22 Apr 10 Not-So-Subtle-Signs You Have a Drinking Problem
Has your drinking crossed the line from a way to relax every once in a while into a serious problem? Here are some not-so-subtle signs that your drinking habits have gotten out of hand.
1. You’re The Life of the Party – And It Shows
You like to let loose and it doesn’t go unnoticed. You’re the first one at happy hour and the last one to go home. Open bar at a company event, wedding or party? You’ll be sure to get their money’s worth. As long as you’ve got a steady flow of liquid confidence, animated dancing may ensue (maybe even on tables), jokes of varying colors are the norm and no one’s glass goes empty.
2. Everyone Has a Favorite “Drunk Story” About You
Face down, passed out in the bar’s popcorn basket, streaking through the quad, running up the company’s bar tab to the triple digits, going home to the wrong apartment – your friends all have an arsenal of not-so-flattering drinking stories at your expense. It’s only a question of which one and how many they can fire off at a moment’s notice.
3. The Day After Drinking Is Like “The Wizard of Oz”
Remember that last scene in “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy wakes up from her concussion/trip down the yellow brick road? Seeing the characters around her bed, the earlier events come flooding back to her. “And you – and you — and you – and you were there. But you couldn’t have been, could you?” This is you after a day of drinking, but there are no magic ruby slippers or happy endings. A night of drinking means a day of guessing what happened the night before and wondering if your memory is playing tricks on you.
4. Whatever the Question, Alcohol is the Answer
Alcohol seems to be the answer to everything. Stressed about work or school? Relationship troubles? Financial woes? The all-wise alcohol will take care of it, or at least help you forget about it for a while. It doesn’t even have to be the solution to a hardship, merely the answer to “what to do?” It’s the first day of fall. You did that big load of laundry. It’s Wednesday. There isn’t a problem or occasion that doesn’t warrant alcohol as an answer in times of solace or celebration.
5. Alcohol Is Your BFF
If you had to choose between a sober night out at the movies with a friend or a night alone at home with a bottle of liquor, guess who’d win? Who needs friends when you’ve got Jim, Jack and Johnnie available at arm’s reach and at any hour? Alcohol is your constant companion, your trusted confidant and with you through all of life’s ups and downs. You’re so devoted to alcohol that you may even turn down social invitations if you know it wasn’t also invited to the affair.
6. Your Drinking Behavior Is Like a Magic Show
Friends and colleagues are amazed at your stamina and tolerance for alcohol. “Now you see it, now you don’t.” You can out drink most people you know, and then some. A long night of drinking and a painful hangover never come between you and another occasion to get blasted. Housemates know not to leave any alcohol in the fridge or cupboards, or it’s sure to do a disappearing act by the next day.
7. Alcohol Is Like Truth Serum
You regularly reveal information you would have preferred to keep “on the down low” when you’re drinking. Alcohol changes your personality. You lose all inhibitions and aren’t able to adequately assess the potential day-after damage when you’re sipping — or more likely chugging — the sauce.
8. You Liquid Lunch on the Regular
Or liquid breakfast, or liquid dinner … the point is that if you had to choose between a meal and liquor, the one that rhymes with “quicker” will triumph. Even if you’re not drinking your breakfast, lunch or dinner, alcohol often takes priority over making sure you’re getting proper nutrition and attending to other healthy self-care habits like exercising.
9. Sunday Funday, Margarita Monday, Tipsy Tuesday
You can always find a reason to drink. Weekend drinking regularly extends into the weekdays, and it’s not just a glass of wine here or there. For those unusual weeks when you don’t drink your fill on the weekdays, you are sure to make up for it on the weekend with an extra-large, binge-drinking bonanza.
Give Me Alcohol, or Give Me…
You can’t imagine life without alcohol. What would the point be? How would you have fun? How could you ever deal with the stressors and tribulations of your life? And though you may think your problem isn’t so extreme as to finish that pseudo-quote with the “D word,” a steady diet of booze may just take you there anyway if you don’t get the help you need.
By Sara Schapmann