“Of course I’m fine! I just like a drink here and there. Get off my back!”

“I’m not an alcoholic! I don’t have a problem! I’m fine.”

We’ve all heard the word denial before but few stick to it so vehemently as the high functioning alcoholic. There are many ways of telling yourself that you don’t have a problem and those around you might also support this idea, but when alcohol is a problem both you and others may begin to suffer.

Maybe your partner doesn’t want you to drink at parties because you don’t know when to stop and your personality changes as the drink takes over. Or do you feel you have to have that drink in the middle of the day just so you can make it through to the end? Going back to work and justifying to yourself that it’s okay as you are not under the influence having just had one or two with lunch. Maybe you are hiding bottles in the recycle bin or re-filling them so they look untouched.

Do you get worked up, anxious and irritable if you can’t get your fix? This behaviour change is a sure sign that you have become addicted to alcohol regardless of how well you are functioning.

Maybe you can’t get out of bed in the morning and you tell yourself it’s because you went to bed late, not because you are hung-over. You don’t fit the stereotype of being a “drunk” so therefore you don’t have a problem with alcohol.

All this may be true but on the other-hand all this may just put you in the category of a high functioning alcoholic. These are the people around us whose lives don’t fall apart from drink but they are slowly killing themselves all the same.

If you know someone that you think is hiding their addiction from themselves, speak up and advise them to get help.

  According to http://www.helpguide.org/mental/alcohol_abuse_alcoholism_signs_effects_treatment.htm

You may have a drinking problem if you…

  • Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
  • Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
  • Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking.
  • Need to drink in order to relax or feel better.
  • “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking.
  • Regularly drink more than you intended to.

Please seek help.

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