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    When I Realized I Had A Drinking Problem

    Life isn't always the party you thought it would be.

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    Realizing you have a drinking problem usually doesn't happen overnight. It's a process: It takes time, heartbreak, and sometimes even the loss of relationships to realize alcohol has a negative hold over you. This is one man's story of his struggle with alcohol addiction:

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    What started as harmless partying with friends turned into habit. Instead of going out a few nights, you start going out every night. Instead of a glass of wine after a long day, you switch to hard stuff to combat the headaches.

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    Before you know it, you're not consuming the alcohol — it's consuming you. It steals away your nights, it drains your bank account, and it becomes the most important relationship in your life.

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    You start to lose control. Maybe you're drinking and driving...or drinking and working.

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    Maybe it's become a part of every single thing you do.

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    Because alcohol has a funny way of convincing you of pretty much anything.

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    You might have to hit rock bottom to realize you have a problem.

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    You might have to lose the person you care about more than anything.

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    You might have to lose yourself.

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    But when you decide to make a change and realize your life is worth it, slowly but surely, things will get better. Your head will get clearer, the headaches will stop eventually... You'll fall in love with others again — and more importantly, with yourself.

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    If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, visit http://www.aa.org/ or contact an addiction counselor in your area.