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Alcohol support

Do I have a problem or is this okay?

16 replies

sezzer87 · 06/09/2023 10:40

2 years ago I had a breakdown after several traumas that occurred one after the other.
I never used to drink unless I was on a night out or at Christmas.
But in the last 2 years I've found myself enjoying the odd glass more. I find it relaxes me and calms my nerves. Where I used to have a cup of tea after dinner it's now a bottle of beer or a glass of wine.
I never drink more then 2 glasses and it's always in the evening and I never get drunk.
I can go without but still crave it like when I used to crave chocolate and tea in the evenings (which I now don't have ever) . I used to be addicted to tea drinking 4-5 cups in the evening keeping me awake till the early hours. Now I go to bed and I'm asleep within 20 mins not due to being drunk but because I'm not laden with caffeine.

My dad was an alcoholic and my mother was teetotal. So I'm finding it difficult to decipher whether I have an issue or whether it's just my mothers voice in my head telling me off for it as she's always had a dim view of alcohol in general.

Any advice?

OP posts:
Isheabastard · 06/09/2023 11:09

I don’t have any experience. I used to be a social drinker but have now stopped.

I thought that there’s only a problem if the drinking causes other problems, difficulties in your life. Ie hangovers stop you going to work, oversleep, bad relationships due to arguing when drunk etc etc. Or that you can’t go without.

your drinking sounds ok to me. You seem to be aware that you can get into strong habits (tea drinking).

I think it’s good to be aware of your drinking and two glasses sound fine, unless the glasses are buckets of course!).

sezzer87 · 06/09/2023 11:31

Isheabastard · 06/09/2023 11:09

I don’t have any experience. I used to be a social drinker but have now stopped.

I thought that there’s only a problem if the drinking causes other problems, difficulties in your life. Ie hangovers stop you going to work, oversleep, bad relationships due to arguing when drunk etc etc. Or that you can’t go without.

your drinking sounds ok to me. You seem to be aware that you can get into strong habits (tea drinking).

I think it’s good to be aware of your drinking and two glasses sound fine, unless the glasses are buckets of course!).

Thank you for your reply.
I think you've hit the nail on the head with the realising I could get addicted. I think this is my main concern. It's not causing any issues whatsoever at the moment, but I suppose if I was to go through further trauma I could reach for the bottle more heavily to cope and that's what I don't want to happen.

OP posts:
mindutopia · 06/09/2023 12:09

I don't think a drink or two in the evening is a sign that you have a problem. I think the question of whether it's okay is a more complicated one. You know from your experience with your dad that using alcohol as a coping mechanism is unhealthy. Everyone (with rare exception) who is an alcoholic, myself included, once started off being an only on nights out or only on the weekends sort of drinker and then an only a couple glasses with dinner every night drinker. Alcohol use, for most people, is progressive, unless they make a conscious effort to not drink. Once you get in the habit of having 2 glasses a night, it's not hard to slide into 3 glasses, a bottle of wine and a cider, etc.

So I don't think a glass or two of wine a day is means you have an issue with alcohol, or at least such an issue that you can't sort it out. But realistically, alcohol does effect sleep. Even if you fall asleep faster, you don't sleep as restfully, even after a drink or two. And drinking also won't sort out your trauma. It can be a short-term to get you through tough times as long as it doesn't become destructive. When it becomes a longer term habit, this is when you need to think about if it's still serving you. But speaking from experience, the best healing from trauma I did was facilitated by stopping drinking.

You might consider how you'd feel if you took a break from drinking. Do 30 days off and re-assess. Switch to decaf or herbal tea and a biscuit in the evenings and see how your sleep is. Etc.

Sillymummies123 · 07/09/2023 06:39

I think it's an addictive drug. Let's be honest here - 2 glasses of wine a night is still going to have an unpleasant long term effect on every organ in your body, and you certainly aren't drinking too little to get the delightful risk of cancer, CVD, mental instability etc etc that alcohol use gives.

I think you have a problem. I think the problem at present involves drinking a moderate but sustainable nightly amount, which you psychologically struggle to go without (cravings, and the mere fact that you do it at all). Family history plus the fact that you have (presumably not 125ml x 2, but larger glasses like everyone does?) A night, and crave if you go without suggests to me that you're all set up for the problem to develop further.

Having said that, even if you never touch more than 2 glasses a night, I still think 730 chunky glasses of wine a year over your life is going to hurt your poor body.

I also think many others drink more and are similarly functional. Societies reassuring attitude toward this drug only helps getting to this position.

