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I am a closet drinker - at least that was said

to redsox (and others)

An activity, such as drinking, can be defined as being a problem if it "causes problems." So, unless your drinking "causes" problems, it may not be a problem. Based on my experience (33 years since my last drink) you would not be "controlling" when you drink unless you know or suspect that drinking can cause a problem. It may be hard to honestly consider the problems it may cause, but you state that you still have a "great marriage, kids, etc." I still had my job, my marriage, no arrests or DWI but could not guarantee my behavior after one drink, and thus "reluctantly quit" by going to AA. My protestations against being "alcoholic" for such reasons was greeted by the reply "yet." I was honest enough to be willing to try "sobriety" a day at a time, and it has worked well.

I know that I did things at times after drinking that I would not have done sober, including arguing with my wife. When I listened to others telling of their experiences, I heard some scary things. I chose to try not drinking as an "insurance" against such events, and have not been sorry.

Are the "pleasures" you get from drinking worth the risks you take? I decided they were not for me. I still attend AA on a regular basis. (In fact, I am leading our group tonight.) We attempt to show people how they can enjoy life without alcohol or mind changing substances, and usually enjoy it much more. I celebrated 50 years with my first wife this year, and we get along quite well. It is for sure that would not be the case had I drank for even one year more.

Seriously and honestly balancing the advantages and disadvantages of drinking is hard but necessary to make a good decision. If you can honestly say there are no problems, that your behavior does not affect your wife and children (I cannot see how it would not), then I would not see any reason to stop or to "control" your drinking. From your reporting that you do not drink before various events, I might say "thank you" because I consider that there would be risks involved and I appreciate those who do not "drink and drive" or "drink and socialize" or even "drink and do almost anything." My attitude suffered from my drinking even when I was not drinking. Stating that another way, I had poor attitudes and drinking became a symptom. If I drank, I cared less about other people's safety or happiness than my own and behaved in selfish and arrogant ways.

Good luck to you, Gapfan
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