It’s morning and once again you find yourself feeling sick, unsure about events last night, and frustrated about relationships with those closest to you. Your boss seems distant, finances are getting tight and you can’t seem to find a way for things to improve.
Your solution: try another night out on the town and hope to forget your troubles.
It’s a downward cycle of drinking to solve problems which only causes more problems. As a very wise person once said, if drinking has caused you problems, then you have a drinking problem.
You’re Trying to Control your Use
Chances are, if having a drinking problem exists in your mind, there’s a problem. Most people recognize a concern about their drinking a year before they reach out for help. If you’ve ever considered slowing down on your drinking, or reducing your daily intake, now’s a good time to take a good, hard look at your drinking pattern.
If you’ve tried to control your drinking but have failed, this is an even more concrete sign of problems on the horizon.
You don’t need to wait to reach out for help. The sooner the better certainly applies to getting help with drinking concerns.
It Takes You More to Get Drunk
Problem drinkers don’t drink for fun or for the taste. Drinking may be to forget, because something good happened, because something bad happened, because someone angered you. Unfortunately over time the drinking doesn’t give us what we want and it requires more alcohol each time as we chase that elusive goal of feeling better. The more you drink, the more accustomed your body becomes to the amount of alcohol you consume on a regular basis. This means you have to drink more and more to feel a buzz.
When you started drinking, it only took you a beer or two to get a buzz. Now, it takes you substantially more. If you’re increasing your drinking just to feel the same level of drunkenness as you once did, there might be an issue.
You’re Hiding the Evidence
Young children sometimes tell of having a stash of Halloween candy to keep the good stuff away from their siblings. But an adult, using the same tactics to hide alcohol from people who might judge them is problematic and a definite red flag.
You may find that you alternate where you purchase your alcohol and where you return the containers. As your drinking progresses, you may have a stash of alcohol hidden in the house—in the laundry room, under your bed, in the toolbox in the garage—your drinking might be out of control. Hiding alcohol from family or loved ones is a sign that you’re afraid of being called out on your problem, and you’re avoiding the truth.
You’re Hurting Relationships
Masking a drinking problem hurts more than just you. Your relationships suffer as well. Maybe you’ve already experienced this.
The best way to repair broken relationships is to work on yourself. If your partying is out of hand, reach out to someone for help—not only for yourself, but for your relationships, your family and all your other loved ones.
You Frequently Feel Guilty
After another night of partying, you wake up, your mind races to recall what you did and said last night: You yelled at your friend. You fell down and embarrassed yourself. You might have said something awful to your spouse, but you don’t remember. The best solution you can identify is another drink.
This viscous cycle of remorse and drinking is a clear sign that drinking has gotten out of control.
But there’s always hope: reach out to someone who can help you with your drinking before it gets out of control.
Photo courtesy rosengrant