Why do I get the impression you pity me?

I heard from another long lost friend this week. Whenever someone from my past contacts me they say, “You just popped up on my computer.”  As if my details appear randomly in their ad column on Facebook. (Like the pair of suede boots you were checking out on Zappos that materialize in your feed for weeks after you decided the boots you have are fine.)

They go on to profess undying love (I found you) or genuine interest in what I am doing or in at least one case (well, maybe a few cases), how much they hated me in my past life.

Admit it, you Googled me…

My guess is, these visitations from the past were just sitting around one day, bored and Googled “Marilyn Spiller”. Why not say that? After all, if you search for me, the grizzly details of my alcoholism and recovery are there for all to see. The particulars of my divorce settlement and the houses I lived in are buried in the history… a treasure trove of details. I am a dog-eared, open book.

Anyway, this person wrote to me, “I spent much of Sunday evening reading your blog, and your interview and watching your video.  Could not sleep that night.  It actually triggered all sorts of contemplation.  Took me until tonight to write.  I was so taken aback by all…I feel like I should offer some words of wisdom or gestures of help or something else vague and awkward.  Anyway, I am so glad to know you are fine and living the reality of Michigan and all that brings to one’s life and soul.”

Does that sound like pity to you? Or am I being overly sensitive? I mean the guy can feel what he feels, right?  I just never thought about it before – but, I bet there are folks out there who knew me before, who feel sorry for me now. What a horrible notion.

I’ll be honest, I’d prefer you hate me than pity me.

Don’t do that…

Please don’t feel sorry for me and here’s why:

  • I really was kind of a douche in my drinking days. I am a much nicer person now.
  • I hurt myself a lot and fell down and made a fool of myself when I was drinking. I am careful where I sit, sleep and walk these days.
  • If you’re sorry addiction happened to me, it could have been worse. A lot of people suffer more than I ever did. I didn’t kill anyone – I did not go to jail.
  •  I lost some things. I have the love of many people (that former nanny still despises me, but she left in the middle of the night with my leather bomber jacket, and she was a crappy babysitter, so I don’t really care…). I am getting back all the things I need and more.
  • My brain is better than ever.
  • My hair is better than ever…
  • After flittering around The Bahamas for 8 wasteful years (and a few years before and after), I am gainfully employed in a job I love.
  • And speaking of The Bahamas, there were plenty of good times before the fall…
  • I am in great physical shape.
  • I have found a calling.
  • I enjoy my sobriety and my life.
  • After plumbing the root cause of our collective addiction, people in recovery are the strongest, most introspective and honest people on the planet – I am proud to be among that group.
  • I am happy.
  • I write a blog, so I always get the last word..

It’s nice to get a blast from the past, I guess…

But, I’m not really into harkening back. I have rekindled some great relationships with my childhood friends, now that I’m back in Michigan, and a few of my college pals – but that’s different. I have met some amazing people from this blog, but they understand the journey.

There are some things best left in the past. Because I’ve been through a lot and I don’t want to have to explain. Or justify. Or give a second thought to whether you pity me or not. I certainly don’t want anyone to lose sleep over me. And there is no joy in considering a reconciliation or the rebirth of romance. Been there. Done that. “To know them is to be disappointed,” to quote you…

It’s like cleaning a closet. If you haven’t worn that Moschino jacket  for ten years, it’s unlikely you’ll wear it again, even though you paid a lot for it. Best to give it away. Or throw it away…

Today I’m not drinking, because I am careful where I sit, sleep and walk these days…

How come you’re not drinking?

E2E – Be careful where you sit, sleep and walk. Wish we were there to take care of you…