Good-Bye To Alcohol

Good-Bye To Alcohol

Karina Schultheis
Originally Posted:


Karina wrote this a week or two after being hospitalized for the last time with alcohol poisoning.  It really helped me to understand, for the first time, what was driving her destructive behavior.  

                                               Joanna Conti


Dear Alcohol,

I think I was in love with you long before we ever had the chance to meet. I remember watching you cavort with my parents, the pretty popular girls in the movies, the beautiful women in the commercials and magazines. You brought so much joy to their faces, laughter to the room, glitter to the dullness. You were so fun, adult and cool - you represented everything I so desperately wanted to become. Even as a child, I couldn't wait to make you mine. Someday, I would be like them, and you and I would be lovers. We would paint the town red.

I never could have anticipated how true this would become.

The night we were finally introduced is a blur, polaroid snapshots of memories with darkness spaced between. But these glimpses, combined with my sisters' recollections, provided all the information I need to know. Older boys gave me attention, wanted me. With your presence, I somehow suddenly became desirable and attractive. You made me sick for a full 24 hours afterward, but I didn't care. I immediately knew that I loved you, that you loved me, and that you were capable of making my dreams come true. I couldn't wait to be with you again.

Over the next few years, we grew closer, but slowly. I never got to see you as much as I wanted so I tried to take advantage of the time we had together. I was right about you all along. I became more outgoing, beautiful, and funny in your presence; I was finally cool. I frequently became sick because of you, but I didn't mind - it never lasted long and I was able to return to the party.

We had so much fun together; we grew up together. You introduced me to your more illicit friends, some of whom I was more attracted to than you, but even in their presence I never strayed from your side. I could love you all simultaneously, but in the end, my allegiance lay with you. The others were fleeting flings, and you and I would be together forever. I was sure of it.

By the time I went away to college, you and I were inseparable. Rarely a day went by that we weren't together. I begrudgingly made it through the day, constantly counting down the hours until I could be with you. We were on top of the world together, you and I; despite everything that has happened since, I still regard some of those memories as sincerely happy moments. You brought me close to so many people, and for the first time in my life I felt like I belonged.

Once I realized that I could spend every moment with you, things began to rapidly change (although I could only see this in hindsight). You became controlling and possessive and started to pull me away from any and every other person and commitment in my life. From the moment I woke up until the moment I passed out, you were with me. Unlike past relationships...I never grew tired of you. I willingly chose you over everything else. It is strange how it never even occurred to me that our relationship had become unhealthy despite the fact that my life was beginning to cave in all around me.

Things deteriorated rapidly. You used and abused me, controlled my every action and thought, and destroyed me from the inside out. Part of me knew you were slowly killing me, but I had reached a point where the only thing I was living for was you.

Multiple interventions, rehabs, car accidents, legal problems, and hospitalizations later, you still have an unholy hold on me. You are the single most destructive thing in my life and the only thing in my adult life that has systematically ruined every positive event, relationship, and opportunity I have ever had. It makes me sick to consider what my life might have been like had I never met you.

I fucking hate you for everything you have done to me. You transformed me from a bright-eyed and innocent child into a hardened shell of a woman with a disgust for herself and mistrust for those around her. I see now that your intent is to kill me - and in the meantime, to alienate me from anyone who cares and make my life not even worth living.

Fuck you, alcohol. Get the fuck out of my life.

I have seen glimpses of what my life can be like, what I can be like, without you. It is so beautiful it brings me to tears. I know that leaving you won't be easy, and I acknowledge that there will be times that my resolve is weakened and I will miss you. But in those cases, I am remembering the beginning, not the middle, or the end of our relationship --- and that is a place that is impossible to return to.

I'm choosing life over you, for you truly are the death of me. I choose me this time.

Good-bye, Alcohol.

I hope you get prohibitioned and die.




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