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How Do I Know I'm an Alcoholic?

By:   |   Jul 08, 2018   |   Views: 16   |   Comments: 0

That's Life:  Advice by Susan DeAngelis


Debbie from New York asks, €œHow do I know I am an alcoholic?    

  Addiction is a growing epidemic, touching the majority of the population of the world in some shape or form. 

     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 façade 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.

     At first, I wasn't sure how to respond to Debbie. I had pondered that question many times before in my own life.

     €œOnly you can determine whether you have a drinking problem, I finally replied.

     I shared some of my drunken stories and under-the-influence personality changes  then included a test in my response -- a test to help determine whether she had a drinking problem.

  1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?                     

  2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?

  3. Is drinking affecting your reputation?

  4. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?

  5. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?

  6. Do you want a drink the next morning? 

  7. Do you drink alone?

  8. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?

  9. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or your business? 

  10. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?

     I told her if she answered, yes, to three or more of these questions, there was a good chance she was an alcoholic.

     "I was given a twenty question test similar to this one years ago, I continued to share. €œIf you're not honest with yourself, taking the test is a waste of time -- I know from experience.

     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. 
     Although I questioned my relationship with alcohol, like Debbie, I often justified or dismissed my drinking claiming, €œEverybody drinks, so why can't I?

     After I looked at the test in black and white for a while, I retook it -- this time with a clear conscience.   I answered, "yes, I did,"  to nearly all of the questions then sat quietly in my thoughts.  My heart ached for Debbie and all those who are still out there, sick and suffering.  
     €œI know what they're going through, I thought as I wrote down the number for the Alcoholics Anonymous Hotline in her area.  "I hope she calls."
     To all of the Debbies out there in the world...  If alcohol has become a strong presence in your life, so much that you or others are questioning your behavior, your sanity, then get help.  Perhaps you don't feel comfortable with Alcoholics Anonymous -- just tell someone.  Remember, you don't have to be alone anymore. 

Watch The VIDEO for the Article:  The Unknown Drunk:  The One with the Twenty Questions

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