5 Signs You’re an Alcoholic
7/22/2020 by Chris Cobb
Before we get started, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not a doctor. I’m a very, very experienced alcoholic. I am also in recovery, and here to simply point out a few things I notice now that I can see clearly, back when I didn’t want to admit I had a problem. Here are some of the signs I brushed off in the past that were trying to show me I needed help.
- You try non-alcoholic beer and can’t stop.
Yep, the ole’ O’Doul’s experiment. Been there, done that. After 2 years sober, I decided to give non-alcoholic beer a chance, since I still, and likely always will love the taste of beer. I figure “hey, I won’t get a buzz or get addicted to this stuff, it tastes good, why not?” Well, I loved it for a while, until I started wanting it so bad that I felt like a soccer mom with a Pepsi addiction, getting angry at store managers for not having it in stock, kind of how I used to do with the alcohol version. I realize some addictions are physical, others are mental. The placebo effects the taste was causing me would make me feel relaxed, a bit more worry-free. So, when I realized I couldn’t have it for my weekend cookout, I was actually pissed, and I noticed it. Long story short, I decided to do the “absence makes the heart grow fond-less” experiment. Same with cigarettes, a few days later, the mental obsession was gone. I know it’s obvious, O’Doul’s itself is harmless. But what about ME? What if I keep that obsession, and gradually ease my way into thinking it will be okay for me to ‘sip’ on some REAL beer… It tastes better, relaxes me more, I don’t have to drink a whole case, right? Wrong. Alcohol was never my problem. I was my problem. I CAN’T stop at one or two drinks, whether it’s beer, liquor, vodka, and so on. Anything with alcohol, it becomes mental, chemical, and physical all at the same time for me. And seeing as I have lost everything good in my life multiple times, I’d probably be better off safe rather than sorry. So no O’Doul’s for me, but to each, their own.
- You drink every time you’re under stress, whether it’s good or bad.
I got a new job! I got a new car! My girlfriend left me! All good things, right? Well the third depends, but I won’t get into that right now. Back in my drinking days, many things of this nature, good, or bad, would turn my bottlecap-shaped gears and get me thinking (I mean drinking). Excuses are as follows: I just need to take the edge off. I need to calm down. I am celebrating! Either way, I end up blackout-drunk, waking up on random pieces of furniture, in my car, face-first in a cow pasture, inside an oil drum, you name it. Sometimes, even in jail. Maybe you don’t black out like me, but could you honestly say that you can deal with all this stress without a sip of alcohol? If now, you might want to check yourself, before you wreck yourself, like so many of us have done.
- Your life is unmanageable (to any degree)
You might not want to admit that you are powerless over anything. I know I didn’t for a long time. But have you ever missed work because you were either drunk or had a hangover? Even once? Missed your kid’s tee ball game or soccer tryout? Put off cleaning the house ‘til you felt better after a long night of “fun”? Even if not extreme as some of us, like being homeless or going to jail multiple times over our drinking, it couldn’t hurt to ask yourself a question to keep in check, every once in a while. “Has alcohol caused problems in my life?” Whether problems are temporary or part of our daily routine, we always need to think about what’s best for our life, so we don’t lose anything at all due to something so easily avoidable. Just be honest with yourself at all times, and reach out for help without hesitation, you won’t regret it.
- You go on the defense when someone asks if you have an alcohol problem
Grandma: “How much do you drink during the week?”
Me: “I only drink a beer or two a day, just to wind down.”
Mom: “I’ve seen how many beer boxes are in your laundry room.”
Me: “You have no idea how long those have even been there, so mind your own.”
So, if you’re like me in any way with your drinking and denial, you’ve probably either lied, downplayed, or downright been nasty with people for questioning your responsibility and sanity as an adult. Anyone in their right mind seen with a drink after being asked what number they are on, would say “#2” without hesitation or guilt. If you are giving grief for getting grief, you should probably ask the above questions to yourself. But what do I know? I’m just an alcoholic.
If you recognize yourself or a loved one in this post, and would like help, call the team at The Addictions Coach. 1.88.706.0318 ext 2. Not interested in going to a traditional treatment center, or not feeling its safe enough right now to do so? You DO NOT need to delay treatment. Our unique Sober on Demand program brings treatment to you, in the privacy and safety of your home!