I don't feel like an alcoholic

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Katie_Jane
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I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by Katie_Jane »

I don't feel like the kind of alcoholic who could never drink responsibly ever. But am I kidding myself? I've often said that "I can quit whenever I want, I just don't WANT to quit now" and I know now that this is not entirely true. I don't drink that often, But I do have a hard time saying no, knowing when to stop, and I don't drink for any purpose other than to get drunk. Not tipsy or a little buzzed, but falling down drunk. I also have some very similar issues with Marijuana. And I use Marijuana to "fill in the spaces" so to speak. Meaning, when I can't drink, I smoke instead.

I'm not sure where to go from here. All I really know is that I don't want to drink or smoke anymore, and I've tried to quit before without success. It needs to really happen this time, one way or another.

JohnZ
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by JohnZ »

Hey Katie_Jane. Glad you're here!

I went on like that for years. When I drank I was more-or-less insanely drunk, and when I didn't drink, all I could think about was when I could drink again.

There is a solution though. You can start by reading the primary AA text, Alcoholics Anonymous, or the Big Book, as we call it.

Also, you can check out an AA meeting. People are very welcoming, and you don't have to do anything: just listen.

Stick around and help us stay sober!

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Layne
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by Layne »

I don't know if I am the type of alcoholic that can never drink responsibly ever again. All I know is that I never did. I never knew how it would turn out once the first drink had passed my lips.

I still don't know how life is going to turn out, but I handle my end of it much better when not drinking and I like not drinking.

I might change my mind tomorrow, but I will address that issue tomorrow. For now, I am content to not drink.

kenyal
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by kenyal »

Good you're working through this, Katie.

Most of us need to accept we are alcoholics piecemeal, hedging and qualifying our condition with reservations and rationalizations. Relatively few of us ever come off the fence on the correct and obvious side. Those are the ones who have a good shot at understanding this condition will not change the rest of their lives and the ongoing importance of continuing to take actions in order to remain abstinent.

So if you are suspecting a problem here that indicates you ought to stop drinking for a while then doing that is indicated in whichever way you are willing to. The key is if what you want to do works well or not. Drinking again or running around nuts indicates more is needed in the way of supporting your healthy decision.

The AAs I know, myself included, do what we need to do in order to achieve the results we desire, and not much more. I started with doing very little and up ped the ante each time I drank and suffered more. In that process I learned more about the depth of the problem I faced. It was far larger than I'd have preferred.

So if you aren't ready to do all the AA stuff yet, do what you're willing to do at this point and keep in touch.

I do admit to a bit of envy toward those who grasped it off the bat and did all the stuff right away, beginning their good lives quicker than those of us who needed more convincing, but at least I survived long enough to finally see what my long years of out of control drinking indicated to everyone but me.

Db1105
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by Db1105 »

I wan't able to stop until I hit my bottom. I just got to a point where I realized I could not help myself no matter how hard I tried. That when I stopped showing up to AA and became a member of AA.

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ann2
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by ann2 »

Hi, welcome! I'm Ann and I'm an alcoholic pretty much like you describe yourself. I didn't call myself alcoholic in my mind, but figured if I called myself that in the meetings I might get some help, which i really wanted, and needed. I read the Big Book, started listening to people,share, talked to my sponsor, and started taking the steps.

You know what? After not so long a time I could see that I was a real, bona-fide alcoholic. But I came into AA on Tradition 3, looking for help because I had a real desire not to drink. I was 26, still had a job (or two, or three), a place to live, and I hadn't been to detox or rehab. I just desperately did not want to drink or smoke pot, did it anyway, and was ready for help!

I think I was very lucky that marijuana speeded up the progression of my alcoholism so that I was desperate sooner. Because drinking to me was what normal people did, drinking to excess was how it was to be done! :roll: even after years sober I would watch in amazement when someone left half a drink in their glass :shock:

I took step 1 however and continue to take it over and over again, reading more info, studying more of the BB, examining my history, cataloging the insanity of my behavior. It is fairly undeniable for me today that I am alcoholic. Big time. But i got to that point in small increments.

