Newbie needs advice about friendships after quitting

Old 01-19-2010, 11:14 AM
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Newbie needs advice about friendships after quitting

I'm 16 days in and cannot believe how rough this is. My biggest surprise is how many friends think I am just going through a "phase" and will be back to my old ways. They just don't seem to accept my decision. Has anyone experienced this? I've read that this can be a lonely time, but eliminating these types of people can make things better over the long haul.

My other issue is trying to rebuild a relationship with one of my best friends I hurt more than I think I even know prior to quitting. Other than my wife, he has been the most supportive person in my life, but there is still a lot of tension. I don't think I could survive this without him. I want to ask him about all the things I've done to hurt him over the years, but am afraid that reopening old wounds will strain our friendship to the breaking point at the time I need him most.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:26 AM
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Welcome chicubs.
congrats on your decision.
My old drinking buddies were on my about this too when I first quit and in a strange way it only helped my resolve. I don't know whether it was my imagination or not but it almost seemed like they wanted me to fail.
As far as your best friendship that you want to repair I can't see much good coming from opening up old wounds at this point but I can see a blanket amend getting the two of you back on track. If he detects your sincerety he will likely give you a chance to make things right.
Hope this helps.
Good luck in your quest.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:29 AM
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Congrats on 16 days! That is something to be proud of.
You have to give it lots of time. As addicts, we're usually control freaks (and like Serenity Queen told me, we're about the instant gratification and we want everything RIGHT NOW). However, we cannot control other people, if you've tried to get clean before, and didn't make it, OR people have seen others try to quit and not make it, then they are going to think you're in a phase and that you will go back to your old ways. A lot of people will think that way and we can do nothing to change or control that, except to give them time, stay clean, work a program of recovery, and prove them wrong.
It's been nearly a year, for me, and my second husband (who is in a whole other world in his head with many many problems of his own, but yet finds it easy to judge others) still thinks I am either still using and hiding it well or will go back to using. My own boyfriend worries that I'll relapse and steal his things. Does it make me angry? Yes. It does. It does because my second husband took the law into his own hands and restricts my time with our son (and I have no means to take him to court, no money, as much as I'd love to and have gotten free legal advice that the law is on my side) and I want my boyfriend to understand I can never promise not to smoke crack again, but I am giving it 100% every day, not to. But the truth is in the pudding. Time will tell and the longer you stay clean, the more they are proven wrong OR their worries are put at ease, just a little at a time.
It's never easy. It can be a very lonely time. All I can say is to dump ANY friends whom you used with or whom DO NOT CARE that you used. Keep the ones that actually care about you. Especially your one friend. Maybe invite him to a cup of coffee, when you have 90 days or so. Maybe invite him to some meetings. And keep showing him you intend to make the change and keep working on it. Make new friends. Clean friends. People who don't do drugs or drink to excess.
My boyfriend does drink. But not to excess. He'll have a couple beers with dinner, once or twice a week. And I am fine with this. It does not bother me because alcohol is not my thing. Now if he lit up a crack stem, we might have a fight over that... LOL
Anyway, relax, it's perfectly normal for people to be wary and doubtful. Stay focused on yourself. THAT will still have them wondering, until they see you are chasing your recovery, now, rather than your DOC. But keeping focused on them will only harm your recovery. Time and proof will tell whom your real friends are, and if, in the end, you don't think you have enough, go make new ones! :ghug3
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:38 AM
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Hi ans welcome to SR

My friends were all drinking buddies and wen i decided to quit drinking they were alot like you describe... they kept offering me drinks and then it seemed like they expected me to fail....

I have heard here before and through others... that my friends may not want to admit i have a problem... because they drank along with me... and they might well have to look at there own drinking....
So if i would only behave and get back to drinking the same as them then they would have nothing to worry about...

I have a whole new group of friends now... sober friends.... i dont ignore my old drinking buddies... but we dont really have much in common...

I really hurt my best friend while drinking.... we are still not totally sorted... but i am hoping my commitment to my sobriety will prove my sincere desire to change...
They had constantly heard me promise i wouldnt drink... and i promised time and time again that i would choose my friends over alcohol... but alcohol always won out...

I cant be sure we will ever get our friendship back to where it was... but i need to sort myself out and as i said... hopefully along the way my friend will see the new and improved me...

Good luck and look after yourself
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:48 AM
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Early sobriety often involves a lot of difficult decisions and changes.

I wanted desperately for husband and teenage kids to understand how I had gotten to the point I was. It was SO important to me, I had to figure a way to make it happen. The reality was, that, as much as they wanted me to be well, they weren't interested in how it happened and how I was going to fix it. It was hugely lonely for me at that point. The upside, is that I learned that I was a LOT stronger than I had ever imagined.
Give your friend some time, be patient, and don't push things. That's my suggestion.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:20 PM
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I really appreciate everyone's insight. This thing with my friend is tearing me up and it really helps to have somewhere to go to talk about it. He's been sober for years now and fortunately (or unfortunately!) he remembers things I don't from my drunken binges and not knowing what my last episode brought up is frustrating to say the least. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:23 PM
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Welcome to SR chicubs1

At the end of my drinking, most of my immediate friends were drinking buddies too - I think they were threatened by my sobriety...and, like Anna, most of my other older friends and family were happy I quit, but not able or willing to get into the mechanics of it....

SR was a godsend to me and continues to be - people here do understand

Hope to see you around some more!
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:23 PM
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Hi ChiCubs-

I also found that I got little support from many around me. Once I realized that I had to do the sobriety thing for myself and myself alone, I began to realize that I didn't need their support (or lack of support).

This was hard, but time sober made it better.

Today, I have over a year and I have plenty of friends and many who never knew me as a drinker. So, it takes some time. You will still have fun without alcohol, so don't listen to anyone who suggests otherwise. Take care.
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