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Alcoholics on mumsnet

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Alfiepants Mon 01-Dec-14 22:32:12

Hi I just posted under general health about this. There is no distinct category for people who may be thinking about or seeking support for stopping drinking or going to AA. Surprising given how much of a problem there is and I think there would be demand for it... There's a wine thread so only seems fair ;)

TarquinMoriartyGruntfuttockII Tue 02-Dec-14 05:20:26

There is the wonderful Brave Babes support threads in Relationships.

tribpot Tue 02-Dec-14 05:50:03

Actually I think a lot of people would find it too intimidating to post in a category specifically called Alcoholics, or even "Problem Drinkers" (or addicts, since people don't solely post about alcohol addiction). It's a very scary thing to admit and some (many?) may prefer the relatively comfort of general health?

Equally it might make finding threads like the Babes and DRY easier to do, I'd be interested to hear what their posters thought.

TarquinMoriartyGruntfuttockII Tue 02-Dec-14 06:05:51

I seem to remember that discussion happening when Babes first started Tribot and the consensus then was as you surmised that they would find it too intimidating.

Farahilda Tue 02-Dec-14 06:22:38

Presumably the posters on BB and Dry would get to chose whether their threads moved?

I don't think anyone should make them move from the part of MN they chose for its relative anonymity to a new section they did not request.

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 02-Dec-14 12:11:24

Hi Alfiepants,
Thanks for this suggestion, we are interested in all ideas to improve the site. Let's see how this discussion plays out - what does everyone think?

Alfiepants Tue 02-Dec-14 14:34:36

It's a shame that a perceived taboo would stop mumsnet from creating a place for people to post. There is a site called soberistas which has created a forum of this sort and there is clearly demand for it. If people feel uncomfortable with it they don't have to post do they? It doesn't have to be called alcoholics, could be problem drinkers. This is such a massive issue and only highlights the problem that there a) isn't a place and b) there's a wine thread!!!
Wine o clock is all well and good but what started out innocently enough became a problem for me coupled with PND and other external stress.

tribpot Tue 02-Dec-14 17:35:19

Mumsnet I think has helped a lot of problem drinkers over the years, to face their fears, to accept their problem. But many of them, when they first posted, would have been horrified to think of themselves as alcoholics. Part of the recovery is to accept that label and not be ashamed of it - I'm not - but you don't start from there.

You say a perceived taboo would stop mumsnet from creating a place for people to post - do you think there currently isn't a place for people to post? I'm not sure what a category means to posters, would it be easier for new posters to find 'their people' if we had a category? (I think probably yes is the answer).

I've never even seen this wine thread, where is it? A category wouldn't stop people being bombarded with references to booze on other threads, though.

EdithWeston Tue 02-Dec-14 19:13:22

Do you mean the wine topic? Because that seems a bit of a backwater to me.

If you mean the Friday Night thread, isn't that a NN for a quiche?

Alfiepants Tue 02-Dec-14 19:22:13

Yes I think a category would help people feel they have a safe place to share. The whole issue for people who are unable to moderate their drinking is that booze is such a socially acceptable part of everyday life that it's hard to talk about any problem you may have with people who aren't looking for help.
It doesn't have to be named alcoholism and I imagine there would be people who want to try and moderate as well as those in a programme of recovery whatever that may be. I find it really hard to get to meetings as a full time working mum and it would be enormously helpful to chat to mums in the same boat.
I can't get away from booze in reality so it doesn't matter that it's no different here! Just that there is a space for people. It's no different to eating disorders, stopping smoking, menopause and crikey Ebola!

And yes the wine thread is under Feed the world. grin

TeapotDictator Wed 03-Dec-14 08:12:46

I'm a poster to the Dry thread. I think it's a great idea, particularly if it can be couched in a way which is not off-putting. The very concept of stopping drinking is shrouded in such negativity - it's the only drug out there that you have to actually justify why you might want to STOP taking it. To admit to wanting to stop seems like an admission of being an out of control lunatic, and I think this black and white belief stops many problem drinkers being able to face stopping.

I believe it should be considered more normal to be a non-drinker, rather than to be regarded as something of a curiosity; a person with a 'back story'. Anything MN can do to facilitate people stopping should be encouraged in my opinion. (And I think it's hard to find the Dry and Babes threads; it's by no means logical that they fall under the Relationships umbrella.)

brokeneggshells Wed 03-Dec-14 08:26:53

I'm on the fence with this one. I can see practically how it would be easier to find, like the stop smoking topic but I do like the perceived anonymity of the Dry thread being under relationships, as it does revolve around our relationship to alcohol and how that impacts those around us. If anyone posts worried about their alcohol intake I know I would point them to the Brave Babes or Dry thread as I've seen others do too. I wouldn't like the thread moved but I can see how a separate topic would help with individual issues, like as you said in your op a discussion of AA or other recovery groups.

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Wed 03-Dec-14 08:33:12

Actually I think it's a brilliant idea. Sometimes a big thread where people know each other is a bit intimidating and you may just want to have a browse to see what other threads people have started.
That is not to say that brave babe's are intimidating, far from it, I found them extremely open and welcoming. I just find it hard to keep up with big threads and I end up giving up on it!
We have a stop smoking topic why not alcohol. Could be called Cutting Down on Alcohol? There is nothing to be ashamed of and having a topic may help more people to see that.

