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Am I an alcoholic? Please help.

  • 05-12-2015 10:03pm
    Registered Users Posts: 45

    Hi there,

    I would like some unbiast advice regarding my drinking.

    First off, I'm a 24 year old woman and many of my friends love to drink - and drink quite a lot.

    I consider myself to be a problem drinker, however, I am unsure of whether I should keep working to further manage my issue with alcohol or if I should completely abstain from alcohol. I am rather uncomfortable discussing some of the main reasons why I believe this and with friends I do discuss it with (both responsible and irrepsonsible drinkers) tell me that I don't need to go off drink for good.

    As I am posting anonymously, I thought I should share some of the most private reasons for why I feel I should give up alcohol.

    I am/was a very binge drinker. I use to drink a bottle of wine before heading to the pub then continue to have anywhere from 5-10 drinks (pints or brandy or both) and more often than not, shots of some sort (tequila, baby guinness, jagerbombs). I use to blackout every few weeks/months, never really get sick. I am a lightweight drinker (tipsy after 2 pints, drunk after 3).

    I now drink 1 bottle of beer or less before I head out, avoid shots and stick to pints and maybe a brandy at the end of the night. I briefly went to counselling and am on antidepressants and now feel much more in control of my drinking due to the fact that my moods are so much more stable.

    Previosuly, I use to drink because I was so uncomfortable in how I looked or how socialable I was - I drank to escape feelings of inadequacy. I am a very funny person to be around when I'm drunk and tend to get on great with others when drinking - people love having me around for a session and much of my self-esteem is/was based on happy I feel when drinking and how well others percieve me.

    I drink one night every second week and don't seem to crave it so much other than this so naturally others don't assume I would be the "traditional" type of alcholic as I don't appear to have a phsycial dependency.

    Although, I feel much more in control of my drinking - part of me wonders if this is me deluding myself in order to continue drinking and not face facts. I know that if I continue to drink, I cannot promise myself or anyone else that I won't ever go on an absolute bender or blackout. I often feel guilty about drinking even if I have no reason to regret the previous night - I feel guilty about the past and things I have let happen and blame myself.

    When I was 18, I got blackout drunk and had vague flashbacks of being sexually assaulted by a stranger - my dress was still on and he had me in a strangle hold while he committed the act. I remember crying, saying stop and calling for my grandfather (who was dead 5 years at the time). After he was done, he invited his other friend into the room to also have sex with me. Needless to say, it was a traumatic way to lose my virginity however it is hard for me to feel remorse for myself when I continued to put myself in vulnerable situtations countless times since this incidence.

    Years later, I fell in love but was still very much a problem drinker at the time. I again, got blackout drunk, kissed another man (after a bottle of wine + a pint of straight whiskey), told my BF (even though he would have never found out) who dumped me and has resented me ever since (and rightfully so). I had a complete mental breakdown after our relationship ended and have slowly come to terms with the guilt and anger at myself.

    These are only two examples, clearly the two worst consquences of my drinking but it is clear to see that I have no regard for my personal safety or well being when I go on a binge.

    So yeah, now, I feel that I am drinking because I enjoy it and not to escape my issues as I am trying to improve myself mentally. I feel much more aware of my drinking and avoid it if I feel that I am doing it because I feel upset/down.

    I just don't know whether my drinking is only problematic because of how I feel about myself or if I should never drink again because it will always be problematic for me, regardless of my mental state or wellbeing?

    I would appreciate any advice from people who have struggled with drinking. I know it is truly up to me to decide but I thought an outside perspective (not friends/family) might be helpful.

    Ps. Apologies for the terribly long, scattered post!



  • Registered Users Posts: 5 testtest

    I think there are multiple issues here. The most important issue is in my opinion facing your problems i think. You did the right thing already, went to a doctor and get help with your (hopefully mild?) depression. The drinking is probably just a form of medication you choose, so if the real medicine works, and if you keep seeing your doctor, it might fades away by itself. Seems you do drink already less than you used to. Maybe try to see a psychologist and talk with him/her about your traumatic experiences you had. Talking about it often helps.