High Functioning Alcoholic

I came across this post in the Lawyerist today about how alcoholic attorneys are typically “high functioning.”

The author outlines some typical characteristics of “high-functioning” alcoholics:

  • Denial
  • Living a double life of inward feeling compared with outward image
  • Drinking habits including cravings and black-outs
  • Capable of staying employed and high academic achievement
  • Capable of sustained interpersonal relationships
  • Often able to work the system in legal matters relating to issues caused by drinking
  • Often hit bottoms, but are unable to recognize or admit the realities
  • Appear physically well-groomed.

Being a “high-functioning” alcoholic is a dangerous place to be in recovery. In my early sobriety, I spent too much time comparing myself with other drunks who were far less “screwed up” than me, instead of identifying with them. I should be grateful that I still have a loving wife and kids, my career intact and a home over my head. If I continue to drink, I won’t be so “high-functioning.” I will surely lose everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

One day at a time….



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