When it comes to drinking

(143 Posts)
ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 07:36:30

I look after the kids while my wife works, and by the end of the day I need a fucking drink.

I don't know if that counts as alcohol abuse or alcoholism, but my wife certainly seems to think so. She thinks I drink too much and says that since I drink every day, I "can't" go a day without drinking. The way I see it is that during the week I indeed "can't" go a day without drinking because I look after the kids and after 12 hours with them I want to drink to relax and unwind. Yes I am blaming the children for my rampant booze addiction that is tearing my life apart (hint, it's not).

On average I tend to drink around 4 or 5 cans of beer or cider between 5pm and midnight during the week. I get a nice little buzz, but definitely in no way am I drunk. I'm 37 and 6ft and weight 13 stone so my capacity for booze is...you know...adult. And that's 5 cans over 7 hours. I tend to stop drinking about an hour or an hour and a half before I go to bed at midnight to avoid needing to get up for a piss.

If I drank that amount in the space of a couple of hours as I might on a night out, then yes I would be well on the way. This is more like maintaining that slightly fuzzy level you get after one, maybe two, drinks.

The recommended daily maximum is 4 units a day, and so I probably drink more like 10 units. At the weekend I might drink more and actually get drunk. Some days I will drink more, some days I will drink less. I honestly assumed that since the booze aisles in supermarkets and off licences are so well stocked that a lot of people drink this way.

I don't get drunk often. I don't wake up every day with a throbbing head barely able to function. I don't drink and drive - EVER - I never even have a half if I am driving. If I need to get up early, I won't drink more than a couple. I rarely get stumbling-around drunk and reserve that for nights out with my mates and even then very, very rarely.

I also realise that drinking is bad for you. I know I am drinking well over the recommended daily limit, but that limit is pretty bloody low. Also, what is "too much" for a person? The idea that all men and women are the same when it comes to how much they can and should drink doesn't ring true to me at all. It's like saying there is a fixed number of calories you should consume - but that's dependent on lifestyle and body mass.

I'm not overweight, I have no health problems at all, in no way do I consider myself to be suffering mentally or physically because of the amount I drink. My wife is worried but she worries about pretty much everything 24/7, but I want to find out what other people think. Am I drinking too much? Am I an alcoholic?

Catsize Fri 05-Jul-13 08:05:07

Sorry, but I am with your wife on this one. I used to like a glass of wine or two of an evening, but have had to stop twice for lengthy periods when trying to conceive, when pregnant, and when breastfeeding. I have one of the top 5 stressful jobs too. If I wanted to try to justify a drink.
Looking after kids all day is really tough, but do you think you could stop if, say, you were pregnant? (Okay, may take a lot of imagination...) or on funny prescription drugs. Try weaning off a bit. It may be more habit than anything, but perhaps your wife misses the none-beered you at the end of the day, and you probably don't smell great when going to bed!
Or at least have a few days off the booze. One can is probably fine, but sounds like you're on a bit of a slippery slope.
All the best, and well done for posting. Might be a first step.

Badvoc Fri 05-Jul-13 08:05:32

You are still relatively young tbh.
Lots of time for your excessive drinking to catch up with you yet, sadly.
You are drinking far more than recommended guidelines, which wouldn't matter if it was once a week/twice a month but its every day.
And pretty soon it will be weekends too I imagine.
Perhaps time to think about different more Healthy ways to relax after the end of the day?
Gym?
Walking?
Running?

tulippa Fri 05-Jul-13 08:06:20

The fact that you're drinking to feel a certain way (slightly fuzzy) sounds like you're using alcohol as a drug.

Even if you weren't doing this the amount you're drinking is a lot. Are there are parent support groups you could access if you find looking after the kids so stressful?

ClipClap Fri 05-Jul-13 08:08:11

Just a thought, although you don't think you've got a hangover - I bet the kids wouldn't stress you out so much if you took a night off the booze and went to bed early!

Badvoc Fri 05-Jul-13 08:08:34

...oh and just because you dont wake up with a headache just means you have built up a tolerance for lots of alcohol, which is not a good thing.
Go to your gp and ask for some blood tests...a liver function test may show you exactly the damage you are doing.

Moxiegirl Fri 05-Jul-13 08:09:08

I used to drink a bottle (sometimes more) of wine every night. I wasn't drunk, got up fine the next day and could function fine. I was still addicted though and it wasn't healthy! (And expensive hmm)
I had hypnotherapy and now I only drink socially when I go out. I don't touch wine ever though now.

Moxiegirl Fri 05-Jul-13 08:10:30

Aaahh but I had a liver function test and it came back fine... So I carried on plus more!
My gp said the tests only really show something when your liver really is shot as it can work with just a quarter functioning.
Alcohol hurts more than your liver.

