Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Am I an Alcoholic?
Hello everyone! Annette here guest posting for Em today as her Mom is in town visiting. At my beginner's meeting last nite, we had a newcomer who had recently gotten a DUI. He obviously was court ordered to attend several meetings, but came in with an incredibly open mind and heart. As we all shared our personal stories as to when we reached the point of declaring ourselves alcoholic, the newcomer decided to share a bit about himself. He, like many others, doubts that he is an alcoholic because he doesn't drink everyday....he also added that he drank a lot the nite of his DUI because he was very angry about something. His share made me think of a couple of things. It doesn't matter if you drink everyday, every other day or only on the weekends; it doesn't matter if you drink tequila, beer or "just wine".....the only person that can decide if they are an alcoholic is themselves. Early on, my big argument was that I drank at home when I felt like having a few drinks and winding down, I wasn't out at bars every nite, I wasn't driving anywhere and I wasn't hurting anyone, thus there was no reason for me to stop drinking. This did not go over well with my husband, but then again, neither did him labeling me an alcoholic....it only made me want to drink more out of defiance. Once he began to leave me alone and stop calling me an alcoholic, nagging me about my drinking and constantly trying to control me, I finally had time to really take a look at myself and my drinking. This is what I found: Normal drinkers don't "think" about the last time they drank or when the next time would be; normal drinkers don't hide bottles of alcohol throughout their house; normal drinkers don't discard their empties at a local drive-thru trashcan; normal drinkers don't lie about how much they've had to drink when asked; normal drinkers don't even think twice about leaving a 1/2 glass of wine or a cocktail at the end of a meal; normal drinkers don't google alcoholism and "are you an alcoholic tests" on the internet; normal drinkers don't take said test and constantly answer the questions dishonestly after justifying their answers in their own minds.....I did all of these things and therefore have declared myself an alcoholic. The newcomer acknowledged that although he doesn't "think" he is an alcoholic, he stated that there is definitely something wrong or he would not have gotten a DUI. I admired him for being open-minded and really listening to what we all had to share. He didn't come in with absolute defiance and contempt as many court ordered people do....he took a good, hard, honest look at himself, shared a lot and asked many really good questions. Maybe he is an alcoholic, maybe he is not.....that's for him to decide on his own. I'm grateful that he found our group, shared and asked lots of questions......because if he decides that he is an alcoholic, he knows where to go for non-judgmental support and fellowship....and a plan for sobriety. What kinds of things did you do that made you declare that you were an alcoholic? If you are in the process of "deciding" if you are an alcoholic, what kinds of things are you questioning? Just thought this would be a good topic for many to comment on as everyone is different in one way or another as to what makes them consider themselves alcoholic. Hope everyone is having a great start to the week and I hope to see everyone commenting, asking questions, etc......seems like we've all been goin thru a "dry spell" on here....let's speak up and do our best to support one another :)