Dear Alcohol.

“I know we’ve been through a lot together, and for a very long time you have been the one constant in my life. You’ve seen me through dark days, happy events, births, deaths, marriages, triumphs and tribulations. You have given me courage when I had none. You have never questioned or judged me. You have nursed me through the pains of defeat and partaken in the joys of victory. You have been my friend when others have left me by the wayside and turned their backs. You have been the silent onlooker through my periods of isolation and despair and alone you kept me company. You never deserted me. You comforted me through the very real brake-downs I have experienced. You have held my attention and made things that were very serious seem light-hearted, or even irrelevant. You have laughed at my jokes and put humorous words in my mouth. You have been faithful and as upright as the crutch you have timelessly provided for me.

But it’s over. I’m sorry – it’s not you, it’s me.

You see, over these last few months I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I really can’t see how we can be together in the future. I know you want to argue with me and tell me it will all be OK, and to give you another chance. You’ve said that you will not let me down again, or embarrass me publicly or privately anymore. But how can I trust you?

For every empowering thought I’ve had you’ve given me two negatives ones. For every reasonable judgement I’ve made you’ve clouded me with confusion so intense I ended up making an irrational one. When the chips have been down, you have wrongly offered me false hope. I can’t remember, thanks mainly to you, the last time you actually did anything positive in my life. Even when you were at your best, and we went out nearly every night having fun, you always made me pay the next day. You left me smelling like a brewery, with a terrible headache, bloodshot eyes and feeling so sluggish it’s a miracle we ever made it out to do it all again.

You never paid for yourself, it was always me coming home with the empty wallet and even emptier head. You told me everything would be fine, but guess what? It wasn’t. You lied to me time and time again. Every time I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. And every time you said it would be alright, it never was.

The “friends” you made for me – well guess what? They weren’t really friends at all. They were your friends. I know this because since I made the decision to stop seeing you, I’ve not seen them either. That’s the kind of loyalty you admire I’m sure. Well that’s fine, you can have them. I’d rather have friends that have nothing to do with you. You’re welcome to them and the danger they now pose to me.

And then there’s my health. For every hour I’ve busted my gut at the gym you’ve made sure I’ll probably have to bust another one. You have interfered with my sex life, waist, liver, eyes, mouth, teeth, hair, skin, joints, metabolism, blood, smell, lungs, heart and most important of all, my brain. You more than anything else are the reason I have suffered from isolation and exclusion. Yeah, I know you wanted me all to yourself but that was more down to the embarrassment that comes with you than real affection.

You have embarrassed me terribly. More than words can ever say. You stripped me of my dignity on more than one occasion with the people that have mattered most in my life. You didn’t care. It was all just another day in your time with me. You have never been happy to see me in a meaningful relationship. Of the rare times I have been, you got so jealous, so selfish, that you made me end them. OK, not directly, you were cunning and conniving, but it was always your fault they failed. Sometimes you were so clever you even made it look like it had nothing to with you.

Why did I listen to you? Why did you tell me she didn’t matter? She did. She mattered more than anything and certainly more than you. You pretended to be there to comfort me when she left, but I know now that was your plan all along. To see me broken and dependent on you again. You were always horrible to her. You’d taunt her and pretend it was humour, you take up valuable time that  should have spent with her and then make me lie to her about where I had really been.

When she was being loving and attentive, you never gave me the time away from you that I needed to appreciate it. You hated the time I spent with her, when I was free from you and happy. You made her feel jealous, suspicious, resentful and second best. You left her no option but to put herself and her needs first and you knew that meant at the exclusion of me. Sometimes you even made her hate me. I hope you’re happy now. You won.

But as I let you go, I can only hope it is not too late. Of course there is no getting back what you have lost me, and no way to tell all the people that you made me hurt that I’m no longer seeing you and to give me another chance. They gave me those, but you always ensured you were able to screw that up too and wash it down the toilet along with the dehydrated hopes I may once of had for happiness with them.

And whilst I’m at it, please tell your close friend and relative Drugs that they also have no favour with me. In truth, you are both as bad as each other and frankly you deserve equally to be flung as far away from my life as I can muster. I know you will both try to see me again, but really, it won’t do you any good. The time has finally come for us to part once and for all. In truth, it came some time ago but I wanted to make sure I was strong enough to see this through. There is no going back now.

They say it’s always sad when a relationship comes to an end, and I have often mourned such endings in the past. But this time, I truly feel different. I feel reborn. Revitalized and fresh, like a brave new world is out there waiting for me to come and get it. I’m not sorry it’s worked out this way, or sad. I’m obviously cautious that you will refuse to let me go quietly and hang around at street corners trying to entice my attention again. I know I will have to remain vigilant forever to truly escape your grasp. But that’s OK. I would expect nothing less from something as destructive, poisonous and pointless as you. I’m ready – and by the way – thanks for nothing.”