Confused

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2003
Confused
4
Thu, 05-23-2013 - 3:16pm

Hello all,

I'm new to this board and hoping to find some support and guidance here.  The bottom line is, I'm not sure if I'm an alcoholic or not, and I'm not even sure if I want to do anything about it.  A little background...

While I grew up in an upper-middle class family, I never felt appreciated, truly loved or respected.  I was not abused as a child (although there were several ocassions when an older neighborhood boy exposed himself to me and touched me inappropriately - I've never told anyone about that to this day).  My younger brother was always the "golden child".  He could do no wrong.  My father is chauvinist - always has been, always will be.  All of my life I was made to feel like I was a bastard child.  I had a job from the time I was 12 (answering phones at a pizza place) and by the time I was 16, I was working 50+ hours a week during the summer.  All the while, my brother played sports, had fun and didn't have a job until after he graduated college.  I never had the opportunity to graduate college.  I worked a full-time and part-time job thru my 3 years of college and just got burned out.  My whole life I've felt worthless.

I got married very young (22) and had a child 7 years later - he is the love of my life.  That being said, I've always feel like I get the short end of the stick in life.  Every job I've had, I've been passed up for promotions even though I feel like I work harder, put in more hours than others in my same position.  I have a positive attitude at work, but in the last few years things have been increasingly stressful.  I've always been a social drinker, but in the last 10 years or so I've been drinking, not more often, but in larger quantities.  I can now drink almost a case of beer in one night.  I feel like it's my only release.  I don't smoke, don't do drugs, don't abuse prescription medications, etc.  I cannot manage the insane amount of stress in my life.  I'm currently working almost 60 chaotic hours a week.  I get no appreciation or respect.  My workload in the last year has doubled and I have never received a pay raise although my yearly performance reviews are excellent and the company is not in financial trouble.  My marriage is a sham. My husband is a great guy, but we're not great together.  He never compliments me, tells me I look nice, is affectionate, etc.  We haven't been intimate in over 5 years and even before then it was only like once a year (we've been married almost 20 years).  I can't afford to get divorced - he's the breadwinner.  Again, I feel worthless and I feel like when I drink, it numbs me - even if just for a little while.  I do not miss work due to hangovers and the drinking doesn't seem to affect an aspect of my life.  I rarely drink in front of my son and have never been drunk in front of my son.  I can drink heavily for 2 or 3 days in a row, then not touch alcohol for a month or more.  I also only drink low calorie, low carb, low alcohol beer - no wine or hard liquor.  I did attempt to try AA, but I saw someone there that I knew.  While the meetings are supposed to be confidential, this other person told others that I was attending these meetings, but never fessing up that he, himself was also attending (he said he heard it from a friend).  I stopped going because I was completely embarassed - again, screwed over when trying to do the right thing.

Anyway, I'm not sure what I should do at this point.  I've talked to my doctor about it and she doesn't seem too concerned - which I thought was odd.  All of my blood tests are perfect.  I've seen a therapist - it was useless.  All I did was sit and ramble as I am in this post with no closure so I stopped wasting my money.  I just don't know what to do at this point.  I don't even know if I have a problem, but I know it's bothering me.  I have friends & coworkers that go out and get hammered every Friday night and it seems to be the norm.  I don't know why I feel this way, but I'm hoping to get some feedback from others on this board.  Thanks...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2013
In reply to: stray_daisy
Thu, 05-23-2013 - 4:40pm

Hi Stray,

I was drinking because I was bored and stressed.  It started out as one or two glasses of wine while making dinner, then evolved into a whole bottle of wine.  I was never flat out plasted, I was just drinking every night.  This was with a rather active social life with friends and family.  Most all of whom drink.  One day my doctor called me after a physical and blood test and told me to not drink for 3 months.  My red blood cells were enlarged.  Took me another year + to finally stop.  I think I just got bored of drinking.  I'm still bored in the evenings.  The stress is less because the parent was caring for passed away.  I already exercise and eat right so the only thing that 's really changed for me is just not drinking.  I'm hoping my red blood cells with be normal on my next blood test. 

