July 12, 2017

An Open Letter to Alcohol.

Dear alcohol,

F*ck you.

Your sinuous, slippery fingers have, once again, sunk their way into my life, and I have had just about enough of that for a lifetime—thank you very much.

It hasn’t always been so bad between me and you. When I was a kid, I was curious about you. I wanted to hang out with you—to be seen with you. But then as a teenager—when one drink started turning into five and fun nights out were more often nights lost to blackness—well, that’s when I started to see the truth.

You’re a bad partner. So we broke up.

It’s been nearly a decade since I filled myself up with you and numbed myself to the point of nearly missing it all. It’s been six years since I’ve even had a taste of you. And, I don’t miss you—not even a little bit.

You see, alcohol, you’re a numbing agent. You pretend like you’re a source of comfort—that you can be trusted to calm us, soothe us, even make us more social and confident.

But underneath it all, you’re just another Band-Aid to put on our hurts until we’re wearing so many of them that we no longer realize we’re bleeding. But they’re there, those old wounds—our first breakups, our parents dying, divorces, our daughters telling us they hate us when we won’t let them stay out at night. They’re all still there, becoming infected and forgotten underneath the Band-Aids we wear.

And alcohol, you’re the worst one I know.

How many families will you ruin this year? Through car wrecks, arguments, and buried dreams? How many people will you anesthetize this year? They certainly won’t feel the pain anymore—but with that, goes the joy and the light.

Alcohol, you’re selfish. You take what you want—who you want—and you leave the rest of us crippled in your wake. I’ll give you this, you don’t let go easily; you sure put up a fight.

But here’s the truth, alcohol: We can fight back—not by being “anti-alcohol,” but by being “pro-life.” And I mean that in the broadest of terms. Pro-laughing and crying and feeling it all; pro-falling in love and being ripped apart by it; pro-feeling the depth of life and death and the fear, all the fear that comes with saying yes—we can use this as armor against you, alcohol. We can live our lives, and stand in our truest selves to combat you.

No matter who in our lives is still numbed by you. No matter how that has wrecked us and continues to do so.

We can be strong for them, and for everyone else under your spell—just by living.

You’ve done your part to numb us for many years, alcohol. And, perhaps, we’ve needed it. But it’s time to start waking up, to remove the Band-Aids that we’ve used for so long. It’s time for those of us who have been ruled by you and wrecked by you, in one resounding voice, to scream into society, into capitalism, into our families’ ears:

F*ck you, alcohol!

We’re waking up.


Author: Natalie Grigson
Image: Dan Gold/Unsplash 
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Sara Kärpänen

Social Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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