How many mornings have you woken up with a pounding headache, a foul taste in your mouth, and a fear that you might throw up? Have you ever found your wallet empty, texted a friend to ask what happened, or discovered a stranger in your bed?
How many times have you said “I’m never drinking again, and this time I mean it”? If these questions hit a little too close to home, maybe it’s time to admit that you have an alcohol problem. Of course, there are other warning signs that alcohol has taken over your life. Let’s explore 7 of them.
1. Lying About or Hiding Your Consumption
Let’s say that your friend meets you at the bar and asks if you’ve been pre-gaming. Do you answer honestly, or do you say you’ve only had one beer when in fact you’re on your second or third?
Have you ever kept a bottle hidden in your closet, dresser drawer, or gym bag so that family members or roommates won’t know you’re imbibing? Maybe you have switched from wine bottles to boxes of wine because no one can see if that box is full or empty.
2. Shirking Your Scheduled Responsibilities
One sign that you might be dealing with alcohol addiction is if you frequently miss work, skip morning classes, or have to bail on a brunch date because you are too hungover.
Similarly, some alcoholics deliberately plan for hungover mornings by scheduling appointments or meetings later in the day. Either one of these scenarios points to a problem.
3. Not Being Able to Stop Once You Start
Another pretty common scenario you may have experienced is telling yourself, and/or the people around you, that you’re only going to have one or two glasses — but somehow polishing off the whole bottle anyway.
If this happens more often than not, especially when you do have to get up early or bring your A-game the next day, you might have issues with alcohol.
4. Drinking is Your Default Response
An argument with your spouse. A dressing-down at work. Losing a client or being passed over for a promotion. Feeling stressed. Worrying about the state of the world or bad news of any kind.
Whenever one of these situations occurs, is your first thought, “I need a drink”? When drowning your sorrows has taken center stage and pushed other, healthy coping skills to the wings, you could be addicted.
5. Engaging In Risky Behavior
People in the grips of addiction often make poor decisions. These include driving while intoxicated, going home with strangers, spending too much money, or drinking while taking a contraindicated medication. So-called “drunkorexia” — skipping a meal to get more intoxicated, more quickly — is another risky behavior.
So if you’ve frequently uttered “What was I even thinking?” in addition to “I’ll never have another drink,” you need to take a long, hard look at your relationship to alcohol.
Concerned That You Might Have an Alcohol Problem?
Everyone makes bad choices occasionally, and many people have had nights when they drank more than was reasonable. But if “occasionally” has turned into “often,” consider getting help for your alcohol problem.
Have questions? Want to find out how we can help? You can contact us anytime.