Anyway, I stopped drinking 30 days ago and as far as my health goes, I don't feel much different.  I do get better sleep, but for some reason, I don't feel more rested.  I'd like to say that your life will completely change from stopping, but that hasn't been the case for me.  I'm not trying to discourage you from stopping, just telling you how it is for me.  I'm still thinking of what I can do with the free sober time.  I get a bit antzy with too much down time.  I know I'm already saving money from not drinking.  At the very least $2000 per year if I don't drink for 12 months.  I know I'll be saving my liver from a sad sick future.  I'll also be a healthier mom for my kids.  Having taken care of elderly family a few times now, I don't want to make it any harder for my kids than it'll have to be should I need help when I'm older.

The dude from AA is a douche.  Apparently he doesn't quite get what the second A in the name means.  I'm not doing AA either.  It's just not for me.  Maybe you can just start with baby steps. It seems you can stop drinking for a long period, just try making that time stretch out a bit longer.  See how long you can go.  Alcohol is a depressant.  That could be coloring the way things look for you.  Once again, quitting drinking isn't going to make all your problems go away, but it can't hurt either.  

As far as your marriage goes...that's a big one.  Are you just staying married because of finances?  You have to ask yourself, would you be happier being alone and poor (I'm sure after 20 years, you would get some kind of financial support) or happier being with him, but financially secure?  Not an easy question to ask yourself.  And certainly not an easy answer.  I've had to do the same thing with my marriage.  Different issues, but still I tried to think about what life would be life for me.  I'd be fine.  I know that.  But I chose to stay married because my kids didn't ask to be born and I felt I owe it to them to be the best mom I can be and if that means staying married (it does for my large extended family) then I will.  But it's really not that bad though, so it's not too difficult.

Anywho, lots of rambling all over the place.  I hope you find the support you need to make the changes you want to make your life a happier one.  Good luck!Smile

Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
In reply to: stray_daisy
Sat, 06-01-2013 - 9:01am

Welcome!

I think the first thing you need to do is see a physician and tell your dr how much and how often you drink.  You are hurting yourself, your health, probably your job- you might not be your best after a night of beers- and you need to stop drinking. The jerk at AA didn't harm you. Getting help is NOT a problem and if anyone says anything to you, tell them that you think enough of yourself to stop before the problem gets worse. You never need to say how much you drink now. 

You probably should also seek the help of a counselor/therapist for the feelings of uselessness- you are worth getting help!!!

Community Leader
Registered: 10-08-2002
In reply to: stray_daisy
Tue, 07-09-2013 - 4:28pm

Beth is right....the guy at AA was a jerk.  There is a good chance that he was new also, therefore, did not understand anonymity.  No excuse...just ignorance...and I am sure he portrays that in other ways in his life as well.  The first order of business is to take care of yourself...doctor, doing healthy eating and drinking, avoiding unnecessary stress, etc.  I was bored but soon found other things to do as I started learning about sober living...I needed some of the good folks in AA to teach me to start looking at things I had let go of so I could drink....and relearning how to have fun...I am sure there are a lot of things to try.  We just have to take an action.  Good luck...keep posting.  This is a good support too...

Alcohol, Addictions & Recovery. It's a long way down, but only 12 steps UP
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
In reply to: stray_daisy
Sat, 08-03-2013 - 1:07am

If you have to think about it...you have a problem.  Some may tell you that they can't tell you if you have a problem.  I will tell you if you are posting on this board asking if you have a problem...then....you have a problem.  The first step to getting close to  quitting is realizing you have a problem.  Then it might take a while to get to the point of wanting to stop.  I don't think you can or will stop right now.  Its not impacting your life?  Really?  You are spending time thinking about it...you like it too much.  Try to stop for a month and then your question will be answered if you have a problem.  I'm not being fresh. I am telling you that you are showing a clear sign that you have a problem and no one can help you with it until you realize it and are in "need" of help.   Keep reading and coming back.

Missy