When you try to kill yourself by the bottle, you are no martyr. 

When I got to the bar, I order a water with lemon. The bartender happily refills my glass and smiles at me. I try to defend myself but he says, “It’s ok, sweetheart. We’ve all needed the break.”

But how few of us have taken it?

It’s so easy to get drunk and stay drunk in this city-where so many places offer you a cheap beer and a cheaper shot for $4 on the regular, never mind craft brews on Tuesdays for $2 drafts. I’ve been to lucid from alcohol on more than one occasion when I shouldn’t have been. This isn’t college. When I need the adult, I am it.

When my problems exceeded what I thought I could handle, I put the bottle down. Eyes on the road. Stay focused. Stay present.

I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s been two days and I’ve already felt I’ve “needed” a drink more than once.

I don’t sleep better, but I wake softer. Things like the mental list of things to do become more fluid. My mind is easier to adjust with the shift in gears. The panic, when it happens, calms quicker.

The voice in my head is sweeter and far less impulsive. 

I’d like to think that when Boston comes around, I’ll pick it up again without issues but I might have to stay sober in Chicago, least until things quiet down.


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