Most of us are taught that if you have a drinking “issue”, you have to give it up completely in order to overcome it.
Your options are then:
1. Continue drinking (and we know where this leads)
2. Stop completely
It’s an all-or-nothing philosophy. And this is consistent with what I was taught in pharmacy school.
But, like most conditions (infections, ACS, cancer, diabetes, etc.), there is a spectrum of severity to the condition.
We don’t start the same treatment for someone with an A1C of 11% as we do for someone with an A1C of 7%.
Same with someone with a minor, small infection versus someone with a serious, blood stream infection.
So why are all drinking problems lumped into the same treatment of abstinence?
Maybe there’s another option. The third option.
Cutting back on alcohol can be an effective strategy when the severity may not be so dire.
It’s not as black and white as we were taught.
There’s a third option for a good majority of drinkers.
And if we explored and embraced that third option, we might find things that surprise us.
Thoughts like, “Drinking is not so hard to give up this way”.
That, “It is possible to desire it less, if at all”.
Because the having nothing approach can be hard for the mind to comprehend…especially when it seems dreadful.
If that’s your mindset, trying the third option may be the way to go. And once you cut back, you may decide that way of life feels so much better. And want to cut back even more.
And that gradual reduction is better than no reduction (or an increase).
Maybe it’s time to consider a third option with our drinking.