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to think I'm an alcoholic

(60 Posts)
Swiish Mon 06-May-13 21:38:30

I'm wondering if I really am an alcoholic.

I've always liked to drink and being drunk. A bottle of red is the only thing that relaxes me.

I think about alcohol all the time, throughout the day, and really perk up when I know I can have a drink.

I do limit myself to around two bottles per week, on average, and can resist not drinking but find it incredibly difficult.

I've always been known as a big drinker.

does this describe someone with a problem?

EglantinePrice Mon 06-May-13 21:41:14

Two bottles per week doesn't seem excessive to me. When you say on average... what exactly does that mean? How long can you go without a drink?

Llareggub Mon 06-May-13 21:43:02

Depends, really. Alcoholism isn't necessarily about quantities. It causing problems with loved ones, feeling like you need to control intake can be red flags.

HollyBerryBush Mon 06-May-13 21:43:15

If you need a drink you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

ImagineJL Mon 06-May-13 21:43:48

Do you really only drink 2 bottles of wine per week? Because that in itself is not a dangerously high quantity, if that's the real amount. However, I would say that your attitude and relationship with alcohol is definitely pathological, and it would be very easy for you to slip into a dangerous addiction if you didn't make Herculean efforts not to.

I would advise you to speak to AA, and your GP too, as there must be things in your life that make you feel that wine is the only thing that can make you happy and relaxed.

Are you being totally honest about the amount you drink?

Swiish Mon 06-May-13 21:44:23

When I was pregnant and breastfeeding I didn't touch a drop, and won't drink and drive, so can resist if I have to. However, if i'm having a social drink, I'll probably get sloshed - closing time/everyone gone home is the only thing to make me stop.

sarahseashell Mon 06-May-13 21:45:49

speak to AA - I think it is the importance alcohol plays in your life which is more significant than amounts and could signify dependency. Well done for facing up to it.

HotCrossPun Mon 06-May-13 21:46:07

If you are worried about your reliance on alcohol then that in itself is a good enough reason to speak to somebody about it.

Are the 2 bottles of wine spread throughout the week?

Swiish Mon 06-May-13 21:46:32

Thanks for the advice. Yes, I'll being honest about the amount I drink. However, in my twenties I've drink myself into oblivion on a very regular basis. I didn't have DC then, so I 'could'. if I didn't have to limit myself I'd honestly drink all day, every day.

Bowlersarm Mon 06-May-13 21:46:36

Hmmmm. It sounds like if you can keep it to two bottles per week then you don't have a problem. If the amount creeps up then maybe you do.

Lots of threads about alcohol tonight!

Swiish Mon 06-May-13 21:47:35

Thanks again, everyone. The two bottles are spread over three or so nights.

yaimee Mon 06-May-13 21:48:18

I don't know.
To me, an alcoholic is an addict. You do sound like you could.be addicted to alcohol BUT you seem to manage your addiction.
You stick to within the government guidelines on alcohol consumption, even though this is difficult for you and you exercise a lot of self control.
Most people with addictions can't do this and most treatment for addiction teaches you how to do this, rather than 'curing' the addiction. For most people, I don't think the feelings you describe ever really go away.
So what I'm trying to get round to saying is that, if you are addicted to alcohol, but manage this addiction and drink sensibly, and if this addiction is not adversely affecting your life or health, then i'm not sure how much more can/should be done about it.

Swiish Mon 06-May-13 21:49:42

I envy people who can have a couple of glasses and feel satisfied with that. I always feel as though i'm only just starting and have to force myself not to get pissed. If i'm offered a drink, the answer will always be "yes please".

Swiish Mon 06-May-13 21:52:08

Thanks yaimee. I don't think it does affect my family or work anymore. I do worry about my health though. A few years ago I woke up with yellow tinges in my eyes, which are still there, after yet another binge.

Ginformation Mon 06-May-13 21:53:23

Do you feel you should cut down your alcohol?

Do you feel annoyed if someone criticises your drinking?

DO you feel guilty about your drinking?

Do you ever need an eye-opener/hair of the dog?

2 yeses indicates a problem.

