I wrote the following about a year after I stopped drinking. I came across it on the website that publishes these kind of letters. It is still relevant. Even though I can honestly say, hand on heart, I still don’t think I was an alcoholic. I was someone who just did not stop easily. Sometimes I did, but often not. I think I put it up before… not sure. But worth another read.
Well this is it. I wanted to say a proper goodbye. I’ve not seen you for a year now, and to be honest, I have not missed you. We’ve been together for years. Right back in those early days, when I was sixteen, you were there. Alongside me helping me numb my sorrows about the folks’ divorce. You helped me, at the time, it seemed so anyway. You were my little shot of funny. My tot of confidence and don’t give a shit-ness that I needed to navigate my late teens.
I got so used to you. We used to see each other almost daily, from when I was eighteen onwards. You went with me to nightclubs, my right-hand man. You gave me courage and confidence in the evenings, but the mornings were when you dulled my life, and tainted my waking up.
We carried on, all the way through meeting my Chris, you were there. You were a big part of our relationship and you were with us most of the time we were together. You were the main event at our family gatherings. The one that everyone wanted there if a good time was to be had. You were the centre of attention. The main ingredient for sport, fun, relationships… anything. Just add you and the magic started.
You were at our wedding, revving me up and giving the hilarity an edge. I still have traces of you on my wedding dress. You are there for good. The next day though, I was absolutely floored by the after effects of your presence. You left your mark, lethargy, nausea, misery. That was your calling card. Time and time again you took more than you gave.
I tried to manage our contact, yours and mine. I tried to ignore you for days at a time, weeks and months even. I loved being away from you… but you always came back, whispering, promising the world. Trying to make me believe I could not be without you.
I loved you, I really did. You made me feel funny and young and beautiful. Carefree and invincible. You took the edge off my distress, you heightened my senses, made me relaxed and chilled out. But you also robbed my potential. You took the best of me and left me with the emptiness. You stole happiness from ‘’tomorrow’’ countless times over the years. And though you made out that you were helping me to be funny, sexy, outgoing and so on, you were a liar. The connections made while you were around could be totally fake. There were friends I could only be with in your presence, and without you we had nothing to say. You lied to us all. We are not braver with you. We are not funnier with you. Perhaps you break the ice… but usually you end up breaking the links that forge us. Locking us in our own world.
I thought I would miss you over the year. I was scared to be without you. But I love your absence. Your departure has opened up many things for me. The future seems full of potential. I choose to go to bed the way I want to. I choose to wake up feeling amazing. With you there was a gloss of shame, a loss of integrity, a nagging feeling of wasting time. I won’t say there have not been times when I want you back. I want you taking that edge off my irritation. I want you so I can feel like I fit in with the crowd, but those moments are nothing compared to the way I can look myself in the eye every day and feel proud of me.
You never caused me any major trouble, but just a steady chip chip chip away at what was the best in me. Goodbye for now. Maybe forever, who knows? But definitely for now. You have your uses, but they are shallow and short lived. You have nothing to give me that I cannot get without you. Goodbye.