Whatever I made in tips bartending was immediately consumed in alcohol when my shift ended. For me, living hand to mouth was always about alcohol and never about food. I was never really starving to death until two or three relapses ago. Living hand to mouth over alcohol. Alcohol. Borrowing money for alcohol. Living on borrowed time. For alcohol. I would seemingly never grow up. For alcohol.
Psychotherapy, as the joke goes, works so well for many alcoholics because delving back into early childhood is such a short trip.