I quit drinking at work. Nothing significantly bad happened that made me decide to quit. There were no arrests this time. I didn’t get fired. In the past there had been many, many signifcantly bad incidents associated with drinking that didn’t make me stop drinking. There was the incident with the dumpster, among other things. “I can do what I want,” I assured myself. On the contrary, however, I became so comfortable and dependent on being drunk at work that I wasn’t drinking because I enjoyed it. I drank because I needed to and not because I wanted to. I don’t want any person or substance to have such control over me and I’ve decided that it simply won’t.
At the success of the adults who warned me since childhood about talking to strangers, I still have a healthy fear of strangers. When you have to talk to strangers for a living, work can be very stressful. I don’t ever know what to tell people. “Why don’t you pay me a bunch of money so I can violate your personal space in a sexual manner?” It is generally that simple yet it often feels weird to suggest. And anyway, what if the person doesn’t like me and they’re vocal about it? That would crush me if I go with my natural thought patterns. I definitely feel isolated in a crowded room at work sometimes. I often feel like there is an impenetrable wall between me and other people.
That is where the alcohol came in (past tense!). It would either calm my nerves enough to let me talk to people with out having a panic attack or I would get so drunk I’d forget if anyone had been rude.
A major issue with drinking was that I could have gotten myself into a lot of legal trouble. I wasn’t admitting it to anyone but I began to make a regular habit of driving home with way too much alcohol in my system. I never drove when I felt impaired but the amount of alcohol that I was drinking at my tolerance level could simply not metabolize fast enough for me to legally drive myself home within several hours after stopping. I probably smelled like alcohol too. The stuff comes out of your pores and lingers on your breath. I drank straight vodka so I imagine I smelled like paint thinner from time to time.
Of course it has been difficult. I have only worked for about a week with out alcohol and I’m slowly adjusting. I’m getting successfully desensitized. Any change in habit will be challenging but there is really no other choice. I will continue to expose myself to people (not just physically) and deal with their stupidity and rudeness head-on.
I see so many strippers that either don’t have enough self-awareness to think they should improve themselves or simply don’t care to change. Many of the strippers are aged and deteriorated from things like alcohol. In combination with cigarette smoke and long nights, the decision to drink regularly can wreak havoc on a person’s youth.
The potential to cause-long term damage to myself and others, as well as the potential to lose freedom and thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees would have been much more harmful to me in the long run than being rejected by some tourist at work. I refuse to put myself in that situation anymore. I’m done.