Chances are, if you are reading an article about how to determine whether or not you are an alcoholic, you might have a problem with alcohol. Social drinkers don’t usually worry about their drinking habits. There is no need for them to. Alcoholics on the other hand, are a different story. For most alcoholics, admitting they are in fact alcoholics is the hardest part of the recovery process. It is a fairly huge concept to wrap your brain around, so take comfort in the fact that you are certainly not alone there.
Spend some time alone and take a good hard look at your drinking habits. After all, it’s just you, nobody else needs to know. Be really honest with yourself about how you use alcohol and what happens to you when you do. You don’t necessarily have to be ready to do anything about it, you just have to be willing to examine the possibility that you might have a problem with alcohol. Take the pressure of having to address that problem right out of the equation for now. Just look at your drinking and be 100% honest with yourself. What happens when you drink? Do you black out? Do you throw up? Do you do things that you regret the next day? When you take a drink, do you usually continue drinking until you are drunk? Is your life spiraling out of control as a result of your drinking? Answer these questions honestly and just see where you are at.
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, chances are you have a problem with alcohol. Congratulations, you’ve just completed the first and most difficult step of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous – and the only one that you have to do perfectly. Remember, step one is just admitting that you are powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable. For now, admitting it to yourself is enough.
The next step is to address the problem. There are lots of ways to do this. While it is generally recommended that a doctor supervise your detox process, you can start by attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and talking with people there. There is no commitment, all you have to do is check it out and see if you relate to the people there. If you get this far, you are already making huge steps towards recovery.
If you decide to stop drinking, it is best to do so with your doctor’s assistance. You may not need medically assisted detoxification, but a doctor should make that call. Alcohol withdrawals can be dangerous so it is always best to seek medical attention.
If you are still reading and you think you might have a problem, remember that you’re not alone. It may feel like you are the only person who has ever felt this way, but I promise you, you’re not. There is another way to live.