BigglesFliesUndone Wed 03-Dec-14 09:11:22

Also a 'Dry' poster. The original Dry threads came about from a poster who wanted a safe space to talk about abstaining totally from drinking, in which it kind of differs from the Brave Babes who also talk about moderation.

I'm not sure if we truly need a separate topic, although I am one of those people who actually doesn't give two hoots if everyone knows I have a drinking problem grin.

I would happily join such a topic though <easy going AND sober wink>

sydneysideup Wed 03-Dec-14 10:23:23

I'm on the Dry thread too and I'm undecided about the idea of a stand alone alcohol topic. I can see it would be easier for new lurkers and posters to find, but I lurked for the first 6 months of my sobriety without feeling confident enough to post. I felt safely hidden away on the Dry thread in Relationships. I also wanted to actively avoid threads which advocated moderation as I didn't want to be tempted at all, and this might be harder if lots of threads about alcohol were in one place.

However I think there are lots more lurkers in this topic area than we realise and perhaps if a happy hangover free life could become more visible through an Alcohol Support topic that would be a great thing.

CornChips Wed 03-Dec-14 10:44:06

I'm on the DRY thread too, and I think sydney basically sums up my thoughts on it, exactly.

throckenholt Wed 03-Dec-14 10:48:06

I think a thread called something like "cutting back the booze" would be good, maybe under health. Covers the whole range from I drink a bit more than I would like, to I know I have a problem and I need help, to my DP/DM/friend has a problem what can I do to help.

stayingdry Wed 03-Dec-14 11:52:42

Im on the dry thread, and am happy to use the word alcoholic, I am a recovering alcoholic who is now a grateful, happy, understanding, unjudgemental, good mum, friend and patner because of this. Glad there's this thread which looks to be supported by mumsnet. Alcoholism shouldnt be the taboo subject it is

InfinitySeven Wed 03-Dec-14 11:59:54

I don't think it would work. I think a lot of people would feel that they are "safer" where they are now - in relationships, or chat. You need to be in a position to admit that you have a problem to enter a specific alcoholism section, and looking through the Dry threads, it looks like a lot of people are cutting down or stopping but can't yet admit that they have a problem, which is totally normal.

There are specialist forums, like the one previously mentioned, for people who need that type of strict environment. Part of the joy of MN is that you get a wide range of opinions and thoughts.

Finally, I think that there are strong benefits to the threads relating to this being in places that people access regularly. There's every chance that people have gone to relationships, into the dry thread, and realised that their own habits match or are worse than the people there, and that they may have a problem. People who don't yet realise that are unlikely to go looking around it's own section.

There's too many sections anyway. Most of them are unused, and people would get a much better response posting to AIBU/Chat/etc depending on the content.

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Dec-14 12:16:51

Do keep the views coming, thanks, we're keeping an eye on this thread.

TeapotDictator Wed 03-Dec-14 13:57:04

It's really interesting to read other people's views on this. <waves to other DRYers> smile

I hear what you are saying Infinity re. there being too many sections anyway etc etc, but I think some of the sections are muddling and therefore don't attract people in sufficient numbers.

Perhaps if there were an overarching topic of 'Self-Improvement' and underneath that, topics including those covering dieting and exercise, as well as wanting to stop/cut back on smoking or drinking, then there would be more traffic. People who think they might drink too much (let's face it there could well be thousands of MNers who fall into that category) have commonality with those suffering from eg. food addiction.

Wanting to stop drinking shouldn't be seen as being the reserve of the stereotypical park bench drunk.

Having said all that, I recognise the positives in what people are saying on this thread that it works well to have eg. the Dry thread nestled among the relationships threads.

NomorepepperpigPLEASE Wed 03-Dec-14 14:04:59

I didn't even know those other two threads existed but I think its a great idea. Posters can always name change if they feel they would like the support but don't want to 'out themselves' on MN.

PopcornNuts Wed 03-Dec-14 15:57:22

I don't think I would have gone to a specific category, I'm quite happy on the mad bus where it is. If it had been a formal category I'd have stayed away but that's just me.

Alfiepants Wed 03-Dec-14 17:08:01

I don't think it matters if people prefer the anonymity of a pre existing hidden thread or are more comfortable with having a problem status. The point is that it's a taboo and the former just goes to show how much and Mumsnet being what it is should provide a place that people can use if they want to discuss that very issue. As a previous regular who has lapsed due to young children (and being drunk!!!) I couldn't find anywhere on here to post new stuff and that could be the case for lots of people who are currently looking for or perhaps don't even know they need help.
I find long running threads off putting as its a clique and sometimes you don't necessarily want all the back story you might just want a quick answer...
I really feel mumsnet has a responsibility to put a topic up for something that is such a prevalent health risk.

BigglesFliesUndone Thu 04-Dec-14 10:20:50

I hope the Dry threads don't come across as too 'cliquey' - there are always new people popping on and our backstories are not mentioned that often and generally only in a supportive 'hey, you can do it too' way I know what you mean about feeling a bit intimidated by long on-going threads though.

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