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Am I an Alcoholic?

created by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Hello, I’m not sure where to start because I’ve never done anything like this and I don’t know if I’m an Alcoholic or not. But I do know something needs to be done about my drinking. I am 51 years old and I was recently diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. I also suffer from Depression, Anxiety, Agoraphobia and Social phobia. I have spent most of my life sitting in a bedroom rarely going out because of my fears. I haven’t had any friends for over 20 years, not because I’m a bad person but due to my anxiety around people.

I’ve only had one relationship in my life and that ended nearly 22 years ago. I do like to spend most of my time alone I guess due to Autism, but I would like to have some Human contact as I do feel lonely now and again. Being diagnosed with Autism has helped me see my past in a different light, I now know why I never ‘fitted in’.

I’ve used Alcohol as a coping mechanism since I was a teenager, with having Autism I developed a way of interacting with people called ‘Acting/Masking’ to not make me appear ‘different’. It was very draining and often I would get home and break down. Over the years as my anxiety increased around people and my depression getting worse I’ve tried to take my life by cutting my arms and overdosing on tablets. I was also sectioned at the end of 2014.

I’ve never been a heavy drinker but I would get drunk when out with friends because that was the only way to feel comfortable. Now with getting older and not having friends for so long I don't get drunk anymore as I just don’t feel the need to. But I always have a few beers before my Wednesday shopping, that’s the only day I go out.

For the last few months I’ve struggled to get through the day without having a drink. Usually 3-6 drinks in the evening of a mixture of spirits and beer. Again I don’t get drunk but I do feel as if my evenings are boring if I don’t have a drink. I’d like to cut down and maybe eventually stop drinking alcohol and I’m going to need support.

Sorry for the long post. It was difficult to put so much in one post when I could have filled up many pages worth of info. Any advice would be greatly welcomed. Do I have a drinking problem or am I an Alcoholic?

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 4 days ago
replying to MrMaxaMan

My heart goes out to you. It sounds like you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol such that you should definitely set up an appointment with a treatment professional for a diagnosis. You are "struggling" to get through the day without a drink. People without a problem don't struggle like that. You also need tools to learn to overcome your social anxiety and to accept the beautiful person that you are. I wonder if going to some kind of free community support group would help you feel less isolated. AA was that group for me and it welcomes everyone. The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking. There is a great diversity of people at AA meetings and it us full of nonjudgmental support. AA or perhaps some other social group might be something for you to explore Welcome to our group and keep posting daily and you will see things improve.

by: Grateful 2 weeks, 4 days ago
replying to Grateful

Thank you for your kind words, I have completed a reffaral form online. Now just waiting for the reply.

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 4 days ago
replying to MrMaxaMan

How are you today Mr. Maxaman?

by: Grateful 2 weeks, 3 days ago
replying to Grateful

I'm doing fine thanks for asking, now just waiting for an assessment.

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 3 days ago

I had to have a professional diagnos me to believe it.

by: Shawn2020 2 weeks, 4 days ago
replying to Shawn2020

Yes I don't know what exactly defines an Alcoholic. Can someone have a drinking problem and not be an Alcoholic?

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 3 days ago
replying to MrMaxaMan

