A Christmas letter to my old lover – alcohol
“Come on,” you called, “we’ll have fun, just like before.”
I remembered before. We went to the Christmas party together and were first on to the dance floor. I felt gorgeous in my beautiful new dress and charmed you with my sparkly personality and witty chat. I felt great love for you as I basked in the attention. It was amazing.
You were there too, on Christmas eve, when I had that deep and meaningful chat with my brother and we enjoyed the dreamy feeling of waiting up to be Santa. In fact you were there every day and when the chaos of Christmas day overwhelmed me, I thought I could not cope without you there by my side giving me the help I needed.
But you lied. You failed to deliver on your promises. I missed the small print.
At the party I fell over on the dance floor, ripping my tights. I bruised my elbow and my ego. I cried in the toilets because the room was spinning and I felt sick. On Christmas eve I argued with my brother as he talked politics and I was too drunk to remember where I had hidden the presents.
I will never forget the way you ruined Christmas day. My children’s joy as they discovered their gifts was eclipsed by my thudding brain consuming my existence, begging me not to lift it from the pillow. I believed you would soothe and quell the stress of preparing Christmas dinner but as you followed me around, you took centre stage, you took over, perpetuating and compounding my distress, which was clear for our relatives to witness.
The following year I was wise to your ways and let your calls from the fridge go unanswered. I saw past your sleek gold label and ignored the dainty droplets telling me you were perfectly chilled. I left you in the fridge and went to my party alone, buzzing around high on life and secure in the knowledge that I meant what I said and remembered it all the next day. On Christmas eve I was polite to my brother and enjoyed scattering reindeer dust on the drive. I could concentrate to assemble the complex plastic toys brought by Santa as you were unable to command my attention.
Christmas day was stress free. It was a relief not to have to act sober all day. You had been the cause of my problems, not the solution you pretended to be, and now you were banned from the kitchen. Banished from my life. I delighted in our family glow, the result of my efforts bringing happiness to us all.
I have not forgotten how you tricked me in the past. I have taken you back many times before, but not now. I can remember how much better everything was when I had the courage to leave you, and now I know the truth. You are not fun. You were never fun. You spoil everything.
I am no longer listening.
Rachel Black is a pseudonym. Her blog is called Sober is the New Black .