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Alcohol problem

  • 06-05-2021 9:59pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    Hey, I'm wondering if I have a problem with alcohol. A few people around me (family, classmates) have hinted at this but I'm not sure I believe them.

    I can definitely see why people categorize me as an addict, When I can get alcohol, I drink and do it the whole day. I was never like this and in fact never touched a drop (bar once or twice at a Christmas party in 3rd year) and never took a fancy to it.

    In 5th year I experienced some mental issues (diagnosed with bipolar/ADHD) and my adolescent psychiatrist recommended to my principal that I repeat. I repeated 5th year and eventually homeschooled in 6th year.

    I became more depressed and stopped taking my meds after I turned 18 as they made me worse but my low mood still persisted. Then I discovered alcohol again and loved it. I got a part time job and used all the money to buy a naggin unbeknownst to my parents. I studied while on alcohol and even went to my Leaving Cert slightly inebriated. I got 440 points for a good course.

    My family said I cut down and I did it in college but felt bad. My mother says that alcohol/drug use and academic success are mutually exclusive but I don't know about that. In my first year (2019-20). Alcohol also helped me give a speech in front of 40 students.

    Are they right and I'm in denial or is it okay to use it? I understand my use of alcohol is not typical by any means. My family is from a developing country and they believe that only 'low lives' use drugs or drink alcohol in the morning. When they found out I drink in the morning, they compare me to the people off their head in Dublin drinking cans in the morning and shouting.

    One reason don't believe I have a problem is because I never act up on alcohol. Even some of my friends were surprised that I could drink strong alcohol and give a speech. I don't get loud, scream or bother anyone. If you met me on the street while intoxicated, I'd appear slightly sleepy but act normally.

    Do I need rehab or not?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,122 ✭✭✭akelly02


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,310 ✭✭✭Loveinapril

    If you need to rely on alcohol to get by, then you have a problem. Make a GP appointment and take it from there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭SupaCat95

    If you need to rely on alcohol to get by, then you have a problem. Make a GP appointment and take it from there.

    Excellent advice, I am not sure about Rehab but you definitely need structured supports. I will tell you anything in the HSE takes AGES. A little money spent fast and early might be a good avenue.

    All the advice in the world is hollow without admission and intent to change. If it is any consolation, my friend, I dont see him often but I stay in contact. He is in AA and I believe it is masking Bi-Polar disorder. He is sober 17 years but he has lived a train wreck of a life. He missed out on university (had his place and lost it), he lost a relationship with a great girl he told me and he ultimately ended up losing his job. He does ok now and he does his meeting twice a day, says his abstinence payer and isnt as self destructive but he has his anger.

    Your advantage is you are getting this information young and life will be manageable. I dont know where you live but I guarantee you live within three miles of an AA meeting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,691 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    Hi Op

    You sound like a functioning alcoholic.

    It sounds like you yourself are a little sceptical because you are able to function at a reasonable level - and your idea of an alcoholic does not fit with how you see yourself. This allows you plausible denial - because you dont wake up covered in your own vomit.

    the links (for help) on that article are american, but it is one of the better explanations of what it is, and the impact it has.

    Even if you feel that you are still in control of your life and your work or relationships aren’t visibly suffering, a relatively mild alcohol use disorder could already be affecting your mental and physical health. Left unmanaged, compulsive drinking behaviors can get progressively worse, with their negative impact on your life becoming ever more apparent.

    get help, start with GP.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭TheBoyConor

    If you are offering up reasons to argue that you don't have a problem, then you have a problem.

    You are dependent on alcohol to fuction. you are a funtioning alcoholic.

    Get help asap, while you can, or you will eventually do irreversible physical and psychological harm.

    There is no more to be said. Just forget about whatever reasoning and ifs and buts and just go and do it. seek help.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,868 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    Bipolar with ADHD and self medicating. Go a week without it and see. Knew a guy in college I didn't know he was drinking in college during the day every day but at college events he used to get off his face drunk buy stealing pints... After college he went for a medical and quit drinking for 3 days before got the shakes and went you the GP, who told him that wasn't normal behaviour and he was an alcoholic. Luckily he was able to quit easily.

    Go to your GP sort out the Bipolar and ADHD and the drinking will probably sort itself out - treat the root cause.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,788 ✭✭✭ztoical

    You don't have to be fall down drunk to be an alcoholic. If you can't function without then its a problem.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,021 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    Your parents are right. Whether or not you agree with their phrasing, if you are drinking alcohol in the morning to get you set for the day you have a drink problem. You might live in a nice house, and go to college, but you are still an addict.

    Try giving it up and see how easy you find it. Try living life without the crutch of it. You are masking real life issues. Don't be too sure that nobody knows. And if you are good at hiding it now, you are young. The years will pass, and you will need more drink to achieve the same feelings, and by that stage NOBODY will be fooled. Except maybe yourself.

