You’ve stopped drinking Sarah, why? Were you/are you an alcoholic?
Well, no I don’t think I was an alcoholic but it depends what you google to look up the definitions of casual drinking, alcohol abuse or alcoholism. If you go by UK guidelines I was drinking (on average) less than the 14 units per week which put me firmly in the low risk category. I’d have considered myself to be a casual drinker, a G and T on a Thursday night, a few glasses of wine on a Friday night and a couple on a Saturday night. Several dry weeks at a time and then a binge every now and again. I hate the term binge… but that’s what it was. A night out with the girls where the intention was to enjoy some fizz or a few cocktails but the reality was always drinking far too much and feeling rubbish the next day. So whilst I didn’t fit into the government guidelines of drinking too much and I never had any of the following troubles associated with alcoholism…
- Drinking alone and in secrecy
- Losing interest in other activities that were once enjoyable
- Alcohol cravings
- Making drinking a priority over responsibilities, such as employment and family
- Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
- Extreme mood swings and irritability
- Having a drink first thing in the morning
- Continuing to drink, despite health, financial and family problems
I did have…
- An inability to stop or control the amount of alcohol that was consumed after I had drunk 2 glasses of fizz on a night out
- Feelings of guilt and shame associated with drinking
Both of these issues I wanted to put a stop to. Deep down I know that I struggle to say “No” to a third drink after the second one so if I don’t drink at all that makes my life so much easier. The feelings of guilt and shame are gone because I am not dealing with trying to moderate how much I drink!
I really don’t care if people think that I have stopped drinking because I was an alcoholic (there’s no shame in that), people will judge you however they find you and that’s their business not mine!