Our expert says:
Firstly, I think you;re absolutely right that many behaviours which are more accurately and usefully seen as bad habits, are now more fashionably called addictions, with no real advantage and a tendency to shift responsibility away from the only person who can primarily change things for the better, the person themselves.
Often the concept of Problem Drinking is more useful. While obviously above a certain limit the sheer growing weight of physical damage caused by heavy alcohol intake is in itself a reason to cut down drastically or stop, another very relevant criterion is whether the drinking is causing problems - in one's personal or work life, or relationships.
That you are able to tolerate periods of up to 6 weeks with no alcohol available is relevant, and suggests that there isn't yet a significant degree of physical or psychological dependence, and is re-assuring. But the regularity at other times of "a few" glasses of vodka every night and 2 BOTTLES per weekend is indeed a high intake. And unless one had developed a degree of tolerance, a naive drinker would be knocked flat by that level of intake.
Remember too, that the liver is enormously forgiving - up to a point, and then it can decline into surprisingly rapid accumulative damage.
Apart from health issues, seeing vodka as your primary source of "entertainment" should be some concern - it really isn't awfully entertaining and is more usually a form of anaesthetic to disguise the lack of other entertainment. And perhaps if your work entails assignments to culturally and socially desolate areas, there may indeed be little else easily available. As you wisely recognise " I wouldn't know what else to do". Internet access, books, DVDs, whatever, can sometimes provide a useful alternative to just becoming numbed. Booze is then a sumstitute for real satisfaction, a disguise that enables one to pretend one is satisfied. This has been a well recognized risk since the early says of colonialism, when men would be sent out into remote areas, with empty evenings.
Actually, counselling of the specific cognitive-behaviour therapy format, CBT, might be the most helpful, as the issue isn't so much doing without alcohol, though that may well come into it, but finding more enjoyable alternatives both while at home and while in the sparsely entertaining work trips. It includes issues of exploring what IS actually satisfying for you, what more wholesome and productive pastimes could be available, and as you say, how to get back to enjoying the range of things you used to enjoy
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