Notices

Big drinker or Alcoholic?

Old 12-18-2012, 02:41 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bristol
Posts: 6
Big drinker or Alcoholic?

Hi, this is my first posting, thanks for reading.

My question is about my father, who drinks a lot, and is almost certianly an alcoholic, but seems to only have few problems because of it. He is nearly 80, and has been drinking all his life, since 20 when he used to play in bands as a muso and this was the norm. He drinks about a bottle of wine every day, (I don't think he's had a day without alcohol in years, maybe 10 years?) He drinks nearly half a bottle at lunch and the rest in the afternoon/dinner, but he usually stops at about 7 then goes to bed at 10 in time to wake up around 5 for his early morning exercise. He rarely gets really drunk but definitely looks like heís had a few. If he has to drive he has two or three small bottles of beer over around 4 hours, then drives, he has no problem in stopping. His drinking has probably not changed in at least the last 20 to 30 years. He is very fit, exercising at least 4 times a week, usually jogging, cycling or swimming, but he is probably 10 to 20 pounds overweight. His liver tests so far are clear, but he has not had an ultra-sound, just the standard blood tests. My mother does not drink, and sometimes gets frustrated with his drinking, but mostly she just accepts that this is the way he is, (I know the amount he drinks because she keeps track of it).

How is it that someone can drink like this all their life and not end up with all the problems associated with alcoholism? (DUIís, detoxís, shakes, broken marriage, not being able to stop....) it seems like he is able to "have cake and eat it too."

Are there are whole lot of silent big drinkers like my father out there, who drink a lot, (and clearly he does and always has), but for some reason it just never gets so bad that abstinence is the only answer?

Thanks for your responses!
Jillyxxx is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 05:22 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Mark75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,947
He may not be alcoholic. And some people can and do have their cake and eat it too.

Sounds like a pretty cool father.

Mark75 is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 08:21 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Retired Pro Drunk
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 901
If it's not affecting his life in a negative way - and not just the tangible consequences (health, finances, legal issues) - if he has good relationships with his family/friends, is emotionally sound, etc... there may not be a problem.

Some people can handle lots of alcohol like that, just like some people can't handle alcohol at all.
justanothrdrunk is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 08:33 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Glibert, AZ
Posts: 5
IT seems that alcohol is a daily routine. Ask him why he needs it at all.
slowbill is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 09:07 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
A Day at a Time
 
MIRecovery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Posts: 6,435
Originally Posted by Mark75 View Post
He may not be alcoholic. And some people can and do have their cake and eat it too.

Sounds like a pretty cool father.

I agree. There are some that can be a successful drinker. They are few and far between but the proof is in his life. My father-in-law 77 was a heavy drinker his whole life but in the last 7 years or so he more or less does not drink. He realizes that he is just to old to drink like that any more. He will have a couple of drinks in a social situation but that is about it.

Under any circumstances getting him to change at 80 is like telling the sun not to come up. You will stop banging your head when you realize it hurts.
MIRecovery is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 02:30 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 209,086
Welcome to SR Jilly

I have friends and family who drank even more than I did for longer - yet don't seem to have suffered the negative consequences I did, nor the crippling obsessions and cravings, at least not to my eye.

We're all different I guess

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 02:47 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
hypochondriac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 5,678
Someone on here said that their doctor's comment about drinking was 'most people get away with it'. I know people who drank as much as I did for longer and are fine. I would think he is pretty lucky rather than pretty cool though.
hypochondriac is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:18 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Zion, Illinois
Posts: 3,411
Your dad's 80 years old. If he doesn't have a problem with the way he drinks, leave him alone and mind your own business. He's earned the right to do as he wishes.
Music is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 05:42 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
High on Life
 
TheEnd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Been to Hell and Back
Posts: 1,157
He's only drinking a bottle of wine a day. This by far does not make him a big drinker or an alcoholic for that matter. It doesn't seem to affect his life and he's not overdoing it, why even worry about it? At this point in his life, stopping drinking will probably do more harm than good as his body has adapted to these need.
TheEnd is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 06:10 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 2,935
Are you here because his drinking makes you unhappy or causes you worry?
If so then it is having an impact and I see that this is because you love him and care very much.

A bottle of wine is about 9 units. One bottle a night over a seven day week is getting towards 60 unit. The department of health guidelines for a man are between 21 and 28 units. For a woman 14 to 21.

There is no harm in worrying about a loved one in my book Jilly.

