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#319570 - 01/21/10 12:16 AM Alcoholism?
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
OK, I will acknowledge that if you have to ask this you probably are, but... My father was an alcoholic. After my abuse, as a teenager, I binge drank quite a bit and smoked marijuana when it was available. I got saved, part of the process involved darn near drinking myself into a coma, and gave up drugs and alcohol. I went to a christian college and didn't drink until I was a junior. I then joined the army and had some binge drinking episodes and periodic social drinking, at some point reaching the conclusion that nothing good happens after the second beer. I have mostly stuck to that. Recently, I have been drinking a beer or two a day, sometimes a glass of wine. This has coincided with our going through a bankruptcy and my recovering memories of my abuse. My business is surviving the bankruptcy but money is really tight until I go through the busy season. My wife is going ballistic, saying the beer costs too much. I ran out of beer and brought home a 12 pack after closing the office today. My wife is angry with me and giving me ultimatums about the budget "if you are going to spend it on that beer". She is worried that one or two will now become more.

For one thing, not a single bill has gone unpaid, I have never hit her, I have never abused the children physically, mentally or sexually, I have never failed to perform any duty professionally because of my drinking. Am I an alcoholic or is my wife just being paranoid/unreasonable?

_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#319572 - 01/21/10 12:32 AM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I think that Ken Singer posted an alcohol test online here recently, I'll look and see if I can find it. It was a link to an online self-assessment, just try to be truthful. A beer or two every day is supposedly good for your heart, but if you have had a history of much harder use and your wife knows about it, she might have good reason to be fearful, or she might have some other experience in her background that makes her feel the way that she does. My own mother is a member of a fundamentalist religion where they shun alcohol, so my occasional social drinking has her all up in arms. My ex-wife used to be an alcoholic, and while she hasn't entirely quit, she can't have anyone bringing alcohol over to her house for social drinking, as she has no control once she starts. She got all upset at me when I brought a bottle of Baileys over to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. I had intended to share the bottle with everyone, but she pounded almost the entire liter herself in short order and passed-out, then it was all my fault later. I've seen more than one friend of mine lose it on alcohol or hard drugs when they got depressed when things weren't going right in their life, I've done it myself too.

Maybe try to limit your drinking to after work on the way home, out to a bar with the guys from work. I don't know, I used to be a regular at so many bars around Cleveland that it wasn't funny. Now I have a bar stocked with liquor that I almost never drink. I have 3 bottles of high-end designer vodka on my bar that have never been opened. Maybe try to limit your drinking to Friday after work. Your wife is just worried about what might happen if you start drinking harder.

I'll look for the link to the test. I don't think that one or two drinks per day constitutes alcoholism, unless the money could be better spent.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#319573 - 01/21/10 12:33 AM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: Trucker51]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#319574 - 01/21/10 12:36 AM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
If you're asking the question, then I think you know the answer.

Here is a question to ask yourself: do you NEED the beer to go through your life? Is it used as a crutch to help you through the day?

The other thing you might want to ask yourself is if your wife's fears of it becoming more than a beer or two a day are reasonable, not if she is being reasonable about you buying beer.


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#319577 - 01/21/10 12:58 AM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: Dewey2k]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1960
I can't answer that one for you. The one or two beers alone doesn't sound so bad but there is always the bigger context and the past and all that. I suppose I could see that your wife would worry because how it all might look. Sure, it is just a couple beers. But maybe in her eyes she sees you coming home with 12-packs and it may come across as "hey, things are tough so I'll start stocking the fridge with some cold ones." I'm just saying that the couple beers might not be that big of a deal or cost that much but the whole thing might exude a certain somewhat understandable image in your wife's eye (one of having the beer around to cope). At least I could understand that point of view. She may by complaining about the cost, but it may actually be a deeper issue she is worried about consciously or not. Just something to think about. I myself have issues much more like Mark's ex. It doesn't happen every time (though often enough), but inevitably at some unplanned point I'll start and just can't stop. I'm actually getting honest with myself about the damage my years of drinking have done on so many levels. It is more than people know. But that is my issue and not related to yours, just adding it in. Thanks for the thread.

