to think I'm an alcoholic

(60 Posts)
Swiish Mon 06-May-13 21:38:30

I'm wondering if I really am an alcoholic.

I've always liked to drink and being drunk. A bottle of red is the only thing that relaxes me.

I think about alcohol all the time, throughout the day, and really perk up when I know I can have a drink.

I do limit myself to around two bottles per week, on average, and can resist not drinking but find it incredibly difficult.

I've always been known as a big drinker.

does this describe someone with a problem?

ImagineJL Tue 07-May-13 13:19:07

Oblomov it's not about the amount consumed. It's about the manner in which it's drunk and the emotions surrounding it.

Someone walking along a cliff path could just be someone having a relaxing stroll, or they could be someone about to jump off the cliff. It's not the walk that is worrying, it's the mindset they're in that can be dangerous.

Featherbag Tue 07-May-13 08:46:11

It would be sensible to repeat your LFTs even just because of your historical abnormal result. Regarding the alcohol, you do not have to be dependent on alcohol to have an alcohol use disorder, and based on what the OP has said, it sounds like she may have one. I also wonder if the 2 bottles a week is entirely accurate, as people with AUDs very often minimise their drinking while 'confessing' other aspects of their lifestyle in order to gain reassurance that they don't have 'a problem'. There are many agencies that can help you OP, you do not have to be alcohol dependent and a lot of people don't get on with AA's spiritual element. Your GP can certainly carry out LFTs and signpost you to an appropriate service to help you progressing along the spectrum of alcohol use disorders.

TheRealFellatio Tue 07-May-13 08:37:18

Two bottles a week does not sound excessive to me but if you find it almost impossible to just have a glass or two and then leave the rest of the bottle alone, or find yourself opening a second one just for you, at home, in order to relax, then that is not a healthy relationship with alcohol. Even if it is not on a daily basis.

noddyholder Tue 07-May-13 08:29:41

My dp is an alcoholic he gave up drinking over 20 years ago It isn't about volume or daytime drinking it is about what alcohol does to you and the op has admitted she can't just have one or two without a compulsion to continue.

Crunchymunchyhoneycakes Tue 07-May-13 08:24:17

The only requirement for membership of AA is a desire to stop drinking. You don't need to 'know' you're an alcoholic to attend AA, if you think it might help go to a few meetings and listen out for identification, you'll soon know if you're in the right place or not. It's nothing to do with how much or how often you drink.

Helltotheno Tue 07-May-13 08:19:37

Op were you completely honest with your gp about your alcohol consumption, ie did you tell him or her what you've told us? I ask because people tend not to be in these situations. I can't think of any other reason the gp would have told you those raised levels were not down to alcohol or at the very least, that it was a possibility.

Anyway I wish you the best of luck wherever you do. ...

BegoniaBampot Tue 07-May-13 08:14:19

Oblomov - Your attitude to alcohol sounds nothing like the OP's. It's not the amount that is the issue here but it could be if the loosens the reigns.

Swiish Tue 07-May-13 08:07:56

Sorry, I meant to say, yes i'm a woman.

It's not just how much she drinks its her attitude to alcohol that's concerning. She needs to flag it up with her gp even if she can't access further help now. Plus if she's anything like my mum she will have lied about her consumption anyway. (Apologies op if this isn't true)
My mum probably drinks less than op now though can still put it away if she is socialising but she's still an alcoholic. And always will be.

Oblomov Tue 07-May-13 08:02:18

2 bottles = 20 units? Really. I'm drinking the wrong wine!!

Swiish Tue 07-May-13 08:01:01

Hi all, thanks again for your posts. I really appreciate it.

Blood tests two years ago showed I had a raised alk phos level and inflamed liver, but the gp said it probably wasn't alcohol related. It didn't improve so I had an ultrasound, but I believe that was normal. I'll call the GP today to ask about liver function tests.

Thanks again everyone.

Oblomov Tue 07-May-13 08:00:05

I find this thread OTT about Op.
Although I certainly don't think about alcohol during the day. Plus it is not the only thing that relaxes me.
Or if it isn't, then I too have a problem. I can not drink for ages and then drink lots. I can have a whole bottle of low alcohol rose that can last days. Yet I can get a tiny bit tipsy and giggly. Neither of these things do I think is a problem.
All these people saying op may be an addict and needs to go and see her Gp? Seriously? Over 2 bottles of wine a week? I think those posters need a reality check. Do you have experience of what a GP might say? I agree with Wuldric.

