Am I a Hypocrite? Happy vs Angry Drinking

Old 08-13-2016, 04:08 PM
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Am I a Hypocrite? Happy vs Angry Drinking

I am new here, hope I am posting in the right section.

For years I have thought I am not an alcoholic and not had a drinking problem, but that my girlfriend does.

I am 40 and she is 37. After living together for 5 years I recently split up with her and asked her to move out due to her drinking.

I am what I consider anyway a social drinker, with friends, can be a heavy social drinker. I can take alcohol or leave it when I am alone, or eating dinner out, etc, but when I get together with the boys, go on vacation, or attend a party, I can drink a decent amount of beer. And sometimes I drank too much. More on that in a minute.

My girlfriend as well loves drinking and we had centered our dating lives around alcohol. Our initial dates were alcohol-fueled and that trend continued for years. She had also been a drug user in the past but her DOC has been alcohol lately. Most things we did had alcohol involved, more her choice than mine as the years went on.

Probably the biggest differences between us when it came to alcohol were the frequency she was drinking, and the way her personality changed when she drank.

I will drink, usually have a few and then realize it's time to call it a day. On the rare cases I drink too much, I have blacked out / lost time or passed out. My personality does not change, I do not get angry, if anything I get happy, then sleepy, then out.

My girlfriend, on the other hand, has a different reaction to the alcohol. After a few drinks her personality changes. A switch flips that I can almost see where she starts getting louder, obnoxious, wants to fight, etc. She rarely passes out and instead just amps up on the obnoxiousness and destruction. It has caused many a scene in years past.

As a result of this I had been drinking significantly less in the hopes she would follow suit. Encouraging ordering soda or water with dinner, not drinking at home at all anymore, etc. She had been doing the opposite -- Ordering lots of drinks with meals, drinking them fast, doing a ton of drinking at home by herself, and drinking binges when I was out of town with friends (though admittedly, on camping trips with the guys I would drink a bunch too).

So, I guess I am here because first off - I am not sure if it is a problem, but more so, I am wondering if I am a hypocrite. My girlfriend loves me and she did not want to break up. But I had become unhappy with her level of drinking and the fear of having to corral her at any events where there was booze, and her drinking frequency at home. I had all but stopped drinking except when with my friends because I was turned off by seeing what it did to her.

So, she's gone now and it sucks. And ironically now that she is gone, I have noticed my drinking has picked up a bit again. My friends came into town for a visit and 2 nights in a row I drank beer until I passed out on the weekend. And this weekend, I also am drinking at home alone (about 6 beers or so). Now, I am feeling like a hypocrite. I kicked her out of my life for being whatever she is (alcoholic/problem drinker/etc) and not wanting to stop, and here I find myself drinking too much myself.

Granted, I am still nowhere near the level she was drinking and I don't get angry or change personality (just drink, get sleepy, pass out these last few times) but I feel guilty for judging her now that I am drinking too.

I am not sure if there is a difference between us, I certainly have always felt like I am in full control of alcohol and had a different relationship with it than someone who craves it, and thought that she was more on the other side of the spectrum. In the past she had told me she got edgy when she saw people drinking in person or on TV and I never felt that way at all. I do enjoy the buzz but I hate hangovers and I hate that feeling of waking up after I pass out due to too much drink.

Oh and one more thing - Drinking made her sick all the time, I have not gotten sick from drinking in over 20 years.

Anyway, I am not sure if I even merit a response here, just wanted to get this out there, to see what you thought. I am not worried about my drinking, but if I find I am developing a pattern of drinking beer alone at home to the point I pass out, I am going to need to stop or limit myself to 1 or 2. But I am a little mad at myself for throwing away a relationship for something on the basis of it being a potential problem that I have too.

Is there a meaning to be found between someone who drinks and gets happy vs someone who drinks and gets angry and becomes a different person?

Is there a meaning to be found in someone who questions if they are drinking too much vs someone who never thinks that it is a problem?

Thank you for listening.
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Old 08-13-2016, 04:44 PM
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Only thing I can say, speaking for myself, is that alcohol simply enhanced/amplified whatever mood I was in before I started. If I had a bad day at work, the bourbon made me angrier. Good day, I was as giddy as a school girl. But I drank everyday to excess, so that didn't help either.
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Old 08-13-2016, 05:28 PM
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I think if you are questioning your intake there is a problem for you. It certainly sounds like our stories. At some point - and there's no telling when - you will cross over into addiction/dependence; if you aren't already there.

As far as the GF, you both need to work on yourselves, it sounds like. That's not going to happen while she drinks the way she does and while she has the anger that she has.

I hope you can find some peace in this. I would have left her too. As a matter of fact, my ex husband and I both drank, but his caused him to blackout and buy drugs and stay gone for days at a time. That was a dealbreaker for me. I sobered up once we split.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:07 PM
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I'm not sure there's any meaning to happy vs. angry drunk. Both are drunk, and if it happens too often, there's a problem. Myself, I was more of a happy drunk, but I still became a pickled addict who nearly killed himself with alcohol.

