When I first began this blog in 2008, it was (in many ways) a place to process my alcoholism and recent sobriety. I felt very alone and thought, why the hell not? One of the first things I wrote was a poem (of sorts) titled It’s Lonely Here on The Wagon.
That poem chronicled the lonely place of being an alcoholic and a Christian who had lost her faith.
At that time, I knew that I had to stop hanging out with my “drinking friends” and even had one tell me she couldn’t help me with my sobriety. She had enough problems of her own.
I know she didn’t mean to reject me, but that’s what it felt like.
And I began to tell myself that my friends with whom I had sat around late at night smoking and laughing with, drinking to a buzz, then way past a buzz, didn’t like me anymore and that I was unlikable. I told myself that the only reason they hung out with me was because I’d drink with them. I convinced myself that they didn’t like me, sober Melody. To be quite honest I don’t even have answers to speculation like that, but I know this.
In the light of day I was a manipulative bitch sometimes. I was petty. I could be petulant. I constantly needed affirmation that they liked me. I even did things to prove to them that I was “cool.” If it sounds like the emotional needs of a high school aged kid, it’s because that is what it was.
I was emotionally stunted and didn’t know how to be a good friend. In fact, sometimes I don’t think I really know how to be one now. Perhaps I’m a little better at boundaries.
I tell myself that I’ve come a long way from those days of drunken insecurity, but something hit me just this week.
I pretty much live my life expecting pain.
I expect rejection and so I keep people at arm’s length. I assume others won’t like me and so I stay aloof thus proving I’m unlikeable. I assume that I am uninteresting, so I don’t engage in conversation. I believe that I’m incapable of deep intimacy and so I stay standoffish, even remote. This is what I do. Now that I see it, perhaps I can begin to change. Why assume people are going to hurt you by rejecting you?
Today I have to go to a school picnic and see a few of those same friends that I pulled away from four years ago. My head and heart are telling me that they rejected me, but I know it isn’t true. I’m feeling afraid. Later I have to go to a graduation and see more of those old friends. I’m sick to my stomach, afraid. My shyness, aloofness, insecurities are flaring and for just a moment I think that it would be easier if I could just have a drink.
Yes, four years in July I’ve been sober and those thoughts return just like that. Even though I know it’s a lie, the weight of social, emotional, and historic pressures are great.
I won’t drink. But I want to and that is a cautionary tale for me.
This is a part of a series titled: A Different Kind of Real, where I just write what’s on my heart without a lot of self editing or worrying about what you’ll think.
Some of the things I have written about my alcoholism:
I am not Ashamed
The Slow Crawl Of Healing
What Can I Say About Two Years of Sobriety?
For Everything There is A Season.
Eulogy to Life.
Letting Go. Thoughts on Being An Alcoholic
My First AA Meeting
My Crooked Heart
It’s Lonely Here on the Wagon
The Place of Nowhere
A New Way to be Human
Eulogy to Life
This Epic Grief
I Need a Filling