Take a few minutes to add up the amount of money you spend on alcohol every week. No seriously, do it, and don't skimp on the extras.
There, right there, is the reason you are continually flirting with the limit on your bank overdraft. All your money is going on booze, and it is a very sobering exercise to count up the amount of cash you drink away each week.
Being permanently schnockered is why you are so poor.
Since my quit date on September 21st, I'm £105.98 better off. I was probably spending around £200 per month on booze, and there are two of us in this relationship, so another £100 is still going down the toilet. Whether or not that will change remains to be seen, but rather than get into a needless argument I'm going to let the results of my actions speak for me and see where that takes us.
I caught some of 999 emergencies the other day and when I saw the desperate state of some of the alcoholics that persistently trouble the authorities I was kind of amazed that there is no help for these people.
The Government has failed its citizens by supporting the alcohol industry on the one hand and stripping away social care on the other, leaving the emergency services to pick up the tab.
I'm fortunate that I foresaw the dark hole that was waiting to swallow me up if I kept on drinking. There are so many people that don't know they can get help on the internet in general or don't have access to it. Without it, I would have continued my slow descent into all day everyday drinking.
I've been reading "Pour me, a life" by AA Gill who died recently and it is by turns hysterically funny and full of dark comedy. In it, he talks about how "normal" people drink for light relief and how we hardcore drinkers drink to escape reality. It's a slow death that can only be arrested by not drinking at all.
I look around me, and I see some of my friends and family who drink more than I ever did. The next door neighbour who started drinking at 8.30am on Xmas day. My sons' workmates who are all plastered all day every day of the holidays. My daughter who drinks vodka every day. Her alcoholic friend who starts on the extra strength cider upon waking every day.
I've stopped. And I'm glad I did. I have happy memories mostly of my drinking days up until the last desperate struggle to break free. When drink had me in its vice grip. That struggle lasted five years. Starting, stopping, disappearing when I gave into the AV, coming back crying and feeling ashamed and worthless.
In my first round of Sobriety, at around the ten-month mark, before I spectacularly fell off the wagon, I started to get comfortable with telling people that I didn't drink. I'd actually revel in their curiosity – “are you an alcoholic then?” they'd ask me.
You don't have to be an alcoholic to stay sober. Anyone whose life is made better by not drinking should consider sobriety. That probably means you.
If you have unpaid bills, messy finances, dysfunctional relationships, poor timekeeping or keep waking up with a fuzzy head, then it's probably time to do something about it. The problem is that after years of hiding behind the drink, your real life problems are just that - very real.
This is why you find it so hard to stop drinking. Under the fuzzy warmth of alcohol, you can escape from your day to day problems, the shitty boss at work, the husband who doesn't take you out, the wife who spends all evening watching soaps. It's too easy just to open another bottle, disappear into it, and let life's problems pass you by.