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Where to Find Sober Friends?

Old 05-06-2017, 09:57 AM
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Where to Find Sober Friends?

A difficulty I have always struggled with in being/staying sober (over 1 year now, with several other 3-4 month runs before) has always been the social aspect of it.

I know AA has a ton of people in attendance, but I just can't seem to find people to bond with there. I am not a big group type of person and I really dislike public speaking. Maybe it is just the meetings I go to, but I can't seem to find anyone I can relate to.

How else can I find real live people to hang out with that are sober? I really need to form friendships with sober people. Hanging out with drinkers (even though they are all supportive and accepting) just doesn't quite fit for me any longer.

Besides AA, how can I make sober friends?
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:10 AM
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I volunteer at an environmental organization. I have met several like minded people there.
I also go on birding walks and local hikes. Check out the Appalachian Mountain Club website. It has hikes listings for your area. Mass Audubon too. And the Trustees of Reservations. They will list all of their conservation properties and events happening.
I haven't used it, but others on this site have suggested Meetup. It lists things going on in your area.
Take a painting class, or a woodworking class, or an automotive maintenance class. The more you broaden your circle, the more likely you are to meet people with whom you connect. Can't say it enough. Get involved in something that gives you joy and you will meet good people.
Don't think AA is the best place to make friends.
And friends can be hard to make when youhave reached a certain age, I find.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:15 AM
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I like the idea of getting involved in an activity you like where you can meet people. I haven't quite figured this out yet. I have been to AA the last 10 months and have 1 friend I hang out w/ weekly but that is it. I guess maybe it takes time. I still have some of my old drinking friends but if they want to hang w/ me they have to do something different! Ha. I hope you find some sober friends. Let me know how it goes!!
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:20 AM
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I know how you feel, but I kept finding different meetings until I found a group where I was most comfortable. There is one that is literally 4 minutes from my house and while the people are incredibly nice, it is large and they've all known each other for years so it feels a little awkward getting into the fold.

I kept looking and found another one in which I'm an enthusiastic contributor --and like you-- am not particularly fond of public speaking (who is?). I just recently have made plans to attend a social function with a couple people from this group.

It can be discouraging at first, but keep trying different meetings even if you don't really want to go. Probably not what you want to hear, but you will begin to make friends.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:35 AM
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It took me a few months to make friends at AA meetings. Now I have too many friends from AA to count.

Throughout my life I have found that in order to make friends you must have a common interest with someone else. When I drank I made friends because we drank. At different jobs I made friends. At school I made friends.

Find an interest in something that involves others and it will all come together naturally.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug39 View Post
"...in order to make friends you must have a common interest with someone else. "
I've played guitar for years and thought of seeking out other musicians but I always picture those corny Viagra commercials with all the 40-50 something guys who "get the band back together" and I change my mind.. lol.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:21 AM
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Do you have a gym membership? Lot of sober people there...kill to birds w/1 stone: get fit and meet new friends!
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:54 PM
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Thanks for all the ideas. I have 3 small kids and my wife works 3-4 nights/week, so my options are a bit limited. I really wish I could find an AA meeting that had a few people that were in a similar situation.

Hobbies are a great idea. Besides playing guitar, I really don't have any hobbies. It is crazy to think that for 20 years drinking was my hobby! For 20 years! Man, is that a mind bender.

Now, without booze, I'm kind of boring. I'll try some other AA meetings, look at Meetups and try to think of a new hobby that involves other people that I can fit into my schedule.

Thanks for all the suggestions! If you can think any others please don't hesitate!
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:23 PM
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You can try sites like meetup where there are tons of activities going on in your area to choose from. Also look into your city's park district as they often have numerous activities going on as well.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:04 PM
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There are family friendly hikes and walks, too. Though with 3 small children that is probably a bit like herding kittens.
Good luck.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DanMan79 View Post
For 20 years! Man, is that a mind bender.
Sneaks up on ya, don't it
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:21 PM
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I just had a counseling meeting today where we spent the hour looking at the friendship thing. The first time I went to AA friendships just took root and blosumed. Those of us with little time in the program started doing things like having sober parties on Saturdays and lots of people went out for coffee lasting hours after each meeting. Now I've been in and out of AA and currently have 6 months.

The groups are a bit different at this time in the place I live ... no one goes out for coffee (unless they purposely keep it a secrete from me which is silly!) It seems group activities ebb and flow over time.

What I realized a few weeks ago is that AA is sort of upside down ... we share fairly intimate things with strangers in meetings when we really have little obviously in common outside of Alchoholism. I have lots who call me a friend, and they mean a lot to me. But they are not interested in anything outside of the meetings. Most of the time friendships start with people hanging out ... then they progress to more intimate and close relationships. In AA the challenge is to move from intimate conversations and a huge commitment to help each other stay sober to the good old fashion playmate ... I finally realized that is what I want.

Since I'm not finding it in AA, I'm going to try and find something to do with others outside of AA ... a reading group, a gardening group, maybe take cookies over to a neighbor ...that sort of thing.

Let us know if you find something that works for you because I am open to suggestions
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