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Substance.com Readers’ Holiday Tales: Love and Other Drugs

The final installment of our readers' seasonal sharing of their substance-related experiences.

6 Substance

Recently we invited Substance.com readers to share their stories of holidays past that relate to substances or their absence. You can read about some of their varied experiences here, here and here. Today’s reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, has something of a natural recovery story:


"As the haze wore off, I realized I liked her more than anyone else I’d met."  Photo via

“As the haze wore off, I realized I liked her more than anyone else I’d met.”
Photo via http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/110/a/4/love_is_a_drug_by_pqphotography-d3egiiq.jpg

My late teens and twenties were filled with frequent, extreme binge drinking, drugging, blackouts and regrets. (I had a lot of fun, too.) People who knew me sometimes said I was addicted, though I didn’t really see myself that way. But a problem? Sure.

Between one Christmas and New Year’s I went to a large party in the city, high on cocaine and alcohol, which made it feel easy for me to talk with/make out with this girl I’d seen around. We went back to my apartment, where the coke we shared kept us talking past dawn.

We spent much of the next few months there too, holed up with red wine, cigarettes and more cocaine, ignoring the outside world. As the haze wore off, I realized I liked her more than anyone else I’d met.

Nine years later, she’s my wife and we have a young daughter. It’s been the happiest period of my life. My use of alcohol and other drugs didn’t end when we met; it just faded, with no particular effort, as other things—love, family, work—became more important.

These days I enjoy drinking, but without getting fucked up. I’d happily do cocaine again some time, but it’s been a couple years since I last took the trouble. I don’t miss how I used to be. But I do sometimes wonder whether or not I’d still be living that life if I hadn’t gotten high before that one holiday party in 2005.