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I watched a show on tv that had a recovering alcoholic who was a counsellor who implied that if you drink with the main reason of getting totally drunk u r an alcoholic or your have a problem with alcohol.

See i drink maybe once every two weeks, but when i do drink i drink to get drunk, i want to be wasted i want to lose reality for a while and live with out a problem. even though i know i get myself into a lot of problems.

i know this is very stereotypical and i apologise for that but i always thought of people with alcohol problems as mainly men, or unkept women, at the pub everynight, or secretly home alone drinking, attending aa, problems at work with the family. all the nasty things, i was just stupid and nieve. i apologise.

Now i know i binge drink, with the intention to get written off despite any consequences that may have, im 5'5 so its not like i need to polish off more then a bottle of vodka so its not like i consume litters of the stuff.

i didnt mean to make this post so wordy i just wanted to know if u r drinking regularly to get drunk does that mean u have a problem with alcohol.

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Yep. Or I at least think so.

A couple years ago I was seeing a counselor about going into chemical dependency and that was exactly what I was doing...not drinking often but when I did drink (2-3 times a week) I would get very very wasted- passing out/puking wasted. I did not go into c.d. because everyone in their was using everyday- needing a drink when they wake up and before they go to bed. But the counselor said it deff. was still a problem

Whenever you drink to escape reality and loose yourself for a while it deff. is a problem- drinking socially with friends and having a good time is much much different then drinking to escape problems.

If you ever want to talk you can PM me....I do the exact same thing just a bit more frequently then 2-3 times a week.  ;)

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Drinking to get drunk? What! You mean there are other kinds of drinking???  ;)

I currently drink 3 bottles of vodka a week. I have to hide the extent of my drinking from my mother so a lot of the time I drink to get mildly tipsy, just enough to get a buzz. I definitely drink to escape reality and alleviate boredom AND Im a SOLITARY drinker too! I have stolen alcohol and hidden bottles all over the house.

They wont accept me into a chemical dependency unit because of my psychosis and eating disorder  :)   I have been trying to get into rehab for ages and the pdoc tricked me into undergoing detox in the local looney bin by falsely stating I could get transferred over to rehab. Bastard! I have undergone Librium detox, suffered from alcoholic hallucinosis, I even have a little stash of Librium for when I get DTs - usually terrible palpitations. Alcohol is blighting my life and ruining my mental health. I desperately want to be free of it.

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Well...the most basic definition of an alcoholic is someone that needs to drink-- not necessarily every day, but they have a pounding desire to drink.  They just HAVE to have one.  And when drinking, they just have to have one...more.

IMO, if you drink to get drunk when you are out drinking--no biggie.  Kegger time baby!  It's when you feel you need to go out and get sauced, without a certain reason (Superbowl, birthday, bevhelor party...oh yes, the bachelor party...)--that's when you need to take a step back.  If you can not control or quit the drinking, you're an alcoholic.

i know this is very stereotypical and i apologise for that but i always thought of people with alcohol problems as mainly men, or unkept women, at the pub everynight, or secretly home alone drinking, attending aa, problems at work with the family. all the nasty things, i was just stupid and nieve. i apologise.
One of the things we did in my Intensive Outpatient group was give the first thought that came to mind when we heard the word "alcoholic".  This was when we were learning that *anyone* can be.  (My first thought was "me", but...)  Certainly I've seen/known my share.  Even outside of rehab. I knew them.

So no biggie; realizing that what you think is just sterotypical is a *good* thing.

i didnt mean to make this post so wordy i just wanted to know if u r drinking regularly to get drunk does that mean u have a problem with alcohol.

Wordy posts are good; they often have real, and layered, questions that involve thinking about and that get solid responses.  But I say yes, if one drinks regularly to get drunk, they're "one of us".

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See i drink maybe once every two weeks, but when i do drink i drink to get drunk, i want to be wasted i want to lose reality for a while and live with out a problem. even though i know i get myself into a lot of problems.

