Friendships

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Friendships

Postby missyellow » Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:50 am

Hi guys! I'm just wondering if anyone else has been in the same situation as I am right now... I'm 71 days sober, and I'm noticing a heap of positive changes in me and the way I view my life, and I'm feeling more and more like myself every day. I've changed my daily routine (I've often read quotes about how 'the success of what you do lies in the daily routine') and I'm swimming every day, appreciating every day and just trying to positive as much as possible.
Here's the thing... the more I'm feeling like 'me' (the me I lost a long time ago before drinking)... the more I'm thinking about some of the friendships that are in my life, well those that started in my drinking days. The more I change for the better, the further I am from the girl who I was when I formed some of these friendships. I've fallen out with friends many MANY times when I was drinking, but I was always to blame because the falling outs were always about my drinking. However, now, one of my close friends is probing me about something that happened in the past, when I was drinking (this particular incident happened 3 years ago and didn't involve her at all. ) I told her, look I'm being super positive right now and really making good progress, and it's not helpful for me to bring up stuff which I've already dealt with and has no relevance to my life right now. But she kept pushing and pushing and I kept telling her that I didn't need any negativity to upset my balance. And now she's not talking to me....But I'm thinking, why am I still losing friends, when I'm in a great place and doing really well? Drinking was always the thing that got in the way of my friendships.... so either I'm still in the wrong here... or is it normal to drift from people you were close with as a drinker, and find that once you're sober that you're not actually a good fit?! I hope this all makes sense! Any comments appreciated :)
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Re: Friendships

Postby ann2 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:09 am

Hi!

When I was going through this it really helped to study the steps, which were the pathway to repairiig my relationship. I went over situations in detail with a few trusted friends in AA and my sponsor, and often I was directed to apply the steps to the issues.

I found that following the directions in the BB were really the way to heal and grow. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have had to drink again.

Let me know if I can help in any way :)

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Re: Friendships

Postby Noels » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:18 am

Hi miss yellow :D welcome and thank you for bringing this subject up :D
It has been my experience as I walk through life that not everyone who I meet will be with me all the way. As we change so does the people in our lives. I call it - passing ships.
Right now you are focusing on your recovery which is a good thing. As you work the 12 steps to permanent recovery more will be revealed and in step 9 we get the opportunity to make amends to all those we have harmed through our drinking.
I would say just keep doing what you're doing. Concentrate on your recovery and work the steps. If your friend have to walk the path with you at a later stage it will happen but if alcohol takes your life over again you may sadly not be there to experience that as alcohol kills in the end.
Good luck and congratulations on taking this life. changing step. . Being sober is awesome.
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Re: Friendships

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:09 am

After you do steps 4-8, you made decide someone from your past requires an amends. But wait until after you do the steps before making amends.
On the other hand, many of us changed friends after getting sober because we found our previous friends were drinking buddies and not really friends.
As far as this one girls, just keep doing the right thing for sobriety and you'll be able to work things out otherwise. If you have a sponsor, talk to them.
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Re: Friendships

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:34 am

Hi missyellow

I really identify and relate to what you shared about the changes you are going through about friendships. I experienced the same phenomena when I finally got sober. It was a very painful and confusing thing for me to deal with and I didn't understand what was happening or where my "friends" were coming from when they said things like "I liked you better when you were drinking" or "why do you want to hang out with "those [AA] people" or "I didn't invite you to my party because you don't drink anymore" etc, etc, etc. Before I finally quit drinking, I spent two years in transactional analysis with a really excellent therapist who really did try to prepare me for how my relationships would change as I grew and changed mentally and emotionally in therapy. What I learned from my therapist about relationships did help a lot and what I learned from listening to an AA speaker named "Angie G" at about 9 mo sober also helped me. Angie said that what sobriety and living life on life's terms had taught her was that "when the purpose for a relationship has been fulfilled, the relationship ends." Not what I wanted to hear, not what I wanted to be true, but somehow what she said really resonated with me and I knew deep down inside that her words paraphrased what many ancient Eastern spiritual traditions also taught. Today, I understand and accept that my relationships with family members and friends, even my beloved son on whose forehead the sun rises and sets for me, need to be re-negotiated from time to time to accommodate the personal growth and changes, or lack thereof, in each of us. Sometimes that means backing off for a while and giving the other person some space and sometimes that means me letting go and continuing on my own path.
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Re: Friendships

Postby PaigeB » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:55 pm

is it normal to drift from people you were close with as a drinker, and find that once you're sober that you're not actually a good fit?!

Yes. I still have friends who were my friends before I quit drinking. Thinking of 2 friends in particular, neither is a big drinker, which is probably why the friendships survived my sobriety! Anyway, I am ever grateful that they remain my friends now. One of them has pulled back from me, but she also has found a new life with a man and he fills her time as well as a job she really loves and a family farm to take after. We are "city friends" and maybe I am at fault for not being more active in her new life. The other friend is actually more readily available and happy to get together more often. We have been friends since Junior High School and now our kids have grown to maturity.

So, I guess I am saying, "Life happens when we sober up. I just gotta roll with it."

Keep coming back - this program really gave me a new freedom and new happiness.
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Re: Friendships

Postby kdub720 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:15 pm

Great post. This was an eye opener for me when I stopped drinking. I realized who my real friends were and who my friends through drinking were. I quite and was trying to think of calling some friends to hang out, yet the only thing that certain friends and I had in common was drinking. It was a lonely few weeks, but as I am about 10 months in it is amazing to see some of my relationships develop as they were neglected as I was drinking. Made me question all my friendships and what those friendships were based on. Great post. It will all come together.
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Re: Friendships

Postby trumpets » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:53 pm

missyellow wrote:find that once you're sober that you're not actually a good fit?!