I wish you and your family the best
xxxx
Sasha4 is offline  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:21 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Fellow Traveler and Seeker
 
paul99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 2,408
My neighbor is about that age, and in the 15 years I have lived beside him, his recycling box has had the same amount of empty wine bottles every week - no more, no less. He is probably more active than me, never seems wobbly or even tipsy, and has never showed any of the signs I would attribute to an alcoholic (takes one to know one!)

So that's great for him. Of course, he may suffer some physical issues from prolonged alcohol use...but the same can be said about a lifetime of drinking 2 litres of Coke or Pepsi every day, and we don't often lament that...ha ha.

Groovy Pop indeed - long may he live
paul99 is offline  
Old 12-19-2012, 05:21 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bristol
Posts: 6
Hi everyone,
Thanks to everyone for your responses about my father. I have always wondered if he is a 'one off' the way he can drink or if there are others the same.

The reason I wondered/worried is because I love him dearly, (and he is very cool, very funny as well, and lots of fun), but I also think about it because I am currently questioning my own alcoholism.

When I consider what I should do it makes it more tricky when I see my own father drinking and enjoying and it never/rarely gets out of control.
For me I drink more than others, around 30 units a week, and I have signs of alcoholism, (I've had anxiety with withdrawl a number of times and I have a very good tolerance). I read what other alcoholics write and I think, should I just stop since if I continue the path may be very tough? Or will I be like my father? (I'd much rather continue to drink and enjoy it if I knew that I could be ok).
I am 49, I've been drinking since 18, heavily for a few years in my 30's then again for two years in my 40's, but now I keep it to 3 to 4 days a week, every day on holidays and I have a dry month every year, (in the last 8 years). I like one big day a week, and it scares me that I can drink up to one and a half bottles of wine over 6 hours. I find that I can easlily stop after one or two drinks, but if I get to half a bottle it gets much harder.
Thanks again for your thoughts!
Jillyxxx is offline  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:23 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bristol
Posts: 6
Thanks again to everyone for their responses.
Jillyxxx is offline  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:39 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
hypochondriac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 5,678
I think when I was drinking I was seeing how much I could get away with before it really started affecting my health etc... since getting sober though, I really wish I'd done it sooner. I loved drinking but it detracted from so many things in a very subtle way and being sober is so much more rewarding. Why not try it for a bit to see if you prefer it too Jilly?
hypochondriac is offline  
Old 12-22-2012, 01:06 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Laozi Old Man
 
Boleo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 6,665
Originally Posted by TheEnd View Post
He's only drinking a bottle of wine a day. This by far does not make him a big drinker or an alcoholic for that matter.
I agree. Obviously your father found a way to drink that has never harmed him. Why question it now?
Boleo is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 02:54 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
Adillac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 138
He is not consuming a very large amount of alcohol. In your post you state "...he has no problem stopping" Think that more or less sews it up, really. If he's nearly 80yrs old, in shape, clean liver, and still enjoys alcohol without losing control...we should all be so lucky!
Adillac is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 04:44 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bristol
Posts: 6
Lucky him is exactly what I think. I wonder how many there are like him out there, I suspect it is very few??

I've watched him closely since I've been questioning my own position with alcohol. If anyone is interested this is what I've noticed: I see that a day never goes past where he doesn't have his first drink before 12, sometimes even 11. He does seem to give himself rules, things I've seen all my life. Like as soon as he starts eating dinner, (around 5:30 to 6) he stops drinking. I've hardly ever seen him drink duing dinner and he never drinks after dinner. He doesn't have spirits in the house, just wine and beer. If someone gives him a bottle of spirits, though, he usually drinks it within 3 to 4 days. There can be some friction between my mother and father at this time, but she just accepts it.
In other words, I don't think it is always easy for him, he's made rules for himslef, and and there is some control, but lucky him, he has been able to stick with it.
Thanks again for all the posts.
Jillyxxx is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 05:45 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Laozi Old Man
 
Boleo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 6,665
Originally Posted by Jillyxxx View Post
I've watched him closely since I've been questioning my own position with alcohol. If anyone is interested this is what I've noticed: I see that a day never goes past where he doesn't have his first drink before 12, sometimes even 11. He does seem to give himself rules...
Sounds like he learned to drink the European way. They teach their children at an early age to drink sensibly. They think Americans wait much to long to teach children how to drink. 21 year old's can't be taught the same way.
Boleo is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:53 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
~sb
 
sugarbear1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: MD
Posts: 15,931
Don't compare yourself to your father, you are separate people.

Jillyxxx, what are you doing about your drinking?
sugarbear1 is online now  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:04 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
Joe Nerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bklyn. NY
Posts: 1,859
I'm envious of your father.
Joe Nerv is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:37 AM.