Why I Stopped Drinking

Refinery29

I ended up in a penthouse with a famous band I didn't know.

Three years ago I woke up in the the penthouse of a swanky hotel off the Sunset Strip with the drummer of a famous band I’d never met before but I knew off social media. He’d direct messaged me on Twitter to come over and I was there within the hour. I remember showing up to the hotel and I remember waking up the next morning not remembering whether or not we had sex.

That wasn’t the last time I drank, but it was the first time it really hit me: Ali, you gotta stop doing this.

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That wasn’t the last time I drank, but it was the first time it really hit me: Ali, you gotta stop doing this.

We got drunk off everything he had in the mini bar, and then when we were done with that we had room service bring us more.

We spooned on the couch, wrestling and laughing, like two high school a week into dating, alone without parents for the first time. One of his friends took my phone and started taking photos of us. He kissed my cheek. I smiled, wrapped in his warm embrace. I felt safe. Happy.

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He took out cocaine and we started doing it off the table.

I woke up the next morning, surrounded by strangers who last night were my best friends. I hated myself.

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I peeled myself from the arms of a man I knew I’d never see again, and I left the hotel. I paid the valet money I hardly had for my car, and drove--hungover--to the only place I ever really felt safe, my parent’s house. I stopped at McDonald’s along the way, because it was when they had just released that experiment with chicken wings, and hungover me had to try them.

I showed up to their house for one of the last times, hungover and coked out. I sat on their couch all day, eating, depressed, going in and out of sleep, telling myself I’d never do this again.

I did a lot of stuff I regret when I used to drink. I stayed in an abusive relationship for too long. I stopped talking to my parents. I lied a lot. I cheated on men I cared about. I got quiet and then I got too loud. I broke things. I ended things with men who cared about me because I didn’t want them to find out who I really was.

I still have the photos on my phone. Now, when I look at them, they don’t appear the same.