Am I an alcoholic?

It’s almost the same as asking, “Do I have a valid reason to stop drinking?”. Anyone who quits drinking must be an alcoholic. We can’t fathom anyone voluntarily quitting unless for religious reasons or ….well, I can’t think of another reason. I know there are websites to help give people excuses as to why they’re not drinking when in a social setting. Those are always comical. I personally never stopped drinking because of a medication I was on or because I was detoxing. Our inner desire is to quit otherwise we wouldn’t be asking the question at all. I never ask myself “Am I addicted to laughing?” even in the face of many people saying “You sure laugh a lot.”

At the time I started asking myself the question “Am I an alcoholic?” I really just wanted a valid reason to quit. Please dear God let me be an alcoholic so I can I quit and be done with this! On the other hand, the concept of simply saying “I’m an alcoholic” seemed like total bullshit. I felt stuck. I know people who could quit drinking today and the world would give a huge sigh of relief. I wasn’t in that category. I was in the “Do you hate us or yourself? Why would you quit?” category. I also had a lot of guilt. How would this affect my social life with my husband? How would my friends feel? Would my dog be sad that I wasn’t passing out next to him early and sleeping in super late? Nothing about quitting was centered on me other than I knew I was ready to kiss it goodbye.

Alcoholics don’t put themselves first. Ever. They complain, get pissed off, feel sorry for themselves, feel overwhelmed, overreact, feel alone in this world with their mounds of problems, feel responsible for everyone else’s happiness while failing miserably at making anyone happy, but they will not put themselves first. It’s really not about how much they drink. It’s about how little they put into themselves. My quiz for “Are you an alcoholic” goes more like this:

Do you make yourself a priority?
Do you have any hobbies that you regularly enjoy?
Do you exercise?
Do you make time for yourself in way that makes you feel good?
Do you spend time enjoying your family, warts and all?
Do you feel like you’re good at your job?
Do you smile/laugh on a regular basis?
Have you challenged yourself recently to do something new and exciting?

If you answered YES to most of those questions then you’re probably not an alcoholic and probably not even taking this quiz. If you answered NO to all of them, put the bottle down and start taking time for you. It’s your life to live. Get out of the bottle and live it.

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