Oct. 26, 2022 – I hadn’t been doing great before that moment. My career had imploded; my dad was paying my rent at the sober house. My first marriage was over. Oh, and my mom was dying. But I’d put my head down and pushed through; I did my chores and went to meetings, talked to my sponsor, and had somehow made it through those brutal early days of not drinking without picking up a drink. Then, driving down the Texas State Highway Loop One, boom. I heard that voice and I agreed. “I’m a piece of shit. Everything would be easier if I was dead.” I took deep breaths until I pulled into the parking lot of the Tex-Mex place where I was meeting the editor — thankfully, not too far down the road. I was a little early. I called a friend with decades of sobriety from my car, sobbing.

“First of all,” she said, “you’re going to have to stop crying. Normally, crying is fine, but you have a job interview in five minutes. Pull yourself together. I sniffled. “Okay.”