I used to think that there was no way I was an alcoholic. It was so easy for me to look at my drinking and then look at someone else’s and think that I was not that bad. I would say that my bottom was pretty high. I wonder how many people who get sober have high bottoms. I think there are more of us than we think.
When I read recovery blogs or posts from other alcoholics or when I listen to stories in AA, I usually can pick something out of the story that I relate to and here are a few:
1. Having an obsessive mind (even if I am not obsessing over wine, I obsess over finances, exercise, what my best friend said , where my daughter should go to college, etc)
2. Problems falling asleep or staying asleep after a night of drinking
3. shame and guilt
4. having a super stressful yet productive day and looking forward to wine as my reward
5. Making promises to myself to change my drinking habits (I did this one for 25 years but it looks like I am finally following through on that promise)
6. Being aware of what others are drinking
7. Drinking a glass or two of wine before a party or any function where there will be drinking
8. Drinking wine after the party
9. Drinking alone
10. Having plenty of drinking stories where I drank too much and acted like an idiot
The list goes on and on of things I relate to.
Even with all that I relate to, my alcoholic mind could easily pick out the things that other alcoholics did that I didn’t relate to. I could find ways that I am not that bad and therefore not an alcoholic. Here is a few things that I never did:
1. Drank and drove (I just hosted a lot of the parties at my house and that means no driving and my hubby is a normie and designated driver…lucky me, okay, let’s not say never, probably three or four times in 25 years, see how my alcoholic mind quickly dismisses those times)
2. black out (since I have been sober I have learned about grey outs, I did a lot of grey outs where I would remember something if you reminded me but only if you reminded me)
3. Drink entire bottles of wine every night (I did drink an entire bottle of wine just not every night, I would save just a little bit on the nights that I drank almost a bottle)
4. Had my family or friends think I needed to stop or think I had a problem (I think this is partially because I surround myself with friends that also drink like I do, they see nothing wrong with drinking daily because they do it too and if they don’t do it everyday that didn’t really realize I was doing it everyday)
5. Drink hard alcohol. (I would tell myself that I didn’t drink hard alcohol, but really I did, I just didn’t drink it every night because I knew that drinking hard alcohol meant that I was crossing a line. I spent years not drinking it at all and then slowly but surely I was drinking it at least once a week.)
This list also goes on and on. I could easily pick out the things that make me not an alcoholic or not that bad. But, I don’t want to. There was something about my drinking that was not right and even if I am not as bad as this person or that person I am bad enough to need to stop.
I think there a lot of us that are high bottom alcoholics and sometimes that can be a bad thing. Because, it is easy for us to find the differences instead of the similarities. If we let our disease take over our brain we continue drinking because hey, we never blacked out like Cindy Lou the alcoholic down the street. We completely forget about all of the things that we had in common with other alcoholics. That right there is how we can end up spending another five years in our disease. It progresses and then there you are with more similarities than differences because you crossed line after line that you didn’t think you would cross. I have already crossed enough lines and I am not going to wait around for a lower bottom because I have had enough.
At 60 days sober I can say that getting sober is the best decision I could have ever made. I am so glad I found this soberphere and that I was able to quiet wolfie and not keep drinking. I am so glad that I don’t let whether or not I am a high bottom alcoholic or a low bottom alcoholic define my alcoholism. I am an alcoholic. period.