So, I invite you to keep reading, keep asking questions, and to enjoy the company of others who just may be like you :D

Not such a bad deal, if we don't have to go it alone! And thanks to AA, today I don't.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Texan
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by Texan »

Hi Katie Jane. I'm Bill and it took a while for me to say that I am an alcoholic, but that's exactly what I am. I don't know many folks that walk through the doors of AA that believe they are alcoholics. A friend of mine says that he wasn't an alcoholic 'till he started going to AA. He goes on to say that we made him into one. He freely admits that he came through the doors because the judge told him he had to in order to get his drivers license back. So he went with that single goal in mind. Somewhere along the way he became convinced that he was in fact an alcoholic, and has been one for the last twenty-five years!

I myself didn't believe it. Funny thing was that everyone around me knew I was. But because I wasn't able to admit it to myself, I nearly lost everything near and dear to me. I've said it elsewhere on this board recently, and I mean it. Like so many others, I had a job, a house, a car and wasn't losing them. What I was losing was far more important to me than any physical trappings of life. I was losing my family. The ones that meant the most to me were the ones I was hurting the most. My friends weren't coming around because they didn't want to be around a knee walking drunk at the end of the evening. The other people I thought were my friends were the leeches that came around for free liquor. When I finally walked through the doors of AA, I still wasn't convinced and continued to drink. Sometimes on the way home from a meeting. I even went to a detox center at the urging of family. I drank on the way home!

What I can tell you is that once I finally had had enough, once I finally realized how bad I was hurting not only my family, but myself, that's when I started to take all this seriously and got on with the task at hand. I nearly broke a rib and my nose in the process, and have the scar across the bridge of my nose to remind me everyday I look into the mirror. After the first week I began to feel better about myself. Baby steps. I took a lot of baby steps. Now, nearly sixteen months later, I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud. I can go to sleep at night instead of passing out. I sleep all night instead of waking and fretting over what I once thought were 'end of the world' type things going on in my life. I can look across the table and see my family, happy that we are all together. I didn't become a drunk overnight, and didn't get better overnight. I continue to get better. Just when I think it can't get better, it does. I hope I keep getting better for the rest of my life!

You can have this too. We can help. We'd love to help. Will you let us help?

I/we look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Bill aka Texan
Keep on Keeping on, One Day at a Time.

JohnZ
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by JohnZ »

Great share, Bill! Thank you!

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PaigeB
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by PaigeB »

Hi Katie! I read your post and cherry picked some words for you and added emphasis:
..am I kidding myself? .... I have a hard time saying no, knowing when to stop, and I don't drink for any purpose other than to get drunk. ... but falling down drunk. ... ... and I've tried to quit before without success. It needs to really happen this time, one way or another.
Tried to quit before without success? Normal people don't think like that or drink like that. Sorry. Sounds harsh, but this is a disease and it is a disease with life or death consequences. You said you don't KNOW when to stop... that might just be what we call the phenomena of craving... we can't stop, at least not comfortably. You might know you are just fooling yourself. Take a quick, honest look. You might just be "that kind" of alcoholic.

Private message me with your Zip Code and let's get you to a face-to-face meeting PRONTO! You are not alone - we are there.

Don't die before the miracle of AA can take hold. :wink:
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

JohnElkRiver
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by JohnElkRiver »

Hello and welcome. Thanks for your post.

I think you may have answered your own post. You say that you don't want to drink or smoke anymore. If you are not an alcoholic you should be able to quit based on the desire to no longer drink or smoke. However check out this line from our book. Page 44 in a chapter called "We Agnostics".

" If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. "

Usually we can simply diagnose ourselves by looking at our own experiences. If we no longer want to drink we should stop and we'd be able to do so if we are not alcoholic. However. If you are like me you might get 3-5 days in and start to feel physically better. Then that whole crazy idea about not wanting to drink seems like a far off memory. I'd always be right back where I started after taking that first drink.

Lastly being alcoholic once I took that first drink the craving would kick in and i'd feel very uncomfortable unless I could take another and another drink. If I couldn't drink "properly" i'd either hold off altogether or get home asap so I could drink "the way I wanted to."

Glad to see you here, keep coming around and if you've not done so check out a local AA meeting. You'll meet some great people who have been where you may be.

