Thankyou, Dr. Mark, for you for your caring questions to help me the best way that you can. I appreciate that.
I guess that I am confused, too! I know that relationship problems are a red flag against drinking. I guess b/c I am pretty sure that my husband won't leave me at this stage in our marriage (he's 67 and I'm 59---married for 40 years) it isn't enough motivation yet for me to quit drinking. Whether or not I stop drinking, I think his condescending attitude towards me and his irritability will continue unless we try couples therapy again.
I am, therefore, more concerned about whether my drinking is a real problem, taking into account the amount and frequency. I guess I wonder if the alcohol is doing any physical harm to me if I don't feel inebriated. Do you know of anyone who fits my profile of not being drunk with large quantities of alcohol?
I know that the amt. of alcohol is excessive, that I drink everyday, that I drink other forms of alcohol if I am out of wine, that I am not thrilled about going to events where alcohol is not served (but I will go). This sounds like an alcoholic except that when I take the various quizzes about "am I an alcoholic?" the quizzes ask about problems with jobs, drinking in the morning, blackouts, DWI's, DUI's, etc. Because none of these symptoms apply to me, I am in a quandry.
Bot***** *****ne: I think I am an alcoholic but with what the AA Big Book calls a "high bottom." I haven't lost anything yet, my physical health is still good.
I just hate the idea of never being able to drink again!
I know I have been all over the page in my replies and I appreciate you "listening."
I have to make a decision as to whether I want to press the limits and wait for bad things to happen to convince me--or stop now before it gets worse.
When I was in AA before (for several years)I always "identified out" and wasn't convinced that I really belonged in AA. One of the reasons I stayed for as long as I did was b/c I liked my sponsor and made friends. This time, if I return to AA, it has to be because I really believe that I need the help and support.
Dr. Mark, what do you think, based on the fact that I am more concerned about whether I am an alcoholic rather than my marriage problems?
PS My dad died of cirrhosis of the liver and my sister is a drug addict on methodone, with no intention of being weaned off of it b/c she said it is an excellent anti-depressant for her. But, as I said about myself, I no longer feel the need to self-medicate.
Also, is my husband correct in saying that my bad disposition (which I think he causes) shows that I am an alcoholic even when sober for 20 hours??