Once in a while when I was still drinking, I’d do one of those online tests that are designed to tell you if you have a problem with alcohol (or even indicate whether you might be an alcoholic). As I’m pondering my next steps, or rather, my first few into the foray of recovery support, I was browsing around Alcohol Change’s website and they have one of those tests. It’s called “Check Your Drinking”. I’ve decided to hop back in time and become Drunk Me. Actually, Drunk Me would probably have tried to give answers based on how she wanted her alcohol habit to be – i.e. put the units that to my mind would have been OK (like “only” four drinks per evening) rather than the grim reality (that 11th glas is still on the side so perhaps ten and a half?). So I’m hopping back to Drunk Me before I quit drinking roughly a year ago, say, but with Sober Me checking the answers are entirely truthful.
Yes, I’m over 18. I’m female and fall into the age group 35-44. Let’s go.
- How often do I drink alcohol? At the far end is four times per week or more. That’s definitely me, and ironically Drunk Me’s healthy goal of only drinking max four nights per week is still at the naughty end.
- How many units of alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking? Oh God, time to calculate. I’d usually get through most of a wine box, which is three bottles’ worth. The next day you’d be able to squeeze a glass out of the bag. So if a wine bottle equals four standard glasses of wine as per UK measures and one glass is therefore 175ml, this would put me at 11 glasses of wine. How many units in a 175ml glass? 1.9 units according to DrinkAware if it’s an 11% wine. That would land me at 20.9 units per day (the recommended limit is 14 units per WEEK – fun fact). The max answer is ten or more and I’m putting away twice that. Whoopsy-daisies.
- How often in the last year have you had six or more units on one occasion? Ah, this is why I usually gave up on these things as I felt they were aimed at some sort of goody two-shoes person who didn’t actually exist. I mean – who doesn’t have more than six? Who are these people?! The answer at the bad end is daily or almost daily. I guess so. I probably averaged five nights per week with a few exceptions so that’s closer to the truth than saying weekly.
- How often during the last year have you found you were unable to stop drinking when you’d started? There isn’t an option saying every single time so I’ll go with the most terrible answer which again is daily or almost daily.
- How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking? Slightly tough one as I somehow did manage to do the bits I really had to do. The problem is I never did anything well but I did mostly deliver what I was meant to in terms of at home and at work, so I’m not sure I can go with daily or almost daily. I frequently under performed (to my own mind at least) and I’m the friend who’d often cancel. I’ll go with weekly. Seems like a fair compromise.
- How often during the last year have you needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session? Finally a goody two-shoes answer! Never. I wasn’t there yet. YET YET YET YET YET YET. The story of yet. This might partly be because I just couldn’t. Or my addiction hadn’t quite forced me in to that corner yet. YET YET YET YET.
- How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking? Still no every-single-time option so I’ll go with daily or almost daily. Starting with palpitations and the sweats at 4am. Fun times.
- How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because of drinking? Ah, black-outs – I remember those well, hahr hahr. Not every single time but probably at least twice a week. So more than weekly but not sure it’d be accurate to say daily or almost daily. Well. It’s more towards the bad end. OK, fine.
- Have you or someone else been injured because of your drinking? If this includes emotionally then absolutely yes. Other than that I’ve amassed a plethora of mysterious bruises and scrapes that I at the time would have no idea how I’d acquired. Does that mean I should say yes? Or do they mean more severe stuff here? I think this means more serious stuff than stumbling around drunk and tripping on the rug. So no.
- Has a friend, relative, doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking and suggested you cut down? Yes – friends and relatives, playful hints here and there, the odd snide remark and the occasional you-should.
The results! *drum roll* I mean, do we really need to see them? Well, here it is!
My score is 31. I’m also told “Your drinking is already impacting on your health and wellbeing and you are at risk of alcohol dependence. You would benefit from speaking to your GP or an alcohol professional as soon as possible about your options for cutting down.” No big surprises there. If my score is 20-25 I’m invited to “sign up for four confidential Skype support sessions with an alcohol specialist to help you get back on track. This new service will help you to make choices that will improve your wellbeing and lower your risk” but my score is obviously way over this so wouldn’t apply to me.
How about that for a post that is stating the bleeding obvious! What can I say, I like quizzes! Oohhh how about I do it all over as Sober Me to see what they say about my current life choices?
Still female and in the same age bracket, hmpf. Other than that just one question pisses me off as it’s one you can’t answer if you never drink alcohol: question 2, obviously, so all I can do is stay at the good end and put the answer that most closely resembles the truth (1 or 2). Again, I don’t think we will have any prizes for guessing what the outcome is: my score is 0 and: “Drinking at this level means that you are unlikely to be putting yourself at risk of alcohol-related harm.” The only time I’m near the bad end is in the age group as I’m closer to 44 than I am to 35. You know what, I’ll still take it as a win.
Anyone else have anything to share that we all know already? Well. Sometimes it’s nice to just give ourselves a pat on the back for making good choices. Sure did with this. Yay me.
Today I’m not going to drink.