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|06-16-2012, 08:49 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Am i an alcoholic?
Went to my first AA meeting 36 days ago and haven't had a drink since. I had been drinking 2 to 4 alcoholic drinks a day... for several years. I came to aa because i felt guilty about my drinking... i feel it blocked me spiritually. No one in my life has ever complained about my drinking. As far as I can see I have not lost anything because of my drinking. I do feel better now that I am not drinking especially physically. I just feel so different from most people at the meetings. Don't drive ater drinking... usually drink at night after all my work is done. At social events I don't seem to have a problem drinking in moderation. Wish I could find others in the rooms who drank this way. Am I just in denial?Got myself a sponsor, get to 3 or 4 meetings per week... Can't see the how my life became unmanageable.
|06-16-2012, 08:55 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Not everybody has to lose everything to see where they were going. Follow your instinct it doesn't hurt to have sober people around you. Keep posting here, go to meetings if they help, pray, and don't drink. no one can tell you if you are an alcoholic or not you have to see that. I remember asking my sponsor if I was truly an alcoholic (even though my life was ruines, living in streets, no friends, jobs), he stated that while now I have this infornmation go and try some controled drinking hahaha I knew right away I was an alcoholic/addict. I was never a social drinker.
Keep doing what you need to do for a little while trust me this way of life is a lot better than it can be drinking. God bless you and keep connected!
Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
|06-16-2012, 08:55 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2011
If you have no trouble drinking in moderation I'm not sure why you would want to call yourself an alcoholic. I'm glad you have reached your goal of not drinking and I hope your success continues as per whatever plan you choose.
"The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has obtained liberation from the self" (Albert Einstein)
|06-16-2012, 09:01 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2010
I can see that it would be hard to relate to the unmanageable part. I didn't have the usual consequences either, but I knew there was something wrong with my relationship to alcohol. When I went to treatment years ago, I was drinking 3-4 beers a night, but when I tried to stop on my own, I couldn't. That said a lot to me.
I stayed sober for 4+ years and then started doubting whether I had a real problem. I eventually drank again and it slowly increased over time. If you see even the potential of addiction, you're wise to stop now. It only gets harder down the road.
Glad you're here!
|06-16-2012, 09:08 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Welcome to SR!
For what it's worth, we have many people in my area who drank like you have and are in AA meetings most days. Have you tried other meetings in your area? Eventually, you will meet those people.
Maybe some deep reflection could help you see if your life is unmanageable or not. AA was developed by professionals who had their alcoholism progress to seriously unmanageable heights. The seriously hopeless and desperate cases were given a daily reprieve from their drinking.
At one point, your drinking reminds me of me. I had a list of things I had not yet done, it was quite long. I rarely drank much if anything at social events. Maybe one or two. I never drank and drove. I drank at home after work. Unfortunately, before long, I had done many of those "not yets" and my life became extremely unmanageable. Can you relate in to those other people with anything you hear? Maybe focus on that. Guilt? yeah, I know guilt.
Many of us begin to think we really didn't have a problem between 1-9 months at some point. We rationalize why we didn't need to stay stopped and we drank again. I did. It took me 25 years between my first AA meeting and finally working the 12 steps. Today I have 13 months of sobriety at the age of 51. I really don't suggest giving up abstinence just yet.
Have a heart to heart talk with yourself and see if you can find that unmanageability or talk with your sponsor in depth. The steps can still help you before your drinking progresses to that point. I've seen them help other people who hadn't progressed too far, yet.
Glad you are here!
Someday everything will all make sense.
For now, laugh at confusion, smile through tears,
& remind yourself that everything happens for a reason.
All Big Book quotes are from the first edition.
Linked with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
|06-16-2012, 09:10 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: South Seas
I think most of us are unwilling to give up drinking at first, regardless of the negative consequences we see our drinking cause....most of us try our darnedest to get away with as much as we can...if 12 drinks is ok...maybe 6 will be twice as good...?
of course it never turns out that way - once I drink, I change...that change is out of my control.
Any amount of alcohol Is bad for me. The only way I ever moved forward was by turning my back on it completely.
