New Leaf Resources

Megan's Mosaic

Addiction RecoveryMegan's Mosaic, is a blog for addiction recovery topics and resources. Written by former Addiction Therapist Megan Fisher, this forum addressed the unique needs of each individual through a holistic and spiritually guided approach to addiction treatment.

< Back

Have You Crossed That Line?

February 06, 2014
By Megan Fisher, MHS, CAADC

From November until January is a long stretch of celebration and holiday activities for many of us.  Preparing for and participating in these events can be stressful and exhausting, so can you blame anyone with a desire to kick back and drink a few beers or cocktails?  Most people indulge in a few drinks for festive occasions, but I remember using holidays as an excuse to feed my addiction.  I looked forward to any situation where I was not the only one drinking – I thought it made me less obvious.  Instead, it made it incredibly more clear how different I was from the average drinker. 

As we head into the New Year, you or a loved one might be wondering if you’ve crossed that invisible line into the ‘troubled’ drinking category.  How does one distinguish simple social drinking from problem drinking?  Here are a few ideas for assessing yourself or others.  If these symptoms and behaviors sound familiar, it might be time to reach out for a little help.

Physical Symptoms

  1. Feeling sick when not drinking, i.e. sweating, shaking, nausea
  2. Regular morning hangovers, i.e. headache, tremors
  3. Having a tolerance to amount of alcohol – needing to drink more to get the same effect
  4. Red or blotchy nose/skin
  5. Swollen or bloated face
  6. Red and watery eyes
  7. Poor complexion
  8. Thin and unhealthy fingernails
  9. Weight loss

Behavioral Symptoms

  1. Hiding your drinking, drinking alone, or feeling guilty about your drinking
  2. Cancelling plans or responsibilities in order to drink
  3. Drinking alcohol at ‘abnormal’ times, such as in the morning, before or at work, or while driving
  4. Failing to meet obligations or deadlines due to drinking
  5. Once you start drinking, you cannot stop until you ‘pass out,’ run out of alcohol, or someone else intervenes
  6. Loss of interest in activities that used to bring pleasure, i.e. exercise, volunteering, travel
  7. Drinking to ‘escape’ issues, such as stress, grief, loneliness, anxiety, etc.
  8. Keeping or storing alcohol in unusual places
  9. Spending considerable time and energy planning to drink, drinking, and recovering from drinking