I might have a problem?

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LINC
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I might have a problem?

Post by LINC » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:50 pm

I am 43, successfully employed, 2 cars, own my own home, have a wife and 3 kids. I am sober throughout the day, but every night like to have a couple of drinks to unwind. It also helps me to sleep. I set a limit as to how much I drink every night and am able to stick to it. That limit is equaly to a mickey, so I basically have a mickey every night. I try to hide my drinking from my kids as I don't want them to see me so I stash bottles in hiding spots around the house where I can fill my mug of orange juice.

I started drinking about 5 years ago to help with my insomnia, and work & family stress, and it became more and more frequent to where I am today. I am struggling with whether I have a problem and need to quit drinking cold turkey. I think I have a problem, but yet I am able to stop once I reach my limit and am still successful at work.

Am I an alcoholic? I think I might be, but am not sure? Has anyone else experienced this?

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Tosh
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by Tosh » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:25 am

Hi, and welcome to the program, Linc. In A.A. we're not here to tell anyone if they're an alcoholic or not, we just share our experiences, and let you decide for yourself.

However, according to A.A. you're an alcoholic if you have the following:

1. The phenomenon of craving; i.e. once you start drinking you crave for more alcohol. This means you're never completely satisfied with just a few drinks. My partner, for example, whose not an alcoholic, can have just two drinks and stop, AND BE COMFORTABLE. That wasn't my experience. Give me a couple of drinks and I'll crave for more and if I couldn't get more, I'd be very restless, irritable, and discontented.

2. Mental obsession with alcohol. This is tougher to describe, but it's basically that when we're not drinking, we're thinking about drinking. In my experience, I used to plan my day around my drinking.

Also, it seems you have a concept of what an alcoholic actually is. An alkie isn't only those people you see in the gutters, screaming abuse at pigeons and passing buses. There's a speaker called Clancy I and he says being an alcoholic is a bit like being pregnant. You either are pregnant or not. There's no inbetween; however, it shows up more in some than others, depending on the stage of the pregnancy.

Anyway, I hope I've made some sense. I'm bashing this out before I head out to work.

Kind regards, and welcome to the forum.
Last edited by Tosh on Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ann2
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by ann2 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:30 am

Hi Linc, and welcome --

There is some helpful information at the aa.org web site, including a short quiz (try to be honest now!) if you click on the tab "Is AA For You?" and then the menu item to the left "This Is A.A." and then the title "Is AA For You?" or for Pete's sake just go to this link http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=71 You know, I think getting to that quiz is a sobriety test in itself . . . :roll:

But there's other good stuff to read there too. And you can always check out an AA meeting to see if you identify with anything you hear. We have a problem and there is a solution . . . yea!

Glad to see you here,

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

happycamper
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by happycamper » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:50 am

Welcome LINC, glad you're here.

I cannot determine if you are alcoholic or not. Im only an expert on me :) .

I do know that it really doesn't matter if you still have the wife, kids, house, job, cars, etc. cuz' eventually ... all those could very well be gone if you are the real alcoholic and continue to drink.

Read thru our book, go to a few AA meetings, see if you can identify.
There are other ways to deal with stress and insomnia than by using booze.
Faith without works is dead

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leejosepho
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by leejosepho » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:23 am

LINC wrote:... sober throughout the day, but every night like to have a couple of drinks to unwind. It also helps me to sleep ...

I try to hide my drinking from my kids as I don't want them to see me ...

I started drinking about 5 years ago to help with my insomnia, and work & family stress ...

I think I have a problem, but yet I am able to stop once I reach my limit and am still successful at work.

Am I an alcoholic? I think I might be, but am not sure? Has anyone else experienced this?
I would guess many of us have used alcohol for the reasons you have mentioned, and many of us even once had your kind of control in the early days of our drinking. However, none of that would automatically prove you are also alcoholic.

