My Sober App tells me that from December 1st 2018 I've saved £48.70 and not drank 126.1 units of alcohol in the last ten days. That may or may not sound like a lot of hooch to you. I would spend £10-£12 every other day on two bottles of wine or eight cans of beer. Plus I might have a top up if I was feeling lush.
That ignores the times when I would have a couple of days drinking on the run or the weekend benders.
In some social circles that would be considered a lot. In others not so much. It's not the amount you drink that matters. It is how badly your life is affected by what you drink, and only you can be the judge of that.
Over the course of a 36-year drinking career, I have taken a wrecking ball to my finances. At a conservative estimate I've spent close to £75,000 on drink in my lifetime (£40 per week x 52 weeks per year x 36 years = £74,880).
But that doesn't tell the whole story. That is drinking at home prices. The true figure is easily double that after taking into account the years I spent drinking in pubs, clubs and bars and I could put away a lot more booze in my younger days.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that I've probably spent £200,000 on alcohol in the name of having a good time in a 36-year drinking career. That's a sobering thought if ever there was one. Although I'm ignoring inflation because my first pint of beer probably cost 35p and I distinctly remember buying my first packet of 10 cigarettes for 32.5p.
I gave up smoking 14 years ago but if you want to add 24 years of cigarettes into the mix at 10 per day...
Would I trade the 36 years for the £200,000? That's a ridiculous idea. My life experience is what made me who I am. There are no regrets, I'm not disappointed with myself, and I have the same memories of self-reproach and self-disgust that you do.
There were many good times, and I made a lot of friends, rather, drinking partners, you wouldn't call them friends because if you were in trouble and there was no alcohol involved, you couldn't call them to come and help you. All you knew about them was their first name and all the other stuff they told you didn't register as soon as you got past the first three drinks.
Getting sober is not about recrimination though. Beginning a sober life is about accepting our past and striving to become a better person every day in the future. Wherever you are, however, low you feel or desperate you have become, sobriety is the path to a brighter future.
There is not a problem in the world that drink cannot make worse.
I have £2.96 available in the bank. But look on the bright side, if I'd been drinking, then I would be racking up bank charges by now until I get paid tomorrow.