Below are six reasons why you might benefit from a break from alcohol:

1. You feel happy when you know that you can drink
The first thing is perhaps something you don’t consider a factor as it’s so subtle. Do you feel happy when you know that you can drink. Maybe it’s the weekend and you’ve nothing planned, nothing to get up early for or you’re home alone and you can drink as much as you want without being judged or without the worry of having to try and moderate or not drink as much as your partner or friends. Maybe you’re supposed to be the designated driver on a night out but someone else will do it and you immediately feel relief and you have a sense of excitement that you can relax and drink as much as you want.

2. You are touchy about your drinking
Being touchy about your drinking is another sign that maybe it’s time to do something about it. If other people are noticing your drinking, then maybe you’re not hiding it as well as you thought, you may be slipping out of control. The people around you love you and they’re only trying to help. Another thing you might notice is that you get lots of alcohol related presents, birthday cards and cute little wine bracelet dispensers or whatever. Do you feel affronted that the only thing people associate with you is your drinking? Time to put that right perhaps.

3. Alcohol is on your mind – always
The fact that you always know how much you’re drinking, how much booze you have available to you and more importantly, how much other people are drinking. You can’t be out with someone who has more wine than you. Maybe you get frustrated if you’re out and the waiter takes ages to refill you glass. When you are concentrating more on how much you are drinking or where the next drink is coming from instead of enjoying the company or the atmosphere then it’s not a good sign.

4. When you tell yourself you’re not going to drink, it scares you
You tell yourself that you’re not going to drink and it terrifies you. This should be totally unfounded but it’s a very real fear and if you’re feeling fear when you think about not drinking you are not alone.

5. You’re exhausted with trying to moderate
If you’re so scared to give up completely, you decide to moderate instead, you set yourself goals and make up little rules, to try and make yourself feel better. Maybe you decide to only drink when you go out and find yourself making plans to go out every night. You might switch from wine to beer or the other way round and drink something you’re not that keen on. Or you might alternate with days on and days off or say you’ll only drink at the weekend. Perhaps you promise you’ll only have half a bottle or 4 beers instead of six. While forcing all of these rules on yourself might mean you have recognised you need to do something about your drinking and you start to feel a bit better in the beginning, long term they just don’t work. It’s exhausting trying to moderate and keep up with your self-imposed rules but the thing with rules is that once you break one, it’s easier to break them all.

6. You regret it when you drink
If trying to moderate and then feeling happy when you can drink as much as you want are not signs that you can relate to, then maybe drinking and then regretting your drinking is one thing you’ve experienced. It might be that you’re embarrassed about your recycling bins the next day or alternating shops so you don’t buy booze from the same place every day or making up stories about how you’ve family or friends over to justify what you buy. Regretting your drinking might come from having a close call or doing something that causes pain to yourself or loved ones.

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