Am I drinking too much? Well, only you can know that and only you change that. If you found yourself here, that means you are worried about how much you are drinking. The first step is to go to the Am I an Alcoholic quiz and see where you fit in. You are probably a Grey Area Drinker but you are probably feeling the negative effects of the alcohol. One of the negative effects of alcohol consumption is the mind waking up and the feelings of guilt and shame that start to pull you down.
Many people who tend to drink a bit much are feeling worthless and lacking in self-esteem. If this is you, you are in the right place.
Image – https://midrandreporter.co.za/174265/drinking-and-driving-know-the-law-2/
How does this graphic make you feel? Many people are drinking their entire week’s limit every night of the week. Often, people who think they are being “good” and only drink on the weekends are actually drinking more than the weekly drinkers because they are binge drinkers.
I am not here to judge or criticize. I am here to illustrate the negative impacts of alcohol and how our minds trick us into thinking we are “fine”. Meanwhile, our health is taking a pounding! We are at risk of cancer, heart disease, kidney and liver disease, depression and more!
Negative Impacts and Limits
Did you know that men and women should only be drinking 14 units of alcohol a week?
Many people who drink don’t count their glasses of alcohol and always “feel fine”. The more you drink, the more you need and the less you react to the alcohol. Well, so you think! You are actually pickled, and a sober person will tell you how you fall around getting to the bathroom and back to the fridge. And your body will tell you every morning with that puffy face in the mirror and that achy tired feeling all day, not to mention the grumpiness and impatience you feel with everyone!
If you are feeling these symptoms, you could be consuming a bit too much alcohol:
- Feeling constantly / excessively tired
- Experiencing regular headaches due to dehydration
- Sweating a lot, even without physical activity
- Having an increased/decreased appetite, potentially accompanied by weight loss/gain
- Withdrawal symptoms when stopping or reducing drinking
To crown it all, drinking causes us illness in our heads. Yes, we get depressed, irritable, paranoid, anxious and we lose hope with much happening in our lives. It’s all very well feeling high and happy while drinking but afterward, the crunch comes – that puffy sad feeling of guilt and worthlessness consumes the drinker who tends to then make it all better again with another drink – and so the cycle continues.
Before you hit a rock bottom, take note of your drinking patterns and make some changes. When you start to crave alcohol and need it to come right, then you are bordering on alcohol use disorder and maybe then you need help to ditch the drink.
Then the deviousness comes in. Many drinkers become devious – there are stories of women drinking in the pantry to hide it from hubby; there are stories of men hiding the whiskey in the garage and hanging out there for hours. There are stories of bottles of wine in t-shirt cupboards, in gumboots, and in the knitting basket. Do you drink before anyone sees you at maybe 3 pm instead of your usual 5 pm? Do you drink at the coffee shop instead of ordering coffee maybe? Do you buy your drink at varying outlets so that no one really has a comment to make? Do you drink alone, secluded, not socially?
In an article on Health.com, the struggle against alcoholism in Hollywood is revealed. So many actors and actresses are reaching out for help with their drinking. Many have silent struggles with alcohol while some display their drunken antics in public.
Clues Showing You have a Problem
You start to set yourself limits but cannot stick to them – work out what is triggering your drinking then stay away from these triggers. Deal with them in therapy or start a new routine. Start a journal and record the times you are triggered and need a drink. There may emerge a revealing pattern or childhood hurt.
Your friends start to notice your drinking habits and make comments – watch how much you drink compared to your friends. Do you behave differently? Are they amazed at how much you can hold or at how drunk you get?
Are you planning your life around alcohol? Do you make sure that every social has to be in a venue that sells alcohol or where you can drink? Try to start a new habit where you meet friends for a walk rather than a drink, or you go to movies or you take up gym or yoga?
You reach for a drink when you are stressed. Soon, one drink turns into 3 or 4 or 12. Try a walk, a run, a healthy snack, a meditation class or yoga. Meet friends for a different outing such as kite flying or picking up shells on the beach.
You have started to worry about your own drinking – you are Googling things like Am I Drinking too Much? Deep down inside you feel discomfort and worthless about your drinking and you feel dirty.
Your doctor comments that you are drinking too much (which is unusual as many doctors ignore alcohol!) – if your doctor says your drinking is too much, then take note.
Your hangovers are more frequent and harder to handle. You feel ill the next day and battle to get out of bed or function. Your family and colleagues will take the brunt of your habit.
You start to forget the details about what happened when you were drinking – what you said and did and why you woke up with no shoes or with a stolen wine glass in your handbag?
What Should you Do?
Tell someone you can trust. Do an online screening check to see how dependent you are on alcohol: the Drinker’s Checkup, is a good place to start and is also gives you tools to moderate your drinking. Ask your doctor what he/she recommends and go and see someone about it or join an online sober group like Tribe Sober.
Good luck and listen to your heart. Am I drinking too much can easily become that mantra, I don’t need alcohol in my life, I am enough!
Get your free pdf when you click on this image: