Lesser Known Signs That You Just Might Be an Alcoholic

November 14, 2010 at 12:32 am 7 comments

Debbie Downer

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Sure, anyone can tell you that if you drink sufficient quantities daily or if you’re physically dependent upon alcohol that you just might be an alcoholic. The truth is that addiction is the only disease in the world in which you get to diagnose yourself. Everyone’s bottom is different. And no one truly gets treatment until they want it.

First, you have to recognize that you actually have a problem. Then, you have to want to solve that problem. It sounds easier than it is, or we wouldn’t see the embarrassing foibles of Lindsay and Charlie and Demi Lovato and Mel displayed on the internet and across the supermarket tabloids. The fact is that only 20% of alcoholics actually stop drinking permanently.

So, if you think that you might have a problem, here are some signs other than your DWI arrest or other unfortunate trouble with the law or the shocked look on your doctor’s face if you actually tell her how much you really drink on a daily basis — that you just might be an alcoholic.

You have a lot of resentments. I mean it. You are mad at the world. You spend a lot of time bitching about how mad you are at the world.

Almost all your friends drink. A lot. When you get together with your friends you…you guessed it, you drink! Take a shot.

Inertia. You have a seeming inability to follow through on goals. Whether it’s just taking out the trash or pursuing that dream to be a rock star you haven’t even gotten up off the couch except to report to your crappy job since sometime in 1998.

Everything always just happens to you. Nothing is your fault.

You’re depressed all the time. You’re like Negative Nelly. Even you are tired of your own Debbie Downer routine. You drink just to feel normal, or, more accurately, so you won’t have to feel.

You neglect to attend to certain matters of personal hygiene or environmental cleanliness that used to matter to you.

You could make a list of past friends and lovers and family members to whom you no longer speak, but you would run out of disk space on your computer trying to save them.

You’ve tried to stop drinking before, and you can do it. You just don’t want to.

You don’t have a drinking problem because you don’t drink alone. You spend so much money in bars that you have to eat nothing but beans for a week. You can’t even afford the canned kind; we’re talking about cooked from scratch dry beans in the big bag that costs $.77 and lasts all week. But you don’t drink alone!

If your friends and family were to describe you truthfully, then adjectives like “irresponsible,” “flaky,” “kooky,” “eccentric,” and, “unreliable” might occasionally pepper their speech.

You’ve “slept through” important appointments or engagements. Really. It’s not your fault. You just fell asleep. You might want to get that narcolepsy problem checked out.

You hide your drinking. You’re not really truthful about how much you drink. You try to “sneak” in the alcohol you buy and make sure that it’s not evident from your trash and recycling bins. You think this is actually fooling your spouse or roommate. You don’t want the neighbors talking.

When friends bring up the fact that they might have a drinking problem this makes you uncomfortable. You don’t think they have a problem. That’s like when your buddy Corey’s wife left him ‘cause she SAID he was an alcoholic. Corey’s not an alcoholic. And how do you know? You drink with him all the time.

Your circle of friends is getting increasingly smaller. Maybe it’s already reached zero, and you spend all your free time in front of the TV with a drink in your hand. You don’t like to be interrupted in the middle of your show. You don’t answer your phone, and your friends stop calling.

You’ve sold your electronics or books or CD collections and cleaned out your purse or piggy bank or hocked some jewelry — just to buy a six pack.

You have a lot of family members who were just big drinkers or partiers. Nothing wrong with that. Uncle Lou wasn’t a drunk. Uncle Lou was jolly.

You are lonely all the time, and the reason you’re so lonely is because you’re so special. You are the only person in the whole entire world who could possibly understand you.

The good news is that not only do you get to diagnose yourself, you can also help yourself, but not by yourself. Look up your local Alcoholics Anonymous on the internet. No one will turn you away. You can talk. You can listen. You don’t have to be lonely. The only person making you that way is you.



Entry filed under: Alcoholism/Substance Abuse, Depression, Humor, Mental Health, Social Commentary. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  November 14, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Based on my own experience, I think that is an exceptionally accurate portrayal of an alcoholic’s life. Very insightful. Hopefully, it will resonate with others and encourage them to take a closer look at their drinking habits. Thank you for writing this. I really enjoy your blog. You’re a great writer.

    • 2. gooseberrybush  |  November 14, 2010 at 1:32 am


  • 3. Louella  |  November 14, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I’ve known many alcoholics. My mother was one. Now my younger brother is one, and my children’s father is one (with someone else now).

    If I ever actually drank, maybe I could become one too.

    I’ve always just cried rather than self medicated. Pain eventually eases – and doesn’t usually come with all those nasty sideaffects like alcohol and drugs do.

    Wheres the bit about the Scotch bottle under the front seat of the car? My mother had that.

  • 4. razzlemonster  |  November 15, 2010 at 7:23 am

    WOW… spot on.

  • 5. pacho barrios  |  November 16, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Hilarious yet instructive!

  • 6. Hilary  |  November 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Absolutely dead on, at least in my experience. It is exceptionally easy to deny there is a problem when all the excuses you listed, plus a few more, are available and constantly revolving through the alcoholic mind.

    And only the alcoholic thinks, “gee, if there was a magic cure that let me drink like a ‘normal’ person, I’d be right back out there”. The irony is that the ‘normal’ person couldn’t care less if they drank or not. Sober is better than drunk, every time.

    Thank you for writing this. I am always grateful when God speaks through others and provides a daily reminder.

  • 7. kaitlin  |  November 20, 2010 at 12:59 am



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