DEAR HARRIETTE: I am not sure if I am going down a dark path in terms of my drinking habits. I am from a family of two alcoholic parents, and my older sister is also an alcoholic. I enjoy drinking for the social aspect of it, and I do not think I have a problem. However, the last couple of weeks, some of my friends have been making comments about how much I drink and how I act when I do drink. I’m thinking of attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting just to see what goes on in them and see if I belong there. Do you think this is the right next step for me? -- Am I an Alcoholic?, Chicago
DEAR AM I AN ALCOHOLIC: The fact that you have the awareness to ask the question is a great start. Given your family history and your own recent incidents of drinking too much, it is wise for you to seek help. Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent way for you to get support and gain insight into your own behavior. There should be many meetings available in your city. They are free, too. Go to alcoholicsanonymous.org to learn more.
Even if you decide that you are not an alcoholic, it is smart for you to monitor your drinking habits. If you find that you are drinking more than one drink per day if you are a woman and three drinks per day if you are a man, you put your body at risk.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)