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Old 02-22-2012, 07:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I am really addicted....???


Hello all,

I saw this site in a search for answers and figured I'd join and try to understand more about alcohol. Maybe someone can help me...

I am currently drinking 10-12 drinks per week. Only at night, after kids go to bed. Mostly wine, sometimes a vodka on the rocks. It relaxes me. Last 2 years this has increased from 6-8 drinks a week. Most moderate drinking info tells you that this ok. And in some regards, healthy, especially drinking moderate amounts of wine. I am functional, have a great career, loving Father and Husband. But I feel I could be doing better. Much better. I also a type A personality.

But here's the thing: I have had insomnia for that last 5 years. Really bad. I have had lack of energy, and sometimes extreme anxiety and worry. I always wrote this off the stress of my job and busy lifestyle.

On top of 10 to 12 drinks a week.(I'm 5'11" 165 pounds) I take a sleeping pill to help insomnia an average 5 to 6 times a month.

My friends say I'm nowhere near abusing alcohol. My doctor says I drink in moderation. My wife says cut it back or quit. What say you? Any advice or perspective would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

KennyC
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Only you can give an answer to that. What you are drinking is not excessive, but by your own admission it has increased.
Seek medical advice for your insomnia, cut the drinks out for a while and see if that helps you. I always slept better without a drink , even when I was drinking the same amount as you.
Just watch it doesnt increase further, that is when real problems begin
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Kenny, thanks for posting.

My suggestion is try quitting for a month and see how that works for you. Only you can determine whether your drinking is a problem. It does seem to me that you have formed a bit of a self medicating habit.

Anyway...keep reading and learning. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I find it hard to believe that your doctor says it's ok to drink on sleep meds. Time for a new doctor!

Are you addicted? Only you can answer that question.

Try not drinking for a while ..... give it say, 30 days or 60 days. See what happens.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kennyC View Post
But I feel I could be doing better. Much better.
Hey Kenny...That's how you feel...You have a few options....Stop for good....Cut down...Or listen to your friends. Only you can make that choice.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I should add...That if you are drinking less than two drinks a day....I'm curious why your wife or friends even bring the matter up?
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Kenny,

Although I drank a bit more than you, it wasn't by much. What I realized though is that my drinking wasn't the root cause of my issues, it was the solution....which makes it particularly frightening. I suspect you are starting down the same path. My anxiety and resentment were starting to balloon. I too told myself it was the stress of the job, and needed a drink at night to take the edge off. Guess what take the edge off really means "quiet the anxiety....aka..numbing myself". The problem with this is that it is self fulfilling. Like the old commercial, I drink more so I can lower my anxiety so I can work harder so I can drink more......That was the beginning of the end for me. The other thing I bet you realize now is that waking up is beginning to suck. You know why? Because you deferred your anxiety till tomorrow, you didn't deal with it.

I have replaced drinking with tea and pretty regular fitness (everyday). I now get enough aerobic exercise to elevate my heart rate to trigger an endorphins release. That seems to decouple my anxiety from my cognitive brain, and let's me actually deal with my fears rather than quiet them down.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There's a lot of information on the internet. Also speak totally honestly with your doctor.

You may have had insomnia issues, drank for a solution, (two drinks a day is the moderate number for males)....the problem is alcohol interrupts normal sleep, take it away and sleep will be erratic for a while before it evens out.

Unfortunately, you are stopping your sleep medication from working correctly by drinking with it. Dishonesty with doctors is what people do when they self-medicate. What's Dr. House say? "Everybody lies." Yeah, get over that one and be honest with your doctor. Start with this for your health.

You are at a recovery site. You are questioning your own behavior. You are the only one who can say if there is a problem or not. What are you NOT saying in your original post? There's usually more to every story, including minimizing our own behavior. Again, start with your doctor who prescribes your medication. If they tell you that there isn't a problem, I suggest another doctor's opinion; the first one may be getting paid to hand out meds. Alcoholism deals with the person, first. It was my solution for many years.

General advice, not medical. See Doc soon!

I wish you well!!
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You are the only one who can decide if drinking is affecting your life and your health.

