Columns Jul 13, 2011 at 4:00 am

I'm an Alcoholic, You're an Asshole


Ugh, no wonder I'm first....THIS I ANON BLOWS GOATS!
Oh good grief! I'll bet you're a member of the A.A. cult, too.
Wine in the sorbet? Oh no!!! If that's enough to potentially knock you off the wagon you are truly sad. Next you'll be complaining about kissing someone who didn't fully disclose to you upfront that their mouthwash contains alcohol.
God I hate people who don't drink.
As a long-time member of AA (which is hardly a cult -- memebers can leave anytime they choose)-- I simply don't understand people like this. No one is going to get tipsy from a desert, or blow their sobriety as a result of eating a chicken dish made with wine. In fact, since my earliest days in the program -- over 21 years now -- I have never heard more than a few, misguided and particularly stuffy people make this complaint.

Alcohol ingested by accident or without your knowledge doesn't count. Alcohol in food, especially deserts and sauces shouldn't even come up.

This post is pretty lame. Speak to your sponsor.
This post is especially perplexing since the minute amount of alcohol consumed obviously did not trigger IA in any way or set him off on any kind of relapse--he wasn't even aware he'd ingested anything. So the problem is . . . ??
@5: I'm a vegetarian, and I have the same rule. Accidental meat doesn't count.
@6, the problem is that this person decided to write in to the stranger instead of just killing themselves.
Anon's problem is not the accidental alcohol. It's the victim complex he/she goes around with.
the title is all wrong for this. it should be i'm an alcoholic and an asshole.
@8: Accidental meat may not 'count', but someone who knowingly offers a vegetarian disguised meat is a douchebag. Just like offering a recovering alcoholic disguised liquor. Not cool.
the problem is that this commenter decided to use the I anon comments to go around telling people to kill themselves. Maybe you should too, becuase the world really doesn't need people in it who go around telling others to kill themselves.
Given how pissed off I anon is, I'm guessing that I anon's need (psychological as it may be - like a phobia even) to stay away from even small amounts of alcohol, and I'm also assuming this person who offered I anon alcohol infused sorbet was someone I anon expected would know better.

I'm guessing a real betrayal of trust happened here. This story is a simplification of events. When someone tells you small traces of alcohol are a big deal, if you're their friend (or a decent person) you'll respect that even if you can't relate.

If you find that their intolerance of such small traces is annoying, you simply stop hanging around with them. You don't stick around, and lace their food with the one thing they're vehemently against.

Why? because that would make you a sadistic fuck.
#8, you are nice and that's why we put accidental bacon in so much of your food, because we love you!!
Fucking AA cult members are worse than Scientology and those nutters in Utah...
@1 - I blew a goat once. I fucked a sheep, too. Blew my load all over that four-legged snatch.

All after consuming large quantities of alcohol of course!
Wait, does cabernet-flavored sorbet even have alcohol content in it? If so, wouldn't you have to show your ID to buy it? And not be able to buy a pint of it after 2 AM, etc?
boo fucking hoo !
You'll be fine. Just don't use it as an excuse to start drinking.
Accidental meat. Meat on purpose is really yummy. Just so u know @8
No way was there alcohol left in the sorbet, just the wine flavoring. Still, there is something about the way his friend revealed this that set IA off on a rant. Methinks it's not about the alcohol.

"Why even tell me?" Because knowledge is power, that's why. Knowing the truth will HELP in your recovery and maintenance, remember?

@15 "accidental bacon," (snicker).
I am sorry I fed you that dessert...I didn't know, really...but my tone of voice was as you describe, well, because, I fucking hate you...and I knew you would be a dramatic fool about it.
Oh no, someone offered me something to eat, and I ate it without asking what was in it! And then... and then they were HONEST with me afterwards!

