A team member posted this link on another site I am a member of and it spoke volumes to me. This Letter to a Female Alcoholic really made me think (like I don’t do enough of that already lol).
The parts that stood out for me…
“You may have been drinking for months or years. You would be horrified and deny it hotly if anyone called you an alcoholic, but secretly you are wondering whether you are an alcoholic. I’ll answer that immediately by telling you that if you can’t control your drinking, if you drink more than you would care to admit or if alcohol is costing you more than money, the chances are you are an alcoholic.”
The debate in my head about whether or not I’m an alcoholic is ongoing. If I can stop without issue – doesn’t that mean that I’m not an alcoholic? The fact that I crave it – does that mean I’m an alcoholic. What defines an alcoholic? I have come to the conclusion that I’m a heavy drinker when it comes time to days where I decide to drink because it’s never 1 or 2. I don’t experience blackouts normally (it has happened on days where the effect of the booze seemed to hit me unexpectedly). I generally have drinks and enjoy them – but on many occasions my drinking is done alone, at home while watching TV and I sit there and zone out. When I go out socially, I drink and wonder if people are noticing how much I’m drinking and if they will think it’s too much. Then there are times I watch others and think they drink too much lol.
My daughter moved out in the Fall and she said one of the reasons was because of my drinking – yet I didn’t think it was that bad – I just figured she was looking for a reason to blame it on. Now that she has moved back in, she has noticed that my drinking is much less frequent and it’s not an issue.
I did go through a phase where I ‘hung out’ with someone who drank with me and well it was an enabling situation. This person was very dear to me and she passed away in May of 2007 at the young age of 57. While they said it was cancer – I believe it was linked to the heavy drinking she did.
When I moved to this new city – I changed my habits considerably. I kicked the addiction to pain killers (I used to take Oxycotin – not prescribed to me but rather another ‘buzz’ or feel good escape). The drinking continued, but much less frequent and I never went out much. Back in my home town I would go out to the bar after work almost every night – just for a couple of drinks but mostly to socialize because all my friends were there EVERY day. I came to the realization I couldn’t keep living like that thus my move.
I guess life circumstances put me in the midst of drinking issues for decades now. From parents who drank too much, my ex – when I met him he was on the rebound and drinking a 40pounder a day and then I guess I ‘joined’ in because it was to hard to manage sober.
Now those days are long gone and my life is very different. I have been a single mom for the past 11 years – raising a now 12 and 16 year old who are both presenting with anxiety/depression and one with self-harming issues. I have my hands full and need a clear and sober mind to deal.
So my intention is to be sober most of the time. I am not saying I will quit forever. I am not sure I’ll make the 100 days but for now I’m on Day 8 again.
I know I have goals that I want to attain and those include losing weight and getting in better physical shape – and alcohol is a no no in most programs (or allowed very minimally) so I’m thinking SHRINK not DRINK for these purposes too.
So am I an alcoholic? Who knows?! I am a person who came to this blogging world because I know that alcohol seems to take up too much real estate in my mind and I need to fill it up with better and healthier things!
Another point in the letter that stood out:
“Women drink because they are unhappy and they are unhappy because they drink and the vicious spiral whirls on until one cannot tell the cause of this deception. The way back from this unfathomable torture must include treatment for the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.”
I want to get off the hamster wheel and truly want to heal myself – mind, body and spirit… One day at a time!