It's never a good idea to combine sleep meds and alcohol.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Try quitting for three months, not one drop. You'll know soon enough where you stand.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyC View Post
My friends say I'm nowhere near abusing alcohol. My doctor says I drink in moderation. My wife says cut it back or quit. What say you?
I say you aren't married to your friends or doctor. Not sure their say carries any weight. It sure won't with your wife.

Like the others have said. Quit for a month or more. See your doctor and deal with your insomnia that way, not self-medicating through alcohol.

Drinking creeps up on you.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the caring responses. It was quite emotional just reading them. This is all great info that I will consider. I have decided to just stop for 30 days and see how I feel. I do believe that at the end of the day, it is all about self-medicating. But honestly, isn't any who drinks 2 glass of wine self-medicating? Isn't the relaxing feeling you get from alcohol the reason why people drink? I didn't mention this, but I don't take a sleep med on the night I have alcohol. Still probably not a good idea to take them even on separate nights. I hate mornings after drinking. I want wake up happy every day, so I'm going to stop and see how I feel. Thanks again for all your posts. -Kenny
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Good luck Kenny!
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Kenny, I don't think I've met anyone that comes here that doesn't have a problem.

I wish you the best.

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Old 02-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
 

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Kenny,
The fact that you are even asking gives me pause.

If a non-addicted person finds even a tiny amount of alcohol somehow problematic in any way...it's a no-brainer. They quit and never look back. There is no questioning, wondering, asking...it's moot.

That's only true for a non-addicted person, of course.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyC View Post
But honestly, isn't any who drinks 2 glass of wine self-medicating?
No...Some people can do that and enjoy it with a dinner or a show...I don't have much experience with that...I drank to get drunk. Not sure I remember having two glasses of wine or two beers.... Anyway...You don't sound to bad to me yet....Keep an eye on that yet.

P.S....Could have been a typo...But I like how your title reads...
I am really addicted ???

Instead of..
Am I really addicted ???
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kennyC View Post
I have decided to just stop for 30 days and see how I feel.
The fact that you chose ⅓ of the time-frame I recommended tells me that you are deeply ambivalent about drinking, which suggests addiction. There is a good reason that I suggested stopping for 90 days. It is longer then your average drinker wants to quit for (your post is 'exhibit A'), but not exactly life-altering, either. It is a good way to see just how deep into this you are if you immediately balk at it, or if you don't reach the 90 day mark. It is also about how long it will take for you to start to notice what 'normal' actually feels like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyC View Post
I do believe that at the end of the day, it is all about self-medicating.
You might want to consider getting that idea out of your head. As long as you view alcohol as 'medicine', you are likely to keep taking it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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this is just my point of view:

less than 2 drinks per day isn't even close to addiction

I think the advice given here is to ensure that how much you are drinking doesn't progress eventually. What the users here are saying is that once you've started to drink any amount of alcohol, that there is the risk that it will increase down the road and turn into a full-blown addiction.

It depends on you. If you know that you're going to stay drinking at a moderate level for the future, then you're absolutely fine drinking at the levels you're currently at.

If you think you're at a risk of losing your control and gradually increasing your alcohol intake until it hits the addiction stage, then think about quitting.

I think that drinking 10-12 drinks per week is totally fine and will always be fine unless it somehow turns into a dependancy later on. And you are in full control of whether that will happen or not.

So the decision is yours, but the level you're at at this current date and time is fine.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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this is just my point of view:

less than 2 drinks per day isn't even close to addiction
And even though I've been at the bar for four hours, I only had three beers, officer...
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:26 AM   #20 (permalink)
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So the decision is yours, but the level you're at at this current date and time is fine.
I agree...And I hope this isn't too harsh...But I'm looking at this as an alcoholic like myself would look at it....I wasn't very truthful about my drinking when I drank...More like....I could look you right in the face and lie about how much I drank...And not even bat an eye. And I did that a lot. So I'm guessing...If I came to this site...Saying I drank 10 to 12 drinks a week..Which for me was more like an afternoon...I would be looking for people to tell me I'm OK...And off I'd go....Feeling better about myself...So I could go drink what I normally drank. It may not be the case here...Just saying how this alcoholic used to think.
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