Sarah Suzuki is an expert in the art and science of moderate drinking. Her work has been featured in the Good Men Project. She is the director of Chicago Compass Counseling, a group counseling practice dedicated to helping people in Chicago who struggle with the effects of alcohol abuse. As an individual counselor, she specializes in working with men who want to control their drinking. 

The Most Famous High-Functioning Alcoholics

The Most Famous High-Functioning Alcoholics

What do Stephen King, Alexander the Great, the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth II’s), W.C. Fields, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonard Nimoy, Betty Ford, Boris Yeltsin, Jackson Pollock, Mickey Mantle, Buzz Aldrin, and Vincent Van Gogh all have in common? At first glance, you would think nothing since several of them died centuries before some of them were even born. But they all have one thing in common, and it isn’t something to brag about. All of them were high-functioning alcoholics.

Read about some of those listed above in this new infographic, created by JourneyPure at the River:

 

 

Do you start your day with a little Irish Whiskey in your coffee? Maybe have a “little nip” of something with lunch, just because the morning was hectic, or the boss came in and lectured you because you forgot an important assignment? Does dinner with family start and end with an argument about you forgetting to pick up the kids at school, or missing an important sports game one of the kids was playing in? Do you often feel like you have lost hours in the day, or days in the week?

Sound familiar? Too familiar? While most people assume that all alcoholics are the fall-down can’t-keep-a-job smell-like-a-distillery kind, there are actually a small percentage of them that hide in plain sight. They keep jobs, pay bills and taxes, and usually their alcoholism goes unnoticed for far too long. They write award-winning novels, paint pictures that hang in national museums, run countries, hit homeruns, win awards for acting in movies or Broadway plays, walk on the moon, or live in an extremely large white house.

High-functioning alcoholics “function” to a certain extent like any sober person. They may not even think they have a problem, or their family and friends continuously cover up their “little indiscretions” to avoid any trouble. They might joke about their ability to drink more than anyone else “without getting drunk,” or they might joke about being an alcoholic. They have a personality change when they drink, and often “drink” their meals. When they can’t drink, they become agitated and angry.

They function until one day something happens bigger than what they can deny, and then they fall. They fall into a depression, or become suicidal, or have a car accident or a scare, either for themselves or about a close friend or family member. If this sounds like someone you love and care about, or if you think it sounded too much like you, there is help for you or your loved one. Don’t wait for something to happen or for a “non-functioning” alcoholic to rear their head. Don’t wait for them to fall. Think of it as saving a life, one that might just be yours. SS

 

Special thanks to JourneyPure at the River!  
Acupuncture for Stress Relief and Substance Abuse: An Interview with Dr. Amy Wolf, DACM, Founder of Herb and Ōhm

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