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Old 09-29-2012, 06:25 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing your story. Everyones ideas of what constitutes a alcoholic is different. There are some interesting health surveys for determining if someone has a drink problem, they are interesting to look at and help give a distinction between "Normal" Drinking and "Problem drinking"

For me, I could never enjoy a "Normal" type of drinking scenario.
I could not ever just have 1 drink a hour with 3 drinks max over a night.
It just would be a waste in my eye. I drank to get [email protected]#@$ up! Not to have one stinking glass of wine!

That my friend is a drinking problem according to most health surveys.

Check out the survey if you are interested
Alcohol Abuse Self Test
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:52 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Sel,
The summer of 2011 I attended AA and stopped drinking. Towards the end of the summer I hosted a nice dinner party. I was really proud of myself, as it was lovely and a good bit of work....something I couldn't have pulled off as well if I was drinking wine. After dinner, one of the ladies, said she honestly couldn't understand why I stopped drinking and I wasn't an alcoholic - she knew what an alkie was and I wasn't one! I poured myself a nice glass of wine, drank it, and decided to "moderate". It took me another year to get it together to quit for good. Why did I listen to a friend who brought her own bottle of gin to my dinner party??!!!!

Suki - Thanks for the reading tip
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:00 AM   #23 (permalink)
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In so many ways, I have found that the lesson of I don't really know you unless I've walked in your shoes and vice versa. Part of my recovery was learning to NOT listen to other people's opinions of me. I had done that all my life and based choices I made on what other people thought. Ridiculous!

You know what's right for you.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:37 AM   #24 (permalink)
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According to physicians I've spoken with there is a clinical difference between alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence and alcoholism. However, there is often overlap, particularly because people with alcoholism are usually alcohol dependent and alcohol abusers, but not vice versa. Someone who abuses alcohol or is dependent on alcohol is not necessarily an alcoholic. But, abusing alcohol commonly leads to dependence. The criteria for alcoholism is very specific. However, either way, if you drink in excess on a regular basis, meaning, if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages on a regular basis, it can cause adverse health effects, sometimes without you even knowing it. And it may be considered abuse.

I am not considered an alcoholic but ever since college I've been drinking in excess with my friends on weekends. I would have 5 to 10 drinks, typically martini's every Friday and Saturday and didn't realize that amount is considered "binging," which is a form of abuse. I began developing symptoms that I did not realize were related to alcohol such as anxiety and panic attacks. After doing a bit of in-depth research I realized that alcohol was responsible for all of these seemingly unrelated issues AND I learned how unhealthy excess alcohol actually is to the brain and body.

Because I now have such a high tolerance, deciding to "cut back" is not an option because frankly one or two drinks does NOTHING for me. I know that if I'm out with friends having a "good time" and wanting to feel even the slightest buzz, I need at least 3 or 4 martini's and that is not considered healthy.

I developed deficiencies in B vitamins, particularly Thiamine, Folate and B-12 due to drinking and I had leaky gut syndrome for a while, which I believe was also due to drinking. Alcohol really messes up your ability to absorb water soluble vitamins and deficiencies aren't immediately recognized as you may have no symptoms until the deficiency becomes very bad.

So even though I'm not an alcoholic, my regular alcohol intake was indeed damaging my body so I decided to quit. Only you can decide whether you need to quit, regardless of whether you're classified as an alcoholic or not.

I'm of the opinion now that alcohol has no benefits what so ever and that all the perceived benefits are illusions, so I'm #TeamSober for life.

You might feel differently if you studied in-depth the effects of alcohol even at moderate levels. Alcohol produces free radicals, which age your body and organs. The breakdown products produce when your liver metabolizes alcohol are extremely harmful. People with even moderate alcohol intakes show a change in brain chemistry. Even moderate intakes makes you more susceptible to feelings of anxiety and less REM sleep, so you're probably not sleeping as deeply and as restfully as you could be if you abstained. The list is so long and the studies are so plentiful, complete with CAT scans to see what alcohol does to the brain. Even moderate intakes cause gastrointestinal issues, it kills the delicate villi in the intestines, which are responsible for absorbing nutrients from food. So even at moderate intakes, you are not absorbing as much nutrients from food as you could if you abstained.

No longer do I think of alcohol as something relaxing, social and enjoyable. I see it for what it is, a toxic poison that when ingested damages the body and all the body wants to do is get RID of it as quickly as possible.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:01 AM   #25 (permalink)
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'alcoholic' is a unique term. nobody is called a 'nicotinic' or a 'heroinic'. you don't need to declare yourself anything to address the consequences of your substance use.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:11 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekSobriety View Post
Thanks for sharing your story. Everyones ideas of what constitutes a alcoholic is different. There are some interesting health surveys for determining if someone has a drink problem, they are interesting to look at and help give a distinction between "Normal" Drinking and "Problem drinking"

For me, I could never enjoy a "Normal" type of drinking scenario.
I could not ever just have 1 drink a hour with 3 drinks max over a night.
It just would be a waste in my eye. I drank to get [email protected]#@$ up! Not to have one stinking glass of wine!

That my friend is a drinking problem according to most health surveys.

Check out the survey if you are interested
Alcohol Abuse Self Test
According to the AMA:
Quote:
Alcoholism is characterized by:
a prolonged period of frequent, heavy alcohol use.

the inability to control drinking once it has begun.

physical dependence manifested by withdrawal symptoms when the individual stops using alcohol.

tolerance, or the need to use more and more alcohol to achieve the same effects.

a variety of social and/or legal problems arising from alcohol use.
We don't need to fulfill all of the items to "qualify" as a Alcoholic
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:13 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Wow RR - Great post - very informative - thanks.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:26 PM   #28 (permalink)
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What I have noticed, in my experience. Is that other people who are problem drinkers themselves.. don't like it when you tell them you are an alcoholic/abuse alcohol.. because it makes them concerned you think the same about them
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:43 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Hi Sel, Welcome!

I wondered what I was for months...Then I thought, all I want is to stop drinking because it's messing me up. So I dropped the whole label thing. When I go to meetings (my recovery program is AA), I just say, "I'm X and I'm powerless over alcohol." That just works for me. I don't have to label myself and yet I'm stating the truth--that I am powerless over booze.

Also, I talked to someone sober for 25 years and she told me that many more people are coming into AA with much higher bottoms than in earlier times. Of course, low bottom alcoholics continue to come in, but because society itself has a greater understanding of the disease and what it looks like, more people are arriving at an earlier phase. The two challenges these people face are: 1. they continue to doubt if they really are alcoholics because they're not like the people who share in meetings, and 2. they're more tempted to relapse because, after all, they're not REAL alcoholics.

The thing you have to ask is: Isn't it better to get help at an early phase of a disease than in a later one?


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