Well as a Dutch saying goes, “to ask the question is to answer it”.
I can’t answer that question for you.
For myself… Nobody saw me as an ‘addict‘, still don’t. I just drank too much, from time to time. Who doesn’t! No need to “stigmatize” myself like that. And like so many, I was easily reassured. Wanted to believe that was normal. There was nothing wrong with me, I just needed to quit after a few drinks and then there wouldn’t’ t be a problem at all. Just learn to control myself (because that’s easy with a few drinks in your system, you know).
And yes, ok, I could be an annoying drunk but who isn’t from time to time? It’s not that I drank on a daily, that I was shivering if I didn’t drink. That I drank behind backs and lied about it.
It would be all righty if I’d stop after a few glasses and I could just continue my drinking as such.
We also have another saying in Dutch, “only solve the problem, is there is even a problem”. Well, I felt there was and a first step was recognizing I did. It’s very hard to drink a few and stop, it’s like a mission impossible. Well, it is possible but damn, that’s fucking hard and masochistic. I’m an all or nothing person. So, I decided for myself I had a problem. Only that way I could start to heal and help myself and question the use of alcohol.
So, am I an alcoholic? That’s a matter of perception. For me, I’ve realized that drinking got me into troubles. So yes, if something that gets me into trouble, makes me take bad choices, makes me feel horrible about myself and has so much power over me… Plus can persuade me to do that thing again over and over by lying to myself, then yes that felt like an addiction.
I’ve felt horrible. Too many times to neglect it.
I’ve said what everybody says after heavy drinking “never again”. And as many times I covered it up with minimizing how I felt afterwards. I minimized how I felt and what caused it. It was probably something else that made me feel that bad, the beginning of a cold perhaps?
What was it with alcohol that I just wanted to ignore all the bad that came out of using it. Was it really that good and yummy? I tried to find the good in alcohol, but couldn’t find any anymore. I always felt bad afterwards, even when I only had one drink. I got sick and tired of the poisoning effect it had on me, my thinking, my health, my mood, my relationships with others. I got sick of the fakeness off it all, sick of the feeling I needed something just to deal with reality and everyday life, something to relax, something to make myself (and other people?) more interesting.
Emotionally it fucked me up (embarrassed, fights, saying stupid stuff, feeling fake and having fake conversations) and physically (falling, headache, slurring,..) I felt like I was thrown under a bus.
So, I gave it up. And I should not feel ashamed because I took care of an avoidable problem in my life. Fuck the stigma.