Half a decade ago, when Rachel Brady went out drinking
with her friends, she had no idea if she’d stop after one drink or if "it would lead to a blackout". More often than she liked, Rachel experienced the latter – she drank copiously to "numb" the pain of past traumas
and to assuage her social anxiety
. "For a long time, even though I knew that drinking was not great for my life, it felt like that was the only way to unwind or just kind of escape," the 29-year-old writer says over the phone from her Cambridge home. Towards the end, she didn’t even find drinking fun. "You don’t enjoy it – it almost feels as though you have no other choice."