As many of you are aware i started to attend AA meetings at the beginning of January, to finally confront my alcoholism.
Wow that is great. Well done. You got there before you ended up nearly dead (which is unfortunately when some people get there).
Since then i went the first 7 weeks without a drink, but then went away for a lads weekend and ended up getting drunk over a 3 day break. I learnt from this that i could not control my drinking, so upon coming back i stopped drinking again.
Please re-read your last sentence. You cannot control your drinking. Your drinking has been so out of control that you label yourself an alcoholic.
This then led to another 7 weeks without a drink. But last Saturday was my birthday so i went out on the Friday night and drank again, however this time i didn't get drunk, but controlled it, this also led to me having two glasses of wine on Sunday, and i can honestly say that i didn't feel the crave for any more.
That is normal, even for an alcoholic. Many alcoholics have control in certain circumstances. They function at work, for instance, only drinking when they're not at work. Some only drink at the weekends, but they do it to great excess when noone else is watching. The one common denominator is that they ultimately are not in control of their drinking. They might be able to drink successfully at family events or parties, they might be able to control it during the working week, but ultimately the drink takes over again at other times. Its almost always a deteriorating situation, so more alcohol is needed for the right "effect" and the person's mood is more affected by the bad habit (psychologically and chemically in the brain) therefore this person is only "pretending" to be OK when they're apparently in control. It will just get worse.
Now as for attending AA meetings, they have really helped, i feel alot happier within myself since and have done many active things that i wouldn't have dreamt of doing this time last year. But what i really want to do is to control my drinking like any 'normal' person, rather than abstain from it, which is what the AA advocates. I don't know whether i agree that its a disease, that the first drink will lead to me getting drunk.
Welcome to the club! Every single alcoholic I've met has said that they went through a phase where they *really wanted* to drink normally. Where they wanted to have controlled drinking. Now if someone truly has a problem with alcohol (and you've admitted you do) any controlled drinking is simply a smokescreen so that you can keep alcohol in your life because its too hard to think of life without it.
1. Am I trying to have "controlled" drinking because its too hard to imagine life without even one drink?
2. When I do have a drink (even a controlled one) what is my REAL motivation for doing so? Is it for the "effect"? (if so, you're still clinging to the drug). You will discover that you are not drinking the drink for the taste (like most normal drinkers).
3. Can I "take it or leave it"? The answer is very likely "no" and the whole time you are "controlled" drinking your thoughts are totally clouded with "how many have I had?" "can I have one more?" "will anyone notice if I have more?" "how many have the others had?" "if I have water I can have more alcohol" etc. etc. etc. THIS is NOT controlled drinking. It is OBSESSIVE drinking and it isn't healthy.
I am seriously thinking of replacing the AA meetings with getting myself on a local programme, which can go along the line of controlled social drinking. I hate the idea of never being able to drink again, so really feel as though i have to at least attempt this route, before i choose to abstain totally.
Try anything. I dont' blame you. If you can gradually reduce the alcohol, rather than going cold turkey, this might be a workable solution. However, consider the above points.....you will probably never be actually in control of the alcohol whilst you are still drinking.
NOW one thing I will say is this: you have a big problem with alcohol abuse. There is a chance that ONE DAY you will be able to drink normally. However, don't you think that stopping drinking altogether for a time is what you actually NEED? You can form a life without alcohol in it. You can function without the obsession and horror of addiction. THEN think about controlled drinking maybe?
Nowadays I don't drink at all. I'm pregnant for one thing, and I've not had any alcohol at all during the pregnancy. When the baby comes I fully intend to keep up this habit of not drinking at all because I think that if I *have to* drink then this reveals a problem that I'd rather NOT have!
I hope this helped.