I guess I was lonely when I was drinking. I just didn’t care. Merlot was the only company I needed. Together, we could handle any disappointment life threw our way. Or so I thought. Turns out, we were never really as close as I thought we were. A real friend wouldn’t have ever let me down the way Merlot had. I am still reeling. How dare she go from confidant to saboteur overnight! One day we were just hanging out like best friends. The next, I couldn’t bear to even look at her. Come to find out, she had been poisoning my body and my life all along. I never thought a friend would do a thing like that. Now I know better.
These days (all 86 of them since I last saw Merlot), I guess I’m still lonely, but I feel better. One day after another is scrutinized, counted, and strung on the invisible thread which has become my sobriety. Turns out, there are support groups for people like me, other people who have been double crossed by Merlot and those like her. I am grateful for the companionship these others provide. It’s nice to have someone to talk to, someone who understands. I still have no idea what the future holds. I try not to think about it too much. Break ups are never easy and I’m giving myself time to heal. The others have encouraged this.
One thing about me that hasn’t changed is that I’m really not all that comfortable around people. I’m sure that’s why me and Merlot got along so well in the beginning. For whatever reason, people make me anxious. I’m never sure what to say, and when I do manage to speak, I worry about what the other person is thinking and whether or not I really do have two heads and if it just might be better for everyone if I didn’t venture out. But the loneliness is even more unsettling, so me and my heads go out anyway. We go to be with others who have tasted the bitterness of betrayal.
And sometimes someone who most definitely only has one head and looks to be in all respects perfectly normal says something that makes sense, something I can identify with. And for a moment, perhaps even for an entire hour, I don’t feel so alone. I’m not sure of much these days, but being with these others does help some. So I keep going back, keep listening to what the wise one-headed people have to say, all the while wondering if I’ll ever be as over Merlot and ok with it as these others seem to be. It’s something to hope for and even the slightest glimmer of hope makes life more bearable and far less lonely.
Most recently, I have discovered wise one-headed people can be found other places, too. I’ve even found a few online, which is so perfect, because if I’m just sitting at my computer there’s no worries about whether or not somebody’s doing a head count. Granted, every once and a while I actually make a comment or—shudder at the thought—post something and I experience a momentary wave of panic. But, what the hell, I didn’t come this far to be scared of a little box of text. So I keep coming back to these pages, too. Pages like Unpickled and And Everything Afterwards make for great company. I so appreciate their companionship. They, too, are helping me feel less alone.
I find I’m thinking less and less about Merlot these days. Maybe the day will come when I’ll realize I really am over her. Better yet, maybe I’ll even be ok with it. It’s something to hope for.