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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 142 Be who you're meant to be > A bit of what you fancy

A bit of what you fancy

Ever wondered why your resolve to have ‘just the one’ glass of wine or chocolate biscuit never seems to hold? Heidi Scrimgeour shares her quest to learn the secrets of moderation

self

PHOTOGRAPH: HUGH ARNOLD/GALLERY STOCK

Saint Augustine wrote that complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation. Having just sailed through a month of not drinking alcohol – even bypassing a glass of bubbly on my firstborn’s birthday – I can attest that he was right: it is easier to give up booze altogether than drink in moderation.

But this unsettles me. I had a ‘dry’ month because I didn’t feel in complete control of my alcohol consumption. Buying a bottle of wine on a Friday night had gradually turned into three-bottles-for-£10 every week and, instead of my former ‘only drink on weekends’ rule, I had begun to consider myself virtuous if I had three alcohol-free nights per week.

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