When I drink I have feelings of insecurity, low self-esteem and being paranoid. If I stop drinking for several days I don’t feel this way. Is this a mental side effect of long term use? If so, can moderation make these feelings go away? I feel like I’m a functional alcoholic on the edge of not being functional. These feelings are ruining my relationship with a wonderful woman who does not understand why I’m this way.
It certainly seems as if these feelings are a symptom of your alcohol abuse. It is difficult, however, to generalize the effects of long term alcohol abuse on personality as we are all unique and alcohol affects us in different ways and to varying degrees.
As to your question about whether moderate drinking will make these feelings go away, it is impossible to say. Only you can see if this might work. You say that you are a functional alcoholic on the verge of becoming non-functional. Surely this is a sign that you should do something about your drinking (as are the feelings alcohol causes you to have.) Perhaps it would be a good idea to visit your physician/therapist/support group and discuss your drinking BEFORE you lose control.
I wish you all the best
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.