I don’t think I have a problem, but I’m still curious
Drugs or alcohol may or may not be a problem in your life. However, it is easy to get so used to something that we don't notice when it starts to affect us. The impact is not always obvious but can cause problems for our health, happiness, relationships, and many of the things that are important to us.
Under the surface
Maybe you’re feeling fine — upholding commitments and keeping up with work and family. You’re doing OK, and there are no signs to suggest otherwise. But perhaps you’re here because you’ve noticed you’re having an extra drink after work, or you’re relying more on
substances when you feel stressed. Maybe there hasn’t been a change in how much or how often you drink or get high, but you feel more tired the next day, or you’re missing out on things you would like to have done.
What do you notice?
It may be helpful to spend a week or so taking a mental note of the times you drink or use drugs — just to notice if anything interesting comes up that you might like to explore. You may start to notice a pattern such as stress at work or school, anxious thoughts, or the need to wind down after a long day.
A useful exercise can be to make a list of the good things and the not-so-good things about your drinking or drug use. Most people will discover things on both sides of the list and find it interesting to see them side-by-side. Another exercise is to imagine you're living exactly as you are now in five years. Is there anything you would like to be different? If so, what would need to happen to make that change?
Staying in-tune with yourself
Being curious, asking questions, and getting to understand your relationship with drugs or alcohol is a useful exercise to figure out what might be going on in the background that could be putting some strain on your life.