padma norbu wrote:Hee hee, no I think I can manage. I have quit drinking for 3 years before and other times for over a year or several months. If I do really think I have a problem where I'm realizing, "holy crap, I have this incredible urge to drink and I simply can't control it!" then I will know for sure that I am an alcoholic and THEN, I will go and get a prescription for Naltrexone. I'm not going to beat around the bush with this crap.
My dear padme, I am not saying you are an alcoholic, I would have to ask you a series of personal questions which are not for public perusal in order to do that (I am a qualified drug and alcohol dependency counsellor) but the fact that one drink always lead you to bingeing and getting blind drunk is definitely 100% problematic. I am not preaching, just pointing out the blatantly obvious.
I don't get blind drunk every time or nearly close. My situation may be 100% problematic in terms of Buddhism/Dzogchen, but is pretty common in society. "Alcoholism" isn't as much of an issue outside of America. For example, on England's advisory website for people who want to work in the states, they have a special section about American culture and alcoholism where they make a joke about what is considered alcoholism in American that says: "in other words, a typical Tuesday night for us."
Similarly, in Australia, its perfectly common and acceptable to get a buzz on almost every night of the week. Even in our own country, it is common for people to get a buzz on several times a week and drink every night of the week without considering themselves "alcoholics." That's the funny thing.
Like I said, I've quit before quite easily for a long period of time. It's just a matter of priorities for me that need to shift and I think they've shifted.
The problem in general could be summed up in a few observations about myself: a little bit of alcohol affects my judgement, I tend to drink a beer fast even when I'm trying to drink slow, a little more beer affects my judgement more, now I'm feeling good and have completely forgotten I want to stay mindful... also, this realization that getting drunk is really damaging samaya is a new realization for me and one that I was probably not really convinced about. It kind of came as a surprise and I don't think I was psychologically ready to never drink to excess again without "a few 'good nights' to go out with a bang." This was probably a subconscious thing.
It's a matter of bad habits learned in college and encouraged by society. Last Friday, for example, I said I didn't want to go out and was harangued into it. Then, I said I didn't want to go to dinner after the bar because I felt a little drunk, but I was dragged into that as well where more alcohol (harder stuff; sake) was consumed. Then, I got on the train bombed and went home to an empty house with nothing to do but sit around drunk off my ass at about 9pm, too drunk to enjoy television, but flush with happy endorphins and of course completely oblivious to my desire to stay mindful. So I went down the street to the bars to be with other people like me.
What's "blatantly obvious" to you actually has quite a bit more to it, imo. But, I don't any need help identifying my situation. As I said elsewhere, if I think this is going to be a problem, I will get a prescription to Naltrexone.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron