While no one could have planned for the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have widely differing views of it and attitudes towards it. Some people have been laid off, are having to deal with homeschooling their children, and are learning how to spend a lot of time in a house that seems to be much smaller than they remembered. Others are laying back, watching Tiger King while drinking quarantinis, and enjoying an unexpected break from the busy routine of day to day life. Many people in both groups are seeing alcohol become more and more featured in their lives as the stay at home orders roll on, whether its drinking to relax and calm down, or having a drink to enjoy and keep spirits up (no pun intended).
But for some there’s that nagging voice in the back of their head – am I drinking too much? It’s not really a problem now. I don’t have to be up for work, or I’ll sober up before that afternoon zoom meeting. But what if this wasn’t a pandemic and things were just normal. I couldn’t do this.
For others, the idea of returning to “normal” is anxiety-provoking, because we’ve become used to this lifestyle and staying at home and having drinks or eating in our pajamas whenever we feel like. They might be thinking – I don’t know if I can go back, or for that matter if I even want to go back to what my life used to be. This is so relaxing and manageable and I was too stressed before.
For many people, there is a difference between changes we can make but don’t want to and changes we seem to not quite be capable of making. However, for those who may be struggling with drinking too much or having trouble managing their drinking, the line between those two ideas may be less clear than it appears at first. So how do you know if you really are drinking in a way that may cause problems for you later?
The following questions are for your self-reflection. Answering yes to any of these questions does not mean you have a substance use disorder or that you are an alcoholic. Answering yes to some of the questions below is a good indication that you do have something going on with you, and it is likely that alcohol is not helping you with those changes or that you may be self-medicating to deal with negative mental health symptoms. If you answer yes to any of the questions below, please feel free to reach out and talk with us about it, because we can help you understand why you may be having the feelings or symptoms that you are.
- Have you had any changes in your sleep?
- Have you been eating more or less than usual?
- Have you been reaching out to friends less than normal?
- Have you been minimizing your drinking or joking about it with others?
- Do you feel hungover or sick after drinking?
- Do you often feel like drinking in the morning?
- Do you find yourself less motivated to get up to work or accomplish your responsibilities?
- Do you not feel like yourself or feel like you are disappointed in yourself?
- Do you see yourself as experiencing increased anxiety or depression?
- Do you feel more irritable or negative than normal?