View Full Version : Are you an alcoholic? Sometimes the answer doesnt matter.


sarahsweets
07-23-15, 08:08 AM
I just thought I would share this because there have been quite a few threads about it and quite a few threads talking about problem drinking.

I am an alcoholic and my sobriety date is 12/13/12.
it was a long painful journey to sobriety. Anyone who knew me here from the beginning can attest to my behaviors being less than desirable at certain points, and there are a handful here who dealt with me while I was actively drinking which, at the end was all day and everyday.
It didnt start out that way. I loved my cocktails and justified my love for them by saying I deserved them. I deserved to unwind at the end of a day. I deserved to party with my friends. Why shouldnt I get to go out and drink? My friends did and they seemed to make me feel like I wasnt in the club if I didnt do it with them. So I was a functioning alcoholic for 5 years (even though I hate that term).
In 2011-2012, I realized that I really liked the loss of inhibition when I drank. I was not one of those fall-to-sleep drunks, I was raring to go, bright eyed and bushy tailed! I thought I had so much to say and do, and that I was wise, and of course everyone needed to know how I felt and what I had to say.
It began to get ugly. I wake up at 4 am because when I retrained my sleep cycle, that is what worked for me. One day,I just poured a glass of red wine in the morning because I felt so icky and shaky, and that was it. I knew I was officially an alcoholic because I had drank in the morning.

I was drinking 3 large bottles of wine everyday beginning at 4am until I went to sleep. It was no longer fun, it was maintainence drinking. Anyone who has experienced this knows that alcohol is no longer a want at this point. I had pain in my liver, I was slightly yellow, I had heart palpitations. I know that I have dealt with and spoken to many friends here under the influence but what I didnt realize until the end is that I was blacking out. You have no idea what its like to remember zero from a conversation or situation, and have it be brought to your attention and you disagree with it because you really cant remember.
I know I drove drunk, endangered myself, my kids, other people. I cooked drunk, i had bottles hidden everywhere so I would never be without.
I knew when the liquor stores opened so I could get some as soon as I could before I had a seizure. I was combative and out of hand. I quit for a few months and my last run took up most of november and some of december when one dear member here called me and told me that I could get sober but I had to tell on myself. So I fessed up to my husband and the journey began.
I use AA. It doesnt work for everyone, and I am not promoting one option over others, it just saved me.
I withdrew cold turkey which was the most irresponsible and dangerous thing I could have done and I would never recommend this to anyone. The only thing I think that saved me was lamictal, because I should have had seizures.

I say all of this because not everyone has to get to the point I was to make a change. You dont have to be a morning drinker or drinking alone to be an alcoholic. If you are justifying why you should or will drink to anyone, you have to take a look at that. Why do you need to drink? Why do you have to explain why you should drink to anyone? Why do you feel like hanging with your drinking friends means you have to drink?
Do you feel guilty spending your last dollar on alcohol? Do you feel that your friends wont like you if you arent drinking with them? Those are not good friends. Do you feel like you cant have fun without alcohol? Do you make a plan to quit drinking and find that you cant?
Do you those control over your behavior and make an as* of yourself when you drink? Do other people say something about your drinking?

These are all things to consider because no one has to take on the alcoholic label if they dont want to. No one has to join a support group or rehab in order for alcoholism to be "official". If you know you need to cut down or stop and cant FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER you need to take a look at why that is, and if your life is better or worse because of it.
Not everyone needs to feel the despair and loneliness that I did. If there is a question in your mind about whether you drink too much, you probably do. Remember, our conscious always knows our truth. If we are asking ourselves about it, then its probably a truth.
You may think because you dont have physical symptoms you are ok, well if thats the case as an experiment, try not drinking for a while and see if that works.
Some people will say " I can stop whenever, I dont need alcohol, I just like it"
Ok, so then try no alcohol and find out if thats easy or hard.

