I was always a follower in elementary school, never a leader. I didn’t know exactly where I fit in the cliques that formed on the playground. So I learned to be my own best friend. I learned to play games that only required one player. I had a very happy childhood. So as an adult, I’d hear Dr. Phil or other “experts” talk about the importance of friends. Magazines would write articles about “friendships” and certainly, you can’t grow old without being surrounded by your “friends.” I just didn’t buy it. I didn’t feel like I needed anything more than my husband, my two girls, and a couple of acquaintances to have a few drinks with after work. My husband’s job has moved us around the country, so the few acquaintances I made along the way have fallen out of my circle. But I did keep one very best friend with me. Her name was Chardonnay. She and I would sit together each night and relax, put our feet up, and just enjoy each other’s company.
Well, Chardonnay and I have parted ways. I’ve sent her packing. I’ve been introduced to people along this path that have opened their hearts to me. People like you on sober blogs, people sitting on metal chairs around me in AA meetings, and my sweet neighbor across the street who has invited me over several times before while I was busy with my other friend Chard. Now I’m accepting her invitations and I had a heart to heart talk with her about why I avoided her for so long. I sent a long email to someone I’ve known for years and spilled my heart out to her. I will now call her a close friend. People that have been reaching out to me all my life that I never acknowledged because I was too immersed in my own one-person games. I now see how many friends I really have. And for the first time, I’m realizing that Dr. Phil and all those magazine editors were right. Friends are important – and I’m gonna get me some!