with five things:
The first time I got drunk, I was embarrassing. I was 17 and sloppy, grabbing other people’s beers to finish the dregs, kissing randoms. I rode the subway home in the morning feeling incredible—feeling new. My ridiculous and pathetic behavior was transformed into a kind of success. Now that was a party.
A decade and a half later I started to read about other people who’d had the same feeling: like falling in love, but also like being loved, like being good, like flying. Other people also responded to their first real drunken shambolic evening with, Where has this feeling been all my life?
It turns out that like me, most of those people are alcoholics. Caroline Knapp titled her recovery memoir Drinking: A Love Story, and the biggest thing her book taught me was that if you have a relationship with alcohol … you might have a problem with alcohol.
Nobody told me that, at 17. Here are some other things I didn’t hear.