How to know if you have a drinking problem. This subject came up the other day, in our book club, we all said that we had gone online and taken a test or googled the symptoms, everyone of us had done this, to see if we had a drinking problem. Some of the women identify as an alcoholic, some like myself identify with alcohol abuse disorder, each and everyone of us identify that alcohol intrerefered with our lives
One woman even said she lied on the test, so it came out NO. I justified on the test (it asked if you drank alone) I was a single mom, who did you want me to drink with my 5 year old? So how do you know?
- You are googling it, is one of the first clues, though it might be years before that clue comes to light
- My other clue & everyone else agreed it was the hangovers/wasted days of being incapacitated after.
- The whole in my life
- The anxiety from drinking
- The guilt from drinking
- The feeling in the morning of wishing I hadn’t drank the day before
- And the fact it interfered with our jobs (missed days or just not being present) and or parenting (short tempered, missing parenting meetings, or not attending events).
Interesting fact was none of us said it was because we drank alone or because someone was concerned, or if it had negatively affected friendships or if we embarrassed ourselves ever or the fact that we had spent too much money drinking as we could rationalize these things. Or some of the questions didn’t even apply like do you get the shakes if you don’t drink, or do you crave alcohol daily (nope) it went deeper than just the surface questions.
You see having a drinking problem doesn’t look the same for everyone. You might see a person rummaging through a garbage can swigging booze out of a bottle (think Frank from Shameless) and think yeah he has a problem, but when you look at that well dressed woman with her son, who’s a single mom in her 30’s, goes out on weekends, rides her bike, is at the soccer field every saturday morning, has a nanny part time, has a corporate job, lives by the beach you may not look and guess she has a problem. There are so many definitions of does someone have a problem with alcohol and not one is right or wrong if they have a problem. Its if you are happy with our life.
Really only you can decide when you have had enough, that point has been made over and over by court ordered rehabs, detoxes, psychiatry holds, or when that mom cries on her couch every Sunday wishing she’d never drank again this weekend.
There is no defining point it’s just you and your life. The great thing is you can always try out not drinking and go back to it if it’s not for you or you can decide like I did that life is so much easier without alcohol/ hangovers you may never go back.