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Terrified of turning into an alcoholic


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As a precursor to this post I'll say that my mom died at the age of 44 on Thanksgiving 2005 by drinking herself to death and my sister was a crack cocaine addict and alcoholic and died of liver failure as well in January 2006 at the age of 23. This is where my fear stems.

I've always been a straight shooter, the responsible adult child of an alcoholic who lectured her mother about stopping drinking. I tried to set an example for my sister and while they drank to ease their anxiety and have fun, I read books and popped Paxil. Now that they are gone, I have found myself letting loose more and have started going to the club with my girlfriends every weekend, skipping out of work, and drinking a pretty large amount of alcohol the one day a week I do go out. For now I don't consider myself an alcoholic but I am terrified of what the future may bring if I keep this up and am worried about the way the alcohol may interact with the meds I'm on (see sig line.)

Am I setting myself up for disaster or am I doing myself a favor and giving myself a once-weekly much needed break from my two small children?

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I'd say with your family history BE CAREFUL.

But you also seem to be more aware due to the destruction your family went through. You know you. You know your limits and your weaknesses better than anyone else. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it...any chance you could talk to your therapist about this?

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Taking a break in the week is good. Clubbing is fun.

Skipping out of work, chugging lots of alcohol--not so much good.

I think maybe the pendulum of you is swinging too far--reminds me of me in college. I suggest toning down on the amount of alcohol. If you find that to be a problem, then you just may have a problem.

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I'm actually taking a weekend off of going to the club and going to the casino instead but duh, that's an addiction waiting to happen too, although I've never had a problem with it. I've never drank to the point of passing out or even throwing up and (thanks to my family history I guess) am able to tolerate liquor pretty well, but I just obsess over the idea that I might end up an alcoholic I guess. I am worried about telling the therapist or psychiatrist specifically because they DO know my family history and I am worried they'll chastise me and label me a drunk right away and stick me in rehab. ;)

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Mama,

Do you think that sticking you in rehab the moment you confess to having an issue with one night of binge drinking would help you? Because that is what therapists and pdocs are trying to do. Rehabs are pretty full anyway, and hard to get into over here. I am sure they would rather try to work with you about fears and tendency to be impulsive about what you drink, and your issues about your family, and not imprison you in rehab.

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I guess you have a sort of "addictive personality"? seems so if you're concerned about the gambling... maybe it's somewhat familial, given what happened to your mother and sister.

I agree you should give yourself a break from your kids, but I don't know if your way of doing it is the best. (You're talking to a former alcohol-dependent here, though I've never had kids.)

I think part of it is finding things to do. When I suddenly got intensely occupied in March 2006 moving house, I completely forgot about my drinking, and suddenly went sober after several months of 30+ drinks per week. Now, depending on your body's physical dependence and tolerance characteristics, that might not be advisable. But you get the idea... finding things to do that don't involve alcohol.

I'm just lecturing since I found out very recently that Mom's side of the family is full of alcoholics. MI is very closeted in her culture, I wish I were told about the alcoholism 2 years ago... so use your head start of knowledge there, honor your mother and sister, and see what you can do...

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If you're hiding it from your therapist and pdoc, that's not good. I think you know that you are very close to having a problem already. Can you go out and have fun while drinking Coca cola with lime and NO alcohol? If so, do it. If you can't, well, I think you know the answer. It looks like an alcoholic drink, so people won't bug you about not drinking.

Nobody is going to plop you in rehab for one day a week of drinking. I think you should tell your therapist and pdoc. They can't treat you properly, if they don't know what's going on with you.

You don't want to end up like your Mom and sister. You're playing with fire, sweetie.

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mama,

it is hard not to believe that you are not 'setting yourself up' for more pain by drinking. the fact that it is causing you to worry about future ramifications, speaks to the damage that it is causing.

this may be impractical for you but consider going out with your friends and drinking non alchoholic bevs. for some that may be a set-up but you may good with it.

me an so many of my kin have been damaged by the stuff. in that we are so alike. hope you do right by yourself in this.

mcm

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Am I setting myself up for disaster or am I doing myself a favor and giving myself a once-weekly much needed break from my two small children?

Hypothyroid, alcoholism running in the family, treatment-resistant depression ... which one of my cousins are you?

It could "just" be binge drinking, encouraged by hanging out with friends who need to grow up a little. Or, it could be self-medication because the depression is breaking through harder than you realize. OR, you could be an alcoholic. Whether any or none of these are true, how are you going to support your kids with a DUI and no license?

As far as rehab goes, you might be able to get out-patient low-risk or medium-risk offender classes if you don't kill someone. They are THAT booked and it is that much of a problem in general society.

For pdocs and tdocs, if the person has been practicing for any significant amount of time, you aren't going to surprise them with this. But they need to know if you are drinking alcohol, and it's critical for them to know if you are drinking heavily at any time. Alcohol is extremely bad news in combination with a number of medications.

