What defines an alcoholic?

What is an alcoholic? What criteria is there? I know there is a difference between being alcohol dependent and abusing alcohol. I am not dependent on alcohol but I am (was?) definitely abusing it.

The first time I heard the song Chandelier by Sia I had an aha-moment, I thought that song was written from my life! Then I learned that the song was about alcoholism and I was like ”whaaaat…? But this can’t be me?”.

I always do everything with the “all or nothing” state of mind. Just as my father did. And yes, he was sort of dependent on alcohol. When i drink, I drink to get drunk. That is my goal. To get numb. To get as far away from reality, from my anxiety, my depression. From myself and my thoughts. And of course to drown all my sorrows. Classy… But what else do you do when you are so desperate that all you want to do is disappear but you’re to cowardly to actually take your own life?

I would say that 9 out of 10 times when I was walking home from a party or the club I broke down in tears even before I got to my front door. I had failed. With everything. I couldn’t hold it in for one more second! I wanted to die, but I didn’t know how! It was probably a FullSizeRender 3matter of time before I did something drastic and desperate like getting in front of a moving car, plunge down the stream we have running through our town or devour all the pills I could find in my apartment. But for some reason, God knows what, I didn’t…

One night about three months ago I had an epiphany and realized I had a weird relationship with alcohol. That night I drank my last glasses of wine and the next day I got rid of all the booze I could find in my apartment. I haven’t had a single drop of alcohol since. Speaking of doing everything all or nothing… But I’m still not sure what I am doing?

I’ve heard that there is such a thing as drinking to celebrate situations. I wonder what that’s like… I’d like to know. Maybe I’ll never find out. Maybe I can never have a glass of wine again?

Do I dare to have another drink again? Will I fall down the well of self-destruction once more? I don’t know… I have so many questions about this it’s not even funny. I could really use some guidance here because I have no clue of how I should be dealing with this!

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2 thoughts on “What defines an alcoholic?

  1. I’m not a counselor or a recovering alcoholic, just a person who has a streak of addiction a mile wide in my family. First of all, it’s a giant step that you realized you had a weird relationship with alcohol and an even bigger step that you stopped drinking. A lot of people never get to that point. I don’t know if you can ever have a glass of wine again, because you (like a lot of people) view alcohol as a sort of medication rather than just, say, an accompaniment to dinner or a celebratory toast at a wedding. That kind of thinking is just foreign to you and how you use alcohol. So my guess is no, unless you can completely change your relationship with alcohol. You might be able to do that. My brother tried and failed numerous times at that. “Just one drink” always led to many more drinks and bad decisions and sometimes violence. He finally decided he had to quit drinking altogether because his good intentions always fell through.

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    1. Thank you so, so much for taking your time to write to me! You kind of confirmed the thoughts already running in my mind that I see alcohol as some kind of self medication. I don’t know if I even think it’s worth the effort to change my relationship to alcohol. It seems easier just to give it up completely… I actually don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I can really relate to the ”bad decision”-part. Feels like I am a danger to myself whenever I drink. Again, I want to thank you o much for responding to me. It really helped! Take care!

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