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Friday
May102013

Consuming Consumption

I never drink before five o'clock, never more than four beers, never have a hangover and yet my consumption of alcohol consumes me. Not that I'm constantly thinking about drinking, what I mean is I'm constantly wondering whether I'm drinking too much. Which means, I guess, that yes, I'm constantly thinking about drinking.

The constant worry affects my life infinitely more than the actual drinking. The drinking is two or three hours of nice and then bed. But the worry, the anxiety, it's always there. A backpack full of enormous college textbooks strapped to my body weighing me down and wouldn't it just be easier to take off the fucker?

Probably. But can I not enjoy this one damn thing or does my brain have to constantly analyze causes and effects and whys and why nots? My whole life is an over-analysis of my whole life. Look at this blog. A manifesto of over-analyzation. I cannot escape. Analyzation is as much a part of my being as breathing. So, give me this, dammit. Let me have this, my three beers at night. Because, GOD, I'm not drowning any sorrows in the amber stuff, not masking any pain...Okay, maybe a little pain but not big pain, just the usual scraped knees and paper cuts of life. Maybe a couple wounds here and there that required stitches, but they're healing nicely, mostly no big deal!

The beer stealthily sands the sharp, jagged edges of the day into smooth, graceful lines. Isn't it ever so nice to run fingertips across silky smooth banisters instead of having to stop and dig out slivers? The days are filled with slivers. And the beer, it slows the analysis. He takes a Xanax for his anxiety, she takes a Valium for her thing, why can't I have three beers for my thing? What's wrong with that? And yet even just rhetorically posing the question here is the starting gun that prompts a million voices in my head to trip over themselves in their anxious effort to answer... That's how it starts. That's denial talking. If you have to ask you already know the answer.

But I don't! I don't know the answer! It's three silly beers. Sometimes four. And besides, it was a rhetorical fucking question, you asshole.

And then I'm stuck right back where I was when I wrote this post. I went back and read all the excellent comments again today and one really stood out for me:

Personally, if I were spending my day watching the clock, waiting for the drink to be officially OKAY, and then spending the next two hours fretting about the drink I just had, that would be a problem FOR ME.

I don't clockwatch but usually glance up and it's nearly five or after five or whatever and I'm like, All right! Time for a drink! Yes, that's an exclamation point. Two exclamation points! I put them there to demonstrate that beer time makes me excited. It does. What is that you're doing? Is that a pencil? Are you taking notes? Did you add the exclamation points to the list of things that point to alcoholism?

So the part of her comment that really stood out for me is where she says spending all that time fretting about having a drink would ruin it for her. Because that's kind of what's happening here. I enjoy my drinks and we go to bed and then I wake up in the morning and I'm all, you're so silly. You don't need to drink. It's just extra money and extra calories and a whole lotta extra stress.

I maintain that party line for the rest of the day, mostly. But, just like the morning mist slowly evaporating as the sun climbs a ladder of clouds into the sky, so does my You Don't Need To Drink sentiment. I don't need to drink but I want to.

And so what?

I write my stuff and shuttle kids to and fro, maybe go to the park, deal with a tantrum or two, put the kids in their rooms - rolling the dice on some afternoon quiet time to finish up some more writing and then, before I know it, Dinner Hour is once again making my acquaintance, his twin brother Cocktail Hour in tow, and the whole thing starts all over again.

And really I just want to annihilate the part of my brain that engages in this fucking square dance because can I not enjoy myself for two fucking hours at night if I'm dotting all my I's and crossing all my T's the other 22 hours a day? Life is short, man. But maybe that entire thought process is the last bastion between me being a functioning human being or the star of the next episode of Intervention? See. There it goes again...

Round and around and around we go...

