Drinking scares me.
It didn’t used to. It should have, but it didn’t. I was able to compartmentalize different areas of my life so well that I allowed myself to believe that I was fine… no problem here, sir… keep on walkin’ along.
Drinking didn’t scare me when I got a DUI. It didn’t scare me when some of my friends slowly drifted away, tired of my preoccupation with finding the next party. It didn’t scare me when I spent many mornings and some full days in bed hungover. It didn’t scare me when I was making a mess of my finances because I was drinking too much to act like a responsible adult. It didn’t scare me when I lied about having migraines or food poisoning to get out of going to work or school because I felt too bad to go. It didn’t scare me when I peed the bed because I was too drunk to wake up and use the bathroom.
Drinking didn’t scare me when I had a horrible car accident and spent two days in the hospital for a head injury. Well, that’s not exactly true. It scared me for two or three weeks, but I was 25 and thought that I was invincible. Eventually I felt better, my head healed, and I began drinking once more.
Drinking didn’t scare me when I had a two-day bender that ended with multiple friends looking for me and my boyfriend breaking it off with me. Actually, that did scare me a little. I was scared of losing my friends and my boyfriend, so I quit drinking for a month. Once I realized I still had my friends, and the boyfriend was history, I had no problem slowly returning to my previous consumption of daily booze.
Lately, though, drinking has scared the hell out of me. Even though I quit without problems during my pregnancy, it felt like I started right where I left off when I returned to it after giving birth. A glass of wine to “celebrate” or a beer to “relax” soon turned into anywhere from two to ten on each occasion. And the consequences just kept getting worse. Did I need to lose my husband, my family, my life in order to learn my lesson?
I knew then, and know now for certain, that that is exactly what would happen if I were to continue on a drinking path. I would be placing everything I hold dear in jeopardy. I feel grateful to be looking at the situation clearly for the first time in my life. I feel grateful that I finally scared myself straight, without having my life go up in flames. I feel so thankful for that little voice that told me it was time to stop for good.