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I’m 28 and didn’t have a drink in my life before 22.  I drank hard till about 26 and noticed things then started getting a little different.  Got the hangovers worse, would black out, and definitely started exhibiting drunken signs of slurred speech, etc.  But before 26 it was like I could drink all night with no problems.  At 26 I started drinking less but have learned the hard way…pretty much every year I drink less and less because of a bad hangover or two.  So the trend would be I will continue to drink less and less as I age, but I really worry that’s not a true statement.  I have OCD also so my current phobia is alcoholism.

 


For a while I drank every day, but during the week it was 3 beers and on the weekend I would drink more heavily.  I decided that was too much so now I only drink 1 or 2 work days out of the week, again only 3-4 beers.  On the weekends I can drink a lot more close to 10 without issues (I’m 6’7” so have a high tolerance).  By issues I mean I function fine and don’t get a hangover.

 


But probably once every other month I binge drink to that ~12 drinks or more category.  It has been a long time since I binged so hard I forgot being out or going to a bar, but usually my worst moments of binge drinking are when I come home and watch TV and totally can’t remember what I watched the next day.  It is still blacking out I think, but it’s usually not doing anything absolutely ridiculous either.  Why it happens every other month I don’t know, I guess I stay out too late at a bar and forget how much I was drinking earlier in the night.  But then I feel drunk but pleasant leaving the bar, and 30 minutes later it hits me in a blackout form at the house.

 


I don’t have any dependency issues that I can tell (I’ve studied this a lot), I don’t crave alcohol, and I certainly am okay with having just 2-3 beers and stopping as I do this more regularly than binge drink.  That says "not an alcoholic" to me, but do I have a problem?  Even a mild blackout once every other month seems like too much, and points towards a problem. 



I get very paranoid about this, especially when I drink so much that I forget even a small portion of the night before.  I feel like that means I have a real problem, and that the NEXT time it happens I could do something very foolish.  Is that just part of being a drinker or is there a larger underlying problem with me? I wish I could just enjoy the 95% of my drinking times of being responsible, but these binge instances always creep up on me.  I just don’t know what the clinical or logical explanation is for my habits.  Any help or input would be appreciated.

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It sounds like you're obsessing a lot over this, likely due to your OCD.  In my experience, when people get paranoid, they tend to blow it out of proportion.  You're probably worrying far too much over this.

I don't think anyone here can accurately tell you whether or not you're drinking too much, if you have alcoholism, etc.  I suggest you see a psychologist or psychiatrist and ask them.  They may also be able to assist you with the paranoia and to help you figure out how much to safely drink without any worry.
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Like you, there was a point in my life when I realized that I couldn't predict what would happen when I injested alcohol. Alcohol acts different in my body than in other people. I used to think I had a very high tolerance and wasn't sick or hungover a lot, but then all of a sudden I started experiencing blackouts, and unfortunately, I didn't always just go home and sit in front of the TV when I was in that "time Travelling" state. My suggestion to you is to see if you can try to alcohol for a while, and see if that helps. If you think you're an alcoholic, try going to a few of the meetings they have at AA, and just listen to what they say. Attend at least 5 or 6 of them, and see if you find anything similar there. Good luck to you Jason, and know that there's plenty of help out there if you need it.
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