Hindsight is a wonderful curse, especially for those recovering from an alcohol addiction. It’s so easy to say, “I should have done more” or “I could have done better.” Unfortunately, we must live our lives forwards and impart wisdom upon those who come after us.

After watching the destruction alcohol can bring, these are the things we wish we could tell our younger selves before the booze.

You’re Perfect as You Are

Perhaps you saw your shyness or body image as a problem. You stressed about the little things, and were drawn to alcohol at a young age. Upon the first sip of liquor, when those inhibitions and troubles start to slip away, it was all too easy to fall into the habit of using alcohol as a crutch.

However, substance abuse doesn’t erase shyness, body image issues or stress. Instead it gives you a false sense of self. The confidence you pull from when drinking comes from yourself. Work on finding that confidence rather than use it to get to where you want to be.

Drinking and Driving is VERY Serious

When you were younger you probably didn’t want to admit to friends or family just how often you needed a designated driver. You and all your friends would leave a party without a second thought as to what driving under the influence could mean for you.

Everyone did it and no one minded — until the day you got that first DUI. It probably never crossed your mind just how dangerous your actions were.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help — You’re Not Alone

You aren’t the only one walking the path of recovery after alcohol addiction. All the years of being “strong” and not asking for help for fear of being weak were a waste.

The loss of freedom, reputation, career or self-esteem didn’t need to happen. The alcohol was never worth it. The most important thing you could tell your younger self is to just abstain.