Not sure why I'm writing this - I'm not meaning to sound judgemental, just giving the opinion you asked for, though I myself, if I asked this question, would only want to hear "no, it's not a problem"

RosesAndHellebores · 07/09/2023 06:55

2 x 175ml glasses of wine is 4.6 units. That's over 30 units a week. The recommended limit is 14.

30 units consistently may do harm. It will.certainly contribute to a fatty liver even if it doesn't cause it, particularly if you have other issues such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and are overweight.

Could you try some 0 alcohol? The beers and gins aren't bad. Or peppermint tea?

SmokeMeAKipperIllBeBackForBreakfast · 07/09/2023 07:00

I think the fact you are needing it to relax, and crave it when you go without, could indicate you are on shaky ground. I’m speaking as someone who felt the relax as soon as the first couple of sips went down, and who ended up drinking far too much for far too Lang.
I’m also the daughter of an alcoholic.
I’d find a different way to relax if I were you, simply because it’s far too easy for alcohol to get its grips on you and it’s hard to give up once you are on the slippery slope to alcoholism.

Girliefriendlikespuppies · 07/09/2023 07:19

Addiction has a genetic component which puts you at higher risk of it becoming a problem.

Drinking every day is not good for your health even if you're not getting drink. Craving alcohol is also not a good sign.

As you highlighted with the tea issue you do seem to struggle with moderation and I think this will be the same with alcohol.

Have a break from drinking, do not buy any more alcohol and see how you go.

C8H10N4O2 · 07/09/2023 08:03

What size glasses and what type of wine? It makes a big difference. A large pub glass is a third of a bottle but I find drinking at home I pour myself small measures and a glass is about 1/8 of a bottle.

Similarly are you drinking heavy reads which can be up to 14/15% or light Verdes at 10%?

If you aim to keep at least 3 or 4 nights alcohol free per week, ideally in a group can you keep your glasses smaller and lighter on the other nights?

You say you used to enjoy tea but it kept you awake. How about flavoured kombuchas (cheapest to make but you can buy them to try) or roibos tea or other herbal mix / caffeine free tea? You may need to experiment a bit to find something you like but they all make good non sweet subs for alcohol.

Summer2424 · 07/09/2023 08:24

Hi @sezzer87
I don't think you have a drink issue. You could try having a drink like a treat, like on a Friday or the weekend. Slowly it might turn into a fortnightly drink and then monthly.
My Dad died of Alcoholism, i can see a drink problem a mile off. You're definitely in control of your drinking xx

NewBeginning23 · 07/09/2023 13:23

Summer2424 · 07/09/2023 08:24

Hi @sezzer87
I don't think you have a drink issue. You could try having a drink like a treat, like on a Friday or the weekend. Slowly it might turn into a fortnightly drink and then monthly.
My Dad died of Alcoholism, i can see a drink problem a mile off. You're definitely in control of your drinking xx

Sorry to be blunt but you can't possible know that. The OP has already said she used to drink only occasionally and she's crept up to drinking every day!

OP, I was where you are a couple of years ago. It crept up and up. I probably posted the same thing you just did. I'm now quitting alcohol altogether as it WAS an issue. Even back when I was 'only' drinking a couple of glasses a night.

AnonymousJM · 07/09/2023 13:38

Everything you've written on here is the exact same situation I am currently going through.

My Mum was an alcoholic

And I find myself having a glass (no more than two) every other night

I've sat down myself and really feared it becoming a potential problem


However with my situation

I can definitely go without alcohol

And the cravings can come and go
It all just depends on the situation

If Im feeling quite stressed
Maybe I fancy a glass

If I've had a hectic day
It's nice to have a glass

If I'm not stressed or there aren't any particular problems or events happening

I find myself not even thinking about alcohol or reaching for a glass

As long as you know your limits
And if you ever think it's becoming a problem, either cut down, stop completely or reach out for help

Everyone will have their opinions
But no one's living your life

You know you better than anyone else

The fear is there because of genetics
Completely understandable

We all have our ways of coping and winding down (some more healthier than others)
Some people will smoke 5 fags
Some people will go on a 5K run
And some people like us would like to have a glass or two

There's no harm in that

Hereforsummer · 07/09/2023 13:48

I do think you have the makings of a problem. Not because of how much you are drinking, but because it sounds like you are using it to self medicate mental health issues. That really is a slippery slope, and as you say, it would be so easy for that to increase next time you hit a bump in the road.

Sillymummies123 · 08/09/2023 11:38

I would recommend anyone who is sober curious reading dome Annie Grace, Catherine Gray - it really does alter your perception of alcohol. A few months ago, I would have thought all the "quitters" were OTT, "other - people who can't control alcohol", killjoys or people who don't understand that alcohol is used by many and most drink moderately and its fine.

