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Gary, my personal opinion is that "what causes a problem is a problem." For example, drinking buttermilk has never caused me a problem (e.g. I don't become sick, cause accidents, get into discussions about how much I drink, or any similar things which occurred with alcohol) so I do not have to watch if I drink it or not.

If you suggest that you are "controlling" the amount that you drink, it suggests that you have had problems before. At least it did for me, when I would "control" the amount I might drink at a party or someplace. If I did not "control" the amount I drank, I might say something I regretted, I might be argumentative, I might drive after I had been drinking. I "controlled" only because drinking "too much" created problems, and I could not predict with accuracy when I might "drink too much." I might just take one drink and "lose control." For me it became a situation where if I never took a "first drink" I would not get drunk or lose control.

If you can guarantee with complete assurance that you will never drink more than three beers in any 24 hour period (no matter what the circumstances) I would suggest you can continue as long as you wish. Should you violate that rule just once, you may kill someone or create other problems that might affect you for the rest of your life. That is your choice. I chose to stop the drinking 32 years ago and have never been sorry. If I am in an auto accident and by chance someone is killed, it will not be because I was impared by alcohol. There is peace of mind in that for me. If you listen to the stories of ex-drinkers, you may be surprised how often they did things they had no intention of doing and probably would not have done if not drinking or drugging.

You have to answer a question for yourself. What are the potential dangers (realistically) and are they "worth it?" If it causes distress to a marital partner, is that worth it? Does alcohol have a "hold on you" that you make choices about whether drinks will be served or not? Do you seek friends who "drink like you?"

Note, the same considerations may apply to food, money, and many other things, where the influence of the item "causes" a problem in any form, it might be viewed that the item "is a problem." It is human nature, I think, to "deny" just how much some items "control" our lives. When I could look objectively at the role alcohol played for me, it really confirmed my "addication" at multiple levels, and I really thought that "my drink" was my best friend and allowed me to function with my "depression." What I did not realize was the role of alcohol in my "depression" and that removing that alcohol "crutch" helped me adapt to the reality of life as it is.

Good luck Gary! Hope this helped a bit.

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