Charlie's Blog: How To Drink In Moderation


How To Drink In Moderation

Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

I do not drink alcohol. I have three good reasons for not drinking. The first is that I do not want a drunk driving conviction. The easiest way to avoid this is to not drink. The second is that alcoholic beverages cause gout flare ups. The third is that I am a traumatic brain injury survivor, and I need all the brain cells I have left. I can never drink alcohol again.

Research indicates that there are no health benefits to drinking alcohol. Once upon a time, some people made health claims for red wine, but these have been debunked. Additionally, I know of no one who quit drinking that wasn't better off for it. You can never go wrong with not drinking.

Now, I am not a Baptist or a teetotaller. I am simply a Roman Catholic who doesn't drink. I find complete abstinence to be easier than perfect moderation. There are people who can drink in moderation. The problem is the definition of moderation. When does drinking become immoderate? Well, I have the answer to that question.

Drinking in moderation is easy. You can have one adult beverage in a 24 hour period. That's it. That one drink means you are not a teetotaller and can be sociable with people at a tavern or cocktail party. That one drink doesn't make you an alcoholic. In fact, you probably won't even get a buzz from that one drink.

I can already hear people moaning about this. One drink?! Why bother? And that, Gentle Reader, is my point. People drink to get buzzed or hammered. They are not interested in moderation whatsoever. They want to get DRUNK. Drunkenness is not moderation.

I agree that one drink isn't worth the bother. This is why I don't waste my time with drinking. One drink is perfect moderation. This would be a single glass of wine at dinner or a can of cold beer after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day.

Drinking alcohol has one benefit. It makes you more sociable. I don't need that because I have something better. I drink coffee. Coffee makes you more sociable and also smarter at the same time. You can meet people at a cafe and have a cup or two. Additionally, coffee has many health benefits and virtually no downsides. This is why I make the juice of the magic black bean my top beverage choice after water.

I also like drinking hot green tea in the afternoons or evenings for relaxation. This is also good for social occasions. Like coffee, tea has many health benefits as well. You can't go wrong with tea. And you can drink it iced if you want something refreshing on those hot summer days.

It is fashionable and even a tradition for Catholics to drink a pint of beer or take shots of whiskey. The argument is that evil is not found in a thing. Evil is found in the human heart. I will say that alcohol helps those people find that evil.

The reality is that many Catholics become alcoholics or have drinking problems. One of the principal characters in the Catholic novel, Brideshead Revisited, was an alcoholic named Sebastian Flyte. Dorothy Day reported having to help drunken Irish priests who couldn't lay off the sauce.

Why do people become alcoholics? That is easy. The alcoholic has depression which is anger at God. When you are angry at God, this can only lead to one's self-destruction. These drunks find momentary relief in the bottle, and they never find escape until they reckon with God. This is why AA puts so much stress on turning to God for help.

When you are on good terms with God, you will find moderation in all things especially drink. Life is better and happier with God than without God. Alcohol is no substitute for God.