Potential Alcoholic vs Real Alcoholic?

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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Postby Marley » Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:13 am


The problem with alcoholism is that no matter what anyone else says, you are the only person with the answer to your question.

The questions Dallas listed are a good guide but it's up to the individual.

Personally when I started to think I might be alcoholic I already was. I know this now but at the time I ignored the symtoms. I anylized and read and anylized some more. I tried to come up with any reason in the world to explain away my drinking. Any problem I had, had to be the result of something else in my life anything but the alcohol itself. It took an impaired charge and a night in jail to bring it all home to me.

There is no reason in the world for you to go through the misery that I went through. Listen to your head and heart; and pray.

God Bless,

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Postby ElectronicDan » Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:11 am

For me, as a college student, I always thought it was normal and acceptable to consume copious amounts of alcohol. But my peers could have nights where they didn't drink and still have fun. I couldn't fathom that idea!!! So I'd sneak in a few nips (haha, "a few"-I still kid myself!) before we went out, and maybe a few more in the bathroom or somewhere secluded just so I could be "myself".

On the outside I looked like everyone else, I looked like I was having the time of my life! But on the inside, I yearned to be everything the alcohol gave me. By the end of my drinking days, I was still chasing that damn delusion that it will be fun this time. Don't get me wrong, I thought I was having fun while I drank, but in reality I was so lonely. I could be in a room of 50 people drinking and feel like the only person in that room.

But with all that said, what solidified my position on whether I was an alcoholic or just a heavy/problem drinker?

When I consciously realized that I couldn't stop for good, for any reason, and that my delusion would still point me to the contrary. When I realized that alcohol wasn't my problem, it was my solution. I then realized I was an alcoholic.

Sure, I went a few spouts of not drinking, I went a month there--3 months over there---but the bottom line was, I'd always end up with the damn drink in my hand again!

I was depressed and I didn't know why! Doctors, therapists, etc, over and over again. What the heck was my problem? No one could figure it out! I thought it was my parents, so I moved out of my house to a "safer" more "emotionally stable" house. Haha, I can only laugh at the depths I went to fix my "issues" and not blame the bottle in my hand. I could have had everything going right for me in the world or could have had everything going wrong for me in this world, and the drink was still there.


I hope that my story has helped you and not confused you further, because the bottom line is only you can decide.

No one could have told me I was or wasn't, it just sort of fell into my lap one day. The pieces all fell into place. Mind you, this was after I got into the doors of AA, read the Big Book and heard some speakers that I could very much identify with.

An important thing you must consider is this:
Do not compare. Identify!

I walked in and the first thing I said to myself was, "I'm not an alcoholic, I haven't been to jail yet! I'm not an alcoholic, I haven't gotten a DUI! I've still got some drinkin' in me! I'm too young for this!!!"

We can identify with things people say but to compare your experiences with others will get you no where. There are no qualifications for AA, you need not worry if you haven't hit the bottom that another had hit!

For me, the pain is what lead me to AA. It wasn't the same pain as the person sitting next to me, but it was enough pain for me, thank you very much.

And above all else, always remember, if you want to quit and cannot, whether it be in the immediate future or sometime down the road, you know there is a solution and it begins as soon as you step into the rooms of AA.

Welcome, and I hope you find what you are looking for. :-)

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Postby Dallas » Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:55 pm

Thanks for sharing Dan!!! Great stuff!!! Keep coming back!


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Postby rpallen » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:31 am

"we can see the symptoms" those that do as i and many other alcoholics did, they will be alcoholics!!! if they stop now , will they be alcoholics? if they start again with the same results? sounds more like looking for a loophole to me. i say this because my sponsor told me the same 23 years ago. so far i have found no valid loopholes!! thank god cause finding one might get me drunk

rich A

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Postby Dallas » Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:17 am

Thanks for the posts Rich! My experience relates and identifies!

Keep coming back!!! And, post some more messages! I enjoy reading them and relating.


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Postby cinderbobble » Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:37 am

Usually non-alcoholics do not need to worry if they are alcholic or not. Just like somebody who is not allergic to strawberries has to worry if they are allergic to strawberries... they just enjoy 'em.

Have you ever had to control AND enjoy your drinking? Well - usually nonalcoholics do not have to worry about controlling their drinking and alcoholics do not have to worry about controlling AND enjoying their drinking at the same time, Impossible for an alcoholic. They can do either, control...or enjoy... but not both at the same time :wink:

garden variety
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Re: Potential Alcoholic vs Real Alcoholic?

