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Avoiding Alcohol and The 3rd Degree

Alcoholism is well known in my family, on both of my parents’ sides. This doesn’t mean I do not drink because of this, but I have never been “drunk.” I have will power and know my limits. I don’t find the attraction in getting to the point where things are blurry and I may get sick. And having bipolar disorder, I know alcohol cannot mix sometimes. It’s like mixing multiple kinds of alcohol, it can become a bad outcome in the end. Is that the way for me? Luckily I have no idea because I’ve never gotten to that point. 

But, New Year’s Eve is coming up. That means, usually, party! Most New Year’s parties I’ve attended or heard of involve alcohol, sometimes in unlimited amounts. 

So, what to do? How do you avoid feeling weird by being one of the few that are not drinking? I have a few tips to help you get through New Year’s Eve. 

Tip #1: Make yourself designated driver. If you are designated driver, you have a simple reason for why you cannot drink. No one has to know if there is another reason why you aren’t drinking. If anyone asks, you have an easy five word solution: “I can’t, I’m designated Driver.” 

Tip #2: Always have a cup of non-alcoholic liquid with you. If someone sees you without a drink, they may feel inclined to get you a drink. If they see you with a cup with any color liquid in it, they won’t care to question if it’s alcoholic or not because they will usually assume it is alcohol. 

Tip #3: If you do drink, limit yourself! Set limits ahead of time and keep them. Such as not drinking more than 2 beers or not drinking any hard alcohol. Moderation is key.

Tip #4: Stay close to a friend. They can help you stick to the limits you set or let you have a small amount of their drink so you still feel like you are participating. I went to a bar/club once with a couple good friends of mine and I did not buy anything except water. I took very small sips of their drinks when offered because we were all fine with it.

Tip #5: If you decide to drink, EAT before you DRINK. This is very important. Food absorbs alcohol, meaning it won’t hit you as hard. Also drink water. Alcohol makes you dehydrated. Drinking water will help you stay hydrated and dilute the alcohol in your system. 

Don’t feel pressured to feel the pressure of alcohol. You can go out to anyplace and have fun. Bars, clubs, work functions, family parties, they usually have music and good people. Let your curls and mullets down and dance the time away to the New Year.

Read the rest of Michele's blogs here


I drank for a while for a few months and because I have chronic pain I looked forward to it to ease it, but I don't think it's fun and I don't think, in combination with our medications, that it's good for our internal organs. This may not concern someone who is young, but I'm a young 54-year-old who is beginning to have elevated liver function tests, am prediabetic and overall have sensitive health. It's really important that I stay hydrated, rested, well fed etc, or I can't hold my psych meds down. Liquor is a thing of the past but that doesn't mean I have to label myself an alcoholic, either. I'm not.

And I don't subscribe to 12-step one-size-fits all philosophies like that.

I'm older now. I just happen to take better care of myself because I want to feel good more than I want to feel poorly.

That's all. I can understand how it must feel to have your whole life ahead of you and feel like you 'cant' drink.

I remember when I was younger, going to AA for a drug problem and feeling 'deprived' of a treat or something like that.

Alcohol is not a big deal but it can be if you have a problem and don't know it.

I have a problem of telling myself that I must stop drinking but when I am stressed I find myself drinking and having it more. And I am Epileptic getting headaches most of the times after these drinking abuses. please help how best can I stop.

We're sorry to hear what you're going through. We want to let you know there are some resources that are available to help you. We offer a free book entitled “Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder” which you can check out at ( which contains a chapter on Supportive Nutrition.

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