The very first two important steps toward solving any problem are perhaps first to admit it and then to identify its source. I have to admit that I've been suffering from three drinking problems.
The first is that I just drink too much, far more than doctors recommend us - eight bottles of red wine a week, including one each weekday evening and one for each of the three Sabbath meals. This overdrinking has caused me three gout attacks so far as well as a rather heavy economic burden on my limited budget - I used to spend about $250 a month.
The second problem is that if I start drinking at those social gatherings where one can drink as much as one wants, such as weddings, I simply don't know when and how to stop drinking. The transition from conscious drinking to unconscious drinking is deceptively smooth so that by the time I have moved to the second level, I have no control over drinking and just keep drinking until someone stops me by force or I simply fall asleep.
The third problem is the most serious of the three. When I get seriously drunk, I start saying and doing really stupid things according my witnesses. Naturally, I don't remember them at all. I'm sure that this way I've caused irreversible damage to my reputation among some friends and colleagues.
To tell the truth, I didn't like beer, which is still the most common alcoholic beverage in Japan, where I was born and brought up, when I was forced to keep drinking it as a kind of rite of passage as a university freshmen in various parties. It took me at least two years to acquire taste for beer and start liking it and drinking it on a regular basis.
Because of all these problems I've been trying to stop drinking, at least on weekdays, in various methods, but in vain. I'm ashamed to admit this, but my will power was too weak to resist the temptation of alcohol and its effect, especially after I had a stressful day at work.
This week I finally found a solution, and it works! Recently I've realized clearly that my drinking has been tormenting my significant other. So I've told myself that I have no right to keep torturing her. This time my desire to evade the pain of causing her pain has overpowered my weakness to easily succumb to the "sweet whisper" of alcohol.
Now I can easily resist this temptation. Actually, I don't even feel tempted anymore. But on Sabbaths and Jewish holidays I still allow myself to drink red wine for religious reasons, but in a smaller quantity. In the meanwhile I've found a nice way of using the money I can save every month for this angel who has saved me from the dangers of drinking once and for all.
Dir kumt a hartsiker shkoyekh, E.L.!