It’s Lonely Here on the Wagon

So I quit drinking a while ago.
It was the right decision, for me.
I am addicted. I am
an alcoholic.
I never expected it to be easy; or for life to remain static.
As I see it, I am more present; I am more awake
than I have been in years.
Don’t get me wrong
I — have — hard — days;
Days when stress makes my brain, heart, and thirst buds scream.
I have days when I want to make it all go away!
This is sometimes why
I drank in the first place.
But the more difficult thing, surprisingly,
has been — from — time –  to –  time
I am lonely. And I face,
my old friends are gone
because I drank too much.
And my new friends are gone
because I don’t.
I wasn’t a happy drunk
nor was I particularly sad.
I was sometimes quiet.
I know people who got really loud,
and others overtly friendly, even one
who used to cry.
But now I see drinking, apparently,
didn’t make me ‘fun’ (enough.)
Those people that I gathered with, who seemed
to accept me as one of them;
It must have been that I just didn’t get
in the way.
I was accepted,
because I was a hard drinker, amongst
h a r d  d r i n k e r s.  And now,
I am s o b e r and I feel alone.

Nothing rings louder than a s i l e n t phone;
an empty email box or when one remembers an annual party, uninvited.
We could throw the party, I could make the call, but I’ve tried over time,
and now I’m thinking, they wouldn’t come.

Today it’s an aching heart I deal with;
A feeling which once, ironically,
I would have drowned out with a friendly glass

(or two, or five) of Merlot; anything to forget
f e e l i n g.
I have to face it, I am alone in my choices. Alone,
with my memories,
of people I thought were friends.
I am a lot more interesting sober; but I guess not
more fun.

My drinking friendships seemed to have disappeared.
Though I would never have said they were
d r i n k i n g friends.
I thought they were …
to be honest I thought they were
just f r i e n d s.
You know that phrase that is said when an alcoholic starts drinking again?
She’s “fallen off the wagon.”
Well, all I can say is it’s awfully lonely,

on the wagon.

Melody Harrison Hanson
October 31, 2008

This is incomplete as a poem, but full of real issues and emotions.