Thursday 28 January 2016

Two Tribes

One thing I've realised after months of reading blogs and e-mails from readers, is that we 'thirsty drinkers' fall into two distinct camps.

There are those of us who describe ourselves as Binge Drinkers, and those who confess (like moi) to being Daily Drinkers.

The two tribes have huge amounts in common. But it's often the differences we focus on, and the existence of the other tribe is, bizarrely, what provides our security blanket and keeps us drinking.


Well, Binge Drinker looks at Daily Drinker and thinks okay, maybe I did get completely legless at the weekend. I behaved really badly, fell off a table, and have no idea how I got home. But I won't drink again until next weekend. I have self control. I will give my body time to detox. I'm nothing like the daily drinker who just can't stop herself. I don't have a problem.

Meanwhile, Daily Drinker looks at Binge Drinker and thinks okay, maybe I do drink every single day (sometimes at lunch time as well as in the evening). But I never look completely drunk. I don't behave really badly and fall off tables. I have self control. I'm nothing like the crazy binge drinker who just can't stop herself. I don't have a problem.

What we don't realise is that Binge Drinker, over time, has shorter and shorter breaks between the binges until they start to occur almost....daily. While Daily Drinker, over time, drinks more and more each day, until each session starts to resemble....a binge.

Their paths may start off from different places, but they're slowly converging, and they're both heading towards the same destination: rock bottom.

There is a great saying (that I posted elsewhere on this blog, back in the sands of time) that judging others does not define who they are, it defines who you are.

And the truth is that we LOVE to have a tribe to look down on, because it makes us feel better about our own problem.

Funnily enough, the other thing I've noticed is that whichever tribe we start off from, when we quit drinking our experience is exactly the same.

Join the Sober Tribe, peoples.



  1. Binger! I could go weeks without drinking, never drink too much in public (how frightfully common and lacking dignity) but at home, alone, Himself away on a work trip, kids in bed then I could down 2 bottles of very nice wine with no problems. Of course I looked down at those who were publicly drunk, drank too much at parties and bored the pants off everyone, daily drinkers etc. I wasn't like that at all.

    In fact none of my friends have even noticed that I stopped because "you never drank that much anyway". It goes with the Jekyll and Hyde thing, the good girl persona hiding the legless old lush.

  2. That's an interesting one. In a weird way I am (WAS!) a bit of both. Always getting unintentionally hammered on big nights out and then depending on where I was in life, drinking happily and moderately at home most nights esp at weekends. As you say they start to merge over time. thankfully I am no longer either :)

  3. Sober tribe, I like that! Again, your insight to the two tribes is dead on...I've join the third tribe and so far it's okay. Day 28.

  4. I started as an "ordinary" occasional drinker - which moved to close to binge levels (at times) and then moved to daily (with binges). I bit of a mix match for sure - but definitely a slippery slope which I slid right down. Happy to be in the sober tribe now. Healthier, Happier, and a better person am I. Thanks SM for sharing your story and showing a way, good modeling, and leading many to a better life. Eeyore

  5. I was both, Clare. It was awful. So the lines do intersect or maybe it's like a VENN and a few of out are in the middle.