It's hard to go anywhere without an atmosphere of social drinking. Alcohol can be the hallmark of any party, birthday, holiday or any other celebration. You come home from a hard day at work and you want to unwind with a few drinks to take the edge off the stress and tension running through your body. Your family and friends are toting the cute glass of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverage, and you want to do the same. However, when you take that first drink your personality changes you from Mr. or Ms. Jekyll into an unrecognizable Mr. or Ms. Hyde. The next day you don't know what you did the night before because the alcohol had you completely wasted. Everyone knows alcohol is a serious problem for you and you know it too, but everyone (including you) choose to ignore the pink elephant in the living room: alcohol is ruining your life and your loved ones' lives too.
Maybe you're drinking too much, but then again maybe you shouldn't be drinking at all. Maybe you get very defensive when someone suggests you seek professional help. You say to yourself, "I don't have a problem at all." On the other hand, you fear that seeking help could result in the loss of your career or even your security clearance. So you continue to bargain with yourself every day, saying the next time you drink you won't drink yourself into oblivion. However, each time is just like the first time.
Is alcohol in danger of hurting your career, your security clearance and every loved one around you? Here are four signs that you may have a pink elephant in your living room:
Let's take a look at 8 consequences:
It's normal that you don't want your employer or anyone in your unit or command to know that alcohol is a problem for you. However, it's important that you seek help. If you don't, it will only be a matter of time before everyone in your unit or place of employment knows about the pink elephant in your living room. Take a look at these resources:
Do you know someone who has an alcohol problem and needs help? Tell me more about your experience and give advice to others. Leave a message on the message board.
Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.
Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.
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