You’ve stopped drinking Sarah, why? Were you/are you an alcoholic?

Well, no I don’t think I was an alcoholic but it depends what you google to look up the definitions of casual drinking, alcohol abuse or alcoholism.  If you go by UK guidelines I was drinking (on average) less than the 14 units per week which put me firmly in the low risk category.  I’d have considered myself to be a casual drinker, a G and T on a Thursday night, a few glasses of wine on a Friday night and a couple on a Saturday night.  Several dry weeks at a time and then a binge every now and again.  I hate the term binge… but that’s what it was.  A night out with the girls where the intention was to enjoy some fizz or a few cocktails but the reality was always drinking far too much and feeling rubbish the next day.  So whilst I didn’t fit into the government guidelines of drinking too much and I never had any of the following troubles associated with alcoholism…

  • Drinking alone and in secrecy
  • Losing interest in other activities that were once enjoyable
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Making drinking a priority over responsibilities, such as employment and family
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Extreme mood swings and irritability
  • Having a drink first thing in the morning
  • Continuing to drink, despite health, financial and family problems

I did have…

  • An inability to stop or control the amount of alcohol that was consumed after I had drunk 2 glasses of fizz on a night out

and

  • Feelings of guilt and shame associated with drinking

Both of these issues I wanted to put a stop to.  Deep down I know that I struggle to say “No” to a third drink after the second one so if I don’t drink at all that makes my life so much easier.  The feelings of guilt and shame are gone because I am not dealing with trying to moderate how much I drink!

I really don’t care if people think that I have stopped drinking because I was an alcoholic (there’s no shame in that), people will judge you however they find you and that’s their business not mine!