I want to touch on this again and give some specific examples of how my drinking was getting out of hand (for me). I am doing the Live Alcohol Experiment with This Naked Mind, and all of the coaches on there during the question-answer sessions, have all had drinking in their lives (I think that’s obvious). But each and every one of them share so many stories of their drinking days. Not only is that helpful for them but it also helps the students learn that they are not alone. I say to myself all the time, “wow, that sounds familiar”. So, I wanted to share my experiences as to expose how much alcohol was becoming so much a part of my life, in control and also that it may help someone out there reading my blog.
As I mentioned I started drinking around age 15. My drinking NEVER stopped from my high school days until present day, so about 40 years of me drinking!! That’s insane!!
Into my 20s and even beginning my early 30s, my drinking wasn’t daily. For one, I couldn’t afford it, so that influenced how much I could buy and have on hand. But for another, what I’ve learned about alcohol, is that like with any drug, you will build a tolerance to the drug, thus, with alcohol, you will begin needing to drink more and more. So into my 30s, 40s and 50s that is when my drinking really increased at an alarming rate and I couldn’t seem to stop or decrease my intake of the drink.
Again, as I mentioned, at my worst I was drinking a minimum of 1-2 bottles of wine DAILY. I loved the bold red wines. I would go to Lee’s Discount Liquor or Total Wine and buy a case of wine. So, if I was drinking 2 bottles a day, that means a case of wine would last less than a week. At a minimum of $15 dollars a bottle, that’s $720/month. And that’s just wine.
Many evenings I would want something else, so following my rule “liquor before beer, never fear”, I’d indulge in a “cocktail”. Maybe a Moscow mule, or a Jim Beam and Pepsi, then I’d move on to wine. On the average, I was doing this at least twice a week. Vodka or Jim Beam or the like is around $35. With the help from my husband, we’d go through bottles of hard alcohol in a month easy. And let’s mention going out to dinner or lunch. There was NEVER a time I went out to a restaurant that I didn’t have at least one bottle of wine with dinner, or 2 glasses of wine at lunch. We all know the mark up of alcohol in restaurants, at least 50%. So a bottle I could buy at the local grocery store for 15 bucks, buying it at a restaurant, it would be at least $45. So, this is how I calculated that we were spending a MINIMUM of $1000 per month on alcohol!! That’s $12,000 per year. In the US, sadly, that’s someone’s annual income.
The hangovers should have been enough for me to quit. Maybe it was the hangovers (daily) that started me questioning if I was drinking too much. But it was so much more than that. It was waking up not remembering the night before, regretting anything I might have said to family and friends. Regretting any possible embarrassing situations I got myself into. I would constantly wake up and have mysterious bruises all over my body and no clue where they came from. How many times I’d have to apologize to my husband for arguments and not even really know what I was apologizing for because I couldn’t remember what we fought about, just knowing we did.
Luckily, I have never gotten a DUI (I have driven a NUMBER of times drunk). I have never been a victim of sexual or physical assault while under the influence. I have, however, had many falls while under the influence. Falling and hitting my head so hard I almost passed out. Having those hangovers that lasted for days. I puked one time after drinking Margarita’s (top shelf) at Outback Steakhouse, I almost choked on my own vomit. God has truly been on my side, helping me through these very scary times.
I know everyone has their own scary stories. Sometimes now hearing others talk about their alcohol experiences, they all start sounding so the same. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had our own experiences and what does it take for us to stop and take a look deep inside to give us the courage and desire to question it? It happened for me, and I will be eternally grateful for whatever strength or courage I mustered up inside to make me change the course of my relationship with alcohol.
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