I downloaded the sobertime app a while ago but I was never that bothered when I only made it a few days or a week. This past Wednesday I had made it 26 days, the longest stretch in a long time. But a few unfortunate, not even big, events set me off and I stopped work in the middle of the day to down bottles of wine.
So it seems like maybe I have a problem. It was like a switch flipped, and suddenly I was savagely opening a bottle of wine I’ve had sitting around since January. Two days later I’m finally back on track, trying to catch up on missed work and get back into the life I want for myself.
I know I’m living out a cliche. “I can control it; I don’t have a problem. I don’t drink that much when I do drink” But I just saw how easily I snapped. I’ve been unable and unwilling to acknowledge that I don’t have control over myself and turn to alcohol to cope. It was all I could think about.
Accepting that you don’t have control over alcohol is hard. It seems weak and miserable. But even people with very high motivation and control in other areas of life can fall prey to alcoholism. It isn’t a moral failing.
If you cannot control your drinking, and you are having many, probably increasing over time, negative consequences, then maybe you an alcoholic. The label of alcoholic can be problematic, now people often use the term alcohol abuse disorder, and it is more of a scale. There are quizzes online that can help you think about how negatively alcohol is affecting your life. And if you start to feel that your life would be better without alcohol, then try reading some ‘quit lit’, books about stopping drinking. This Naked Mind by Annie Grace is one I read early in my journey.
Dont worry about labels. If you dont like how you think or use about alcohol its healthy to want a change. Early on in my sobriety journey i liked the phrase sober curious…if you have to label it. But commit to 30 days and if you have strong cravings well then you might just have a problem.
My advice is to commit to not drinking today, rinse and repeat. Annie grace has a free 30 day program which i found very helpful.
I could also go days, weeks, months, but if I have even 1 drink, I have a switch that flips and I’m a bottle in. I don’t care what I call it- alcoholic, drunky monkey, slithering boozehound are some of my go-to’s. I just know I have never been able to drink with control, and when I drink, I am miserable, ashamed, and scared for my health and safety. Call it what you want. I know I just simply can’t drink.
It does feel increasing over time. At least, I have more on the line now and I’m taking the same risks. Leaving work under a pretense, I feel like a stupid teenager. I don’t like who I am when I look back on me drinking.
Thank you for the book suggestion, I’ll check it out for sure.
I can’t relate fully as I have an issue with weed and not drinking, but I found very similar issues. Not wanting to face myself and call it what it is cause I don’t want to disappoint myself. So I don’t, I don’t call it overcoming my addiction and I don’t call myself an addict, I just call it my path to sobriety. You don’t have to label it to know you don’t want it, and that’s what you are showing. Don’t be down on yourself cause the temptations happen. What matters is where you go from here. Learn that you want to be better for yourself and take it there
I’m the beginning, I was trying to prove to myself that I wasn’t an alcoholic. I decided to start moderating. That’s when I found out that I have no control after I open the first bottle. I was so disappointed in myself. There was never alcohol in my home as I grew up. It was a huge blow to my ego that I discovered and had to admit I have the disease.
I did actually use the phrase sober curious when I went out for a girls night at the bar. I ended up drinking at the second bar to feel more at ease…. But I like the generous feeling of that phrase, like I’m not swearing it off forever but trying to better my life!
I hear you. I think the blow to my ego admitting I’m an alcoholic often keeps me in an addiction cycle because I don’t want to be an alcoholic. The shame! The shame! The truly dumb part is that I’m also severely food allergic, and I also don’t want to be that at all, but I accept it and avoid the food that makes me ill with great attention and precision. WHY CAN’T I GET IT? Oy. That shame bit. That’s the bit. The slithering boozehound bites that bit and then gallops and tells me noooo, you have control. Look you’ve gone 4 months with not a drop. Such control. You totally aren’t an alcoholic. Have 1 drink. It’s nothing. And then it’s the whole damn bottle. Every. Single. Time.
Welcome Erin,I’m glad you are here. Maybe you answered your own question. I think you may feel you cannot control it. I wouldn’t worry about labeling yourself. If you feel you have a problem and want to change your behavior there are ways to do that. This community is very supportive and never judgmental. You can look into Alcholics Anonymous in your area or online. Even though I am a drug addict I have a home group and the program helps me maintain my sobriety. I’m not saying you are or are not an alchoholic but Step 1 states We admitted we were powerless over alchohol that our lives had become unmanageable. If that resonates in you you may want to try it on for size. Wish you all the best and I look forward to hearing more from you.
Thank you so much. I’m nervous about trying an AA meeting but I know having a community makes sobriety stick better. I think I would really benefit from talking to people like everyone here who replied so so kindly.
I’m also in the early stage of recovery. I’m just two weeks in and struggling with the label of alcoholic. I’m taking one day at a time and praying the cravings will pass. Wishing you all the best.
It’s frightening not knowing when the urge will hit, isn’t it? Because I know it eventually will. But I appreciate you saying the label is hard for you too. It’s not who/ what I want to be. Congrats on two weeks though, and wishing you the best too
Welcome Erin. I’m Smitty and definitely a alcoholic. I chose this label as it’s what I am. I own it, accept it and am little bit proud of it because I am alive and can help others like myself.
My low (mental, physical, financial, spiritual misery) was different from everyone else but what is common of us all is the mental obsession that comes to drink/use in substance use disorders. We’re not done till we’re done…
At this point I don’t want a drink today, and as long as I don’t today all will work out just fine.
Welcome Erin! I’m new here too. This is a great resource for support and general learnings about sobriety and tips for resources, etc. I never thought I’d be able to live without alcohol but now I’m sober 25 days and can’t imagine ever going back. Wishing you strength because it’s so hard. But this is a beginning of a great adventure!
Hey Erin, Welcome!! I know what you mean about flipping a switch. I never knew if mine would flip or not and it got exhausting and scary to live so long like that.
I agree with what @Cjp shared regarding Annie Grace and her 30 day experiment. I also took a lot from her book, This Naked Mind. Another book I found helpful was Quit Like A Woman…some good stuff in that one as well.
Sometimes worrying about labels isn’t helpful. Everyone is different tho and if it helps you to name and claim, then definitely use that to your advantage.
Taking it day by day helps me a lot. Today I won’t drink.