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Thread: Should we banish the words alcoholic and alcoholism?

  1. #21
    Premier Sponsor Jasmine's Avatar
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    It is the only drug in the world where, when you stop taking it, you are seen as having disease.
    First of all, that's not true. Many alcoholics never stop drinking until they're dead, so I don't know the remote part of the ballpark from which that assertion emanated.

    The fact that almost everybody drinks has nothing to do with the definition of alcoholism.

    Alcoholism: Habitual intoxication; prolonged and excessive intake of alcoholic drinks leading to a breakdown in health and an addiction to alcohol such that abrupt deprivation leads to severe withdrawal symptoms; n intense persistent desire to drink alcoholic beverages to excess

    The intention of the words is to identify the problem and try to treat it, not to unfairly stigmatize anyone.
    "Life is about dreams. Teaching is about making them come true."

  2. #22
    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Chalmers View Post
    One thing I do agree with is this:

    There certainly is a spectrum. While I think her assertion that anyone who ever drinks is on that spectrum is just utterly absurd, I do think there's a place where someone is not necessarily an alcoholic, but headed in that direction and needs to tighten up the reins. [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Exactly. Both of my boys are very aware of the alcoholism in our extended family and we've talked about how important it is to be aware of their own drinking habits to look out for signs of addiction.

  3. #23
    Premier Sponsor Mare's Avatar
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    I think most people have it in them to be addicted to something---food, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, sex, etc... It's easy in our society. I admire people who don't have some kind of addiction, tbh.

  4. #24
    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    I literally have a mild hangover right now. I do enjoy drinking. Last night, i really enjoyed playing Flip Cup. But I'm also fine not drinking. I don't use drinking for any purpose other than enjoyment. If I couldn't drink anymore for some reason, I'd be a bit sad. I really like the taste of some alcohol, and there's a strong social aspect to it as well. In our current micro-culture (overseas Naval Aviation), it's a very big part of many of our interactions. (I recently did a "culinary tour" of jello shots. ) So it would be a big adjustment, and I'd probably get a lot of questions, and a small amount of well-intended, light-hearted pressure, if I didn't have a clear reason I was willing to share. (We had someone at our event last night who is generally one of the bigger drinkers, but she was on meds and couldn't drink, and as soon as she said that, no one offered her another drink or questioned anything.)

    But it would be fine. I would be fine. And to me, that's the difference between alcoholism and no alcoholism. I'd be mildly annoyed perhaps, and maybe I'd feel a but sad if I was at a meal where someone was raving about the amazing wine. But I'd be fine, and most days or weeks I'd never even think about it or notice.

    To me, this is a lot like people who have gotten in to terrible debt, who then say that credit cards all evil and no one should ever have them. Nope. I use my cc responsibly. I've never carried a balance, other than maybe 2-3 times in my life when I forgot to pay the bill (solved now with auto-pay) and may have incurred a few pennies in interest. I make money with cash back, get the protections associated with card purchases, and can benefit from the convenience. Credit cards--and alcohol--are not evil or dangerous. Some people can't use them responsibly, and that's fine. It's not a moral failing. But don't project that on to everyone else. Do what works for you, and avoid what doesn't. But let everyone else do the same. And own that it's your choices about credit cards or alcohol, not the items themselves, that are problematic.

  5. #25
    Being it, y'all! Lizzie Beth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I literally have a mild hangover right now. I do enjoy drinking. Last night, i really enjoyed playing Flip Cup. But I'm also fine not drinking. I don't use drinking for any purpose other than enjoyment. If I couldn't drink anymore for some reason, I'd be a bit sad. I really like the taste of some alcohol, and there's a strong social aspect to it as well. In our current micro-culture (overseas Naval Aviation), it's a very big part of many of our interactions. (I recently did a "culinary tour" of jello shots. ) So it would be a big adjustment, and I'd probably get a lot of questions, and a small amount of well-intended, light-hearted pressure, if I didn't have a clear reason I was willing to share. (We had someone at our event last night who is generally one of the bigger drinkers, but she was on meds and couldn't drink, and as soon as she said that, no one offered her another drink or questioned anything.)

    But it would be fine. I would be fine. And to me, that's the difference between alcoholism and no alcoholism. I'd be mildly annoyed perhaps, and maybe I'd feel a but sad if I was at a meal where someone was raving about the amazing wine. But I'd be fine, and most days or weeks I'd never even think about it or notice.

