Is there anyone out there who would be willing to share that they have had problems with alcohol abuse, but do not consider themselves an "alcoholic" -- people who don't like the label??? OR, do you believe that it's possible for some people to cut back on their drinking without going throught the whole "I am an alcoholic" thing? Please share! I have a problem but am unsure about the whole "I am an alcoholic" thing,
And there are people who try to change their drinking and can't. Willpower isn't enough because something has shifted inside them and they cannot consume any alcohol safely. They have to decide what is more important, alcohol or the rest of their life.
Cut back / change your drinking, and see what happens. May be you need to change something else- such as learning better coping strategies so you don't "need" alcohol to take the edge off. May be you need to change something in your life like a job or a relationship that makes you miserable. May be you need to dump a friend that you can't spend time without over imbibing.
May be you need to see a counselor or read some self help books to work on a root problem. Some people just switch from compulsive behavior to compulsive behavior with out ever figuring *why* they always have a crutch.
Good luck! I used to drink too much, and I dealt with the underlying issues. I can take or leave alcohol now. It was never the real problem for me, even though at one point in my life it looked like "the problem"
but everything has pros and cons
I think this is a really important topic. Yes, I do believe that some people are capable of self assessing that they are hurting themselves, and making much needed changes. The pp mentioned the need to face the life circumstances, that are driving alcohol consumption. Cool, but I think that the beliefs one has (not just about drinking) need attention. " Who am I if I am one of those people, who can handle a few drinks." Do I believe that, anyone that has ever teetered on the edge of addiction needs to abstain for safety's sake? Personally, I think the all or nothing paradigm keeps people from getting the help they need. Alcohol (as typically consumed) is poison, so is white sugar.The question is, do we love ourselves enough to care? The body is the faithful servant of the spirit it carries. Most people live with a terrible inner tyrant that only serves to judge and punish. We should pay attention to our "self talk". Problems manifest from this level. Do most people recognize this? No, we are taught when we are young that everyone is either normal or messed up. It's not true, we are all wounded refugees from one trauma or another. Sadly, we would rather pretend we're fine and never heal, than face the fact that some of our beliefs are lies that we have never questioned.
"The body is the faithful servant of the spirit it carries". I love this quote. I like it much more than anything I've ever heard in AA. I'm going to try saying this several times before I reach for a bottle of wine. Thank you.
It helps to learn what we're doing. Many times people get hung up on if we drank to much (personal limits) intead of what is harmful to our organs.
I don't consider myself an alcoholic but I know that I have a problem with alcohol. For me it wasn't how often I was drinking but how much I drank when I did. I can't just have one or two drinks, when I drink, I drink until I am drunk and I just don't like who I am when I'm drunk.
I haven't drunk to excess for about 5 years, the last drink I had was 19th August 2007. I just don't touch it. It's easier that way and better for me.
Labels aside, I believe that some people can cut back successfully, but that others cannot. I am a "cannot." I've been told that the "test" is to see if one can consistently have two drinks and stop: every time one begins drinking with the intent to have only two, one has only two. (So I asked -- what if one can consistently stop at 6? You can probably guess the answer to that one Fortunately, the person I asked has a great sense of humor.) So what I know about myself is that I have a problem stopping at a "social drinking" point, so I don't do it at all anymore.
I agree that the "all or nothing" along with the stigma gets in the way of people getting help. When I need to make a challenging transformation, calling myself names (lush, drunk, addict, alcoholic, loser, failure, f'up), beating myself up, and thinking in terms of faults and shortcomings does not motivate me. I experience transformation through remembering that I am a child of god, and not god myself. I am spiritual being having a human experience (yes, I swiped that one from someone else) and as a human, I have a journey in this incarnation which includes experiencing and working through adversity. I was never meant to be perfect, at any point, and it's okay that I am not and that I will never be.
For me, and I think for many others (though certainly not all people), alcohol and other addictions (which I believe can include both substances and other behaviors) are about self-soothing. I was finally done when I stopped liking the numb feeling. That I sought relief from pain through numbness is a very human and understandable thing to have done. While I still live with some consequences of having escaped from trying situations by drinking, I can forgive myself and now celebrate that I have ways of dealing with adversity that are working better for me now. Thank god I never hurt myself or anyone else. I never, ever drove. I never lost a job. Never had any legal or health consequences. It was hard on at least one relationship in my life, probably more. And it made much needed growth and development much more difficult to access, so that took longer than it might have.
I read this article today http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-09/uonc-hdr083012.php I think it's pretty powerful information, for anyone who is struggling to empower themselves to have more respect for their body, and change their habit for good.
Hope your doing okay SusanElisabeth.