Dear Barb—New Year’s Reception

Dear Barb:

Happy New Year Barb! I have a dilemma, a family member I rarely see is getting married this summer and I received an invitation to the wedding.  I was surprised to receive this since we rarely see each other or communicate.  My wife and I don’t want to attend, but on the other hand we don’t want to cause problems or offend anyone.  What is the right thing to do? Thanks, Brian. 

Hey Brian:

There is no right or wrong in this situation.  Do what feels right for you.  If you decide not to attend, it would be nice to include a note with the RSVP, perhaps wishing them the best.  On the other hand, maybe the intention of the invite is to break the ice and initiate some communication.  So, ultimately, it is up to you.  Happy New Year to you as well.

Dear Barb:

It’s the New Year and I can’t believe I did it again.  I got drunk on New Year’s Eve and made a fool of myself.  I literally was dancing on a table, or so I was told! My date was a guy I have been dating for only a few weeks.  We haven’t spoke to each other since New Years.  I think he was embarrassed, as his parents were at the party and this was the first time I met them.  I don’t know why I do these stupid things.  Last year I did the same thing.  I have good intentions, but I get partying and having a good time and just lose it.  Do you think I have a problem that I need help with, or is it just a matter of controlling myself? Help! Christina.

Hey Christina:

Happy New Year! You said you did this last year too, do you only do this on New Years, or does it occur at other celebrations.  If it only happens at New Years, I think it is a matter of controlling your intake of alcohol.  For example alternate your alcoholic beverages with pop or juice, or best of all water.  This way you can reduce your alcohol intake while still having something to drink for toasting or whatever.  If you don’t feel you can do this, it might be a good idea to choose not to partake in New Year’s Eve celebrations.

There are some questions you can ask yourself: Are you drinking alone or in secrecy? Do you create excuses to justify drinking, such as to relax or manage stressful situations? Do you feel hungover even when you haven’t been drinking? Have you experienced blackouts or memory loss?

If you agree with any of these questions you could have a drinking problem and may want to seek professional help.  Hope this information is helpful.

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