Where the possession of money and material things was concerned, our outlook underwent the same revolutionary change. With few exceptions, all of us had been spendthrifts. We threw money about in every direction with the purpose of pleasing ourselves and impressing other people. In our drinking time, we acted as if the money supply was inexhaustible, though between binges we’d sometimes go to the other extreme and become almost miserly. Without realizing it we were just accumulating funds for the next spree. Money was the symbol of pleasure and self-importance. When our drinking had become much worse, money was only an urgent requirement which could supply us with the next drink and the temporary comfort of oblivion it brought.
I didn’t look ahead in the book and I don’t know what comes next. I am one of the few exceptions, because I never had a good relationship with money, and I was always saving and not spending in a frightened kind of way. Of course I did buy alcohol. At certain times in my life, it was like paying for water or air, I just had to.
I was very young when I stopped drinking. I didn’t throw money around in high school or in college, though I’m sure some people do. One of the ways in which getting older has been better, for me, than being young, is that my attitude about money has softened and I’m not as worried about it as I was when I was younger.
I think part of my fear was providing for my children. They are now both in a better position to provide for themselves than I am to provide for them, though I’m still helping financially, especially my daughter, because she’s still in school and doing well and that’s something it’s a joy to support and contribute to.
Drinking, I was sometimes irresponsible, and not together enough to, for example, pay my car insurance. That almost got cut off due to plain old drunkenness. Well I’m sure nothing screams “high bottom” quite so loudly as almost having your insurance cut off.