The High Functioning Alcoholic

October 19, 2022

High Functioning Alcoholism

Many alcoholics dream of drinking in a way that does not affect their daily life. While some may experience periods of manageability, their ability to function and continue drinking is short-lived. Some will be able to juggle their responsibilities with work, family, and financial obligations without a problem for short periods during active drinking. Most find that they reach a point in their drinking where they are no longer able to keep up the façade of normality.

It is at this point where alcoholism truly has them in its grips. Eventually, alcoholism takes over and they hit bottom and seek help. However, there is a type of alcoholic known as the high functioning alcoholic, who appears normal and shows no signs of their drinking becoming a problem.

What Is A High Functioning Alcoholic?

The high functioning alcoholic usually appears normal in all aspects of their life except in the manner with which they drink. They have no problem making it to work on time. They do not have debt collectors calling them. Their household is in order and their relationships are probably still intact. To anyone on the outside looking in, they appear to be put together. But just under the surface of their ordinary appearances, alcoholism is flourishing.

Challenges in Helping High Functioning Alcoholics

High functioning alcoholics are difficult to help because they often experience no physical consequences or withdrawals from their drinking. This means there are no external motivators for change and they do not feel any pressure to stop. They also usually have their lives in order, which leads them to believe that they do not have a problem. They look at their lives and see a hundred reasons why their drinking isn’t out of control and their disease uses these justifications to thwart detection.

Intelligence And Emotional Understanding

High functioning alcoholics are usually extremely intelligent, but are lacking emotional understanding. This is at least in part why they drink the way they do. Since they are unable to process and handle their emotions, they use alcohol to self-medicate. They often overcompensate for their lack of ability to function emotionally with their intelligence. They can view their intellect as a reason why they are not alcoholics. They may say to themselves, “I am too smart to wind up as an alcoholic”, not understanding that their alcoholism actually rests in the mind that is telling them this.

The Functional Alcoholic’s Burden Of Two Lives

Many high functioning alcoholics live with a tremendous amount of stress from living two lives - one that appears normal and one where they drink excessively. This tension often leads to them getting sober. They may start to buckle under the pressure of hiding their drinking or they may have just grown tired of the close encounters they experienced. When they reach this point, they are able to get help.

Getting Help For Those You Love

High functioning alcoholics may eventually realize the risk of drinking is no longer worth the benefits or health risks associated with drinking and seek help. The family of high functioning alcoholics may not even be aware there is a problem, but more times than not they know on some level that the liquor has become an issue. They may have started to notice certain uncharacteristic behavior cropping up, or the lies that are used to cover up drinking may start to be exposed.

Seeking professional guidance is essential in helping a loved one break their denial and get sober. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, consider reaching out to Affinity One Recovery Center, a sober living facility free from drugs and alcohol. They offer a compassionate and supportive environment to help individuals overcome their addiction. Contact them today at 855-808-5120 for more information and to start your road to recovery.

Affinity One Can Help High Functioning Alcoholism

The high functioning alcoholic is a mystery to themselves and those around them. Their drinking may go unnoticed for years, but it does not mean alcoholism is not present. If you believe you may be a high functioning alcoholic and need help, talk to loved ones and seek treatment or attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Alternatively, consider reaching out to Affinity One Recovery Center for a safe and comfortable living environment while you attend a comprehensive PHP program while overcoming alcoholism. Sobriety will improve your life even further than functioning while under the influence. You can reach Affinity One at 855-808-5120 to start your journey to a better tomorrow.