Addiction is something that can be brewing for years before you realize you may actually need help, but it is not a symptomless disease. If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, it’s probably safe to ask for help and seek treatment before it goes from bad to worse.
It’s very common to believe that you can simply handle it or somehow balance addiction and your everyday responsibilities, but that plan is pretty much guaranteed to fail.
If you genuinely want to get better or help a loved one get better, you need to look out for the warning signs and get help as soon as you notice any of them. Not sure what the warning signs are? Here is a list of the top 5 signs that your drinking is actually an addiction.
One just isn’t enough
You may intend to ‘treat yourself’ just one drink, but it usually doesn’t stop there. At parties and events, you have one or two drinks with everyone else, but find yourself sneaking several more drinks here and there when no one is looking. Maybe you’ve hidden bottles in several places where you spend your time so that you can indulge in a little buzz without having to make any explanations or facing any judgment.
La vie en gris
You will drink because you simply cannot handle life without being at least a little bit drunk. All your problems will seem magnified, overwhelming. You will feel as if there’s nothing to look forward to while sober. Your entire perspective of life will take a dark turn. You will obsess over every little mistake that you may or may not have made. You will feel like there is nothing you could possibly do to either fix all the problems in your life, or even just make things a little better and so you will turn to alcohol.
The feeling of overwhelming helplessness will lead to depression and your obsession over mistakes and errors will bring you anxiety. When every sober moment is gray and bleak, you will find yourself seeking refuge at the bottom of a bottle more often. The problem is that the more you drink to try and avoid the darkness and negative feelings, the stronger they will become when you are sober.
This never ending cycle will have you spiraling out of control and the only way to heal and put it behind you is to seek professional help. The relief that alcohol gives you is only temporary. When you get professional help, you can lose your feeling of being overwhelmed and helpless against life’s negativities for good.
Losing what matters most
Addiction is a disease that, while not contagious, very often affects the people around you in a very negative way. Have you lost your job? Perhaps your partner? Maybe even your children? Your home? Can’t seem to keep track of things that are valuable to you? Like your car? Your wallet?
You probably feel like everyone that you ever cared about is just up and leaving you and that through no fault of your own, people are just deciding to turn their backs on you. You feel like the whole world’s out to get you because nothing seems to be going the way you want it to, right?
Well, the truth may be hard to swallow but you have to understand that all these changes in people’s behavior towards you have a lot more to do you with your actions and your addictions. You can’t keep blaming everyone else, or trying to come up with other reasons or excuses as to why all this is happening.
Your addiction, and what it does to the way that you think, talk and act, is the one pushing everyone away. The people that truly care about you don’t know any other way to help you than to make you realize everything you’re losing and for you to acknowledge the real reason why. That way you will accept the help that you need so very much.
Quitting isn’t as easy as you thought
Perhaps you already have acknowledged that you may have a problem. You’ve convinced yourself that you’re finally going to quit. You tell yourself that you don’t need anybody’s help. You started it, and now you’re going to end it. But it doesn’t quite play out that way, does it?
You go to bed at night repeating over and over in your head that tomorrow you’re going to quit. You even go to the lengths of removing any alcohol from your sight. When you wake up in the morning, you’re still going strong. You’re convinced that you can do this. But then something stresses you out, something upsets you, you feel anxious, like you’re missing something, you feel like you can’t go on with your day. Up until this point, you haven’t even touched a drink. So now you convince yourself that you should reward yourself. And it doesn’t stop there. So now you tell yourself, “tomorrow will be the day”. And the cycle continues.
You have lost your will and your resolve to your addiction. You are allowing your addiction to make your decisions for you. The only way to truly quit and get sober is to get professional help. People who are trained to provide you with the tools, support and guidance to help you stick to your resolve. To help you take control of your own free will again.
Using to hide your symptoms
At some point, the addiction will take over your body. You will feel physical discomfort; tremors, chills, fever, and pains when you don’t use. So now, in desperate attempts to keep these symptoms at bay, you continue to drink.
This is dangerous. You have lost people and things you love, your free will, and your physical health to your addiction. You absolutely need help. You now have no control over yourself or your addiction and the only way to get better is to get help.
The good news is that you can get better, there is help available, and it’s never too late to change. The first step to getting better is to just acknowledge the fact that you do have an addiction and you do need help. If you are worried about a loved one, the worst thing you can do is enable them. If you truly care about them encourage them to use available resources and change their life. It doesn’t matter how long, or how bad it gets, it can always get better with the right kind of tools and support.
I’m Carl Towns a 28-year-old wanna-be writer; I am also a recovering addict in the path of self-discovery. My goal is to learn as many things as possible and to seize every single moment I live, pretty much trying to make up for all that I missed on the years I was lost in drugs and alcohol (among other things). I’m in love with tech, cars and pretty much anything that can be found online.