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I Can't Think of Myself as an Alcoholic. Does That Mean I'm in Denial?

by Nikki
(England)

I've had a medical detox from alcohol and I know drinking caused alot of problems for me, but I don't think of myself as an alcoholic. But there again, I'm not sure how I would define an alcoholic anyway. I still drink, but not everyday now, and I'm not physically addicted anymore. So am I an alcoholic? Does it mean that I'm in denial if I don't think of myself as one?


Alcoholism-and-Drug-Addiction-Help.com Answer



Hi Nikki

Denial is certainly one of the classic symptoms of alcoholism, but maybe you're right and you're not an alcoholic. Having said that though, if you were totally honest with yourself, people who aren't alcoholics don't generally come onto sites like this asking the question, because they know alcohol isn't a problem for them and they're fully in control of their drinking.

Just because you're not drinking every day, doesn't mean you're not alcoholic. Alcoholism is defined by dependence (physical or emotional) - and loss of control. A non-alcoholic can happily have a drink or two without needing another one - once an alcoholic starts there is no turning back until they get drunk. Can you stop after a couple and be comfortable with that?

Have you taken this alcoholism test? It will probably be quite revealing. But even if you're not alcoholic according to some definition of it, but alcohol is causing problems for you, surely it doesn't matter whether you fit a certain label, and you should look to do something about your drinking?

Generally speaking, people who've had to go through detoxes before due to their drinking and have had alcohol cause a lot of problems in their lives are regarded as alcoholics. And you don't suddenly not become alcoholic anymore. Yes, some people just go through bad phases where they drink to excess and cause themselves problems as a result - and are able to snap out of it eventually, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

So be honest with yourself, try that test, and see what the outcome it. There is no shame in admitting to alcoholism and getting help for it. Don't let alcohol bring you down when it doesn't need to. Life is too short.

Good Luck and Take Care

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Denial Question
by: Doug Wilson

When I was starting out and dealing with principles I found I could say (honestly) I'm willing to become willing to ..... You might find something you can agree with yourself on ... How about, "I think I'm probably allergic to alcohol".

A doctor in the Big Book classified alcoholism as an allergy. That works for me - I'm allergic to alcohol. If I drink it, I'll have a bad allergic reaction. So, I don't drink alcohol ....

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