If you are reading this article right now, it is a question that is the elephant in the room and has been bouncing around in your head non-stop like white noise. You may be struggling with alcohol dependence or you are feeling you are slipping downward on the slippery slope towards addiction.
It isn’t pleasant to think about, that’s for sure. You are alternating between depression, anger, confusion, denial and every other emotion on the radio dial of your soul. Alcoholism is serious business and a lot of the unease that you feel centers on one BIG question…
Am I a real alcoholic?
It’s a Matter of Definition
In at attempt to find the answer to this million dollar question, you will seek out how professional define alcoholism or what conventional wisdom states about the disease of alcoholism. Let’s take a look at the definition of alcoholism as proposed by Mayo Clinic:
“… a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect (physical dependence), or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. If you have alcoholism, you can’t consistently predict how much you’ll drink, how long you’ll drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking.”
Seems pretty cut and dried – preoccupation, continuing to drink despite the negative consequences, tolerance, withdrawal, not knowing how much you will drink in a given period. The writing is the on wall. Sometimes these definitions can get lost in translation, especially when we try to look at our own experiences.
If you are struggling with alcoholism, what are you seeing within yourself? This is where definitions get tricky.
Where Are You At?
When we think of alcoholics (or addicts for that matter) the scenes we paint in our minds can come right out of a Hollywood drama.
Lost jobs, lost families, bankruptcy, suicide attempts, living in a car, living in a shelter, living under a bridge, disease, emergency room visits.
Obviously, these outcomes can be the result of alcoholism and are the images that immediately come to mind. However, what if you don’t fall under those scenarios?
Yeah, you have been known to have a few and like to party it up a bit, who doesn’t, right? You can drink until the small hours, but you go to work everyday and are productive. You may be the picture perfect parent who packs lunch for the kids, drives the kids to soccer and goes to PTA meetings. You may have the nice split-level home with the manicured lawn, white picket fence and the dog to go with it.
Your reality and the image of the alcoholic don’t match up, so it is easy to overlook what may be slowly happening right under your nose. Truth is there are different types of alcoholism and alcoholic; the high-functioning alcoholic, the young adult alcoholic, the antisocial alcoholic and as well as the familiar chronic alcoholic.
In that conversation that you are having with yourself, you WILL HAVE to ask the tough questions.
Digging Deep – Are You An Alcoholic?
Are you a real alcoholic?
In order to answer that question for yourself, you need to go beyond the clinical definitions and established stereotypes and and have the proverbial talk with the person you see in the mirror. You need to ask yourself the following questions:
Are you starting to lose control of your drinking? Is “a couple” not enough anymore?
Are you acting out impulsively and recklessly when you drink?
Do you have certain hidden areas of your house where you keep alcohol or consume alcohol?
Do you always have a good explanation for why you drink?
Do you have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality change when you drink?
Are you starting to call in sick to work or missing family obligations more frequently because of your drinking?
Do you have periods where you black out or lose memory?
If you find yourself answering yes to these questions, alcoholism is a presence in your life. Even if you only and honestly answered yes to only a few of these questions, chances are good that as time goes on more answers will be added to the yes column.
Alcoholism is slow to develop and the signs that you are an alcoholic can be both readily apparent as well as subtle. If you are an alcoholic, it is necessary to seek alcohol treatment right away.
Are You An Alcoholic and Need Help? Call Sober Nation Today
Alcohol is a dangerous drug and if you find yourself losing your battle you need options that are readily available to help you do battle with the disease of alcoholism. As the largest addiction and treatment resource available in the world, the experienced staff at Sober Nation can help you find the treatment facility that is best suited for your unique needs.
By calling Sober Nation today, you will get immediate help in finding treatment and you have access to a wealth of innovative online tools and other recovery resources that can provide you the information you need to understand addiction in all forms. Most importantly, we will provide you the encouragement and support you need to overcome your addiction.
Don’t wait another day. Call us toll-free at 1-866-207-7436 and start your life of recovery today.