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asleep at mal 9/09
alumiere
functional alcoholic? 
1/18/09 14:11
asleep at mal 9/09
so a friend of mine recently talked about his desire to give up all drinking and why he's doing so, and t also doesn't drink unless we're having a party at home - while he enjoys an occasional cocktail it's not enough to want to risk driving under the influence

i frequently question the amount i drink myself - but i have different reactions than they do - and the decision i've come to is that i need to cut down on my consumption (oh, and all i drink is amaretto di saronna - on ice or with club soda) because totally cutting it out would mean:

taking more painkillers (and i'm allergic to most everything so the pain meds on my shelf are all narcotics) - booze is my preferred method of dealing with the lower level pain (ie: 6-8 on my scale), mainly so i can get some sleep or go dancing/do a lot of walking/etc without taking a massive amount of painkillers. and my body - she does not like her reactions to the narcotics (nausea, dizziness, clammy skin/feverish, nightmares and night terrors), nor does my brain - i know i'm probably just high, but to me i feel stupid, incapable of lucid thought or speech - and it is not pleasant or fun

i'd also become even less likely to talk to people i don't already know well - the alcohol knocks down the terminally shy a peg or two (and yeah i've been put on meds for that - they're useless, just make me sleepy and totally numb, no more likely to talk to people when i don't want to move)

but sometimes i worry that i drink more than i should, so i've been keeping track of my current alcohol consumption on spark along with my diet - and it's not as bad as i thought it was (2-4oz of amaretto a day, ususally with my before bed snack unless i'm out at a club or a party in which case i may hit 6-8oz over the course of the night) - and since i don't drive to clubs anymore i think i'll keep tracking this, but stop worrying quite so much

this may all be a rationalization or a crutch, but really i figure a few drinks are better than an addiction to painkillers any day
Comments 
1/18/09 22:50 (UTC)
I sometimes wonder about our definition of alcoholism in this country.

We say we have a problem with binge drinking. However, our definition of binge drinking is 5 drinks on one occasion for a man, or four drinks on one occasion for a woman. In Sweden, it's 1/2 bottle of liquor or 2 bottles of wine on one occasion. In Canada, it's eight drinks on any one day. In Finland, it's more than a six-pack in a sitting. The UK's definition seems to be 8 or more drinks for a man, or 6 or more for a woman.

I feel like the US has gone to a very Puritanical definition of what constitutes "binge drinking."
1/19/09 3:23 (UTC)
Very neat observations on cross-cultural standards there. It's funny how we all agree on the same concepts but never venture to see what the assumptions behind those concepts are.

I don't know _your_ answer - hell I don't even trust _mine_.

I've seen someone close to me recently has slipped past "I wonder" to "Wow, should I intervene or run coz they're totally fucked." That person went from drinking, to more drinking, to not being able to hold a job...to no longer having a consistent gauge of reality to the degree she is unable to interact effectively with friends (if any remain) and family.

So perhaps the amount isn't so important as the effect.

I'd be more bitchy about the amounts if I wasn't recently in the spot of addressing originless pain with chemicals myself.
(Deleted comment)
1/19/09 3:11 (UTC)
I think as long as you're in control of what you're imbibing, and don't see the meter steadily crawling up, you're fine. What seems to differentiate use from addiction is that ability to set a maximum over which you don't go.

(Our culture has a rather odd attitude towards addiction. I'm not sure why it's okay to take Prozac but not heroin -- the latter's a better antidepressant. But hey -- that's just me.)
1/19/09 3:38 (UTC)
I'm not sure why it's okay to take Prozac but not heroin -- the latter's a better antidepressant.

um, not for nothing, but it's because people don't die from bad prozac. they don't OD on prozac. how many friends have you lost to prozac?

right.

and by the way, for anyone who has stared heroin addiction in the face, this is one of the most painful and offensive things i have ever read.
1/19/09 5:03 (UTC)
I think the mallory's camera person meant no offense. Reading between the liens, I'm sure he/she meant y'know, government-controlled heroin, fantasy heroin, if it was used & controlled like Prozac is, then it would be more effective. At least that's what I took from it.
1/19/09 22:33 (UTC)
i am sure you are right.
but after almost losing my husband (pre-marriage)....
it gets the 'ol blood boiling.
plus, i just had a root canal and so am quite literally a bitch-face right now.

hope all is well with you lovely.
1/19/09 16:08 (UTC)
I'm not going to hijack alumiere's LJ for a conversation that's not going to go anywhere, but yes, people have overdosed on fluoxetine hydrochloride and you are certainly incorrect if you think I haven't had first hand experience with heroin addiction.
1/19/09 3:35 (UTC)
devan once called me a drunk.
i told him i supposed it was better than smoking half a lid per day.

EVERYTHING depends on where you are standing.
1/19/09 5:01 (UTC)
Y'know, I don't know how much a lid is..! :) & drink or anything else, Devon should talk! That boy could pickle people with his breath back in the day.

I still use MJ. I don't do it nearly as much as I used to. It's honestly mostly for the pain of the PCOS & its drugs. I can feel things moving down there..kinda like pain goldfish. I have taken prescription painkillers before, they make me want to sleep & puke. A teeny bit of the good green stuff & I'm not out of pain..it's just a little removed & I can work. Weird, huh?

I also do one month completely w/out anything, per year. The only thing I honestly couldn't give up now if I tried is coffee.

It doesn't sound like you drink much, or thoughtlessly, or that it inhibits your ability to function. My dad was an alcoholic; he hid drink, lied about drink, stealthed drink into his OJ. K, your use does not read like abuse to me.
(Deleted comment)
1/19/09 16:00 (UTC)
this is only from my prespective:

Back pain can cause one to turn to alcohol as a
pain treatment, if not tightly controlled
it can become very habit forming.

I personally know that I prefer to drink
for pain relief when I am going out or hanging
with friends.(I don't drink at home, cause of the children)
I HATE fucking prescriptions!!!!!!
they make me sick and loopy and tired, and to be honest- they
don't make the pain go away. Pain pills just make you not care,
OH and they make you more prone to depression(that is, if the chronic pain
doesn't drive you over that edge)

there is a fine, blurry line when it comes to alcoholism.
BUT until they can actually come up with a version of pain releif
that brings releif, Those who suffer from debilitating, chronic pain
must find their own ways of functioning in the world.
it's like the adage "walk a mile in someones shoes..." but more like
"Live a day in my Pain , before you judge"

Good luck with balancing pain with life..
peace and health to you
-Jericho