How Do I Know I'm an Alcoholic?
That's Life:Â Advice by Susan DeAngelis
Debbie from New York asks, â¬ÅHow do I know I am an alcoholic?Â Â Â Â
Â Addiction is a growing epidemic, touching the majority of the population of the world in some shape or form.Â
Â Â Â Â Close to half of the adults in America have a child, sibling, spouse or parent who has a problem with alcohol. If you look past the faÃÂ§ade of an average person -- the check out girl at the grocery store, your next door neighbor, the dentist, our teachers, family and friends -- you would see the climbing numbers secretly hiding their pain and attempting to function in society.
Â Â Â Â At first, I wasn't sure how to respond to Debbie. I had pondered that question many times before in my own life.
Â Â Â Â â¬ÅOnly you can determine whether you have a drinking problem, I finally replied.
Â Â Â Â I shared some of my drunken stories andÂ under-the-influence personality changesÂ then included a test in my responseÂ -- a test to help determine whether she had a drinking problem.
- Do you lose time from work due to drinking?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
- Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
- Is drinking affecting your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
- Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
- Do you want a drink the next morning?Â
- Do you drink alone?
- Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?
- Is drinking jeopardizing your job or your business?Â
- Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?
Â Â Â Â I told her if she answered, yes, to three or more of these questions, there was a good chance she was an alcoholic.
Â Â Â Â Â "I was given a twenty question test similar to this one years ago, I continued to share. â¬ÅIf you're not honest with yourself, taking the test is a waste of time -- I know from experience.
Â Â Â Â Â As an average woman, a single parent who came from a good middle class suburban family, I had difficulty understanding my demons. Other than drunken and drug plagued celebrities in the media, I had no one and nothing to validate my problems. And there was no magic self-help book that was going to give me the strength and courage to confront my issues.Â
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Â Â Â Â Although I questioned my relationship with alcohol,Â like Debbie,Â I often justified or dismissed my drinking claiming, â¬ÅEverybody drinks, so why can't I?
Â Â Â Â After I looked at the test in black and white for a while, I retook it -- this time with a clear conscience.Â Â I answered, "yes, I did,"Â to nearly all of the questions then sat quietly in my thoughts.Â Â My heart ached for Debbie andÂ all those who are still out there, sick and suffering.Â Â
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Â Â Â Â â¬ÅI know what they're going through, I thought as I wrote downÂ the number for the Alcoholics Anonymous Hotline in her area.Â "I hope she calls."
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Â Â Â Â To all of the Debbies out there in the world...Â If alcohol has become a strong presence in your life,Â so much that you or others are questioning your behavior, your sanity,Â then get help.Â Perhaps you don't feel comfortable with Alcoholics Anonymous -- just tell someone.Â Â Remember, you don't have to be alone anymore.Â
Watch The VIDEO for the Article:Â The Unknown Drunk:Â The One with the Twenty Questions