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Addiction to Alcohol/Addiction to a false sense of reality (or delusion)

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Hi There,

I'm sure that many people have this problem, however, I feel it is a relevant issue.

I often feel that one drink or two is more than enough, especially when I'm driving. From time to time however, I have a compulsive desire to drink more, is this natural to succumb to these "apparent" human desires, or should I be rejecting them especially when I'm not the one drinking (as for the driver, the answer is obvious, no drinking if you're driving and vice versa.

P.S.

Without being a "cock" or "jock", (I'm not sure which social template holds sway, if any DO apply at ALL) it's simply a matter of, 'am I an alcoholic or not?' I hope I'm not!!! :-(  (keep in mind, I'm not a current stakeholder in the business I work for.)

Answer
Greetings to you, Matt, and I am a recovered alcoholic.

You have written:

>> I often feel that one drink or two is more than enough, especially when I'm driving.

Sure enough.  A sense of personal responsibility is present, and there is no conflict going on between intellect and emotions over that matter or any other (at least not at any greatly-distressing level).

>> From time to time, however, I have a compulsive desire to drink more, is this natural to succumb to these "apparent" human desires...

There are two possible answers there:
1) For the real alcoholic, one drink might be physically (chemically) demanding another;
2) One or two drinks might not be enough to get rid of a conflict between emotions and intellect.

>> ...or should I be rejecting them especially when I'm not the one drinking (as for the driver, the answer is obvious, no drinking if you're driving and vice versa).

Whether or not I *should* have been rejecting more drinks, I was actually incapable of doing so.  When I needed more to feel okay, I took them, and when one drink demanded another -- the seeming “physical allergy” of alcoholism -- I had no say in the matter anyway.

>> ...it's simply a matter of, 'am I an alcoholic or not?' I hope I'm not!!!

Here is the alcoholic’s overall deal:

“First the alcoholic takes a drink,
“Then the drink takes a drink,
“Then drink takes the alcoholic.” --unknown

And along those lines, here are two “tests” we A.A.s occasionally suggest to others who might be like ourselves:

1) “We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly.  Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.” (“A.A.”, the book, pages 31-32)

2) “As we look back, we feel we had gone on drinking many years beyond the point where we could quit on our will power. If anyone questions whether he has entered this dangerous area, let him try leaving liquor alone for one year. If he is a real alcoholic and very far advanced, there is scant chance of success. In the early days of our drinking we occasionally remained sober for a year or more, becoming serious drinkers again later. Though you may be able to stop for a considerable period, you may yet be a potential alcoholic. We think few, to whom this book will appeal, can stay dry anything like a year. Some will be drunk the day after making their resolutions; most of them within a few weeks.” (page 34)

So to answer at least part of your question for yourself, you can either try to drink with complete control or try to not drink at all and see what happens.  And in my own case, yes, I was “addicted” to the ideas that I had a personal *right* to drink as I please, and also that I could do so with complete control.  But in fact, I ultimately discovered a much-different truth about myself.

Addiction to Alcohol

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Joseph Lee O.

Expertise

Greetings to you! I have experienced “Alcoholics Anonymous”, the book, and that is what I share with others. I understand the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the real alcoholic's plight, and here is what can be done to overcome chronic alcoholism: "If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking - 'What do I have to do?' It is the purpose of this book ('Alcoholics Anonymous') to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done." (page 20)

Experience

I took my first drink of alcohol at age 24...and within minutes I had become obsessed with its seemingly-magical effect. That glass of wine had just done something *for* me, and I was amazed. Just seven years later, I wanted to never again touch another drop of alcohol -- I had a desire to stop drinking forever -- but I just could *not* leave the stuff alone. I knew what alcohol was doing *to* me, but I still needed something done *for* me. The effect of the Twelve Steps is now my “sufficient substitute” ("A.A.", page 151) for the effect of alcohol, and I do not have to puke anything back up in the morning!

Publications
http://e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=9572

Education/Credentials
30-year student of “Alcoholics Anonymous”, the book

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