Using wine to cope with caregiving & afraid I'll become an alcaholic...

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I started "Happy Hour" a glass of wine in the late afternoon w/mom about 2 yrs ago. I always enjoyed an occasional glass of wine, but, now I look forward to a glass or 2 to cope w/care giving. My mom enjoys her wine, but I can't help but wonder if I'll become an alcoholic, it does get me through those tough days when I get stressed and or depressed , etc....does anyone else have this problem???


I'm not at all an expert on drinking problems, but I do know many, many people who routinely have a glass or two of wine a day and who are definitely not alcoholics. (I'd be joining them for the wine if it weren't for some health issues.)

Do you have days when you move "happy hour" up an hour (or two or three?) Do you have some days when you don't stop at two glasses? Does the drinking ever get in the way of doing what you should do or want to do? If something interferes with happy hour and you skip your wine then, do you feel like you have to make up for it later?

I think it wise to keep an eye on what patterns are developing, but I don't think a couple glasses of wine a day will automatically turn you into an alcoholic.

Are you taking any drugs? Do you have any sleep problems? There can be other reasons to avoid alcohol besides fear of alcoholism.

Best wishes to you. Bottoms up!
I think Jeannegibbs, as usual, is dead on here. I am replying because I just asked a social worker about this for myself, yesterday. SInce my Dad moved in seven months and a week ago (but who is counting?), I have gone from 2-3 glasses a MONTH to 1-2 a night. I'd occasionally skip a night, but not often. She asked almost exactly the same questions Jeannegibbs asked. What is telling to me is that, when I get away (and I have been blessed to be able to do that for two seven day stints, I'm not interested in the wine at all. It helps me now, and that helps him. If it's getting in the way of other parts of your life, it may not be the problem you fear.
Sending love and gratitude to you for even asking...and jeannegibbs for her (as usual) stellar answer.
I, too, wondered this about myself. I felt like I couldn't deal with everything without a glass or two of wine. A glass or two, became three or four, to numb the pain of watching my dad continue to deteriorate. My dad passed in October of last year and I finally started to see a psych and counselor in January and was happy to see that neither labelled me as an alcoholic but rather as someone who was at the end of their rope. They have helped me with some meds, some therapy realize that I shouldn't numb the pain, I need to feel the pain to get past the grief. I know how hard it is to be the only one and how easy it is to use wine to deal with everything. As long as you are aware of how much you are drinking, I think you are ok, but need that to help deal with your caregiving duties. Anyone who doesn't provide caregiving to their loved ones cannot understand the continual pain you feel watching them decline and not being able to do anything to make it different for them. Hang in there. You will be ok. Hugs ~ Kuli
I am a recovering alcholic with 28 years sober... and the fact you are concerned is a blessing... my experiance is, that most people who become alcoholic never bother to ask the question if they are becoming dependent or not.... And Jeannie asked all the questions a couselor would ask you if you were seeing someone about this.... Possibly you are more concerned that you aren't "strong enough" to do this job, very few of us get thru this without some kind of diversion... OCD cleaning, computer games, overeating, not eating enough, ect. So, very proud of you for being concerned, just shows what a great and loving heart you have, but don't feel there is anything to be concerned about... just answer the questions Jeannie posted and answer them honestly and you'll know what to do from there.... you are entitled to relax... beleive me, I would love a glass of wine, but gave up that luxury due to abuse..... but I am addicted to the computer... so we all get to have a diversion, hope you got some answers here that help you....
Thank you everyone for your heartfelt comments...I feel much better about having a glass or 2...I believe I do drink wine to relax & cope w/care giving. Last night, however, for some reason after drinking w/mom after dinner had a burst of energy (felt like it was bec of wine) & continued (little bit at a time) to more wine and I was like the energized bunny...go, go, go...didn't stop cleaning, laundry, sweeping, etc till 10:30pm, I wanted to get some things done bec mom is supposed to go to my sisters for the day...yeah... me time. Although, this morning mom usually gets in the shower by now to get ready, but, sounds like she's still in bed...guess she's not going...Well, now I've got a pit in my stomach, oh well, guess I'll do more cleaning or ?
Fyarsley, don't give up on your day (and hers). She can still go, whether she showered or not! LOL! Some of our elders refuse bathing for weeks on end. Don't little a little "dust" derail the plans. (My Dad always says he isn't dirty, just dusty, and he doesn't have to showier. Which is why we now have aids to dust him off in the shower twice a week.)

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