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I feel like I'm an alcoholic and I don't know how to stop


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This has been happening for so many years now. I just never really thought of it as an issue. When I was younger I used to party a LOT. Literally going out 3, 4 days a week, sometimes everyday. My family has a good financial background and unfortunately my parents gave me a lot of comfort when I was younger and since they went through poverty when they were younger they felt like they wanted to give me everything. I'm very grateful for it, but I also feel like it made me very accommodated. 

Anyway, this is just a little background on me. But when I used to go out, I used a lot of drugs, I was always out of my mind, dancing, and I don't regret it because I had lots of fun and it made me jump into my music career which is my true passion. But at the same time, I came to realisation that I was constantly "busy". I was either working crazy from Monday to Friday, or I was spending my time partying Friday to Sunday. I never really had time on my own. 

Then COVID came. And the first year of it was really chill for me. Anxiety levels were low and I had a great time with my housemates at home doing lockdown for months (I live in Melbourne and we endured the longest lockdown in the world). But then I went through a toxic relationship last year and it destroyed me mentally. Ever since then, I've never been the same. 

I'm now 28 and I'd say I'm pretty financially stable and responsible, I'm very dedicated and hard working, but every time I feel anxious, I drink. And it's not just a glass of wine. It's a whole bottle of wine. Three, four times a week. Whenever I feel anxious it's like my brain sets an alarm off and I sprint to the bottle shop which is just across the road and bam, I'm numb and no longer feeling sad (or so I think). 

Honestly I feel so weak and I wish I could fight my demons without having to resort to alcohol. I quit drugs because I feel like they damage my mental health. But when I used to do drugs, I didn't drink, so I can't help but think this is just me continuing my addiction and running away from my mind and problems. 

I feel ashamed admitting this and I've only talked to one friend about this because she's not judgemental at all, but I feel very alone and hopeless in this. I'm very unhappy in general, I've had many failed romantic relationships, I've been physically and mentally abused and I've been through a lot of issues in life. Deep down I just wanted to find a partner to settle down with a have a peaceful happy life but I feel like I also shouldn't resort to that as my source of happiness. 

I want to quit drinking but I feel like if I do, I'll have to face my own sadness, and I don't want to feel sad anymore.

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Kudos to you for recognizing you have a problem. As @Seraphim  said, unfortunately your addiction didn't end. It just changed from drugs to alcohol. 

Believe me, alcohol will damage your mental health, too. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's not bad. 

I think talking to a doctor is a good idea, look for AA meetings in your area, and other resources for help. 

Good luck. You can overcome this improve your life.  

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54 minutes ago, katmisj said:

I want to quit drinking but I feel like if I do, I'll have to face my own sadness, and I don't want to feel sad anymore.

Get to a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Be frank about the drinking. Tests will reveal the liver damage. Alcohol also is a depressant, so your depression is both untreated and exacerbated by alcohol.

Ask for a referral to an appropriate detox and rebab. Quitting cold turkey can be dangerous for extremely heavy drinkers. You'll also get some tools and support to stay sober and learn better coping skills.

See if support groups could help after you detox:

https://www.aa.org/self-assessment

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Your doctor will not laugh at you or shame you. He or she will direct you to a place that can give you good, supportive help.

Drinking damages your body as well as your mind.

My grandfather drank himself to death. He died alone in the hospital. Don't let that happen to you.

I'm glad you recognize you have a problem. That's excellent. Now please give yourself the self love to get healthy and well.

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5 hours ago, katmisj said:

I'm very unhappy in general, I've had many failed romantic relationships, I've been physically and mentally abused and I've been through a lot of issues in life. Deep down I just wanted to find a partner to settle down with a have a peaceful happy life but I feel like I also shouldn't resort to that as my source of happiness. 

I want to quit drinking but I feel like if I do, I'll have to face my own sadness, and I don't want to feel sad anymore.

Sorry but you already know what you need to do - deal with this ^^^.

Using alcohol is just avoiding and postponing addressing the real issues in your life. A form of self medicating that can end badly for you and add to your issues. Your post is also mostly about avoiding what you KNOW you need to deal with.

You want to focus on alcohol rather than deal with the actual problems of trauma and abuse. Please get yourself to therapy, specifically trauma therapy, and get this sorted. Once you do that, your "need" to drink will evaporate. Stop avoiding doing what you need to do for yourself. Consider that avoiding is actually more painful and destructive than just getting to work addressing the real issues. While drinking may alleviate the anxiety temporarily, that anxiety is still eating away at you in the background and it won't stop until you do address the root cause.

Think of it like diving into a pool - the anticipation that the water will be cold is way worse than the reality. Once you dive in, it's actually fun. Same for you - once you start taking steps to deal with the trauma, you'll start to feel genuine relief and peace instead of the sadness that you fear.

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While not intended as medical advice, based on my own experiences, you'd probably be ok with long term use of an Rx medication which is a much healthier and more responsible way to deal with the anxiety.

Start with your PCP. Sometimes they'll refer you to a psychiatrist.

 

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