Hi, I am, and I’m an alcoholic.

There was a time I drank a lot. Really, I drank a lot. I’ve been down there: no friends, no other interests, plain, physically, sick. It’s not romantic. It’s not inviting. It’s a bad thing. I enjoyed it. It’s who I am. If the rest of you didn’t exist, I’d be thrilled to go home to lie on the couch with a bottle of whiskey, babbling to myself until three o’clock in the morning, and waking up wanting to do it again. If the rest of you didn’t exist.

I’ve passed a landmark, of sorts. The number of years since I stopped drinking now exceed the number of years I had been alive when I quit. It was a long time ago. I spent a lot of time praying out loud about it, before I took my last drink. I wanted to be a ‘good’ person. There was an ache in my heart about that. I wanted to feel good, and I’ve never felt better than when I’m getting drunk. I’m not a coward. I didn’t hold back out of self-preservation. I stood in front of the mirror shaking and sweating, and I thought about choosing to live or die. It was a tough choice.

But I’m not ambivalent about it. When an old man gives up motorcycle racing because he knows he’ll have the accident that kills him, he doesn’t spend the rest of his life wishing he had the guts for one last wild ride. He’s happy to be alive. I know other alcoholics, and I’ve learned to listen with great respect. I think we’ve all made up our stories and they’re very important to us. I chose to live, and that was that. It’s who I am.

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