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Do I have drinking problem?

Old 06-01-2015, 04:21 PM
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Do I have drinking problem?

First post. Iím wondering if I have a drinking problem. Probably the fact that Iím wondering means I might, but since I donít drink everyday maybe Iím okayÖ

Iím almost 40 and been a weekend binge drinker for ~20 years. Starting in college, parties or partying with friends every weekend, etc. Ten years later moved to a new city for a good job, no friends, started drinking at home alone Friday/Saturday nights, usually spent half of the time on the phone talking to old friends, then stayed up til the wee hours watching movies til I fell asleep. Sometimes drank during the day on Saturday if I was doing something like working on my car or watching live music or street fair type things, etc, but rarely ever drank on Sunday. Usually around a case of beer per weekend. Fast forward a few years, married, kids, wife not a big drinker, and canít really stay up late anymore as I have to get up early for the kids. Started drinking Sundays too after getting married. Basically progressively drinking more, to the point that Mondays truly suck. And of course Saturday/Sunday mornings arenít good either, but at least didnít have to work. But I do have to vomit in the mornings more than I used toÖ

So the past month I seem to have stepped it up yet another notch, and wondering if I might be at risk of alcoholism. A month or so ago, Friday night, my wife announced a big accomplishment so I suggested shots to celebrate. She rarely ever has more than a couple drinks, but on this night, she kept suggesting more, and we got pretty hammered. Lots of fun. When I got up Saturday morning, still half drunk, there was still a shotglass full of tequila on the counter and as I was cleaning up I thought what the hell, why waste it. Well that was pretty damn good. Poured a couple more. Mmmm. Day was really fun. Of course drank beer all afternoon/night like normal. Sunday morning was hungover and remembered how great drinking in the morning was the day before (and recalling the hair-of-the-dog thing), so started the day with a glass of vodka. Another great day. Monday sucked much worse than normal. Long story short, next couple weekends did the same thing.

What worries me is I like it a lot, and canít convince myself of a good enough reason not to do it (and perhaps thatís why Iím worried). Yesterday morning I got up and wasnít necessarily planning on drinking early as we were going out to a street fair in the afternoon anyway, but half hour later after constantly thinking of it, gave in to temptation and drank that glass of vodka. So basically now Iím still drinking 30 or more 5% beers per weekend, plus now Iíve added in a pint of vodka. So Iím worried about getting addicted, liver damage, DUI if I drive during the day, and the fact that I am basically hiding it from my wife; I certainly didnít mention I was drinking in the morning and of course sheíd have no reason to ask such a random question (and Iím able to drink quite a bit and still appear sober to others). But Iím chugging from the bottle in the morning when sheís not around, and so I feel like Iím being dishonest, and of course if I did mention it Iím sure she wouldnít be happy. And I doubt I could do it for regularly for very long without getting ďcaughtĒ or her wondering why thereís often vodka bottles in the trash when she never saw me drinking vodka (as typically I rarely drink liquor besides special occasions so finishing bottles is uncommon).

Before this past month, I never really thought to drink in the morning. A few times when I was younger and Iíd go camping with the guys weíd drink beer all day including the morning, but that was always only a camping thing and that was 10+ years ago. Iíve never even drank hair-of-the-dog drinks before, if I was hungover in the morning Iíd usually just plop down on the couch, smoke pot, drink water, have pepto if needed, eat some comfort food (frozen pizza for hangover breakfast was one of my favorites if I was lazy), then be fine. But thatís something I canít really do with wife and kids and responsibilities. Actually mentioning pot, I think thatís one of the reasons I started drinking on Sundays, my wife doesnít really like me smoking pot and I agreed before we had kids that I wouldnít smoke in front of them (and have since, at her request, extended that to wonít smoke before taking care of them alone), so I think I replaced Sunday cannabis with alcohol Ė basically cuz it doesnít bother her if Iím drinking a beer on a Sunday afternoon.

Opinions? Advice? Am I at risk for alcoholism or liver disease?
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:31 PM
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Welcome to SR! The amount you're drinking is cause for worry. For normal drinkers, it's no more than three drinks a day for men, two for women. So 30 beers and vodka on the weekend is a lot. Also the fact that you're drinking in the morning is troublesome.

I used to drink wine in the morning to stop the shakes from withdrawal.

I hope our support can help you get sober for good. Try it for three months and see how your life is then. I've been sober over five years and don't miss drinking at all, in fact, my life is better than it's ever been.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:23 PM
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Morning drinking is a sure sign that the runaway train is really picking up speed now.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:30 PM
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Welcome to SR, SA. Glad you wanted to talk things over.

