Day 6

6 days is the longest I went without drinking in 2014.

It was back in July. I remember it well because it was right before my sister moved out of my apartment. In fact, the reason why I drank on day 6 was because it was the day she moved out and I thought we should celebrate.

I wasn’t trying to give up drinking at the time, I was trying to quit smoking, and if you’ve ever been a smoker, you know, the only thing better than a cigarette, is a glass of wine with that cigarette. I thought if I didn’t drink for a while I could kick my smoking habit once and for all.

I’ve struggled with smoking for a long time. It started during my conservatory training when I was 19-years-old. One thing the brochures for acting school don’t tell you, is that EVERYONE smokes at acting school. Seriously. I used to bum Marlboro Lights from my teachers.

I really didn’t think I would get addicted (I know, I sound like a PSA). But, at 27 years old I have tried everything: Chantix, cold turkey, Wellbutrin, hypnotherapy, prayer… I once ate a cigarette because I read online it would make you so sick you’d never want to smoke again. I’m not kidding. I ATE a CIGARETTE.

Hypnotherapy worked for a while. That was probably my most successful attempt at quitting. But, eventually I started craving cigarettes when I was drinking. That’s when I decided that I would only smoke when I was drinking, ironically, that’s also when I started drinking a lot more. As long as I had a glass of wine in my hand, a cigarette was acceptable. So, I always had a glass of wine in my hand, and thus, a new bad habit was formed.

At this point, you have probably noticed, I don’t refer to my drinking habits as an addiction. I don’t identify as an alcoholic. I’ve done a lot of research and thinking and talking about where I am on the addiction spectrum, and I don’t think I got there; to full-on alcoholism. I think I was well on my way, though.

Over the summer, I Googled, “How do I know if I’m an alcoholic”. A few online quizzes popped up and I took about four of them before I realized; I was taking an online quiz to determine if I was an alcoholic. Regardless of what the quiz results were, I was obviously worried about my current lifestyle and the choices I was making. That was my wake-up call, well, part one anyway.

I realized, I may not be an alcoholic today, but I was taking very good care of my bad habit.  Sprinkle in a little family history of addiction, add a dash of “stressful day job”, and it was really only a matter of time before I was in it too deep to find my way out.

Part two of my wake-up call is more spiritual and personal. I briefly mentioned it yesterday. I promise I’ll go into more detail in a post later this week, just let me muster up a little more courage first.

One thought on “Day 6”

  1. I know I know I should stop writing, but it’s hard to read and not write, especially when there is this conveniently placed comment box.

    This is my favorite written work so far because when it comes to drinking reasons come out of the wood work, like republicans at a gay pride parade or the Democratic Party at a gun shooting.
    It just happens.
    The wine and the cigarette bit was great. It’s the perfect solution; I won’t smoke unless I’m drinking… So I’m always drinking. I can relate and I’m sure many others can as well.
    I enjoyed this post for not only the content but also the free spirit between the lines.
    I’ve successfully skipped church yet again so you’re the closest thing I’ll have to sermon today.
    Maybe I’ll quit smoking. Hmmmm. What oh what will I do with that extra $15 a day.


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