Reader Comments (44)

You are over thinking it. Drink your beers, enjoy your life. It's too short to worry about that kind of shit.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharity

Have another beer - then it won't matter so much!!!
Seriously though - don't sweat it, baby!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKerri

I spend all day with kids, and at the end of the day I need to partake in my own relaxation techniques (which is of the smoking variety and not an issue in Canada like it is in the states) but once I'm child free, the first thing I want to do is take my dog for a good run, hang with my husband and have a puff. It's a long tiring day, and you deserve to unwind. To each their own, and if your relaxation method works for you, in that you are able to relax and unwind, then do it! I take a few things into consideration when worrying if its becoming an issue: A) are you going broke over it? B) are you missing work over it? C) are you treating loved ones differently because of its effects on you? If the answer is no to all of those, you're good to go.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

You are absolutely right, you don't need to drink! And as long as you don't need to, but want to and have the kind of control you have, don't sweat it! I walk in the door from work and pop a top. My life would be infinately more dismal without a cold beer.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Reading this was like reading about myself! I don't drink every night and when I do, I stress if its more than two glasses of wine! And if I do indulge, I'm questioning why I feel the need to drink on a week day. And yet the weekend then comes where I don't want a drink and then I feel I can pat myself on the back for NOT drinking. FREAKING insane!

And, so, thank you for this post...I wanted a drink on my warm toasty deck earlier (oh my god, its only 4:00) and had talked myself out of it..until now...now, I'm going to head out with my husband and have a nice, cold large glass of wine!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDennise

I have had this conversation with a therapist when I was worrying that maybe my wanting to drink sometimes meant that I was an alcoholic (which runs rampantly in my family, so, legit concern). She listened to me babble anxiously about it for a long time and then asked me two questions:
(1) When you decide that you're done drinking for the evening, are you really done? i.e., do you have trouble stopping when you decide you want to stop?
(2) Do you ever start drinking when you don't really want to? i.e., do you ever go - hey, it's about time to have a beer, so I think I'm going to have a beer, even though I don't actually want one.

Having honestly answered no to both those questions, she said I was FINE. Everyone has different threshholds, but I found this quite useful, as it takes the analysis of the consumption out, and puts it onto the what i WANT vs what I DO.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermyswandive

Aw honey. You're okay. The beers are okay. The kids are okay. Even Serge. So, don't deny yourself this pleasure. We all do what we need to do to help us remember "this is water" (you've seen that recent video with David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech?)
Anyway...I understand that voice--those voices. And what my therapist years ago taught me was to tell them to shut the fuck up. So...it's all okay. Keep reaching out if you need to because it's a good thing. We all need to check in 'round the happy hour campfire.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLucy Anderson

Like you I grew up in Utah; to add to my problems my father is an alcoholic; on that note my relationship with alcohol is strange, but I had no idea how strange until I lived in another state. It's been ten years now and I still can't get over the idea that beer every day is bad, even though I know lots of people who do it, I like them, I trust them and I wouldn't call them alcoholics. I can't help but think being surrounded by people who eat Jello and ice cream and drink Diet Coke to drown their sorrows (not to mention all those pills in Happy Valley) has perhaps skewed my vision. I try to remember that while I still can't get passed it for me, that its something responsible adults are allowed to do and if it makes your day a little better and you've got all those checks and balances I wouldn't stress over it. Enjoy your evening how you see fit.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

What if you experimented. Such as, stop drinking for a week, and see what that feels like. Rather than be consumed with "shoulds," just notice, observe, compare.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristinaO

You might want to consider this article that was posted on The Telegraph this week: "Middle class wine drinkers 'think they know better than health experts'" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/wine/10044758/Middle-class-wine-drinkers-think-they-know-better-than-health-experts.html

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

I feel like in North America our hang ups about booze are largely because as a society we throw around the word 'alcoholic' very freely and the word 'rehab' is in every second headline we read. Alcohol is widely viewed as a 'VICE'. What I know to be true is in Europe the kids have their first glass of wine at the table with their parents as soon as they have decided they want a glass of wine and everyone has a drink everyday at any hour of the day and it isn't viewed in the same way it is here. There it isn't a VICE it is a way of life.

