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not sure if i'm an alcoholic
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not sure if i'm an alcoholic

Hi, this is my first time on this website or any help website for that matter, so i'm feeling a bit nervous.  I have a family history of alcoholism and it terrifies me that i'm going the same way.  i'm sitting here trying to make excuses for why i drink but at the end of the day they're just excuses.  Basically i come home from work most evenings and pour my self 2 maybe 3 glasses of red wine - not all at once of course!!! then i feel guilty and have 2 or 3 cups or herbal tea - yes herbal tea, i'm one of those condesending gits that tries to eat organic, consumes no caffeine then guzziles wine !
I feel this is more of a habit than an addiction as if i'm busy i'm not too bothered.  

I'm a full time working mum, i have a great husband and family.  I have a great job - a little stressful at times but thats the way i like it,  i like to do the best i can at mostly everything, unfortunatley i suffer from bouts of depression.

I just what to find a happy medium, where i dont feel guilty and i can start enjoying life to the max.  At the moment i feel like i'm stuck in a rut!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I decided it's an excuss.  A couple of questions I recently asked myself:

Can I quite anytime?  no
Do I question the amount and frequency of my drinking?  Yes
Do I feel hung-over in the morning and depressed?  Yes
Does the drinking rob energy and affect your mood?   Yes
Do I engage with people very well after drinking? No
Was alcohol affecting me mentally in a negative way?  Yes

I too have a good job, responsible, but felt after a while it's a drug like anything else and became depended. Yeah, I tried to eat organic a while ago, but to me all of this is one huge double standard.  Like marijuana, which I gave it several years ago;  I determined alcohol isn't a good thing for me anymore, because I abuse it.

Herbal tea I'm sure you can't go wrong, but still.



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190885_tn?1333029491
you don't have to be nervous on this site...i would quit drinking and see how you feel in 6 months...i wonder how long you have been drinking ??2 to 3 glasses sounds like a lot and you probably are an alcoholic so be carefull if you quit...i can remember when an alcoholic i knew that stopped drinking asked me how much i drank(this was 15 years ago) i said "i only have one or two drinks and only just before dinner" he said "you better watch it it won't be long till you drink after dinner" i told him that would never happen...well it did..he was right ...within about 3 years i would have a drink after dinner..it just got worse after that...anyway...your 34?? i would make a plan to stop...you'll most likely feel better mentaly..it could take a while so give it a chance......good luck........billy
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dark69meat and workingdog have some good advice.  If you are questioning your drinking then you know whats up.  Your bouts of depression may clear a bit once you are away from drinking for a while.  Only you can determine if you are an alcoholic, if you want someone to tell you that you are, then you are in the right place.  If you want help and support, keep coming back.
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Avatar_m_tn
All I've got tosay - after 19 days off booze I'm no longer depressed, happy again, and interact with the people much better.  A good regular healthy diet and regular exercise always helps too.  Basic stuff... the rest is a wash in the grand scheme of things.
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Avatar_f_tn
if u wonder,if u feel guilty about it.....y KNOW what ur deep inside.that VOICE doesn't lie...we try to talk it down with our rationalizing and denial.uber,dark and working dog have given gr8t comments.....hope u internalize it!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks everyone for your very helpful and truthful words.  it's not easy admitting to being an alcoholic, but if i want to move on with my life i have to do it one step at a time, and this is my first step.  I never had any wine last night and i'm going to the same tonight- one day at a time.
When i think back, it has been creeping up on me, i started to drink during the week when my youngest daughter was about 2 years old (she's 9 now), it wasn't alot, but i remember feeling the stress just lift and my muscles relaxing after that 1st glass, i suppose i wanted to feel like that all the time!! But now i have wine most evenings and to be perfectly honest i don't feel a thing, accept guilty that i've gotten in to such an abusive habbit.

