At Addiction Campuses, we believe that you can wait for that person to suffer consequences such as a job loss, DUI, or worse – or you can do something to keep it from progressing. It is also a way for someone to differentiate themselves from being a stereotypical alcoholic.
Could it be a man sitting at the bar day after day nursing his whiskey and crying about his wife how has left him? Stage #1: Binge Drinking & Increased Tolerance This may sound like an odd question. The truth is that the average drinker without the disease of alcoholism doesn’t aim become intoxicated when they drink. When I did drink however, I had a purpose: to get intoxicated. I informed my family that I was clinically depressed.
Maybe you’re picturing an angry, drunken family member that you were told to stay away from as a child? The average drinker doesn’t like to feel that loss of control; the feeling of oblivion. When I was drinking, oblivion was the feeling I sought most. I would embarass myself by falling down stairs, dropping my drink, and hanging on random strangers at the bar. I was using alcohol to cope, but now everything was going to be fine.
The “functioning alcoholic” is just waiting for the bottom to drop out. Both diseases need professional treatment and both diseases have stages. If I felt like my job was to blame, I would find another job. I decided to take a few semesters off to figure out what I wanted to major in.
I want to ask you, for a moment, to picture what an alcoholic . Is he hanging in the alley with a liquor bottle in a brown paper bag, or asking for spare change on the street? Let me walk you through the 4 stages of alcoholism. I went days, sometimes a few weeks without drinking. Drinking didn’t consume my thoughts and my days were not based around when I could have something in my system. I would only drink when when I didn’t have to work the next day. In fact, I thought to myself, I won’t even keep alcohol in the house. I went to a psychiatrist who prescribed me antidepressants.
Are you imagining a person that’s lost everything worthwhile in their life – like a home, a career, car, family, self respect? Eventually, it started to take more and more alcohol at a time to get the feeling that I wanted to achieve. The truth was that I was falling apart inside and I couldn’t figure out why. In Stage #3, you might feel like you’re a “functioning alcoholic” because you still have a job – even though you may have changed jobs a few times, you still have your car – even though you may drive intoxicated, and you still have some relationships – even though they’re not the same. Many people feel that they are functioning at this stage because they still get up in the morning and go to work.I ask because these are the images that went through my mind when I thought about an alcoholic. Where it used to take two beers and a couple shots to get me to where I wanted to be, I started to have to drink more to reach that feeling of oblivion. I kept comparing myself to the homeless alcoholic under the bridge, surely that wasn’t me. But you’re not a functioning alcoholic because now your life revolves around the problems and consequences, and managing your drinking. A distended stomach, or “beer belly.” Have you been to the doctor lately? When it gets late at night are you afraid that you won’t have enough alcohol to get you through? Has your doctor put you in prescriptions for heartburn, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, or diabetes? Maybe they are a little buzzed from the night before, but they get there.