noun, often attributive \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\
a : joint ownership or participation
b : common character : <community of interests>
c : social activity : fellowship
d : a social state or condition
Like many alcoholics, growing up I never felt like I belonged or fit in anywhere. I always felt too fat, too ugly, too clumsy. I always felt like I said or did the wrong thing; that others always had the answers or were in on the joke. I was always outside looking in.
Funny thing is that it wasn’t just as a child or teenager or young adult. It’s something I deal with to this day. In any social situation, business situation and sometimes even family situation, I’m still feel outside looking in.
“Here” meaning out here in this blogging world with all you blogging readers, writers, lurkers, browsers, commenters, emailers or whatever-ers. Here is where I know I’m accepted. I know I’m understood. I get the joke. I’m at peace.
“Here” meaning that I know for a fact that if I got on a plane tomorrow and flew to London or Canada or New Zealand or Sweden or Colorado, Mexico, California, Pennsylvania; or if I drove to Raleigh/Durham, Atlanta, Florida or Virginia that there would be someone there who would put an arm around my shoulder (or maybe a giant hug) and, without saying one single solitary word, I would know I was understood.
Because you are my tribe. You are my people. You are my community.
Never before have I experienced anything like that. Never have I felt so much that someone “gets” me. But out here, you do. And I “get” you.
We’re a community
Women have BFF’s. Best friends that we organize and categorize. I have the supreme BFF who is my girlfriend from waaaaaay back. Her family is my family and we’re like sisters. Then there’s the BFF at work; the BFF at home; the BFF at the gym even the BFF at the grocery store if you’re there a lot. There are BFF’s but there isn’t a community. We keep them separate and seldom mix them together in social situations. Why? Who the fuck knows? We’re women. We do shit like that.
Anyway, with all those BFF’s there is no one that shares this particular thing with me. This thing that is all of me and at the same time none of me. This thing that will be with me forever like my green eyes or wrinkled thumb nails. This thing called alcoholism and recovery.
As much as I love them (and I really, really do) it feels like such an exhausting and daunting task to think of sitting down and trying to bring them up to speed on what my life had become and where it is now. In the few instances I’ve tried to share more than just, “Yes, I’m an alcoholic but it doesn’t bother me if you drink,” I’ve been met with concern, shock, empathy, sympathy, and even anger and resentment but never have I seen that look or heard the words that tell me, way down deep in my heart – she gets me.
I could share my blog which I have done with some, but I’m very, very selective about it because I don’t want it to change what I say or how I say it. If I want to call a friend a bitch in a fit of anger and resentment, I don’t want her to read it here and carry a grudge for years on end while I’ve forgotten and forgiven the moment I click ‘Publish’.
We’re women, we do shit like that. I have no idea why.
Of course my family is my center. My children and the hubs are where I feel the safest, where I trust the most, where I open my heart wholly and completely and without fear. They’ve been with me through all of my changes (kids are smart, don’t think for a minute they don’t have a bullshit meter because they do and it’s WAY more sensitive than ours) and they, miraculously, still love me. They are why I breathe.
But even they don’t “get” it like you people do. I often find the hubs trying to empathize with something I’ve written here or said and I find myself thinking, “Nope…he’s trying but he doesn’t/can’t get it. But damn do I love that man for trying.” Sometimes I’ll keep trying but most times I just stop talking, listen to what he’s saying and, get this people…let it go! (Aren’t you proud of me?)
What keeps me sane and away from relapse is that I know you’re here and that I’m sober and that someone, somewhere out there in the wide wide WIDE cyberspace is saying, “OMG!!! She’s writing about me!!! How does she KNOW?” I KNOW because I’ve done it myself and continue to do it time and time again while reading other’s posts and comments.
So thank you. Thank you for “getting me”. Thank you for reaching out in your quest to get and remain sober. Thank you for being brave and writing down shit that would never come out of your face but needs to see the light of day to keep you from drinking. Thank you for commenting even when you’re nervous and feel stupid and think nobody wants to hear what you have to say but writing it anyway. Thank you for just reading and taking what you want and leaving the rest.
Thank you for keeping me sober.