My Thank You Letter to Alcohol

One year ago today, I decided to quit drinking. My rock bottom didn’t involve a brown bag or a gutter or vomit or a DUI or a trip to the hospital or detox or rehab or even a single AA meeting. I’m one of the lucky ones who woke up before things got real bad and managed to carve out her own path to booze sobriety.

On Christmas Eve last year, I was in New Hampshire, visiting my favorite family at the end of a long, blurry year of New York City stress. I guzzled boxed wine as I helped my aunt wrap presents for her children. I got so drunk that I missed most of Christmas morning because sleeping off my hangover was more important than creating memories with my loved ones. They didn’t really mind because they’re chill af, but I felt like a steamy garbage person. That feeling was not a new one. It was quite familiar.

That, however, was still not my rock bottom. It came two days later, when I was sitting across from my Aunt — my most favorite person in the whole wide world — having my second glass of wine. I told myself that after Christmas Eve, I could only have two drinks per day. That third drink always seemed to lead to 6 drinks, so I decided to avoid it.

As she talked, I realized I wasn’t listening to her. Like, at all. Instead, I was talking myself into a third glass of wine when the one in my hand wasn’t even halfway gone yet. That thing happened where she asked me a question and I had to pretend like I had been listening. I fooled no one. That was the moment. I realized that alcohol had become more important than sharing quiet, intimate moments with the people I loved the most. It was time to be done.

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Tatum FjerstadComment