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.