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Forum for Heavy Drinkers?

Old 06-30-2015, 04:05 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Glad you're here.
In the big book there's personal stories in the back. Part two is titled,"they stopped in time." here's what it says before the stories:
Among today’s incoming A.A. members, many have never reached the advanced stages of alcoholism, though given time all might have.
Most of these fortunate ones have had little or no ac- quaintance with delirium, with hospitals, asylums, and jails. Some were drinking heavily, and there had been oc- casional serious episodes. But with many, drinking had been little more than a sometimes uncontrollable nuisance. Seldom had any of these lost either health, business, family, or friends.
Why do men and women like these join A.A.?
The seventeen who now tell their experiences answer that question. They saw that they had become actual or po- tential alcoholics, even though no serious harm had yet been done.
They realized that repeated lack of drinking control, when they really wanted control, was the fatal symptom that spelled problem drinking. This, plus mounting emo- tional disturbances, convinced them that compulsive alco- holism already had them; that complete ruin would be only a question of time.
Seeing this danger, they came to A.A. They realized that in the end alcoholism could be as mortal as cancer; cer- tainly no sane man would wait for a malignant growth to become fatal before seeking help.
Therefore, these seventeen A.A.’s, and hundreds of thou- sands like them, have been saved years of infinite suffering. They sum it up something like this: “We didn’t wait to hit bottom because, thank God, we could see the bottom. Actually, the bottom came up and hit us. That sold us on Alcoholics Anonymous.”
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:04 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hi.
As stated I believe a heavy drinker can stop drinking when presented a reason that would be beneficial for them so they just stop drinking and get on with life.

These people are NOT addicted or obsessed to alcohol like I am. Iím sure they like their drink and miss it for awhile.

BE WELL
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:33 AM
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The distinction between “heavy drinker” and “alcoholic” is mostly an AA thing, and it’s entirely notional. There’s no hard line in the sand, on one side of which you’re a “heavy drinker” and on the other of which you’re an “alcoholic.” There are only degrees of difficulty in stopping. It’s a continuous spectrum, on one end of which are those who drink a lot but can stop without difficulty, and on the other end of which are those who die from their affliction despite every earnest effort to stop. There’s a lot of middle ground there.

I don’t find this made-up distinction useful, as can encourage people in AA who identify as “real alcoholics” to accord themselves a weird kind of elitist status.

If you self-identify as simply a “heavy drinker” who wants to quit, well, go ahead and quit. If you try to quit but have any difficulty doing it, you can call yourself anything you want as far as I’m concerned, but you're welcome to ask for help here -- it's what we're here for.
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:10 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Welcome to the Forum KeepingOn!!
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:25 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Only you can say if you are an alcoholic or not. I have never once had an experience on SR with anyone judging or pressuring me to label myself. Welcome
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:57 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Hi KeepinOn, i don't put too much stock in the labels (in fact, none). This place can provide help an assistance to anyone and everyone who as questions about alcohol consumption. That is why I am here.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:07 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Yep this was me-too not so long ago. I'm just a heavy drinker. Monday morning after a heavy night I'm running around organizing the week and I could not focus. It was like one of those dreams where you try to run but can't. By 9am I thought maybe I need to eat, sitting in the cafe waiting for my order rubbing my face continually, then I realize a beer would fix this straight away. I didn't act on it but l know it's going to happen if I keep going. I NEVER thought I would feel like a drink in the morning but there it was. Went to my first aa meeting that night. Good luck with your mental battle I think you're going to need it.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:08 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Andante View Post
The distinction between “heavy drinker” and “alcoholic” is mostly an AA thing, and it’s entirely notional. There’s no hard line in the sand, on one side of which you’re a “heavy drinker” and on the other of which you’re an “alcoholic.” There are only degrees of difficulty in stopping. It’s a continuous spectrum, on one end of which are those who drink a lot but can stop without difficulty, and on the other end of which are those who die from their affliction despite every earnest effort to stop. There’s a lot of middle ground there.

I don’t find this made-up distinction useful, as can encourage people in AA who identify as “real alcoholics” to accord themselves a weird kind of elitist status.

If you self-identify as simply a “heavy drinker” who wants to quit, well, go ahead and quit. If you try to quit but have any difficulty doing it, you can call yourself anything you want as far as I’m concerned, but you're welcome to ask for help here -- it's what we're here for.
Well said Andante. I've always found these discussions regarding real alcoholic vs. heavy drinker to be counter-productive. IMO, it's important to remember that the Big Book of AA is not a medical text, nor is it the definitive text on alcoholism. However, it does contain a good bit of wisdom based on experience, but a portion of it is archaic and in some cases incorrect in its assertions.

To respond to the original poster: a drinker either has a problem stopping or they don't, the label used is inconsequential IMO. If a drinker does have a problem stopping, there are a variety of helpful resources available, and there should be no shame in seeking help if needed. If you're having an issue with stopping, I urge you to seek help, or--at the very least take--some time to read through the various threads here on Sober Recovery.
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:40 PM
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Welcome Keeping on
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Old 06-30-2015, 03:18 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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All,

Thanks for the responses, and the welcome.

The issue, for me, is both personal and "academic". The question really arose after an NY Times blog "Most Heavy Drinkers Are Not Alcoholics" (from 11/20/14--I can't post the link), and then a semi-follow-up interview on the Brian Lehrer show ("Is AA for Everyone?" - 4/6/15) that drew the distinction, as well as questioning the efficacy of AA for "heavy drinkers." It was in the interview that SR was suggested as a place for both, as somewhat distinct from AA's focus. Hence my question before diving in.

I'll poke around the site a bit!

KeepingOn
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:27 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Using somebody else's definitions to apply to your problem can be a slippery slope. I told myself for nearly 30 years that I couldn't possibly be an alcoholic because I mostly drank beer, I never missed a day of work, I always had enough money, etc. Well, it turns out that I was only fooling myself and the fact is that I was slowly killing myself. If I never admitted to myself that I had a problem, then I'd most likely be dead by now.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:18 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I hoped and prayed for years that I was only a heavy drinker but my continued heavy drinking with serious consequences showed me that I was indeed, yep, an alcoholic.

I heard Morgan Freeman say in an NPR interview that "A lush is somebody who likes to drink. An alcoholic is someone who needs to drink." I remember thinking "Well, fabulous. I am a lush. That has kind of a ring to it. A lush, I can live with that. I'm just a lush, right? Right? " I was really mostly happy because I thought that would allow me to keep drinking without really having to worry about it. Man was I ever frustrated when this lush continued to get daily debilitating hangovers (at work as well as weekends) and this "lush's" hands began to tremble in the morning when I'd put in my contacts.

Whatever the label, I just couldn't do it anymore.

In my daily life I never use the term "alcoholic." I just go by "non-drinker."
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