If I were to tell you that I think I drink too much liquor, you’d likely conjure up some images of alcoholics you’ve seen, maybe picturing some guy falling down, abusing the people he loves, making terrible decisions and driving like an idiot. So I want to be clear right from the start that I am not a drunk, nor has anyone accused me of even coming close. I sympathize with those who suffer from real alcoholism, and I hope they all get help.
The truth of the matter is that while I don’t have an addictive personality, I do have A.D.D., and I’d been self-medicating without knowing it for the first thirty years of my life. Sometimes with sugar, sometimes with caffeine, and sometimes with liquor. But since I got diagnosed, I’ve been watching my behavior much more closely, and acting self-aware more often. I usually know just how much caffeine to take, and when to take it.
However, I think I’ve been overdoing it on the wine lately. Every so often some receptionist will ask me to fill out a form that asks, among other things, how much alcohol I drink. And I find that the answer I give – 1 glass a day on average – is becoming less true. It’s almost always at least two. More worryingly, some days I’ll come home and pour a glass as soon as the chores are done, which is before 5 PM. There have even been days when I want a drink before I even think about taking the garbage out.
I’m what you might call a quiet drunk, at least when I do it properly. Mostly, I just feel a lot less nervous and a lot more comfortable, as if I don’t have A.D.D. So, I’m not looking forward to losing that comfort, but I recognize that it’s artificial, and I don’t really want that for myself.
Why am I writing about this here? Well, because I’m the one who takes the garbage out, I see how many bottles of wine we go through. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, plenty of bottles. Let’s say there are ten glasses’ worth in each bottle (that’s a 1.5 liter bottle, you know, the big one), and my wife and I both have two glasses a day, and three each on Saturday and Sunday. This is a conservative estimate. That’s one bottle for the work week and just over half of another for the weekend.
In a month, that’s 68 glasses, or almost 7 bottles. Assuming we buy the cheap stuff every time, that’s about $70 a month. (Coincidentally, that’s the same amount we’re saving by switching off the cable TV.) Granted, sometimes I will want a glass of wine, and I’m not about to try banning it from the house. I’m not a prude, and I don’t seek frugality at the cost of comfort. But for myself, I’m going to try drinking less.
I’ll still have wine sometimes, but not every day as a matter of course. Like a visit to Starbucks, I think I’ll treat it like a reward for doing something I wanted to get done. And in 2010, I expect to get a lot of things done.
Photo credit delphaber.
Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published December 29, 2009.