I am not saying alcoholism isn't a disease or a real problem but what I am saying is I think you have let North America get into your head ;). You ARE NOT an alcoholic.

If the drink makes you happy, relaxed and it is an enjoyable part of your life then good for fucking you. If the drink makes you sad, stressed and a total mess, then maybe you should put it down.

There is no right answer here.

What I know is a lot of people would take the amount that I drink on a daily basis and tell me that I am an alcoholic....that is their opinion, their space, their reality. their perception based on their own personal experience. What matters is do I think I have a problem? Do my loved ones think I have a problem?

Let's talk about it further over a drink shall we?

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle

I totally get it. I overthink and overthink and know that I'm just going to do what I'm going to do anyway. Relaxing really shouldn't be so stressful!

Well I understand then pleasant comforts of a cold beer at the end of a overly active uncomfortable day. Today I sat in the beautiful air conditioned living room of a new patient whose husband, an elderly caregiver had been waiting around for me all day. I had been out and about driving mostly to other patient's homes where I do paperwork, treatments and assessments. So I finally made it to this guys home. It's six o'clock and I have 2 hours with them. Walking into this beautiful hklome was an immediate cold beer experience, especially since I was in the middle of a hot flash on a hot and humid day. I had just gotten off the phone from ordering flowers for Mom, another cold beer experience....Love getting that out of the way. Anyway, the place was CLEAN, spacious, cool and quiet. The client, an elderly woman was elegant, Poised. You never know what you are walking into in this type of work. So anyway, the husband walks into the spacious place, sits in a comfortable chair in front of the gorgeous window overlooking a beautiful clean pool, and says, " I don't mean to be rude, but you don't mind if I have a beer.,,,it's been one of those days. He sits politely and cracks it open, cold Icy bottle of..." oh no go right ahead PLEASE. It is a comfort just to WATCH anyone drink a beer right now." I was completely drawn into that moment. I asked him what it was since the label was turned away. As he set it back down after pouring the cold amber frothy stuff into an on the rocks glass, he spoke the words which I longed to hear ...well he spelled them, YUENGLING. One of my fave lagers. It was an absolute play-zure to sit there for those two hours. I planned on stopping on the way home but forgot about the beer...I really should go out and get some. Thanks for the idea. Enjoy your beers, I can't say that 3 is too much. It is for me only because I am easily affected. Wine is fine too. Brandy is dandy. The other day I found some of that and poured in some kind of likwor and made a nice concoction to take my edge off. Yes I have Xanax but liquor is quicker. And colder. Mmmmmmmm!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergina

Well I understand the pleasant comforts of a cold beer at the end of a overly active uncomfortable day. Today I sat in the beautiful air conditioned living room of a new patient whose husband, an elderly caregiver had been waiting around for me all day. I had been out and about driving mostly to other patient's homes where I do paperwork, treatments and assessments. So I finally made it to this guys home. It's six o'clock and I have 2 hours with them. Walking into this beautiful home was an immediate cold beer experience, especially since I was in the middle of a hot flash on a hot and humid day. I had just gotten off the phone from ordering flowers for Mom, another cold beer experience....Love getting that out of the way. Anyway, the place was CLEAN, spacious, cool and quiet. The client, an elderly woman was elegant, Poised. You never know what you are walking into in this type of work. So anyway, the husband walks into the spacious place, sits in a comfortable chair in front of the gorgeous window overlooking a beautiful clean pool, and says, " I don't mean to be rude, but you don't mind if I have a beer.,,,it's been one of those days. He sits politely and cracks it open, cold Icy bottle of..." oh no go right ahead PLEASE. It is a comfort just to WATCH anyone drink a beer right now." I was completely drawn into that moment. I asked him what it was since the label was turned away. As he set it back down after pouring the cold amber frothy stuff into an on the rocks glass, he spoke the words which I longed to hear ...well he spelled them, YUENGLING. One of my fave lagers. It was an absolute play-zure to sit there for those two hours. I planned on stopping on the way home but forgot about the beer...I really should go out and get some. Thanks for the idea. Enjoy your beers, I can't say that 3 is too much. It is for me only because I am easily affected. Wine is fine too. Brandy is dandy. The other day I found some of that and poured in some kind of le'kwor and made a nice concoction to take my edge off. Yes I have Xanax but liquor is quicker. And colder. Mmmmmmmm!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergina

