Alcoholics lie. That is part of the disease. They lie mostly because they are trying to cover up their drinking and habits that they know are wrong. On an intellectual level, most alcoholics know their drinking is a problem, but the addiction is so strong they often don't know how gain control over it or are ready to get help.
Case in point: Recently I had a patient of mine who I will call Billy. Billy was married with two kids and had a job as an electrician. His drinking started when he was in a fraternity at Ohio State University. He woke up at 6am every day and got home at 5pm each night. He attended his kids baseball and soccer games and from the outside looked like a model father and husband. What no one knew was that Billy was a closet drinker. After his kids went to sleep his wife would say, "are you coming to bed?". His reply would be, "I'll be up soon.". His wife would then fall asleep and Billy would begin drinking. By the time he went to bed, and woke up, he was on his way to being sober again and no one knew about it. The problem was Billy was diagnosed with liver cancer and when the doctor explained to his family why, he said, "well, Billy's drinking is likely the reason". Everyone was in shock.
Alcoholism isn't always obvious. For some, it's easy to tell, but for others, its a lie that they live year after year and not getting any help or assistance.
Here are some signs you might have a drinking problem?
- Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
- Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
- Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking.
- Need to drink in order to relax or feel better.
- “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking.
- Regularly drink more than you intended to.
One step we all can take to better understand our drinking is to take an online alcohol awareness class. These courses are accessable and available to anyone and you don't have to worry about being viewed as a alcoholic. They are totally anonymous. Education is the key to change and is a critical factor in prevention at any age.