“How many of those are you going to drink?” she asked me as I got yet another beer out of the refrigerator.
“I don’t know. As many as it takes I guess.”
Before I found a good alcohol treatment program, alcohol was a central part of my life. I drank most days and got drunk almost every time I drank. All of my friends drank like me so nothing seemed odd.
The first time anyone ever said anything to me about my drinking was about a year after I graduated from college. I had been dating a girl who was just finishing her last year in school. She would come to my apartment regularly and hang out with me and my other friends. Drinking was always a part of our activities…no matter what else we were doing.
My girlfriend went home for one of the school breaks. When she came back she pulled me aside and asked me about my drinking. She said that when she was with us the amount of drinking seemed normal…since we all participated. But being away from us for a week gave her some perspective.
She asked me why I drank so much? I could only shrug and say “it’s just what I do.”
The following year I was dating another young woman. My drinking was the same as always, which was a problem for her. I would often stop by her house on the way home from work…always with beer on my breath.
She noted that I seemed to always have been drinking and asked me if I ever thought I may have a problem with alcohol. I told her that I had everything under control and that if booze ever got to be a problem for me that I would quit.
She said something to me that I will never forget...”By the time you realize you have a problem, it may be too late to quit.”
Over the years, several other people commented on my drinking. I wish I had listened somewhere along the way. I certainly would have saved myself a lot of pain. Instead I had to follow my drinking path to the bitter end. I had to suffer as much as I suffered. Eventually, I got sober with the help of a solid alcohol treatment plan.
I encourage you to open your mind to the people around you. Sometimes others can see things in us, good and bad, that we cannot see ourselves.
Other articles in this series about alcohol treatment…