5 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self (Before the Booze)

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

Hindsight is 20-20; it’s always easier looking in the rear-view mirror knowing what we know now, right? So if I could go back in time, what would I tell myself? What advice would I hand down to a younger, more gullible version of…me?

If I Could Turn Back Time

Turns out there’s a lot of things I’d like to tell my younger self. But first and foremost, I’d focus on alcohol and the destruction it had on my life.

Here are five things I wish I knew before picking up the bottle all those years ago:

  • There’s nothing wrong with being shy.When I was growing up, I was the “shy one.” Don’t get me wrong, I never had a shortage of friends, but around strangers, I was quiet and reserved. It wasn’t until my fifth grade teacher called me out for being an introvert – like there was something seriously wrong with me – that I started questioning who I was. That insecurity stayed with me for years and it wasn’t until I had my first sip of wine years later that my world completely altered.

    Alcohol made me more outgoing and less inhibited; someone I thought people would like more. If I had only realized I didn’t need to be someone I wasn’t, I know my life would have taken a different course.

  • You’re great just the way you are.

Over the years, I used alcohol as a solution for my problems: my shyness, my constant worrying, my poor body image. I felt wine made me more like-able and attractive; I thought it was boosting my self-esteem. I wish I had known that strength comes from within, not from the bottom of a bottle.

  • Drinking and driving is a very serious crime.When I started drinking wine coolers at 17, everyone in high school – including the smart overachievers – drank and drove. In fact, it was such a prevalent problem I never thought twice about doing it. This mentality carried over to my twenties. Since most the people I practiced law with drove while intoxicated, I figured it wasn’t that big of a deal. After all, these were intelligent and (for the most part) law-abiding citizens. Of course, I learned the hard way, experiencing first-hand just how serious drunk driving is and how many lives it affects.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.As the oldest of three girls, I’d always taken pride that my family considered me the “strong one.” But this moniker had negative implications – teaching me to believe that asking for help was a sign of weakness. Now I know, it’s actually a sign of strength.
  • Alcohol wrecks your life.If I could’ve seen the destruction alcohol would have on my life, I never would’ve picked up that bottle. Not only did I lose my freedom for several years, I lost everything I worked my entire life for: my reputation, my career, my self-esteem. The consequences have far outweighed any benefits, leading me to this conclusion: alcohol just isn’t worth it.

Additional Reading:   Reality Check: Ready to Live Life on Life’s Terms?

Image Source: iStock

Does your insurance cover addiction treatment?

Use our free and confidential online insurance checker to see if your insurance covers treatment at an American Addiction Center facility.

See if you’re covered