Lately, I've been going through some really harsh issues. I've lost a friend to liver disease, my brother has been put in prison, and accused of something he hasn't done, which ultimately has resorted in the loss of access to seeing his children, and even not being able to see the birth of his new daughter who's almost here. And just it seems little things are getting to me more everyday. I've found myself drinking a lot more than usual within the last 8 months or so, and it's like I'm using it to self-medicate. Alcohol and drug addiction runs in my family, and while I'm not THAT bad, I think it's a good thing I'm living in high poverty, because I know that days when I have the extra money, it's spent on alcohol. A few months back, my cousin was visiting me. He has a very harsh addiction to some hard drugs, and is a bonafide alcoholic, in all sense. We got into a discussion about my drinking habits, and he told me I was a borderline alcoholic. I tried to argue that I wasn't, but he accused me of being in denial. See the thing is, when I usually drink, I drink TO get drunk, I find that it makes me genuinely happy and I can handle things better. I'm also not so guarded and I have the guts to say things I should be saying when I'm sober (usually social-wise). It used to be every month or two for maybe about one night or two. Depending on how much I had. Lately though, within the last 8 months, I've been finding myself turning to it more. Almost every weekend, and even during the week. Last week, I woke up at 7am, and drank until 1pm. Granted, it was an anniversary of a death, but it was also a Monday. If I get upset, the first thing I think of is "I want a drink" and a few months ago I did the stupidest thing most humanly possible. I drank for 3 days straight, and took a Valium and a sleeping pill along with it. I guess I'm a bit confused. Is this the sign of me becoming an alcoholic? Or do I just have some sort of weird drinking problem that's only increasing because of the shit I've been going through lately, and I'm just subconciously paranoid about it because of what my cousin said and my family history?