Admitting one’s powerlessness over alcohol is not easy. In fact, it is one of the hardest realizations to come to in life because it means identifying yourself as an alcoholic. It means admitting defeat to a substance; it signifies a loss of control. Think of it this way, as children, we do not grow up dreaming to someday be an alcoholic. Whether it was the way your parents talked about alcoholism growing up or how society portrays addiction today, more than likely, the picture depicted isn’t a pretty one. Because of the stigma and false information about addiction in the media and in our world today, most of us are extremely embarrassed to categorize ourselves in such a group. For most, it takes losing everything for one to surrender to their powerlessness over their addiction. For me, I got sick and tired and of feeling sick and tired. I was done feeling emotionally and spiritually empty.
It took eight years of drinking and partying to finally wake up one day and admit to myself that I was absolutely powerless over alcohol and that I needed help. It was no longer about what I wanted to be, it was about admitting who I really was; an alcoholic. After admitting the truth, that I was an alcoholic, I was able to start the beautiful journey of recovery and become free. So how do you know if you are an alcoholic?
Drinking Habits of an Alcoholic
I was not an everyday drinker so whoever says only people who drink everyday are alcoholics is wrong. I could go five months without a sip of alcohol. For me, it was not about how often I drank but rather what happened when I drank. I lost friends, made awful decisions, and almost always ended up sick to the point of throwing up. The few times I was able to “control” my drinking, it was absolutely miserable because I was aware of my obsessive compulsions with trying to control how much I drank. Alcohol consumed 95% of my thinking before, during and after I drank. That reason alone was big enough for me to realize that I had a problem.
Being the alcoholic I am, the friends I attracted into my social circle were also alcoholic. Hanging around other alcoholics kept my alcoholism in disguise for a while. It didn’t take long for my “normie” friends (those who can drink and not have it negatively impact their life) to recognize how crazy I was and slowly but surely they started to distance themselves from me. Eventually, I would hang out with just about anyone who wanted to party with me. Fortunately for me I had so many friends to begin with that I was never fully friendless but had I continued drinking, I would have been left with no one.
Common Behavior of The Alcoholic
- Lying about things both big and small/Secretiveness in attempt to hide how serious their addiction is.
- Manipulating friends and family/Being sneaky
- A need to control the things and people around them due to a loss of control in their drinking and using
- A compulsion or obsession with drinking/using
- Centering their life around drinking/using (Planning their days/nights/weekends/events around drinking)
- Shifting the blame away from themselves/Always pointing the finger
- Problems with friends, family, employers, co-workers
- A loss of interest in old hobbies
- A loss in personal hygiene and self-care
- Mood swings and depression
What to Do
Questioning whether or not you are an alcoholic is a pretty good indicator that you are one because “normies” aren’t sitting at home researching treatment centers and reading articles titled “Am I An Alcoholic.” Usually by the time the alcoholic, who is more stubborn than most, is willingly doing this type of research, they have either hit rock bottom by ruining all of their relationships, blowing all of their money and/or getting kicked out of their homes and treatment is their last option or they are actually ready to get sober and change their lives around. Either way, Hotel California By the Sea is here to help you when it is time for you to get clean and sober. We are here for you when you are done being a slave to the bottle.
Although my alcoholism will never go away, I have found ways to cope with my disease and live a beautiful life. What took me years to realize is that there is no cure for alcoholism except to abstain from drinking all together. I lived in denial for many years despite all of the warning signs hanging right in front of me. Living in denial and trying to control my drinking equaled a miserable life. I feel beyond blessed that I was able to surrender to my higher power and give up drinking all together with so many years of life left to live. Because of how powerful the disease of alcoholism and addiction truly is, most people cannot get sober on their own. Many will try and even more will fail. This disease is stronger than me, it is stronger than you and it is stronger than us. If you or a loved one is ready to surrender and admit complete defeat over their drinking and/or drug use, Hotel California By the Sea is here to help you.