I love your willingness to be real, honest, and open. In many ways, your ability to look at yourself, your behaviors, etc. and be open to change is a positive thing. And then sometimes, you need to trust yourself & turn off the analysis. I can relate to the self analysis in so many ways. My 20s were full of it & i just couldnt stop my brain from hashing over things in 8000 ways. It still sometimes creeps in, but I can usually turn it off somehow when I see it coming. I think I finally realized that self analysis only served me to a point & when it stops being productive, I turn it off, visualizing shutting off a faucet. It took time to get efficient at it, but it's worth trying for some peace of mind. You're a great writer Monica. Love to read what you write.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

1. Do you lose time from work due to your drinking?

2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?

3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?

4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?

5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?

6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of your drinking?

7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?

8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?

9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?

10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?

11. Do you want a drink the next morning?

12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?

14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?

15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles?

16. Do you drink alone?

17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of your drinking?

18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?

19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?

20. Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of drinking?

This is from a John's Hopkin's questionairre, and if you answer yes to any than it is worth investigating further.

My only comment is a case a week is a lot and drinking daily is a habit no matter how you dice it. Overall it is not a healthy choice, physically and mentally. Alcohol is hard on the body and mind. It is a depressant. Obviously it is on your radar. Don't ignore those instincts. Good Luck.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?[1][2]

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I do the same thing: devote way too much time worrying about and analyzing my drinking habits. I agree with Brooke that this is probably related to a Mormon upbringing.

When you grow up without any examples of healthy, moderate drinking, and everyone around you interprets any drinking at all as problem drinking or as alcoholism, you can't help but be a little bit paranoid about alcohol. Even when (as an adult) you can see intellectually that you don't have a problem, it's nearly impossible to just chill and not worry about it the way people who grew up around moderate drinkers can.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchanson

Doesn't sound bad to me, but I'm English! That said, a couple of alcohol free days a week is never a bad thing, just to give the liver a break! But I think you are over thinking it! Enjoy your beers!

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeck

Sorry, i just commented on theother thread without noticing the date on it.... Very insomnirific right now. It should be here:


It's not clear to meif you are doing this every day. If so, you should look at the health risks that amount of alcohol daily has. I have insomnia and have had pregnancy-disrupted sleep for months so the only thing i can think of off the top of my head is breast cancer. One other thing is you have often mentioned you struggle with weight. (I dont think you have a problem there, but you have said you would like to be X weight and are having, or were having, trouble getting there...... 3 beers is at least an extra 500 calories) Also, depression. It may make you feel better in the short term but could it be contributing to a general malaise?

But if it were not for that, it doesnt sound like there is an addiction as such.... Yet. But i second the recommendation further up to try doing without it and see what happens. For what it's worth though, I do believe it's possible to have a problem with a habit, without it necessarily spiraling into addiction. (source: social worker with a small but good amount of experience in substance abuse treatment, who used to over-use or binge with many things for emotional reasons, including sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, etc. Well, i say used to, but there was probably too much chocolate in this pregnancy to be honest.) That too can be a problem in itself.

You have also mentionedninterest in Buddhism, which I also have. Lots of Buddhists drink, and I find the hierarchical aspect some streams of buddhism can have to be essentially opposed to the whole thing, so I wouldnt necessarily look to what 'higher-up' figures say about it, but I think that system of thought (I prefer not to call it a religion for reasons I think you would understand) has something good to say about not being too attached to things like this.

(Apologies for poor, sleepy writing and typing)

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

And yes, your liver needs a break. Cam you find another way of relaxing? Can the kids be engaged in some activity or with Serge for half and hour and you go and meditate, or work out, or do something else?

