When was the last time you took a hard look at your drinking? More to the point, when did you last look at the effect of your drinking on your family and loved ones?
Alcohol is a depressant drug, it slows the brain activity — dulling your perception and judgment. This means that it impairs your thinking and makes you less sensitive to the needs and wants of others. Unfortunately, the more you drink the more this happens, which is one reason why drinkers are often accused of being self-centered and insensitive.
If you feel there's a chance you drink too much and that your family is greatly impacted, then you need to examine your behavior. This article provides a list of the signs that suggest your drinking may have a detrimental effect on your nearest and dearest.
However, before we discuss the list we need to say two things: be honest with yourself (it's an absolute requirement) and second this is not an exhaustive list ... so even if none of these signs apply, you could still be harming your family.
Ask yourself this list of questions to determine if your drinking is possibly harming your family (and that you have an addiction).
1. Does your family complain that they do not have enough quality time with you?
You may spend much of your time at a bar or drinking with friends. Alternately, you're a home drinker but your family may still not get quality time with you, particularly if you're rarely sober.
2. Do you promise to do things or be places and fail to deliver? Drinkers are often unreliable. Their intentions are usually good, it's just that alcohol often comes first and the good intentions are forgotten.
3. Have the number of visitors (to your home) dwindled? Family members may be worried about inviting their friends to the house, as they're afraid that you'll be on a bender.
4. Have the invitations to parties and friends’ houses also reduced? Have people stopped extending an invite to their home?
5. Is your partner becoming increasingly socially isolated? Do they seldom see friends and relatives that they once saw regularly?
6. Has your spouse's health deteriorated? Are they taking medication for anxiety or depression? Has she lost weight or gained significant amounts of weight? Does she seem more stressed and less able to cope?
7. Do your children try to avoid you? Alternately, do they try pleading with you about your drinking?
8. Are your kids' grades deteriorating? Are they not realizing their potential. Are they moody and reclusive?
9. How are your finances? Have they deteriorated along with the rest of your life?
Of course one can explain away all these signs with causes other than drinking. However, if some of the signs are present in your family life, then you should look at your drinking. Obviously the more of them that are present the more likely that drinking is the cause.
If you are concerned about your drinking you can get a quick assessment and feedback at The Smart Drinker’s Check Up or at 24/7 Help Yourself, both websites are free. If the family are affected they can get help and support at Bottled Up.