{A Cautionary Tale of Sobriety}

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.

MELODY

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?
Choose Joy
For Everything There is A Season.
Eulogy to Life.
Letting Go.  Thoughts on Being An Alcoholic
ReThink Everything
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
Winter Comes
Splintered Truth
This Epic Grief
No Dignity
I Need a Filling
Addict

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Melody, been reading some of your blog. It’s so beautiful and honest. You’re such an inspiration to me. I wish you lived down the street, sister. I really am so grateful I “met” you!

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    1. Thank you. You know I tried to meet up with you at the FFWGR (sent you an email) but it just wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps one day. Thanks for reading.

      Like

Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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