If you’re a heavy drinker, then it’s quite possibly you may be addicted to alcohol. There’s no two ways about it. However, we often go undiagnosed, putting our drinking down to stress or anxiety and that in theory we could stop whenever we wanted.
However, that isn’t quite true. That dependency on alcohol is unhealthy and if you think it’s getting to the stage where you may be addicted, then chances are it’s probably true.
More and more people are suffering from alcohol addiction and treatment for alcohol addiction is so crucial to ensure you don’t continue to do lasting damage to both yourself and those around you.
A good way to understand your relationship with alcohol is to create a diary. Not only will this allow you to see the extent of the problem you have with drinking, but also it can prove useful for therapists and treatment experts to understand your relationship with alcohol and create a tailored programme to help you recover successfully.
But what exactly does an alcohol diary entail? And what exactly should you be logging?
How much you drink
In theory you can use an actual diary and log what you need to day by day. Alternatively, you can use a spreadsheet or whatever you find most effective to log things.
Of course, the first thing you need to log is how much you drink. This needs to be broken down as finely as possible in order for you to be able to go back and review it effectively. Within this section of the diary you should include:
- Type of drink (even include brand names in this)
- Strength (ABV)
- Volume of liquid (e.g. how many ml)
- Number of drinks had
Why you drank
It’s then time to add context around why you drank. Again, this will help in the review process and both yourself, and a therapist if you then seek treatment, can spot trends in why you decided to drink alcohol that particular day.
That might be down to stress from work or there’s a particular friend you visit regularly and it usually ends up in the pub.
Here you should note down:
- Reason for drinking
- Where did you drink
- Who did you drink with
- What time did you start drinking
How were you feeling
There’s the when and where of your diary but also not down how you were feeling at that point. And what’s more, you can even note how you felt following having a drink. Again, this provides further context to your consumption of alcohol and allows you to identify key trends.
By then reviewing your diary regularly, you can identify the root of your problem with alcohol and start the recovery process. So next time you feel a certain way, you may decide to tackle it a different way.