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Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

Group Therapy: I Want to Let Go of My Party-Girl Ways, but Can't

This question comes from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I've always kinda been a party girl. As soon as I was old enough to be around people who were drinking and doing drugs I was doing them, whatever I could get my hands on basically. In college I started drinking a lot. At the time I put it off as the rite of passage, all my friends were drinking heavily too . . . but I would pretty routinely get drunk to the point of throwing up, passing out, etc.

I calmed down a little my last 2 years of college to focus on school and graduated with honors. Since college I have always held down a job successfully, but I have kept drinking as a big part of my life. I surround myself with "party people" so that what I do seems normal, as I get older (I'm 27 now) that means that now the majority of my friends are a few years younger than me.

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I don't drink every night and don't drink by myself (besides maybe one glass of wine) but I drink with my boyfriend or friends at least 3-4 nights a week. Then last weekend I was drinking and smoking pot and I started to feel dizzy but was in the middle of an intense conversation with a friend and didn't want to interrupt . . . basically I passed out standing up, fell over,and broke my ankle.

Read the rest here.

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GregS GregS 6 years
OP - You can't say you're alcoholic or not until you honestly answer yourself this question: "If I have a drink, can I stop?" My guess is that you're a social drinker. You only drink at social events like parties or when you and friends go out to a night club or bar. When you're in these situations, you will be unable to stop yourself. In that case, you ARE alcoholic. You need to come to grips with that fact and learn to deal with yourself. Don't take my 3 drink limit as yours. This is the max I can have without my mind going haywire on me. That's MY limit. Yours may be 1. Or none. Counseling is a good idea. Most alcoholics have underlying issues. The church that I attended at the time happened to have a counseling center associated with it. They cut me a break financially when I went to them asking for assistance. Maybe yours does, or there's a church-run or associated center near you. In my experience, it was totally secular counseling. Just me and the Psych. I know you'll enjoy the parties more when you're sober through them. Know why? You'll remember them. And your friends, colleagues, and others will remember the woman that talked and had fun, and not the woman that got stupid drunk and passed out.
thisideup thisideup 6 years
Everyone's said all there is to say on the subject of changing your ways, but I wanted to address how your bf is reacting. My boyfriend of nearly 6 years broke his ankle on new years and couldn't do anything for months. There was literally a 3 week period where he was unable to move from the couch because standing caused too much swelling in his ankle. I'm ashamed to say that there were times I acted similarly to your bf. I'm sure he's trying to show you he disapproves of your ways by letting you suffer the consequences, but your ankle will take much longer to heal without help. Maybe point that out to him and discuss the fact that you understand it was your own fault it happened because a lack of support from someone you love while in pain like that really puts a strain on any relationship. Anywho, my two cents. Hope your ankle heals well!
Original-poster Original-poster 6 years
Thank you all for your advice, some of it was hard to hear but I did appreciate it all. You all are right, its not cute. Being sloppy drunk isnt even fun at the time, let alone the next day when the guilt and embarrassment set in. I honestly dont think I am an alcoholic but I do think I have a problem with moderation and as some of you have said, I have let this image get too wrapped up into my identity to the point that I dont really know what to do without it anymore. I guess I am scared of being boring without it. I tend to get anxious in social situations and feel socially awkward at times and have thought that drinking helps, though I know it really just makes things worse. I have talked to my boyfriend about this a lot and I know that I am really lucky to have him. He has been through similar problems before and is really understanding and supportive. You all are right that he deserves better than a dumb drunk girl as a partner, luckily he knows me well enough to see beyond that. He knows I have a lot more to offer than that, it's just time that I start believing it myself. I am going to completely quit using any kind of drugs. As far as drinking goes I'm not going to drink at all until the cast comes off and then like GregS suggested (I really appreciated your story and advice btw) I am going to stick to a strict 3 drink limit. My boyfriend is cutting back with me, he has been wanting to for awhile anyway. We just moved in together recently so we are having fun with the nesting thing, last weekend was one of the few times we drank heavily in a long time. I do want to seek counseling for my underlying self-esteem problems as well. My insurance covers 3 free sessions a year so I think that will be a good place to start. I also moved out of state a few months ago so making new friends is kind of a given. I'm shy and have a hard time opening up to people but have joined a book club (funny someone mentioned that) and before my injury was getting involved in classes at the gym. I think just telling the story has helped me a lot. It has been hard lying to people about how I broke my ankle and I knew I needed to tell someone the truth and get the feedback I knew I deserved. Thanks everyone :-)
