I often worry that I may be an alcoholic. Dependency runs in my family and I was raised with the knowledge that addiction wouldn’t be out of the question, due to my families history. I never felt like I was addicted to anything, nor do I REALLY believe that I am an alcoholic, but occasionally I wake up after a night of drinking and cringe.
It’s the cringe that worries me. I have never done anything truly bad while drinking other than start the occasional fight with my husband for no reason, but it’s been a very long time since I have done that.
When we lived in Charleston, there were extended periods of time when I would go out and drink days in a row. After a lot of those nights I would go home and vent to my husband about all the little things that annoy me and a fight would begin. He never held it against me the next day, but I always felt awful about it.
Ever since moving to Chicago I haven’t had a single night like that. This led me to reflect upon reasons for more responsible drinking in Chicago, and all I can come up with is that I am way less bored in Chicago. In Charleston, Chase worked a schedule that kept him at work for over fifteen hours a day and I was alone most of the time. I felt alone most of the time and anxious about the amount of time we actually spent together. In Chicago, we both go to work early and are both home together for dinner every night. We both have groups of friends here that we spend time with and go out with on occasion, as well, which is something neither of us had in Charleston.
The amount that I drink has dramatically decreased since I have moved from Charleston, but once in a while I will still drink too much. I wake up with a miserable hungover, I can’t remember conversations that I had with the people that I went out with, I have specific memories of thoughts when I knew should stop drinking but continued to, because I like to be the life of the party. That being said, I have never missed work, lost friends, done anything illegal, or really done anything life ruining while drunk, I’m just starting to realize that it’s not so cool to be 28 and wasted in public and miserable the next day.
I love a good cocktail and really enjoy a nice cold beer. I like the social aspect of drinking on a patio on a warm summers day. I don’t want to stop drinking all together, but I really want to get myself to a place where I can recognize that I enjoyed my cocktail or my cold beer and then I can stop. I don’t always have to drink to get buzzed and that’s okay.
For the next month I would like to try to drink water only, and then reintroduce drinking as treat and not as a necessity. We have a wedding that we are going home for next month and those are usually triggers for me, I love the open bar and I love dancing with all the people I haven’t seen in a long time. In that setting I am not the only one who is very drunk, but it is okay for me to not be that drunk, too. I need to learn. I also have plans to spend time with my group of childhood friends, which also turns into an out until last call kind of night, which is fun, but that doesn’t mean I need to be stumbling home.
In conclusion, I am aware that I may have an issue with alcohol consumption and I am making it my goal to go home to this wedding and spending time with old friends without getting trashed. And having made this goal a thing that I can look back at as a reminder of how bad I feel when this happens, hopefully it’ll keep me honest. If not, it will be time to completely reevaluate my relationship with alcohol.