My eyes are properly open now - the posts above about "everyone having their way of unwinding" and "no harm in it" is just crazy - there's no two ways about it - alcohol does contribute to anxiety, stress and depression. Your coping mechanism is worsening the stress you experience.

Again - you asked the Q, OP. I've answered whether I think you have a problem or not above (I think most people who drink do - their perception of 'relaxation' and 'fun' are chemically tied to this drug, just as smokers can't enjoy a meal or anything without smoking).

If you're stuck in the "I don't want be a drinker" in the morning, and the "ah, I was being dramatic, let's crack open a bottle" addiction loop by the evening, do give the above authors a try because it's probably a sign that you're ready to start questioning your long held feelings about alcohol.

sezzer87 · 08/09/2023 16:23

C8H10N4O2 · 07/09/2023 08:03

What size glasses and what type of wine? It makes a big difference. A large pub glass is a third of a bottle but I find drinking at home I pour myself small measures and a glass is about 1/8 of a bottle.

Similarly are you drinking heavy reads which can be up to 14/15% or light Verdes at 10%?

If you aim to keep at least 3 or 4 nights alcohol free per week, ideally in a group can you keep your glasses smaller and lighter on the other nights?

You say you used to enjoy tea but it kept you awake. How about flavoured kombuchas (cheapest to make but you can buy them to try) or roibos tea or other herbal mix / caffeine free tea? You may need to experiment a bit to find something you like but they all make good non sweet subs for alcohol.

I tend to only drink wine on a Friday where I'll buy one of those mini 250ml bottles of red. Usually I'll have a bottle of corona or 2 or a glass of baileys and have it like a dessert.
I've not tried komboucha but I might buy some in my next shop and give it a go. Also just seen Cbd non alcoholic beer. Definitely ready to move onto something else.

OP posts:
sezzer87 · 08/09/2023 16:36

Sillymummies123 · 08/09/2023 11:38

I would recommend anyone who is sober curious reading dome Annie Grace, Catherine Gray - it really does alter your perception of alcohol. A few months ago, I would have thought all the "quitters" were OTT, "other - people who can't control alcohol", killjoys or people who don't understand that alcohol is used by many and most drink moderately and its fine.

My eyes are properly open now - the posts above about "everyone having their way of unwinding" and "no harm in it" is just crazy - there's no two ways about it - alcohol does contribute to anxiety, stress and depression. Your coping mechanism is worsening the stress you experience.

Again - you asked the Q, OP. I've answered whether I think you have a problem or not above (I think most people who drink do - their perception of 'relaxation' and 'fun' are chemically tied to this drug, just as smokers can't enjoy a meal or anything without smoking).

If you're stuck in the "I don't want be a drinker" in the morning, and the "ah, I was being dramatic, let's crack open a bottle" addiction loop by the evening, do give the above authors a try because it's probably a sign that you're ready to start questioning your long held feelings about alcohol.

I have a really addictive personality and had ocd as a child. Used to twist and pull my hair out when stressed, would have to touch things in a certain way and when I was a teenager I would shower twice a day and when my babies were born, I wouldn't even have makeup near them incase the dust hurt them. I've also had disordered eating, manic episodes, used to smoke 20 a day, the list of coping mechanisms and issues I've had is endless. I think my brain just moves from one repetitive behaviour to the next. I don't even think I have proper cravings, I think it's the addiction to the process of buying it, opening it and sitting there with it. Weird to describe. My brain has associated it with happy times, times sat drinking on holiday, at the pub on a sunny day etc. like my brain is trying to recreate the happiness.
Therapy is needed!

OP posts:
Sillymummies123 · 08/09/2023 17:54

sezzer87 · 08/09/2023 16:36

I have a really addictive personality and had ocd as a child. Used to twist and pull my hair out when stressed, would have to touch things in a certain way and when I was a teenager I would shower twice a day and when my babies were born, I wouldn't even have makeup near them incase the dust hurt them. I've also had disordered eating, manic episodes, used to smoke 20 a day, the list of coping mechanisms and issues I've had is endless. I think my brain just moves from one repetitive behaviour to the next. I don't even think I have proper cravings, I think it's the addiction to the process of buying it, opening it and sitting there with it. Weird to describe. My brain has associated it with happy times, times sat drinking on holiday, at the pub on a sunny day etc. like my brain is trying to recreate the happiness.
Therapy is needed!

Sounds like you're a strong one, coping with all that!

I totally get what yiu mean about the association. If yiu haven't, you should look into the brain chemistry of addiction. It's exactly as you describe and fascinating. Sadly I don't have a resource to send you.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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