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Please help me do I sound like an alcoholic? Please please can I have some advice

(22 Posts)
isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 11:46:45

I have health anxiety and general anxiety. I don't know if I'm overly worrying or not. Either way I know alcohol is a fucking disaster for anxiety anyway, but I have this loop in my head that I'm an alocoholic and just too stupid to have realised it until now.

I used to drink about once or twice a week with friends. About every six weeks I'd get far too drunk. I wouldn't do usually do anything "bad" although once or twice in the past I have made a fool of myself.

This year my too drunk times include:

1. Having to go to hospital after an accident, being released with thankfully no damage done - friend took me to the pub for the shock and we drank shitloads of wine. Everything was ok but I feel I got too drunk ie the journey home on tube was patchy in my memory. Also, it broke my dry January which shows lack of control.

2. Being taken out for my birthday. I had been on a new diet and got drunk far quicker than I should have. It was awful, I got sick in my bed that night so actually could have died.

3. Drunk on holidays in a strange city on my own when somebody bought me shots. I had to take a cab back to my hotel, again hazy memory, I was lucky nothing happened.

4. Very drunk with a friend for no real reason. We took a taxi home, again memory patchy.

5. Drunk too much TWICE in the last week with friends. In instance 1 I have no memory of getting home. Friends say all fine, I was happy and chatty and appeared drunk but knew what I was doing - but I don't remember. Instance 2 I didn't feel "drunk" at all but threw up before going to bed as hadn't eaten all day.

So a pretty horrific picture with 6 times this year things have been awful.

I have been drunk at other social things throughout the year, but in a place where I can mostly remember all the minor details and stopped before it got to a danger point.

But I have taken a taste for drinking 2 beers at home by myself several nights of the week as well.

What does it sound like to you? I know some Mumsnetters have had problems with alcohol, would be grateful for any opinions. Aibu to be worried? Aibu to feel confused about whether I need AA or if I can cut down or something?

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 11:48:46

Sorry, to be clear, the accident in 1. was a sober accident but then we wanted to go to the pub.

practy Sat 13-Aug-16 11:48:53

No you don't sound like an alcoholic, but you do sound like you have a problem with binge drinking. Nothing wrong with going out and getting tipsy, but you need to work out why you didn't stop on these occasions, as you do at other times.

TheWindInThePillows Sat 13-Aug-16 11:53:07

It sounds like your anxiety and your alcohol drinking are interacting and not in a good way. It sounds like you are drinking a lot on your nights out perhaps because of anxiety, then paying the consequences the next day.

You don't sound like you are physically dependent on alcohol but you do sound like psychologically, it's becoming a crutch for you.

What treatment are you getting for your health anxiety? Why does it matter if you are diagnosed as an 'alcoholic' rather than just someone who drinks too much on occasion (which is very common) and would like to cut down?

I think cutting down on your drinking is an excellent idea, but you don't need a diagnosis of alcoholism do do that.

Have you checked out Soberistas? soberistas.com/ They are a support network for women who want to gain control of their alcohol use. It's free for the first 50 pages, and about £11 for 3 months membership. It might really be worth it for you and may be more accessible than going to drug and alcohol services which may be full of more hard-core drinkers.

Stevefromstevenage Sat 13-Aug-16 11:56:02

You know you have a problem with using alcohol to ease your social anxiety so yes in that way you have an alcohol problem.

I think the best thing for you is to get a social life which, in so far as possible, does not include alcohol. Take up activities where drinking is a serious impediment to doing it the next day, essentially any sport.

The second thing is to decide how many drinks you are going to have before you go out (I always do this) then stick to it. Drink water between drinks, a pint of water takes a long time or a soda water and lime cordial makes you feel like you are actually drinking. If you struggle to do this you may have to cut out drinking entirely because you cannot continue as you are.

coconutpie Sat 13-Aug-16 11:57:18

Alcoholism is not just a way to describe those who have a bottle in a brown paper bag all day. An alcoholic can drink all day, or binge drink on a regular occasion. It would appear you have a big problem with alcohol. Get help and stop drinking before you either end up in a bad situation or worse because you're certainly heading that way.

Mittensonastring Sat 13-Aug-16 11:59:05

Could you just not drink for say a week and be okay with that? Because I went through a stage in my life where I needed a drink almost every day.I didn't drink a great deal volume wise but I needed it and I did class that as a problem. Now I'm someone that has got quite drunk 3 times this year. Moderately tipsy a couple more times and have times where I don't drink for a couple of weeks at all and even up to a month at a time.

I do personally think you have a problem as drunk to the point of an accident and drinking alone.

Not sure if it's an AA situation just see if you can go without for a week first off.

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 12:20:02

Yes. I really think my anxiety and drinking are starting to interact.

I don't think I have social anxiety at all actually, it's a more general kind. I get so stressed and worried about money, career, and ironically my health.

