How do I know I am an alcoholic?

This post is inspired by a discussion that I came across on Quora a few months back where someone asked how he can reduce the amount of alcohol he drinks on a night out

So that would be the first sign that you have a problem right? No normal person that does not have a problem with alcohol or drugs will ever be concerned about how they can control the amount of alcohol he or she drinks, or the amount of drugs he or she uses.

So you want to know the answer to the question: how do I know I am an alcoholic?

How do I know if I am an alcoholic questions

If you regularly drink too much, and you start obsessing about how you can control it then chances are incredibly high that you have a problem.

And it isn’t even about drinking too much really, some alcoholics actually drink very little. It is about being powerless over the alcohol and about your personality changing when you drink. It is about the way you think.

An alcoholic or addict has what is called stinking thinking.

Here’s the difference between an alcoholic and a normal person…

A normal person goes out and has too much to drink. This normal person wakes up in the morning and thinks, oh dear I had too much to drink, I won’t do that again.  Then they don’t do that again and they don’t think about it again. There is no issue.

An alcoholic will drink too much (again) come home and think about how he can control his drinking. The first thing he will do is come up with an excuse for drinking too much last night and here are some examples of things to blame:

  • His girlfriend that had a fight with him (probably because he was drinking too much)
  • His mother that nags him (probably because he drinks too much)
  • His boss that picks on him (probably because he is hung over too often)
  • The rugby game that was won, so he had to celebrate the victory
  • The rugby game that was lost, so he had to drown his sorrows
  • There was no rugby game so he was bored

Ok you get the picture anything is fair game for blame.

Next step is the alcoholic will come up with ideas to not drink so much. These ideas consist of gems like:

  • The orange juice is to blame, so I will switch from Vodka and Orange Juice to Vodka with lemonade
  • Wine goes to my head so I will drink spirits instead
  • Brandy makes me aggressive so I will stick to Vodka
  • Spirits are too strong so I will drink beer
  • I will only drink on weekends
  • I won’t drink on weekends
  • I will start drinking singles instead of doubles (but end up drinking ordering 20 drinks instead of 10)

These excuses and ideas are endless.

How do I know if I am an alcoholic?

Well I’ve covered the basics here, if you are wondering about that then chances are high you are. If you have some of those thoughts that I just mentioned then you’re getting closer to breaking through your denial.

The thing is that coming to realize you are an alcoholic is your own path, not mine. It is not a question someone else can answer for you.

This is your journey and this is your life.

Here are some more questions to ask yourself:

  • How often do you wake up not remembering what you did the night before?
  • How often do you pass out from drinking?
  • Do you ever tell yourself to control your drinking?
  • How often do you tell yourself you will just have one drink, yet drink more?
  • Do you drink first thing in the morning?
  • Have you ever stayed drunk for a few days in a row?
  • Have you ever gone into work drunk?
  • Have you switched brands or types of alcohol in the hopes that you won’t drink so much or get drunk?
  • Have you ever lost a job because of your drinking or had problems at work because of your drinking?
  • Do your loved ones complain about your drinking?
  • Are you often the last one in the bar when your friends have long since left to go home?
  • Do you sometimes become angry when you drink?
  • Do you sometimes get emotional when you drink?
  • Do you have fights with your loved ones when you have been drinking?
  • Have you ever become aggressive and abusive when you drink?
  • How often have you driven drunk?
  • Do you get the shakes when you have not had a drink? Do these shakes disappear when you have a drink?
  • Have you ever done things you are ashamed of while drunk?
  • Is your drinking causing financial problems?
  • Has anyone else in your family had a drinking problem?
  • Do you hide your drinking from the people closest to you?
  • Is your drinking causing relationship problems?
  • Have you tried to stop drinking and not been able to?
  • Have you had memory blackouts while drinking?
  • Do you eat very little or not at all when you are drinking?
  • Do you drink until you vomit? And sometimes still carry on?
  • Have you ever lost control of your bowels or bladder while drinking?

I can ask questions like these until the cows come home, but you get the picture now. My personal belief is that if you are an alcoholic you do actually know it deep down but you just don’t want to face it.

That is what happened to me anyway, there was a part of me that I buried (under loads of drugs and alcohol) that knew I was an alcoholic and a drug addict.

I recently wrote an ebook about my powerlessness over alcohol and drugs, I shared stories from when I was in active addiction. In these stories you can follow what my thought patterns where, the times I suddenly thought I might just have a problem and then how I shut those thoughts away from myself.

I believe each person has their own process to go through, their own moment of realization and I also believe that everything happens for a reason.

So if you are here reading this post there is probably a reason you are here, and I can’t answer your questions for you. Take what you need from this and I hope you find your way, whatever that path may be.

Here’s some food for thought. Until you know and acknowledge there is a problem you cannot begin to fix it. The first step to recovery begins with admitting to yourself that you have a problem.

If you are an alcoholic you can contact Alcoholics Anonymous and you will find an amazing support system and other alcoholics to help you through this.

Are you an alcoholic or an addict? How did you come to realize you had a problem?

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The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn – My real life in addiction

The last week has been quite an emotional journey for me as I have been finishing writing my eBook The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn which is made up of real life stories about drug addiction. My drug addiction stories from my life.

