Am I "really" an Alcoholic?

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Karla
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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:10 am

Am I "really" an Alcoholic?

Post by Karla » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:36 pm

You have found this spot on the gigantic world wide web. Perhaps there is a reason. Perhaps you googled the exact question posed above.

I challenge you to ask yourself a much simpler question. Is your use of alcohol causing problems in your life? If you are like me, you don’t want it to be. You like drinking. You may not be able to fathom life without it. You may wonder what the point of life is if you can’t or don’t drink?

I am an alcoholic. I have not had a drink since November 27, 2013. For me, it came down to a bunch of empty things. Empty bottles. Empty memory. Empty blocks of time. Empty bank account. Empty promises. Empty heart. Empty soul. Empty life.

Empty.

You can locate all sorts of handy tools to answer the questions you have regarding if you are an alcoholic. I implore you, if you are not sure, to dig deep. Deeper than you want to. Because if it is causing even small problems now, it is unlikely that things will get better on their own. More probably, your drinking will escalate.

The CAGE survey is simple. Have you ever tried to cut down on your drinking? Has anyone annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt guilty about the things you did or said while you were drinking? Have you ever used an eye-opener (drinking first thing in the morning to settle your nerves or to get rid of a hangover)?

If the answer to even one of those questions is “yes”, there is no time like the present for self-reflection.

Drinking is used by normal people to relax. To engage socially. A drink or two and that’s it. Once in a while. When it gets into the territory of drinking to feel normal, or counting the hours or minutes until you can have a drink, or having fights with loved ones related to your drinking – then you better take a good, hard, long look. Because once you pass the point of no return, it can be too late. Do as I say – not as I did!!

It was during my first of several rehab stays where I heard about the “yets”. Those are the things that your drinking hasn’t caused you to lose. Yet. Your relationships, children, home, career, health. You name it, alcohol can take it. And, wouldn’t you know it? I lost it all.

Over the years since I quit drinking, I have steadily gained it all back, and then some. And I appreciate my life and second chances so very much.

I have decades of drinking under my belt, and just a few years in recovery. I can tell you that those few years have been the absolute best of my life. Not because problems stopped coming my way. But because I have become much better equipped at simply dealing with life as it comes. Without relying on my long time crutch. And you can too! If you want it.

Nobody can tell you that you are an alcoholic. It is a self diagnosed disease. And you can’t get rid of the booze and be happy if you are doing it for anyone, or anything, else. You have to want it. You have to know you need it. You have to make the decision.

Are you ready?

For me, it was about a 2 year process of coming to terms with the fact that I was indeed, no doubt about, no glimmer of hope, absolutely, completely, and totally an alcoholic. I bucked it. I kicked and screamed. I didn't WANT to be an alcoholic. Who does? I did not answer "an alcoholic" when people asked my little girl self what I wanted to be when I grew up. But, here I am. And here you are, possibly still wondering.

Still, after several years without alcohol, my sneaky brain tries to come in and convince myself to test it out. Maybe I am all better now. Maybe it was just situational, I was going through so much, it was just a bad time in my life, etc etc etc. Now, I am able to squash those thoughts with a chuckle or by getting busy with something else or praying or whatever. In the beginning of my recovery journey, those thoughts were seemingly constant. Each year they lessen. After discussing this with people in recovery for decades - I am resigned to the fact that drinking thoughts and drinking dreams, and glorified thoughts of past drinking - will just simply be a part of me. I can't get complacent though. I have to be aware and on guard.

Now, although I am not proud that I am an alcoholic, I am grateful and glad. You read that right. I am GLAD.

Ask me to elaborate if you don't believe me.

Thoughts? Comments? Dialogue always welcome.

Karla

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