If you don’t fit the stereotype of the ‘alcoholic’, you may have developed a false sense of security. The fact is that you do not have to fit into any particular stereotype to be considered addicted. If alcohol is making your life miserable then this means that you have a problem and most individuals are not able to acknowledge this problem until they are already addicted.
Most alcoholics do not drink early in the morning. They are able to make it through the day until the evening, when they let their hair down. If this person is seriously addicted then they may be dealing with withdrawal symptoms every day, but they are so used to this that they hardly notice; any symptoms they do notice they put down to a hangover. It is common for alcoholics to desire the ‘hair of the dog’ when they wake up, but if they have responsibilities they will usually be able to delay. The ability to do this usually means that the person is a high functioning alcoholic.
It is not necessary to drink every day to be an alcoholic. If you have good reason to have days when you do not drink, you are probably going to be able to maintain this – at least in the short-term, anyway. It is common for alcoholics to go through periods where they seem to be in control, but this is typically followed by a period of loss of control later on.
There are many who are convinced that if they stick to beer they can never become an alcoholic. There are even some cultures where beer is almost considered to be on the same level as a soft drink. The idea that beer is less dangerous than spirits like whisky or vodka is a myth. All beers contain alcohol and some contain a high level of alcohol. Many alcoholics prefer to become inebriated with beer as it allows them to drink steadily throughout the day; these individuals might never go near spirits.
There is a type of alcoholic who very rarely gets drunk but likes to maintain a steady level of slight inebriation – this person is often referred to as a maintenance alcoholic. This person probably still gets drunk all the time, but they just don’t notice it because they have a false sense of control; alcoholics have very poor judgement when it comes to deciding if they were drunk or not.
It is not necessary for you to have blackouts for you to be considered an alcoholic. It may be that you don’t have blackouts but it is more likely that you simply do not remember having them. The mind is a tricky thing, especially when it is under the influence of alcohol. If you tend to drink alone then there will be no real reason for you to remember your blackouts.
Alcoholics tend to surround themselves with other heavy drinkers. This can give them a false sense that their level of intake is normal or maybe even below normal. If you have become dependent on alcohol, it means that you are an alcoholic – it doesn’t matter if you drink less than your friends do.