It’s been a while since I wrote about this, but in light of a number of questions that people have asked me in many of my addiction presentations lately, how does one really know whether they’re an alcoholic or not?
Ok, here’s the thing, I’d love to totally say that there’s a perfect answer to this question. But there’s not, as there are so many shades of alcoholism. More importantly though, it’s truly not for anyone to say anyway whether someone is an alcoholic or not because the fact is, there are countless people who consume alcohol regularly and still live normal lives. So, in light of that, here’s how I will answer this question, by sharing a list of the most common traits that alcoholics tend to exhibit when deep into their addiction.
- Hiding alcohol in various places / keeping hidden stashes
- Attempting to regulate the number of drinks consumed in a single sitting
- Attempting to regulate the number of drinking days
- Attempting to regulate the number of hours spent drinking on any given day
- Making resolutions to go for periods without drinking to themselves or loved ones
- Never leaving a half-drunk beverage
- Switching from one type of booze to another thinking it’s less of a problem for them
- Regularly consuming “non-alcoholic” beverages like O’Douls
- Getting buzzed or drunk every time spent drinking
- Blacking out on a regular basis when drinking
- Justifying their drinking because they’re still maintaining their lives, paying their bills, keeping their jobs, etc.
- Asking another if they think they’re an alcoholic
- Comparing their drinking to someone else’s drinking and saying it’s not as bad as the other person
- Telling themselves they are drinking to take the edge off
- Trying to convince others to drink with them
- Drinking well beyond when the party/evening events are over
- Drinking during the work day
- Drinking in strange places like the shower
- Drinking more and more to achieve a desired effect
- Drinking even after health risks arise
- Engaging in risky behaviors when drinking like driving, unprotected sex, hurting oneself, and doing other drugs/addictions
While this list is no where’s near a comprehensive list of every symptom an alcoholic may ever show, they are the most common I personally have either observed or lived in myself when I was once was active in my own disease of alcoholism. The thing to remember in all of this is simply this. If you are truly questioning whether you are an alcoholic or not, there’s a good chance you are. Just know that if you are, there is help out there for you and hope for recovery and when you’re ready, all you need to do is check out Alcoholics Anonymous. It truly saved my life and it can save yours too!
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson