Moderation is a Myth

by Bill Brenner on October 27, 2010

Some interesting conversation with friends in Toronto this evening about addictive behavior. At one point, the focus turned to another truth about people like me: Moderation doesn’t exist.

Mood music:


People like to say it all the time: “Why do you have to give certain things up? Can’t you just have everything in moderation?”

Well, my friends, that’s the problem. Moderation is an alien concept to me. When someone leaves half the food on their plate or a half-glass of wine on the table, I just don’t get it. Period.

There is no middle speed for me.

I either abstain from all flour and sugar or I eat it all. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the form of something old and stale. It can’t be left on the table when I’m in binge mode.

I either abstain from all the wine or I drink all the wine.

When the latter happens and I binge, everything important in my life suffers. So I either give the stuff up entirely, or I ruin everything for the sake of the fix.

If you can have things in moderation, I say good for you. In fact, I envy you. Unfortunately, I can’t be you.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m OK with that now. It helps that life has gotten so much richer and sweeter for me without THE STUFF.

I stood around this evening’s event with my hands in my pocket while most of the folks around me had alcoholic beverages. I’m fine with that.

I didn’t have a beer or dessert when the friend I had dinner with tonight did. I’m fine with that, too. 

Last night, another friend — worried that his drinking was getting to me — offered to just drink water for the rest of the night so I’d feel more comfortable. I appreciate the thought more than words can say. But you don’t have to do that.

It’s my responsibility to stay sober and abstinent at all times. It’s nobody’s problem but mine, and that’s as it should be.

Still, I’m blessed to have friends around me who care.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dakota March 9, 2017 at 1:37 am

Dude. Wow! I thought I was the only one to have this way of thinking! My parents are always saying WHY CANT YOU DO IT IN MODERATION? That could be don’t eat two boxes of cheerios or don’t drink so much that you black out. Or why don’t you do bodyweight exercises and barbell? And I can’t do both I gotta do one or other. And yeah I think it has to do COMPLETELY with an addictive personality but hyper. OCD attributes. Your not alone man.

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