If drinking alcohol results in problems for you or someone you know, you may be wondering: “Am I an alcoholic, or just a heavy drinker?” It can be pretty scary to face that question and make the choice to wear the label “alcoholic.” Maybe you realize that whatever enjoyment you get from drinking, it is not worth the problems it has already caused you. Perhaps you don’t really like admitting it, but you are not sure you can stop. If that makes you nervous, don’t worry. It’s ok. Millions of people have beaten addiction and you can too, once you commit to trying. Maybe you are ready to turn around and stop digging your hole before you hit rock bottom.
Ultimately, only the alcoholic has the power to make the change. If you are concerned about someone else, please keep this premise in mind: they must decide for themselves if they are an alcoholic – you can’t force them to accept this. Leading them with gentle, non-judgmental questioning can help them recognize they have a serious problem and they need help to stop. We won’t lie – recovery is often not easy. But the good news is there is help available. Recovering from alcoholism may be the hardest thing you ever do. But it will also quite possibly be the single most important thing you ever do for yourself. So muster some optimism, realize you are worthy of happiness and love and all good things and read on to find out how to know if you are an alcoholic or just a heavy drinker.
How To Tell If You Are An Alcoholic: BRAVELY!
This is scary! If you are indeed an alcoholic, that is a hard thing to admit to yourself. We understand that. We are here for you, and we will support you. Being an alcoholic does not make you a bad person. It is not something you should be ashamed of. You should not feel ashamed to have retreated into denial from the prospect that you might be an alcoholic. That is extremely normal. You are only human, and we are all frail. But we are all also capable of amazing things, great feats of heroism and bravery like grappling with our demons and conquering alcoholism. YOU CAN DO IT! And by the way, congratulations! By deciding to read this, you are taking a small step. So be proud, and read on, bravely.
One Simple Way to Know If You Are An Alcoholic
Alcoholics share two common characteristics. One feature of alcoholism is that alcoholics cannot control how much they drink once they have their first drink. Another feature is that alcoholics can stop drinking for a while, but they can’t stay stopped. So you can see, even if someone only drinks occasionally, if they can’t control how much they drink when they drink, and they can’t quit drinking, they are an alcoholic.
If you are trying to persuade someone who only drinks on the weekends to get help, and you tell them you think they have a problem, they might scoff and point out they don’t have to drink – they only do it on the weekend. You can ask them if they can choose in advance how much to drink. You can ask if they can choose not to drink for a weekend. If they say no, you can ask them to put their answers to the test. If they say yes, you can ask them if they can’t control their drinking, how is their drinking not out of control? How can they be confident it won’t cause them a huge problem in the future? Wouldn’t it be good if you were in charge of your own actions, instead of being controlled by a bottle?
Had enough already? Why wait? Call us now at (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 or +61 398045757and we can talk about your problem and how to solve it.
We will add some insight into one of these two main criteria. If you have trouble going without a drink, it might be because you experience withdrawal symptoms, whether you are recognizing them as such or not. If you get nervous, depressed, fatigued, irritable, jumpy or shaky, experience mood swings, nightmares, or mental confusion, well, a lot of people do. But if they go away when you start drinking again, you are physically addicted to alcohol. You can use this very clear information to correctly diagnose yourself; you are an alcoholic.
There are a lot of online quizzes available to help people confront the realization that they are alcoholic. With the two criteria “can’t control how much” and “cant’ stay quit” you are already pretty well covered. So why the other questions?
These help people who are addicted realize the cost of their addiction and the tragic way it robs them of the chance to live a full life. So rather than call these “ways to recognize you are an alcoholic,” let’s think of them as ways we can see what our drinking has cost us. Maybe these questions will help you realize, you don’t want to drink as much as you do. Maybe you are a heavy drinker but not an actual alcoholic and you will be able to simply choose to drink less. Or maybe not. If you find it is too hard to quit on your own, don’t give up! You can do it with help.
Recognizing The Cost Of Drinking
To get a sense of what drinking is costing you – or help someone else come to this realization – you can ask the following questions.
Have you lost interest in other activities that you once found enjoyable? When you start to get better, you will realize what you have been missing.
Do you drive under the influence? If so, drinking could cost you your life, or force you to live with the knowledge that you have taken the life of another. Stop! Get help!
Does your drinking cause you to make other unsafe decisions about such things as unprotected sex with strangers, dangerous stunts, or illegal activities? Would you rather have reasonably good judgment all the time?
Does alcohol disrupt your relationships with family and friends? At some point, you will ask yourself which is more important and answer honestly.
Does your drinking cause you to show up late or be absent from work or class or other important events? Do you want drinking to be the most important thing in your life? Or would you like to choose something else to focus on? You can!
Do you drink alone and in secrecy? The feelings of shame that alcoholics experience are painful and limiting. The habit of secrecy makes it hard to fix any problems at all because it’s so hard to reach out for help. Please do not be ashamed. Because feeling shame just makes it harder to recover. You can call us and talk. We are here to help.
Learn More About Our Addiction Recovery Program
Seasons Bali offers support for people struggling with addiction. You are here reading this, so it is probably time for you or someone you care about to take the first step towards a much better life. It takes work but you can leave the unfulfilling cycle and the suffering behind.
If someone you care about has a problem with alcohol (or any other form of addiction) talk to someone who understands. We are here to help. Call one of our experts today at (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 +61 398045757 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.