Lexi’s Letter

16 April 2021

231 Days

Dear Alcohol,

It has been two hundred and thirty-one days since I said goodbye to you. Enough said. No more…

Two hundred and thirty-one days in which I have started to rebuild a life that I should have assumed a long time ago. A life where I am no longer consumed by my constant yearning for you – for the brief exhilaration and then the numbing feeling of nothing.

You think I would know better, having witnessed your destruction of people I loved? You are insidious and powerful, I knew you were not good for me but I loved you too much to let go.

You dominated my thoughts, my plans, and my daily activities. As they say in the AA, “one drink is too much and a thousand never enough”.

If I had been honest – and let us be frank here – you took that away too, I would have said goodbye a long time ago.

They say the opposite to addiction is connection and my relationship with you was the epitome of disconnection. Of late, you helped to numb the pain of divorce and excruciating abuse of dealing with a personality-disordered ex-husband, as well as the acute failure that surrounded that decision. But I realise now that there was a real problem a long time before that.

Ultimately, you filled the void that was there because of my lack of self-love and my feeling of “less than” and not being enough. Of course, the shame and guilt that surrounded my relationship with you further fuelled the drinking. Waking up in a fog, checking my phone to see who I had called or texted. In most instances I was too embarrassed to even check, dreading what I may have said, knowing in the depths of my brain that it was inappropriate or angry or more often than not, non-sensical. The times that I could not remember, the blackouts, and of course the times I fell and hurt myself – sometimes badly.

So, I chose me. I chose to rummage through the dark feelings, the shame and the guilt and deal with them. I chose me over you. I will not live the nightmare that you sentenced me to. I will assume the person that I was always supposed to be. The person who had passions and interests who desired to shine, who could parent to the best of her ability, and who could find joy in simple things – planting a garden, tidying a cupboard, or reading a book. 

It has not been easy. Dealing with pain and grief and low self-worth without you as a tranquiliser has required strength and fortitude. 

I choose to be the best version of me. That is why I have no space for you in my life.

So for my children, for my family, but most importantly for me, I will be saying goodbye for good.

Lexi

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