We often rationalize and use all kinds of reasoning to justify bad behavior. Maybe we had a bad day at work so we should get a sweet reward, even if it goes against our diet. In this same way, drinking excessively can be reduced to not be a serious problem. Plenty of people drink alcohol and it's used at many social outings. But there are times when it crosses the line and becomes too much. Here are 8 signs that you're hitting the bottle too hard and probably need to seek professional help.
1. You use alcohol for emotional escape
What's wrong with a little drink to unwind when you get home? It's perfectly normal to want to relax at home. But if you're always turning to alcohol and not trying any other outlets, it may be time to stop. There's also an issue if you find that you're keeping your own company. It can be just as relaxing talking to your friends, so that's not what you're looking for in that bottle.
2. Sunday is the same as Wednesday
Getting caught up in a busy workweek is something many people struggle with. We're all so busy running this or that errand or trying to find time to actually socialize. Of course you forget that you went out last night and had too many of the drink specials. You don't even remember how you got home but the important part is that you did. Blacking out is not only a warning sign to quit but it's also just dangerous. You don't know where or who you'll wake up with—that is, if you wake up.
3. You're not going if it's a dry party
You barely know these coworkers but they insist on inviting you to their outings. It's an eye rolling experience but you'll go if you can have something to make them tolerable. Sure, people refuse to go to places all the time but those are typically dietary issues. There's no reason for a vegetarian to go to a steakhouse but you can survive a meeting at a coffee shop. If you absolutely refuse to go somewhere or demand the location be changed so that you can get a drink, you might need to consider getting help.
4. Face it, you look awful
A messy top-bun isn't an everyday style if you have any pride in your appearance. Your hair's a mess and your skin is starting to show signs of neglect and dirt buildup. Basically, you look sloppy and no matter how you try to spin it as a loose, casual look, it's not flattering. Your coworkers may be too nice to say anything but you can't keep relying on quick body sprays for your hygiene.
5. You're lying about how much you're using
It might be, in your mind, only one glass a night when in reality, it's an entire bottle. Some part of you knows that you're drinking too much so you make it seem smaller and more manageable. What's another couple of pills to help your constant headache? You just want relief. But if when asked, you deny using any drugs, it's time to face the truth.
6. Your schedule is based on your next fix
You volunteer to stay later at work because the bar you like doesn't have specials until later in the evening. Or you want to wait until nighttime so that no one sees you going into that shady part of town for your score. Either way, you plan everything around getting your next high, no matter what it costs. Plans fall through and friends get neglected as you isolate yourself within this damaging cycle.
7. Other people have noticed and mentioned your usage
If you find that everyone in your life is suddenly asking if you're okay, that's a good indication that they've noticed something unusual. Some of these conversations might be subtle or direct as people try to get you to admit to what you're doing. Maybe you feel like you're handling it well, but if people are mentioning your secret problem, it's probably not so much of a secret anymore.
8. You're trying newer, riskier behaviors
It's definitely time to seek outside help if you find yourself doing new things to help fuel your addiction. You might call it being adventurous but what high-risk behavior really means is that you don't care about anything besides getting high. If you're surprised by the things you did the day before, then you might be in serious trouble. And this isn't limited to violence against other people. Every time you drink and drive is a signal that you just don't care about your life or the lives of those around you. Unfortunately, this type of acting out can also make you a victim to someone else.
About the Author: Sasha Brown
Sasha Brown is a widely experienced content writer with a zeal for living naturally. As a Certified Herbalist and mother of two children, she can offer you simple solutions on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle. She is a founder of voxnature.com and also writes for howtonight.com magazine.