Am I really an alcoholic?

27 Oct

2:21 am

Y’know, a “real” alcoholic?

(I’m writing about this because I’ve been spending WAY much time thinking about drinking, and am wondering, Is it worth all this sobering thought?)

At tonight’s speaker meeting — the big-deal talk at the Promises in Paradise conference today — I suddenly wondered, Wait…maybe I’m not really a drunk? I mean, maybe, for real, I’m not an alcoholic? Maybe my problem is/was binge drinking, and is 100 percent situational? For instance, when I spent two months volunteering in [beautiful island] in 2010, I had practically zero desire to drink. I could have two beers at the end of the day and be done with it (not all the time, and I did crave wine toward the end). I was extremely content with my life and lifestyle there, and felt that I had a significant sense of purpose. Could it be as simple as, I drink when I feel like I’m doing jack with my life and I don’t drink when I fill my need to have a sense of purpose, be creative, and grow/move forward? Quite possibly, yes.

As I listened to Janine from Astoria talk for an hour about what a mess she had made of her life before “finding God” and getting sober (yeah, unfortunately, there was a lot of God talk tonight, including saying the “Our Father,” which I simply refused to do — didn’t sign up for Mass, folks), I had to say to myself, DDG, maybe you need to scoot home, learn to drink responsibly, and stop trying to play with the big boys.

I often wonder, do we catastrophize our problem drinking because we’re a neurotic society as a whole? I was talking to a could-be sponsor tonight, and told her that I didn’t drink until I was a junior in college (I studied abroad that year in Paris; wine definitely helped me speak better/at all in French). She was shocked. I then got the feeling I’ve been getting and have had before elsewhere, but typically not in [cold west coast city] or [cold east coast city]: Oh, you’re one of them. Meaning, I’m smart, I’m stable, I haven’t had many non-first world problems in my life. Sure, whatever, a drunk. Come and see how the other half lives, girlie, and then we’ll talk alcoholism.

And, maybe they’re right. Where does “proper” binge drinking end (even if it only takes a few glasses of wine for you to blackout) and alcoholism begin? And, if we’ve become a society that pathologizes even the most basic of human experience and emotion (since when are mood swings considered bipolar disease, and depression and anxiety things to eradicate as early as possible as young as possible?), who gets to finally claim that label? I mean, who among us wouldn’t want more than one chip?

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5 Responses to “Am I really an alcoholic?”

  1. Belle (Tired2012) October 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    i say, it doesn’t matter. the label ain’t important because i feel better when i don’t drink. doesn’t matter if i wasn’t “one of those kinds of drunks” – because i drank more than i wanted to, and that’s the only bottom line there needs to be. i feel better when i don’t drink at all. i’ve given up caring if i can moderate or not, because where i am now is good enough that i do not want to fuck with it. it didn’t take that long to get here, either. my answer to your blog question? not that you asked for my opinion: it doesn’t matter what kind of a drunk you are. if you binge. if you’re a fall-down drunk. or if you’re a monkey. cuz if you’re anything like me, then your body and soul FEEL better when you’re not drinking. you feel more productive and more capable. and once the over thinking stops, which it really and truly will, then your brain will FEEL better too 🙂

    • Drunky Drunk Girl October 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      YOU ARE AMAZING! Thanks for this. I know, it doesn’t really matter. And, I was thinking the same thing today: even *if* I let myself (and, I can, right?) go out and get a bottle of wine, I really don’t want to. I feel better, am much more productive, and well, am seeing things anew — all cuz I ain’t drinkin’. I wish the obsession/thinking about it would stop; I wish that I didn’t WANT to drink, or think I wanted it. But, I’m a million light years away from where I was in June, so I have faith that those thoughts will gradually diminish to nothing. Thanks for being there. Rock on, to both of us! xx

      • Belle (Tired2012) October 28, 2012 at 10:28 am #

        here’s a platitude for you – it does get better, and it does get easier. for me, it was right around 60 days that the daily obsessing stopped, and after 90 days the voice is virtually non-existent except for a few blips here and there … it really does get better, but the only way to know for sure, for yourself, is to get there …

      • Drunky Drunk Girl November 1, 2012 at 4:51 am #

        I am taking your word for this, and not giving in for 90 days. See how it turns out, and know for sure! I know that by 30 things will be different, 60 moreso, and 90…who knows? Only way to know for sure is, like you said, find out! 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Binge drinker, or alcoholic? | Drunky Drunk Girl - July 2, 2013

    […] written about it here, and there. And, like a lot of things, my idea of what the answer to that question is has changed […]

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