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[QUOTE=mommaoftwinsplus1]I am wondering if I am an alcoholic. I enjoy drinking a little to relax. I am really scared that I rely on alcohol. So I really need some advice. If you rely on alcohol to relax, please reply. I am a stay at home mom of a 4 year old daughter and 1 year old twin daughters. Some days I feel that I need a little drink to make it through. Thanks in advance!

:angel: :angel: :angel:

Hello Momma! :)

First off, let me tell you that if I had a four-year-old and 1-year-old twins, I'd need MUCH more than a drink to relax!!!! My goodness, woman, HOW DO YOU DO IT? :D :D :D

My mother was, and still is, an alcoholic. She handles it much better now in that she doesn't drink every day, or nearly half as much as she used to. In the "bad old days" she used to drink to assuage her pain about living with my father, who mentally and verbally abused her. I think she only started to drink heavily when she was about 40.

I guess the things that clued me in to her alcoholism and severe dependence on liquor to get through a day were as follows:

1) She would drink vodka and milk. Apparently it 'looked' more like milk. Also, vodka apparently had less of an alcoholic "smell" on one's breath... (HIDING IT)

2) She would sit at the kitchen table and place her glass on one of the chairs underneath, so that my brother and I couldn't see it when we got home from school. I would ask her what she was drinking and of course her answer was "milk". (HIDING IT)

3) As the evening wore on, and after the supper dishes were done, she would become more and more maudlin...more and more emotional, and would retire up to her bedroom to read a Harlequin romance, have a cigarette and escape. If I went into her bedroom to talk with her about some problem I was having or asking for her advice...she would get this funny look in her eye, almost as if she wasn't understanding what I was saying or that she had placed it in the context of whatever it was she was reading at the time. In other words, she just wasn't all there. Everything that we would discuss was under the cloud of her own despair and alcohol-induced weepiness and heightened emotion. (EMOTIONAL EXTREMES, EMOTIONAL DISTANCE FROM FAMILY)

4) We grew up in Montreal and I remember when there was a liquor strike in Quebec. There was absolutely NO store in Quebec that one could purchase alcohol during the time of that strike. It was winter...the roads were really bad and snow mother drove in her little car, through some MAJOR friggin' blizzards to a neighbouring province, Ontario, just across the border. She brought home enough vodka and gin in her car trunk to supply a couple of free-bar weddings. No, let's make that about a dozen free-bar weddings. :( (RISKING LIFE AND LIMB FOR THE BOOZE, NO MATTER WHAT)

5) She started drinking to "relax". I'm not sure when it progressed from the occasional drink or two to an every day thing, but happen it did. I think even she was surprised at this. I remember my father threatening to divorce her and the two of them fighting all the time. He kept saying "Karina, you're drunk!". This would infuriate her and make her want to drink even more. [B]It seemed that every day, she had to drink more and more, just to stay in the same emotional place as the day before.[/B] (AVOIDANCE, SELF-MEDICATION, NUMBING ONESELF)

I know the above examples are quite extreme and they pertain specifically to my own mother. Her drinking started off quite innocently and became a life-long passion. Drinking truly became her "salvation".

When my own marriage ended about 7 years ago, I found myself having a few more drinks than usual. I was upset, lonely, frightened and confused. I had a good job at the time and there was an employee assistance program, so I took advantage of it and went to see a counsellor. She was awesome. She said to me "If you THINK you are developing a drinking problem, then the chances are good that you ARE". This was all I needed to hear to realize that just because I was unhappy, I just couldn't go down the same road as my mother. It was tempting, but I did not. I toughed it out...felt the pain, had myself a cup of chamomile tea instead of a rum and coke. Thank God. The pain and sorrow over the marriage ending did subside eventually...all by itself. :) I often think that if I HAD embraced drinking to numb the pain, the pain would now be gone, but I would likely now have a much more serious problem.

Momma, only YOU can decide whether having the odd drink or drinking every day is a problem for you. My experience has taught me that if one drinks to numb something, then it's not a good thing. If you have the odd glass of wine or a mixed drink to relax once in a while, then I don't think that's a bad thing. If you NEED to do this to cope and can't relax without it...then yes...I think that could become a problem.


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