With regards to clubbing, I usually recommend tonic water with a slice of lime. Under fluorescents it looks more like a cocktail than some of the real ones. (Quinidine also inhibits metabolism of some antidepressants, including Paxil, so you may feel better or you may get sick.)

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Thanks everyone for your insight. One of my friends was actually slipped something into her drink last weekend and that scares me too. We are always arguing about who is going to be the designated driver, so I think maybe I'll just start going and becoming that.

My mom always told me I was a boring person and didn't know how to have fun because I didn't drink... I guess I see myself feeding into that b.s. around my friends.

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Thanks everyone for your insight. One of my friends was actually slipped something into her drink last weekend and that scares me too.

I forgot people still do that. :)

My mom always told me I was a boring person and didn't know how to have fun because I didn't drink... I guess I see myself feeding into that b.s. around my friends.

It doesn't help that it's a huge part of American culture. They really don't know any better, and you haven't had much of a chance to really learn. Get out of the house once in a while anyway, just skip the alcohol (and still hold onto your cup!) You can watch out for your friends and maybe someday they can return the favor - that's winners all around.

And if a troll latches on to one of your friends and she needs an escape plan, as "the crazy one" you can always fake a panic attack, right? ;)

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And if a troll latches on to one of your friends and she needs an escape plan, as "the crazy one" you can always fake a panic attack, right? :)

LOL! Unfortunately this happens just about EVERY time we go out... gotta love the trolls. ;)

Well tomorrow night is the true test and seriously, I'm petrified of being able to do it without alcohol but I am definitely going to make a try for it. Lord grant me the strength!!! Damn peer pressure.

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If alcoholism has been a major factor in your family upbringing it will have have a major factor in your childhood/adult environment and therefore how your parents/people react to you.

With regards to your development and how you handle alcohol, drugs or other "escape" things you may find it extremely helpfull to talk to someone about this. There are Groups available regarding children of alcoholic's which although don't obviously focus on personality disorders, but can provide support and understanding. Not all therapy has to be "personality disorder" based to be of benefit.

I have problems in my family - grandmother was drug and alcholic though noone would admit it - my mother is anorexic and considers anyone who drinks an alcoholic (it was her mother who had the problems).

Anyway if you want more info start with AA they will be extremely supportive and can point you in the right direction.

Hope this helps

Hawk

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Peer pressure only matters if you care more about the judgement of your peers than you care about yourself. You have to choose the image you want to project--rather than bend to the will of others. I ask you this: where do you think you will be, and where they will be, in 5-10 years? Of all my old drinking friends, I keep in rather irregular contact with a few--and mostly, they've cleaned up their act. Me, I'm a flippin' alcoholic, and I think I cling to the old ways rather more than most of them. It ain't enviable.

Anyway if you want more info start with AA they will be extremely supportive and can point you in the right direction.

There are other alternatives; check out the sticky. IMO AA appeals more to those at the end of their ropes, or near to. For someone who fears becoming an alcoholic--maybe check out the literature. But AA stands for "Alcoholics Anonymous, not "I'm afraid I'm becoming an alcoholic". Maybe yeah, they could be supportive, but I totally wouldn't count on it.

Read, if you want. Go, if you feel you must. BUT...be your own person. You can choose, mama, at this point, what you will be. Only you--not your friends.

Come Sunday/Monday I want to hear how it all went. Please do let us know.

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My mom always told me I was a boring person and didn't know how to have fun because I didn't drink... I guess I see myself feeding into that b.s. around my friends.

I think that means that your Mom envied the hell out of you because you were able to not drink, something she could not attain, and which ultimately caused her early death. You don't want to follow in her footsteps.

You're strong, and you can do this. Order something that looks like a drink. Anything with a lime in it. Nobody will know the difference.

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Anyway if you want more info start with AA they will be extremely supportive and can point you in the right direction.

There are other alternatives; check out the sticky. IMO AA appeals more to those at the end of their ropes, or near to. For someone who fears becoming an alcoholic--maybe check out the literature. But AA stands for "Alcoholics Anonymous, not "I'm afraid I'm becoming an alcoholic". Maybe yeah, they could be supportive, but I totally wouldn't count on it.

There is this:

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

Groups like that could probably understand your fears & could offer advice and support in what you're trying to do.

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Anyway if you want more info start with AA they will be extremely supportive and can point you in the right direction.

You might be thinking of Adult Children of Alcoholics, which may be more in line for someone who doesn't see herself as an alcoholic (even if it's "not an alcoholic yet.") I've heard of the group, but beyond that I've no information to recommend for or against.

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Well I'm proud of myself. While I did drink, I limited myself to 2 bland drinks early in the night and stopped by midnight, was the designated driver, and even drove myself back home at the end of the night cold sober. People did ask me why I wasn't drinking but I told them I had drank earlier in the night and had enough. I felt okay with this.

I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't remain completely sober but am encouraged by the fact that I really felt more in control.

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