    To me, this is a lot like people who have gotten in to terrible debt, who then say that credit cards all evil and no one should ever have them. Nope. I use my cc responsibly. I've never carried a balance, other than maybe 2-3 times in my life when I forgot to pay the bill (solved now with auto-pay) and may have incurred a few pennies in interest. I make money with cash back, get the protections associated with card purchases, and can benefit from the convenience. Credit cards--and alcohol--are not evil or dangerous. Some people can't use them responsibly, and that's fine. It's not a moral failing. But don't project that on to everyone else. Do what works for you, and avoid what doesn't. But let everyone else do the same. And own that it's your choices about credit cards or alcohol, not the items themselves, that are problematic.
    That's a great analogy.

    I really hate drinking. I grew up sheltered. Once I get the slightest buzz I start getting paranoid, I think it was all those repeated warnings as a teen about men who ply you with alcohol so they can have carte blanche later. Or plausible deniability.

    It was the early nineties, when a larger share of the general public equated a woman's drinking to blanket consent to whatever. You should have seen me at my first (and only) spring break in the corner of the tourist bar/meat market, drinking 7-up with an olive in it, eyes darting around trying to locate shady fellas who might be given to spiking a girl's soda when her head was turned. (In my defense, roofies were a big deal at my school that year, boys were paying the local bartenders to do the deed so the girls really didn't stand a chance). I must have looked like combat stress on the Fourth of July. People were always asking me if everything was okay. I also can't hear at bars, so I alternated between extreme boredom and fear that I'm missing something important.

    Paranoia got me through my education, then once I started doing weekend arraignments and started seeing (and smelling) all the pitiful people who got picked up for DWI on Friday and Saturday night - it was more than enough and probably overkill. They're still half-dressed from the night before, hung over, sobbing. Trying to adjust to the idea that they've just been arrested for the first time and scrambling to try and get lawyered up, but they already blew into the intoxilyzer and so they've mostly already convicted themselves, they just don't know it yet. Hearing them retch in the box waiting their turn before the judge. And occasionally you'll get the one who inadvertently killed somebody in the process but often that's a hospital arraignment. Honestly, arraignments on a Sunday morning is a super place to take a kid at risk for alcoholic shenanigans.

    I'm like a case study in how to make a person a lifetime teetotaler. I've been drunk exactly twice in my life. Once with my mom, who giggled at me and put me to bed, and once at the police department.

    They bring in ADA's every year to help the new recruits learn how to give field sobriety tests to actual drunk people. Then they drive you home so they can't get sued. They were trying to just get me to impaired (.08-.10 at the time) but my liver is so inexperienced I shot right past that with very little. And of course I sat next to the Irish girl who's had twice as much, same BAC and is effectively taking everybody's cash at poker while I'm just throwing out random cards. Which is the point - Katie's killing me in the field sobriety tests (except for horizontal gaze nystagmus which no amount of practicing can help you with) but other than that shows no signs of intoxication. Which teaches the new guys you can always be surprised by a BAC result. Appearing sober is one thing, but it doesn't improve your reaction time much in traffic.

    I can understand why people drink, but I never got past the fear of consequences, or the need for control, or something. But man, people really don't like when they're drinking and others aren't. I'm pretty good with the mocktails because the explanation is clearly too long. I also get drowsy pretty fast after even a beer, which is much quicker to say. I'm even more boring after that.

  6. #26
    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie Beth View Post
    That's a great analogy.

    I really hate drinking. I grew up sheltered. Once I get the slightest buzz I start getting paranoid, I think it was all those repeated warnings as a teen about men who ply you with alcohol so they can have carte blanche later. Or plausible deniability.

    It was the early nineties, when a larger share of the general public equated a woman's drinking to blanket consent to whatever. You should have seen me at my first (and only) spring break in the corner of the tourist bar/meat market, drinking 7-up with an olive in it, eyes darting around trying to locate shady fellas who might be given to spiking a girl's soda when her head was turned. (In my defense, roofies were a big deal at my school that year, boys were paying the local bartenders to do the deed so the girls really didn't stand a chance). I must have looked like combat stress on the Fourth of July. People were always asking me if everything was okay. I also can't hear at bars, so I alternated between extreme boredom and fear that I'm missing something important.

    Paranoia got me through my education, then once I started doing weekend arraignments and started seeing (and smelling) all the pitiful people who got picked up for DWI on Friday and Saturday night - it was more than enough and probably overkill. They're still half-dressed from the night before, hung over, sobbing. Trying to adjust to the idea that they've just been arrested for the first time and scrambling to try and get lawyered up, but they already blew into the intoxilyzer and so they've mostly already convicted themselves, they just don't know it yet. Hearing them retch in the box waiting their turn before the judge. And occasionally you'll get the one who inadvertently killed somebody in the process but often that's a hospital arraignment. Honestly, arraignments on a Sunday morning is a super place to take a kid at risk for alcoholic shenanigans.

