This is the first time I have purposely ended a friendship in the whole sordid tale of my life. I have always befriended everyone, and many times to my detriment -- choosing to be friends with just any old soul that wanders into my life. Most past friends have chosen to end our relationship and not vice versa. It feels powerful and invigorating -- that I can choose what people I have in my life. That is an option my loneliness, mental illness, and lack of self esteem have never afforded me!
The nice thing about online life in that you more easily pick and choose your friends. Tired of the constant questions? The prying inquiries? The emotional onslaught? The well meaning, but incessant advice? Detach yourself and quit writing back. Delete the emails without responding to and reading them. Remove the bookmarks and links of their blogs to no longer read and to be involved in their lives. Relationships are as easily removed as the delete button in an email program. That is what I have done with Pipe Tobacco (The Frumpy Professor). He had been reading me since my homeless blogging days -- years as I poured my heart out. But I knew nothing about him. I just knew he was a morose fellow with an obsession about his mother's death and a penchant for self punishment. He knew everything about me. My deepest fears. My trials with mental illness and drinking. My relationships and all their ups and downs. My family strife. I didn't even know his real name as the one he used in our emails for years was obviously made up -- sounding like something out of classic work of fiction. There is no one on his Universities website by that name. We had been corresponding for years and I didn't even know how many kids he had or his wife's name. I knew nothing. It was a one way street. An emotional roller coaster that was exasperating and with which I no longer wanted to participate. I felt like I was always having to coddle him and pander to his emotional needs fearing I would lose him as a friend, or that he would quit commenting on my blog at the slightest hint of adversity. It grew so tiring and uncomfortable -- having to be someone I really wasn't. It is unlike me to ditch a friend, preferring to hang onto the worst of them as my self esteem and self confidence can be lacking. I feel emotionally mature for making that decision though. It was for the best. My online life and blog has been much more pleasant. It was like finding an undiscovered country full of pleasantly up-front aboriginals and not pseudo friends hiding behind deceiving masks of anonymity and obscurity.
A friend asked last night why I haven't been going to A.A. They were worried about me -- worried I would start back drinking after 15 days of being sober. I just haven't felt the need to go. I haven't wanted to drink at all and that is a damn fine miracle. I hate that feeling of being out of control these days. I've replaced that old addiction with blogging, writing, and photography -- much healthier and more passionate options. I would not be able to do either of these if I was sitting at home drunk all the time. I withdraw when drinking and will not write or be creative. My passions and hobbies are extinguished as drinking takes over my life. If I fall silent for a few days then you know I am in the throes of my alcoholism. That harsh mistress that has almost taken my sanity and my life. I've lost too much and don't want to lose any more. It feels good to write that this morning -- writing that I no longer want to harm myself in such a way. It is a revelation! I feel like the first astronaut on Mars discovering a strange new world!