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I went to a store the other day and made a purchase with my credit card. I decided I needed a little extra money, so I did what most people do and withdrew about $10 extra. I didn’t think anything about it and went to go make another purchase later and low and behold my card was declined. I was shocked. I knew what was on there and knew that the money should be on there. So of course I called the 800 number on the card and listened to the transactions and boom, there it was. I listened to the words of the voice on the other end of the line, it listed my purchase and then it listed another purchase I know I did not make. A $3.00 charge. I shook my head as I hung up the phone. I mean what else could I do? Scream, shout, go back to the store and yell at them. It is my own fault for going to that store. Especially when I know this store is known for jacking up the prices on everything. For me it is about the fact it is on the way to one of the many things I do, so it is convenient for me to go there. Enough said, we all know that story.

So that got me to thinking about the other “hidden cost” in our lives that we may or may not think about. People, places, and things. What are some of the hidden cost there we may not think about? Such as, recently I had to remove about 4 people out of my life because of the hidden cost that were taken from me with out being seen. They were negative people in my life and I had to expel a lot of energy to deal with them. One even made me want to go back to my old habit of drinking. I have been sober now for almost 15 months. (For those of my readers whom know me, you know I put my life out there. I have nothing to hide. It will come out anyway.) I had to talk to a mentor and good friend, well several and they said, get that person out of my life of course. Sanity is priceless. This could have been a hidden cost of my sobriety. Which of course is not so hidden once you are at the bottom of a fifth of vodka and your emotions are out of check. 

Anger is another one that we don’t think about. How people can needle away at our temperament can be a deadly hidden cost. One that can cause stress, ulcers, even death because we either do not confront the anger or we vent inside and let it eat away at our insides. Again sanity plays a part in this hidden cost.

Frustration at ourselves or others. Allowing others to use us. Self-pity, lack of sleep, lack of recreation, so many things can be added to the list of hidden cost. Those hidden cost eventually cost us the surface, just like that $3.00 charge cost. Sometimes we see it right away, sometimes it takes months, even years of this cost.

Places can cost us too. My incarceration came from my place at the time, my association, and of course things I was doing. That hidden cost came to light with 11 months to think about it behind locked doors and my mind still sorting out many things about me. Where I am today. The hidden cost I have cost others by my actions in the past. Some of those hidden cost are trust, loss of time, loss of freedom. You might say, well those cost can be seen. Not really in the full scope of the matter. You can’t see my loss of trust from others. The loss of freedom taken from those whom I affected with my actions. The loss of time that was stolen from those whom needed me at the time of my “vacation” as I tend to call it.

Sometimes these hidden cost are not only to ourselves, to those around us. The moments lost that can never come back. Graduations, deaths, births, holidays. That loss of trust and betrayal is not only to yourself, it is to those around you that depend upon you. Be mindful of the hidden cost in your life. Take an inventory of the people around you.  Are they positive? Truthful, even when the truth hurts. Look and see what is around you? Think about the places you go. Are they productive to your situation or do they drain you. I don’t mean work. Things like that are as they are. You have to make a paycheck somehow. However, that does not mean you can not look for new employment that will empower you and make a positive impact in the lives around you. The things in your life. Are they there to help or to hurt? Do they get in the way? Are they productive in your life? Or can it be productive for someone else? 

These are just points to ponder in your life as I do mine. What are the hidden cost in my life and how can I make sure I don’t pay that $3.00 everyday I make a step forward to be productive, healthy, and sane.