Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like you are doing fine. I can understand your counselor's concern. It makes sense and maybe they are seeing something I am not, but what you described sounds reasonable to me.
Keep in mind that I say this given that your actions have no harmful consequences on anyone, including yourself. As long as you are functional and you can care for yourself and your family, there is no harm in running towards a better life.
You are right, everyone has their own pace and own wants and needs. If a hard workout gets you to the point of being able to relax, then that is no different than someone who works out to get rid of depression or to feel more socially acceptable in appearance.
It sounds like to me that you understand yourself well and are functioning in such a way that you are dealing with your own needs. You can explain why you do what you do and the consequences of your actions. That says to me that you have insight and understanding, which is a positive sign.
Your alcohol use is the only concern I had in reading your question. It sounds like you are using alcohol to medicate yourself and calm yourself. Given your situation, it makes sense. However, I like your solutions to reducing or eliminating your alcohol use. If you can, increase your fun time or other activities to eliminate your need to drink. Your choices are healthy ones and I am sure your children appreciate your solutions as well!
Be careful to monitor your stress levels and keep an eye on your activities so you don't overdo anything. You are under enormous stress right now and you do not want to overdo it and find you are unable to stop and calm yourself. If you find you are struggling, be sure to let your counselor know. A medication adjustment may be needed for a short time until you feel better.
I hope this has helped you,
Well, it sounds like you have a very good understanding of your alcohol use and what your limits are.
You could also try AA if you feel you would fit in and benefit from a group setting. For some, the support helps. For others, it makes them feel like drinking more. It all depends on how you feel you'd respond.
You could also make a list of all the fun things you feel help you not drink. Go a little nuts here and get your kids to help (just don't tell them why you are making the list unless they are already aware of your alcohol use). Keep the list on hand and anytime you feel you need to drink, pick an activity. You could also plan on doing something at the times you usually drink during the day.
Alcohol use does affect the brain and can cause you to crave more. At the rate you are drinking that type of effect would be slower for you than say someone who drinks all day everyday. You may want to check with your doctor about that and see what he/she says.
It sounds like you are doing well overall and I would recommend you continue working as you are. Again, you are aware of your issues, are actively seeking answers and are working towards better options for yourself. That is all good.