Postby garden variety » Tue May 08, 2007 6:22 pm

Sharkbait wrote:Where is the line which separates a potential alcoholic from a real alcoholic? Please help, I'd like some insights on this.

"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."

"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?

I think what the book says here relates to my own experience and a lot of other people too.

Plain and simple, there came a time when I wanted to quit drinking because of all the bad consequences that were coming my way. Thats when I found out that it didnt matter how much I wanted to quit, I could not stop drinking. I had to drink because I was physically addicted and mentally addicted to alcohol. No human power could relieve me of alcoholism (that included my willpower). In the bottom of my heart and soul I wanted to quit more than anything else, but I was powerless over alcohol. I had lost the ability to make a choice about drinking. I was in over my head and drowning. That is my "malady" of alcoholism.

When I became an alcoholic was when I realized I was addicted and could not stop drinking. Then I had to face the fact that I needed help from a God or a Higher Power. So thats when I decided for myself that I was an alcoholic because I needed and wanted to do something to stop drinking whatever that was - I needed help because I could not do it on my own. I know opinions arent supposed to count but being a alcoholic means that I have the disease of alcoholism and I ask God and AA to help me because I want to do something about it. If I didn't take those steps to reach out for help - then I would be a drunk instead of an alcoholic.

I also believe what the book says that when I could have quit was when I wasnt addicted. But back then I did not want to quit. So that point in my life came and went, then later the disease of addiction took ahold. Its like the barb on a fishing hook - I tried to spit it out but it was too late. Its funny too because its like a fish - he bites on the bait and gets caught. I take the drink then I get hooked. I did it to myself and didn't even know it - just like a fish. Then it was a done deal like the book says.

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Postby anniemac » Tue May 08, 2007 7:40 pm

I'm going to rat myself out here....my head is a bit squirelly lately, some would say that my "disease is talking to me"...and just now, reading GV's post, I'm thinking -- I didn't have a physical addiction to alcohol...so maybe I'm not an alcoholic. I had a mental obsession, and when I introduced alcohol in to my system, most times I drank until I blacked out and/or fell down....yet I was not physically addicted. I did not go through any physical withdrawal symptoms. The day I quit drinking, I felt tons better.

Now, I don't really believe that I'm not an alcoholic. Yet it's so easy to compare instead of identify, still. And to look for loopholes. Even though I have no desire to drink, my head still wants to tell me that maybe I'm not an alcoholic.

I've run through this mental loop many times in sobriety, and for me, I've come to realize that it does not matter if I was a potential alcoholic or a full blown alcoholic. Continuing down the road I was on was a death sentence of one sort or another and it was getting worse instead of better....so the "label" doesn't matter to me. I had a desire to stop drinking, I did, and now my life is better. Works for me!

garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Tue May 08, 2007 8:24 pm

Hi Annie, you squirrelly weasel!

I think the book says it this way:
When we became alcoholic, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. He either is, or He isn't. What was our choice to be?

I think thats pretty close if not exact.

But anyway I don't think the physical effects are the same for everyone because some folks don't have withdrawl like I had. The thing is like the book says my drinking gets me into a crisis - a jackpot - almost every time that I can't get out of if I drink. If you blackout when you drink then you are facing a physical and mental crisis because you don't have any idea what your doing or where youll end up. And if you dont have physical withdrawl you will over time because alcoholism is progressive - it gets worse never better - it says that in the book. It also says alcoholism is fatal and uncurable.

But the other thing is that phenominon of craving which is physical. I have one drink then the craving kicks in and its over. I'm forced by the physical part of the malady to drink uncontrollably which is exactly what I do. If you drink until you blackout then you are probably having the phenominon of craving too Annie.

Social drinkers just don't drink themself into oblivion like us. They just stop and have this magic point of "having enough" (not in my vocablularly). Or if they have 2 drinks then they have the nerve to say crazy stuff like "This is going to my head - I better stop." Jeez its supposed to go to your head thats the whole point of drinking! Well thats according to the alcoholic point of view.

I think your the real thing Annie.

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Postby anniemac » Tue May 08, 2007 9:43 pm

garden variety wrote:I think your the real thing Annie.

Phew!! Glad to hear that, GV!! :lol: Imagine if I did all those pesky Steps for nothin'! :shock:

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