In her extraordinarily powerful eulogy to her dead husband, Sheryl Sandberg quoted a Jewish prayer: let me not die while I am still alive.
That's what drinking does to us. We kill ourselves slowly, drop by drop, glass by glass, bottle by bottle, when we should be living. We drown ourselves in booze, and bury ourselves under layers of flab.
In most of the drinking memoirs I've read the authors describe how drinking stopped them growing.
To move forward as a human being we have to properly experience life, to deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. We have to learn to meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.
When we drink, we don't do that; we just hide.
Rather than our horizons expanding, our world shrinks. If we don't stop, it gets smaller and smaller until we've lost everything except the bottle.
At the moment I'm reading Blackout by Sarah Hepola. She writes about hitting her bottom. She'd consoled herself with lists of the things she'd not yet lost, like her apartment and her job. But...
....it occurred to me for the first time that perhaps no real consequences would ever come to me. I would not end up in a hospital. I would not wind up in jail. Perhaps no-one and nothing would ever stop me. Instead, I would carry on like this, a helpless little lush in a space getting smaller each year. I had held onto many things. But not myself.
That's just how I felt. Despite hanging onto the important things (so far) - my family and my home, my world was getting tinier and tinier, and I'd lost myself. I was slowly dying while still alive.
But now, after nearly half a year of introspection and building myself back up, brick by brick, I feel like I'm standing on the edge of something. Now I can see the horizon and I have - for the first time in years - a sense of possibility, instead of hearing the clang of doors closing ringing in my ears.
I don't know what's going to happen next, but something is.
So yesterday we took a boat trip along the Cornish coast. Bear in mind that this was not the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, it was the Atlantic. We were dressed in head to toe oilskins and life jackets.
We were a way out from shore, crashing through the waves, and I did something I haven't done since I was about ten years old. I asked the Universe for a sign (yes, really). I said:
If my life is about to change in miraculous ways then send me a dolphin.
Five minutes later and there's an effing dolphin swimming alongside our boat. I kid you not. Flipping Flipper!
So watch this space, my friends, because I've wasted an awful lot of time, and it's my turn now....
Sending you Dolphins.