A longer assessment is the AUDIT C questionnaire

Joiningthegang Mon 06-May-13 22:01:00

I'd you think you have a problem it might be worth speaking with a professional - if you want to abstain forever go to AA, if you would like support or tools to help keep your drinking under control try your local alcohol treatment service

maddening Mon 06-May-13 22:01:57

sounds like an unhealthy relationship with alcohol which could get really out of control - so possibly dependant on alcohol more than alcoholic (unless you binge drink? In which case I would say alcoholic/alcohol dependant binge drinker)

dubstarr73 Mon 06-May-13 22:02:58

Im 19/40 but i was honest.Theres days id drink and drink but then other days it wouldnt bother me.So i dont think ive a problem.I wouldnt go to school drunk or collect the kids drunk.But it is a fine line.

BegoniaBampot Mon 06-May-13 22:09:45

I could be you in everything you have said. I agree it's not the amount you drink but your relationship with drinking and how you mentally think about it. I have to restrict myself and I know it would be very easy to get out of control. It is the same with other close family members so something perhaps we are predisposed to.

Helltotheno Mon 06-May-13 22:36:28

Yes you do have an issue around alcohol from all you've said. People don't seem to understand that you don't have to be craving alcohol to have a problem with drink. If you look at your statements as a totality, it's clearer:

I've always liked to drink and being drunk. A bottle of red is the only thing that relaxes me. alcohol as a social crutch

I think about alcohol all the time, throughout the day
your preoccupation with the idea of it means other things are suffering

I've always been known as a big drinker.
It shouldn't be something ideally that features in people's descriptions of you

However, if i'm having a social drink, I'll probably get sloshed - closing time/everyone gone home is the only thing to make me stop.
inability to stop after one/two... classic sign

I envy people who can have a couple of glasses and feel satisfied with that.
wishing you could stop after one/two.. you are aware you have a problem with that

A few years ago I woke up with yellow tinges in my eyes, which are still there, after yet another binge
it's starting to affect your liver... be worth getting some tests done at this stage

However, in my twenties I've drink myself into oblivion on a very regular basis.
binge drinking is the classic sign of a problem drinker.. usually starts when the drinker is young so a hard habit to break out of. Oblivion is not a good place to be, especially when potentially alone and vulnerable

I'm not trying to make you feel worse, because you've taken a step by recognising it. How about trying to fill your evenings with other stuff like exercise, a hobby etc to replace the wine? Maybe head to your GP and get a good all-round checkup and some vitamins? AA?

Wuldric Mon 06-May-13 22:49:48

I do not think you have a problem with alcohol now - not in the slightest. Your consumption levels are near-normal. Any liver function test you might have would come back as normal. So let's not exaggerate here. You are not drinking 2 or 3 bottles a day, suffering from hand tremors, drinking in the morning, concealing empties, turning to spirits (neat). You are not there.

But you know that alcohol is like a big long shallow slide. The only way is down, and cravings indicate that you've already pushed off the top.

At this juncture, neither AA nor your GP would take you very seriously, I'm afraid. That is a function of the way those two organisations operate. But I am going to suggest something to you. No more alcohol over the summer. Not one drink until 21 September. Concentrate on getting your 5-a-day and mix some smoothies because they count as 2. Go and get some exercise, endorphins will give you a bigger and healthier buzz.

Helltotheno Mon 06-May-13 22:58:35

At this juncture, neither AA nor your GP would take you very seriously

You are absolutely wrong there about AA... as far as I'm aware, the criterion for attending AA meetings is not a craving for methylated spirits. Like I said, there are many different manifestations of problems with alcohol, and there are many red flags here that indicate the OP has a pretty longstanding problem with alcohol. Unless you think drinking yourself into oblivion on a regular basis is the standard way alcohol should be treated.
Also, are you a doctor?

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 06-May-13 22:59:20

Your GP will take your yellow-tinged eyes seriously - please make an appointment asap, even if the yellow disappears after a few 'dry' days. Your liver function needs checking.

BinksToEnlightenment Mon 06-May-13 23:02:21

I don't think an inability to stop after one or two is a sign of anything. I can't stop after one or two and neither can anyone I know. The old 'we'll just go for one drink' nonsense.

OP, I don't think it sounds like the drink is the problem. It's the pedestal you've put it on. You aren't drinking excessively. But it does need to be less important to you.

Wuldric Mon 06-May-13 23:02:33

I am not a doctor. But I am an alcoholic and have much experience both of AA and GPs attitudes and to accessing help from the services.

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