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View Poll Results: Am I an alcoholic if I am unsure if I am an alcoholic?
Yes 10 83.33%
No 2 16.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-29-2011, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I guess this first post makes it real


I've been lurking around on SR for several months. Another popular late-night pursuit: googling "am I an alcoholic?". If alcoholism is a disease, and I personally believe it is, then why is there no conclusive test (rhetorical question)?

This is my second time quitting. Day 20. Made it 59 days last time. Last time was an "experiment" to prove/change my relationship with alcohol. Today I would say "I don't drink." The attitude change feels significant.

It's interesting that it seems easier this time, but I am already beginning to rationalize the "perhaps one day I can have a drink." Thanks to Pigtails for the helpful thread earlier today. Also, ForeverDecember (DecemberForever?) posted a helpful response in alcohol information started by avgcollegekid.

As a newbie I would appreciate any directions from the "seasoned" members about how to best use this site.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No seasoned vet to SR here, but congratulations on day 20! I kind of still have that "someday I will be able to drink responsibly" belief but slowly I'm beginning to learn that it just might not be possible.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the post and the vote in my poll. I created the poll just because the option was there. I realize it is an over-simplified question, but I really struggle with labels: do I just have an alcohol problem that I can manage or am I an alcoholic in denial?

Now I must try to sleep. The guy in the next room over is sawing logs!!
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I know you probably went to sleep and though AA doesn't quite work for me (I'm looking into other support group options) I can quote a few passages from the Alcoholics Anonymous book that classifies the alcoholic.

Moderate drinker:
"Moderate drinkers have little trouble in giving up liquor entirely if they have good reason for it. They can take it or leave it alone"

Hard drinker:
"Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason - ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor - becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention."

True alcoholic:
"But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker; but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink." "He does absurd, incredible, tragic things while drinking." "He is seldom mildly intoxicated." "He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet, let him drink for a day and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social."

There is more but I just wrote what I had highlighted during my short stint in rehab about a year ago. Like I said, AA wasn't for me. But there are millions of people who find help through the twelve step philosophy that AA utilizes. And this book really does hit home with a LOT of issues of mine. It might be an interesting read for you. I hope this helps.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh and I found myself to be a "hard drinker" when using these classifications. But to be honest, if you're a hard drinker then you're already testing the waters for full on alcoholism. I'm glad to be quitting now before things get worse. You can do it if you believe you can do it. And there are tons of people here who can help. Keep coming back.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome unentschieden

Apologies to those who've heard me say this before, I think sometimes a better question is - is my drinking causing me problems - and if so, what am I going to do about it?

I'm not sure it's necessary to you to determine whether you're an alcoholic or not in order for you to start to do something about it

There's plenty of time for introspection and debate later

D
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome unentshieden!

I think it's safe to say that our addiction is always looking for (and usually finding) loopholes. From the outside, my life looked pretty good - no DUI's, blackouts, relationship or health issues....... but I could totally relate to everyone here......

There are online tests and articles that can help you answer your question. I tend to agree with the newer models that talk about alcoholism as more of a continuum than a single defined state. I'm sure I fit in there somewhere between the early and late stages. Today, I'm just glad to be sober, so defining how much of a problem I had doesn't matter that much anymore.

Congratulations on day 20! Take it a day at a time and let us know how things are going.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcom friend. I hope you find the answers you are looking for.
God bless.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I like the posts that Dee74 and artsoul wrote. Perhaps defining how much of an alcoholic you are rather than defining how your drinking affects your life itself isn't too important. When I thought I was just a "heavy drinker" and not a full-fledged alcoholic all it did was help me justify my continued drinking. "Oh I'm not an alcoholic, I just drink a lot! I'll have another!" My drinking screwed three of my classes up this semester so I had to stop, regardless of my level of alcoholism.

Congratulations on 20 days! I hope to be there with you soon. =)
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee74
I'm not sure it's necessary to you to determine whether you're an alcoholic or not in order for you to start to do something about it
Truth!
The Buddha's teaching of the poisoned arrow illustrates this point so well.
Quote:
Suppose a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and the doctor wishes to take out the arrow immediately. Suppose the man does not want the arrow removed until he knows who shot it, his age, his parents, and why he shot it. What would happen? If he were to wait until all these questions have been answered, the man might die first." Life is so short. It must not be spent in endless metaphysical speculation that does not bring us any closer to the truth.
Dude...take the arrow out.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks to everyone for the great perspectives. I'm definitely ready to pull out the poisoned arrow...

I quit smoking years ago cold turkey by convincing myself that quitting smoking means...wait for it...you will never have another cigarette again. For many weeks that was a terrifying, incomprehensible thought.

Now that I have quit drinking I must reapply that same mantra and once again it seems unfathomable.
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
 

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unentschieden, have you ever read anything about AVRT? Interesting threads in the secular forum worth a look. It might make sense/work well for you as it has some parallels to the way you quit smoking.
Best to you!
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The question does answer itself. Or instead of begging the question the question is begging itself.
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Glad to have you here, unentschieden! I kept drinking for years because I couldn't fathom never having another drink. That way of thinking led me to a very dangerous place, complete with dui's and terrible loss. I'm not sure why I so desperately held on to it, since there was no joy in it at the end of my career - only desolation and misery.

Be proud of your 20 days sober - keep building on that. We're here to help & cheer you on.
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