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For Women: Ten Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse or a Worsening Problem with Alcohol
If you're anything like me, you've taken “Are you an alcoholic?” quizzes in magazines and pamphlets and have been relieved to not pass them (never got arrested, nope, never been fired). You see, I started binge drinking at a young age and since most people around me did too, it seemed normal, but I had a nagging feeling that it might not be.
I am not a doctor or an expert in the field of alcoholism, but I believe that just because you don't pass the alcoholic quiz with flying colors doesn't mean that alcohol should take up valuable space in your world.
The decision to quit drinking was actually the best decision that I have made in my life. It surprised everyone around me, and it was difficult at first to create new habits to fill the void, but it the end it IS NO BIG DEAL to anyone else and MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE to you.
Our society has a strange acceptance of alcohol abuse and all of the problems associated with it, and so I find that there is not a whole lot of discussion or awareness until people get to the alcoholic-disease stage, which most people never get to.
The following is a list I have put together of the symptoms of a worsening problem with alcohol. You have to be your own truthful judge. Don't wait for someone to point it out to you. Most people won't.
1) You wake up with a “bad feeling” more often.
2) You notice that alcohol weakens your immune system and may affect your physical health.
3) You appear places, say things, or do things that make a public spectacle while drinking.
4) You e-mail, text, or social network something you regret while drinking.
5) You notice that you are getting in more arguments or having tearful discussions while drinking.
6) You may not drink for a long time, but when you do you get equally as drunk or worse as the last time you regretted drinking so much.
7) You will only commit to going places where you can drink alcohol for entertainment.
8) You will only hang out with other people that drink alcohol for any extended lengths of time.
9) Everything seems to need enhancement; airports, car rides, kids parties, etc.
10) You notice that all of the above have gotten more extreme over time.
Life without alcohol is freedom. Believe me; I never thought I would say that. I loved to party, and leading a carefree, fun life (when I wasn't working) was my priority. The super cool secret is that I haven't changed a bit...I just don't have the drunkening, deadening, confusing, stupefying influence of alcohol messing with my party. Non-alcoholic drinks work well for me, although opinions on this vary widely with the non-drinking crowd. You have to be brave to turn in your alcohol lifestyle and learn how to navigate social situations sans-alcohol, and do it with confidence and grace.
no judgment here...for your own interest only
How many of the checklist 1-10 above resonate with your experience?
How much do you currently drink?
A Valuable Resource and a Positive Community of Non-Drinkers
Another hub of mine on Women for Sobriety
- The Thirteen Acceptance Statements of the New Life Acceptance Program
The “New Life” Acceptance Program was written by Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. It is the foundation for Women for Sobriety, a program dedicated to helping women overcome their struggles with alcohol or other substances.