I am nearing the 6 months sober mark 🙂 🙂 which is an amazing feat. There is this constant thought that I keep having to push out of my head. Am I really an alcoholic? Realistically yes right? I look back on my drinking days and think about all the things that I did, mostly drink home alone (I never really went out to drink) and have to shake it out of my head because I don’t like thinking about that. I am ashamed of that past and haven’t gotten to the part where I use it to help others. But that still doesn’t seem to be enough. So like most people I turned to the internet. Google search “What is an alcoholic”. I bet you can imagine how many results came up. So many definitions, signs and symptoms, take a quiz here….
This led me to an article by the Betty Ford Clinic “Love Is an Alcoholic? If you worry about someone’s drinking you’re not alone”. There is a short 4 question quiz:
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
I answered all of this questions with yes, expect number 4 because I made it a point not to drink the next day. I thought then I would be an alcoholic. I didn’t drink every day, that was key. Even with the yes’s that didn’t mean I am an alcoholic right? Everyone at some point answers yes to those questions! Sweet rationalization at its best! The truth is, for me anyway my big fat yes to these questions was every time I drank. So there must be a problem.
But I didn’t go to jail! I didn’t get DUI’s! I am not in the same place as these other people, so I must not be a real alcoholic. I am an alcoholic for one reason, I cannot control my alcohol intake once I start. I cannot stop at 1,2, or 3. I go the distance. I AM AN ALCOHOLIC! I predict that I will always struggle with this thought. That it may be the addiction trying to lure me back. The fact I know is this I am not willing to test this out. Everything that I have worked for over the past 5 months, coming up on 6 is to important to test on this.
It is better to think you may be an alcoholic when you are not, then to think you are not one when you are!