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
Everyone has basically said the jam. You need to start over and take time to make sober friends who are your OWN age. I don't know if your boyfriend is a good influence or a bad influence but if he's supporting you not drinking, he sounds like a keeper. If not, maybe you do need to ditch him and this is a perfect time. You don't have to die just because you're not getting sloppy drunk anymore. I would say you need to go to counseling- not so much for drinking but for self image issues. Being wild and crazy has become apart of who you are, and you need to find a way to transition to a better version of yourself. Trust, NO ONE likes a sloppy drunk and it sounds like that is what you have been.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
Agree with Joe. You're a little old for this and need to change your ways. Also agree that you need to start calling it what it is.
inlove23 inlove23 6 years
*to become
inlove23 inlove23 6 years
Totally agree with Joe, and honestly you are getting a little too old for the whole "party" scene. I'm not saying to becoming an old stick in the mud, but just settle down and lay off the alcohol and weed. The broken ankle was definitely a sign, and every time you move it hurts which is further reminding you.
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 6 years
I agree with almost everyone.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
Most people are familiar with the concept of "hitting bottom." Which is when an addict gets so low in her life that she chooses to make a change. And then the concept of co-dependence is when people help prop up an addict to shield her from the consequences of her addictive behavior. Co-dependent behavior can prevent an addict from realizing she has a problem and hitting bottom. No one wants to "enable" you. So the people who care about you want you to be miserable. But only temporarily and for your own good. They want you to choose to grow. Now I'm not sure you actually are an addict. If you aren't, you will be able to quit on your own. And that would be a really good idea. Getting drunk regularly doesn't do anything good for your future. And it can contribute to making mistakes that can harm your future. Such as DUIs, saying things you regret, drunk dialing and texting, bad hook ups, and ummmm ;) falling down and breaking your ankle...
dikke-kus dikke-kus 6 years
You sound like you know you should quit so I hope you slow down. The truth is at 18 its cute to have a few drinks but at 27 its creepy. Look in the mirror. Your intelligent so do you ever ask yourself if deep down your boyfriend is impressed by a drug user and heavy drinker or would he rather be with a woman with some class and common sense? People will never say that but its true. I don't know how you think you can keep this up anyway becuase most jobs have drug testing. Slow down. Engross yourself in a hobby. Writing, painting, kayaking, hiking, running, kite sailing, traveling, anything to keep you away from drinking and find some friends with something better to do than hang out in bars for Petes sake.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I agree with Joe that the broken ankle is a wake-up call. And I also agree with stephley about the use of the word "party girl"... it makes the truth sound so much more cute and fun. Surrounding yourself with new friends will be a positive influence. There is some truth to the statement "you are the company you keep". New friends that are not young and at the club all the time will help you keep out of the situations you want to leave behind. Find a new activity to keep you on your toes. Join a book club. Take up mountain hiking. Try something creative-- you don't have to be a grand artist to have fun with artsy things, as they are relaxing and fun! AA is an option, but is not for everyone. You can try attending a meeting and see how you relate to their philosophy. If AA is not for you, try seeing a personal therapist to help you through the hard stuff. Stepping into a new life can be weird and scary, but it will bring you a world of benefit. Good luck and take care :)
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
I agree with Joe Tyndall and the other posters. Please, get help. AA sounds like a good place to start.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 6 years
It sounds to me like you need to learn your limits. At 27 you should not be getting so drunk to the point of vomiting and passing out. I personally would be embarrassed to be seen with you in public and I'm a 21 year old "party girl" college student. I'm all about having fun, but I'm not cool with making an ass out of myself, and that is exactly what you are doing, being an ass.