Eric


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#319615 - 01/21/10 11:18 AM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: ericc]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
Thanks Mark for the link. I appreciate everyone's input. I scored an 8 which is just outside of moderate into hazardous. I can see the hazards. I am drinking 1 a day more often than not now. But I have not caused any problems outside of pissing my wife off. I think a lot of it has to do with her upbringing. Her upbringing in a religious fundamentalist church also brings a lack of desire to have sex because she sees it as "dirty" and "sinful" even between married man and wife. She really stretched herself by getting married to a guy that confessed to her he was bisexual.

My personal view of where I am at is that there is hazard in my drinking from the standpoint of it could grow out of control although it currently is not. Most of the actual problem is my wife's overreacting to it. Again, I have not failed to perform any obligation nor have I injured anyone with my drinking. Am I off base in my assessment?



Edited by catfish86 (01/21/10 11:25 AM)
_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#319616 - 01/21/10 12:05 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1960
catfish,

I just wanted to clarify my post. What I was saying was just a possible explanation for your wife's response. To her it could look like something you were resorting to in order to deal with the tough times. Of course, I am biased because I know having beers in the fridge are usually a bad idea for me because I might on a whim go on a bender. But again, that is my issue.

Eric


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#319622 - 01/21/10 02:16 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: ericc]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
Catfish,
I've sent you a PM

_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#319631 - 01/21/10 05:04 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
your wife's worry that 1 can become 2 or more is a valid one since addiction to alcohol proceeds in a progressive way. You also mention your father being an alocholic. I'm not sure if I entirely subscribe to the disease model when it comes to addiction but I can say from personal experience that men often model their fathers in adult life, in no small way with regards to our drinking patterns. This said I don't think the term alcoholic fits all. In my experience not all problem drinkers are alcoholics, nor are all alcoholics are problem drinkers. For instance I have known people who don't drink for days, weeks, or months but when they do it is over the top as far as their consumpion and behaviour goes. Alternatively, there are others who consume a few drinks each evening, perhaps more than they should compared to the average individual, yet there aren't the same socially disruptive consequences attached. I suppose the difference is in whether you want to drink or need to, which is a question we can only ask ourselves. JS

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#319725 - 01/22/10 03:14 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: jls]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
From a sociological perspective, depending on where you live in Ohio, your age, your social history, and your economic status, a fair amount of drinking might be considered somewhat more normal in some parts and communities in Ohio. Inner-city Cleveland and the inner suburbs support an inordinate number of bars, and it is considered pretty normal among the blue-collar working class there to head to the bar after work pretty regularly. Ohio's larger college towns also support more bars than is normal in many places in the US. Most any larger factory town in Ohio also has a fair history of after-work drinking at the local bars too. Ohio is one of those States where there is a long history of this kind of behavior. It is also the birthplace of AA.

From what you have said, you are coming straight home after work, instead of hanging around the bar with the guys from work, and you think that your wife should be happier with this. Years ago in Cleveland I knew a Cleveland cop who used to come into this bar across the street from where I lived. He would sit at the bar talking to the bartender, have a couple, then buy a 6-pack to go and walk home. He did this 5 days per week. If you have seen Clint Eastwood's movie Gran Torino, guys like his character in the movie and this Cleveland cop 20 years ago, in older ethnic inner-city neighborhoods and old factory towns, are/were pretty normal. Even in Cleveland's downtown business community of 20 years ago, the 3-martini lunch was a time-honored tradition then too.

In other areas of the US, particularly the American south, and many upscale suburban communities, this level of drinking would be considered hinting at alcoholism. In many strict religious communities, like my mom's or your wife's, your level of drinking is threatening, as almost any level of drinking is outside of their beliefs. It sounds like you think that your wife should be happy that you are coming straight home from work instead of hanging around with the guys at the bar after work, as is fairly normal in some places in Ohio. To me it sounds like you might be unknowingly exposing your wife to all of your drinking, which her religious background is highly opposed to.