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I really think it's fine and you should try not to overanalyze it!

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBetts

There are a lot of ideas here. All of them good! The liver health one struck me. Deep breathing meditation is a great idea. Skipping the beers every other day or so might be a good idea too. And the best part is that you can try them all without much consequence! Lucky you!

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLucy Anderson

My 2 cents to be taken or left, obviously: 3 or 4 beers a couple times a week sounds like moderate recreation. 3 or 4 beers every day sounds like dependency if not addiction. You compared it to valium/xanax. Someone who takes xanax or valium or any other anxiety medication every day had better have a doctor diagnosed anxiety disorder they are treating because if not that is without question dependency/addiction. You once said you didn't believe in medication for yourself for depression so perhaps this seeming contradiction is something to think about. I agree with everyone who has suggested stopping completely for a period of time (no less than 2 months). Treat it as an experiment and see what comes up for you emotionally, psychologically and physically. If the very thought of not having alcohol for that long makes you anxious that's something which would suggest it's not just something you choose...No matter what, I send you wishes for compassion for yourself--the mental self-torture accomplishes nothing and makes you miserable so far better to make a choice one way or the other and then let go...

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterE.

You're over thinking it.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThatLadyYouLove

Dude, I say this with pure love: drink the fucking beers. Your liver is fine, your life is fine, you are fine. As a fellow over-thinker I know that even if a thousand people comment that you are fine, you will remember the three that say you aren't. Try really hard not to do that. :)

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

I can't say whether or not your drinking is a problem, but the worrying is. It's easy for people to just say stop worrying, but it's harder for you to do it. So, even if the drinking isn't a problem, stopping drinking might be a good solution to the anxiety. Maybe try it and see how you feel. Who knows... maybe you'll be fine without a drink and it'll stay that way. Or maybe you'll realized how easy it was to just stop and you'll be able to enjoy a drink without the worry. But life's too short for this much drama over a couple beers and if stopping with the beer stops the worry, then maybe that's the price you pay to relax a bit. My mother is an alcoholic and I worried about me and alcohol an awful lot. Eventually, I just said the heck with it and stopped drinking because I didn't want to have to worry about my behaviour and alcohol. Now, I don't ever have to worry that I'm not being appropriate with my alcohol consumption. It's a non issue.

While I can't say that your drinking is a problem - I don't know you - I can suggest a little different of a perspective. I would say that while 3 drinks over the course of a night night doesn't sound bad... I mean, 3 drinks in one sitting is not like you're under the table... But putting that in terms of 21 drinks a week or 90 drinks a month looks a little different. That's a lot for your health, your wallet, and if you're using it to calm down, it could be a lot of self medication. Just another perspective to think of.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

If you want to discuss this more, please feel free to reach out. I'm sober 17 years now, and I'd be happy to chat with you. I don't know if I'll offer reassurance or not, though. :)

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCecily

My brother was a regular beer drinker for a number of years and later went to AA. He considered himself an alcoholic even though it was just beer, and it was a limited, but regular amount of alcohol per day. It so happens alcoholism also runs in our family. While none of us in his immediate family ever looked at his life and considered that he needed an "intervention" - I mean, he was brilliant, successful, well-liked, etc. -HE DID, and he gave up alcohol completely. I really respect him for what he did and believe that he was much happier as a result. Unfortunately the sad end of the story is that he died of cancer at age 38. This isn't meant to scare you, but since his death and later health issues in my own, young family, I take controlled substances very seriously, as well as anything that passes our lips. Our environment is simply too polluted not to.

Take care, Monica, I love your openness and honesty.

Olivia

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

ChristinaO's suggestion is a good one -- go alcohol-free for say, a week, and see how you feel. If you feel miserable and depressed without a drink, maybe that's a red flag for you to consider. If you're fine, then don't worry about it. An alcohol-free day once a week or so might be a good plan too.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathlene

I forgot to mention that my brother got worried about his drinking because he began to see small signs that it was affecting his brain function. Huge red flag for someone who depended on it so much not only for his career but for his overall self-esteem.