John

lifeline
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by lifeline »

Quitting drinking is easy. Staying quit is the harder part. Sooner or later I would always drink again. It wasn't until I joined AA and committed to do whatever it takes to stay sober that I actually stayed sober so far.

I don't really know how non alcoholics feel about drinking. The closest I can come to it is to compare it with something, like for example broccoli. If broccoli gets served I like to eat it. Sometimes I buy broccoli and cook it. Beside that, I don't think about broccoli or make a decision I won't indulge in broccoli over the weekend. Also I wouldn't try to find an open store at night to buy broccoli and if I would never get it again, I wouldn't care much either. With alcohol that was was an entire different story. Did I feel I am an alcoholic? Not before I surrendered.

Mike O
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by Mike O »

lifeline wrote:
The closest I can come to it is to compare it with something, like for example broccoli. If broccoli gets served I like to eat it. Sometimes I buy broccoli and cook it. Beside that, I don't think about broccoli or make a decision I won't indulge in broccoli over the weekend. Also I wouldn't try to find an open store at night to buy broccoli and if I would never get it again, I wouldn't care much either. With alcohol that was was an entire different story. Did I feel I am an alcoholic? Not before I surrendered.
I love this analogy.
:D
ps: Also, if the broccoli made me sick, I'd probably not want to eat any for some time after.

Katie_Jane
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by Katie_Jane »

I had a fascinating wake-up this weekend. For the first time ever, I went camping with all my friends and didn't bring any booze. I am an avid camper, but I always, always have booze when I am in the woods. I was truly shocked at how often I thought about it. I've also quit smoking (pot and cigarettes) and shockingly, I actually wanted a beer more than I wanted a cigarette or a joint, in spite of the fact that my friends were smoking pot and cigs in front of me and they were not drinking. This weekend I actually felt like an alcoholic. It was a strangely positive feeling though. More like recognition I guess?? Anyway, it gave me a feeling of strength, like now that I know I really am addicted it's kind of 'easier' so to speak to rally against it. I found a couple of groups in my area, and I'm going to try to make it to a face to face meeting soon.

Also this analogy that i quoted below really struck me. I actually really love broccoli (lol - it's my favourite veggie) but if i think about never having broccoli ever again it's no big deal. So thank you everyone. I've been sober, and off of cigarettes for a week now and feeling pretty dang good about it.
lifeline wrote: I don't really know how non alcoholics feel about drinking. The closest I can come to it is to compare it with something, like for example broccoli. If broccoli gets served I like to eat it. Sometimes I buy broccoli and cook it. Beside that, I don't think about broccoli or make a decision I won't indulge in broccoli over the weekend. Also I wouldn't try to find an open store at night to buy broccoli and if I would never get it again, I wouldn't care much either. With alcohol that was was an entire different story. Did I feel I am an alcoholic? Not before I surrendered.

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Texan
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by Texan »

That's great, Katie Jane! I'm really proud for you!

Funny you mention camping. I camp a lot with my son and his fellow scouts. Even though I wasn't supposed to, I always had my scotch with me when camping. It was about a week after I had quit for good when I had a scheduled camp out with the boys. I wasn't, and never was the only adult as my sons troop has always been blessed with tons of other dads that came out camping as well. But that first time without, I recall as being a bit anxious. Once I got into the activities, the anxiety went away and I just stopped thinking about it. I remember having a really great time, too!

I'm glad you've found some f2f meetings to go to. I believe they are important, but finding a sponsor and beginning step work is important too. At some point during the step work, you'll be surprised when you wake up and realize that the first thing you think about is something other than, "How long before I get that first drink/joint?". It will become a non-issue, much like you'd NEVER think about picking up a hot ember from the campfire.

Come back and let us know how you are coming along. Helping you goes a long way towards helping us stay sober!
Keep on Keeping on, One Day at a Time.

lifeline
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Re: I don't feel like an alcoholic

Post by lifeline »

Katie, congrats on one sober week!
If you're planning to attend f2f meetings don't wait too long. There seems to be a "period of grace" when we start off. But somewhere down the road will be a bump and if you haven't begun applying the solution by then you might not be able to not drink.

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