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Have you ever met someone who never seemed to be fully sober? They may have an overall cloud of melancholy around them, may have health problems that involve alcohol as a root of the problem, and are generally just not doing too well. Straight up, most of the people who are like this are addicted to alcohol.
Most people drink in moderation, and that's okay. Drinks are meant to be enjoyed. For some of us, we know that drinking every day or binge drinking on a weekly basis isn't moderate.
The problem is that drinking has this way of being deceptive when it comes to addiction. One minute, you're just drinking regularly to "ease the nerves" or to "celebrate it all." You start finding reasons to ignore people pointing out signs you need to stop drinking.
The next, you start finding yourself being cranky when you don't drink. You start feeling terrible, even when buzzed. You're addicted, and it's taking a toll.
This is why you should always watch out for signs you need to stop drinking. Should you fail to notice them, or worse, fail to heed the warnings they deliver, then it's very likely that you will end up getting addicted and finding yourself in a world of pain.
Not sure if you're at that level? Here are some of the classic signs you need to stop drinking.
You're known for polishing off entire wine bottles in a day.
One of the biggest signs you need to stop drinking is the quantity you drink. It's totally fine if you have a "blowout night" where you get blitzed to the point of kooky a couple of times per year. Generally speaking, that will not get you a reputation for drinking a ton every sitting.
If you are known for drinking a bottle of wine in a single day every weekend, you need to stop drinking—at least for a while. The same goes if you're known for making large quantities of beer or vodka disappear, too.
Whether it's fun or not, drinking large amounts in one sitting on a semi-regular basis is a definition of alcoholism. Specifically, it's a sign you're a binge drinker. Binge drinking can stress out your body as much as drinking every day, if not more so.
It's totally okay to take a break if you notice yourself doing this. Your body needs to recharge, and you may also be in need of time to distance yourself from alcoholism's lure. Heck, you might even find that it'll help you lose weight.
You drink every day or almost everyday.
Frequency is the second most commonly cited of the signs you need to stop drinking. If you drink every day, it might be time to pause for a week to see if you can.
More often than not, hardcore alcoholics don't realize how bad they are until they stop drinking for a bit. Try to relax sober for a bit, and see how you feel. Do you feel strange, bad, or woozy? Then you need to take a longer break.
A lot of your time drinking is spent alone.
For many people, this is one of the signs you need to stop drinking that could be excused fairly easily.
Some people legitimately just like to have a single glass of wine with dinner, regardless of whether they're dining alone or with company. These people might not necessarily need to stop drinking, per se. However, it might be a good idea.
But, most people who drink like to do so with others around them. If no one wants to go out in their circle, they may still want to drink. Some might be able to be okay with going to bars and hoping to chat someone up. Others, however, will just hole up with a bottle of wine and consume alone.
A lot of people see this as a sign of alcoholism, particularly if it happens on a daily basis. While it's not a surefire member of the signs you need to stop drinking, it is a good indicator that something is awry.
People have asked you to stop drinking, or have told you that you might have a problem.
The vast majority of people will never actually confront major, unsettling topics that sit like elephants in the room. Most people will actively avoid mentioning addiction or talk about the problems that drinking may be causing simply because it's such an uncomfortable topic of discussion.
If you notice that people are worried about you, tell you that you have drinking issues, or tell you that they can't give you a drink in good conscience, this is a bad sign. It takes a lot of bravery to confront someone over alcoholism. If they are doing this, it's a clue that you might already be out of control.
You feel bad whenever you end up skipping a day of drinking.
One of the more serious signs you need to stop drinking is how your body reacts if you skip a day of drinking. People who drink for long periods of time will often notice that they end up getting withdrawal symptoms.
It's easy to recognize withdrawal, especially if you start shaking, vomiting, feeling dizzy, or have a seizure. However, that's not all that withdrawal can do to you.
People assume alcohol withdrawal has to be serious and dramatic in nature; that's not always the case. Sometimes, withdrawal only comes in the form of a bad mood or bad headaches.
If you don't stop drinking when you notice withdrawal signs, you're only going to get it worse and worse. Needless to say, it's crucial to learn the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal—and to get clean when you start noticing them.
A good way to determine whether you need to stop drinking is to take a break from drinking for three days. If you notice withdrawal symptoms, you may need to quit drinking.
You've alienated friends due to your drunk antics.
Whether people want to admit it or not, there are certain folks who just do not fare well with alcohol. Everyone knows "that guy." Many people are also aware that they are the person in their group of friends who can't handle liquor without inciting fights, getting naked, or otherwise making a fool of yourself.
If you notice that your friends don't like you when you're drunk, or if your drunk rages have caused people to stop talking to you, you are "that guy." If you find yourself getting blackout drunk regularly, this also counts as a way to alienate friends.
You do not need to be an alcoholic to realize that your antics under the influence of alcohol lead to problems. If you notice that people don't want to talk to you after they've drank with you, or if you notice that people stopped inviting you to parties, those are signs you need to stop drinking.
Drinking has made you broke.
Drinking is a pretty expensive hobby, in more ways than one. You can lose jobs due to being unable to arrive to work without a hangover. You can also end up spending more money than you can afford on booze fairly easily.
There are people out there who have drank their way out of homes, cars, and full-time jobs. You don't have to be one of those people. If you notice that you no longer have the budget to drink affordably, it's one of the serious signs you need to stop drinking.
If you were honest, you drink your feelings away.
A lot of us get hooked on the feelings alcohol can give us—and that's not good. If you use alcohol to try to muzzle feelings, you're going to be headed for a bad time and addiction will end up taking hold.
One of the signs you need to stop drinking happens when you realize you're using liquor as a bandage for your wounds. This doesn't make anyone feel better, and your emotions might be better dealt with through other ways.
You find yourself regularly debating if you should drink.
Generally speaking, drinking is one of those things that you either can enjoy or that you end up feeling that you need to control. If you feel you need to control it, it's really hard to actually enjoy what you're drinking.
If you find yourself struggling with the option of drinking, especially if you know you really shouldn't drink but it's just too tempting, walk away. There are better things you can do, and really, this is one of the signs you need to stop drinking and start reevaluating life.