Dude, suck it up and move on.
Arthur Zifferelli is personally worse than AA, Scientology, and "those nutters" in Utah put together.
refuckin'lax. did you relapse into a week-long binge and wake up in a ditch? give your friend a break, although i don't think he deserves a friend like you.
Wow. I am deathly allergic to nuts and when a good friend absentmindedly served me a dessert with walnuts in it, I didn't think twice about accepting her apologies. Get a life.
I understand AA comment but not the forum. Sounds like your rant could have amends potential?
Due to the phenomena of craving that the Alcoholic has to be concerned with, I am careful with the desserts I ingest. People are human. My sister recently forgot in a gourmet meal, that does not necessitate a public tirade.
As to Arthur Zifferelli: Hope to see you at a meeting someday..when you hit bottom.
I understand the emotions and commitment to sobriety but not the actions.
Sounds like "I anonymous" needs a 10th step and possibly an amends?
Due to the phenomena of craving that Alcoholics have to be mindful of, I am careful about the desserts that I eat. People do forget. Normal drinkers do not always remember and cook with wine. My sister most recently made me a wonderful gourmet meal and forgot to mention the wine until later.
As to Arthur Zifferelli: You crack me up! Quite a few members of AA sounded like you prior to getting involved in AAa. Keep up the rants! When you hit bottom, I hope you attend meetings. Your comments smacks of an individual looking for feedback and help.
Shenanigans!! IA, please smoke some pot.
Dear outraged sorbet-eater: The all-or-nothing thinking that was instrumental in your inability to drink in moderation continues to plague you in your recovery.
AA is for quitters, and nobody likes a quitter. USA, USA, USA, USA.
oh lordy me, that sorbet might have had a proof of 1!
Okay--everyone is being really overly harsh! He's not upset because of the potential alcohol content or relapse or whatever. It's like his friend is trying to taunt him and make him feel bad. Hence the caramels for a diabetic and wine/sorbet for an alcoholic. The friend is totally the douchebag, not IA!
yeah ok. whatever. you're assuming your friend is taunting you, but it's very possible that she/he only realized in retrospect that there was wine in the sorbet, having later checked the ingredients b/c it tasted of alcohol. they probably just panicked and were worried that it could've caused you to relapse. your friend might've wanted to let you know so that you wouldn't think it was all your fault if you had later relapsed.

telling you later it had alcohol was probably more of a mea culpa- as in I am so sorry about the alcohol in the sorbet/i didn't mean to put temptation in your way/ hope you didn't go out and stock your liquor cabinet b/c i fucked up and got the wrong goddamn fucking sorbet you selfish fucker.

to an alcoholic who isn't fully recovered every person they meet that has a glass of wine in their presence is probably doing it on purpose or taunting them- sorry hun. we all have problems-no doubt your friend isn't perfect at all.

but just b/c you having a drinking problem doesn't mean that the whole world has to stop and revolve around you and your personal needs. grow the fuck up. your friend of 20 years has probably been there for you more times and put on with way more of your shit than you're willing to give credit for.

you probably make your friend feel like everything is her fault and never take any responsibility for your own attitude- that's why you get those phone calls from your guilt-ridden friend who doesn't want to accidentally make you relapse.

you have no idea what it's like trying to tip-toe around someone who is out of control and who you don't want to set off or cause to relapse. your friend has been there for you for years and years and you still fault her and nitpick at the slightest wrong comment.

you're being too sensitive and you got the wrong idea. the last fucking thing in the world your friend wants is for you to be in yet another mess that you need fixed. after all you've only made every drink you've ever had someone else's fault.

your friend could've been trying to help for all you know. as the former friend of an alcholic i can tell you for sure that you've been as big or worse of an asshole as this person you're mad at. the reason you don't know what an asshole you are is because half the time when you're drinking you don't remember what you did or said to hurt your friends.
@36- I agree with you the friend IS a douchebag, but, so is IA, and here's why: For God's Sake People, CONFRONT!!! Somehow I,A has become an escape route for passive aggressives. Maybe it always was. But it's practically never amusing to me anymore.
Um, Cabernet is the name of a grape. Sorbet made of Cabernet is a grape sorbet. Non-fermented. Be cool.
Tha alcohol is usually cooked out of frozen treats before they are frozen - alcohol inhibits freezing, after all... The writer sounds like a ridiculous twat, not an alcoholic...
#34 nailed it. Asshole Anons should make their own food or stop hating America.
I stopped drinking thirty years ago. I am not, however a purist that refuses food because it's flavored with wine or rum, etc. Why? Because being sober is just that, being sober. And a nice wine sauce or rum flavored ice cream isn't going to affect my sobriety. It enhances my life in that I really enjoy delicious food. You would not have even noticed had the person not told you. I understand the difficulty you face. I stopped on my own without any "support group".
And lesson number one was handling situations of stress and emotional upheaval without going to the bottle. The longer you stay away from alcohol, the easier it gets to handle difficult situations on your own, with maturity.
AA teaches people that they are diseased and it also teaches people to be wary and understanding of relapses because even a single drop can set people off. Hence, Anonymous believes that this Cabernet sorbet could have set him off and that scares him. From an alcohol point of view, that's silly, but the wine esque flavoring could have been a different sort of cue and I suppose it shouldn't have been served on that basis. Thing is, it wasn't, or anonymous would have noticed after the first bite and not need to have been told. His victim complex is a little absurd. His friend made dinner and had no dessert to serve so he went into the freezer. BFD. If Anonymous is any kind of friend, he'll put it in perspective. Wine and liquor is used extensively in restaurant cooking, and AA is based on iffy science.
I had a friend who, after I announced I wasn't comfortable eating horse (I was in a foreign country), invited me to dinner and snuck in some horse salami with the appetizers. I was annoyed too. Not as annoyed as this guy, and I think he's over reacting, but I'm assuming his anger is less about the actual alcohol and more about his friend presumably knowing beforehand and waiting until after he'd eaten it to tell him.

