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Am I an Alcoholic at 21?
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Am I an Alcoholic at 21?

Hi everyone!

I am 21 years old and yesterday I experienced my first alcohol withdrawal (irritability, tremors, nightmares, hallucinations, and insomnia). I had no idea what was going on, and I had gone a day with alcohol. I have worked at a bar for 2 years at college and am currently drinking about everyday while in Italy. I black out almost every time I drink. However, I went a month before coming drinking only once a week and never getting drunk.

Is this alcoholism? I never drink alone, never drink to drown out my guilt, shame, etc, so I have never ever thought of myself as an alcoholic. However, I am afraid that if I stop suddenly, I will have the withdrawal symptoms again. Can anyone please advise me or give me information?

Thank you!
Megan
5 Comments Post a Comment
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495284_tn?1333897642
Hi Megan~~I would be more worried about continuing this type of behavior.  You are showing the classic signs of alcoholism.  What motivates you to drink like you do?
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Avatar_m_tn
Basically I just like to drink when I go out at night, and I have been going out a lot recently.I guess what motivates me is the desire to open up a little and have fun.
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3152614_tn?1343802778
What I have learned is no one can call you an alcoholic. Only you can make that admission. I was 19 when I started having the same questions about my own drinking patterns. But what drove me to that, was the bottoms kept getting lower and lower. First I blacked out. Then I blacked out and started a fight. Then I blacked out and drove my car. One of the last times that I ever drank I blacked out and ended up in handcuffs.

As I said, we can't tell you you're an alcoholic, at least I can't. But I can suggest keeping your eyes open for serious red flags when you get to that drunk point you are seeking. If it becomes more ugly and starts to hurt you or possibly others, there are meetings you can go to and get more information. Drinking to excess is merely a symptom of other things going on, and an AA meeting will show you that. I walked into my first meeting at 20 and celebrated my 21 birthday sober, and happy. I hope you stay safe and find the answers you are looking for.
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Avatar_f_tn
i began to question my own drinking at age 19!but didn't seek recovery until i was 28...my dual drug addiction made me physically ill from withdrawals and made me accept the alcoholism as well!i am now 56 and sober clean since 28!we can tell ppl it sounds like alcoholism...but they have to accept this for themselves or their will be no working 2wards sobriety!Congrats on ur young sobriety.....u don't hafta carry on until u get older to accept it...or remain in denial @ it until it causes u serious problems....and/or eventually takes ur life!pls keep us posted!AA-helped me-take what u can use and leave the rest!
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3140551_tn?1343255037
I never questioned my drinking until I was much older, but in retrospect can see that at the very least I was very dependent on alcohol, like you, to open up and have fun. It was my crutch, big time.  I had to have a beer if it was a fun time, if I was stressed, nervous, etc.

The very act of you asking the question suggests that there may something more worrisome.  I remember googling signs of alcoholism and feeling very reassured that very few things on that list I actually answered yes to.  I was the epitome of a functional alcoholic.

It has really only been in stopping that I have realized that I was, indeed, an alcoholic...functional or not.

I encourage you to continue to examine your drinking...and maybe read the book "The Easy Way to Quit Drinking," by Allan Carr. You are a smart girl, or you wouldn't be asking the question.

Take care.
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