Signs of Alcoholism: Which Describe You?
One of the highly challenging things about facing up to your own alcohol addiction is staying objective. It is difficult to be honest and objective with yourself about if your drinking is a problem. Unfortunately, as your addiction progresses, it becomes increasingly harder to own up to your issue and recognize the signs of alcoholism.
Not sure what to look for? Here are 5 key indicators that your social drinking is turning into an addiction to alcohol.
Don’t Struggle With Alcoholism Alone
Lying to Yourself and Others
So, you don’t think that you do have a problem. However, you’re beginning to suspect that others believe that you do. What’s your solution to this problem? Hiding the amount of alcohol you’re drinking and starting to drink in secret. As the saying goes, alcoholism starts when you drink alone.
You might even try to justify these secret bouts of drinking. After all, drinking on the job is just a little bit of fun. But you know the boss won’t see it that way, so you carry a little flask in your purse and mix a drink in a travel mug.
Or, your spouse gives you dirty looks when your crack open your second bottle of wine of the evening.
It may not even escape the notice of your kids or grandkids, who notice alcohol on your breath when you give them hugs. This makes you squirt on fresh perfume or chew gum before you greet them.
These secretive behaviors aren’t only a way to hide your drinking from those around you.
It’s all about lying about your addiction to yourself, concealing the obvious signs of alcoholism.
Periods of Memory Loss
Do you wake up with no memory of the previous evening? You most likely have crossed a line and entered into full-blown alcohol addiction. Blackouts are one of the more definitive signs of alcoholism, as they are unmistakable and often most destructive.
Anyone who needs to drink until they pass out is doing serious harm to their body. Additionally, this behavior endangers others with little regard. You have lost the ability to make the rational choice to stop drinking before losing control. Memory loss is an indicator that alcohol has damaged the brain, and such damage is permanent and irreversible.
If this has only happened one or two times, it could be attributed to misjudging your own tolerance, drinking without eating first, or even plain old poor planning. However, when blackouts become your new normal, you are out of control.
Concerned That You May Have Alcoholism?
Drinking to Cope
It’s not normal to feel ill until you’ve poured your first drink of the morning. It’s even worse if you continue to drink throughout your days.
If a mid-day team meeting causes you to feel anxious to pour a glass of wine to deal with the office drama, you are facing a problem.
Alcohol is not an appropriate way to cope with negativity. This approach to stress management will quickly lead you astray.
Becoming Less Reliable
Are you becoming disorganized and confusing dates on your calendar? Missing your deadlines at work? Perhaps you’ve noticed your boss reassigning some of your workload to your co-workers and were unsure why.
Are you failing to connect with your spouse? Missing important family events? You might even not be properly taking care of your children.
Now is the time to take an honest self-inventory. Ask yourself a difficult question. Would you have these issues if you were not drinking?
Increased Tolerance to Alcohol
A strange thing has happened. You used to drink a glass of wine each evening to unwind; then it rose to three; now you drink an entire bottle. You might even drink two bottles on a really rough day.
Joining your co-workers for cocktail hour used to be a fun and relaxing social event. Then, you started purchasing bottles to drink at home to be able to drink more for less money.
You used to appreciate the flavors of a nice Merlot. Now you drink a bottle of bottom shelf cheap wine instead.
Your tolerance for drinking is continually increasing. As a result, you begin to drink more and settle for less quality to feed your addiction. Now is the time you need to look closely at your alcohol addiction.