Exploring your relationship with alcohol can be tricky, so here are just a few things you might want to consider:
1. Is alcohol being used to either: Avoid negative feelings or to create positive feelings? Realising that you need alcohol to either avoid stress or to provide a means to relax can be a sign that your relationship isn’t particularly healthy. When alcohol is being used to either create feelings, mute or avoid them, or to influence behaviours such as giving confidence to socialise or to help sleep, alcohol has become a tool to cope as opposed to a social drinking buddy.
2. Do you continue to drink despite experiencing negative consequences?
You can’t sleep and your irritable, the hangovers are becoming more frequent but you’re still reaching for a drink at the end of the day. You know that moderating your alcohol intake will positively affect your health and wellbeing but it’s hard to say “No”.
3. Have people close to you commented on your drinking or suggested that you cut down? Developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol is generally something that is slipped into. It may be the case that we don’t recognise that it is becoming unhealthy until it is pointed out to us. At this stage it is likely that drinking alcohol has become a habit that is not consciously thought about.
4. Are you constantly thinking about alcohol? Do you drive home from work thinking about the glass of wine with dinner or needing to pop to the shop on the way home to pick up a bottle? Constantly thinking about alcohol can be a sign that it’s time to take an honest look at your relationship with it.
5. Do you find yourself lacking in motivation? Are you cancelling plans with friends or finding that you have little motivation in an evening to do anything other than sit down with your favourite tipple? If so you may be prioritising alcohol a little too much. You might want to consider the role that alcohol is playing and how it makes you feel. Do you feel the desired effects from alcohol or does it leave your head heavy?
6. Are you drinking on your own at home or in secret?
Secretive drinking is a tell-tale sign that your relationship with alcohol is tipping into the not so healthy category. If you’re avoiding drinking around people because they’ve commented on your drinking behaviours, it could be a sign that you are more committed to your relationship with alcohol than once thought.
7. How do you feel when you don’t drink or cut down? Feeling rubbish the day after drinking might just be the “normal” hangover experience for you, however, it could be something more. If you’ve gradually increased your drinking over time, it is likely that you have started to build up a tolerance to alcohol and without it, may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
If you or someone else has been worried about your drinking talk to your GP for more information or visit the One You Lincolnshire Drink Less pages for more information.
Laura Bell, Drink Less Lead
March 31, 2021