I have heard that to begin telling a complex and lengthy story, it is best to begin with the ending. So I suppose I will start there. It was the day after my 31st birthday. I was writhing around in a hotel bed, begging my fiance to go say goodbye to his family without me. I needed sleep, water, advil, and a dark room for only an hour, I had promised. So he left. And I continued to contort my body in whatever position the hangover demanded of me, anything to make my splitting headache subside for even a second. I thought back to last night, a celebration that began around 2 pm with wine, then beer, then wine, then old fashioneds, then shots, then beer. The foggy memory of endless drinks forces me into the bathroom with more dry heaves.
What I’m withholding from you is something I can not stand to admit, I have a daughter, and she was with us for the entirety of the celebration. The shame alone was enough to send my introverted tendencies out into the world and find a group of strangers who have walked before me, who could help me. But not until I drank the rest of the day to rid myself of the hangover and the guilt I felt for replicating the same story I endured as a child, for my daughter. Enough was enough, and the following Monday evening I found myself in a church, in a room full of women I did not know, all introducing themselves as alcoholics.