Olivia

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

Lower companions United. I live in an inferior environment but will be moving into a my-t-fine double wide before I turn 60. If the volume bothers you, then drink a bottle of water after the beer and then split a bottle with Serge.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergina

I haven't been able to drink since the day my son was born... six freaking years ago. I forced myself to drink five years ago on my Birthday. Found out the following week I was pregnant with my daughter. I still continue to worry that the ONE BEER I forced myself to drink even though it was spit warm towards the end is the reason she has 60 imaginary sisters and a zombie squirrel for friends.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

There's a thing that you do on (presumably) a daily basis, and you worry about it, and you stress about it, and you agonize over it, and you KEEP DOING IT, so yeah, duh, it's a problem. A big problem. You just wrote a fucking eloquent essay about the problemness of it, and the readers who are telling hey, don't over think it? It's just a few beers? What The Fuck? That may be the most shocking thing I've ever seen in a comments section, and I've read the comments on crime stories in big city newspapers.

Your drinking is a problem. You explained it beautifully. It's not necessarily the amount, or the number of days per week, it's the Have To. It's the Must.

But for the record? 3-4 beers a night? On a daily or almost daily basis? Are you fucking kidding me? That may your normal, but statistics show that you're in the Ivy League of drinking - only about 5 percent of US women drink daily or almost daily.

And what do I know? Nothing really. My father was an alcoholic and so was his younger brother (alcohol and drugs, actually). My maternal grandfather was a daily drinker who died of liver disease at 52. So it would be easy (and not unjustified) to say that my reactions, informed by my childhood, are overwrought.

http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/drinking-statistics

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhayesmary

I wonder what Serge thinks about this. If I found that my partner thought I was "checking out" emotionally, etc. every evening, I would want that feedback.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersherewin

you're in the Ivy League of drinking - only about 5 percent of US women drink daily or almost daily.

Perhaps, but it turns out that the US is not the only country. Looking at the world as a whole, it seems that an all-or-nothing attitude can cause more problems than it solves.

What The Fuck? That may be the most shocking thing I've ever seen in a comments section, and I've read the comments on crime stories in big city newspapers.

Seriously? OK, it's twitter, but I think you should have a look at this post to help put it in perspective.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchanson

Yes, Chanson, many European countries report higher per capita rates of alcohol consumption that the US. They also have higher rates of alcoholism and liver disease. Yay for them? As long as Monica keeps drinking less that Moldova and Estonia she's good to go? Whether or not Europe (in part or whole) has a healthier relationship with alcohol doesn't matter in this case right here.

When I read the anonymous comments on a newspaper article I am not surprised to find straight up trolling, ugly vileness. That's why I don't read the comments on most websites.

But I stand behind my previous comment - Monica wrote with heartfelt concern over her own drinking. She's worried. She thinks it's a problem. Her drinking, which is significant in the context of her culture, is causing her anxiety. So, yeah, I expected almost 100 percent of her readers, who, although we mostly don't know her IRL have some sort of virtual concern for her and her family, to be sympathetic. To take her concerns seriously. But to respond with "Your liver is fine." (You know this how?) and "Enjoy your beers." That strikes me as stone cold dismissive fuckery.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhayesmary

Sorry Monica. I really don't want this central message to get lost - if you're that worried, then trust your instincts. You've given this a lot of thought and you know best. This deserves your attention.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhayesmary

