|If even just looking at this picture makes you crave a drink....|
Do I need to say it?
Hi. Glad to have the rest of you with me on this fun trip into the fascinating world of addiction.
It must be a situational hazard, but I get asked all the time by people if I think that they're an addict. Odd, I know. Even I think it's odd.
I mean, how the heck would I know? What am I? The addiction goddess? Sheesh!
I used to have an acquantance in college who lived on my floor in the dorm.
Well, not on the floor in my dorm room but in another room on the same floor as my room. I have no idea whether she slept on the floor or in a bed, though I suspect it was in the bed when she could get there. Did I clarify that ok?
Damn. Shiny Object....
Back to the story...It was pretty widely known that I was in recovery (and I had just gotten sober, so I didn't get much sleep) back then before I realized why people keep the recovery thing under their hat, so to speak (more on that in another post).
Anyway, she drank to the falling down drunk stage about 3 or 4 nights a week pretty regularly. I know this because she would show up at the door of my dorm room and ask things like, "Can I use your can opener?" At 3am.
I once asked her what the can opener was for. She told me while slurring heavily that she was hungry and she was going to have a can of soup. I asked her if she wanted to warm it up in my microwave and she slurred back to me, "Nooooo, I just gonna have't cold on crackers."
One day, when she'd been having a particularly rough patch she stopped in and sat herself on my bed. She looked directly at me and asked if I thought that she was an addict. I thought about it for a few minutes and told her that it doesn't matter what I think. I asked her if she thought she was an addict. She said she wasn't sure.
I don't really know how the story ends, but that's not unusual. It was the first time that I had been asked but certainly not the last.
Over the years, I have come up with a few red flags that you might want to consider if you're wondering. Here they are:
1. You think you might be an addict.
If you're not an addict, you might think that's self explanatory. It's not.
I'd even bet that if you're not an addict, you think, "Well, duh. If you think you're an addict, that's a pretty good red flag." But addicts don't think that way.
What you don't understand is that the Committee in the addict's head wants nothing more than to keep the addict using until the using kills the addict. The Committee will dismiss this thought as nothing more than background noise. The Committee will try to convince the addict that there is nothing wrong with them. That they're just like everyone else.
If you think you might be an addict, try to shut off the Committee for just a second and concentrate on what I'm about to tell you.
If you think you "might be" an addict, you are one.
Let it process.
People who are not addicts don't question whether they might be one. It never occurs to them.
People who drink normally (unless someone very close to them is in recovery) NEVER think about whether their drinking is good, bad or indifferent.
Don't believe me? Find someone you know is a "normal" person who sometimes has a glass of wine or two. Ask them.
Come back tomorrow for the second way that you can tell if you're an addict (Part 2)....
P.S. If you want the "official" AA questionaire, it's right here. Not as fun as my list, but a pretty good gauge nonetheless...
Just Keep Coming Back
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