    I'm like a case study in how to make a person a lifetime teetotaler. I've been drunk exactly twice in my life. Once with my mom, who giggled at me and put me to bed, and once at the police department.

    They bring in ADA's every year to help the new recruits learn how to give field sobriety tests to actual drunk people. Then they drive you home so they can't get sued. They were trying to just get me to impaired (.08-.10 at the time) but my liver is so inexperienced I shot right past that with very little. And of course I sat next to the Irish girl who's had twice as much, same BAC and is effectively taking everybody's cash at poker while I'm just throwing out random cards. Which is the point - Katie's killing me in the field sobriety tests (except for horizontal gaze nystagmus which no amount of practicing can help you with) but other than that shows no signs of intoxication. Which teaches the new guys you can always be surprised by a BAC result. Appearing sober is one thing, but it doesn't improve your reaction time much in traffic.

    I can understand why people drink, but I never got past the fear of consequences, or the need for control, or something. But man, people really don't like when they're drinking and others aren't. I'm pretty good with the mocktails because the explanation is clearly too long. I also get drowsy pretty fast after even a beer, which is much quicker to say. I'm even more boring after that.
    Even as a drinker, I've noticed this and I don't understand. To me, it would be like someone pushing me to eat mushrooms even after I tell them I don't like mushrooms. Why? Why do they care what I eat, or what you drink? I don't feel a need to get others to drink, and I think some of this might be people feeling insecure about their choices. If you aren't drinking, are you judging me? Just in case, I'd better get you drinking as well. That sort of thing. Maybe I would have felt that way when I was 22. But now? I'm good with my choices. I'm even good with someone feeling like it's inappropriate for me to get a bit buzzed, or whatever. That's on them, and consequently, I don't care whether you are drinking or not, as long as you are good company. But I've definitely seen this mentality in action.

  7. #27
    Vicious Trollop Kimm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie Beth View Post
    That's a great analogy.

    I really hate drinking. I grew up sheltered. Once I get the slightest buzz I start getting paranoid, I think it was all those repeated warnings as a teen about men who ply you with alcohol so they can have carte blanche later. Or plausible deniability.

    It was the early nineties, when a larger share of the general public equated a woman's drinking to blanket consent to whatever. You should have seen me at my first (and only) spring break in the corner of the tourist bar/meat market, drinking 7-up with an olive in it, eyes darting around trying to locate shady fellas who might be given to spiking a girl's soda when her head was turned. (In my defense, roofies were a big deal at my school that year, boys were paying the local bartenders to do the deed so the girls really didn't stand a chance). I must have looked like combat stress on the Fourth of July. People were always asking me if everything was okay. I also can't hear at bars, so I alternated between extreme boredom and fear that I'm missing something important.

    Paranoia got me through my education, then once I started doing weekend arraignments and started seeing (and smelling) all the pitiful people who got picked up for DWI on Friday and Saturday night - it was more than enough and probably overkill. They're still half-dressed from the night before, hung over, sobbing. Trying to adjust to the idea that they've just been arrested for the first time and scrambling to try and get lawyered up, but they already blew into the intoxilyzer and so they've mostly already convicted themselves, they just don't know it yet. Hearing them retch in the box waiting their turn before the judge. And occasionally you'll get the one who inadvertently killed somebody in the process but often that's a hospital arraignment. Honestly, arraignments on a Sunday morning is a super place to take a kid at risk for alcoholic shenanigans.

    I'm like a case study in how to make a person a lifetime teetotaler. I've been drunk exactly twice in my life. Once with my mom, who giggled at me and put me to bed, and once at the police department.

    They bring in ADA's every year to help the new recruits learn how to give field sobriety tests to actual drunk people. Then they drive you home so they can't get sued. They were trying to just get me to impaired (.08-.10 at the time) but my liver is so inexperienced I shot right past that with very little. And of course I sat next to the Irish girl who's had twice as much, same BAC and is effectively taking everybody's cash at poker while I'm just throwing out random cards. Which is the point - Katie's killing me in the field sobriety tests (except for horizontal gaze nystagmus which no amount of practicing can help you with) but other than that shows no signs of intoxication. Which teaches the new guys you can always be surprised by a BAC result. Appearing sober is one thing, but it doesn't improve your reaction time much in traffic.

    I can understand why people drink, but I never got past the fear of consequences, or the need for control, or something. But man, people really don't like when they're drinking and others aren't. I'm pretty good with the mocktails because the explanation is clearly too long. I also get drowsy pretty fast after even a beer, which is much quicker to say. I'm even more boring after that.
    Yeah, I am generally a one drink and done kind of gal. I feel the effects of alcohol very quickly. That's why I never have even a sip of alcohol and then drive. Not worth the risk.

