We’re just returning from my nephew’s birthday party (I only had pizza and cake and turned down every drink – and there was wine). It was my 40th birthday a few weeks ago, and my sister gave me my belated birthday gift.

A gift card for the liquor store, and this:


Yep. That’s a flask that says “Alcohol is just awesome water”.

With a gift card for the liquor store, to fill it up! My sister barely drinks – no one in my family really does. My father was a heavy drinker, my uncle was definitely an alcoholic. And of course, yours truly.

Both of them are dead now.

I’m still here. 

It’s a rude little awakening for me. Not a surprise, but an awakening to add to my list of recent awakenings. A year ago, I would’ve thought this was the best gift ever.

And in a way, it is.

It’s the gift of another reminder that I don’t want to be like this. Or for people to think of me as though alcohol and a vessel to carry it in would be the perfect gift for me. 20+ years of demonstrating to people that it’s what I want – how can I blame them?

It’s not her fault. I haven’t spoken to my immediate family about where I’m at, or that I’m even on this journey. I’m trying to be as anonymous as possible with them. Because, well, family. I know they’d be supportive, and would never give me something like this if they knew it was the opposite of what I want and need right now.

The only ones who know about any of this are Hubs, my doctor, 3 close friends, and all of you. 

Maybe I’ll use it at the gym. Filled with a protein shake or something.

Should make for some interesting reactions.

Written by SJ VanDee

Recovery Blogger. Sober AF. Photographer. Storyteller. Writer.


  1. Total strangers have in general been more accepting and supportive than family with regard to truth. We play certain roles in our families so when we deviate from the role (good or bad) …my experience anyway is certain family will try to keep you in that role. Be you. Know you. Love you. Rinse and repeat. I love the idea of a protein shake in that flask. Dark humor is one of my favorites 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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