Yes, I know, a cocktail or two after work helped me unwind for many years too. In my 20s and 30s, it was often more than a cocktail or two, and my level of alcohol use then got me in trouble a few times too. These days living in Colorado, where daily after-work drinking is less normal than in Ohio, I usually only have a drink or two out to dinner, maybe Friday after a long week, or I might drink the free drinks at our casinos when we go. But my wife does not consider my level of drinking unusual either. She even enjoys her frozen drinks on occasion too. She is an ex-Catholic from Michigan, where some level of social drinking is considered normal.

You have to make the call, I guess. In my opinion, given what you have said, and given my experience in my life, my recovery, my career in the trucking industry, and my education in urban sociology, I would say that a quick one at the bar after work or during a business lunch might be more palatable to your wife than drinking in front of her is. I doubt that many of your co-workers would think that the boss having one after work would be at all unusual. Still, a #8 on the scale is toward the high-end of social drinking, at least as far as that test is concerned. I would be interested to find-out what community in America produced the test, as it might be subject to regional differences of opinion too. I doubt that the test results can be blanket-applied across all American communities.

Just my opinion,

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#319740 - 01/22/10 04:34 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: Trucker51]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Your right about the sociological aspects. For instance, when I was in Ireland going to the pub is considered a community thing that involves everyone from the age of 8 months to 80 years old. While it may sound strange (given our unfair sterotypes about the Irish) the thing there is that drinking oneself silly is not necessarily the focus of gathering at a bar. Rather, the bar, or pub, as they like to call it, serves more as a sort of community centre where you wouldn't dare get drunk and act like an ass in front of your kids, nephews, neices, parents or grandparents lest you hear about it when you get home. An interesting fact - the Irish are not the biggest drinkers in Europe. The Germans take this prize. From what I saw in eastern Europe they can't be far behind as runners up. JS

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#368283 - 08/16/11 10:54 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: Trucker51]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
Interesting to look back at this topic. I stopped drinking on September 1, 2010. I am coming up on a year sober. I started going to AA meetings in April of this year.

Basically, I was drinking at least 2 a day every day. My family was signed up to go to our church's family camp for a weekend and I was actually considering whether I could hide a few beers and drink them when noone was looking. At that point, I ran out of beer a couple of days before we were to leave and didn't buy any, just in case I got ill from not having some. It got to me that I could not fathom and was very worried that I could have no beer.

At that point, I realized that I had a problem. I have been reviewing my drinking and realizing that I had a problem really all along. I now say that the last drinking I did really wasn't a big fire, only problem being that it was a fuse that was burning and it was bound to hit the end sometime.

I remember in college studying social work, we had a class assignment to go to an AA meeting. A bunch of us went to one we thought was open but was closed. They started around the room with, "Hi, my name is John and I am an alcoholic". I was the first student. I wasn't sure what to say but I blurted out, "Hi, my name is Catfish and I WAS an alcoholic". Yep, just like this post, it is pretty clear what the truth is. It being a closed meeting they immediately asked what was going on and asked us to leave, but they invited me in particular to stay. I told them I didn't need to, I had found God and He had cured me.

Truth be told, I know from various memory markers that I was an alcoholic by the age of 14. Step 1 is admitting you are powerless over alcohol. I had done step 3 (turning life over to a higher power), but set that foundation on sand by refusing to acknowledge my powerlessness over alcohol. Within a year of that statement, I was regularly keeping a six pack in my dorm fridge at a college that would fine you for cussing and did not allow tobacco, alcohol or dancing on campus (and still doesn't). Now that I have taken the blinders off, the sheer stupidity and outrageousness of things I have done over the years is embarassing.

Anyway, just updating this thread with some amusement. By the way, my name is Catfish and I AM an alcoholic.

