Could it be time to stop drinking for good?
Back in the day, people could turn up at their workplace every day with effervescent 40% whiskey breath and nobody really cared.
Alcohol was an acceptable vice, but more than that. Hollywood, TV and the movies portrayed alcohol as cool and even an act of defiance against the system.
Giving ‘The Man’ the middle finger
I remember watching a movie with Roger Moore called North Sea Hijack. He played a character called Rufus Excalibur Ffolkes, an ex-marine who happened to be an alcoholic.
However, his alcohol addiction was portrayed as a demonstration of his stubbornness. He drank because it was a tough and manly problem to have. A clear (if somewhat lazy way) to demonstrate his refusal to abide by the rules or bow to the good opinions of others.
It’s a good job the movie was only 90 minutes long. Firstly because it was terrible but also because of the amount he was drinking, I doubt he lived much longer.
Twenty years ago everyone understood middle age was the moment you put your heavy drinking behind you. I used to hold my breath in the lift, worrying I may get my colleagues plastered just from breathing in my breath.
Then a pair of 25-year-old nerds came up with something called Google.com and spoiled it for everyone.
Our view of alcohol has shifted
All of a sudden we all knew just how terrible alcohol was for us and everyone expected you to cut back now, not in your 40’s. Now that I’m several years dry and have even published an e-book on the topic (Alcohol Lied To Me), I routinely encounter teenagers who have already been through therapy for alcohol addiction.
Now, if such young people can confess to problem drinking and then take accountability for their wayward lifestyles. Getting clean before they even get to the lawful drinking age, you need to drop any delusional justifications you believed you owned.
How do you find out if you’re a genuine problem drinker, or on your way there, or merely a typical social drinker who presumes he must be an alcoholic in a similar way he thinks every migraine is incurable brain cancer?
How can you tell if you have a problem?
So allow me to clear this up and present you with 7 fairly notable indications that it might be time to stop drinking for good.
1. You search Google for articles like this one.
This is a little bit of like hanging about a gay bar to research the men, simply to confirm that you’re not one of them before you ask Lisa to marry you. Therapists like me who deal with alcohol addiction on a daily basis think of such introspective behavior to be a huge indicator of denial.
2. I am so sorry I did that
If your early morning regimen includes a cup of coffee, a swift check of the news headlines, and after that a meticulous assessment of the past evening’s activities so you may do a little disaster control and SMS any required apologies, you’re possibly a problem drinker or just a bit of a butt head.
3. You Have A Single Drink a Day, But You Think of It All Day
It’s feasible to be an alcoholic but not consume alcohol all that much. Alcohol addiction is a personality hoover; it draws in everything until the only thing that stays is the alcohol. Even when you’re not consuming it. When your lifestyle and thoughts focus on alcohol consumption, that’s an issue.
4. Your life is full of drama, but it’s NEVER your fault
When your visa or MasterCard’s are maxed out and you’re living payday to payday and you never seem to pay any more than the minimum payment, it’s the lousy economic climate, right?
When you are a dating disaster area, it’s due to the fact that there are a lot of screwed-up folks around, huh?
The more twisted your lifestyle is the more drama, the more chance that you are dumping your empties in the neighbors recycling bin to cover up the amount you drink.
5. You started drinking at a young age
Certainly, there’s a hereditary element to alcohol addiction; your danger is greater if alcohol addiction runs in your household. However, a piece of research from a decade ago by Miami University disclosed that being given your first alcoholic beverage before the age of THIRTEEN might be what flicks the switch and starts a lifelong problem.
My mom used to let me have the occasional glass of sherry from about the age of 13, not great!
6. Drinking is often a solo sport
I was amazed when I initially realized that ordinary, social drinkers are crushed by the notion of drinking alcohol on their own in their home.
Generally, non-problem drinkers see drinking as a small element of a bigger societal world. For these people, a glass of bubbly at a wedding celebration is a treat. For the alcoholic, it’s free alcohol that starts the mission to track down more.
7. What the hell happened last night?
Blinking open your bloodshot eyes in bed next to someone you do not recognize. Having zero notion of how you got home the previous evening. Having to hear your drinking buddies tell you what you did last night, and not having the ability to remember any of it.
These are all alcoholic blackouts, and a this is something fairly unique to problem drinkers. Wake up and smell the coffee: Nonalcoholics do not have blackouts.
There are lots of other signs and these are just a handful. Many drinkers will have encounter all 7 and maybe even more. Other people may spot just a few of them yet nevertheless still have a problem.
If one or more indications speak to you, find help now, not the day after tomorrow.
Craig Beck’s Stop Drinking Expert program is a good starting point. Click here to find out how to quit drinking completely, safely and easily.