YOU ARE THE ADVICE COLUMNIST: Do I Give Up Booze Completely Or Just Learn Self-Control?

My relationship with booze has reached a crossroads.

Feb 18, 2014 at 6:30pm | Leave a comment

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My relationship with booze has reached a crossroads, and I'm trying to figure out if it's time to merely cut down or become a full-fledged teetotaler. Here is what's been happening:
I'm in my mid-30s now and in the midst of a serious rough patch. Long story short, my financial/career situation completely collapsed last year. I've been unemployed (with no unemployment benefits) for a few months after I lost a temp job I'd acquired after being let go from a great job. I can't go out because it costs too much to put gas in my car or take a train, and I can't do much of anything anyway because I have no income. And I guess I could mention that I haven't dated or even liked anyone for two years now, and that's sad, but whatever. The point is that I rarely ever go out, but there is always booze in the house, so I drink. And if I drink, my goal is to get drunk. Really drunk. Enough to amuse myself, enough to distract myself, and I conveniently forget that it's going to suck in the morning.   
Last weekend, I got drunk to the point of vomiting and cutting myself (another old habit that had been dealt with back in the good old days when I had money and could go to therapy) after finding out I owed a huge amount of money for taxes. I got on the phone with a really good friend who was kind enough to listen to me cry for a couple of hours. But while I was grateful for that, I felt so guilty that I hadn't been able to have a sober conversation with this really important person. I was so sloppy, and I've been getting sloppier and sloppier, and I'm scaring myself. 
I don't want a pity party, but I want to change this one thing, and I know that I can. I also know that while I'm not an alcoholic, I've been binging hard and using booze as a crutch. Alcohol and I are in an abusive relationship, but do we break up and just become friends (as in, one glass of wine with dinner once in a while because it tastes lovely and then DONE) or do I quit and never look back? 
I feel like if I allow myself to have a drink, I'm not taking this problem seriously, but if I quit, I'm overblowing the situation. This is a weird place to be, but I'm afraid my friends will see me as a drama queen if I talk to them about it. 

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