I love New York City. It’s a magical place that I’ve been fortunate enough to visit several times throughout my life.
When I had just graduated high school, a friend and I drove to NYC because we had received David Letterman tickets in the mail (old school!). I lived in Maryland at the time and I cannot believe I was so brave and brazen to drive into the city on my own with a friend. Vince Vaughn, Elle McPherson and Jewel were the celebrities on the show during the taping.
My father grew up in New Jersey his whole life and lived just outside NYC. He tells stories of being a teenager and going to the big city as a young child before going into the ARMY.
On my husband’s birthday several years ago (which is September 11), we traveled to NYC becaus he had never been.
I can remember going there as a child with my family from New Jersey and seeing all the brightly colored yellow cabs and feeling so excited to be in such a vibrant area.
Each September 11, I try to remember exactly what I felt in 2001. I don’t want to ever forget how scared I was. Confused I was. I had just graduated college and was working at my first “real job” and, as the events unfolded, ended up huddling around an old T.V. set (one that was plugged into the wall and sitting atop a T.V. stand! old school!) with my colleagues wondering how someone could do something that caused so much devastation, tears, harm, hurt and anger.
For the next few days, there were no planes in the sky. T.V. and radio programming completely pulled shows, songs, commercials off the airwaves. People wondered when it would be appropriate to laugh or celebrate again. It was so weird to see a plane in the sky several days afterwards. Everything had changed.
I was consumed with learning everything I could about the people who lost their lives. Back then, the internet was obviously around, but it wasn’t a full treasure trove of access like it is now. I would spend hours looking at sites dedicated to the stories of the people who lost their lives. I would close my eyes in the shower and see the faces of the terrorists who created a national tragedy.
Each year, still today, on the eve of September 11, I think of all those people who woke up the next day not knowing it would be their last. I know people every day wake up not knowing it’s their last - but for those who died on September 11, who faced unfathomable terror, it’s just something I can’t comprehend - even to this day.
This sobriety journey has taught me that alcohol is only good for one thing: wasting time. It’s taken 70+ days to get here - I will be honest that, even up until this week, I was dying for a glass of wine, just waiting for the 100 days to be over with.
But today, I don’t really want to invite that back into my life. I don’t want to drink too much and waste a day of recovering, of hiding from my children so I can take a nap or of brushing them off because I’d rather have a glass of wine and watch T.V. I don’t want to waste another minute connecting with friends and family under the false social lubricant of alcohol. Or worse, waste time connecting with someone I love and not remembering it the next day.
I don’t want to take for granted something that many people don’t have the luxury of doing - living my life to the fullest.
When I think of drinking wine now, it makes me physically ill. I don’t know if it’s because of all the studies I’ve read about the fact that wine is a carcinogen and truly a poison, the accounts I’ve followed where alcohol has taken everything from someone, the messaging I see from brands that hold alcohol up as a magical elixir that promises everything but leaves you with nothing.
I just feel differently today - more than I ever have - about alcohol. And I want to share that if you are fed up with feeling like crap. If your anxiety is through the roof, if your kids are driving you crazy, if you just want to spend time with a friend or family member and really connect with them in a way that will be life changing, then alcohol is not for you.
I truly believe this. I don’t know if it’s the emotions of the day. Or if I’m far enough into the journey to really see this shitty story we’ve been served as a false veil being lifted from my eyes, but, as a woman, as a human, as a mother, as a friend, I honestly can share that I’m turning my back on alcohol. It’s put me in situations I regret, made me say and do things I would never do sober and it’s time to let it go.
Let’s all go out and live our lives with our true potential shining through. xoxo Kim