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Were You an Alcoholic Before You Started Drinking?

Old 06-29-2011, 07:21 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Kjell View Post
Hi Crew-

Also, as soon as I started drinking, I didn't just have a good time that night, my whole world changed and I thought I found a secret for my life, a "cure" for me if you will. I hung on to that until the very end, destroying almost everything and almost killing myself, but it was that important to me.

Even with all the damage going on around me, I was terrified to lose my "cure", even though that SOB had betrayed me

Kjell~
Yes! Same here! Very well worded.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:25 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
I definitely had some dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors before I began drinking, but I was absolutely not an alcoholic. Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol, and by definition one cannot be addicted to something one has never ingested.
this describes me, also i drank 'normally' (i mean occasionally, without planning my next drink, and without having to plan or worry about limits, and able to leave wine in the bottle/glass) for about 6 years, then some bad stuff happened and i started drinking more to numb myself and restore a degree of self-assertion, then i crossed the line where it became the only way i could really feel lifted from that state.

i attribute this to chemical changes in my brain caused by consistant heavy drinking and i believe that you could take the most saintly, humble and well-balanced person, feed them as much grog as i have knocked back, and they too would become exactly as addicted as me - their personality wouldn't somehow save them from an inevitable biochemical fact.

i was a normal human with personality quirks and hangups before i ever took a drink and i'm sure i'll remain one sober, even if i live to be 100.

for example i'll still tend to be a perfectionist with a lot of all or nothing thinking, but since that's how i draw the salary i'm getting i don't see it as something that needs to be eradicated, it's more like having a really fast racehorse, you don't point him towards a cliff edge and assume he'll suddenly develop brakes. but you don't break his legs either, or blame his pedigree on why he went over the cliff into the sea...

it would be a myth i think to say 'normal' ie in-control drinkers are perfect and totally devoid of black and white thinking, anger, perfectionism, or any of the other personality traits that a lot of recovery programs concern themselves with, and also a mistake to think that these are always flaws - righteous anger for example ended slavery and perfectionism is an important trait of most artists and a great many computer and software specialists, surgeons and engineers.

jmo.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:49 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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I've had poor self esteem ever since being a kid after being bullied in high school.

From there I used alcohol to cure my social awkwardness. It didn't work so I drank more to try to cure my social awkwardness but it only made me more awkward and from there I drank more to cure the new levels of awkwardness. Is that infinite feedback loop alcoholism?

If it is I don't think I was born with it. I developed it by not having the resources to cope.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:03 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DoubtfulDebs View Post
i was a normal human with personality quirks and hangups before i ever took a drink and i'm sure i'll remain one sober, even if i live to be 100.
That has certainly been my experience. The way I see it, I had positive and negative traits when I started drinking, but over time the drinking distorted the positive and exaggerated the negative. When I quit drinking, I had to bring this back into balance and if possible reverse the trend a bit.

For example, I am extremely stubborn, in the sense that I DO NOT give up until all avenues are exhausted. This can be a horrific trait if used negatively, such as by refusing to give in when a cause is lost (as in my attempts to drink successfully), but it can also be incredibly helpful if it is turned toward the forces of good. Used positively, that trait is immensely positive in my career and even in my personal life. You should see how good I am at planning a trip! I will research everything to the tiniest detail and I will not stop until I am satisfied with the trip and the price. My family loves this (as long as I don't take it too far and start telling them that we MUST be at the Eiffel Tower at precisely 2:03 pm).

The same principle can be applied to pretty much every trait, including the "negative" ones that some recovery programs want to label as universally "bad": anger can be turned into the motivation to right wrongs (can you imagine where we'd be without it?--if instead of fighting WWII we'd said "no, leave that Hitler guy alone, it's bad to be angry at others..."); perfectionism can be turned down a notch, and result in excellence; pride can be turned toward appropriate self-esteem; and so on.

The point is that moving past an addiction doesn't mean we have to rid ourselves of who we are: we simply reframe ourselves.

OTT
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:15 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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I don't believe that I was alcoholic before I ever started drinking, but when I did start, I remember thinking "WOW !!! This is what has been missing in my life !!! How GREAT that I will always have alcohol to feel this way whenever I want to !!!"

The rest, as they say, is history...
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:39 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AVRT View Post
I don't believe that I was alcoholic before I ever started drinking, but when I did start, I remember thinking "WOW !!! This is what has been missing in my life !!! How GREAT that I will always have alcohol to feel this way whenever I want to !!!"

The rest, as they say, is history...
I remember 'the glow' I had when it finally clicked in my head back in 2003.
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