The thing is, you dont need the alcoholic label to have problems with alcohol and you dont need to say you are an alcoholic in order to treat it.
Binge drinking and problem drinking are all part of it.
Its never how much you drink or where you drink or who you drink with. It has to do with what happens to you when you put alcohol in your body. How you act and who you become. I am sure a lot of people will say they are totally fine and even more fun when they get drunk, but I can guarantee you that that will be short lived. Eventually, it will stop being fun and turn into misery.
So you dont have to identify as an alcoholic to be one.
You dont have to turn into a self righteous a-hole to stop.
You dont have to make normal people feel bad about their drinking or feel bad because you cant drink.
There is a solution and getting honest about it is how it starts.

Unmanagable
07-23-15, 11:38 AM
Thank you so much for sharing, sarah. As I was reading it, I replaced alcohol with all the other things I've been addicted to throughout my life, and it made it even more powerful. We are controlled by so many things that have made us feel helpless against trying to change. The self-empowerment gained via kicking (insert specific addiction here) square in the a** and overcoming the struggle in each moment is like no other.

Abi
07-23-15, 12:00 PM
It's so hard :-(

Im drunk as we speak. I downed 13oz Jack and am now well into the vodka.:-(

Powderbucket
07-24-15, 04:21 AM
Thank you for that sarah. It's really hit home.

My sister can plough through 2 bottles of wine and a few beers in an afternoon - not quite 4 bottles but I am of the opinion that this is still excessive.

She doesn't think she is an alcoholic because her life is "fine" and it's not "hurting anyone". But I do think it's harming her, in ways that aren't always very obvious - like she's ALWAYS sick, her weight fluctuates badly, she's impatient and easily aggravated, she can't find a good job to stick with, everyone worries about her and she's hugely insecure :( She also doesn't know how people "don't drink"....

Reading your story has helped me to realize that she does not necessarily need to meet criteria A, B and C. Everyone is asking the question: "Does she drink too much?" And she herself is also thinking, from time to time, "Do I have a problem? Hmmm... Nah. Probably not."

I think she needs help.

Skyf@ll
07-24-15, 07:05 AM
I would say I'm an intermittent alcoholic, in the sense I can go months without and then go off on one.

I used to see an alcoholic as someone who drank everyday and that if you took a couple days off in-between you were spared the label as being one.

Thinking about it, all drinking has done is stall or feck up things I aimed to achieve throughout life.

Good post btw the OP.

Luvmybully
07-24-15, 12:02 PM
OMG Sarah. I so know the refusal to see how alcohol slowly starts to become very important. The slow shift from want to need.

I was up to 2 bottles of wine a night. My daughter, who is a substance abuse counselor, kept telling me how dangerous all that alcohol is, but who wants to be chastised by their kid?

So, yes, I did have to try to not have any. And no it was not easy or very enjoyable. Which was actually very frightening, as well as eye opening.

Now I am nauseous 24/7 because of that surgery, and the ONLY good thing about that is, I can't drink, wine makes it worse.

(my daughter was also pretty adamant about me being careful with the percocets. I swear, it's weird when your kids grow up)

aeon
07-24-15, 03:28 PM
First, thank you so much for your witness of self, Sarah. I hope choosing to share of your experience proves to be of benefit for both you and for those who read it and carefully consider your gift to the world.

As I was reading it, I replaced alcohol with all the other things I've been addicted to throughout my life, and it made it even more powerful. We are controlled by so many things that have made us feel helpless against trying to change. The self-empowerment gained via kicking (insert specific addiction here) square in the a** and overcoming the struggle in each moment is like no other.

I did the same thing when I read it, and as for your later comment, I could not agree more.

I am an addict in recovery, and I have maintained my sobriety for 14 years, 2 months, and 23 days as of today, and I am happy to say that with sincere humility.

On some level, I know I can achieve any goal because I got sober.


Cheers,
Ian

Barbour223
08-06-15, 04:52 AM
Yes. I was an alcoholic for more than 10 years. Took so long to realize the effects of alcoholism and it was hard to get back to life without alcohol. I was in a drug treatment center at Toronto for a year. Rehab brought me back my life. Wasted 10 years as an addict, hope to live the rest peacefully.