As an interventionalist, I frequently talk to those facing alcohol and substance abuse disorder. Recently I sat with a young man I’ll call Justin, who said something like this to me:
“I am not addicted to anything except fun. I drink because I like it!”
I didn’t argue with him. While I might have suspected that Justin was in denial about the nature of his drinking, I am not the All-Knowing God capable of looking inside of him.
Instead, I told him I was glad to hear that. Then I asked him if it would be okay if I asked a few more questions.
I’m going to share the questions I asked, and I’m going to ask you to answer them too, as if I were sitting across the room from you. You don’t have to be honest with me; but I’d like you to be honest with yourself.
And realize that while my questions to Justin were around his drinking, you could replace alcohol with any other behavior that is causing you problems—such as illegal drugs, prescription medications, pornography, cigarettes, gambling, and even sex or food.
- Do you find yourself planning your day and activities around your next drink?
- Have you ever lied to conceal your drinking?
- Have you ever taken a drink before a social event so others wouldn’t know how much you were really drinking?
- Has your performance or reliability at school or work suffered because of your drinking?
- Has anyone close to you expressed concern about your drinking?
- Have you stopped hanging out with people because they were less interested in drinking than you?
- Have you experienced loss (of important relationships, a job, or even memory) as a result of drinking?
- Have you ever had trouble with the law when while drinking?
- Have you ever wondered if you had a problem with drinking?
- Have you tried to stop and found it too hard?
If you know anything about my story, you know I’m very honest about my battle with drugs. Replace Xanax and opioids for alcohol, and I’d check almost every one of those boxes back in the days when I found myself tied up in the bonds of addiction. Even harder than the toughest games I played in the NFL was coming to the decision to face my own addiction. But recovery has given me a freedom that saved my life.
By the grace of God and the gift of recovery, I no longer live to use; I live to serve and help others reclaim their best lives through active recovery.
If you or a loved one would answer YES to any of the 10 questions listed above, I want to help. Please reach out to me and let me show you the open arms and loving community of recovery today.