So, if it is about the friend just being a jerk on purpose, I get his anger, though cutting the friend off completely is harsh. If it's really about a teaspoon of wine in some ice cream, he may need to relax.
@9 is the BEST comment. @16 is an asshole.
AA is a cult.

A mostly benign, largely benevolent cult...but it's a cult. One I have lost several friends to, who have since become insufferably more-holy-than-thou about drinking.

Fine, you can't control your drinking.
Fiiiiine, you cleaned up and have healed yourself and made amends, lovely.

But I really don't care how many chips you have on your keychain.
Please don't show me again.

I drink all of maybe 3-6 times a year, and these people give me shit for my ~seasonal~ alcohol use, that I don't know I have a problem, and I have to admit it. Because apparently 3-4 beers or wines or martinis at a time on a seasonal to bi-monthly frequency somehow qualifies as an addiction as dangerous as heroin.

I don't have a problem, I just believe in moderation, a skill which I used and you didn't in your youth.

Now, if you please...SHUT UP.
We're not all douchey, preachy assholes. Please don't let a couple dickheads form your opinion of an organization that simply gives people tools for living in sobriety. How people choose to live their lives in sobriety is completely up to them. There certainly isn't a step dedicated to recruiting, shaming or generally acting like an uppity prick.

I'm a nice sober gal who attends meetings regularly. I have no agenda. My boyfriend is not an alcoholic, but drinks on occasion. I wouldn't dream of pushing him to live a sober life just because I do. Just because I can't drink in moderation doesn't mean he shouldn't enjoy a beer now and then.

As for about not being a whiny titty-baby? Like everyone said, avoid booze in food if you can, but a cabernet sorbet is certainly nothing to lose your shit over, nor end a friendship over and it sure as hell isn't a relapse of any sort.
I think Anon is pissed off at the passive-aggressive shit pulled by the frenemy. Serving extra sweet candy to a diabetic or sneaking alcohol into the meal of an alcoholic is just that. Never speaking to them again and dumping the "friendship" is a wise move. They will know why Anon is pissed. They knew what they were doing was spiteful. They don't need to be told they're a jerk. They already know it.
"accidental meat"? I think that comment did'nt quite come off as intended, but thank you nonetheless as I am still laughing hysterically.
my partner's in aa, and i use alcohol in cooking and such with no problem. he does try to avoid foods/sauces that taste obviously like alcohol (even things like amaretto coffee creamer), but he's not a weird about it, like you obviously are. if it were a good friend, why not just say 'please be a little more considerate in the future....'
@17:.....aaaaaannnnd you're registered with 4-H, too, aren't you?

You ought to write children's books.
There's something about the AA philosophy I don't get. This man has been sober--hasn't touched a lick of alcohol--for 15 years. How is he still an alcoholic? An alcoholic is a person with a drinking problem, who drinks too much. This man doesn't.

I realize that in AA, if you're an alcoholic, you're one for life. You could be sober for 30 years and still be an alcoholic, because an alcoholic is something you ARE, like being gay or something.

But drinking or not drinking is something you DO, not something you ARE.
@46 I had dinner with some friends at their house in Italy and after I'd finished eating this very yummy steak, I was informed that I had just ate horse. Yep, I was pissed. I wanted to flip over the dinner table, while yelling and cursing. I wanted to throw wine glasses and hit people with chairs, but I didn't. Because I'm not a D-bag lunatic. Now, where was I going with this......?
It all started with the tiramisu at Buca di Beppo...
@58 ... hee hee on so many levels.
You don't have to wonder whether or not AA is a cult. There are books! (And yes, it's a cult.) There's another way to tell here on this very web page: the content of this week's I, Anonymous, in which a human being who hasn't drunk alcohol in more than 14 years labels him/herself an "alcoholic."

