Warning Signs of Alcoholism – Dare to Take the Test?


This is a good party game.

The list comes from The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It is not as preachy as the old test with questions like “Do you ever drink alone?” and “Do you ever think about drinking in the morning?”  Is it just me or is that like asking “Do you ever think about watching porn?” I mean everybody thinks about it once in a while right?

Today’s questions get to the root of the matter. The NIH says if you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions you should watch your drinking and think about cutting back.

Here goes you little Christmastime partiers – for jollies, I’m going to answer as Mare- two-years-ago.

In the past year, have you:

1.   Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?

Yes. For example, Wayde and I went out on the boat for a Bloody Mary at 7 AM, picked up those off duty Bahamian Defense Force dudes and went swimming in the shallows by Sampson Cay until we were shit-faced and all of Staniel Cay was waiting for us on the Government Dock when we got back at 4 PM. An entire island of people were mad at us…

2.   More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?

Yes. I tried 30 day “breaks” from alcohol six times. Every time I start back with a glass of red wine at dinner. Then two. Then a bottle. Then a bottle of white wine and so it goes…

3.   Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?

drunk10Duh.  I feel pretty horrible every morning. That’s why I often have a hair-of-the-dog drink first thing.. Helpful hint – a Bloody Mary or Bloody Bullshot works best, but leftover, tepid white wine on the bedside table works too. And I drink all day. Is that a lot of time?


4.   Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?

Yes (I still get it occasionally – this is future, sober Mare speaking by the way – kind of like the three faces of Eve or Psycho). It is a hankering, will-not-be-denied, punch in the gut at inopportune moments – regret, disappointment, boredom (the way the wind blows) and I head for the Gate store for sweet n’ cheap and candy…

5.   Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?

Yes. But I don’t have a job and I’m NEAT and the children are quite grown so I just hole up – make excuses or cancel whatever is in the works. I am completely unreliable.

6.   Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?


7.   Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?

If it happens after 7 PM I’m going to make an excuse and not go. Period.

8.   More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?

drunk5 All of the above. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Who is this guy and why is he wearing studded leather and is that a cigarette in my left hand?

Nuff’ said?




9.   Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?

Yes. I am always nervous – like an empty tin box – like I’ve done something wrong.  My memory is so spotty, I write things down or wait for cues from others as to what I did the night before. The knowing grin is always the worst… or when someone says, “Oh my God, Mare you were so hilarious!” And sometimes I feel like I might faint. And I get these waves of nausea…

10.   Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?

Yes. Three bottles of wine is a staple. And I drink fast. There is little effect at first – then it hits me like a Quaalude or a ton of bricks and I’m gone

11.   Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?

Yes. I wake at 2 AM when my blood sugar crashes. My hands shake. I see auras (not good auras like angels), funny lights out of the corners of my eyes and my balance is shot…


I guess two-years-ago-Mare should stop fucking drinking.



Today I’m not drinking, because I have taken the “Warning Signs of Alcoholism” test and failed…

How come you’re not drinking?