Additionally, Monica, your drinking may or may not be a problem, but your unhappiness and stress levels certainly are. Takes one to know one. Take care. I hope you are able to continue towards finding more peace after all the work you've done already. You are a great mother, wife and just person in general by the sound of it. Please be kinder to yourself. Happy Mother's Day.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Okay well now I feel awful about telling you to enjoy your beers, I AM SO SORRY. Of course I care about you! I But Haynes here is absolutely right. Three beers every SINGLE NIGHT is way to too much alcohol for anyone's liver to keep up with and inevitably you will damage your liver. Yes. You will wind up with damage. Cirrhosis. One of the worst things. Robs the body of every good thing. The liver is really hard at work metabolizing EVERYthing we put into ourselves. It deserves a break. I push Coexnzyme Q10 on everyone I know and it really is counter productive to say "enjoy your beers' Maybe the correct thing to say would be "Enjoy your liver." or "Enjoy your Odouls." or "Enjoy your life." I would not wish a shortened life span on you or anyone.. I am so sorry. I know you really enjoy the beer, And so do I. Monica, I would try cutting back to one beer and learn to LOVE your water. Hey, that flavored seltzer you were pushing was quite refreshing. I am really liking the La Croix. Grapefruit. Hey, have you ever tried filtering your water using the Brita Filter system? Cold water can be amazingly settling and helps you sleep better especially if you drink it prior to retiring. Down the hatch!

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergina

my story with alcohol -
alcohol, just hearing that word sends shivers down my spine. for more than a decade now, i have been trying to deal with my husband's 'recreational" or "occasional" use of alcohol. he never has really drank consistently (as in every single day), but many of his actions over the years while he's been under the influence has caused such pain and strain in our relationship that it has nearly ended our marriage, and will most likely end up being the end of it. my trust is gone, and he has very much hurt me through his drunken actions over the years.
i used to drink once and a while. i liked going out with the girls and having a couple exotic drinks, letting loose and having fun. not hurting anyone. now, i can't stand the smell, i am constantly on edge and never knowing when the liquid poison my husband may ingest might change him into the person i have grown to hate to be around.
i think what bothers me even more than the fact that he drinks (and what he has done while drunk) is the fact that he has constantly pushed aside my feelings about his use, and refuses to acknowledge that what he has done/does still has affected me and that for him and i it is a problem. period. i don't care what you call it or label it. alcoholism or not. for him and i it is a problem. i really wish he would take the time to really reflect on how it has affected those of us who have to live with him.
so, monica, upon reading your post, my initial thought is reservation (due to by own feelings about alcohol), but i think just having real conversations with the people you live with, and some great self-refection and being open and really valuing what your partner feels about it. if it's a problem with one or both of you, then you owe it to yourself and your marriage to change. if it is ok and there are no negatives, other than your over-analyzing it, then you can make your own choices without having to feel guilty.
thanks for sharing your thoughts, monica

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjsquared

I really related to your post, because I agonize more about whether I should or shouldn't drink because of all the judgements I have stored up in my head from other people, mostly mom friends, who say things like, "oh, I never drink during the week," or "I never drink at home," or "more than one glass and I am asleep!" Good grief. Everyone is different and I think if you are healthy and happy, and so are your kids, then I wouldn't worry. I also need to take my own advice and just go with what I know is right!

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiv G

I wonder if it's not really a problem with alcohol but the desire to get through your day to get to the "reward" at the end. For me, my reward is a bowl of ice cream and falling asleep on the couch. If you can replace the booze with something else gratifying, then booze isn't really your problem. Hopefully this doesn't sound like pretzel logic.

May 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentere

Once I get the kids settle for the night I have a couple drinks before bed most nights too. I also smoke pot. It's part of my relaxing time with my husband. Although it may not be healthy for my liver, it is most definitely needed for my mental health. It is a way to unwind and let the stress of the day just melt off. The way I see it, it's not negatively affecting my marriage, my children or my job so I don't worry about it. It may help that I grew up in a house where both my parents sat and had a beer after a long day at work so having a drink never seemed odd to me. I never saw my parents drunk and my children have never seen me drunk because it just doesn't get to that point. While I do agree with others who say that if you're concerned you should do something about, I also think that your feelings may have something to do with being raised Mormon. What does Serge think? I know that if my husband become concerned then I'd really take it seriously.

May 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErika

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