Am I Weak-Willed or an Alcoholic?

by Victoria
(Trinidad and Tobago)

I'm 24 years old woman and I think I may be an alcoholic.

When I'm sober I don't have obsessive thoughts about drinking or feel a NEED to drink. But, when I am out with friends and alcohol is available I always overdo it and end up drunk (and usually drive).

My hangovers are like emotional car-wrecks of anxiety, depression, panic, and guilt. But, although I know how horrible I feel, I still don’t abstain. I stopped going out for weeks but ended up going out and got wasted after promising myself not drink . Each time I thought I could practice controlled drinking I failed.

The last time I drank was New Year's Eve and the panic and guilt that followed was so horrendous that I haven't been out for 5 months.

I've been going to AA meetings but I still don't know if I'm an alcoholic because I don't drink every day, and I don't obsess over drinking. However, if an occasion calls for alcohol I struggle with control even though I know the negative consequences.

I'd really appreciate getting your feedback on this - by the way, I think your outreach to educate and help those with addictions is a fabulous contribution to society - you are very appreciated - keep doing what you do. Thank you so much.


What seems to be going on is that you’re a binge drinker. This means that you can abstain from alcohol as long as it’s not around, however, when once you start drinking, you can’t stop.

This can be confusing because binge drinkers don’t fit the alcoholic stereotype. However, an alcoholic is someone whose life becomes unmanageable when they drink.

This is a substance abuse problem and AA meetings or counseling would be helpful to create a rewarding life that's alcohol free.

Thanks for your excellent contribution to the site and your kind words.


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