency? Here is another chance to find out.
You’ve answered the questionnaires for this toxic compulsion. You’ve read through what the experts have to say and thought about the extent to which you exhibit the behaviors associated with either a nondependent use disorder or a dependency.
Do you still have any doubt whether you have just a bad habit, or whether your behavior meets the criteria for a dependency?
Create a 30-day challenge for yourself.
Your challenge is to have two drinks every day for a solid month, whether you want to or not. But no more than two drinks a day!
That means either:
- Two 12-ounce beers a day;
- Or two 6-ounce glasses of wine;
- Or two 1-ounce shots of hard liquor.
If you’re a nondependent user, you will find it difficult to actually complete a month of daily drinking. Someone with a drinking problem will not only meet the challenge but may well drink more than the two-drink-a-day quota.
Meeting this challenge of drinking every day doesn’t mean that you do or don’t have a problem, but it’s safe to say that if you are unable to drink every day, you probably don’t qualify as a problem drinker.
If at the end of this challenge you sense that you really do have a problem, the next step is up to you. Treatment is probably something you need to consider.
We’re giving away one copy of the book. To enter, please leave a comment in the comments section, with your email address. Please indicate that you’ve tweeted or facebooked about this contest, and we’ll pick a winner by drawing a name at random.