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Nine Gallons In Two Weeks

Question:

Ok, i have a tendency to be lengthy and redundant so i apologize for the editing that may need to take place. I am in need of advice, guidance, assie stance whatever name you want to put to it. I am eighteen, every time i remind myself of that i cannot believe i am so young and in such a bad place. Anyways i always thought i was pretty normal with a few exceptions: i tried to drink myself to death when i was twelve and just ended up with one hysterical mother and an irate father began cutting when i was thirteen after i was sexually attacked and my parents refused to act. after that i got heavy into drinking and drug but after the overdose of a close friend i quit drugs and developed a drinking habit. at sixteen i was raped at a party. after losing my virginity that way i became very permiscous. i prided myself on being able to outargue my teacher, manipulate people especially males and honestly not care. its exactly what my dad did to me all my life. my parents knew about my cutting and just got angry, my dad called me cold-hearted calloused ….i won’t go on. quite honestly my life could have gone on without any problems, but… there is always a but. One of my one night stands would not leave me alone. he treated me like i was the only woman alive. my parents were kicking me out so i moved eight hours away and he came with me. he was a drug addict but living in the country in the middle of nowhere… he quit everything for me and proposed. i am not trusting of people but he has caused so many good things. i am not bragging but i am extremely intelligent. he convinced me to go to college and i am now a freshman at one of the big twelve. i want to marry this man but i there is something wrong with me what i don’t know. he is worried about my drinking, as a reference for you i have gone through nine gallons of vodka in two months. i know this is not good but i still have 3.5 gpa. he thinks i need help and knows everything i have told you. i have no money and no parental support. please anything would be helpful.

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Answer:

Nine gallons in two months. Hum. That is a lot of alcohol. Let’s do the math to see how much:

  • One shot of booze is one fluid ounce.
  • There are 8 ounces in one cup.
  • Each gallon contains 16 cups which is 128 shots.
  • In 9 gallons, there are 1,152 shots.
  • You drank 9 gallons in two months.
  • There are (on average) 30 days in a month. Let’s say 60 days in two months.
  • Dividing 1152 shots by 60 days gives us 19.2 shots a day on average.

This amount of alcohol in a day would probably knock most non-drinkers unconscious or possibly even kill them. That you can have this much on board (that you admit to) and still function means that you have almost certainly developed a very great tolerance for the drug alcohol (see this article for a definition). By any definition, you are almost certainly Alcohol Dependent, a diagnosable (and treatable) condition. The real-world term for this is “alcoholic”.

You’ve been sexually abused from a young age. You’ve been raped. You’ve tried to kill yourself. You’ve had a difficult relationship with your parents. Heck – you might even have difficult parents. Your self-mutilation could mean a lot of things, but one thing it definitely suggests is that you have difficulty coping in with some strong emotions/memories/situations. And – you’re almost definitely Alcohol Dependent too. It’s quite a list of difficulties, and yet despite these difficulties you seem to have a head on your shoulders and are able to function to the extent that you are in college and doing well. This is a testimate to your strength of will, intelligence, and survival instinct, and to the support you’ve accepted from this guy you’ve stumbled across. Good for you.

Here is a good thing to do. Go to the student health service at your college and tell them everything you’ve written me (and more if you feel comfortable about it). Ask them if they can help you get sober from all alcohol, as well as from drugs. Don’t try to go cold turkey – it might actually be dangerous! You need a detoxification and a rehab. You need a support program like AA where you can meet anonymously with other students, staff and faculty at your school who are alcoholics trying to stay sober (there will almost certainly be one or more meetings held each day on your college campus or in the neighboring town). . You need a sponsor (a sober recovering alcoholic who is further down the road from you and stable in sobriety for at least a few years) who you can call at any time to gain support from, and she should be a woman. Once sober, you need to stay away from people who you drink with or situations that might lead you back into drinking. You need to re-confirm your decision to not drink each day (at least in the beginning months (years?) of your sobriety.

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p> There is a second thing you should consider – that of seeking professional therapy to address the sexual victimization issues you have suffered with, and the serious symptoms (like cutting) that you express. Your college can probably help you with this as well by providing access to a counselor, and perhaps even peer-support groups for sexual abuse. Sometimes people feel that they need to get to the root of the issues that are troubling them and that they need to do the therapy first, but in my humble experience the best way to proceed is to suggest that people not try to do the therapy until they have a reasonable sobriety under their belt. Whatever your choices are, best of luck and health to you.

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