...

i didnt mean to make this post so wordy i just wanted to know if u r drinking regularly to get drunk does that mean u have a problem with alcohol.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I am 45 and have had off/on love affairs with drugs and alcohol. I did a 7 year tour of duty in AA, where I completely abstained from all mood altering chemicals save prozac, and I think SSRI's have been excused from the "mood-altering" genre.

When I was at my soggiest, foggiest worst...deciding that I needed help, I was asking the exact same questions you ask here. Therapists and other addicted people said the same thing, basically, the frequency with which you hit the sauce doesn't factor in like *what happens* when you're fucked up. Like you say above, "I get myself into a lot of problems." I boiled it down to this: what causes problems (alcohol, drugs, men, money, ___________ (fill in the blank); is a problem. And I dealt with my subsequent revelation "I'm an addict!" based on that simple principle. What causes problems, is a problem. No matter how often or how frequently one imbibes. Go to a couple AA meetings and listen non-judgmentally. Don't compare yourself to anyone. Just listen.

One of the things I learned in my seven years of abstinence was that I'm NOT an alcoholic. But I needed that dryout time. I seriously did. And I do drink nowadays and sometimes I say stupid things, but I don't DO stupid things, which to me is the barometer I'm comfortable with. In other words, I'll get on the phone with my ex and cry my eyes out over why we aren't together and then feel like a right arse the next day. I call that "drunk dialing." In the old days, I would have gotten in my car and driven to his house 200 miles away.  ;) I NEVER drive while drinking.

Plus, there are the myriad complications that can happen when we combine alcohol with the crazy meds, that it's like playing roulette.

Good luck, PM if you want to talk more privately. I know what a struggle making those kinds of decisions can be. Especially if you're young.

HB

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Yeah Iona,

That form is called binge drinking.

If you are drinking to get drunk, that is a problem.

Some alcoholics drink every day.  Some only every few weeks. Some only need a few beers, others a bottlle of wine, others a whole fifth. Doesn't matter what what your style, the amount or the brand.

But, you kinda secretly already knew that, or you wouldn't have asked the question.

The questions you need to answer to yourself is: Is getting drunk making your life any better? Is it improving your relationships?  Does it make you feel better physically the next day? Are you making an ass of yourself while drunk?  Is it helping your mental stability and moods?

There is help available when you are ready.

A.M.

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I think drinking to get drunk is a drinking problem. BUT - it is NOT alcholoism.

Alcohol counselors, like many mental health/substance abuse/etc counselors have a somewhat vested interest in "finding" more "alcoholics" to expand their funding and their reach. (sometimes they actually do good!)

I would, however, question someone who thinks drinking to get blotto 3 times a week isn't "often"!!

I think CrazyNS has it pretty much correctly.

Just my 2 guilders - from someone who is now just an occasional social drinker - average maybe a couple drinks per 2 weeks but usually in a few drinks with dinner every month or 2. I used to binge drink a lot. And it definitely became a problem. When I stepped back and looked at the possibilities (I DID drink and drive!) I said "whoa!) An alcoholic - pretty much by the understood definition - can't become a "social drinker".

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I guess because i always thought a personal with an alcohol problem was one who woke up to a bottle of vodka they kept under there pillow i was so nieve.

the reason i am asking about this is that i am going into a psych hospital in a few weeks to do some inpatient work. they asked when getting my medical history do i have a problem with aclohol or any other subtance?

The other substance part i could straight up say no because the few times i tried drugs the first i hasd a delusion that someone was getting stabbed to death across the road. it was a hospital worthy experience. the other time i nearly drowned in a bath tub at a hotel. but the alcohol hell i havent nearly killed myself on it but i have been sexually assult more then once after writing myself off on vodka and barcadi.

im not drinking everyday but it is becoming closer to every week. i never have a good reason to drink, i usually get drunk alone its only on the rare occassion i go out to drink cause i always get myself in big trouble, ie sexual assults, fighting (to the best of my female 5'5 ability) and lots of verbal abuse. if i did not know the police in the area i drank i would see myself in a lot more trouble i am sure.

most of my friends refuse to drink with me, take me drinking, or see me if i am drunk because of my behaviour and the fact they know i am doing it for every wrong reason.

is this alcohol abuse? is it worthy of talking to a counsellor about when i go into hospital.

excuse spelling and grammar mistakes pls.

