Yesterday I read an excellent post on Finding a Sober Miracle that details how casual drinking can easily ramp up to full blown addiction over time (and not that much time). In the comments I mentioned that I try to not regret the time I spent as a drunk because it has led me to insights and a serenity that the majority of nonalcoholics never find. Although I try to not regret that time, I still have a knee-jerk impulse to feel like I wasted a lot of my life. In truth, though, I don’t think that I did.
My rampant procrastination and ADD was a problem long before I started drinking. Who can say that if I had stayed sober my whole life I wouldn’t have just sat around watching TV and playing video games all day anyway? I suppose if I am honest with myself it is highly likely that I would have developed more maturity and character over those years if I were sober. There is evidence to the contrary, though…
In 2000-2001 I started going to college… more than a year before I had my first alcoholic drink. During that semester I think I went to probably four whole classes and spent the rest of the time sitting in the student activity center watching TV, crippled in fear of going to class because I had missed so many that I believed my professors would ACTUALLY MURDER ME if I went to class. That feeling of course only grew the more classes that I missed. It sounds funny now (and it is silly) but my social anxiety back then was so bad, “crippling” is a pretty good word for it. Of course in 2000, social anxiety was hardly the buzzword that perpetual victims throw around these days so I thought that I was feeling perfectly normal and rational things. Fortunately I’ve matured since then (especially in sobriety) so that while I do still feel some social anxiety it is nowhere near as pronounced as it used to be. Or… perhaps it is… I have just learned that it is only a feeling and I can push through it. I suppose that’s situational.
I still can’t talk to pretty girls.