{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.


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

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!


    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.


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