Maybe you’ve always been a heavy drinker; it started in high school, and progressed in college, and now, you’re part of the workforce. Plenty of things have changed, and maybe you’re starting to consider that your alcohol dependency is a bit more than you thought before. You find yourself stressed, and reaching for a drink; upset, and reaching for a drink; mourning, and reaching for a drink. It took some time, but now you’re a bit worried that you might be an alcoholic.

So, we’re here to lay out the signs. What might I be doing that’s destructive? How might I improve my drinking habits so as to improve my life? If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’re in a good place. Ultimately, you might be paranoid, or you might be right. So, let’s figure this out together… 

Am I An Alcoholic? Acknowledging the signs, together 

When it comes to determining alcoholism, there’s no one sure fire answer. And, we must point out that we are not therapists here. We didn’t study these signs, and get a degree in psychology. Therefore, while we can report common signs— we cannot determine whether or not you, specifically, are an alcoholic. If you need help, reach out to a therapist, a support group, or someone you love. We can help with a number of things. But when it comes to your battle with alcoholism, there are higher powers… 

Questions to ask yourself: 

Do I often lose control or drink more than I planned to? 

One common sign of alcohol dependence and abuse is a loss of control. If you intended to drink a certain amount, and then you decide to have more, and more, there might be an issue there, according to the American Addiction Centers.

Does my drinking hinder relationships? 

Do you find yourself letting drinking come before things that are important? Maybe you’ve recently found that you and your spouse are arguing more, you’re not physically attracted to them, you’re betraying your loved ones trust, and overall— you’re not being the person you’ve always been. The good news is, if you can recognize that these things are happening now, you can correct them before they fully escalate. However, this comes with admitting that there’s a problem, and making a move to improve upon it… 

Do I drink whenever I want, regardless of the situation? 

If you find that you have to drink to attend a child’s soccer game, a play, family dinner, when you’re studying, before work… whatever it may be. If you find that you’re drinking at inappropriate times, and disregarding right versus wrong, there is likely an issue there. 

Ultimately, if drinking is diminishing your work ethic, family life, love life, and morals— there is a problem developing. However, you, more than anyone else, have to make a decision to change. But, if you find that you want to change, you recognize the signs, and you still just can’t do it— ask for help. There are plenty of resources out there if you don’t feel comfortable speaking with someone close to you.