- Potential Alcoholic vs Real Alcoholic?

Potential Alcoholic vs Real Alcoholic?




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Potential Alcoholic vs Real Alcoholic?

Postby Sharkbait » Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:48 pm

Where is the line which separates a potential alcoholic from a real alcoholic? Please help, I'd like some insights on this. I tried to quote the BB keeping as faithful to the context as possible. I'm confused. Because I don't know where I stand... :( How can I get to know whether I'm an alcoholic or a potential alcoholic?

"Though there is no way of proving it, we believe that early in our drinking careers we could have stopped drinking. But the difficulty is that few alcoholics have enough desire to stop while there is yet time."

So this means that before one becomes an alcoholic there is time to stop and moderate and not fall into alcoholism at all? Only most people realise this too late?

"We who are familiar with the symptoms, see large numbers of potential alcoholics among young people everywhere".

By the word potential does the book mean that only a percentage of potential alcoholics end up as alcoholics?

"As we look back we feel we had gone on drinking many years beyond the point where we could quit on our will power".

Hence the point exists where one is able to quit and not become an alcoholic on one's own will power.... where is that point? Is it determined by the medical symptoms of alcoholism exhibited? Or by the reactions one has when one attempts to quit?

"Though you may be able to stop for a considerable period, you may yet be a potential alcoholic".

The BB says the word "may". Which means that people who can quit and start controlling their drinking also may not become alcoholic?
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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:16 pm

Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic...

"We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the nonalcoholic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic.

-- Big Book: We agnostics, page 44"

Three questions:

1. When you honestly want to, can you quit drinking entirely?

2. Can you stay quit entirely?

3. Do you always maintain a lot of control over the amount that you drink, once you get started?

------------------------------------------

If you have problems while you're drinking... perhaps you just have a drinking problem and you're not alcoholic. Not everyone who has problems when they drink is an alcoholic.

If your problem is alcohol, or if your problem is drinking... the solution is very simple... just stop drinking alcohol and your problem with alcohol is gone. You don't need A.A. to do that.

If your problem is alcoholism... that's an entirely different story.

Dallas
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Postby Candy » Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:37 am

For me the invisible line was crossed when alcohol began to be like magic for me. After a few drinks I began to feel like I was everything that I ever dreamed of being and that life was wonderful. I think I drank more to feel more of the same. I spent most of my time chasing my dreams. Alcohol made me feel like my dreams were going to come true. I dont know when it happened but my dreams began to be nightmares. Then I drank to run from my dreams and I felt like if it wasnnot for alcohol the nightmares would come true. Where is the invisible line? Who knows? The most important thing that happened for me was when I sat in a jail cell beat up once more and the moment of clarity came to me that I must have crossed some invisible line of no return. I better change the subject. I still get sad and depressed when I think of where I have been. I am just so truly greatful to be sober and where I am today.

Love and hugs to all of you
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Postby MarkW » Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:19 pm

Thanks Candy

Wow - this brings back memories... for which I'm grateful - that they are memories and no longer current events :D
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Postby Sharkbait » Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:10 pm

Dallas: I'm still trying to find answers to your questions...

Candy: Thank you for sharing such an important part of your life with me. I appreciate it a lot. *hugs*
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Postby anniemac » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:00 pm

Hi Sharkbait ~

You sound very much like I did when I came to AA, so I ask this question from a place of understanding, not from a place of arrogance:

What does it matter?

If you are still trying to find the answers to Dallas' 3 questions, then my assumption would be that you can not, at times, control the amount you drink, quit when you want, and stay stopped.

Whether that is called Alcoholism or Potential Alcoholism is irrelevant. What it says to me is that alcohol is causing problems for you. So, why not come to AA meetings for 30 days and see how you feel after? As we say around these parts, "If, after 30 days, you're not pleased with what you've found, we will refund your misery."

I carry this quote around in my wallet:

I would rather go through life sober, believing I am an alcoholic,
than go through life drunk, trying to convince myself that I am not.

Blessings,
Anne
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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:35 pm

Nice quote Anne! I'm going to make a few cards... it would be nice to have them to pass out when appropriate! Also -- that's a good quote to post in our new "Quotes" section on the forum!

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Postby taraK » Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:35 am

Annie,

That quote is so true and thought provoking! Thanks for sharing it, and I will definately keep that one with me.

The more I am sober, the more I find such wonder, happiness, and clarity. When I used to hear people say things such as this, (when I was drinking) I used to think what a crock! But oh how true it is when the clouds of alcoholism begin to clear.

Thanks all!

Tara
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Postby taraK » Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:36 am

Annie,

That quote is so true and thought provoking! Thanks for sharing it, and I will definately keep that one with me.

The more I am sober, the more I find such wonder, happiness, and clarity. When I used to hear people say things such as this, (when I was drinking) I used to think what a crock! But oh how true it is when the clouds of alcoholism begin to clear.


Thanks all!

Tara
taraK
 

are I or aren't I??

Postby musicmode » Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:03 am

My name is Anne 8) , I'm an alcoholic,

Great quote Annie :lol: . I heard that once & forgot about that. When I heard that, it was during a fellowship after a meeting. The newcomer was expressing the same type of difficulty, w/ both whether or not he was alcoholic, as well as whether or not there was a God. The guy, one of who had what I wanted when it came to sobriety...when he spoke, whether he was speaking directly to me, at a meeting, or to someone else at fellowship...I hung on to every word. He'd said he'd rather go thru life sober than drunk wondering, then when it came to the God concept, he said: I'd rather go thru life believing & find out there isn't at the end, than goin' thru life not believin', & find out there is. :wink:

Keep It Simple.

Peace,
Anne 8)
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