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Iona: do you want to change your behavior? Does it bother you? That's what's important---and whether it's causing problems in your life and relationships. Binge drinking, as you prefer, is very hard on your liver and other organs. Typical limits for women who drink are no more than 1 drink per hour (a drink is 5 oz wine, 12 oz beer, 1 shot liquor); no more than 3 per day; and no more than 9 drinks total per week. If you drink at these limits or lower, the chances of harming your body are few. If you need help, there are many options---if AA isn't your thing, there's Moderation Management (www.moderation.org), SMART Recover, Rational Recovery and others.

Good luck and take care,

Diane B

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  • 3 weeks later...

i know you posted this a while ago, and I hope you have decided to address it, but I am still worried and wanted to try to go through what you said.

Ok, one of the key signs of substance abuse is that using is having negative effects on your life:

Now i know i binge drink, with the intention to get written off despite any consequences

This is really important in answering your question.

All of the negative consequences that you know your drinking has:

the alcohol hell i havent nearly killed myself on it but...
  • i have been sexually assult more then once after writing myself off on vodka and barcadi...












  • i usually get drunk alone its only on the rare occassion i go out to drink cause i always get myself in big trouble...













  • sexual assults...












  • fighting (to the best of my female 5'5 ability)...













  • lots of verbal abuse...













  • if i did not know the police in the area i drank i would see myself in a lot more trouble i am sure...













  • most of my friends refuse to drink with me, take me drinking, or see me if i am drunk because of my behaviour and the fact they know i am doing it for every wrong reason.

...

You have listed, yourself, all the reasons why you SHOULD NOT be engaging in this behaviour [drinking]. Yet you do it anyway. I know you have a lot of things going on in your life right now, including some physical issues.  You need to have a healthy and strong body. When you drink you put yourself at risk and hurt those around you

is this alcohol abuse? is it worthy of talking to a counsellor about when i go into hospital.
yes. yes.

Your friends avoid you when you drink and won't be around you.  You are choosing solitude and to seperate yourself from those who care about you instead of seeking support and the appropriate help.

that may have, im 5'5 so its not like i need to polish off more then a bottle of vodka so its not like i consume litters of the stuff...

i didnt mean to make this post so wordy i just wanted to know if u r drinking regularly to get drunk does that mean u have a problem with alcohol.

I really don't think you would have asked this unless you had the concern, yourself, as AirMarshall said. Frequency, in all honesty, doesn't have that much to do with it.  If it is having such negative effects on your life and causing concern for you and your friends, I would say you need to address this- sooner rather than later.  It will prevent you from improvement in other areas of your life.

Please take care.  Talk to your therapist about this and work at staying away from the alcohol.You have too much going on in your life. Use your friends, both r/l and here for support.

~navy~

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what causes problems ... is a problem.

A thought to ponder for a bit.  Actually this whole thread has more than a few thoughts to ponder.  Everyone has a viewpoint about their own personal struggle--and I don't know about anyone else, but I appreciate that it makes me feel a little less alone and suddenly a little bit more powerful about how to deal with problems.

Iona, I struggle with it now and then, especially when I'm stressed out and just want to escape. When I can, I generally exercise more--run or stationary bike.  That helps.

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I like this topic.  Before I moved I went out 5-6 nights a week and got wasted every time.  Now that I don't know anyone here, I rarely go out.  The only time is about once or twice a month.

Recently someone said I was an alcoholic because I craved alcohol most of the time.  Is this true??  I have never drank alone or had real problems from my drinking.  I have always felt like I have control of it, but now I am not so sure.

