If you’re asking yourself this question with a feeling of doom, remorse, or guilt. It may be because your drinking has caused your logical self to ask this question. If everyone around you is telling you that you are, then the answer is, probably. I can’t say definitively yes or no; it’s up to you to decide, and you should know how cliche I feel saying that. Keep this in mind as you start to consider the answer to your question – normal drinkers don’t ask themselves this question. It’s like your dog asking you if it’s truly a dog and not a human – obviously it’s a dog. You’re either scratching your head in disbelief that you yourself could actually be an alcoholic or you’re at the point where you’re fully aware of this, and now you need to know what to do before your bottom is 6 feet too late.
Considering you’re an alcoholic for the first time and you’re not sure? Don’t worry, every person that has ever questioned their drinking has had the same confusion, and a, “deer in headlights” type reaction at this very thought and realization. There’s a difference between knowing you have a drinking problem and believing you are an alcoholic. Believe me, those are two very different places, and I have lived in both.
For me it went something like this; acknowledging I have a drinking problem meant I understood and conceded to the fact that alcohol was problematic and I was looking for some help to find a way to drink normally. I also needed some serious sage advice on how to clean up some messes that were left behind from the last time I overconsumed. I had pissed a few or several people off, was looking at my bank statements, and was a bit perplexed by how much cash I was doling out for my desire to consume this toxic liquid libation. I even went so far as to take online tests asking these very questions, fluffing the answers because I didn’t want to get a truthful answer. Then resuming “drinking normally” for about a hot minute before I was blacked out again, and waking up the next morning with a feeling of doom, remorse, guilt, and shame.
Enter phase 2: Believing I am an alcoholic, for me, happened when I found a bottom so painful that that very pain was so much greater than my fear of what change would take. As well, I had just lost the very things that were most important to me in this life, my children. My drinking had turned me into an unfit mother, something that to this day comes with some droplets of shame when I admit what my bottom looked like. As a woman and a mother that admits what truly happened, there’s an extra amount of societal shaming because we’re supposed to be perfect and hold our children in higher standing than ourselves. In some regards, we should, but at the same time if I can’t take care of myself with love and compassion, how can I emulate that in my role as mom? A bottom my dear friend is when you’ve lost or you’re about to lose the thing or things that are most important to you in this life. If you’re at this point, then let me be the first to welcome you to a fellowship like none other. You’re not alone, not even a little bit! You don’t have to dig any deeper, go any lower, or lose another night of sleep as a captive in King Alcohol’s domain.
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