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Curious if you are REALLY an Alcoholic?

I'm not sure if I'm REALLY an alcoholic
I don't know. I could be. I could not be.

Am I Really an Alcoholic?

If you googled this question, you might be. Lol 

However, the answer isn’t so simple. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. I wasn’t so sure at first, and I still find myself contemplating this question every once in a while. However, I do identify as a woman in recovery. If you’re trying to figure out if your substance use is normal or not, talking to another person in recovery is a good place to start. 

Do you count your drinks?

I first talked to someone 8 years ago. I explained how many nights a week I was drinking and how I have to count the drinks so that I don’t throw up. Her response? “Normal people don’t have to count how many drinks they’ve had.” Really? 

That was the first time my mind blown.  

Do you use alcohol to numb emotional pain? 

At the time of my searching, I was a single mom who’s husband had gone to prison for domestic violence. That’s when I really started drinking. I was lonely, devastated and really angry. I had to be present for my children and alcohol made me happy- a fun mom- until waking up every morning with regret made me miserable. Yes, I drank to numb my pain. Another box checked.

Can you go 7 days without it? How about 30?

Of course I can.... at least 6 1/2 days. The day of my last drink, I almost made it, but I absentmindedly took a shot that sent me on a wild, regrettable night. No, I can’t go 7 days. Forget 30. What the hell. Box checked.

Does alcohol affect your relationships?

Prior to recovery, I never had a relationship without substances significantly involved, whether it was them or me. I decided to make a list of these painful experiences and discovered that the common thread between them was alcohol. Hmm. I wanted so much to have  healthy, loving relationships and it seemed that alcohol kept robbing me of that. Shocker- this doesn’t happen to “normal” drinkers.  

Whether or not I identify as an alcoholic, I know one thing for certain; alcohol wreaked havoc in my life without contributing anything of value. I was challenged with this question: 

If you knew that your life would significantly improve and you could find the happiness you’ve only dreamed about by just giving up one thing, would you do it? 

I decided that I wanted to be happy, joyous and free, so I gave up drinking on February 28, 2016. It was the best decision I ever made. 

If you had to google, “Am I an Alcoholic?”, it’s probably time to get a plan together to reduce your drinking or quit entirely. 

You’ll thank yourself. 

Sarah Hornbuckle

Associate Executive Director

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