    And bars? OMG, no. I have always hated bars. I have no issues with drinking and I avoid bars like the plague. I find them gross and sad, kind of like casinos.

  8. #28
    Vicious Trollop Kimm's Avatar
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    As far as people pressuring others to drink, I must just not be seeing it, or I could be oblivious to it. I would totally laugh if someone tried to pressure me. I would also probably piss them off because I can see myself saying something like, "What are we 13, trying to sneak some wine coolers?"

  9. #29
    Non-praying member Mamapalooza's Avatar
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    I think those most pushy about others drinking are people for whom it's an important part of their own lives. Part of it is insecurity and maybe a defensiveness to convince themselves their own intake is normal. For those of us who don't drink much or at all, there's no vested interest in what others do. Some drunks though, they won't call others out for drinking or not drinking because it makes them think about their own usage and if there's shame and guilt there, they'd rather not. Those tend to be the functional alcoholics who are mostly (or completely) in the closet.

    People I've known with drinking problems put a lot of thought and effort into keeping it at hand, so it's probably foreign to them that others don't. Wherever they go and whatever they do, they pre-plan when to buy their alcohol so they don't run out. "Should I stock up before I leave? Will there be a liquor store on the way? Will it be open late enough? Is it close enough I can drive and get away with it? Is this going to be a drinking crowd? Will I have to share with other people? I'd better take some extra money just in case. If I have to wait around for someone is there a bar close by? That would be a great meeting place. I need to stock up for the weekend. I'll pay that bil next payday or it will cut into my night out." That's the addict's mind at work protecting the addiction. It's baffling to me as a rare drinker that so much thought is put into keeping the drug of choice at hand. It must be exhausting, and it must also keep a lot of other thoughts (and feelings) at bay, which becomes a coping mechanism in itself as the disease really progresses.

    Quite simply, alcohol serves the purpose of changing how we feel. Whether a couple drinks to grease the wheels in a social setting or to better enjoy the music and dance or to ease the DT's, it changes how we feel. Teetotalers don't like that change for various reasons, and the guy with the DT's thinks his life depends on it. Most of us are somewhere in the middle where we don't mind and can tolerate the occasional change in consciousness but for the most part want and need to get through the day with our mind and mood mostly rooted in reality.

    I used to love going down to the bar with DH and friends for the night. I felt looser, less uptight, way funnier, more friendly, and a way better dancer. Sometimes I'd get home and realize I had to keep one foot on the floor while I tried to stop the room from spinning and go to sleep. I knew I'd be a write-off the next day but I wasn't in a fight or a car crash and my kids weren't neglected or running wild. And then I had the last kid and there was no room for even one decent hang over day anymore. This kiddo was so intense and so unlike the others that i needed to be on my game, always. I felt like shit when I wasn't able to be completely there mentally that it just wasn't worth it. So it's been 11years (including pregnancy time) since you could find me at the bar on a Saturday night. Plus drinking makes me tired quickly now so I'll have a couple of rum coolers and I want to go home and watch a movie til I fall asleep. Real life of the party.

    The only time I seriously got my drink on since then was when DH and I were able to leave DD with someone for the night and went to the John Fogerty concert. I started feeling way, way better better than I even imagined I would and at some point my brain said fuck it. . I don't really remember going home, and it was worth every minute.

    DD has a school camping trip for two nights later this month. I told DH, let's go out for a good steak dinner, have a few drinks, maybe find a band playing. He said, what for the first time in 10 years? Yeah, you know, like real adults. I said, but it can't be too late because we both have to work in the morning. Damn reality.
    "Wherever in the world much poverty is found, much religion is found also"

  10. #30
    Vicious Trollop Kimm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamapalooza View Post
    People I've known with drinking problems put a lot of thought and effort into keeping it at hand, so it's probably foreign to them that others don't. Wherever they go and whatever they do, they pre-plan when to buy their alcohol so they don't run out. "Should I stock up before I leave? Will there be a liquor store on the way? Will it be open late enough? Is it close enough I can drive and get away with it? Is this going to be a drinking crowd? Will I have to share with other people? I'd better take some extra money just in case. If I have to wait around for someone is there a bar close by? That would be a great meeting place. I need to stock up for the weekend. I'll pay that bil next payday or it will cut into my night out." That's the addict's mind at work protecting the addiction. It's baffling to me as a rare drinker that so much thought is put into keeping the drug of choice at hand. It must be exhausting, and it must also keep a lot of other thoughts (and feelings) at bay, which becomes a coping mechanism in itself as the disease really progresses.
    That paragraph perfectly describes my relationship with coffee.

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