I must admit when i read everyone comments lastnight i felt all anxious and panicky, i felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and a sweat appearing on my hands, but after a good nights sleep, i have managed to absorbe them and deal with them rationally.

thanks a million and i'll keep you all posted, hopefully i'll be able to give advice in the future!
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Avatar_f_tn
none of us ever woke up in the morn deciding 2 b alcoholic!i knew INSIDE at 19 i was....no OFF switch..proverbial hollow leg!when i made the decision to go 2 inpatient in 1983 i threw all my alcohol and drugs out and proceeded to go thru withdrawal in my lil apt!i couldn't sleep...and called up the recov alc i worked with who was taking me to rehab @ 5am.I felt ashamed.....how did i lose control of this and was a MAJOR mess.I woke him and asked my quetion.He sleepily replied its a disease Mary!now let me get some sleep!We r ALLERGIC 2 alcohol in every form.1 is 2 many and a thousand never enuf!hang in there we know what ur goin thru!
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190885_tn?1333029491
ibizan,,it's funny ..i started drinking when you quit...i hope you didn't do some telepathic thing and turn your beast my way...anyway ...little... i think you could have a problem if you don't slow down or quit...some of the brain damage comes back so thats good...whats bad is some doesn't...and as you get older and brain fuction starts to mellow it's really nice to have as much up there as possible..instead of telling your kids that you were smart when you were younger....billy
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Avatar_f_tn
i would never wish this BEAST on anyone dear..never!it is within us for some unknown reason,faulty wiring from Ma Nature!
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Avatar_f_tn
I wouldn't say you are an alcoholic per se, but I would think you may have alcoholic tendencies. I would make an effort to eliminate the third glass and then also pick 4 nights a week where you only have one. If you can't limit yourself then I would think more seriously about the possiblity of being an alcoholic. One glass of wine a day is ok..If you skip a few days then you could allow yourself 2 a few days a week. I have enacted a no alcohol during the week policy and a limit of 4 on the weekend. The first few nights I craved sweets and was a little bit jittery but that's about it. Three glasses of wine every night is really too much, even two is pushing the envelope a little. It's important also how quickly you drink them.  I recently started taking 5 htp and L-tyrosine. over the counter supplements in America. I was able to limit my drinking within weeks and now only drink on the weekend or occasionally have a glass with dinner. the supplements helpl tremendously with my depression and anxiety and consequently I no longer seek alcohol to alleviate these issues. the supplements take about a month to start working effectively,ie you will notice a big difference. Not everyone who drinks every day is an alcoholic. but anyone who can't go a day without a drink is at the very least a problem drinker. I know I'm not an alcoholic but I can be a problem drinker if I don't watch myself. i would say you are potentially a problem drinker and go from there.
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190885_tn?1333029491
you don't use alcohol to alleviate  depression and anxety anymore???wasn't it the alcohol that caused these problems??or did you have this stuff going on before you started drinking... now you take something else...i'm not trying to be nasty..just that drinking can cause anxiety and depression just like hep c...damage to the liver fuction is damage to your brain......billy
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Avatar_f_tn
I was probably making it worse with alcohol, I do agree with that. but I've had depression and social anxiety since I was 15 and I didn't start drinking until 20..and then it was just on the weekend due to being in college. I am willing to concede that I definitelty wasn't doing myself any favors by trying to drink my social anxiety away, it just made my mood worse.
The 5 htp and L tyrosine have had an effect on me in such a way that I no longer feel so depressed and socially anxious, I'm relaxed around people in social situations, I don't brood on things, my PMS is much more tolerable. I come home from work, have a cup of tea and relax without reaching for a glass of wine. This is the first time in my life I've been able to do this without feeling a strong urge for a glass of wine. and it's the first time I ever took these supplements too..so I feel like they are really helping me. Ironically the worst drinking of my life was when I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin and Adderall (adderrall), my drinking went through the roof, it was terrible. but since quitting those medications my drinking fell off dramatically. I've always been one to have a glass or two of wine after work and then 3 or 4 a day during the weekend and now I've cut back to 4 a week.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm 46 and drank from I was 15 until about 6 months ago. It waxed and waned, with long stretches of self-imposed sobriety (for pregnancies, to prove I could) but I discovered the hard way that I am indeed alcoholic. I never lost my house, or car, or kids, or job, or reputation. Most of my drinking was at home, and I rarely, rarely drank around anyone but my partner or closest of friends. I loved drinking, loved the warmth of the scotch burning in my chest, the clear taste of good vodka, and good red wine with dinner. Tequila in the summer, or cosmos, all part of the grown up adult 'fun' life I felt I'd missed not having many friends until I was in my 30s.

I had some warning signs over the years - being good and drunk and having another ounce or two just for good measure and with great regret later mostly. I felt I just wasn't 'good' at drinking as I'd had no practice partying like other people. All rationalizations, so many over the years.

Then my drinking became almost every day, unless I was sick, traveling or in the company of people who vigorously disapproved. Then the amount of drinking went up, like one person said, the drinks before dinner became drinks after. I woke up with headaches in the night all the time and developed sleeping problems. I was often tired the next day and would vow not to drink and then when dinner time came I'd find some reason - any reason - to break my promise to myself. Alcohol became my boss and I grew used to the constant feeling of ill-health, the guilt and shame that I couldn't control it... and then began hiding my drinking and getting into much longer-range thinking and planning so as to accommodate it with stealth more or less. All the signs.

When I drank I just got funnier and more affectionate and lusty, all good things in a relatively new relationship I had started about 8 months before. We were all having a great time but I was feeling so split inside because 'that voice' that someone else here referred to had been telling me for a very long time that I didn't drink like other people.

My drinking progressed - as it does for alcoholics - up to about five to ten drinks per night. Maybe a handful of evenings my partner noticed I had had too much, and only once did my teenage child, according to her. But every night I felt out of control, both of the current bout of drinking, and of my relationship with alcohol overall.

Then I nearly drowned in a bathtub while staying in a cabin with my partner and both of my girls. Thank God, goodness, fate, whatever. I surrendered to the fact that I can not drink, at all, ever, and started the work of stopping drinking and getting to know myself all over again.

I find after six months of sobriety I am clear, clean inside my soul, and working through the me-ness to get to a place of comfort with myself and everyone around me. It's very peaceful I must say and worth the effort. I am realizing I drank out of boredom and loneliness and that it's my responsibility to look after those needs for myself instead of looking in a bottle to find it. If a TV show is so bad I can't watch it without a drink, hey, stupid, don't watch it. Now I put my time to my kids, my work, my community, my creativity, and as someone said, be prepared to change more than the drinking to make it stick.

Now I get out of the house, and out of my head, help others, and let the desire for drinking pass through me like the weather, now matter how stormy it gets... the sunshine always seems to follow.

Good luck with everything - if you stick with sobriety the gifts of it will become clearer every day and you'll get to where you wouldn't let a drink wreck it for anything.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good on ya, its nice to see and hear people who are grateful for there sobriety…
R
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi little,

I have just posted a post a little similar to yours.  I too am drinking about half a botle of wine many nights.  Some weeks I can easily stick to the recommended units of fifteen and some weeks even have none - but whenever my anxiety levels go up or around PMS (which I get very very bad) I feel like I want to crawl out of my own skin - so end up having a drink - or two or three.  The last two weeks have scared me because I have drank half a bottle of wine every night except for two nights and that is way too much.  

I have decided to stop and to go to AA.  It will be hard I know but it is great to see people on here who have stopped and who feel great.

I dont know where people on here are from but I get the impression that a lot are from America.  I am from the UK and it is very hard here to get taken seriously with this sort of thing.  Most people seem to drink a hell of a lot and when I asked my doc a few years ago for advice ( I was drinking half a bottle of wine three to four nights a week then nearly every week - fifteen to twenty units) he told me not to worry and that that amount of drinking was fine!  Then when sufering with palpitations due to anxiety I asked the cardiologist what I should do if I had them bad at night and he told me to pour myself a stiff gin and tonic and relax!

I do think in America it is better with these things.  Probably millions of Europeans are functioning alcoholics (nearly all of the French I bet!)  So I am going to ignore my mates who laugh at me and tell me to not be silly and just have some wine and get myself to AA because I just know - I can feel - that it is making me unwell.  God knows how I will cope at 'that' time of the month though!
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Avatar_f_tn
6 months sober!congrats!please keep posting and helping other find answers to their drinking questions....  or to stimulate those in denial to sobering thoughts!
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495284_tn?1333897642
If you feel the alcohol is a problem than it probably is.  When that time of the month comes around talk with us here.  There are other healthy ways to get thru that.   sara
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree with sara, if anyone feels their drinking is causing problems then it is time to stop....some can do this on their own some of us need help....I needed help, still do, every day....
I did not pick up a drink and become an alcoholic over night, it took many years and it crept up on me slowly before engulfing me completely

