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

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. 

Doyou have any words of wisdom for our reader? Let her know in the comments below. 

Send all of your questions to, we can help!

Posted in Issues