Friday, May 21, 2010
The Kindest Cut
So I guess I'll start with the truth: I have always had a lot of friends, but for most of my life I didn't know a thing about friendship.
Ironically, it was the comfort of strangers that taught me what it means to be a true friend.
Like with so many things, I'm learning, you get back from friendship exactly what you give. Before getting sober I didn't put much thought into what it meant to be a friend. As I slowly unraveled inside, I tried harder and harder to put up a 'normal' front, to show my friends the version of me I thought they wanted to see. Without realizing it, the versions of myself I showed the world became my reality - I lost all sense of self, or perhaps more accurately, I gave it away.
I dragged my broken body into a recovery meeting, thinking, so this is what the end of the road looks like. This is all I have left. I didn't have anything to prove to the people there, didn't care anymore anyway. There was no need to morph, to validate. For the first time in a long time, all I could do was exist, be.
So when strangers' hands reached out to me, literally and figuratively, I had nothing to lose. I grabbed on like a drowning woman reaching for a life raft. I had nothing to give. I had nothing to offer. And they helped me anyway. Complete strangers came into my life, with no expectations and no pretense, and allowed me to piece myself together bit by bit.
When I re-emerged, sober, into my former life, I feared people wouldn't like me anymore, that I would be shunned, judged, pushed out from the herd as weak and flawed.
I was wrong.
But mostly? We are together, just being.