Alcoholism Q&A... ALCOHOLISM part II
Jan 07, 2011(Post 1)
How do you know if you have a problem with alcohol?
If I were to drink before surgery it would be a binge drinking night about 6 times a year or so. Now that I've had surgery I will have about 4 to 5 glasses (normal sized glasses that are not full to the top) of wine a week. It's always after the kids are in bed, and I only drink to the point of relaxation, not inebriation. On rare occassion I will become inebriated, but it's always the intention for the night (girls night out, NYE) and I'm responsible about it (the kids have a sitter, I don't drive drunk or have important plans the next day).
So while I can say that I drink more post-op, I believe that if someone told me that I would die if I ever touched alcohol again I could stop (I would whine about it, but I could do it). I'm not making light of the subject at all, I'm just wondering what the definition is. How can you tell? I'm making an attempt to be cautious without being drastic, I guess.
Obsessions and drastic measures are what got me into overeating.
I suppose using terms like "always" isn't very honest. I can remember one time during the summer that I had two mid-afternoon glasses of wine while the kids were still awake. But I do remember these things and I don't pretend they didn't happen. It's such a tricky subject to ask about. :-/
The fact that you are asking, and feel the need to justify your useage to me and others here is cause for concern, actually.
I can tell you once again that alcoholism is a progressive disease. People do not wake up from surgery and have to drink a case of beer - it doesn't work that way. But you said yourself that you are drinking more than you were prior to surgery. That should be a red flag to you that you should monitor as closely as you do your children.
While the general public may not think what you say you are drinking is much, we are not the general populace, are we? We get drunk faster, have a lower tolerance than most anyone else on the planet, and lack the digestive enzymes necessary to properly break it down. That and we are already addicts at the starting line...
Every alcoholic has their line to draw in the sand. I am a rather financially secure, happily married (D.I.N.K.) woman in my 30's with a brand new house and a great new body post-surgery. I lost none of that while drinking - I am not homeless lying in a gutter, or getting into fights or engaging in other dangerous behaviour. I lost a majority of the weight I put on during an 18 month binge while I still continued to drink. Does that mean I should have kept drinking? NO!
I obsessed over when I could get home and drink. I hid it from my husband and peers. I thought about it constantly - how to funnel money into my addiction, how to find a place to drink, and I drank ALONE most of the time. My line in the sand was a hallucination I had after having some vodka-laced Pepsi Max first thing in the morning, and a handful of Jelly Belly jellybeans. I had experienced an attack of SEVERE hypoglycemia. I realized that if I didn't quit, I would likely die from organ failure before I started showing any real outward signs.
I am telling you all of this because it is *my* truth. You can continue to think you're okay, and FWIW, you *may* be. But only *you* know your truth. And I can tell you for the longest time that rationalizing a possible addiction away is never a good sign. I also 'only' had a glass of wine. Until it became two, then three, then a bottle. Then another,. You get the picture.
You are the only one that can decide whether or not you are an alcoholic. It took me well over a year to speak it, own it and truly believe it. And I am glad every day that it did not cause irreversible damage to me - like *death*. Unfortunately, sometimes that is the first warning sign.
May you find your truth.
Jan 31, 2007