Let’s be honest, most of us enjoy a drink from time to time. Alcohol is socially acceptable to drink, is easily available, and, as long as you’re over the age of 21, completely legal. The normality of drinking means that most people don’t think twice about having a drink or two, and for most of us that’s as far as it goes. But how do you know when you’re drinking too much or too often?
What Are Some Signs of Numbing With Alcohol?
If your garbage is full of empty bottles or cans and your mornings can’t start until you’ve taken painkillers and eaten a greasy bacon sandwich, there’s a chance you might be hitting the alcohol a little too hard. What you may not be sure of though is whether you’re just a social drinker who’s been to a few too many parties or you are a borderline alcoholic who consistently underestimates or minimizes the amount of alcohol they consume. The way to tell the difference is to understand your drinking habits, your motivations for drinking, and whether or not your drinking is negatively impacting your life.
Think about the times when you tend to reach for alcohol. If you regularly find yourself longing for a beer to shake the day off before you’ve even left your desk or you tend to react to bad news or difficult experiences with shots of vodka, tequila slammers, or cocktails, it’s possible you are trying to bury your problems under a happy party haze, otherwise known as numbing your feelings with alcohol. This method of coping is not just a temporary problem – it is a dangerous shortcut to short-lived happiness and if you do it consistently or if you are someone that is unknowingly predisposed to addiction, it can lead to a life of unhealthy, habitual overindulgence, and possible health complications. Numbing a big part of the reason why over 80,000 Americans lose their lives every year to alcohol related issues. Numbing and burying problems with alcohol means that you are not addressing the issues in your life. These problems are making you unhappy and they need to be dealt with rather than blocked out with alcohol.
If drinking is negatively impacting your life or you are using alcohol to numb your problems, you may be struggling with an addiction. Please get help now and get your life back on track. Call The Addiction Advisor, 1-800-259-1361.
If you are worried that you might be drinking too much and you are not sure if you are an addict, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has a self-guided quiz you can take to identify if you or someone you love is a possible addict. It asks questions like:
- Has a family member or close friend express concern or complained about your drinking?
- Do you often want to continue drinking after your friends say they’ve had enough?
- When you’re sober, do you sometimes regret things you did or said while drinking?
Am I Alone in Numbing With Alcohol?
Almost 8.3% of adults in the US – almost 18 million Americans – are identified as having an alcohol abuse problem, a worrying statistic given how damaging long term alcohol abuse can be to your life. In addition to numbing against problems, it appears that more people are using alcohol as a way to medicate health or emotional conditions that are not easy to resolve, like depression, anxiety, relationship strains and even insomnia; these often have deep roots that need to be addressed. It may seem easy to blot everything out for a bit and carry on as normal, but as most honest, self-medicating drinkers will tell you, problems don’t go away on their own.
How Do I Stop Numbing Myself With Alcohol?
So what do you do if you think you’re using alcohol to temporarily insulate yourself from these problems? Dealing with the pressures of life isn’t always easy, and if you tend to surround yourself with people who share your alcohol numbing lifestyle, it can be hard to get the perspective you need to take yourself out of the danger zone. Fortunately, there are many proven alcohol recovery programs and resources you can access: counselors, treatment centers, Alcoholics Anonymous, the NCADD, and other local support groups. If you are worried that you might have an underlying mental health issue or condition that is contributing to your alcohol dependence, you can find help for that too.
If you feel you may have an alcohol addiction, it is also a really good idea to talk with close friends and family who you trust to be supportive and loving – they have most likely already noticed that something is wrong and might even be wondering how to talk to you about it themselves. Admitting you have an addiction or dependence on alcohol can be hard, but you will see that being open about it with people you love and getting professional help will be a relief and one of the best steps you can take toward living a happy, fulfilling life.
If you think that you or someone you love might have an alcohol abuse problem, call The Addiction Advisor for guidance on how to get help, 1-800-259-1361.