Am I an Alcoholic ?
That was a question that troubled me for years.
I would wake up hung-over, guilty, and afraid. I’d swear “I’ll never Drink Again ! ” and stop drinking.
But after a few days of sobriety I’d quickly revert to form assuming that alcoholics could not stop so easily and if I wasn’t an alcoholic I could certainly learn to control my drinking.
There has been a lot written on the subject of the stigma that the word alcoholic carries and I think it’s important that we keep writing and keep sharing our thoughts.
“Am I really an alcoholic? If all these people are so convinced that you need AA to get sober, but I didn’t need AA, then maybe it’s because they’re ‘true’ alcoholics and I’m not?”.This kind of thinking is dangerous for me. It inevitably leads me down a path where I start making excuses and start justifying my drinking. Excuses include: that I never drank everyday, I tried to have one or two days off most weeks (it was a struggle, and many weeks I didn’t succeed), I still went to the gym, I still had a good job, I still had a loving family. Despite all that, however, I’m pretty sure my drinking was not normal.
I’m pretty sure that most people’s husbands don’t end up having to drive home on their own birthday when you were the designated driver, and pull over half way for you to vomit by the side of the road. I’m pretty sure that most people don’t have regular blackouts and spend every weekend with crippling anxiety about what they said to whom and whether they did anything stupid. I’m pretty sure most people don’t start drinking more and more alone at home (well my husband was there, but usually asleep and never drinking with me) and less and less when out with other people, so that if I did do something stupid no-one was there to remember it. I’m pretty sure most people don’t become so obsessed with alcohol when they stop drinking that every time they drive past a liquor store, or a restaurant/cafe in which people are drinking, they feel like the whole street goes dark so that all they can see is the alcohol and it’s like nothing else on the street exists.”
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking to much.
If you’re drinking too much too often