If you think you might have a drinking the problem, the chances are you DO indeed have a drinking problem.
In private, people are very good at being self-aware about their own health and lifestyle.
But accepting that changes are needed and being open with others about any issues, is a different matter.
I know this because I hid my addiction to alcohol from EVERYONE for as long as I could.
Deep down, I knew that drinking on my own every single night was not normal. But the alcoholic side of my brain would drip feed me ridiculous justifications for drinking.
‘’I’m young, everyone’s doing it at my age’’, “it’s student night at the pub tonight, so everyone there is drinking, I’m no different’’, ‘’the footballs on TV’’, “I’ve worked really hard today, I deserve it”.
If I had acted during those early days of addiction when I was drinking every night, I could have saved myself and my family a whole world of heartache – let alone, liver disease which nearly killed me at 25.
I needed to speak to others about my drinking. This would have helped me accept that I had a problem and given me the strength to seek more help.
I was thinking about my drinking all the time. I knew it wasn’t normal.
All I needed to do was tell someone about it. A friend, a family member, or a helpline.
I ended up having those honest conversations years later. By the time I did, there was a long trail of destruction in my wake.
When it did happen, it was like lifting a huge weight off my shoulders.
It takes an enormous amount of courage to have that conversation. Courage that I didn’t have in my early years of alcoholism.
But it will save you, and those you love, a whole world of pain.
So, my message today is:
If you are asking yourself questions about your drinking, you must speak to someone about. Do not bottle it up.
Do not let your mind make excuses for your excessive drinking. Speak to someone, lift the lid on your secret, and get some help.
That first honest conversation could save your job, family, and even your life.
I’ve attached some helplines and tools to help you find support meetings below.
Thanks for reading and take care,
Alcoholics anonymous 24/7 helpline – 0800 9177 650
Find an AA meeting near you:
Drinkline – 0300 123 1110 – open weekdays 9am – 8pm (weekends 11am – 4pm) Confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking
Find a SMART recovery meeting near you:
Find a Narcotics Anonymous meeting near you:
NACOA helpline: Support for anyone affected by their parent(s) drinking, including adults: 0800 358 3456