I really enjoyed writing this book in the beginning and it was an amazing process but as the time came closer and closer to publishing I got physically sick. At first I assumed it was just the flu but now I can feel very clearly that all the emotions that came up while writing this book have come out and made me physically ill.

Every day this week I have woken up with flu symptoms and every morning around 11am I have started with a headache which became a raging migraine by the time it was afternoon. Last night was the worst. By the time my husband got home from work my migraine was so bad I wanted to vomit.

It suddenly became clear to me that this is not flu, this is all due to me writing about my life in such an honest way, opening myself up to other people and sharing some of my most humiliating and painful experiences from my life – things that happened to me while I was in the throes of addiction.

Thank you to my husband that spent an hour rubbing my back, neck and shoulders last night to help me relax, completely taking away my migraine proving that this is just stress.

I am worried about what my mother will think when she reads it, when she can see how far down I had gone and the awful things I did and the awful things I experienced. I worry whether she will feel guilt or like she failed me.

So a special note to my parents – this book is dedicated to you. You never did anything wrong, this was out of your control.

Without your support and love for me I would never ever have made it out.

The title of the book is something my mother has often said to me when I am struggling with something. She tells me the darkest hour is just before dawn. So when things are at their darkest the sun is about to shine.

There is a darker side to this title too. The amount of times I have been awake all night, wired on drugs, are countless. It reminds me of all those mornings in my life when I realize I have done it again, when the light starts coming in the window and I realize I am a failure.

This eBook will share many of those moments with you.

Drug Addiction Stories Real Life

Drug Addiction Stories Real Life

I bet you are wondering why I wrote this eBook about my addiction?

The first reason is because sharing about my shame and the things I have done actually frees me from them. Shame lives in dark corners of your mind, it thrives on secrets and it grows over time. Taking that shame and bringing it into the light where everyone can see it makes it smaller and it holds less power over me.

These things that I did and that happened to me were awful, but by sharing what happened I can just maybe help others. Maybe a drug addict that is stuck in the cycle of addiction will read my book and find the strength and hope to get clean. Perhaps an addict in recovery reads my book and can relate to what happened to me and his or her shame diminishes just a little bit.

Maybe a mother will read my book and understand her addict daughter and her problem better. Perhaps this mom won’t feel so much guilt afterwards and it will ease her pain.

These are all my hopes for this eBook. I hope it takes something ugly and makes something good come of it.

Alcohol Addiction Stories

Alcohol was present at the start of my journey and at the end. Drinking was the norm in my life and something that I underestimated, something that I thought was not a problem.

Alcohol is dangerous and it is a drug. The worst part of this drug for me is that it is so socially acceptable. Even being drunk is often not looked at as the serious problem that it is.

It is very addictive and very often people think that it is not as dangerous as illegal narcotics.

I don’t think so, I look at alcohol and I see my gate way drug. Yes I also smoked Marijuana – I did smoked it first when I was drunk. Yes I snorted cocaine. I tried it first when I was drunk.

Cocaine Addiction Stories

Strangely enough cocaine only showed up in my life when I was about 24 years old but it took hold of me so fast and dragged me straight down.

In a strange way I should be grateful to cocaine.

Without it I might still be limping along with my alcohol addiction, managing to convince myself that I don’t have a problem. Perhaps it helped me sink so low that I had only a few choices left… get clean, go to jail or die.

Cocaine made me stay awake for days at a time, not eating and becoming more and more delusional as time went on.

Addiction stole 15 years of my life.

From the time I was 14 years old and I started cutting myself, drinking and getting into abusive relationships until the time I was 29 years old and hopelessly hooked on cocaine.

Real Life Drug Addiction Stories

Writing this eBook was quite tricky because everything is so fuzzy. I can’t get things from that time in my life into a chronological order.

Some of the things I remember are fuzzy because of the alcohol and drugs but some of the things I have a few realities in my mind and I can’t figure out which is which.

That must sound so strange but the thing is that as an addict I had to lie a lot to save my bacon.

I would have to tell different people different versions of events, you know one to suit each person? Over time and with retelling things in different ways there are some things that happened in my life but I just can’t figure out which is the real truth.

Another difficulty I had with writing this eBook is that this is my story, but other people were involved too.

For this reason everyone in my eBook is called Bob or Jane, faceless people all with same name. The only distinction being between male and female.

And nobody in my life was called Bob or Jane so this fits nicely. All Bob’s and Jane’s are guilt free.

The first 2 stories in my eBook are free to my subcribers, so if you have signed up for my newsletter previously you should have received your eBook already by email.

If you sign up now you will be emailed your free preview as soon as you confirm your subscription.

You can now buy my ebook from the following websites:

Fiverr

SmashWords

ListingDock

 

Make money promoting my eBook!

And of course since I am an online marketer, if you would like to promote my eBook to your friends, family or on your own website you will get 20% lifetime commission on all sales you make for my eBook from ListingDock.

The standard affiliate commission at ListingDock is 10% but I doubled that just for you!

Coming out next…

My intention for this eBook is that it is the first of three. I have now shared what my addiction was like, how bad it was. I am closing off that chapter for now.

My next next eBook will share my experience getting clean and the last will be my life in recovery, sharing how I stay clean.

Perhaps there will be more eBooks to come, who knows what my journey forward holds.

BUY The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn

Please give some honest feedback on my eBook if you have read it!

I would love to hear from you!

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