TalkativeJim Fri 05-Jul-13 08:10:39

Yes and yes, absolutely yes.

Look up 'functioning alcoholic', as others before me have said.

You're 37 - please, read up on this and start dealing with it now, or honestly, it's unlikely you'll be healthy, happy and still in your relationship by 57.

The only plus point is that you aren't yet rationalising being able to drive drunk because your tolerance is so good...

Good luck.

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 08:10:41

@MintyChops, yes I wanted honest answers. That's why I asked.

As for "a reverse" I don't know what that is. My username is a joke, obviously.

I have loads of things to do in the evening, it's not like I literally sit there in an empty room drinking. The health issue worries me but I think I just assumed the "recommended" amount was set really low because they don't want people drinking at all!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Fri 05-Jul-13 08:11:07

For me its that you say you 'need' it after having looked after the children all day.

Needing it is when it becomes a problem. I think you need to find something else to help you unwind.

Badvoc Fri 05-Jul-13 08:12:07

No, it's set like that to help prevent diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Moxiegirl Fri 05-Jul-13 08:12:24

How about trying low alcohol beer? There's a couple that taste ok.

Itchywoolyjumper Fri 05-Jul-13 08:13:57

You are drinking far too much, your weekly intake is about 4 or 5 times higher than recommended. You don't feel drunk because your body is now used to processing that amount of alcohol on a regular basis but that doesn't prevent the toxic effects of alcohol on your body.
Have you considered, as it take about an hour to process 1 unit, that if you are drinking 10 units a night and stopping about 11pm you're still drunk at 9am in the morning? If you drive the school run you are drink driving with your children in the car.
No wonder your wife worries.

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 08:18:10

@ItchyWoolJumper - that is definitely not the case. I will happily take everything else on board that people have said and this has actually been a real wakeup call of a thread, but I am in no way drunk the next day.

10 units a night and stopping at 11 would mean I was drunk the next day IF my body only started processing the alcohol when I stopped drinking.

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 08:18:54

It's a bad habit to fall into, OP. Every day. Once a week would be different, or even just one can a day. But most every day is too much.

Moxiegirl Fri 05-Jul-13 08:19:25

He wouldn't have all ten units in his body still at 11pm though, would he?

CaptainSweatPants Fri 05-Jul-13 08:19:28

If you keep drinking this much you'll get a beer belly in your forties , no doubt about it

DeckSwabber Fri 05-Jul-13 08:20:00

I'm also concerned that you are normalising daily drinking for your children. It will define what being a 'grown-up' is.

Itchywoolyjumper Fri 05-Jul-13 08:24:28

Your body starts processing the latest alcohol that you've drunk, the rest slosh about in your blood stream until that one is processed and then it starts on them.
This is why hair of the dog works as it stops you producing the breakdown products of alcohol that make you sick. Its also why you don't get hungover if you are drinking over many hours.

ParadiseChick Fri 05-Jul-13 08:24:42

Sounds excessive. Are you feeling pissed off being at home?

It would drive me to drink!

PuppyMonkey Fri 05-Jul-13 08:25:33

Try 3 nights off in a row and see how you manage. If it's no problem as you say, it's no problem to try that.

MintyChops Fri 05-Jul-13 08:33:39

Everybody said you are drinking too much and your first response was to say that you are surprised and that you choose how much and when you drink not the other way round. Clearly saying you disagree with all the opinions on here. So I repeat, don't ask a question in AIBU and then get surprised by the answers!

ChunkyPickle Fri 05-Jul-13 08:38:09

Good god, yes, you are drinking too much.

Try taking a few days off, and see if looking after the kids for 12 hours a day seems a bit easier - I know that in my younger, wilder days I drank like that, and life was much clearer when I took a few days off (although it seemed rosier when drinking at the time)

ThePerfectFather Fri 05-Jul-13 08:38:55

I don't want to try three nights off and then pat myself on the back, because if this is seriously bad then I don't think a break is going to do anything if I then go right back to doing the wrong thing. Likewise I don't want to limit my drinking to just certain nights because then I'm worried I'm going to go nuts on those nights.

I don't feel like I am addicted, but it's become such a routine. I'm an ex-smoker and I wonder if this has sort of replaced smoking as a routine I use to relax.

Llareggub Fri 05-Jul-13 08:39:03

This is how my ex husband used to drink. In fact you sound a bit like him. Anyway, he is now in residential rehab for 12 weeks due to his alcoholism. It's a progressive thing and got worse over the years. A few suicide attempts too. Anyway, he has now lost his wife, children, business and friends over his relationship with alcohol.

Just saying.

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