The last drink I had is one I don’t remember. I wonder how many other people can say that? Probably many. I remember part of the night, I remember what I wore, I remember at least one of the places I visited, but that last drink or the several before it are less than a blur.

New Year’s Eve, 1994. I was in a local bar with a few friends. We had started drinking early and long after the apple had dropped in New York City, we were still drinking heartily. I remember dancing and drinking and bumming cigarettes from strangers. I don’t remember the walk to an apartment I reportedly visited. I don’t remember the car I got in or who was driving it. I don’t remember how I ended up battered and violated and bloody in some bushes behind a bus stop, a mile from my home.

My shrink told me that I had probably been drugged, but I still think she only said that to make me feel better. Maybe I had, maybe I hadn’t, but the harsh realization was that the position I found myself in happened because I was drunk. Most rape victims think the rape is somehow their fault and I was no different. Years later, I still believe it is no one else’s fault but mine.

After finding my way back home with only a portion of my clothing, and one shoe, I slept for two days. I awoke, vowing never, ever, to drink again. And, I never did. The feeling of loss of control is never one that appealed to me. I don’t like flying in planes, or hurling down ski slopes, so why did I let myself accept this loss of control? Maybe my drinking didn’t feel like a loss of control until I had hit the bottom.