What makes a functional alcoholic different from other alcoholics? There is a myth (or is it wishful thinking?) that if you drink a lot but can go about life as normal then you must not be an alcoholic.
That is, if you manage to complete day to day tasks then your drinking is not an issue
This just isn't true.
The definition of a functional alcoholic is somebody who displays signs of alcoholism (or at least some of them) but is able to live a 'normal' life.
They get up in the morning, have breakfast, go to work, put the kids to bed, play football on a Saturday, keep their partner happy......and so on. Everything is just fine...in their eyes at least.
Sorry to burst the bubble but, yes, you can function as an alcoholic and for quite some time. However, eventually, alcoholism progression will mean you won't be able to keep up the act anymore.
In most cases, alcoholism is progressive. This means that it follows a definite path and goes through distinctive phases or alcoholism stages. When someone drinks chronically, they eventually develop a tolerance to alcohol. Over time, this tolerance increases and increases. That means they need to drink more alcohol at higher frequencies to achieve the intended effect.
This pattern can also lead to withdrawal. Withdrawal happens when someone experiences physical and psychological symptoms after stopping drinking. Withdrawal symptoms can vary from mildly distressing to incredibly uncomfortable.
The final stage is, unfortunately, death unless help is sought.
During the first two alcoholism stages, it is possible to cover up your excessive drinking but enter the final stages of alcoholism and this is just not an option anymore.
In end stage alcoholism you can no longer hide your alcoholic abuse. There is only so much drinking the body can take and the long term effects of alcoholism and alcohol abuse health effects will become very visible.
Additionally, any degree of alcoholism can affect you and everyone around you. You aren’t as present for your spouse or children. You may make more mistakes at work. Your health can take a tremendous beating. If you drink while engaging in hazardous activities like driving, you face immense safety risks. Unfortunately, functional alcoholics may have a false sense of confidence that nothing bad can or will happen to them.
Anyway having a functioning life and a good life are not the same.
Why be a functional alcoholic when you can break your addiction forever and have a more fulfilling life? And....
.....you may be functioning at the moment but if you don't think about quitting drinking soon then you may well be dysfunctional not too long from now.
I don't want to preach but if you suspect you are (or someone you care about is) a functional alcoholic get help NOW before it is too late.
Do you live with a functional alcoholic? Loving an alcohol dependent is one of the most painful things you will ever have to cope with. However, there is hope. C.P.Lehman in his book, Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict provides you with the strategies that will enable you to find contentment and get your life back where you want it to be.
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