Am I an alcoholic??

Postby vixtrix » Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:52 am

Hi - perhaps someone out there can help me.

I am a 34 year old mother of 2 and I like to drink, but some friends have accused me of being an alcoholic and I wondered if someone out there with a bit more knowledge in the matter could advise.

I have drunk every night for the past 6 years. I had 2 days off in April of this year with no side effects (i.e. no great physical or mental trauma). I like lager and gin and tonic but I mainly drink wine. Every night I have at least 1 glass, invariably 2. Most weekends I can easily polish off a bottle to myself.

I don't drink to get drunk - in actual fact I don't like the sensation of being drunk particularly and invariably, when in a social situation, I will go on to water or lime and soda if I feel myself getting woozy. But sometimes I do get drunk and I tend to fall asleep.

So my question is this - is being addicted to alcohol mean you are an alcoholic or is there a difference. I realise that not all alcoholics drink vodka at 6 in the morning but is the fact that I love drinking wine or beer every day mean that I am an alcoholic.

I am not asking because I intend to give up because I have no intention - I like my glass of wine after putting the kids to bed or sharing a bottle with my husband over dinner. But I am curious to know where the alcoholic line is drawn???


Vicky. :wink:
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#1

Postby Ally G » Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:23 pm

I drink a glass of wine every day - my partner and I both like a glass of wine with our evening meal. If it's a curry then we'll have a lager or a gin and tonic. Then occasionally, without even talking about it, we'll go 2-3 weeks and not have a single drink. Like you, I don't like being drunk, but I do enjoy the taste of wine. If someone came up with a good non-alcoholic wine that had the same flavour, that would be fine by me!

There are several stereotypes of an alcoholic: someone who drinks all day every day; someone who must have a drink every day; someone who needs to get drunk on a regular basis to blot out the hardships of the world, and so on. Whilst there are some alcoholics that fall into these categories, the person who only drinks at weekends can also be an alcoholic.

The question to ask yourself is - if you were told that you could never drink alcohol again, how would you feel? and are there situations that you couldn't deal with without a drink, i.e. has it become a crutch?

I saw a nutritionist recently - I looked at my diet beforehand and tried to second-guess what changes she would recommend. I had prepared for her to tell me to stop drinking, and I was OK with that. She didn't, but she did tell me to stop drinking my 2 cups of coffee each day, and that was something I found totally unacceptable! So I guess I'm a coffeeholic!! :lol:
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#2

Postby launchboxbill » Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:52 pm

you are an alchoholic, however if it does not interfere with your life, a couple of glasses of red wine a day can be healthy, and thus, your alchoholism is not a lifestyle disease
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#3

Postby llarosa » Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:21 pm

I used to ask myself the same question. It wasn't until I looked at how alcohol had become a part of my life that I realized I was an alcoholic. I would be confused too about your drinking behaviors. They seem suspect but do not seem to interfere with your life, or cause havoc with the kids, or relationships but I do wonder if they are prohibiting you from feeling your feelings. You are nearly in a constant state of numbness. I know that for me, I was a weekend binge drinker and I thought that it wasn't affecting but low and behold it was. It was affecting me in very subtle ways. Ways I didn't think it could, like during the week I felt lonely, and anxious and I was obsessing over plannign my Friday night drinking escapade. Are you ever planning or obsessing over your next drink?

I think the best way for you to figure out if you are an alcoholic, is to ask yourself why you drink and then try not drinking for about two weeks and see how you react to that. Try to pay attention to your moods and feelings.

I started asking myself why do I need to drink anyway? That helped me out.

I hope that shed some light on the subject.

I'm Lisa and I am an alcoholic.
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#4

Postby Ally G » Sat Oct 22, 2005 7:44 pm

Questions from the AA site - if you answer yes to 4 or more questions then you have a problem with drink. You have to be honest with yourself - I was, and came up with a big fat zero!

1 - Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
2 - Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking-- stop telling you what to do?
3 - Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
4 - Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
5 - Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
6 - Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
7 - Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
8 - Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
9 - Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don't mean to?
10 - Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
11 - Do you have "blackouts"?
12 - Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
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#5

Postby jurplesman » Sun Oct 23, 2005 6:16 am

Hi,

AllyG questionnaire is very helpful.

In my work dealing with alcoholics I usually leave it up to a client to decide whether they are alcoholic. Most come to me because their drinking habit interferes with their desired life-style.

I know of alcoholics, where their addiction never seem to interfere with their lifestyle. This whole statement is questionable, because some had serious financial problems and another had a gambling problem as well.

I use a paper-and-pencil test called the NIB to assess whether a person's problems are due to a biological or to a psychological disorder. But if there is no problem the question whether a person is alcoholic is unanswerable. Usually acoholism is associated with a change in behaviour .

Thus the NBI is not a bad test. I can say though that if you score high on the NBI it may well be a predictor of some other degenerative disease. Drinking excess alcohol, as a life-style can have serious physical consequences, especially as we age.
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#6

Postby vixtrix » Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:48 pm

That made for very interesting reading - thank you for your help.

I could only answer yes to 1 of the AA questions - I have taken a sicky once or twice from work (normally Monday) because of a hangover but interestingly only with my old job that I hated and not with my new job. I am not really bothered about people accusing me of being an alcoholic, as I strongly suspect I am, but I did feel that they were not really qualified to pass judgement. I have never even tried to have a week off alcohol and in all honesty I'm not sure I want to. And I don't feel my life would be better if I didn't drink - infact the thought leaves me cold.

I gave up tea and coffee several years ago because of headaches - which I very rarely suffer from now. The only other thing I drink other than wine is water and the odd hot chocolate at night. Could this be helping my body to not be dehydrated?

