I was well into 18 months of sobriety before I could say "alcoholic" out loud when referring to "my problem". In fact, it wasn't until I went into the AA rooms and said, "Hi, I'm Sherry and I'm an alcoholic" that I really came to terms with it.
Up until then I was a "problem drinker". I fully expected to get sober, figure out what my problem was (childhood trauma, empty nest syndrome, stress, whatever) and then I would be able to drink like a normal person...you know...the way I used to drink.
The only flaw in that logic was that I NEVER drank like a normie. Here's why...
- Normal people don't watch other people's wine glasses and mentally comment on what is left in the glass.
- Normal people don't worry about getting "enough".
- Normal people don't try and convince everyone to keep drinking when they want to go home.
- Normal people don't dread last call.
- Normal people don't plan their entire day or weekend around when and how they will drink.
- Normal people aren't devastated when an event is cancelled, not because they were really looking forward to the event, but because they were really looking forward to an excuse to drink.
- Normal people don't look for excuses to drink. They either drink or they don't...end of shory.
- Normal people have no reason to lie about their drinking - especially to themselves.
- Normal people don't lie to their doctors about how much they drink - they don't have to because it's not a big deal. (Okay..maybe some do but it doesn't have an impact because they are normal.)
- Normal people don't blackout on a nightly basis or everytime they drink.
- Normal people don't write notes to themselves in said blackout that say, "Normal people don't drink like you do."
- Normal people don't make their children cry because of their drinking.
- Normal people don't consistently Google, "Am I drinking too much?" and take the tests over and over again hoping for a different result. (That's the definition of crazy you know.)
- Normal people don't hoard alcohol because they're afraid that they'll be a snowstorm, blackout, monsoon or apocalypse and they might run out (I am not even kidding about this).
- Normal people don't spend all day looking forward to that first drink in the evening like it's Christmas.
- Normal people don't have tryglyceride levels of 580 (they should be lower than 150 - mine are now down to 118...woot!).
This is how I FINALLY admitted that I was a full blown drunk. Didn't matter how "high functioning" I was. Didn't matter that I went to work everyday, cared for my children, loved my husband, cleaned the house, cooked food...none of that mattered. What mattered was that I was not one of the normal people.
And the feeling that I had once I made this admission?