Someone who has lost control of their drinking .
For example I'm an alcoholic I would say to myself I'm only going to have a few drinks tonight knowing I've never been able to do that . I would come to in strange places with strange people having no recollection of what happened the night or nights before . I would be feeling so full of guilt, shame and remorse and swear off drinking ever again both to myself and my loved ones and I meant it with every fibre of my being . I would suffer with terrible hangovers and withdrawals and never seek help I thought it was a battle I had to face alone.
After a period of time sometimes days sometimes months and one time years of being dry I would succumb to the increasing thoughts of being able to drink like a normal person the day I drank after years of being dry there was no thoughts someone offered me a drink and in that moment I had no defence against the first drink . That drink lead to 10 + years of hell for myself and everyone I came across.
In that moment why couldn't I force into my consciousness the result of picking up the first drink it's because I'm powerless over alcohol and always will be ,I lost control the first time I drank and it was the same everytime I drank but my alcoholic mind deluded me into thinking I could control it .
I have lost the power of choice when it comes to drinking ,I can't control how much I drink and I have no control over if I drink again because I'm powerless over alcohol.
I haven't sworn off drinking forever, I may drink tomorrow but I do everything and anything to avoid picking up that first drink TODAY .
Go to meetings listen for the similarities, read the big book it gives a clear definitions of being an alcoholic . You don't have to be a bum sitting on park bench drinking metho to be a real alcoholic .
We have to concede to our inner most self that we are alcoholic if you have the symptoms, physical =the phenomenon of craving and mental = the obsession of the mind there is a very good chance you are . You need to diagnose yourself a doctor or health professional can voice their opinion but deep down we already know the truth .

by: AussieDrunk 2 weeks, 3 days ago
replying to AussieDrunk

Thank you for your reply, the difference I would say I have with you is that most of the time I can stop. I don't get drunk anymore it's just I feel I need to have a few drinks everyday.

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 3 days ago
replying to MrMaxaMan

I know heaps of people that drink everyday ,they may have a drinking problem in the eyes of a doctor but they aren't alcoholic. They can control how much they drink and can stop whenever they want .
I would like to point out you said MOST of the time ,do you develop a craving for more drinks ?

by: AussieDrunk 2 weeks, 3 days ago
replying to AussieDrunk

Yes I do, lately it's been getting worse, now I'm doing my best to drink less

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 3 days ago
replying to MrMaxaMan

So you are trying to control it which points to lack of control sorry if I seem blunt but it's more important I point out the truth

by: AussieDrunk 2 weeks, 3 days ago

it's okay I prefer people get to the point. 👍

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Ive heard a few times if you are not an alcoholic/problem drinker you dont ever question if you are one so more than lightly there is a signs you are. That's when it really hit home with me, it's great you have reached out on here! I'm guessing the alcohol mabey helps when it is in your system to appear more social but when it's not anxiety/moods worsen is a common after effect of drinking the night before. If you are able to stop mabey try giving it a few weeks/months to get to know your other diagnosis autism, social anxiety and if they improve atall without the alcohol? It's just a suggestion my friend and I wish you well 🙏

by: NeverGiveUp 2 weeks, 2 days ago
replying to NeverGiveUp

Thanks, I have been doing a lot of Mindfulness practice lately which has helped relax my mind.

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I had a few drinks on Sunday, I'm not angry with myself. Just start again. Tomorrow I am going to try to leave the house and go shopping without alcohol inside me which I haven't done for around 15 years. Fingers crossed I don't bottle it. Pun intended.

by: MrMaxaMan 2 weeks ago

After reading this thread I am very interested in following your journey. There are many similarities between you and I MrMaxaman. I am hearing for success tomorrow shopping.

by: ValiantOne 2 weeks ago

Well, great news. I managed to go shopping alcohol free. Though I did have 3 Diazepam. I felt much calmer than I expected. In the past I would have felt much worse. Maybe other medication I'm on for anxiety helped, too. But I'm very pleased with myself.

by: MrMaxaMan 1 week, 6 days ago

Maybe I can suggest you get a book called Alcoholics Anonymous? You might find one online or better yet call your local information assistance and get the number to a local Intergroup office that can tell you the closest AA meeting clubhouse to you and on Shopping day swing in and just sit through a meeting then ask where to get a big book? Once you have one, read the first 164 pages. It will explain the concept of the dis ease of alcoholism to you and you can figure it out. What can it hurt?

by: ChipsBDown 1 week, 4 days ago

I have managed to get the Big Book and I look forward to reading it. Looking at AA meetings near me they are only open at certain times of certain days, it doesn't look like I can just walk in. I'm having my assessment next Friday so maybe I will be given more advice on where to go.

by: MrMaxaMan 1 week, 4 days ago