Top Lessons Learned About my Problems with Alcohol

1. You know you had a problem when “you could violate your standards faster than you could lower them”. ~Robin Williams

2. After telling people you’ve dried up, they turn into your personal cheer leading squad (complete with matching outfits, cheers, and pom poms). “OH MY GOD! THAT’S SO WONDERFUL! YOU CAN DO IT!” When people don’t question if you had a problem, then 99.99% chance you had a big problem.

3. You don’t want to tell people you’ve gone dry because of cheers mentioned above. You don’t want to explain yourself. You don’t want to bring attention to your quitting something that other “normal” people can handle well enough on their own.

4. The memories of your behavior on alcohol are more shameful the drier you get. Memories don’t go away, just the ability to access them. The healthier your body becomes, the more vivid the memories.

5. You realize there’s not enough years and opportunities in life to make up for the shitty things you’ve done.

5a. Even though people say they forgive you, they will never forget. They will always have their guard up for the next time you fail them, because it’s what you did so well, and what humans do. Humans will always fail at things, and most often times, at the most inopportune moments.

5b. Words are cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t just talk about doing things; actually do them.

6. Forgive yourself, even if others refuse to.

7. If you must explain yourself, keep it short and contrite. The less details you give, the less people can throw in your face later should you fall off the wagon.

8. Friends know you now. Family remember you back when. Even though it’s easier to explain things to friends, you might want to use them (for lack of a better term) to practice what you’ll say to your parents and close family members should they ask.

9. Yes, they will ask. No, you can’t hide in the upstairs bathroom. They’ll just unlock the door, waltz right in, and pester you in whatever condition you’re in at that exact moment. Hopefully not with your pants around your ankles or popping a zit.

10. The shittiest thing I learned while being an adult: When you’re a high school student, you get the lesson, then the test. When you’re an adult, you get the test, then the lesson. Adults learn the hard way. Adolescents shouldn’t have to.

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