Do you remember the first time that you tasted the first drop of alcohol? Were you blissful? Excited? Can’t wait for more? That’s actually the common impression on having your first drink.
Drinking is always related to fun and enjoyment. Most often than not, it is a part of socializing. That’s why most people who are considered as social drinkers ended up not being aware of developing tolerance and eventually addiction to alcohol.
“For many people who have limited experience with alcoholism and addiction, the subtle signs can be difficult to spot. This is made even more problematic if the alcoholic or user is considered to be high functioning, which means she or he is able to maintain a job, go to school, and have relationships without manifesting the full-blown signs of addiction or alcoholism.” — Sherry Gaba LCSW
These ten warning signs should be observed cautiously to prevent yourself from going overboard as an alcoholic:
- LYING about how much and how often you are drinking. This is a big warning sign because you are not being rational about how much you are already drinking and dependent on alcohol.
- You have a headstart of drinking before going out to drink with your friends. Heck, can’t get enough of alcoholic drinks? You are already going out to drink yet you still have to drink before.
- You are having troubles with your memory. You are drinking too much that alcohol already fucks up your brain wirings.
- You are starting to depend on alcohol for relaxation. There are many other activities besides drinking wherein you can relax such as watching movies, meditation, playing sports and yoga. Depending on alcohol for relaxation is quite alarming already.
- When you start drinking, there’s no way you can stop. Well. Well. Well. This is the most obvious sign that there is something going on with your drinking.
“At first, alcohol allows the drinker to feel quite pleasant, with no emotional costs. As an individual’s drinking progresses, however, it takes more and more alcohol to achieve the same high. Eventually the high is hardly present.” — Cynthia Mascott, LMHC
6. You are drinking faster than your friends. You seem like you can’t get enough of alcohol in your system. Your tolerance is relatively high compared to before that you need to drink more and faster to have that buzz you are looking for.
7. You are starting to drink in dangerous situations. Can’t wait to get into a bar or your house so you start drinking while driving. You can’t stop yourself from drinking before work. Simply put, you just drink anywhere, anytime.
8. Your drinking affects your relationships. Since you spend quite some time in drinking, you will probably develop conflicts and misunderstandings with your friends, loved ones or significant other. Alcohol influences your attitude towards your relationships with the other people.
9. You are experiencing withdrawals unlike before. When you try to stop drinking alcohol, you experience withdrawals–excessive sweating, unbearable headaches, weakness of the body. And of course, your solution for this is to drink again.
10. You start making excuses just to drink. You started from social drinking and now you are coming up with bullshit excuses for you to drink without being guilty.
“If all warning signs came with gigantic flashing lights, they might be more effective. But the trouble with warning signs is that we often don’t recognize them at the time we most need to.” — Peg O’Connor Ph.D.
Moderation is the key. That is always the reminder for drinking. Even though we are so used to this reminder, it would still do as good to observe and follow.