As much as it may come across as cliché, to say that acknowledging a problem is the first and most important step in addressing it could not be truer. Even if deep down you suspect you have a problem or are predominantly sure there’s something not quite right, it’s not until you fully admit and accept it that you can hope to do anything about it. Needless to say, when it comes to problems with alcohol there’s a very fine yet crucially important line between ‘normal’ alcohol consumption and full-blown addiction.
According to the experts at http://www.dryoutnow.com/, one of the biggest problems is the way in which everyday drinking habits differ so much from one person to the next. What one person may consider to be a standard weekend’s activities would to another constitute something of a life-affecting alcohol fixation. All of which makes it very difficult to specify in simple black and white terms when and where drinking habits cross the line into dangerous dependency.
That being said, experts do suggest that there are certain red-flag warning signs to be on the lookout for, which in all instances suggest that professional help could be needed. So should you find yourself ticking any of the following boxes, it’s at least worth considering a chat with an expert for the sake of both your own life, and the lives of those around you:
Your Drinking Habits Worry You
First up, you and you alone know what’s considered normal or otherwise, therefore only you know when the time comes to start genuinely worrying. There’s a big difference between feeling you overdid it somewhat at the weekend and genuinely looking back over the past week/month/year and becoming genuinely concerned about your drinking habits. The simple fact of the matter is that if your behaviour and habits have become a concern for you, chances are it’s for a good reason. Of course there’s every likelihood you don’t in fact have anything to worry about, but it’s still a good idea to speak to an expert, just in case.
Friends or Family Are Becoming Worried
The same also goes for friends and family as these tend to be the people in your life who know to a great extent at least what is and is not normal for you. Once again, there’s a difference between being told you’re overdoing it and stirring up genuine concern to such an extent that those around you actually try to make you aware of how concerned they are. When and where this happens, it shouldn’t be written off as needless concern – a quick chat with a professional isn’t too much to ask.
You’ve Started Hiding Your Drinking
The simple fact of the matter is that if you are 100% confident that your drinking habits are not in any way problematic or detrimental, you should have zero shame about them. By contrast, the very moment you begin hiding your drinking from others, you are effectively admitting the fact that you know what you’re doing is having an ill effect on you and those around you. Hiding a drinking habit from others is one of the most common and strongly-indicative signs of an alcohol problem, therefore should motivate consideration of professional intervention.
You’re Continually Self-Medicating
There’s a big difference between enjoying a glass of wine after a hard day at the office and drinking near-continuously as a means by which to numb feelings of depression, anger, regret or any other painful feelings whatsoever. Self-medicating by way of alcohol always leads to a vicious cycle wherein the negative feelings are only ever made worse. If alcohol has become something you turn to on a routine or constant basis simply to tone down negative feelings, this is something that should be addressed sooner rather than later.
Your Performance Is Wavering
Last but not least, the very moment it becomes apparent that your performance is suffering in any aspect of your life due to alcohol use, this is perhaps the strongest of all signs that you have a problem. Irrespective of whether or not the influence of alcohol is having on your life in general bothers you, when and where you are consistently or regularly unable to perform to your full potential entirely due to alcohol use, this constitutes a serious and dangerous problem. And once again, it almost always ends up leading to the kind of vicious cycle the likes of which cannot and will not be broken without the appropriate professional advice and assistance.