stephley stephley 6 years
Stop using the term 'party girl' when you mean 'drunk.' How cool does it sound when you say 'I can't give up my drunken ways?' 'I like to surround myself with young drunks.' Vomiting, broken bones, angry boy friends - not much fun or comfort in life. Reach out to your non-drunk friends for support and encouragement while you try life without the props.
Studio16 Studio16 6 years
I have to agree with JoeTyndall. I think that you should get on a detox from now until your cast comes off! -Don't drink. Get rid of all the alcohol in your house. -Stop smoking pot. -Don't go out with friends. That's too tempting. Invite them over to your place. (That way if they bring alcohol/drugs, you can tell them to take it out or leave altogether.) Better yet, find some new friends. -I highly recommend the books "Don't Be That Girl" and "Classy". They're all about getting rid of a party girl image. You say that you want to get married and have kids, etc. but like another poster said, your behavior doesn't show that. I'm not trying to sound sexist, but most men typically don't scout out drunken tramps (not that you're a tramp, but you know what I mean) to be the mother of their children. It's archaic but true: Every man wants a lady. Good luck!
verbalhoudini verbalhoudini 6 years
I have to say I empathize with you entirely: I had a binge-drinking problem throughout all of college, and it sucked. What you really need to do is stop hanging out with the people you drink around. It may sound harsh, but until you've disassociated yourself completely with your party-hard friends, you'll never be able to stop your drinking problem. Trust me, I know. I've been there.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
OP, The broken ankle was a wake-up call. Your guardian angel is telling you to get off the pot, get off the booze, and clean up your life. You are lucky you have a guardian angel who is willing to help you in this way. The next time might be more than just a broken ankle.
GregS GregS 6 years
In college I was a scotch drinker my Frosh/Soph years. I drank heavily, too. Usually close to a fifth a day. Unlike you and Betty, I drank alone usually. If I were out with friends, it would be beer. That I drank until I blanked out. I had whole parts of nights missing from memory. I'd wake up in strange places and not know how I got there. I'd wake up with a bloody and sore hand and then find that the security glass on the doors leading into the dorm was busted (wire infused glass). That's when I decided that was enough. I did not go through AA. I just stopped drinking. My mind was made up so I quit. I didn't drink for the rest of that year, nor any of my Junior. In my Senior year I learned my limits and they remain my limits. I can still have a great time. So that is your challenge. You either have to stop totally, or find your limit and stick to it. I found it easier to tell others that I cannot have the 4th drink. If I did, I wouldn't be able to stop. They helped me keep on track. As for your bf. He should be peeved at you, but come on! Unless you're asking for every little thing be brought to you, there should be sympathy at least. But I will say it's time for you to grow up some. You can go out and have a good time without getting blotto-ed. This is a good time for you to make your penance with yourself. YOur drinking caused this and this is the price you pay. Build on that. You don't want to be here again, just like I didn't want to deal with a broken hand. It's a stupid situation you and I put ourselves in. Only we can get ourselves out of it.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 6 years
You have other issues going on besides alcohol....you purposely surround yourself with younger people so that you can maintain your party girl image? You have to face the fact that you have wasted many years simply because you do not want to grow up. You say that you want to get married and have children.....well, do you really? You are nowhere near ready for that. The bottom line is, if you are really honest with yourself and are ready to grow up, you need to do two things...1) Get help for your drinking and also maybe some counseling as to why you feel the need to act like a dumbass college student and 2) Start engaging in healthy activities that don't involve drinking. You'll exercise, feel physically and mentally better, and make other friends who are more mature than the drinkers you are friends with now. Maybe if your boyfriend sees you actually try to make some changes instead of sitting around whining about your broken ankle, your relationship MAY progress. Truthfully, if I was him right now, I would be over it too. You need to get your shit together, or he will bail. Good Luck.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
I sympathize with you 100%, as a former party girl myself. I only go out partying (drinking/smoking) 2-3 times per month now, and honestly I have more fun that way, it makes partying more of an occasion. You seem like you're ready to settle down, now all you have to do is stick to it. If you really think you might have a drinking problem, try going to an AA meeting, tell them your situation, and learn all you can. Some people just drink more than others, and it's very possible that you don't.
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