OK, as a fully paid-up member of Britain’s massively subscribed Hidden Drinkers Club, you’re confident that you’re doing a great job of keeping your excessive alcohol consumption under wraps. After all, you’re no mug; you’re a functioning alcoholic: a well educated and financially secure middle class professional, aren’t you? Despite regularly knocking back copious amounts of booze behind closed doors, to the outside world you seem in full control of yourself: your career, your future, your life. And nobody around you ever ‘feels a thing’!
The reality is…
…If you frequently binge drink, people will notice – they’ll detect changes in you, in your behaviour, in the way you look, talk, smell and, ahem, taste (slobbery kiss from a drunk anyone?).
What’s more, if, due to alcohol abuse, you tend to transmogrify into a hideous, morally objectionable, unmanageable ogre, then word will spread. You’ll get a reputation. A bad reputation. Consequently, others will avoid your company, but not only when you drink; which is the whole point of this article.
Your sister is keen on her kids being in your kids’ lives. She wants them all to spend time together, to be little mates. After all, at some level they’ll always be in each others’ lives, so she wants them to bond early on. But what’s stopping her is you. Not just sometimes (i.e. when you are likely to have been drinking heavily), but all the time. Why? Because your excessive alcohol consumption has spiralled to such a level; it dictates your behaviour when you’re drinking and often when you’re not.
When you’re drinking you:
- Can become belligerent and argumentative
- Can be forgetful and careless
- Act more impulsively
- Are less discreet, less tactful
- Are either impossibly overbearing (the ‘life and soul!’), or a myopic bore as you trundle on aimlessly, convinced all about you are enraptured, in your thrall (ever thought about joining The Ramblers Association? You’d be great!)
When you’re not drinking you:
- Are still probably hung-over from your previous binge drinking session (hangovers worsen with age, by the way)
- Crave alcohol and are short-tempered as a result
- Have neither the energy nor the inclination to receive visitors, or even to clean up your place from the night before (those empty cans, crisp packets, take-away pizza boxes etc. can accumulate, can’t they?)
- Probably still have alcohol in your bloodstream and so are not safe to be in a car with
- Experience heightened feelings of depression and anxiety
- Feel nauseas and perhaps even suffer from diarrhoea (not to mention flatulence and halitosis!)
With all this, no wonder your sister daren’t drop by for the afternoon, which means the kids all miss out. Not just her little ones, but also yours.
But you were too busy thinking about your next drink to consider all that, weren’t you? Sort yourself out and check out your nearest programme or rehab clinic!