Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Some of us have a morbid curiosity about whether or not our drinking is out of control.
There are multiple quizzes and self-tests for alcoholism online, but they completely ignore the fact that people with alcoholism (who are actively drinking) are nearly disabled when it comes to being honest with themselves.
I took a lot of these quizzes before I quit drinking.
I only wish that instead of providing answers like "yes" and "no," they had offered answers that didn't give me so much room to get lost in denial and rationalization.
So, I've reframed these quizzes with answers that a real alcoholic might give in order to help anyone out who thinks they could have a drinking problem.
If you relate to these answers more than the questions themselves, or you would answer these questions in any of the following ways, you might have problematic relationship with alcohol.
The good news is, you don't have to stop until you're ready, and there's help available if you want it.
Do you try to avoid family or close friends while you are drinking?
Do I TRY to? Maybe, but I'm not hiding or anything. I just prefer to drink alone in a more relaxing way.
Do you drink heavily when you are disappointed, under pressure or have had a quarrel with someone?
No, not really. It's not because of those things.
If I have, the drinking wasn't directly related to the stress. But, everyone drinks to relieve stress. It's like the number one thing people go to.
Can you handle more alcohol now than when you first started to drink?
Yes, and I can also run farther than when I first started running. What's the point of this question, even?
Having a tolerance doesn't make me an alcoholic; it makes me more skilled at drinking. The higher your tolerance is, the better you're able to handle yourself.
Have you ever been unable to remember part of the previous evening, even though your friends say you didn't pass out?
EVER? I mean, yeah, of course.
When drinking with other people, do you try to have a few extra drinks when others won't know about it?
I'll have a drink or sometimes a few drinks when I'm getting ready to go out, but that's literally the classiest part of my night. So, I don't see why we need to bring that into this discussion.
Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable if alcohol is not available?
AM I SOME SORT OF CHILD WITH NO NEED TO NUMB EMOTIONAL PAIN? Of COURSE I feel uncomfortable without alcohol!
Who DOESN'T feel uncomfortable (sometimes) without alcohol? This question is NOT specific enough.
Are you more in a hurry to get your first drink of the day than you used to be?
My responsibilities have increased at work and in life in general, so I'm a little more stressed out.
But, it's really hard to say. Probably not.
Do you sometimes feel a little guilty about your drinking?
Maybe a little.
Do you often want to continue drinking after your friends say they've had enough?
People who say, "I've had enough" are usually trying to control their drinking.
So more than likely, they're the ones with a problem.
Do you usually have a reason for the occasions when you drink heavily?
Are you suggesting there needs to be one?
When you're sober, do you sometimes regret things you did or said while drinking?
Most of the regrettable things I've done have actually been pretty fucking funny. Besides, it's hard to really regret something I only vaguely remember saying or doing.
Have you tried switching brands or drinks, or following different plans to control your drinking?
It wasn't doing that to control my drinking; I was doing it to control how drunk I got, like the quality of drunk that I got.
There's a difference. Jesus Christ.
Have you sometimes failed to keep promises you made to yourself about controlling or cutting down on your drinking?
Everyone quits sober January. Literally everyone I know did.
Have you ever had a DWI driving while intoxicated or DUI driving under the influence of alcohol violation, or any other legal problem related to your drinking?
(a) NOPE! BOOM: DONE. NO PROBLEM HERE
(b) Yes, but it's my friend's fault. She was the one who let me drive home.
Are you having more financial, work, school and/or family problems as a result of your drinking?
Well, not as a direct result.
Have you recently noticed that you can't drink as much as you used to?
I don't get it. This quiz asked earlier if I was able to drink more than I used to. These quizzes are all designed to just make you feel like an alcoholic.
Do you sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time?
No. I mean, I might drink several days in a row, but I am definitely not drunk the whole time.
Do you sometimes have the shakes in the morning and find that it helps to have a little drink, tranquilizer or medication of some kind?
Do brunch drinks count? LOL.
Do you eat very little or irregularly during the periods when you are drinking?
Are you kidding? I eat like a cow when I'm drunk! Wait, what is eating "irregularly"?
After periods of drinking, do you sometimes see or hear things that aren't there?
FINALLY, a question for an actual alcoholic. NO.
Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
I do quizzes online, but this hardly counts as a cry for help.
Do you ever feel depressed or anxious before, during or after periods of heavy drinking?
Duh, alcohol is a depressant. This confirms that alcohol WORKS, not that I'm an alcoholic.
Have any of your blood relatives ever had a problem with alcohol?
(a) Yes, but they were REALLY obviously bad.
(b) No. So, I'm fine.
Most alcoholics will try to answer a question honestly.
Then, in a very cunning way, their denial will creep in to rationalize their behavior as normal or to deny the question is valid.
If you find yourself playing this game when you're answering questions about your drinking, you may — at the very least — want to see what might happen if you treated yourself as though you DID have a drinking problem.
Try going without it for a few days.
Better yet, try having just one a night, and see how much you enjoy yourself.
Or, if you feel you need help now, a simple internet search for 12-step meetings in your area can find you the help that you're looking for.
Don't be afraid to reach out.