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I don't think you've really given enough information for anyone to guess. I'm not sure how you can "crave alcohol all the time" but not drink much. Are you - or your friend - misusing the word "crave"? Do you really have "control" or do you binge to the point of extreme drunkenness. Even binging doesn't make you and alcoholic. Some people, especially non-drinkers or moralizers can see any excess drinking as "alcoholism". Is that the case with the person who told you this? Is that person someone whose opinion you trust. Did they give you a reason for their feeling?

If you haven't already, please review all the preceding posts. Most of what anyone here can tell you is already there.

If you DO have problems with drinking that YOU don't realize without outside advice, then I wouldn't necessarily say you were an alcoholic, but I would say you had a drinking problem. There is a difference.

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No, they are not someone whose opinion I trust, I barely know them, I guess that's why I was a little shocked by his label.  By "crave" I mean I want the alcohol and the feeling that goes along with it.  For example, I have family coming into town and my first thought was "yes, I can go to the bars!!!"  And last night when I wrote my post I wanted to drink so badly, but I was alone, so that was a no go.  IMHO, for myself drinking alone would be my breaking point, I think I would lose control then, so I avoid it.

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It sounds like you have an unhealthy attitude towards alcohol, but that's not necessarily alcoholism.  The fact that you're able to stick to your "no drinking alone" principle points away from alcoholism... I know in my own experience with substance abuse my "rules" for myself are a total game and don't count- I never stick to them or "cheat" to find the loopholes. 

When you were drinking 5-6 nights a week was it because you wanted specifically to drink every night?  Or was it because you had a close social circle that had settled into a routine?  If someone suggested doing something besides drinking one night, were you disappointed?  Do you really miss drinking, or do you miss the fun times that came with drinking with your friends?

A lot of people with substance abuse issues can be functional for a really, really long time.  It's possible to appear to everyone in your life like you have it mostly under control... and to live that way for years, before it slips out from under you.  But it's also possible to have periods in your life where you drink heavily that aren't pathological.  Otherwise known as college. ;)

It's all about the underlying attitudes and figuring out what your true reasons are.  This is a very hard thing to do (at least, it's hard for me!)  but probably is the secret to life, the universe, and everything. 

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i've been on a total drinking binge lately, and every time i have a drink, its with the intention of getting wasted. like right now...

but i know i'm doing it to compensate for the lack of weed right now, which is my primary substance of choice. i just cant face life without being fucked up, apparently. i know i'm an addict, in so many different senses.

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yes, I would say it was a routine my friends and I got stuck into, another reason for the move, there isn't much else to do but drink and party where I moved from so it was a rut.  Mostly now, as I get older my views with alcohol are changing, but part of me wants to go out and be that drunk girl that's having a great time and forgetting about that thing called life.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I drink to get drunk.  Otherwise I would be having orange juice.  I drink alone at home - well with the cat (does that count?).

Either way - I am semi-sober when I go to work the next day.  I dont drink and drive. 

But I drink to stop my brain from thinking.  I have seroquel for that too.  But I enjoy getting that buzz.  My brain stops thinking about normal stuff and I go over all the latent and underworld stuff in my head that is always there but only my psych hears about it.  This way I talk to myself, cry, si and generally get it out of my system.  Thats not all that bad is it?

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No. Especially if you have a psych to pursue this with. There are still all the dangers of drinking and at some point it could develop into alcoholism. I found that I liked dwelling in that space but it never really seemed to "get it out of my system". Eventually I just quit because I WAS drinking outside home. Doing the "social" thing. Driving drunk. When that realization really sank in I just stopped.

Everyone is different. My feelings are that drinking is not good in the long run and sometimes the feelings we have when drunk are really false. Just be as aware as you can be of your patterns and behaviors. Keep running things by the shrink. If they're just the kind that handles meds and a "little" talk, you might also want to consider finding a therapist. (It can be cheaper than drinking ;)   - depending on quantity and the cost of your favorite beverage. Decent wine at 15-20 per bottle at least 1X per day = 450-600 per month! Heineken & Guiness were close to 10.00 per 6 pack. Not an inexpensive habit!)

Hang in there and keep looking for a way out. Not a way in.

Take care

Steve

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