On 2 of the above occasions I know I leaned more heavily towards alcohol because I felt stressed and responsible, ie one was entertaining a group of distant relatives (who are now friends) who landed in my small flat suddenly one night while travelling. My stress and anxiety at being suddenly put "out of my routine" shot up, so we all started having beers.

That Soberistas looks very interesting and worth the joining fee.

I could easily not drink for a couple of weeks now that I feel scared. I'm only noticing that I've started having a beer or two several week nights - for example I had one last night.

I am scared of a diagnosis or label because I already have such a depressing collection of labels - various forms of anxiety and a collection of physical health problems. They get me down. I don't want another diagnosis, I feel I have enough.

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 12:22:59

Also I know alcohol isn't just a problem for stereotypical people drinking on a park bench.

I used to work in a job where quite a lot of people looked immaculate and groomed on the outside and were very high achieveing, but were basically high functioning alcoholics.

Lopistikke Sat 13-Aug-16 12:26:25

I think labelling yourself may not help. What's obvious is that you're drinking in a pattern that's unhealthy. Start from that rather than beating yourself up?

A few years back I found myself having a glass of wine to cope with anxiety. It wasn't doing me any good so I just stopped drinking. We were ttc so I had a good excuse and motivation. I got pregnant and didn't drink then I've just never started again. I'm not labelling myself as tt either. I can imagine in the future I might want the odd one.
For me, mentally recasting myself as 'I don't really drink' rather than tt or binge drinker or 'not drinking in January' was key.

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 12:27:01

The accident was nothing to do with drink. I was in shock though so my friend and I wanted a bottle of wine. Which became more.

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 12:30:37

Fertility is a big one.

This year I've been slowly trying to accept that I can't have a safe pregnancy, so will have to look at other options. It has broken my heart in a way. Maybe there's a link there because I've certainly been having thoughts along the lines of, well that's something I wanted more than anything else in the world gone so what's the point of trying to be as healthy as possible.

Agree labels aren't probably helpful for me.

bumblingmum Sat 13-Aug-16 12:30:42

You sound like me when I was in my teens/twenties; no idea of my alcoholic limit and much more of a lightweight than all of my friends. Socialising was going out drinking and I never could figure out (be bothered to figure out) my limit. I would nearly always black out and not remember the end of the night before. It wasn't healthy or safe. Try alternating water and alcoholic drink and make sure you eat. Please stay safe.

limon Sat 13-Aug-16 12:33:43

You're a binge drinker but you don't sound like an alcholi.

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 12:44:35

Most of the time, I do remember, and feel I'm in control of what I drink. What I'm worried of is the regular amount of times this slips and I fuck it all up.

Lopistikke Sat 13-Aug-16 14:19:46

If you're trying to get pregnant then that's a great reason. Don't try to cut down or 'none in the week' or any of that shit. Just (I know, there's no 'just') stop.
Do you have fertility issues?

becciandbump Sat 13-Aug-16 15:01:22

I don't think you sound like an alcoholic but it sounds like you are trying to self medicate your anxiety with alcohol. Ive had awful problems with anxiety and used to think a glass of red wine calmed my nerves and reduced my stress but the anxiety makes you worry more. I like you then worried if I was drinking too much and then made myself feel guilty it's just the anxiety talking. Saying that I never used to get drunk or be sick or have memory lapses just drinking with meals. Id suggest getting done therapy for your anxiety and see if this reduces your need to drink. I haven't missed alcohol at all being pregnant do also maybe set your self a challenge of not drinking on some of your social gatherings. If you find yourself unable to stop them Id def seek help for your drinking x

Bomb Sat 13-Aug-16 15:22:23

If you go out and don't drink do you enjoy yourself? I'm a very light drinker and don't drink at all if I'm out the house. I don't drink because I have a great time without drink and enjoy the fact I feel good.

Most of my friends drink but they are not an overly boozy group which makes it more acceptable to be a non-drinker.

Getting so drunk that you can't remember things is a bit scarey. I'd hate that.

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 15:40:14

No, I'm not trying to get pregnant - it's not safe for me to do so, or wouldn't be safe for the baby. I am not infertile but have problems that means it's too high risk. Long term I need to look at other options to become a mum.

Maybe I do have more social anxiety than I think because I'm fine not drinking by myself, even though I enjoy a beer I don't NEED to. However, if a situation with people makes me feel stressed then I reach for a drink to make it easier and everyone is always drinking too so it's not like all my friends are having coffee and I'm there with booze, so it looks "normal" even though it clearly isnt. But I can't just avoid everyone confused.

e1y1 Sat 13-Aug-16 15:42:42

Not an alcoholic, but definitely sounds like binge drinking.

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 15:44:30

I've started cooking a lot of curries this year, broaderning out my cooking repertoire, and that's when I seemed to get into the habit of buying a beer for going with it.

Today I've got some posh alcohol free ginger beer to try instead. I think it will go well with spicy food. I don't think I'll miss the alcohol with my dinner at all really, more the social stuff.

isalcoholtheproblem Sat 13-Aug-16 15:45:19

Isn't binge drinking just another way to describe alcoholism though?

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