Somewhat surprisingly, given her 25 years of sobriety, Ms. Stritch recently began drinking alcohol again, on a modest scale: at dinner she had a cosmopolitan — preprepared and brought over by her caretaker in a plastic water bottle — and took two sips of Champagne. And during the interview the next day, there was the cosmo again, looking oddly like Hawaiian Punch, in a glass on the table.
She does not fear that one cosmo will lead her back down into alcoholism, partly because her diabetes requires such careful management, but also because she no longer feels so acutely the sting of insecurity that booze softened.
“I was always trying to prove something about myself,” she muses, “and alcohol helped get me through that. But now I’m not escaping from anything. I’ve got a few questions answered.”