Groovee Tue 07-May-13 07:44:09

My dad had a liver transplant which we thought his liver had been damaged due to excessive drinking over the years. Then we discovered he had Haemacromatosis.

But we asked a question about drinking and the liver specialist gave us this answer "Put 10 people in the room, give them all the same amount of alcohol over a period of time, some will show signs of liver problems while it won't affect others at all. Everyone is different and how it affects each person is down to the individual and not something we can medically calculate."

A liver function test is easy to do. I have mine checked yearly due to the family history.

Good luck OP, admitting you may have a problem is a huge step and the first step in approaching the problem.

Coffeeformeplease Tue 07-May-13 07:40:35

JL, that's probably spot on.
finding out about the underlying issues of any addictive behaviour is a long and difficult process.
Then recognising the triggers and finding alternative ways to deal with them another story.

OP if you think you have a problem, you have one.
The amount is irrelevant imo, because it can suddenly go up. Ask your gp for a referal for counselling, even if it takes forever. or go private if you can afford it. The underlying issues won't disappear over night.
Good luck!!

Isiolo Tue 07-May-13 07:15:27

It's a 2 year wait in our area for NHS counselling

noddyholder Tue 07-May-13 07:15:21

If you feel powerless over alcohol it's an issue.

ImagineJL Tue 07-May-13 07:13:22

I think it is worth seeing your GP.

In my experience as a GP, one of the difficulties with treating alcoholics is that by the time their aberrant drinking behaviour is fully established, they're drunk a lot of the time and therefore counselling is very difficult. It is impossible to discuss why someone drinks, what the underlying anxieties etc are, when someone is either drunk or hungover and craving the next drink.

OP you clearly have some psychological issues, and your method of solving these is by drinking. However, at the moment you make a conscious decision not to drink a huge amount. The underlying problems are still there, and fortunately you haven't yet fully embarked on the "treatment" you feel you want. But I imagine it's only a matter of time, unless you tackle what it is that's making sober life so much less pleasant than being drunk.

So I would ask for anxiety counselling. There's a huge wait of course, but this has been going on for years so a few more weeks won't make any difference.

waterlego Tue 07-May-13 00:14:45

I do think 2 bottles of wine a week is quite a lot, actually. That's 20 units, which, contrary to what some have said, is well over the recommended guidelines for a woman (are you a woman OP?)

But actually, that's not the main issue here. It's the 'thinking about alcohol all the time' that certainly indicated a problem to me. The OP may not be excessive in her consumption but this preoccupation with alcohol isn't healthy, I don't think.

OP, I would second the posters who've suggested you set yourself a target for abstinence and see how you get on, but I also agree that a liver function test sounds like a good idea.

Good for you for confronting this if it makes you feel uncomfortable. All the best.

Wuldric Tue 07-May-13 00:05:11

The OP is flirting with alcohol addiction. In a very minor way. I'm just sayin, don't go there.

Isiolo Tue 07-May-13 00:00:06

How useful would AA be at this stage?? I'm thinking, not really. If its Luke AlAnon, its not very direct is it. When you are ready for it, it is the best place to be in the world. But if you aren't really there yet....I imagine OP is looking for something else?

Wuldric Mon 06-May-13 23:58:53

The brave babes is a great thread. Go there.

I've already made my suggestions to the OP. Stop drinking until 21 Sep (minimum), concentrate on eating and drinking healthily. and take some exercise.

Above all, do not believe there is some magic fix-it out there, provided by some external agency. There isn't. It's down to you, matey. But we're here to help.

Helpyourself Mon 06-May-13 23:56:11

Not at all. It's a conundrum- I certainly wouldn't have been told to go away if I'd rocked up at AA before I was ready, but sadly I think things to need to get pretty bad before alcoholics can stop.

Isiolo Mon 06-May-13 23:51:00

My apologies help...you went to AA. blush I'll butt out...

Isiolo Mon 06-May-13 23:49:32

helpyourself you did it...suggestion is to stop drinking huh, if she feels she doesn't have a healthy relationship with alcohol?

Helpyourself Mon 06-May-13 23:43:32

What would you suggest the op does wul?
Genuine question grin I could have written her thread about 18 months before I stopped drinking. I think I needed that last year and a bit of drinking to get desperate enough to stop, but I don't know. What would you advise?

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