High functioning alcoholics are able to hide the worst effects of their drinking, which may make it feel as if they are getting away with something. This can lead to justification for continued substance abuse – the person thinks that as long as they are able to hold things together, they are safe to continue drinking. Here are seven reasons that this is not the case.
1. High Functioning Alcoholics Usually Become Dysfunctional Ones
Just because a person is currently able to hide the worst effect of their drinking, it does not mean that they are going to be able to do this long-term. It takes a lot of energy to keep the problem under wraps, and the deception can become harder and harder to maintain over time. When high functioning addicts finally lose complete control, it tends to be dramatic and can involve a very painful rock bottom. It could be said that all practicing alcoholics are heading to the same destination and the only difference between them is the speed by which they are getting there.
2. High Functioning Alcoholics Are at Higher Risk than Rock Bottom Ones
High functioning alcoholics can feel as if they are getting away with something, but the reality is that they are not. Those who are obviously struggling are under far more pressure to quit, and this can increase their likelihood of quitting. The fact that the high functioning alcoholic does not have to deal with this pressure means they are likely to keep drinking for longer – meaning that they end up suffering far more as a result.
3. The Energy Used to Hide the Addiction Could be put to Better Use
As we already mentioned above, hiding an addiction is likely to require a great deal of effort. This effort requires energy for which there is a limited supply. It will mean that the person is underperforming in some areas of his or her life in order to compensate. If the individual put this energy to a more constructive use, it would probably be possible to achieve something amazing.
4. The Addiction Will Be Hurting Others
Even if the addiction is hidden, it is still going to be negatively affecting the lives of other people. Those who are caught up in addiction are usually self-absorbed, meaning that they cannot really be there for family and friends. Addicted parents cannot really be there for their kids, and they make poor partners as well. Even if others do not realise that there is an addiction problem, they can sense that there is something wrong.
5. Continued Drinking Means Taking a Huge Risk
You do not need to be a rock bottom alcoholic in order to be at risk of addiction – as mentioned above, the person who is obviously struggling may be less at risk. Drinking means that you are more likely to have accidents, and it increases the likelihood that you will suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts as well. The progression of liver cirrhosis can go unnoticed until it is too late.
6. Continued Drinking Means Losing Out
People who are caught up in addiction are always going to be losing out. Life is precious and each day spent drunk means a day wasted. Getting sober means the individual would be able to get far more out of life, so it makes sense to take this step. The prognosis for alcoholism is depressingly predictable, but a life in sobriety can mean new opportunities and the opportunity to really feel alive.
7. The Longer the Person Continues Drinking, the More There is To Be Lost
Alcoholism is similar to being stuck in an elevator that is always going downwards. The longer you stay on there, the more you are going to end up losing. You have probably already lost too much, so it makes sense that you would want to quit the addictive behaviour as soon as possible. Do not wait for things to get unbearably painful because you are going to be less able to deal with the problem then. If you get sober now, you are going to be saving yourself form a great deal of suffering – it just makes sense to do this now rather than later (if there is a later).