my life revolved around drink in the end....24/7 52 weeks of the year, every thing i did was planned around drink, and I mean everything, breakfast involved liquid, I kept a bottle beside my bed to stop the inevitable horrors that would visit each night, being without drink was my worst nightmare, however it was killing me and I was aware of the physical affects drink was having on me but I could not stop, at the end of my drinking I could not drink large amounts as I would get sick, so I would drink small amounts but more often, in the end i was terrified to leave my house, I had become paranoid and I lived with this feeling of impending doom. I could not understand these feelings but the drink seemed to make it easier to cope with, little did i know that drink was doing this to me...
I spent many lonely nights crying  myself to sleep, the life of an alcohol can be lonely I was full of self pity, no one cared, I had no friends, my family don't give a dam about me....these were the thoughts flying around my head and they led to many resentments and added to the paranoia
When I first picked up a drink I did not think it would end this way. I grue up in a culture where you were not a man on less you could drink, that is slowly changing here and about time, I had some good fun in the early years of drinking, they were short lived however and in the end it was nothing but trouble with a capital T...even when I was in hospital, in serous trouble and flat broke I could not see that drink had brought me here.....

today life is good, getting sober was a struggle, there were many ups and downs it is one day at a time and it is well worth it
to stay away from one drink for one day, that is what I work for every day

Ray
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Avatar_f_tn
many of us here are recovering alcoholics and addicts...we know the progression and symptom development of this over the YEARS!I don't think it is right to tell little she is NOT an alcoholic......we can tell one we think they may be but to tell them flat out they are not is a green light for them to continue to drink....anr we realize that if they want to they will anyhow!And to tell a woman who thinks she might have a problem to do the proper thing and drink with her husband???????I am really scratching my head again......:)
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1032715_tn?1315987834
What is lucas 45's problem I read another post he answered what does he think an alcoholic is,I think to him no-ones an alcoholic,Does that mean now my livers okay I can start drinking again,maybe I'll specifically ask him for advice,I might hear what I want.ONLY JOKING.he's scary giving advice to people who think they're alcoholics.  
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Avatar_f_tn
how've u been doing dear?yes lucas has some very convoluted thinking here...and bad advice to alcohol abusers and all others with addiction problems reading the forum...but we will have this here....different opinions....agree to disagree......but we KNOW we are responsible for our choices of what we put in2 our bodies...and for us to drink or do drugs in any form will start the insanity again.....and we care ENOUGH about ourselves to NOt allow this 2 happen!
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Avatar_m_tn
In AA and other recovery groups you learn to take the good and leave the rest behind.... when you are truly honest with yourself and are ready to stop drinking the Lucais's of this world should not influence your decision to stop and get help if you need it....tolerence is something we all learn along this journey of sobirity...
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495284_tn?1333897642
I am so glad i dont have the blinders on anymore......
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Avatar_f_tn
most ppl who post here wonder if there is a problem....little never said how BIG her glasses of wine are/were!
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Avatar_m_tn
Littlea34 also wrote...... it's not easy admitting to being an alcoholic....
This person came here to get help with what she feels is a problem with stopping drinking,
The purpose of this community is to help those who wish to stop drinking

AA dose not help people to "controle their drinking" we try to help people to stop drinking....
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495284_tn?1333897642
Have you been on this forum before?  You sound like someone else that used to be here and tried to tell us about being an alcoholic and had stats for us and all.  Here is the cold hearted facts.  I am an alcoholic.  I can not have 1 glass of wine, beer, whiskey, nothing, nada.  I can not control my intake.  It is all or nothing with me.  I dont care what you say or what type of stats you have......I live in reality.           sara

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Avatar_f_tn
Sara after reading all of lucas commentary on his wife i cannot help but wonder if this is all a ruse or just someone who should go on the Jerry Springer show!
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree, lol Jerry Springer or the Simpson's..... It Takes All Kinds To Make A World
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Avatar_f_tn
the more i muse on this it seems more likely that it is a elaborate hoax.....the product of a mind who can spin a story like this......one who lives a confused life indeed!but i know there are ppl who live like this....sure grateful i'm not one of them!
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495284_tn?1333897642
I just hope they have a fence around their yard!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
One flew east one flew west one flee over the cuckoos nest!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
i cannot recall the name of the guy who posted was very anti-12 step..had real long posts and got quite nasty and medhelp had to delete him.this puts me in the mind of him only this is more polite but twisted rationalizations about the wifes drinking and informing others they are not alcoholic.....similiar to x-posters!many hoaxsters have been booted and come back on under new names!Twilight Zone opening music is playing!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi I am happy and comfortable in my sobriety.
when it comes to  execising my responcabilitys to others who look for help like you and sara and the other good people on here I am always glad to be of help, I do not let Small minded people upset me.
keep up the good work guys :)

Ray
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Avatar_f_tn
we r grateful for u 2 here...we r smart cookies and smell a louse er i mean mouse hahahah......i have  keen sense of humor and it serves to help me preserve whats left of my sanity.....we just keep forging thru!when is that surgery?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I can identify with the sense of humor lol....

