Everyone gets together with friends on weekends, most of us drink at these outings. We may get together with “non-work” friends on Saturday for social events or just hanging out, and most of us drink then too. Most of us get up on Monday and go to work without thinking about last weekend or the coming one. While others cannot Remember what happened last weekend and cannot Wait for the next one.
Just because you drink alcohol both days of the weekend does not mean that you are an alcoholic, many cultures drink wine daily. A small glass of wine with a meal on a daily basis is considered medicinal.
Only an alcoholic knows that that they are an alcoholic. It doesn’t matter how much alcohol a person consumes, only how badly a person WANTS to consume alcohol.
Let’s say that you have a big weekend of parties, and you are intoxicated for much of the time. Your body will inevitably feel the effects, a.k.a. the dreaded hangover. For many people this will be enough to teach them their limits, and some may never drink again. A few will slow down for a short while, but need to learn again the risks before slowing or stopping. The true alcoholic will never learn this lesson, for them the high is worth the torture to their bodies.
An alcoholic, like any addict, will not see the Red Flags popping up in their life. Weekend binge drinking turns into nightly “work” outings, then to drinking at home before going out to drink. Showing up late for work or calling in sick all together. Bills piling up because you forgot to pay or mail them.
A general feeling of being left behind in life can combine with faltering health due to heavy drinking and cause a sort of depression. Not a deep anti-social depression classically described in text books, more of a floating through life without involvement. Best termed the “functional alcoholic”.
Any person wondering to themselves if they drink too much need only try a few “easy” tests:
Give up alcohol completely for 2 weeks. No excuses, no social “must’s”, and don’t stay home and hide out. Keep your normal routine, drink anything without alcohol. (If this is difficult you may want to talk to a professional.)
During the 2 week period think about how often you looked forward to when you could drink again. Did you get through the time thinking that “this is all just to prove a point, I can go buy alcohol anytime I want”. Did you “celebrate” when the time period was up by going out drinking.
This is by no means to say that every weekend social drinker is a depressed alcoholic in denial. Again, only an alcoholic knows that they are an alcoholic (and deep down, they Do know it). Some people just need a wake up call before an addiction sets in.