couldn’t afford…

I Couldn’t Afford to Drink
(but I Drank Anyway)

There were many times in my using that I couldn’t afford what my drinking habits had become.
There was a time in the beginning that I could, really I could.
You see – starting out by acting the big shot when going into the bar, always giving over more money to the barkeep in the hope that they remembered me the next time around. Always acting like I had “It” to give away.
Gave me the false sense of security that I seemed to need at that time.
Now don’t get me wrong, there really was a time that I had the means to have “It”.
Thinking what I thought was a good time – not a very long time – but it was there nevertheless.
As my using progressed so did my spending habits.
It seemed at the time if I worked more I’d get more, so I could spend more, so I worked more.
Never seeing the vicious circle my life had become.
But as I drank, the alcohol started to take more of a need to drink.
Becoming what I have found for me and heard in the halls of recovery that it was no mere habit.
I think we all have some sort of story of this behavior.
One of mine in particular stands out and this happened way before I came into recovery.
I headed out one afternoon taking the last five dollar bill off the counter of my home, knowing that that had to last til pay day – which was two days away.
I sat down in my favorite bar chair and had my first drink.
Trying to get my thoughts in order.
You know those priorities that we have.
The ones that stood in front of my drinking.
Telling the barkeep all my woes – how life isn’t fair.
How and get this – how I didn’t have enough money to get the things I needed or better yet, what I thought I deserved in life.
Just to give over the last five dollars to pay for my drinks and heading home.
Pulling into my driveway thinking – what was in the house to drink.
Trying to remember if I had any alcohol that I “placed” for that rainy day.
Getting in the house to hear that question –
“Did you pick up the milk and bread that I asked while you were out?
I saw that the money was gone off the counter top –
You didn’t forget did you?”
It still amazes me how when I was in the thick of “It” – my using
– when I didn’t think I affected anyone but myself, how wrong I was.
Enough time has gone by since then and I can still see the look of disappointment on my partner’s face when I had lied,
– that I had forgot
– I’ll be right back
– looking in vain for some change under the seats of my truck – the floor mats too.
Saying that prayer, “Just enough, please God – please be enough.”
So I could afford the things that I – no – that we really needed.
I think we all have stories like this one.
This is just one of many stories of what alcohol cost me most of the time.
That I Couldn’t Afford to Drink (But I Drank Anyway)…


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