I go for pre surgical risk assessment on Tuesday next so they will decide then

Ray
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495284_tn?1333897642
SensibleinSarnia was the dudes name.......
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495284_tn?1333897642
I am most grateful for u 2 on here also and the rest of the people.  It feels comfortable coming here and we understand and support each other.  We also share the same type of humor!!!  gotta love it...........sara
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Avatar_f_tn
u have a good memory...all his posts got deleted....yes i love the humor and sober/clean camaraderie here.....rod-pleas keep us informed...know u will!:)
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495284_tn?1333897642
Yes Rod keep us updated on you......you dont want ibizan and i to have to hunt you down!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
LMAO.....I guess I had better be good so and keep ye updated, as long as ye are not after me pot a' gold, some say there is no such things as leprechauns although I did have some  encounters when I was drinking.....

the hospital misplaced my MRI scans and the Neurosurgeon would not do anything until he had the films so everything is in a bit of a mess.....
Ray
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243614_tn?1266201137
Hi Little,  we may have all started like you and not really thought there was a problem.
Oh how fast it escalated for me.  Then I could not quit!  I am typing this and almost 1 month since my last glass of red wine.  Sure it sounds good, but i know it is poison for me.  Hey Rodd and Ibi, i went into a hospital for a week in Beaverton, Or.  Cedarhills hospital.  For alcoholics, drug users and people with depression.  Saw a psychiatrist every day for a week.  She changed my anti depressant and i have to say, i Feel so good.  It took about 2 and a half weeks but I FEEL GOOD. I am happy and having a life instead of isolating and just concentrating on the next bottle of Merlot.  So, Little i guess the first thing I had to do was OWN it and then my poor husband saw how depressed i was and i think he was actually fearful of what i might do to myself, he found this hospital and i was in there in a matter of 2 days.  Good counseling etc.  But, i do believe the change in my anti depressant has been a God send for me.   Happy to be back on board and Little hang in there.  Keep posting and good luck to you.  TJ
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Avatar_f_tn
hey lady so good to hear from u!glad things are better for u..keep a going..Little hasn't posted since 2007 and for some reason like they can and will do a polished troll appeared...hope he is gone or on way to Springer show......but it got u to post so lets keep hearing from u!
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1198418_tn?1269347499
You are not an alcoholic but alcohol dependant - dont put labels on yourself. You have control to cut down your intake xx
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Avatar_f_tn
Excellent response.
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Avatar_f_tn
Very helpful to me for where I am right now!  Thank you
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1962649_tn?1332448451
Here is what Dr Keith Ablow says about alcohol abuse :

People don't need to drink daily or fall down drunk in order to be suffering from alcohol abuse. Alcohol is a much more subtle and toxic substance.  It can impair a person's ability to resolve problems as a husband or wife, father or mother, employer or employee by giving a person false shelter from the problems in their lives, an escape from reality that allows real problems to multiply while they relax with two mixed drinks with dinner or two glasses of wine to get to sleep.  It can complicate depression or anxiety disorders by making the symptoms less intense-until they intensify, with a vengeance.

After working with enough patients who seemed surprised that I identified alcohol as a major source of trouble in their lives, I've thought up a four-question quiz:

1.    Has anyone told you that drinking is a problem for you?

2.    Have you ever been charged with an alcohol-related driving offense?

3.    Do you remember your first drink?

4.    Would you be upset if someone said you couldn't drink anymore?

I'd say that if you can answer "yes" to any two of these questions, alcohol is a problem in your life.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I have recently stopped drinking after 10years of abuse n most recently bottles of vodka everyday For about week. enough is enough... I have decided to go cold turkey its been nearly 48 hours now n last night was horrendous man!! Sweats shakes nightmares. . .everything. today i feel 100% better than yesterday but know i have a long journey ahead n i hope to never feel like i did last night and the past few weeks as this horrible darkness has surrounded mefor years but im seeing the light and trying to right my wrongs. As i am not going to rehab or docs n trying todo alone..tho with support is there any foods n drinks anyone can suggest. all suggestions would be v much appreciated. mark
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello Mark

I did reply on your other post, I think you will find doing this alone incredibly difficult if not impossible it is a hard hard thing to do even with support, you might need to rethink on that one! :-)
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