At around your age I crossed over from social drinking to dependency. I started drinking more, and into the wee hours - so in the morning it was still in my system. I'd have mini-withdrawals after a weekend of that, so I started with weekday drinking too - to help stop the shakes & misery. In the end I was never without it. Very difficult to get myself straightened out at that point. You are wise to be taking a hard look at what it's doing to you. Good that you found us.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:31 PM
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Sounds like alcoholic drinking to me?
MM
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:42 PM
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Welcome SA,
This problem is progressive and it seems that you are realizing this is happening pretty quickly. The good news is the bad things you are afraid of happening ( your wife's respect, a DUI etc) haven't happened -YET. If you continue on this path they will. Why not stop now before the damage is done? I wish I had the insight before my mistakes were made. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by quitting now.
Stick around and keep reading and posting. We all understand where you are at.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SetecAstronomy View Post
First post. Iím wondering if I have a drinking problem.
I think you have drinking down pat. But you might have a quitting problem.

Give sobriety a six month trial. If it's a struggle, you'll have part of your question answered.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:58 PM
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You're on a very slippery slope. Once having crossed over that threshold of hiding drinks and craving in the morning, there's no turning back to normal drinking.

It's great that you came here. Please stick around, keep posting, and continue to be mindful and honest with yourself.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:27 PM
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Welcome, glad you're here!

This is a pretty good outline for many of us here. I progressed to daily drinking, but graduated to every other day for a few years. That convinced me I could take it or leave it.

If I had written you a note with the following phrases in it from your post asking if you thought I had a problem, how would you respond to me??


weekend binge drinker
progressively drinking more
vomit in the mornings more than I used to
stepped it up yet another notch
Saturday morning, still half drunk, there was still a shotglass full of tequila on the counter and as I was cleaning up I thought what the hell, why waste it

So basically now I’m still drinking 30 or more 5% beers per weekend, plus now I’ve added in a pint of vodka.

(and I’m able to drink quite a bit and still appear sober to others)

I love this last one - we all thought this Turns out they did indeed begin to know and question if we were drunk?! Then it becomes obvious. At this point when we admit we have a problem it becomes unanimous.

You are not alone. We have all asked these questions of ourselves - very natural.
There is a way out with a better life if you want it.

Keep coming back!
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:36 PM
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I wish I would have quit drinking when I asked myself that very question. At the end (which is today) I drank more than most grown men could and still managed to get 3 dogs down a flight of stairs to do their business. Very dangerous. Alcohol has ruined so many things for me and I've made poor choices.

It's not worth it. Why not go ahead and give it up? You have nothing to lose by not drinking.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sinderos View Post
I wish I would have quit drinking when I asked myself that very question.
Yeah, me too. I remember those nagging thoughts and worrying that it isn't right. Unfortunately, even as I suspected it I still spent years and years trying to moderate, until my drinking progressively got much worse and more dangerous.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:49 PM
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Hi setecastronomy

like most posters here, I look back and the beginning of my morning drinking as around the point when the shizzle got real.

The runaway train analogy TP made is pretty apt.

Do you have plans to quit or are you hoping to slow down?

D
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Sinderos View Post
I wish I would have quit drinking when I asked myself that very question. At the end (which is today) I drank more than most grown men could and still managed to get 3 dogs down a flight of stairs to do their business. Very dangerous. Alcohol has ruined so many things for me and I've made poor choices.

It's not worth it. Why not go ahead and give it up? You have nothing to lose by not drinking.
He does have something to lose. He has a period of comfort in a stressful world to lose.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:54 PM
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Also, why don't most people educate other people that morning drinking is a high risk behavior of alcoholics. I think this research would be helpful for most people to know.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Soberintexas007 View Post
He does have something to lose. He has a period of comfort in a stressful world to lose.
A fleeting moment of comfort perhaps, usually followed by a much longer period of negative consequences. Alcoholics have to accept that the bad always comes as part of the package
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:05 PM
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Yes, and the bad in this situation is that his/her couple hours of comfort can lead to many hours of hangover symptoms - restlessness, irritability, depression, anxiety, possibly paranoia, etc. etc.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:30 PM
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Welcome to SR SA
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Soberintexas007 View Post
He does have something to lose. He has a period of comfort in a stressful world to lose.
By the time I stopped, there was no longer any period of comfort. My body stopped physically processing alcohol into a buzz. Only unpleasant weirdness. God knows I kept trying though. But period of comfort? Not anymore.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:35 AM
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Hi SA,
Welcome. This site is a fantastic resource if you want support to quit drinking. You have quite a few red flags
Morning drinking- normal drinkers wouldn't consider it
Hiding your drinking/ being secretive- if you were drinking normally you wouldn't feel compelled to do this
30 beers and a bottle of spirits over 2-3 days- normal drinkers wouldn't and couldn't tolerate this.
The major red flag is the morning drinking. I chugged along for tears drinking far too much but once the morning drinks came in my world became all sorts of twisted. You do not function normally under any circumstances if you drink all day, you may feel ok but others will notice. I wish you well, you are definitely in the right place. X
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:30 AM
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As already said, progression is the key. Check out the stages of alcoholism and see if you can relate.

Period of comfort? This is one of the biggest lies alcohol tells us, IMHO. One of the hardest things to grasp is that comfort is fleeting--SOBRIETY REPLACES THAT COMFORT WITH CONTENTMENT.

Eustress will remain and unnecessary stress will not have the same effect on you.

You won't need to escape anything. Life is so rich sober, you want to just waller around in it!

Hope this helps!!!
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