How to tell if you’re drinking too much?
While most of our clients typically know the answer to this question before calling us, this is a common question many people ask themselves. Particularly following Covid and quarantine, many people may have turned to alcohol as a way to relieve stress and anxiety and help soften the harsh edges of reality. Some who had never drank much at all, as well as those who were previously social drinkers, may have found themselves drinking more than they care to admit. So how do you answer the question, “Am I drinking too much?”
Signs of over-drinking
- If you set self-made limits that you often break. Maybe you tell yourself you’ll only drink one tonight, or just over the weekend but not during the week. But the trash bin bears the truth and Monday comes and you can’t seem to stop. If your own self-imposed limits are too tough to abide by, it may be time to consider that your relationship with alcohol may be more important than you realize.
- Your friends or family make comments about your drinking. It may seem annoying or judgmental to hear comments like “Drinking again, huh?” but try to notice that they are likely coming from a place of concern. If they weren’t concerned, you could drink a truckload of wine without comment…but if it was often enough for a comment or two from those around you, it may be time to re-evaluate how much or how often you’re popping the cork.
- You have a craving. Maybe it’s that 4 PM tension you think only wine can ease. Maybe it’s a headache that seems to be begging for hair of the dog, or maybe you just feel “thirsty” for a beer. You may not label this a craving, but it is definitely a sign that your drinking has moved over a threshold.
- There’s even the slightest bit of defensiveness in you about your drinking. If you know you are doing something right, healthy, or good–you will never have to defend it. You don’t defend drinking water, breathing deeply, or eating healthy foods because you know there is nothing to defend. If the same cannot be said for the amount or frequency of your drinking–take an honest assessment of where you are. If you feel a burning need to give reasons for why you drink such as “I’ve had a long day, I deserve this!” or “You don’t understand the pressure I’m under”, that is likely an indicator that you know somewhere inside that it isn’t the best or healthiest thing for you. Feel the defensiveness, and use that to ask yourself the hard questions.
What comes next?
If you have noticed any of these signs in yourself, don’t wait! Centered Recovery is not just for those who have hit “rock bottom” with their addiction and have no other options but to attend treatment. Centered Recovery has a wide variety of clients, including those who merely know that their relationship with alcohol or substances is not something they want to deepen, those who know they occasionally drink too much due to stress, those who know there are healthier alternatives than popping a Xanax to sleep at night. Creating a healthy mind and body that is “centered” doesn’t require a crippling, life threatening addiction to get started–you can get started today! Call 800-556-2966 for more information about our mindfulness-based addiction recovery program.