Notes From the Edge of Sobriety – The First Year and Beyond.

Letter of Resignation

alcoholism17Dear Alcohol, I am addressing this letter to you, your board of directors and your advertisers. With regret I resign. You may not have been aware but I have not pitched up for over a year now. You also may not have been aware, but for the last 41 years I was a consistent and at many times a most enthusiastic employee. I have given my best years to you. In younger times my passion and zeal was unstinting. You gave me confidence and lifted my depression. You also gave me a broken leg and killed my brother-in-law. But I forgot all that and showed up for work faithfully. It was business as usual and we did well together.

In more recent times you comforted me when the going was tough. Retrenchment was hard, and yet you were there with me. You also ripped apart my family and took away my self-respect. Make no mistake you were always welcome through the good times and the bad. But now it must all come to an end. I acknowledge that you are big and powerful and that leaving you will not be without consequences or regret.

My protracted absence has been sometimes difficult, but always illuminating. Liberating even. I must admit I have found a life far more promising and rewarding without you. I thank you for all you have shown me, but sadly, our objectives are no longer aligned. Good luck with your future, Tom.

***

I used to drink. When I was happy I used to drink, when I was sad I also used to drink. I drank to celebrate and I drank to commiserate. I dranalcoholism18k at parties and I drank especially at meal times. I sometimes drank alone, but most times I drank when I was around people – happy, smiley party people. I drank my anger and my disappointment. I drank my fear and it gave me courage.

But I drink no more. Yesterday for the first time I became a grandfather and now I am sober. My wife, my children – they all saw me drunk. They saw me disgrace myself, a belligerent prick howling at life, at the traffic, at the moon. But – now, my grandson is here and I don’t drink. Well, for today – I don’t drink. Welcome little stranger – I have so much to tell you. You just won’t believe it. Yesterday was a new day.

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About Tom Cottrell

Tom is a struggling author, pilgrim and citizen of Planet Earth.
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