I’m Not an Alcoholic!
High functioning alcoholics are one of the toughest groups of people suffering with addiction to understand they need help. Since this group will tell you that they have good jobs, solid relationships and pay all their bills on-time they quickly dispel any notion of un-manageability. They ask “how could I be an alcoholic when my life is very much in control”? Rather than bore and irritate these individuals with statistics and narrow questions to make my case…I only have one:
Can you maintain your regular social habits except only have 1-2 drinks in an entire evening without any difficulty?
The usual heavy-handed retort from these folks is “I will bet you I can stop any time I want!”
This is the part in the story where I usually pause and take a deep breathe since the person in front of me didn’t even answer my question and just proclaimed victory by signaling absolute power. Once explained that I don’t want them to stop drinking at all but, understand if they can drink normally without anxiety, irritation or seclusion…THE WORLD DOESN’T SEEM ROUND ANYMORE. These are the bets I take and have yet to lose one. I, too was duped (well, politely encouraged) by this simple line of thinking that even the most astute will appreciate.