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Is this alcohol abuse? - May 18th 2013, 12:39 AM

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Whenever I'm upset or stressing, instead of keying myself (always did that before), I've taken to drinking instead. It's not like five cups of vodka or glasses of wine in a day, but I fall back on alcohol as a way to relieve myself. I'll probably have one bottle of fruity alcoholic beverage or mix wine or coconut rum with Sprite in a day. If I feel like something warm, I'll brew vanilla coffee and put in some plain Baileys liquer. So, I'm not getting completely wasted.

But I want to know, what is this? How can I change it? I don't want to go back to keying my wrists, I've gone nearly nine months without doing that!
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Re: Is this alcohol abuse? - May 18th 2013, 01:23 AM

I don't believe that you are abusing alcohol at all. You're not drinking to get drunk, you just enjoy the feeling. You enjoy that drinking just a little bit takes the edge off. If you continue, however, or increase your intake, it can be unhealthy and can turn into an addiction. I understand that you want some kind of distraction. Have you tried writing down your feelings? What I mean by this is, when you feel the need to take a drink, why dont you stop and think why you want the drink in the first place. This can help you assess why you are making the decision to drink and can help you change your actions.

Instead of drinking or "keying" your wrists, have you tried other methods of pain? Less destructive? Like pinching or snapping a rubber band on your skin? This helped me quit cutting. I must say congratulations also! 9 months is a long time! You've come far, so don't let yourself fall back into that destructive behavior. Try distracting yourself with an activity that you enjoy, or talk to a trusted friend or adult. (:

I hope this helps a little. (:

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Re: Is this alcohol abuse? - May 18th 2013, 02:41 AM

I agree with Bullet, 9 months is a long time! You should be extremely proud of yourself. I know alcohol abuse, and what you describe is definitely not that. I personally don't see anything wrong with have a drink every day. Especially if it's a beer or glass of red wine. Those things are suppose to be good for you. BUT, if your 1 drink turns into 2, and then 3, and so on....then you'd have a problem. I don't know much about the "keying" of wrists, but it sounds painful. Have you ever tried meditation? It really is a wonderful thing. It sounds dumb, I know. I thought it was too, until I set my mind to it and it allowed me to see things in a whole new perspective. Life in general, really.
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Re: Is this alcohol abuse? - May 18th 2013, 09:46 AM

Eh, I must only slightly disagree with the above users. Although this currently wouldn't be binge drinking or seemingly "abusive," coping mechanisms never start out extreme. They start out small, and slowly grow larger and larger. I would try not to make alcohol a habit, even if small. Alcohol isn't for dealing with life. When used correctly, it's just for one night while socializing, and never to an extreme. But people will abuse it, either privately or socially, but it never starts out that way.

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Re: Is this alcohol abuse? - May 19th 2013, 12:40 AM

I am a former alcohol abuser, used to drink 30+ a week, most nights. At that point in my life it was definitely a coping mechanism, and very harmful. Now I've cut back to about 10 drinks a week, spread over several nights. I don't see anything wrong with your pattern of use. Alcohol is an anxiolytic drug, like benzodiazepines or others. Occasional use is generally benign, but take care that it doesn't become a chronic, escalating-dose condition. Just as with other drugs, you may develop a tolerance, but taking higher doses can become dangerous both physically and mentally.

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Re: Is this alcohol abuse? - May 30th 2013, 07:22 PM

I agree with Coexist, using alcohol as a coping mechanism could lead you down a darker road. You're essentially replacing one self destruction act with another. Whilst at this point in time you aren't really drinking much, you're still putting a reliance in it which is not healthy. That reliance can easily take hold of you, you may find yourself drinking more and more as time goes on or as you enter more challenging and stressful times.

I would suggest visiting the Self Harm forum and their distraction/coping tips to point you in a healthier direction.
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