Ever sit and observe people drinking after you have had some sober time and experienced the steps? i dont find it tempting, interesting, nor do i get a fleeting thought about the taste. All i think is how profoundly annoying and shallow these people are. i go from seeing them as pathetic, to having compassion because that was me once, then i split the scene because what they are talking about holds zero depth and weight. The only discussions that move me are the ones about recovery - everything else is small talk. But in certain cases most friends are dead or locked up.
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Re: Friendships

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:20 am

Its A typical of an alcoholic to blame everything on ourselves. Perhaps the friend is 2 french fries short of a happy meal (In-Sane!)? This is what Joe uses to describe being "in-sane" not "whole". Let go let live. Sometimes we have to change first and the see the change in others.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Friendships

Postby missyellow » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:54 am

Thanks for all the comments guy! (I don't know how to quote more than one person in a post.) It's reassuring that others have felt the same way.
The whole situation is a bit confusing for me because, sure I lost friends when I was a drinker, but I can totally see why...Now that I'm doing good and making positive changes, I feel like I'm still getting the damaging effects from my past behaviour?
Or maybe it is just that the more aware of who I am now, and the more I'm treating myself better, I'm noticing the behaviour of friends that I may not have noticed beforehand... I guess time will tell with this one. I'll just keep focusing on me, it's my path and if others are going to be a hindrance to my recovery then I'm better off without them right?
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Re: Friendships

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:23 am

I guess time will tell with this one. I'll just keep focusing on me, it's my path and if others are going to be a hindrance to my recovery then I'm better off without them right?


You are so right. Thats how it turns out. There will be newer friends made, old friends may get inspired and appreciate your friendship and some may whither. Eventually in your journey you will realize when you go you will be alone. Your HP the only one to guide you.
Last edited by avaneesh912 on Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Friendships

Postby Feeya » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:41 am

Hey Miss yellow!
My name is Feeya, I am an alcoholic and a drug addict.
I am currently going through those changes regarding my friends as well.
I am 10 days sober and had to already cut out a few, due to their way of life!
I'd rather lose a few friends than myself (even though it hurts and even so I find myself pitying myself quite a bit).
I also think that some people are just not supposed to stay in our life's forever. I am very clingy with a few friends, maybe that is because I don't actually have that many, but I try to look forward now and I tell myself that even though I might lose friends, I'll gain new friendships, maybe even friendships that are healthier than the ones I was clinging on to for so long...

Good luck to you!
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Re: Friendships

Postby RosieF » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:25 pm

While you were drinking your friends knew there was no point in raising incdents from the past- now that you're sober they may be annoyed (while glad for your sobriety) that you seem to think you can get off scot-free with everything you did while ill just because you have a disease. That's what amends are for. unfortunately, getting back past friendships can take you years into sobriety. You say this past incident didnt involve her ... perhaps it was one example where she stood by you, or defended you behind your back? Probably best to sit down and talk it out - after all, while you're still carrying the issue around with you, you wn't be able to move on, heal and grow. Otherwise - dont talk to her until you are ready to discuss it. If thats never, so be it. Some people just cant forgive. Why not take her to an open meeting or suggest she goes to Al-Anon?
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Re: Friendships

Postby Patsy© » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:16 am

Hi MissYellow,

However, now, one of my close friends is probing me about something that happened in the past, when I was drinking (this particular incident happened 3 years ago and didn't involve her at all. ) I told her, look I'm being super positive right now and really making good progress, and it's not helpful for me to bring up stuff which I've already dealt with and has no relevance to my life right now.


But I'm thinking, why am I still losing friends, when I'm in a great place and doing really well? Drinking was always the thing that got in the way of my friendships.... so either I'm still in the wrong here... or is it normal to drift from people you were close with as a drinker, and find that once you're sober that you're not actually a good fit?!


When I got sober my life began to change, and with those changes came different friendships. Until I got sober, I had no idea what real friendship consisted of, I had many drinking buddies but few genuine friends. So in my experience it was quite common to drift away from people who I drank with.

If this person isn't speaking to you due to your choice in not wanting to discuss something from 3 years ago that didn't involve her and has no relevance to your life now...then perhaps you need to reevaluate the relationship, for you and your own peace of mind. It doesn't sound as if she has respect for your personal choices. I found many were not a good fit when I got sober, either they were still drinking heavily and not a good fit for me or I chose them at a time in my life when drinking was the only thing we had in common and perhaps not a good fit. I would suggest talking this over with your Sponsor and seeing if she has any suggestions that might be helpful to you.

I still kept several good friends from my drinking days, they were happy for me and supporting my sobriety and my recovery. I found those those friendships to be the ones based in mutual respect and genuine caring. You are not losing friends, you are simply making different choices :)
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Re: Friendships

Postby positrac » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:12 am

I would suggest one point in which we've all had to learn via mistakes and this is change is a good thing. But over doing change to quickly can and or could lead to going out again because you might of failed in those changing efforts.

The eco system of sobriety is very fragile even with the most seasoned person. But what makes it easier is that we have learned to take change in small bites and once we are feeling normal we might take on more change. 71 days sober is a milestone and yet you are IMHO still in the fog of old ways and habits.

Real friends will stand behind us in the good and bad times and won't needle the crap out of us on why we can't drink. Seriously? Yes I know I did the same thing once upon a time and now the people who know me don't know the difference and it is a good thing.

Keep smiling and time heals all of our stupid things we've done and you'll be all the better in the long run. One day at a time and yes it sucks and yes it is a process and maybe our instant gratification card has expired and he have to learn the hard lessons. You can do it and this is the prize of time and efforts on your behalf.
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