The Lord provides many clear signs that you have become a severe alcoholic. If you have to duct tape adult diapers on at night, you might be an alcoholic. If you wake up covered in blood with a giant hole in your knuckle and no idea how it got there, you are very likely one. If you can’t remember the last time you completed an entire hangover, you are definitely one—even the roadies for Mötley Crüe go one day on, one day off. Gin blossoms are also a pretty bad sign.
However, there are many other subtle indications that your alcohol consumption has gone off the rails.
1. YOU ARE CLEAN-SHAVEN WITH YOUR HAIR SLICKED BACK
When normal people wake up with stubble and messy hair, they go “Oh, cute. I’m scruffy” and get on with their day. When alcoholics see that same thing in the mirror, they see Nick Nolte’s mug shot and get depressed. Shaving and slicking back your hair means a fresh life starting now and usually lasts until 11:59 AM.
2. YOUR AREA TINGLES WHEN YOU SEE YOUR BRAND ADVERTISED
If your body involuntarily sexualizes a gigantic Bud Light sign, you have a problem. It means your little brain and your big brain are 100% on board with this addiction and now two entities need to go to AA.
3. YOU READ TWEETS THE NEXT DAY AND THEY WERE WRITTEN BY A STRANGER
If you’re going through your Twitter feed in the morning and are shocked to discover that “I’m glad Snakes on a Plane didn’t go with their working title Niggers Are Afraid of Snakes” was written by someone with your name, that’s you. You wrote that. First-person writing should not read like it’s in the third person if you’re only one person.
4. YOU SAW FLIGHT AND THOUGHT, “PUSSY”
This Denzel Washington vehicle is meant to be a shocking roller coaster ride about an airplane pilot so consumed by alcohol and drugs that he puts hundreds and arguably thousands of lives at risk. When you see the part where he throws away all his liquor, you’re supposed to go, “My God, look at all the booze that guy has in his house!”
What you don’t want to catch yourself thinking is, “What kind of pussy keeps so much beer in his house? And what’s with all the variety? A real drinker has his one drink and he sticks to it. This teetotaler has PBR and Cutty Sark and what’s that, Hennessy? Gimme a break.” When a hyperbolic Hollywood film can’t design a character who can hold a candle to you, you’re going to get burned.
5. INTERVENTION MAKES YOU DRINK
Similarly, when a reality show that scrapes up the dregs of addiction makes you thirsty, you have a problem. Intervention regularly features people who are in the last days of their lives. I saw a guy on there once who had big black bruises all over his body from cirrhosis. His liver was no longer able to produce the proteins required for blood clotting. They announced his death at the end of the show and I suspect a lot of us went “Jeesh!” and then got up to pour ourselves a drink. That’s pretty bad.
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