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    1. #1
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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      I know I have asked this before, I never really got a clear answer, or maybe I did but I just didn't want to hear it, I know I am never EVER going to drink alcohol again but I can't seem to define myself as an alcoholic. I can't tell my son in 16 years time "Yes son, I was asked to leave the house because I was an alcoholic".

      I had a drink problem, I abused alcohol from time to time, which was a mistake - but an alcoholic, one that depends on alcohol, Here is an extract I got from this site, are they right?

      Not everyone who drinks alcohol heavily is considered an alcoholic. People who drink regularly enough to affect their family or work responsibilities and who drink in a way that puts them in dangerous situations (for example, behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated) are said to abuse alcohol. Although they use alcohol in an unhealthy way, people who suffer from alcohol abuse do not necessarily develop a physical dependence upon alcohol.

      Alcoholics, on the other hand, have a chronic disease. They are physically dependent upon alcohol. They feel a need to drink, almost in the same way that most people feel the need to eat. And once alcoholics start drinking, they are unable to stop. They develop a tolerance to alcohol, requiring more and more drinks to feel the same effects. When an alcoholic tries to cut down or stop drinking, he or she experiences the symptoms of withdrawal: sweating, nausea, shakiness, anxiety and delirium tremens (seeing images, severe shaking, confusion).

      I have never had this or felt this, my withdrawals were simply cravings which are gone now after day 3 or 4 I think.

      Opinions?

    2. #2
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      girly wirly's Avatar

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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      wanna change,

      i feel the same as i dont get withdrawals either, just cravings that pass. i could agree with the fact i abuse alcohol, but an alcoholic? i'm not so sure. if that's what i am that's fine, but i too feel there is a difference. it's so hard to put yourself in that 'box' isn't it?

      i have so many symptoms of a binge drinker or heavy drinker, but not that many of an alcoholic. either way i have a problem and deal with it i must!

      even if i don't fit under the label alcoholic, i have enough of an issue to know i can't just take one drink or mod x

    3. #3
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      rubywillow's Avatar

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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      It's not as important to have, or worry about, a label, as it is to understand how OUR drinking affects US. There are many good sites that have information (see below), but whatever category we fall into, we can't be complacent that our abuse won't escalate. Even at low levels, there are life threatening possibilities. After you reach a certain point, trust me, there are irreversable consiquences. Don't worry about the name, be concerned with the FACT that it is causing a problem now in your life.
      ALCOHOL’S DAMAGING EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN
      Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.

      We do know that heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care. And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking on driving.

      A number of factors influence how and to what extent alcohol affects the brain (1), including

      how much and how often a person drinks;
      the age at which he or she first began drinking, and how long he or she has been drinking;
      the person’s age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism;
      whether he or she is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure; and
      his or her general health status.
      This Alcohol Alert reviews some common disorders associated with alcohol–related brain damage and the people at greatest risk for impairment. It looks at traditional as well as emerging therapies for the treatment and prevention of alcohol–related disorders and includes a brief look at the high–tech tools that are helping scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol.
      pubs.niaaa.nih.gov

    4. #4
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      KTAB's Avatar

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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      My own opinion for what it is worth is rather simplistic, what does it matter what we label ourselves? If we have a problem with alcohol and have an abusive relationship with it, which has led us to find our way here. Just as one person drinks two bottles of whiskey in one day then doesnt drink for two weeks, to the person who drinks 3 glasses of wine or beer every day for years on end. It doesnt really matter in my eyes what we call it the end result is the same and we are all here to change that relationship. I dont really like being labeled anything but if push came to shove I would say I abused AL big time and then it abused me back.

    5. #5
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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      I don't know what I would have "labeled" myself as. All I know is I drank in such an unhealthy way, that no matter what it's called, it wasn't good. When I quit, my body did go through slight withdrawals, nothing major. But I know that when I was in the throes of heavy drinking, I just felt soaked in beer, I could taste it, smell it....I'm sure if I had given blood they would have said "This isn't blood, it's Bud Light!".

      So whatever it was I was doing, being an alcoholic, or an alcoholic abuser, I'm glad it's over.

      xoxo
      K9

    6. #6
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      mario's Avatar

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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      As others have said already it doesent really matter what label you decide to put on it, but Keeping sober is the most important thing in my life,The most important decision i ever made was my decision to give up drinking, I am convinced that my whole life now depends on me not taking that first drink, Nothing in the world is as important to me as my own sobriety, Everything i have depends on that one thing,And if that makes me an alcoholic i can live with that.

    7. #7
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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      Yes I was half expecting these answers, its easy being labelled an alcoholic on a forum, shucks I am even doing it, but to be labelled, as I was, by a judge in court as an alcoholic when I had a drink problem is an issue for me, to be told that in front of other people, my wife, it took time to sink in, yes I have a drink problem, I abused alcohol, but I was not an alcoholic, this I am sure of.
      I don't mind being one, its not that, its just I don't like being accused of something I am not and my whole life taken away based on a whim by an overgrown ignoramus with a wig who knows nothing about the factors or the difference between the two who only wanted a rushed hearing because his dinner was getting cold.

      Yes I have a problem with drinking, that is why I am here and I will always be here - no getting rid of me now lads sorry, but I think I need to study this topic a little bit more because little lives depend on it.

      So label me what you like here, online, on an anonymous forum, but live in a public court, in newspapers, in front of family... that's a different story.

      What sounds better?

      Mr Wannachange, I have no doubt that you are an alcoholic.
      Or
      Mr Wannachange, I have no doubt you have a problem with drinking.

      Any further insight into the topic would be greatly appreciated.

    8. #8
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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      I think the problem comes with the negative stigma of a drinking problem which all seems to come to a concentration in the word 'Alcoholic'. I do think that we live in different times and that these stigmas change as we understand more about the condition. Alcoholic to me is a word that I used to be familiar with as a youth to label people almost as you would label someone that has a drug problem as junkie. It is judgemental and hurtful at times in that context.
      I agree that labels don't matter and shouldn't. If it comes to you having to admit you have a problem just call it by the name. You have a drinking problem.

    9. #9
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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      Wanna, it's just WRONG to label anyone, especially in the situation you described. As I said, and I wholly believe, alcohol causes huge problems, but like so many other things each person is different. I was called, in court, by a police officer, disgusting. Now, there were many other factors, he really wanted to win his case, and he is presently under arrest for spousal abuse. But if we go back to what we learned in kindergarten, calling names is never right.

    10. #10
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      What do you mean I am an alcoholic?

      Hi, my name is Tippy. I'm an alcoholic.

      It was hell to hear myself admit it for the 1st time (one week after becoming AF, to my wife). Almost 9 months later, I'm still an alcoholic and will remain so for the rest of my life. Not the only way in which I define myself, but it is part of who I am. I have come to accept it. I don't shout it from the rooftops, because there is an enormous stigma attached to it. But I can admit it here and to my loved ones.

      If I were to be labeled in public, however, I would rant and rave...

      But that's just me.

      If you've examined your life and can honestly say that the shoe doesn't fit, you have so much to be grateful for. Treasure it, and make sure it stays that way. Regardless of what people might have said.

      Good luck to all of us on our respective journeys

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