But back to the books, try those written by Stanton Peele.
ummm.... so what? it doesn't seem to me that it's going to plunge your life back into chaos or hook you back on the bottle to taste something cooked with a bit of liquor. Do you also not use nail polish remover? sheesh, lighten up.
People who cook with wine: you DO realize that by applying heat to the wine, you're cooking away all of the alcohol content, right? Your food does not magically become a cocktail. It just tastes a little bit like wine.
You are a terrible friend to treat someone who did something nice for you in such a contemptible way.
@56: Alcoholism is a combined physiological and psychological addiction to alcohol, such that if one has a sufficient quantity of alcohol to trigger the addictive frame (or other triggers), one loses the ability to self-regulate with respect to alcohol consumption. I don't actually know of any studies off hand that track whether the addiction is permanent (or attempt to identify contexts under which it is and isn't); perhaps none have been done, as the (former?) alcoholics participating would be risking potentially disastrous relapse. Not drinking at all may be a risk-avoidance strategy for people who know they have impulse-control issues around alcohol (but may or may not be 'true' addicts), and it may be that some people are truly addicts for life. With respect to another addiction: my smoking has varied enough over the years, ranging from 1+ pack/day to not at all, for months or even years in a stretch, to where it is now at 0-2 cigarettes a day, that I know some combined physical/psychological addictions are not permanent (or don't result in a total loss of impulse control; I know other people who smoked daily for years and cut back to a few cigarettes a year); I don't know how similar alcohol and nicotine addiction are in terms of their neurochemical functioning, though, as one is a depressant and one is a stimulant. I don't think I've ever heard a story where someone who was an alcoholic was 'cured' to the point where sie could then drink in moderation, without once again losing impulse control and abusing the drug. Part of it may be related to the fact that alcohol is a depressant, and as such, it suppresses inhibitory neuron functioning, which is necessary for impulse control.

@63: Nope, not even close to true. While some of the alcohol cooks off, a decent percentage sticks around, depending on cooking method and time cooked. See: (this Wikipedia page lists the source used for the percentages remaining:… )
I see The Stranger has gotten rid of their Forums. What a shame.
@56 and @65. There seem to be about 9% of the population that have a "short" brain enzyme or receptor, as a mutation they're born with, that produces what is popularly called an "addictive personality." This may be monoamine oxidase or a mutation in a serotonin receptor. Some people even have two such mutations. It's way more complicated than that of course, but 56 wants to know how alcoholism can be a permanent condition, and this is how. Also, less than half of the people with one of the mutated receptors becomes an alcoholic. So there's that.

Another route to alcoholism for people with normal receptors is by working at it. This is what 65 was getting at. If you start drinking a lot suddenly and chronically, you can inhibit and eventually kill off neurons in your pre-frontal cortex responsible for your powers of self-control. Some drugs do this REALLY well, such as meth (don't go there, kiddies).

Also, some drugs are so rewarding that anyone could have their self control hijacked; high doses of alcohol do this, but the hangover usually inhibits further exploration. And along those lines: METH! (don't go there, kiddies)).

The problem with alcoholism is that it's really hard to know what kind of alcoholic you are. So, to be on the safe side (and why not) an alcoholic is just taught not to drink. I mean, some alcoholics could probably risk it after they recovered some of their self-control through sobriety, but really, why risk it?
I think it's BS to say that AA is a cult. My dad was an alcoholic, but recovered since before I was born. He didn't go to meetings anymore, but he was definitely better off because of AA. Also, he was married to my mom and never urged her to get sober, because she didn't have a problem. When talking to me and my brother about alcohol, he warned us to be careful and pay attention because it was in our genes, but never said there was anything inherently bad about alcohol- he just couldn't handle it.

As for the I,A: "Why even tell me? You must have read the container before serving it to me." That's what he's upset about. He's upset that they decided to let him eat it first and then tell him, when there was nothing he could do about it. Also, it was a whole week later. Maybe after he said the "tastes like port comment", the friend could've gotten worried and read the ingredients, but the way this sounds is that the friend sneaked him sorbet with wine in it.

HA HA @ the IA!

@65 and @67 Thank you for posting. It's dangerous how many people think that being an alcoholic is the same as drinking too much. I remember an alcoholic friend say to me "I'm not alcoholic because I don't crave it in the morning!" Luckily she got help and finally realized that she can never drink again.

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