If you gulp down the first (meal, drink, or puff) to get the soothing effect of the alcohol, food or drugs.
If you don't want to 'hear it' about your alcohol, food or drugs consumption with family or friends...or leave the room or get mad if its mentioned, then stay mad for weeks.
If you have to consume more for the same effect, everytime, you might be an addict.
If you get pissed off, frustrated, bored or scared and you need a drink, drugs, food or sex to calm you down.
If you have blackouts and sneaking drinks or food ('get high to calm your nerves, 'get drunk to deal with the situation' or 'eating to deal with them people' before a party and then acting 'calm, cool and collected' during the party).
If you get paid on Friday and have no money on Monday.
If you have a drink, a pill, a joint, sex or some food, to feel comfortable in social situations. To take the edge off a little.
If there is a clutter of little papers of (food, drugs, or alcohol) in your car or in your bedroom.
If your family is clinching there purses to there sides, men have moved wallets to the front pockets, women have hung there furs on the back of the chair there sitting in, and they clear a path for you to walk past them during thanksgiving and christmas holidays.
If you tell yourself that no one gives a damn about you, others just don't get you, or you don't fit into the world around you to justify your behavior. The (alcohol, drug, food) protects yourself from more pain and disappointment, so you indulge more to get to the (I feel better, now) feeling.
If you grew up in a alcoholic or super religious home and/or were abused in some way as a child
If you are paying attention, your mind tells you what you need to know whether we want to hear it or not. If it is haunting you with questions such as "What am I doing," "Why do I keep doing it," and "Why can't I stop," take note. Your problem may have crossed that line into addiction.
If you get upset in your chest when others bring up the subject and then instantly defend yourself with statements like: "It's not a problem for me, "If other people don't understand, it's their problem," "I can stop doing it anytime I want to," or "I'm not hurting anyone but myself?" But, in your heart, you know these things aren't true?
If you blame your behavior on others or a situation, just know, its a 'sorry' excuse for addicts that keeps them from taking responsibility for their choices. When others are out of the picture, and the situation is resolved and the behavior continues, it's a clear sign that the problem -- is yours.
If you have tried to curb your habits with self-help books, DVDs, and CDs, none of them improved your problem.
OK, It doesn't matter whether it's alcohol or shopping, drugs or clutter, eating or not eating, gambling or gotta have it sex -- if it's causing problems, and you can't quit even though you want to, then it is an addiction. The good news is that there is help ranging from treatment centers and anonymous meetings to individual therapy. Very few addicts find successful, long-term recovery without a support system.
Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
To be honest, everyone knows your an addict, you just don't know. I am a 'foodie', food addict, I thought for years nobody knew I had a problem with food. Going to events, eating salad, while the fast food smell was on my breath and clothes. I would stop off and eat fast food before going to family and social functions. Then eat light in front of everybody. Nobody ever said anything until, I started getting clean.(lol)
The ultimate goal in recovery is to be happy and free -- free to live life boldly and unafraid, to embrace others and the world around you without the burden of addiction. There is a whole world out there waiting for you to shine your light on it and, through brutal honesty and seeking help, it's possible to get there. Living life on life terms and having fun, being peaceful towards others.
Mentally, we are hungry for nourishing experiences. When you are emotionally nourished or at peace, the cravings stop. You cannot heal what you are not aware of that is 'driving you to drink'.
Following your counselor, sponsors direction or attending recovery meetings, helps to make your healing possible.
You know what, whenever you are tempted, pray "God, will not let me slip up today." and believe with all your heart and find peace. The cravings of addiction ceases, one moment, one day at a time.
Broke-to-Better Blogs, Nomopofolks Association, Dallas, Texas