I think the bottom line is that the manner in which I drink does not affect my life or that of my family. But I will keep a wary eye on it and readdress the situation if I feel that it is beginning to interfere with things. Personally speaking I feel my 10 a day smoking habit is far more detremental and I would really like to give those buggars up but after 4 failed attempts it becomes less likely. Still 'never give up giving up' eh??

It's a very interesting debate and thank you for your insight.

Vix. :lol:
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#7

Postby megan » Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:53 pm

I think drink is a problem if you cant go without it. You then become a slave to a substance, however much you may tell yourself you enjoy it and its harmless. It is controlling you! Try and leave it alone for a week and see if that can be done with no craving or side effects.

Everyone is entitled to do whatever they like of course, but its probably not an ideal example for your kids to see you drinking every night and drinking daily in significant amounts will likely have some impact on your liver
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#8

Postby Icekat » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:57 am

You are NOT an alcoholic. You seem to like the taste of wine. I myself do the same as you. In fact, some close friends accused me of also being an alcoholic. But I know that I am NOT. I don't NEED to drink in order to live life. I drink it because I like the taste of it. The same as you. In other countries wine is the choice of drink....over water. Even little kids drink it. Does that mean that little kids say, in Italy are alcoholics? I think not. So go on and enjoy your wine with a clear conscious.
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#9

Postby RaRa » Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:22 am

I would think if you have been maintaining a 1 to 2 glasses a day tops over several years, you don't have a problem with it. As an alcoholic, sober for 6 years, I would have to ask the same question others have. Could you go without it for two weeks without obsessing/craving it. After two weeks in rehab, I woke up one morning wondering what the hell I'd been doing for the past 10 years. It was like my mind cleared. Alcohol may leave the body, but I don't believe the mind clears as quickly. You've indicated you weren't going to change your drinking habits, but if there is a question in the back of your mind, try not drinking for a couple of weeks. It seems such a short time to put your mind at ease.
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#10

Postby glennjames » Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:20 pm

AAAAGH

How I hate the word alcoholic, there is no such thing, alcohol has no addictive qualities, the feeling it gives does, AA is just another addiction, and it seems the only place people can go to not drink, well thats rubbish, we can all reduce our drinking, whenever we want, I am a therapist that teaches this, oh and by the way Ive had a bottle of wine tonight, but Im not a person who lets it control me, chill out, your not whats called that ridiculous term, an alcoholic!!!!!

regars Glenn

www.kenttherapycentre.com
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#11

Postby jurplesman » Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:00 am

Here are some difinitions of alcoholism.
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#12

Postby christine » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:56 am

:D Thank you so much for the information on the NIB test. I scored a big 133 (over 70 is indicitive of probable hypoglycemia.
The web-site is an incredible resource. In the US most doctors do not believe in or support the nutritional connection to drinking, and depression. There is a book/program called
"Seven Weeks to Sobriety-The Proven Program to Fight Alcoholism Through Nutrition" written by Joan Mathews Larson. The program is also available at her clinic, "The Health Recovery Center" in Minneapolis, MN. http://www.healthrecovery.com/
Thanks again for the information. :!: :!:
jurplesman wrote:Hi,

AllyG questionnaire is very helpful.

In my work dealing with alcoholics I usually leave it up to a client to decide whether they are alcoholic. Most come to me because their drinking habit interferes with their desired life-style.

I know of alcoholics, where their addiction never seem to interfere with their lifestyle. This whole statement is questionable, because some had serious financial problems and another had a gambling problem as well.

I use a paper-and-pencil test called the NIB to assess whether a person's problems are due to a biological or to a psychological disorder. But if there is no problem the question whether a person is alcoholic is unanswerable. Usually acoholism is associated with a change in behaviour .

Thus the NBI is not a bad test. I can say though that if you score high on the NBI it may well be a predictor of some other degenerative disease. Drinking excess alcohol, as a life-style can have serious physical consequences, especially as we age.
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#13

Postby geothermal » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:40 pm

dear vixtrix
You are not an alcoholic. I was. i used to drink 2 bottles of bourbon a day. I didn’t start drinking because i was having problems, is started because i just enjoyed it. I was 18 stupid foolish. I drank and drank and some point in my bleary existence I couldn’t do without it. 8 years later I fought to stop. And believe me it took everything I had. Luckily at that time I was single and my life didn’t affect anyone else. Eight years. What a waste. I remained sober for another 18 years. Till about 3 and half years ago. I went through some hard times and went back to drinking. That took me another two years to end it. I have now not had a drink since February.
My drink was the first thing I thought about doing in each day, and I did it. It was all that controlled my life. This time though it affected everyone. My partner my children my friends, work, my life was destroyed and nearly my partners.
If I was just having a little drink of wine every night like the other 2 billion on the planet I wouldn’t be an alcoholic but a social drinker.
I would give my right arm still to be able to have that glass of wine or two. But being excessive better not eh?

Good luck geothermal
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#14

Postby vixtrix » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:26 am

Icekat wrote:You are NOT an alcoholic. You seem to like the taste of wine. .


I think you may have a valid point there Icekat - I do love the taste of wine and if there was a non alcoholic drink that tasted as lovely I would drink that instead.

But I do also like the relaxation that a drop of alcohol in the system induces and for that I also look forward to my glass of wine in the evening.

However, having read all of your brilliant insights into whether or not I am an 'alcoholic' I would deduce that in the grand scheme of how alchohol can wreck lives I am not an 'alcoholic'. I can go a week or so without but have no inclination to. It does not interfere with my life or relationships. I most certainly do not crave a drink as if I would shrivel up and die if I do not get one but I do thoroughly enjoy drinking and rejoice in the fact that the majority of you feel that I do not need to feel guilty about it.

FANTASTIC. :D I shall raise a glass to you all tonight!!!

Vix.
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