Day 1, again. I’ve had several of those the past nine months. It makes me sad to think of where I might be today had I been able to stick to the 100 Day Challenge and beyond when I wrote my last and only post. I’m going to try to write here every day. I’m going to put down through the course of this blog all of the problems alcohol has caused for me (at least the ones I remember). It’s probably going to take up quite a bit of “real estate” here. It is a very long list.
The first time I had a beer I was 10. I was with my sister who was 16 at the time and gave me weed and marlboro cigarettes to smoke and beer to drink. I thought I was pretty cool. I remember showing some of the kids in my 5th grade class how to roll a joint with pencil shavings. Nice right? Then I went through a period of hating alcohol because it was causing such problems for my parents with my sister. I started drinking pretty regularly when I was 15. Everybody had cars and booze was so easy to get. The first time I got arrested I was 16. I was at a party when the police showed up and picked a few kids up. I was put in the back of a police car with a kid who was puking. Again, nice. No charges were pressed and my Dad was able to come pick me up. That was the first time alcohol had caused me a big problem. If only I had known then what I know now.
I have to keep reminding myself of all of the trouble and problems alcohol has caused for me. I think the only way I’m going to get through this is to remind myself daily how much it has cost me, literally and figuratively. It’s always so easy the first few days because the self-loathing is so prevalent. The longest I’ve gone so far since I started this blog back in March was 32 days. Right now I’m shooting to beat that goal I know I can.
There will also be 100 reasons every day to not drink. Here is today’s: EXPENSE. I’ve been a heavy drinker for 23 years. I’ve been drinking longer than that, but for the sake of calculation I’m going with number of years I have been of legal drinking age. There have been quite a few of those days where I didn’t drink, but I certainly made up for it on the days that I did. So I’m going to go with the fact that I’ve spent at least $10.00 / day on booze if you average it all out. So that’s 8,395 days @ $10.00 / day = $83,950, which doesn’t even begin to include the cigarettes I had to have while drinking or the other things I would buy because my rational decision making process had shut down because of the booze. It also doesn’t cover the cost of DUIs, crashed cars or missed work because I was so hungover.
I think you can wander through your life in a complete sense of denial, like you’ve forgotten that these things happened or that you behaved in a certain way. Once you put them out there for all to see you realize how very real these experiences and poor decisions were. I’m so lucky I’m still married, not in jail and not dead.