1. YOU BASE YOUR NIGHT ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN DRINK
If you go to the 7 PM yoga class, you can’t have a glass of wine after work because then you’ll have to drink and drive so you just skip yoga. Your BFF really wants to get dinner at that delicious vegan place but they don’t serve alcohol so you’re going to Buffalo Wild Wings and that’s not negotiable. You haven’t seen a movie in the theaters in months. You don’t hang out with pregnant people, Muslims or Sober Sallies because bor-ING.
2. YOUR PLACE IS A DUMP
If your sink is overflowing with dishes and your sheets haven’t been changed in a month and the floor of your closet looks like a Barneys Co-Op swamp, then you’ve probably been too fucked up to do anything about it. Maybe you’re super busy with work, but if you hadn’t decided to spend last Sunday morning getting hammered before noon, you probably would have run a Swiffer over the kitchen floor or something.
3. PEOPLE SLOWLY (OR ABRUPTLY) BACK OUT OF YOUR LIFE
No one’s going to tell you to your face that you’ve got a problem with drugs and/or alcohol for two reasons, 1) That’s a really unpleasant thing to have to say to someone, 2) It forces them to examine their own lives and behaviors so instead they just slowly back away. They realize that you’re a social liability. Your energy makes them uncomfortable. They don’t feel like they can have an honest conversation with you. It’s difficult to engage you unless you’re halfway to drunk and when they finally do have your ear, you’re incapable of remembering any of the stuff they told you the next day.
4. YOU’VE GIVEN UP ON YOUR APPEARANCE
Your hair is tangled, your expensive products have dried up in their bottles, you’re getting pimples in places you didn’t know you could get pimples and your loofah still looks brand new. When you go from your shitty job to your car to the bar where everybody knows your name, what’s the point of dressing up? And when you wake up late and hung over everyday, there’s no way you can get in a good shower before work. As long as you take a baby wipe to your pits, you’re cool, right?
5. YOUR DAYS BLEND TOGETHER
You have no idea what you did on Monday night. Literally zero clue what you did or who you were with. Wait—you went to The Griffin with Steven and Sarah. Wait, that was Tuesday. No, fuck. That was last night. Someone told you that Chantal from Gallery Girls is a dog walker now—who was that? No, seriously—who was it? Try to remember: Was it a male or female voice that said it? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Just have another glass of Kim Crawford.
6. NOBODY EVER ASKS YOU TO BE THE DESIGNATED DRIVER
Because they know it’s pointless. You’ve either said no a million times before or the one time you agreed, you decided to have just one drink and then that drink made you thirsty so you thought you’d just have one more. Then you thought, “Even numbers are dumb, I’m going to have a third.” Then some dude offered to buy you a fourth and you know what, girl? You DID look pretty hot that night! You even showered! Why not take that free drink? You deserved it. Then you were just like, “fuck it, I’ll just pay for an Uber and pick my car up tomorrow,” without realizing it would be towed to some lot downtown on the morning of a Dodgers game so the Uber surge prices were insane and being the designated driver wound up costing you a grand total of $475.
7. YOU DRINK ALONE
Not just once in awhile. Not just after a long work day. Not just a glass of scotch while you clean out your email inbox. You drink alone a lot. Pretty much every single day. And you have no idea that no, not everyone drinks a bottle of wine while spacing out to whatever they’re playing on Bravo.
8. YOU CAN’T FUCKING BELIEVE YOU DID THAT
Lately you’ve been saying and doing things that are completely out of character. You’re not a mean person, most people would say you don’t have a mean bone in your body, but for some reason you told your super nice date to go fuck himself. Or you’ve been over your ex for months now but for some reason you keep waking up next to him naked. You drove home drunk. You wrote an email to a friend you’re in a fight with that says things you can never take back. You got kicked out of your favorite bar. You hooked up with your best friend’s boyfriend. And that’s so not you.
9. YOU’RE SICK OF YOUR OWN SHIT BUT YOU CAN’T CHANGE
You know you have a problem. You understand that your drinking and drug use is not okay. All super legitimate reasons aside (human relationships, work, health), you look like shit. Your face is bloated. You have a beer belly. You don’t want to look in the mirror anymore because there’s no cream that can fix flea-bitten. You’ve tried to stop your substance abuse on your own, maybe you even went a whole week without drinking or pumping your system full of other people’s prescriptions, but somehow you always wind up back up where you started. You know that addiction is a disease. You’re willing to put the past behind you and focus on the present because somewhere deep down, you know you are a valuable being that deserves to get the most they can out of life.