We live in a culture that phenomenalizes and sensationalizes binge drinking. People around the world love getting drunk. Imbibing on a good time with friends is an ancient practice. Even mythological characters like Greek Gods enjoyed a party full of wine. At the same time, the world has done careful work in characterizing the alcoholic as an outcast of society. The imagery of an alcoholic which comes to mind usually includes an old grumpy man, or a homeless person on the street.
“We of Alcoholics Anonymous are men and women who have lost the ability to control their drinking,” is a line read at the beginning of most AA meetings. Defining that control can be difficult. Where is the line between abusive drinker, binge drinker, and alcoholic?
The definition of an alcoholic compared to say a regularly, chronic heavy drinker, is that the mind and body have become chemically dependent on the presence of alcohol to function. Meaning, that from the moment an alcoholic wakes up in the morning, they are in need of a drink just to steady themselves and get out of bed. Of course, not every case is so severe. Most commonly, however, people recognize their alcoholism when they notice their “need” to drink suddenly outweighs any desire or want.
If you are having a hard time deciding whether or not you might be an alcoholic, look at these few signs. One of the first signs of alcoholism, however, is needing to question your alcoholism.
You Keep Quitting.
You promise yourself “this is it” and that you won’t drink again. Quickly, you do, and it’s usually worse. You try stopping a thousand times but nothing seems to work. You can’t stop picking up a drink, and it never ends with one.
You Drink More than Everyone Else.
Not only are you drinking more than everyone else, you are always more drunk than everyone else. You might end up being the person buying the drinks or fixing them in the kitchen so you can get extra shots in yourself.
You Hate People who Control their Drinking.
You don’t understand how people can have just one drink when you have a need to drink so much more. People who can control their drink don’t seem to face the daily nightmare you do of trying to figure out what happened that night.
You Need to Drink.
You wake up shaking and experience shaking throughout the day until you have an alcoholic beverage. You feel sick, delirious, anxious, depressed, and angry when you don’t have a drink. You also feel bewildered. You aren’t sure how this could have happened and why you cannot get it to stop.
If you are unable to stop or control you’re drinking, you might be an alcoholic. Alcoholism can be treated and recovery is waiting around the corner. Contact the Center for Life Change for a consultation about our alcoholism recovery programs.