Here’s Why I Can’t Drink

I’ve been pretty lazy about posting and have been spending my time doing other things, mostly shopping. I shop a lot. I don’t even buy that much, just therapeutically shopping away, searching for the PERFECT boots and the PERFECT flats. I feel a void in my closet lacking these sublime objects. I’m afraid this feeling is leaking over into my life in the form of low-grade generalized discontent. Not sure if the shopping is a symptom or a cause.

I’ve also been putting some energy into pondering what will be my long-term sobriety and the reasons why this must be. I absolutely accept that drinking does not work for me, for my body, for my brain. That’s not even negotiable. What I’m chewing on is “what does that mean?”

Does that mean that I have a disease (like the Medical Model) or that I am powerless over alcohol (like the AA Model)? Am I broken, or am I actually WORKING PROPERLY?? Did I do this to myself?? Does it matter?? So to shush the hysterical inquisitive voice in my head, of course I googled about until I had some satisfactory answers.

First of all, I kept coming across the term “Alcohol Use Disorder” or AUD, which I really dig! Most of the research concludes that, for various reasons involving tiny objects inside your brain, both long-term excessive and binge drinking (chronic & acute) can lead to this disorder, referred to by some as alcoholism.

Further googley research uncovered this interesting factoid: AUD is the combination of two former designations: Alcohol Abuse (mental) and Alcohol Dependence (physical) from the DSM!! Which is SUPER CONVENIENT and alcohol addiction is now all-inclusive ONE STOP SHOPPING. Here’s the handy revised and easy-to-read-and-self-diagnose chart (also found here but you have to scroll):

Click for larger table

It’s way less specific than a lot online tests that insist you have to lose your job, alienate all family members and generally smell in order to qualify. Personally, I pegged 9 out of 11 on the blue list. DING DING DING!! Winnah! So yah, I’m totally AUD, folks.

This actually makes me feel better. So much of Alcohol/Sobriety Industrial Complex revolves around feelings and cravings and triggers and things you can’t touch or see. It clearly defines the effect of heavy drinking but it cares little for the cause. I’m not saying the cause isn’t important, just that Science doesn’t give a shit about anything fluffy like that. But this model definitely separates the person from the disorder and that’s what I enjoy about it. It’s a solid go-to for “Why I Can’t Drink Any Alcohol At All Ever Amen”.

Clearly, we’re still all left with the reasons we over-drank and got to the point where our brains changed into thirsty alcohol sponges. Some of them are complex, some are obvious. Some are induced by short-term stress and some are the result of long term trauma. For moi, it was an easy solution to a temporary problem and I only ever intended it to be temporary. BUT THEN I GOT THE AUD. Shit. Bad luck for me.

Normally, the best thing about figuring out “what you have” is that now you can seek a cure. Ha-HA! That’s where Science fails us- no fucking cure. Not yet anyway. That sounds like A BIG PROBLEM, doesn’t it? But of course it isn’t. Because the only way to manage (not cure, only manage) the AUD is not to drink, which puts us personally 100% in control of our health. So that’s the good news. The bad news is that we’re rather on our own to figure out how we’re going to pull that shit off and just casually NEVER DRINK AGAIN, you know, for medicinal purposes. And then again, maybe that’s the good news, too.

So, here’s a thought experiment: if your AUD/Alcoholism/Alcohol Dependence (whatever you prefer to call it) could be cured- let’s say there was medication that would fix your brain and return it to its virginal pre-drinking state- would you try “normal” drinking again?