    Go to your GP, or the college doctot. Tell them how often you drink, how much you drink and what time you start drinking, and see if they think you have a problem.

    You don't have to be "acting up" to have a problem with drink. I'd say most of the alcoholics in the country are living quiet lives bothering nobody.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Hi OP,

    Yes you do have a problem, which I know is hard to hear.

    Do you want to stop drinking? In my experience if people are questioning their drinking it means that they know they have a drinking problem. Drinking in the morning and to function are huge signs too.

    I have been in AA this past year and I can tell you it is hard, the denial is STRONG. I am older than you by the sound of things (I'm 32). I have been up and down like a yo-yo trying to stop. But the support you get in AA is unreal it hasn't mattered how many times I slipped they always welcomed me back.

    You don't have to be blacking out, fighting etc to be an alcoholic. You don't need to be drinking from a bottle down an alley way. I did v well in my LC, got a 1st in uni, went onto do a professional degree and start building up a successful career. When I was made redundant and then couldn't find a new job because of lock down it hit a whole new low. I had never drank in the day before, never drank so much, I basically stopped functioning I really didn't care anymore. After years of functioning perfectly.

    One thing I can tell you for certain is that is disease (yes it is a disease you have) is extremely progressive. You will not learn how to drink "normally" as much as your brain might try and trick you into think that you can.

    This is the biggest flag ""When I can get alcohol, I drink and do it the whole day"" if you cannot stop yourself it means you have a problem. And I'm not saying go test yourself and get a bottle of wine and just drink half to prove that you can leave the rest. You could possibly do that, that one time and convince yourself you're grand. When in reality if you weren't testing yourself you'd have had the whole lot.

    I don't know if you need rehab or not. I honestly I recommend going to an AA meeting and listening to the people there. The support you will get will knock you over, and if you don't like that meeting try another one. It doesn't matter where in the country you are from they are everywhere!

    The hardest thing is the denial, but from what you have said I'm sorry to say this is only going to get much worse for you. It may take 1 year, it may take 10 but it will get worse.

    It is a killer. You don't have to be ashamed, but you do need to take responsibility for it. If you get on with you GP I would recommend going in for a chat, mine has been great. She got me a HSE counselor. If you do feel like you need to immerse yourself in recovery do go to rehab, I went to Cuan Mhuire I learnt so much about myself in there. And I started the path to unlocking a lot of the hurt and pain I held onto from the passed.

    Sorry for going but try an AA and see how it sits with you. Also it put me off at first, when they speak of God, it is a God of your understanding, it just means accepting that there is something out there that is bigger than you. For me, I remember how powerful nature is, and there is nothing I can do to control it, it is bigger than me and like I cannot control everything in my life I cannot control it.

    I really do wish you the best

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,690 ✭✭✭cloudatlas

    From the AA website

    12 Questions to Help You Decide
    To help you decide whether you might have a problem with your own drinking, we’ve prepared these 12 questions.

    Do you drink because you have problems? To face up to stressful situations?
    Do you drink when you get mad at other people, your friends or parents?
    Do you often prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?
    Are you starting to get low marks? Are you skiving off work?
    Do you ever try to stop or drink less – and fail?
    Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?
    Do you gulp your drinks as if to satisfy a great thirst?
    Do you ever have loss of memory due to your drinking?
    Do you avoid being honest with others about your drinking?
    Do you ever get into trouble when you are drinking?
    Do you often get drunk when you drink, even when you do not mean to

    The answers are nobody’s business but your own. If you can answer yes to any one of these questions, maybe it’s time you took a serious look at what your drinking might be doing to you.

    Get Help Now

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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 10,415 Mod ✭✭✭✭xzanti

    You might find the Non Drinkers Thread helpful.

    Even if you're not looking to give up. It's a great source of support and information.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,556 ✭✭✭Bobtheman

    Try the naked mind book by Annie grace or alcohol explained by William porter.. Both excellent books.
    Alchol is an addictive substance. A posion.
    Calling people alcoholics does not help. Because its a stigma and secondly it gives impression that its a disease. No real evidence for the disease model.
    Anybody who drinks a lot will get addicted but how it affects them varies widely.
    Try the two books. See a gp.
    As for rehab it works for some but they publish no statistics so hard to know how many.
    You won't meet many people who say they regret giving up booze. Unfortunately some still feel they are missing out.
    But if you read those two books you will see they ain't missing anything.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,119 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes

    Do I need rehab or not?
    I don't know.

    I think you need a DR to tell you if your level of drinking can hurt you health-wise in the long term or not. And then you need to abide by how much alcohol consumption is recommended to you.

    You are not meant to have more than 14 units of alcohol per week as a man according to the NHS.

    That would be 7 glasses of wine a week.

    If you can't abide by that amount ..I would say you need to speak to a professional about your situation and what they suggest to you.