Even though I used to have at least 4 glasses of orange juice spiked with vodka, I have never considered myself an alcoholic. After all, I didnít wake up yearning for a drink and never felt the need to† Irish my coffee.
Back in the days, I only drank during dinner if I decided to dine at a restaurant. And because I had an above medium annual income, money didnít constitute a problem so I could afford to eat out five times per week. The truth is that I couldnít understand how anyone can go out to a decent restaurant and not have a few drinks over dinner. Youíre done with work for the day and the only thing left unchecked on the to-do list is going to bed after your dinner.
You crossed the line and didn’t even know it
I started to skip out on eating out after my wife and I decided to renovate our home. Talk about bad timing, as the renovations took place half a year before the 2008 global economic crisis. Given the fluctuating market and the threat of unemployment, the extra cash should have gone into our retirement funds.
Even though I stopped having dinner outside, the drinking didnít end. Those 4 screwdrivers soon turned into medium glasses of whiskey mixed with water, no ice. Arriving home, putting on the slippers and having my whiskey was very satisfying, a magical time when all the cares of the day were lifted, if you will.
It didnít take long before I stopped watering down my drink, since I didnít feel the whiskey was too hard for my taste anymore. Besides, you know the saying: a real connoisseur never puts water in his whiskey. Without realizing it, I ended up drinking an entire bottle of Jack before going to bed.
Although I got drunk every night, my wife didnít mind and used to blame it all on stress. I was one of those lucky drinkers who didnít become aggressive or argumentative when having a little too much. No, I just got sleepy and wanted to go to bed.
Then comes the realization
When my wife lost her job due to budget cuts, money became really tight in our family. It became clear that we had to make some adjustments and give up on some of habits, including my Jack. I resented the thought that I couldnít have my ďpeace of mindĒ and the only thing that guaranteed a good nightís rest.
That marked the precise moment when we both understood that I became dependent on alcohol. Obviously, I was in denial and told her that I can give up whiskey whenever I want to. When she asked to do it that very night, I did it just to prove her wrong. However, during that dreadful night all I could do is watch the clock and count the minutes left till morning, when I could finally slip a bit of whiskey in my coffee.
Now that Iím almost done with rehab and Iím learning how to regain control of my life, I recognize the importance of that moment. If only I had listened to my wife, acknowledged that I have a problem, and sought help sooner, things would have been a lot different. I would still have my old job, cash in my accounts and a lovely place to come home to.
It might have been too late for me to reverse that moment, butÖ what about you? If you need more advice, you can reach out in our Spiritual River forum, there are lots of people ready to give you a helping hand.