_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#368288 - 08/16/11 11:10 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Hey Catfish-

way to go on facing yourself and learning to live life differently. I think those are the core principles that we can all grasp and utilize to improve our lives.

As September 1 approaches, I'd love to hear more about what has worked for your this past year and what you have left behind as you face life sober. Please post and share more!

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#405902 - 08/05/12 02:32 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
I just gave my first lead last Thursday. I will be two years sober on September 1, 2012. For those of you unfamiliar with AA, a lead is basically your life story dealing with alcohol. It was challenging and exciting. I had been coached up to keep it to my problems with alcohol. I did lay out my life story which included the abuse and flashbacks but not the focus. It was a large part of the way I drank, which was in a generally reclusive way. I did, however, do quite a bit of dangerous stuff (DUI, car chases, daredevil stunts, stealing) and much of it after becoming a Christian. Stupidity and the alcohol somehow told me nothing was wrong and I believed it. It is amazing when you don't face your problem by waiting until you can drink so you can forget about it and start over tomorrow. Now, I face up to my problems and come up with a plan to deal with it. BTW, I pray the serenity prayer every morning. Don't waste your time on things you can't change, pour your effort into what you can and pray for the wisdom to distinguish between the two.
_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

Top
#405914 - 08/05/12 05:59 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
As someone who is an alcoholic thankful to be in recovery I am dead set against placing the alcoholic label on others, for two main reasons. First, calling myself an alcoholic is something I believe strongly in since it helps me gain insight into my condition in order to stay sober. If I didn’t own that label by way of other people placing it on me then I would in all likelihood reject it, which would lead me right back to drinking, which brings me to my second point. When I was drinking I would shut out anyone in my life who dared to call me an alcoholic, and the resentment I had toward them was a perfect excuse to continue drinking. All of this doesn’t mean to say that today I don’t or won’t challenge someone on how their drinking negatively affects them or me. What I do rather than apply labels is to use “I” messages, as in “this is what I see when you drink”, or “when you drink this is how it affects me”, neither of which can be denied or rejected by the person since I am speaking strictly from my own experience as opposed to calling them something that they can claim they are not.

As far as your own drinking goes the best advice I can offer is to pay attention to what you are getting from what you put into it. In my experience drinking regularly takes a lot of work i.e. financially, emotionally and physically. Logic would dictate that people do things for rational reasons and substance use is no different. As a survivor I drank to escape pain, which worked in the short term, but in the end I wound up with two problems instead of just one. If you are getting less out of drinking that you are putting into it then may I venture that its time to evaluate the behaviour. Again from my experience change doesn’t happen immediately. It comes in stages, and assessing a problem before deciding on a course of action for it is the natural approach for people to take. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#405920 - 08/05/12 06:46 PM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
Metolius Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/09/12
Posts: 41
Loc: Oregon
Congratulations on giving your first lead and on your progress in recovery. One day at a time, and easy does it!

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#405959 - 08/06/12 01:45 AM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
With me, as long as I continued to drink even 1 or 2 , the erge for more was just too great so it was a no brainer. I had to stop completely. Congrats to you and continued success staying sober
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#405962 - 08/06/12 03:11 AM Re: Alcoholism? [Re: catfish86]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Wow Well done on the two years. Proud of you buddy.
I did my usual thing and read your first post not seeing that it was an old one. I then responded to it and read the other posts and noticed that it was an update.
I am going to leave my initial response to your first post, it might be interesting.................

I also used to justify my buying a bottle a day and I also never hit anyone never abused anyone and also paid my bills, sometimes late but always paid.
I cant say whether you are or aren't only you would know that, and like you say if you are asking the question, chances are.

If beer isn't a huge issue in your life, and the wife wants you to not buy it, well then don't. Its not about whether you are or aren't, its about not being selfish and respecting the other important person in your life's wishes.
Believe it or not, your wife is not trying to control you or make your life miserable, her goal is to have a happy loving functional family. Nothing wrong with that right.

Heal well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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