35 thoughts on “Here’s Why I Can’t Drink

  1. Firstly – all 11!
    I wouldn’t try it – as it says in the big book “I’m like a man who loses his legs, I can’t grow new ones.” Now I’ve been away from alcohol for a long time and enjoyed so much without and feel so much more without it why would I want to drink “normally”. Plus I wouldn’t – I’m sorry I really believe I wouldn’t drink normally I may only drink one or two occasionally but trust me it would be in my head the obsession about it. Finally the UK government recently announced that there is no safe limit to drinking regularly – i.e. drink can harm even if you only drink a few drinks reguarly. I’m so much better off without it that I’ll stay as I am thanks…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. No. Because it’s just a beverage. I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t drink Coca Cola. I also don’t eat rice pudding, or pancakes. I don’t suffer because of the lack of drinking alcohol, Coca Cola, rice pudding or pancakes. in fact my life is infinitely better without all of the above. I don’t understand why anyone would take a drug so you could drink another drug. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like the tables though. I also am totally AUD. It’s about time we blamed the real cause of the problem – the drug – rather than it be a personality/genetic/biological defect of the person. Someday. For now, I’m going to enjoy my alcohol free life and listen to a guy playing the banjo.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yep, a big fat 9 out of 11 for me too there, in fact pretty much the only thing I hadn’t done was get arrested. Yet. Oof.
    Re: the would I drink if I could normally – parts of me instantly think “yes, I wish I could”, but I don’t thing I could ever trust myself to. I don’t really think drinking normally ever appealed to me if I’m brutally honest.. and I’m with Furtheron there, after reading about there being no safe level of drinking, I don’t want to take any chances. I seriously think there’s no safe level of drinking for me anyway!!! Red xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Betty!
    Yes to the AUD, for sure.
    I’m like Red, I never got arrested, but that was only a matter of luck.
    I wonder if I was ever a normal drinker. I was a binger from the start.
    I would worry my brain couldn’t be fixed.
    I’ve learned so much about life by being sober, and I am so much happier, even when I am sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Im 11. Got arrested and almost lost my job over a one off incident. Very few people know that one. And I think I supress it.

    Right now, nope. I feel like I missed out on and fucked up so much because of my drink dependency why would I go back to it willingly. Yes, it’s hard, and yes, sometimes I just want to say fuck it and ‘escape’ but really, no. It’s over. Even when drunk people tell me what fun they had – I see passing out, slurring, hangovers, anxiety, memory loss. Why would I want that again?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. tick, tick, tick and tick some didn’t happen to me but lie Wendy, it would of only been matter of time. I thank my lucky stars I gave up when I did and I didn’t lose more, like my mental state an health wasn’t enough? Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I sincerely hope not. Sort of under the heading of ‘If I knew then what I know now, I never would have done that in the first place.’ Y’know? Like now that I’ve had to go thru all this to ‘get’ AUD (and, er, manage it) I don’t want to risk starting it all again. Does that make sense?



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  9. AUD. I like it. Thanks for the thought provoking post! Of course I wish that there was a drug that I could take that would take the psychological perceived need for alcohol when a person is just starting out in sobriety (like me). Not so they could drink, just to give themselves a boost towards success in those first fragile months. I don’t think I’d want to keep taking it, though. It does seem counter-intuitive to take a drug to ingest another one “normally”. But maybe wishing there way a drug that would fix things is what got me into drinking in the first place… :-p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bet, I’m happy to provoke your thoughts;) Anathu posted a link to some meds that supposedly do exactly what you’re describing. But if you quit on your own you’ll always have the tools on your person, whereas you could run out of meds.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I’d feel better about myself if I just quit and worked on the things that made me drink to begin with! Treating the disease rather than the symptom. And a lot cheaper, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. There’s so much grief and turmoil for me associated with drinking any kind of alcohol, I wouldn’t drink normally again even if I could. I’ve come so far in the last year, and all without drinking. Even if alcohol no longer exerted power over me–or even got me slightly buzzed–I know what my mind would do even if I held a glass of wine in my hand and brought it to my lips. Bad things. Very bad things.

    I do, however, love pancakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. AUD – I like it! This is an awesome post. I hate the term alcoholic – we do have a brain disorder. We need to get the world to rethink the stigma of addiction. Would I drink again – NEVER – even if I could. I love that I am now in control of my brain, with all it’s twists and turns, and angst and emotions. They are mine – warts and all.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I couldn’t imagine a cure that would make me enjoy a moderate amount of alcohol, consistently. Honestly, that does not appeal. The solution, if not “cure”, is not drinking and the challenge I guess is the beginning and getting comfortable there, and then later, periodically, when we get restless. Overall, pretty simple solution and I’ll take it. Re: naltrexone, a family member swore it helped him drink less, but now he’s on the wagon (several years now).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Boy! Have I ever had these same thoughts!! And I’ve come to pretty much the same conclusion… Button line I am a “problem drinker”. Is that a disease? Is that genetic or curable? Doesn’t matter! That’s is a relief, when you don’t care so much about the “why” just the “what”. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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