Old 05-05-2011, 03:05 PM
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How does one distinguish between thoughts of denial and potentially valid doubts about one's status as alcoholic or not? Does this very question constitute denial :rotfxko?
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:16 PM
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Alcoholic - check

I was told by my alcoholic sister that if you have to stop to ask yourself if you are an alcoholic, that you probably are.

Enough said.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:22 PM
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No (know)
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:29 PM
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Fortunately for you, my Friend, over the past two weeks you've provided an eloquent life history that proves your alcoholism beyond the shadow of a doubt.

I'm in the same boat. My prior actions provide indisputable proof of alcoholism. With that established, any thoughts to the contrary are by definition "denial".
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:34 PM
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I tend to agree that if you have to ask........

The only real yardstick, IMO, is the level of drinking that doesn't cause health problems, which is one drink per day maximum for women and two for men. Anything more than that is unhealthy.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:08 PM
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Comanche, I've been there so this is not intended as a personal attack. If I were your sponsor I would ask: Potentially valid? Look at your history and understand that is your disease talking.

Originally Posted by comanche View Post
Hi Everyone, First post...really glad that I have discovered this forum, I have been reading a lot if all day today.

I am 24 years old, have been drinking since I was 15. I've always felt very uncomfortable in my own skin, and drinking helped me feel like the confident, self-assured, and funny person that I know I am but am always too damn nervous/uncomfortable to express. I started drinking in high school and it quickly became what my social life revolved around. Got to the weekend, got drunk, it was lots of fun. Got to college in New Orleans, and without the check of living under my parents' roof anymore, I went full out. Was getting hardcore drunk on more nights than not, but somehow still managing to make all of my classes. That first year of college was magical, just getting so drunk, finding new friends, feeling good about myself. But as college progressed, it got harder and harder to feel good while drinking. It was hit or miss, sometimes I would feel good and other times the alcohol would just exacerbate the anxiety and depression I carried around with me most of the time. I drank to fit in, because I felt like me, by myself was not good enough. I had to be drunk to be funny and relaxed.

After college, took a year off and worked, drank every weekend. I was going through a messy relationship/breakup at the time, and drinking would help me gloss over the feelings of pain and abandonment I was feeling at the time, but it was at this point that I think drinking really started to become problematic for me. I would frequently get drunk and drive home, and then feel really ashamed about it the next day, and then I just stopped feeling ashamed about it, telling myself that I was actually a better driver drunk than sober, more assertive. I thought that life was about being happy all the time, always being the life of the party and searching for the next good time. I spent most of my time this year a miserable mess of confused emotions and quiet desperation, missing my ex girlfriend but not knowing how to express these feelings.

I went to law school after a year, not really sure that I wanted to be a lawyer, but just kind of going with the flow. I don't really know what my passions are and I guess I just kind of feel like I should be happy with whatever I get in life because I'm not really special or worth much. The drinking got worse in law school. I would binge at least one or two nights a week, usually unable to control how much I would take once I started. This is where my conception of being powerless comes in, because I was never a daily drinker, but once I started it was really tough for me to control how much I would take. What is confusing me now is that there were times when I could just have a beer or two, so my mind is telling me that I'm not really an alcoholic. But like I said, there were also plenty of times when I couldnt' stop drinking once I started.

At one point during that first year of law school, I tried to go without drinking for a month and keep a journal of my experiences. I made it one week before I got really drunk, and that was the end of the experiment. I felt so lonely and out of place in law school, trying to fit in with the popular crowd instead of just hanging out with people I felt comfortable with and focusing on my classes, many of which I found very enjoyable. By the end of the second semester, my anxiety had reached levels I had never felt before, my nights were spent getting drunk, days were spent feeling alone, stressed, and scared. I walked out in the middle of my first final because I just couldn't concentratre at all on what the test was asking me to do, and I dropped out of law school right there. I didn't ask for more time or help, I jsut made a rash decision and threw away a scholarship to a top tier law school on the spot, no consultation with my parents or anything. Insane, no?

got home to Baltimore and was fortunate to get my job back as an interpreter ( I speak Spanish) at a hospital. At first this made me feel happy, like okay, even though I dropped out of law school it's fine, everything is working out for me like it always does and I can just keep drinking and partying. But the depression and anxiety soon returned. Labor day weekend I went down to DC to party with some friends. I drank, of course, and then someone took out a bag of cocaine and I did a few lines, completely forgetting that I had a drug test coming up for my job in a few days. That night progressed to one of drunken mania, where I ended up taking a **** directly in front of the White House, wow, writing that I feel so stupid but also lucky that I didn't get arrested. A few days later, I went to take the drug test and failed. I lost my job. This was so traumatic for me. I really loved this job and I was good at it. Now I had just thrown it away for nothing, for a few hours of meaningless fun with people I didn't really feel good with.

I realized that I had a problem with drugs and alcohol. I started going to AA on September 7th 2010, and got three months of sobriety under my belt. I had my first tastes of serenity in that time and I remember it feeling so good. However, it was not enough to keep me sober. I just have a lot of trouble accepting that I"m an alcoholic. I am very demanding of myself and hate admitting fault, I think largely because of the fact that I grew up with a father who would always blast into us whenever we made any kind of mistake, calling me an idiot or a loser. I have drank three times since September, but each time I am filled up with these massive feelings of dread and anxiety, beceause having tasted what it feels like to have sobriety and some kind of spiritual presence in my life, the prospect of going back to how I was living before seems so bleak and grey. I currently have 33 days of sobriety under my belt and it feels good but it is definitely not easy. I just feel like "normal" people my age drink, and it is difficult for me to imagine having a social life and dating without alcohol. My mind just comes up with all kinds of rationalizations for why I should drink, for why AA is a cult, for why I shouldn't be brainwashed. Nevermind the fact that I think I have been brainwashed into thinking pouring alcohol down my throat in an attempt to fit in is somehow normal.

Anyway, that was pretty much a stream of consciousness rant but it feels good to get out some of what I was feeling. Any words of encouragement and experience from other people who got sober around my age would be greatly appreciated.

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