I Quit Alcohol: 30 Days Sober
TW: alcoholism, addiction, substance abuse, and reckless fuckery
In the early hours of the morning on the 1st of January 2015, I nearly died.
I woke up on New Years’ Day in an apartment on Peel Street in Montreal, with no knowledge of where I was or how I had come to be there. I was alone, lying under my coat on a stranger’s couch, next to a trash can full my own vomit, along with a bottle of water and a roll of toilet paper to use as tissues. I scribbled a thank-you note to my mysterious saviours, stuck it to their fridge, and left. The wonderful thing about Montreal is that because the city is at the bottom of a mountain, you always know which way is North, and so even though I didn’t know where I was, I knew which way to walk to find familiar ground. On the way home, the full picture of the night before came back to me. I remembered the bar on St. Laurent where a friend of a friend had ordered bottle service, and made sure our glasses were never empty. When your glass is never empty, you cannot keep track of how much you are drinking, and so I cannot even give you a ballpark estimate of what kind of alcohol I consumed or how much. I know it was enough to throw up on the street outside the bar. It was enough that the driver of the cab I eventually managed to hail knew that he could drive past my street, kick me out of the car, take my $20 without giving change, and leave me, confused and alone, at the side of the road in a -8˚C blizzard. It was enough that when I sat down in the snow and waited to be rescued, I couldn’t hold my head up.
I felt lucky that night. Lucky that a couple walking past didn’t take my “I’m fine” for an answer and went into a nearby apartment for help. I felt lucky that the shirtless men (I swear this happened) who carried me into that apartment didn’t have any salacious motives — and I remember thinking, as they lifted me from either side because I couldn’t walk: They could do anything to me and I won’t be able to stop them. I felt lucky that four people stayed with me until they knew I wouldn’t choke on my vomit, lucky that they gave me water, lucky that they put my coat on top of me, tucked me in, and left me to sleep it off. I didn’t see them in the morning and I still have no idea who my rescuers were, but I think about them all the time. Most of all…