9 signs you may be an alcoholic (and what to do)

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alcoholic signs

brosner, Flickr

People love to drink. Just ask prohibitionists from the 1920’s. Actually, you can’t ask them because they’re all probably dead. Of course, their descendants are still around to spread their message of hate, wagging their boring, sober fingers in the direction of anyone who dares to try to have just a little bit of fun. According to them, we’re all alcoholics and since we’ve already been judged guilty I thought I’d take this time to let you know just what the warning signs of alcoholism actually are. That way, you can know what to do in order to overcome them and keep the rehab demons at bay – at least for a little while longer. So, without further gibberish, here are the nine warning signs you may be an alcoholic and what you can do to change them without hampering your Olympic level drinking. You’re welcome, America.

Photo Credit: brosner, Flickr

crossfirecw, Flickr

Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a row if you’re a man, or four or more in a row if you’re a woman. Naturally, this means that every college student in the country is an alcoholic. Instead of making separate drinks, the obvious solution to avoid binge drinking as it’s defined above is to just drink straight out of the tap or bottle. That way, no one can count your drinks and wag their finger at you and tell you that you’re binge drinking. Some might say that this solution is irresponsible, but I say that this is merely the quality drinker being a problem solver and really, isn’t that what a healthy, happy society is all about?

Photo Credit: crossfirecw, Flickr

Jayel Aheram, Flickr

When you first start drinking, it’s easy to get drunk. All you need are a couple of cheap wine coolers and some watered down Schnapps you stole from your parents’ liquor cabinet. But after a while, you need to drink a little bit more than that to get a good buzz going and then soon you find yourself mainlining Vodka through an IV just to get the warm fuzzies. This is a problem because that shit can get expensive. There are several solutions to this problem. You can just quit eating, thus making it easier to get drunk quicker. Or you can donate blood and then hurry home to get drunk quickly and cheaply before the body replenishes itself. A bonus to the latter option is that you will also get paid cash money, which you can then use to buy yourself more liquor. There, problem solved!

Photo Credit: Jayel Aheram, Flickr

greggoconnell, Flickr

Forget about being an alcoholic, drinking alone is just depressing. Obviously, the key is to always be around people. If you need a drink, hop aboard a crowded bus and start chugging. No one can say that you’re drinking alone then, now can they? But there are rare instances when there is absolutely no one around when it’s drinkin’ time. One solution is to create a cardboard cutout and carry it with you at all times. That way, if somebody glances over, it looks like you’ve got a drinking buddy. But this is impractical and also creepy as hell, so I would suggest creating an imaginary friend. That way, you’ll always have someone to drink with without the burden of having to fold them up and carry them around everywhere. Sure, you might look crazy, drinking and gibbering on to a friend no one else can see but that’s everyone else’s problem. At least they won’t be able to say that you’re drinking alone, right? Problem solved.

Photo Credit: greggoconnell, Flickr

Sarah G..., Flickr

If you find yourself getting the shakes every morning before you down some of that delicious, delicious fire water then this one is for you. Again, forget about alcoholism, nobody likes to shake and sweat like a 900 pound man in a sauna while their brain tries to eat its way free out of the eyeballs. This is no fun. The obvious solution is to just never quit drinking but this is impractical for a number of reasons. First of all, as noted earlier, that shit gets expensive. Second, all your friends and loved ones will start calling you an alcoholic and staging interventions and hey, fuck that noise. And third, well… aren’t the first two bad enough? Right. So what can you do? Well, you could experiment with different drugs in order to see which ones best offset the withdrawal symptoms. I would tell you which ones but a team of Guyism lawyers just showed up and began beating me with their own shoes, so sorry, you’re out of luck. I guess you could always just get your ass to rehab and get your shit together like responsible adults, and… naaaah.

Photo Credit: Sarah G..., Flickr

FlackJacket2010, Flickr

If you find yourself wandering naked in a back alley with a tattoo of a dragon sodomizing a horse plastered all over your chest and your last memory was telling your friends that hey, sure, you could handle just one more drink, then this one’s for you. Blacking out sucks. You do all sorts of stupid shit and you have to spend your non-drinking time putting together the pieces of the puzzle that is your memory and begging people for forgiveness. The solution – obviously – is to never black out. But how do you do this? Well, you could always look into mainlining horse adrenaline, but people frown upon that sort of thing nowadays. I would suggest hiring a friend to slap the shit out of you when you start to disappear into the drunkard’s haze. Maybe have him shoot you with a tazer at random points throughout the night. You know, just to keep you grounded. Sure, it might hurt a little bit, but the pride you’d get from being able to say, “No, I’ve never blacked out, not once,” during your inevitable intervention would far outweigh the occasional tazer induced seizure.

Photo Credit: FlackJacket2010, Flickr

juliejordanscott, Flickr

What does it mean to make a ritual out of drinking? Does it mean that you put on a robe, burn some incense and then chug a forty before an altar of Spuds McKenzie hanging from a cross while your fellow drunkards chant in some gibberish resembling Latin? Sure, if you want. Have a blast. But it also means doing things like drinking at a certain hour every day because you’ve “earned it” or needing to drink a certain number of beers before bed because that’s the only way you can get to sleep. Obviously, the key, as with everything in life, is variety. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut. Instead of a glass of wine after dinner, shotgun a beer. Instead of a beer, slam a shot of Tequila. Instead of drinking so that you can sleep, just never go to sleep. Just stay up all night, drinking with your imaginary friend and tazing yourself with a stun-gun. No one can accuse you of having a ritual if you’re completely out of control, right?

Photo Credit: juliejordanscott, Flickr

FeatheredTar, Flickr

If you keep a flask stashed in a hollowed out bedpost or if you keep a fifth of Jack Daniels hidden in a glass case underneath your desk at work in case of emergencies, this one might be for you. The solution to this one is simple – just drink openly. Sure, people will judge you and call you a drunk, but they won’t be able to say that you’re hiding alcohol like some sort of ashamed hoarder. Tiny victories, you know? Besides, the American Drunk or drunkus americanus is a marginalized species. Be out and be proud. Let the world know that you’re an unrepentant drunk. Tell the repressed around you that “I’m here, this is my beer, get used to it.” Hell, you deserve a parade. Sure, the parade will end when half of you vomit before the end of the first block and the rest of you stumble and crash through the plate glass windows of every shop on Main Street, but a short parade is still a parade.

Photo Credit: FeatheredTar, Flickr

Tobyotter, Flickr

This one is so subjective. I mean, sure you drink like a depressed Andre the Giant and even Frank Sinatra’s ghost thinks you need to slow down a bit, but who’s to say your wife didn’t leave you simply because you’re a gigantic asshole? Maybe your best friend won’t talk to you anymore but maybe that’s because you soberly boned his wife, not because you got sauced and set his dog on fire. I’m just saying, it’s important to have some perspective here. If you do determine that your drinking is destroying your relationships, the obvious solution is to just get new friends, ones who aren’t so uptight and don’t mind you setting their dogs on fire. After all, there are tons of poor dogs just waiting to be adopted at the local pound. You’re just doing your part to find them all new homes. It’s important to always look on the bright side of life.

Photo Credit: Tobyotter, Flickr

Martin Pettitt, Flickr

Come on, this one’s simple. If you find yourself in need of a drink and the clock says 9:30 AM, just change the clock so it says 6:30 PM and then shut your blinds so you can’t see what time of day it is outside. Am I the only one who understands these things? I guess so, and I guess that’s why I have to be the one to write this. You’re welcome. Now who wants a drink?

Photo Credit: Martin Pettitt, Flickr

(Originally published on February 28, 2012.)

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