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, that is it slows the brain activity and dulls your perception and judgement. This means that it affects 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-centred and insensitive.
If you feel that maybe you drink too much and that your family is being affected, then you need to examine your behaviour. This article gives you a list of some of the signs that would suggest your drinking may be having a detrimental effect on your nearest and dearest. However before we discuss the list we need to say two things, first you need to be honest with yourself and second this is not an exhaustive list. So even if none of these signs apply to you could still be harming your family.
The list of signs that your drinking could be harming your family.
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 your mates. Alternately, you may be a home drinker but your family may still not get quality time with you, particularly if you are seldom sober.
Do you promise to do things or be places and not deliver? Drinkers are often unreliable. Their intentions are usually good, it is just that alcohol often comes first and the good intentions are forgotten.
Has the number of visitors to your home reduced? Are your family members worried about inviting their friends to the house as they are afraid that you will be drunk?
Have the invitations to parties and friends’ houses also reduced. Do people just not invite you to their house anymore?
Is your partner becoming increasingly socially isolated? Does she seldom see friends and relatives that she once saw regularly?
Has your wife’s health deteriorated? Is she 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?
Do your children try to avoid you? Alternately do they try pleading with you about your drinking?
Has their school/college grades deteriorated and they are not realising their potential. Are they moody and reclusive?
How are your finances? Have they also deteriorated?
Of course all of these signs can be explained away by 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.