Do I drink too much?
I am embarrassed to admit it but alcohol plays an important role of my life. I enjoy it immensely and on more occasions than probably necessary. I can give you all the excuses as to why I drink alcohol (and not just on weekends) :
- I have 4 kids (bad excuse but come on, that’s a lot of people to look after)
- I have a stressful job (run my own business)
- My hubby does shift work so sometimes a Tuesday is his Saturday
- I work hard so I can play hard (Is that just a younger persons excuse?)
- It helps relax me
- After a long day I
needdeserve to relax a little
When my children were little, I needed a drink EVERY night to cope with the stresses. I mentioned this to my hubby and he didn’t think it was such a bad thing as I wasn’t getting drunk, just needed to take the edge off. Now my children are older, I don’t drink EVERY night but sometimes I think I have more than I should.
When I turned 18 years old, my mum sat me down and explained that alcoholism can run in the family and I should watch my alcohol intake (she also discussed this with my siblings not just me). We have this condition in our family and mum’s concern was taken into consideration for about a week. At the time I thought stuff like that won’t happen to me and to this day I don’t think it has. However, I do like to have a drink and this got me thinking about the signs to look out for that I may actually drink too much.
Here are 8 signs to look out for if you are concerned you may drink too much alcohol:
- The majority of your plans involve alcohol. For me this is true but it is not intentional. Catching up with girlfriends is either for coffee (morning obviously) but as soon as the afternoon hits, coffee is a no-no, wine please. Some other events can include dinner with friends, sporting events, movie night at home with kids and even family catch ups.
- Poor sleeping habits. Alcohol can help you go to sleep but it also makes the brain forget how to sleep efficiently. The brain needs to get into that ‘deep sleep’ cycle and alcohol has been known to prevent the body from doing this. 60% of alcoholics suffer from insomnia and constant drinking, even a few drinks per day, can cause interrupted sleep patterns.
- Short term memory decreases and this is also linked to poor sleeping patterns. Regular drinking of alcohol causes short-term memory loss, and not necessarily while drinking. When the body is lacking in sleep, the brain can’t function at its optimum and memory is a side effect of this.
- Is it 6pm yet? Another sign of drinking too much is when you are waiting desperately for that perfect time of the day you can finally move from coffee (or tea or water or soft drink) to an alcoholic drink. This becomes more obvious when this is occurring during the week as well as on the weekend.
- You begin to suffer from stomach problems. Diarrhoea can be a sign that the body is not coping with excess drinking and so too can darkened urine as it shows the body is dehydrated. Waking up the next day needing to consume greasy or fatty foods on a regular basis is often associated with excess drinking.
- Letting some of your responsibilities slide – these can include cooking healthy meals, getting children to after school activities or simply keeping up with household chores, this can be a sign you may drink too much or it is becoming too important is your daily life.
- The first thing you turn to when you are stressed is alcohol. Everyone has something they turn to when life is not going as planned, some people choose food, cigarettes, exercise (I wish that was me) or alcohol. Alcohol is actually a depressant and can make the situation appear worse than it is after a few drinks.
- Finally, and this one I do – when you take 2 bottles of wine instead of 1. This is pretty self-explanatory.
So, after reading my own list, there are a few (OK more than a few) that I can easily relate to, but not all of them. My next step was to take a test to assess if the experts thought I maybe drinking too much. The results came up : there is SOME risk of alcohol affecting my health. Take the text here and see what your results are. Don’t forget, be honest as you are the only one seeing this test and if you cheat, you cheat yourself.
Maybe I drink a little too much but at this stage is my life I have decided that I am not concerned. I don’t drink every night. I can have a drink with dinner and then no more. I don’t often drink in excess.
Do you think you may drink too much?