Let’s all admit it. A lot of us love drinking. There’s often not much better than finding a nice cocktail bar or booze-y pub to kick back in. We’re always trying to find the best venues, clubs and the hole in the walls for a few cheeky bevs.
Your mates are always knocking back a few and your nights out are spent solely on pub crawling, so how do you know when your drinking becomes a bit of a problem?
Having a toxic relationship with alcohol doesn’t make you a raging alcoholic. It just means you should really consider cutting back or taking a much-needed break. It’s hard to recognise if you consume more goon than your average Joe so here’s some signs that you should really look out for.
#1 You Spend All Your Days In Bed
Hangovers are a curse we all have to deal with but if you’re starting to spend the majority of your days in bed (esp on the weekend) with a killer headache and the urge to chunder every time you move, then maybe it’s time to ditch the booze for good (or a few weeks).
Let’s face it, drinking always ruins the next day. If you’re planning on drinking with your mates on a Saturday night then it’s safe to say you can kiss that Sunday brunch goodbye (respect if you find the willpower). If your whole week begins to turn into Sunday sleep ins, admit it, your relationship with booze is messed up.
#2 When You Don’t Know Your Limits
Not only do you find yourself drinking a lot of the time, you’re also drinking a lot. Not being able to go a few days without drinking is an indicator of a massive problem. Let’s have a quick chat. Mate to mate. How many drinks do you do in a sesh? How many shots do you do in a single night? How much money do you spend?
We all want the bartender to call us a legend, I get it. But if you’re drinking to the point of blacking out or being permanently glued to the toilet bowl, maybe cut back. Not only do you not know your physical limit, you also don’t know your bank limit. If the majority of your pay is spent on booze then I am personally banning you from buying alcohol. Right now.
#3 Your Personal Relationships Are Suffering
The more time we spend on nights out and mornings under a mountain of blankets the less we spend with our loved ones. Cancelling plans with your parents or ditching your partner to go drinking with your mates is a clear sign that your relationship with alcohol is becoming a little too intense. You’ll find that you’re not really interacting with anybody. Not only does that affect your personal relationships but it also makes you feel incredibly alone. If your drinking problem is completely ruining your social life then you definitely should consider quitting (before it’s too late).
#4 You’re Drinking Alone
There’s a difference between social drinking and needing a drink to get by. The main reason we drink is often for social purposes. We go out with our mates for a beer, we have a glass of wine on a date. We drink beer at family barbecues. Drinking alcohol is such a social norm and it can be quite a big part of our lives. You’ve got a real drinking problem if you are full-blown getting drunk alone in your room on a regular basis.
You need to repeat after me. I have a toxic relationship with alcohol.
#5 You Use Alcohol As A Coping Mechanism
Drinking alcohol allows us all to do that magical thing where we zone out from whatever is bothering us and while it may be nice to be somewhere else for a bit, using alcohol to constantly keep your brain occupied is really unhealthy. Don’t get me wrong, the odd drop of wine definitely can be helpful after a big day at work. But figure out how to deal with your feelings in a constructive way at times. Whether you’re feeling sad, guilt or anger, drinking will only make you forget about them for a few hours. The real issue will still be there in the morning. So take some time to figure that out. Open up to someone you trust and put down the bottle!
If you’re heavily identifying with these signs and find that you’re drinking to combat an underlying issue then know you’re not alone, speak to someone about your toxic relationship with alcohol.