Dear Alcohol, I'm writing this letter to say goodbye. Although it seemed that we have had some good times together, in reality you used and abused me for many years. I've been returned to sanity and realize that I no longer need you to live my life, for the entire time we were together, I was not living. I was just surviving.
In the early days you seemed great! We went to parties together, met people together, laughed and had fun. Remember the time we were cruising in Kalispel with Joey? That was a blast. Rolling in his souped up Camaro, picking up girls, speeding down backroads. It's amazing we didn't get killed. Then later that night after we kissed the girls goodbye and got their phone numbers we were driving through town and I had to piss, so we pulled into the parking lot of a 7-11, but they didn't have a public bathroom. So I decided to take a leak in the parking lot, which seem like a reasonable thing to do. Unfortunately the police officer that was watching me didn't think so. We got arrested and taken to jail and Joey had to call his dad to come get us. I guess we were lucky, we only spent about 6 hours locked up and it didn't seem so bad because you were there to keep us company; for a while. Then you left and it was just Joey and I left to face his dad.
How about the time when we first got to know each other? Remember that night? I barely remember the first hour or so, then it was just you. I was only 8 years old and my friend Jim was 9. Why you would get introduced to us at such a young age I'll never understand, but you were willing as were we and from that time on we became very close friends. I remember many nights tagging along with my brother or sister just hoping to get some attention from you and sooner or later I always did. I can't count how many times I had to be rescued form the neighbors roof or drug down the stairs to my bed so mom wouldn't find me in that state. Boy those were some good times, weren't they? Waking up to find you gone, replaced by the inevitable puddle of vomit as a morning greeting. Yet you always seemed to be back, ready for another night of adventure. Boy we had some nights. How many? I couldn't begin to count them all out.
You stayed with me for years, all through school and even after graduation. It's amazing that I actually made it that far. How many times did we get behind the wheel of my car while I was in school? 1000? Probably more. How many times did we get pulled over by the cops and sent home instead of jail? Too many times to count. How about that time we picked up that blond chick at what's-her-names party and somehow made it back to my house. My parents were gone for the weekend and I was supposed to be staying with my brother. Never did catch her name, but I did catch a bladder infection. What did you get? I almost got beat up for it, because she was Terry Howard's girlfriend! Terry could have stomped me to bits for that and probably should have. Not sure why he didn't, must have loved her the way you loved me.
Oh yea, remember that time we were camping with Brandon and that other dude. What was his name? Can't remember that either. We got so drunk that day. I climbed that huge tree, must have been 150' in the air and wanted to jump out. I was pretty emotional that day for some reason. My friends talked me down and I almost fell out a couple times, but I made it to the ground with only a few bumps and scrapes, yet you were egging me on the whole time. How could you do that? I don't know, but I forgave you and we stayed together.
And so it went for years. Night after night of near-death experiences, yet through all of it I was still in control, wasn't I? I held down jobs, graduated for high school and even got an associated degree. Life was going good with you by my side. I started my career and it took off well, even with you by my side. In some ways you helped me expand my career. You gave me confidence to talk to people and network with my peers. So what if it was always at parties. That's where the people were that I wanted to network with. The designers, the artists, the cool people. Any you were friends with all of them too! What could be wrong with that? Well, I see now that our friendship was a little different than your friendship with others. I needed you by then and they just used you. You in turn used me and I came back for more.
The problem with meeting people with you was that when you went away, so did the connection to the other people. Girlfriends weren't as interesting the next day when you weren't around. And my peers? I didn't, or couldn't hang with them unless you were there to give me something interesting to say, or to stay interested in what they had to say.
You helped me make many promises and also helped me break them all. Well not all, just the really important ones. Oh yea, did I ever tell you what a mess we made of my family life? Yea, that's been a roller coaster for the last 12 years. Amazing that I'm not divorsed. All the nights coming home drunk and claiming to be just a little buzzed. Boy I got good at that. Or at least I thought I was good at it. In reality everyone knew I was drunk, but I thought I was pulling the wool over their eyes. I put you before everything else, my wife, my kids, my job, my bills, my responibilites. Everything took a back seat to my relationship with you, yet somehow everything and everyone that mattered stuck with me through it all. Even when we had to move because I got us so behind on rent we were about to be evicted. Even when I got pulled over drunk and finally actually got a DUI everyone stuck by me. I thought my wife was going to leave me for sure then, but she didn't.
So now I'm living by myself and my kids and wife live across town. I get to see them pretty often, which is nice. I have a lot of work to do to get back all of the things I threw away with you. The first thing is to get rid of you. Yea, that's right alcohol, you will never cloud my judgment again. Oh, don't be sad, there are pleanty of others out there that you can latch onto to survive, but I am now choosing to live, not just survive, and there is no place in my life for you anymore.
Now I have other things in my life to help me live. I go to meetings with a bunch of other ex-drunks whose lives you touched in much the same way as you touched mine. I have a higher power to help me when I am feeling weak, and who is willing to help me along the way any and everytime I need him. I longer need you for that. You never helped me anyway. I started talking with my mom and dad again. Remember them? Yea they are the ones that I ignored for all those years while being with you. And Barry and Cheri, yea they're back too.
So now you're gone I can move on with my life in a positive direction. I can rebuild my relationship with my wife and just maybe we can all live together as a family again. No, you're not invited, so don't even ask. I'm done with you.
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