Ahhh…alcohol. No matter how much I love you the night before, you always betray me the day after.
On some nights I can binge drink without mercy and I’ll be fine the next morning, save for a bit of nausea. Lately though, I find myself waking up with a major feeling of depression and malaise. Sometimes, I feel anxious, like I’m back in Grade 4 and I’m being picked on because I have a boy’s lunchbox.
Sometimes the morning after drinking, I feel like I want to melt into my bed, just disappear, never to be heard from again. Maybe its time to start limiting myself? I’ve started to do some research on alcoholism. Not that I’m an alcoholic (isn’t that what every alcoholic says), but oddly enough I do fit the definition. Drink too much? Check. Affecting your life in a negative way? Check.
Maybe I’m on the borderline, but I know that the next-morning depression is not normal, and its sometimes a sign of alcohol abuse. Sigh…maybe it really is time to cut back.
How Do You Know If You’re An Alcoholic?
After doing some more research, I concluded that I’m a problem drinking, not an alcoholic. While I fit the DSM-V profile, according to most of the web quizzes I’ve taken, I’m definitely more of an abusive drinker, but not a full-blown alkie. That means I generally function ok, but I abuse alcohol and exhibit risky drinking behaviors. On some tests, my next-morning binge drinking seems to indicate alcoholism, but the verdict is mixed.
Anyways, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject, so I figure I’d share some of my findings. Most of my research was from this site, as well as the official AA website. The info seems pretty reliable, but if you have any other suggestions I should check out, let me know.
What I’ve Learned
One thing I’ve come to find is that you can treat problem drinking through moderation management, but when it comes to full-blown alcoholism, you pretty much need to completely abstain from drinking altogether. Although I realize there are a lot of benefits to quitting drinking altogether, I love alcohol too much to just stop. Since I can still classify myself as a “problem drinker” rather than a full blown alcoholic, my focus is going to be on moderating alcohol intake.
I’ve found that as long as I don’t go into a blackout when I drink, I don’t tend to get depression and anxiety the morning after. Perhaps my anxiety is caused by the lack of control I get when I drink myself into a blackout. Controlling that may be the key to managing my alcohol habits.
For anyone else who thinks they may be an alcoholic, or if you have someone you care about who you think has a drinking problem, here are some of the helpful resources I came across during my research:
Al Anon Meetings – For anyone who has an alcoholic family member, this is supposed to be a big help.
Confronting An Alcoholic In Denial – The title is self explanatory. Maybe I need someone to read this article and have a heart-to-heart with me…
Quitting Drinking On Your Own – How to do it yourself without official help. Maybe not the usual DIY project, but not everyone is good at asking for help.
That’s what I have so far. I know there are a lot of other great resources out there, but this should be enough to get you started. Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments below.