… can be as ‘small’ as:
👉 Sneaking an extra cheeky glass without your partner knowing
👉 Drinking a glass or 2 before a party and denying it
👉 Hiding your glass (in the pantry? Behind the toaster?)
and it can turn into:
👉 Hiding a bottle (under the sink? in a drawer?)
👉 Hiding our empties (and waiting until bin day)
👉 Drinking in a coffee cup to hide the alcohol
👉 Drinking home alone and denying it
Then grow into something quite serious, like
👉 Drinking in the morning when your partner and kids leave
The list goes on.
Hiding things, being dishonest about your drinking, no matter how small at first, can lead to feelings of emptiness (as no one truly knows who you are and what you are doing – even yourself). If you are hiding the amounts that you are drinking from others, it can be a way of attempting to hide it from yourself. If no one knows, then no one can give you support, offer a cautious word of advice and point you in the right direction for help. It can be incredibly lonely drinking alone.
Importantly though, the quantities and the speed at which you drink can rapidly escalate. It can become dangerous to your health and those around you (if you are looking after young kids).
So – being radically honest about when and how much you are drinking is important.
If you are noticing some sneaky habits creep into your alcohol use, then treat this as a red flag.
There is nothing to be ashamed of here (it is more common than you think) but be aware of where this can lead and reach out for additional support if you need it.
It also can be helpful to get curious and ask yourself why you are doing this? Is it for a reward? Does it make you feel connected to yourself? Does it help you do the ‘heavy lifting’ around the house? Does it help you transition from work to kids to work again? Is it an attempt to medicate depression? Are you looking for something else? Are you unfulfilled? Unmet needs? Is it an act of rebellion?
*This is a tricky message to deliver and can be quite confronting to address, but I believe this behaviour needs to be discussed more.