It was hard saying good-bye. I remember one of the last times we were together was when I made the decision to quit drinking, but like letting go of any lover, a clean break is almost impossible. I remember the day well. I planned to quit drinking, and then drive to my mother’s house. She lived five hours away and had been sober seven years. An hour and a half into the trip, I couldn’t hold off. I need one last good-bye, and so I stopped and bought a six pack. I drank and cried the rest of the way home. What would life be without you? It was incomprehensible to think of not having you to console me for the rest of my life. You were my go-to friend, my lover, my all.
Little did I know then that you were the sort of friend who cared little about what you did to me. It didn’t matter to you that you robbed me of my dreams and muddled my aspirations. You were the sort of lover that looks good on the outside but is destructive and demeaning on the inside. People say, “If you want to know who someone is, look at their friends.” Well, enough said. You were my best friend; you, alcohol, allowed me to be an alcoholic without one thought of how your destructive ways would impact my life.
It’s been twenty-eight years without you now, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I gained back my self-esteem and self-respect. I was a sober mother to my twins. I finished my education, and even went on to write books. Had I stayed with you—all of that would be something I still talked about doing but never did, and God help my sons, they would’ve had their own horror stories to tell about their alcoholic mother. You didn’t win. You didn’t ruin me like you tried. I’m forever grateful for our last good-bye.
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