Your idea of "cold turkey" might be one way to help try to answer that question, and we even have this bit of related experience to share:
As we look back, we feel we had gone on drinking many years beyond the point where we could quit on our will power. If anyone questions whether he has entered this dangerous area, let him try leaving liquor alone for one year. If he is a real alcoholic and very far advanced, there is scant chance of success. In the early days of our drinking we occasionally remained sober for a year or more, becoming serious drinkers again later. Though you may be able to stop for a considerable period, you may yet be a potential alcoholic. We think few, to whom this book will appeal, can stay dry anything like a year. Some will be drunk the day after making their resolutions; most of them within a few weeks. ("A.A.", the book, page 34)
However, it would not be at all unreasonable for you to ask a good doctor for a little help with your insomnia and stress issues. I occasionally have those same issues and have not had a drink in many years, but you likely already understand or at least suspect our being sober does not automatically solve them. So, just try to quit altogether and see a good doctor about the things that draw/drive you toward alcohol and then let us know how things go! But if you cannot do that and you find yourself longing for the drink that does what nothing else seems to do, you just might be one of us!

Welcome to e-AA.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Frankie
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by Frankie » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:49 am

In A.A. we're not here to tell anyone if they're an alcoholic or not, we just share our experiences, and let you decide for yourself.
Hello LINC and Welcome, glad you're here.

I entered A.A. at 42, I still had "Stuff". I soon learned about how progressive alcoholism is, with out help it gets worse, never better. If I pick up a drink again there is no telling where I may end up. Mental hospital, jail, or the morgue are possibilities. I was also past trying to control my drinking, I had got to the point of not caring who saw and was drinking 24/7. Trying to control it became too much work. I had lost all friends, due to my drinking, family had gotten tired of me and turned away. I couldn't have gotten or kept a job if I wanted to. And I was at the point of having to drink so I would not shake, sweat, get sick, and drank so I could eat, sleep (pass out), go to the mail box, talk on the phone, this list goes on and on. Life was unmanageable and now looking back on my drinking, I knew I was an alcoholic years before I got here.

I've also learned that my drinking had a whole lot to do with me not being able to live life on life's terms. (escape) Today, thanks to the Program of Alcoholic Anonymous, I have not found it necessary to pick up a drink. Today I have a Higher Power, recovering friends who help me live life, on life's terms.

Thank you for posting and we're here if you decide you do have a problem. This is part of what we do. :)

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Blue Moon
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by Blue Moon » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:26 pm

I don't know if you're alcoholic or not, I suspect you can't know either unless you discover you can't really quit.

One thing I do know is that if you continue on the path you're on, it cannot get any better.

So whether or not you're "alcoholic" is irrelevant. Either way, I'd suggest you quit drinking.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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beginningagain7
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by beginningagain7 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:02 am

Welcome Linc to e-aa forum. Glad that you have joined us. Take a tour and read the stories and shares here. It will help determine if you are one or not.

The key test is stop drinking. If you cannot then maybe you should take a serious look at the situation.

Have a good day.
Beginningagain4
John T.

Sally
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by Sally » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:56 pm

i think you know you have a problem or else why would
you have come to us to ask??? are you an alkie??- your call- not ours-

I love the statement **There is nothing
like a little AA to screw up your drinking**-
We can't unring the bell- question is - what do we do about it??

Ian has the right idea- stop drinking- if you find that task difficult- chances are
you are one of us- if you can stop drinking- and stay stopped- then perhaps
you are not. We don't declare anyone else an alcoholic- just ourselves.
life sober is delightful- esp long holiday weekends. i highly recommend it.
Sally

aegis
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by aegis » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:36 am

You stash bottles of beer around your house which means you drink warm beer??? If it has come down to drinking warm beer for fear of your kids finding out about it, then maybe you do need to quit. I've heard other parents who express this same fear... of their children finding out that they consume alcohol. I don't blame you for wanting to shelter them from that, and to preserve your integrity in the eyes of your children. It's a far cry from my friend, who uses her toddler as a waitress to take away the empty cans, and bring mommy a fresh one from the fridge!

Also, I think you fear that you may become addicted to alcohol. It may be only one or two drinks per night just to unwind, but what if you find that your tolerance increases? What if you start drinking more? Then, what if you find that when you run out of alcohol you get really irritable? That means you are addicted. Then it's a real problem. Take steps now to quit before it becomes much more difficult for you and your family.

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Roberth
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Re: I might have a problem?

Post by Roberth » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:48 pm

I'm not going to try and guess whether you have a problem or not, it's just not my place to do that. But I will quote one of AA public service announcements that might shed some light on the subject.

“If you want to drink that's your business, but if you want to stop we can help
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!

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