I think generally, if you think you might have a drinking problem, you probably do, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's time to check in to rehab. Why not stop completely (zero drinks) for 3-6 months and see where your head is at then? Alcohol messes with our perspectives, and sometimes we can't sort through other issues unless we get it out of our lives at least for a good long while.
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Old 08-13-2016, 09:27 PM
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I was generally a happy drunk, or at least a quiet well-behaved drunk, but based on what I see in myself and friends/family, it doesn't make much difference. It's more the issue of crossing over that invisible line into addiction, and the big picture of the negative impacts over time.

As for the person who questions their drinking versus the person who never thinks it's a problem ... I think the one who starts questioning is the lucky one. There's a common saying, that the addiction elevator only goes one way (down), but we can get off at any floor. We don't have to wait for it to get worse.

My sister and I had similar drinking problems. I questioned it, and two years ago, I quit. My sister rarely questions whether she might have a problem, and she's still on the elevator going down.

So I think I'm just really fortunate that questions arose in my mind, and I got to get off the elevator.
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:51 AM
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That kind of thinking kept me drinking for nearly 30 years. Let's see the list:

1. I'm not an alcoholic, I only drink beer.
2. I'm not an alcoholic, I only drink on the weekends.
3. I'm not an alcoholic, I never get mean.
4. I'm not an alcoholic, I only drink a couple of times during the week.
5. I'm not an alcoholic, I can stop any time I want.
6. I'm not an alcoholic, I never miss a day of work.
7. I'm not an alcoholic, I never drink before noon, except maybe on the weekends.
8. I'm not an alcoholic, that DUI I got was wrong place, wrong time, besides I've never gotten in an accident while drinking.
9. I'm not an alcoholic, sure I drink every day, but it's only beer.
10. I'm not an alcoholic, I only drink beer. Those morning shakes must be something else.
11. Gee, maybe I AM an alcoholic after all.
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:27 AM
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It was good to hear this. I am going to just take a break on the alcohol for a while. In reading your replies I felt like even if it's not a major problem, it's enough of a problem if I am giving it this much thought. In my past I have rarely drank excessively except overdoing it a few times a year with friends. Every time I have had a relationship break off I have tried using it to self-medicate the hurt and it just ends up hurting more anyway. I do feel a little bad for breaking off my relationship and having a bit of the problem myself, though it does not sound like we were going to get healthy together, and (in my own opinion anyway) she was much further down the road than me with the drinking.

Thank you, I will keep reading.
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:15 AM
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It sounds like you are sad and using alcohol to try to take some of that away. Doesn't work, but that is for you to determine. If you are concerned about your drinking, why not take a break from it for a while. I found it easier to stop drinking completely than to moderate. Don't really know why, but that's how it was for me. If you find you can't stop, but want to, then it's time to take action. Go to a meeting, talk to a friend, find a counselor. Something.
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:17 AM
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Sorry. Just read your post about taking a break, so my post is redundant. Good luck. Peace.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by texmex02 View Post
. . . she was much further down the road than me with the drinking.

Each of us gets off the A road at different times, different places or, sadly, not at all.

The way I see it, you are making the difficult choices at an easier time.
If that makes sense.

Well done.

"If we choose not to decide we still have made a choice."
~ Neil Pert
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:20 AM
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I read recently that a "heavy drinker" is defined as someone who drinks "five or more drinks in one session, four or more times a month."

I'll admit I chuckled at first and wondered if it was a joke, but in all seriousness this is right on the money really.

The vast majority of people I know would never dream of drinking five or more drinks in one session. And those that do would never do it four times a month.

Most people I know binge dean in college then became totally normal light drinkers.

I figure the doctors who came up with the daily limits, what are they, two drinks a day? They must be onto something.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:33 AM
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Tough subject because it sounds like your asking two separate things. I acted like your girlfriend acted when I drank and lost many relationships over it. However, I loved alcohol more than any of the men who left me and that was a choice I made. Most of them warned me ahead of time and I chose the alcohol. So, although you left she made her choice.
Do you have a problem? Only you know that. When I drank once I had ONE it was on.... No turning back!!!! I only drank maybe once a week but I could not moderate. I tried and tried.
So, I don't see you as a hypocrite at all and knowing the things I did when drinking you probably made the right choice by leaving.
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Old 08-15-2016, 07:06 AM
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Hi Tex,

I think it's a line you cross. I'm not in favour of the idea that people are born alcoholics (not the same as saying some people are more vulnerable than others). I think it's a behaviour that gets worse and worse, and there's a line where your brain transforms and you don't have the control you used to, you drink more than you intend to, you make dumb excuses to drink.

I would believe you entirely about having control over drinking if you didn't say you passed out / blacked out so often. I really don't like how casually you say that either. If you're drinking more than your brain can handle and you just shut off, that's a problem.

I would say lay off the alcohol completely, because you don't seem to have a good relationship with it. It's fine that you saw how your ex had been drinking and that it repulsed you, and I think it's correct that you're turning that lens on yourself. But don't delude yourself with petty comparisons. She drank and got louder and more obnoxious. Okay, that's what alcohol does to everyone. You drank until you weren't awake anymore. That's kinda only what alcoholics do. Most people wake up scared when they've done that.
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