I really hope you decide to give that a go too .
|06-16-2012, 09:21 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Thanks for responding. I really appreciate the feedback. I will keep working it.
|06-17-2012, 12:29 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
I think I'd class myself as coming in your category. No one ever complained about my drinking, I only drank in the evenings, never had any negative consequences, except a few health problems. The guilt I think I have had for as long as I have been drinking though. At the end my life was unmanageable because the anxiety drinking caused me was taking over and my health was deteriorating fast. I could see that things were going to get much worse if I carried on drinking. But I remember wanting to stop drinking in my early 20s and not doing it. I had no real negative consequences then, my health, weight anxiety levels were fine, and my drinking was just like those around me. But I felt bad about it, guilty?
Now I feel guilty because I haven't relapsed (yet!) and maybe I'm not an alcoholic because I feel like I will never drink again, but then people tell me if I am an alcoholic I will. It's all very depressing.
There is some really good stuff in AA but I don't think you need be just like everyone else to benefit from it. This article helped me to just get on with it:
AA and Terminal Uniqueness - Making 12 Steps Work
And this too...
You may be just going through what we all do at some point which is thinking that you're not an alcoholic because of x, y or z and forgetting the bigger picture. Why did you want to quit in the first place? I think about how guilty I felt about drinking all my life and how bad it made me feel in the end. I too was good at not over drinking in social situations (my stepdad he used that as an example of why I wasn't an alcoholic!) but that was me being restrained. If I had it my way I would be sat at home caning it.
If you feel guilty about your drinking, there is probably a reason for it. And if it doesn't fit in with what those around you have experienced, well, that just doesn't matter. What matters is your personal relationship to alcohol. You are lucky to have avoided some of the nastier sides of alcoholism so its best to keep it that way. If your AV is telling you that your not an alcoholic so its okay to have a drink, that is where you will run into problems.
I bet there are other people like you in your AA meeting but they are sat there thinking the same as you and not speaking up. We are rarely alone in our experiences. Have you spoke to your sponsor about the way you feel?
Oh, and well done on the 36 days, that's awesome x
“The future you have tomorrow, won't be the same future you had yesterday.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant
|06-17-2012, 02:36 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Highbottom, it's a relief (for me, pls don't take it the wrong way) to read your post.
I found it hard in AA initially as my drinking fairly similar to yours (I did have the odd bender every few weeks where I got up to a bottle of wine or so, and every few months a couple). But the longest gap I'd had in 18 years was a week... I don't think drinking most days was helping me emotionally.
I struggled at first as I came from a family where alcoholism involved crashing cars into trees and whisky in the morning.
I had no physical symptoms. But I knew it was killing me spiritually and emotionally, had an very strong inkling that if I stopped my underlying depression would get better.
And it did, really amazing. It took 2 months though, I'm at 3 months now and still getting there. I found it a lot easier at first to stop worrying about whether I was an alcoholic and just think "I need to not drink and this sober time has proved to me I need to stay stopped". I listened to a guy yesterday do a chair who said "it's not the way you drink it's what it does to you and what it does emotionally to you that counts, that's what causes you problems".
Good luck, I'd give it a chance if I was you, you seem to be doing well.
|06-17-2012, 08:15 AM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2012
Location: London, England
hypochondriac - feeling guilty about not relapsing? That's been me for the last few days, beating myself up for not drinking as much as I ever did for drinking. Why was I managing to resist the beast? (I've decided to call her Catherine, btw)
Why and how don't matter. I was. Telling myself it should have been harder, that with all the stuff going on in my life I should have crawled back into a bottle, and that I didn't meant that clearly I didn't have a problem... and therefore it was ok to drink. That wasn't helpful.
It should get easier. Don't forget, we aren't defenceless against the beast like we were in the beginning. We're aware of it for one thing. We have tools to help us in the struggle, and yes, it was a struggle. I have to remember that Catherine will say anything to get what she wants. Telling me I don't have a problem is one of her favourite tactics. She's cunning, devious, manipulative and a skilled liar.
For me, labels don't matter. What matters is staying sober. And I'll do what it takes to make sure I do.
Anyway, Highbottom congrats on 36 days. That's great.
|06-17-2012, 08:31 AM||#12 (permalink)|
sobriety date 5-2-12
Join Date: Jan 2012
I know how you are feeling. I wasn't even a daily drinker. I could easily go a few weeks without drinking, and when I was places I knew I had to be responsible and behave I could limit my drinks to 1 or 2 (although it was easier to just have none). When I would binge though- all bets were off and I would get blackout drunk and do stupid dangerous things that left me feeling guilty and suicidal for days.
I have learned it is not the amount of alcohol consumed or the frequency which it is consumed that is important. It is the way in which alcohol changes us, makes us feel bad, or otherwise negatively afffects us. If alcohol wasn't causing you to think twice you never would have entered the rooms of AA or posted here. Alcohol is obviously weighing on your mind and I'm glad you are here.
|06-17-2012, 08:42 AM||#13 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Inner Space-Time
I hope you continue with not drinking.
Yeah, guilt mixed with booze can block spiritual awareness and fitness, has been my experience too. I'm glad you're feeling better not drinking, same here, lol.
Drinking at social events will eventually become less than satisfying as your quality of life succumbs more and more to more drinking, because of the blocked spirituality.
You could be in denial about what defines unmanageable. For example, blocked spirituality defines it as unmangeable enough for me, since the point in being spiritual is to actually experience a wealth and abundance of spirituality. So... yeah, see what I mean?
Hey, good stuff you're talking about all this and looking for better choices. I doubt you're going to end up being more comfortable with your drinking moving forward. Looks to me like you're reaching some seriously important crossroads in you life.
|06-17-2012, 09:25 AM||#14 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Pasadena, CA
I feel it blocked me spiritually...
Perhaps you answered your own question.
Congrats on your open mind to seek a better life!
|06-17-2012, 08:12 PM||#15 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Thank you so much for the feedback. Yes I have been speaking to my sponsor and at meetings. Day 37 and very grateful not to drink today. Already experiencing many benefits of not drinking...feel better physically, more able to get out of a bad mood or pity party quicker, using my time more constructively, feeling more gratitude and most importantly praying and experiencing God's love. I am sure there will be many more moments of denial... especially when I get the urge to drink... So glad for this forum... Alcohol may be everywhere but so is recovery if i look. thanks again for your thoughts
|06-17-2012, 08:16 PM||#16 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Thank you so much. I wish you well. instead of getting buzzed.. I am using that time to pray meditate and learn. I do feel so much better. Glad to hear you do as well.
|06-18-2012, 12:36 AM||#18 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Hey highbottom ----
Someone earlier wrote (paraphrased here) that only you can decide (diagnose) whether you're an alcoholic or not; nobody else.....and this is absolutely true.
Back in the day (25+ years ago, there-abouts), there was a small pamphlet with a self-diagnosing test one could take to decide if one was an alcoholic or not. This pamphlet was called 'The 20 Questions.'
Since that time, changes and updates have been done---more/different questions; fewer questions.....I've always found the originals to be best; maybe they will help you answer your questions; so here goes...................:
1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?
7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?
8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?
9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
11. Do you want a drink the next morning?
12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
15. Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble?
16. Do you drink alone?
17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?
18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?
To find out how you did, count your "YES" answers.
If you answered YES to one of the questions, this is a warning that you may be an alcoholic.
If you answered YES to any two, there's a good chance that you are an alcoholic.
If you answered YES to three or more, you are definitely an alcoholic.
Source: The Twenty Questions: Are You An Alcoholic? was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Robert Seliger, Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and intended as a self-assessment questionnaire to determine the extent of one's alcohol abuse.
I hope this helps you out...............
|The Following User Says Thank You to NoelleR For This Useful Post:|| |
|06-18-2012, 12:43 AM||#19 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Houston, TX
OK, sorry for the interruption, but I just have to address this.....
Hey hypochondriac.....you wrote, "...Now I feel guilty because I haven't relapsed (yet!) and maybe I'm not an alcoholic because I feel like I will never drink again, but then people tell me if I am an alcoholic I will. It's all very depressing..."
I don't know who's telling you this: "people tell me if I am an alcoholic I will (re: drink again)." Whoever 'they' are, IGNORE them!!!! They know NOT of which they speak.
Yes, many alcoholics relapse and return to drinking, but many do NOT. So, stick with the winners (the ones who do NOT).
|06-18-2012, 12:57 AM||#20 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2009
Blog Entries: 1
“Impossible is a term humans use far too often." -- Seven of Nine
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