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Drinking friends causing a dilemma

Old 03-01-2010, 08:33 PM
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Drinking friends causing a dilemma

I have a friend who I have explained to that I am in recovering and working on remaining sober. And she is starting to p*ss me off. We communicate via email a lot...and daily. She drinks pretty frequently. I keep hearing things about drinking from her...and I am starting to get annoyed that I feel like she inadvertently tries to temp me by putting the idea of drinking out there to me often.

Tonight she said she was off to watch the T.V. show "24" (with the character Jack Bauer in it for those not familiar with the show).

I wrote: "say hi to Jack".

A half an hour later she writes: "Wish it were Daniels, not Bauer".

Which of course made me think of drinking. And then I got p*ssed. I don't need friends saying this stuff to me, when I only have 6 weeks of sober under my belt.

Aside from stepping away from our friendship...how do I get her to understand that this is not helping and could end up hindering my health/recovery? Do I say stuff to her, or just back away. I have not said anything to her about her drinking. I am not sure what to do with this. It has me a bit unnerved though. Does anyone else deal with this from "friends"...well "drinking friends"???
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:47 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with explaining how some of the things she says makes it difficult for you. I mean, a person cannot correct a problem if they don't realize there is a problem. So, you could try to explain it to her, without the threat of ending the friendship, at first, and then see what happens. If she takes it badly, or the behavior continues, then you have to do whatever is best for you and your sobriety.

Hang in there. You're doing great!
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:40 PM
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Houndheart, I don't know if the reply about Jack Daniels was an example of her typical humor or sarcasm (ie, she would have said that ANY day), but if you start to see a pattern, then I think you have to decide whether you want to make an issue of it. Some people like to say things that challenge or bring their friends down a notch, because it's a way of asserting power. (That may sound extreme, but I think it's true, ha ha!) It usually has to do with a lack of security on their own part, whether on a related topic or not. This friend may not be the same way.

I think you could start out by "asking" her what she thinks about making random references like that, does she think it might have anything to do with your having chosen not to drink for your own benefit. If a pattern continues, then you can be more direct and say you were doing some thinking about what you'd said earlier, and it doesn't seem like it is helpful to hear random comments about alcohol, does she see any reason why she would keep making them, knowing the obvious (that you've quit). If it continues beyond that, then you have to decide whether to break apart from her or not. If this is really bad, then this person would probably make this about your self-interested nature and turn your desire for sobriety on its head, into something unhealthy. Something I would not want around. A friend would want to hear more and understand what they are supposed to do (even when the answer is nothing); even have a hard time understanding and deny it for a while. If she does the above though, that is just totally ignoring everything you said.

Bear in mind that I can be a little reactionary or feisty about things like this I devited a couple of paragraphs to it methodically, ha ha.

But the main thing for me is the sobriety and the clear head, like Suki said. We have to live with people in our lives and have to deal with our own frustrations and do so harmoniously, but I also think we should be champions of ourselves when we know we have to.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:41 PM
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:09 AM
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I'd say to keep it monitored and just be honest when she bothers you and tell her to quit. My friends have been great about accepting the fact that I've gone sober, but since I'm the only one who has they still let things slip sometimes. In example, I got invited to a poker game last weekend and my friend said with enthusiasm "we're all going to start drinking at 2pm, you have to come!". I realized though that there was nothing malicious about his statement, he is just caught up with his own partying life and momentarily forgot that I no longer am. We all get so caught up in our skin that we forget things that may be important to others sometimes...
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:23 AM
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I would say something to her also, just tell her she is not making it easier for you and to reel in the comments for the most part....maybe she is thinking about what you have done and is not able to do it herself and wants to feel better if you would have a drink, you are not so *perfect*, as she perceives you? (does that make sense)?

If she is a TRUE friend she will support you and stop with the comments....

I have not told ANYONE except Mr. Fandy that I've stopped drinking..I use my HTN and prescriptions meds as an excuse that "right now alcohol doesn't agree with me"....and it's only been 15 days for me..suppose I tell people and then drink..they will think i'm a giant "A$$h***le
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:28 AM
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Definitely say something. Perhaps it's simply off-the-cuff, unthinking remarks on her part, but it might be something more insidious as well...

I know, as an active drunk, I was threatened by other peoples' sobriety (especially when it was someone with whom I used to "party"). Subconsciously, I was insulted and threatened by it, it made me feel bad about myself, because they were sober and I was not.

Your friend may feel that way, too (and may not even realize it) but might be trying to sabotage you....if you guys used to drink together, it's a big change in your relationship, and she may feel like your efforts are a slap in her face (it's not logical, but what alcoholic thinking IS logical?)
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:12 AM
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Thank you for all of your responses.

I am still learning the ropes. I do recall feeling slightly put out or something when I used to drink and then some friend would stop drinking. It is hard when you are the drinker and someone quits before you decide to do it. It seems to get in your face (even if they are not getting in your face)...just the idea of them stopping gets in your face. I felt that I was losing a drinking friend...or that I would have to look at my own drinking. So I suppose that is what friends go thru now that I have sobered up.

This makes me recall taking a friend out to dinner right before this past Christmas 2009...and she ran into a college friend who was apparently a drinking buddy back in college. They had not seen each other in 10 years...and after the intial greeting, asking how they were, where they lived, are they married, etc... in about 2 minutes this woman stated very proudly that she is celebrating "3 years sober today!" I said, "congratulations!" And I truly meant it...and pang of jealousy hit me...and that was the first time that has EVER happened to me while I was being my drinking self. I guess that I was getting ready to give this a good shot this time. I KNEW I had to do this for myself. My friend on the other hand really did not comment to her college bud. She just sorta looked at her and said, "wow" with a sorta blank look. She then said that she had just shown me photos of the Jello shots that they had lined up in the dorm room for such and such party. I wasn't sure that was the best comment to make, but my friend obviously did not know what to say. We went back to our table and ordered a bottle of red. And as I poured it I thought, "wow, I am still jealous of this woman that I just met who was able to be sober 3 years." I think this is the first time that I was ever jealous of someone's sobriety. For the first time, it was not a threat to me. And that was the beginning of me being honest with myself...that my non alcoholic side knew what I had to do if I wanted to be able to live a healthy rest of my life at age 53. It was about one month after that dinner that I woke up one day and stopped the alcohol. I have been reading these discussions on this forum ever since, and am really feeling good about this. And hopeful. And I thank you for all that you post...to me and to all that write in. I hear the compassion, the love and the caring. And it really rocks.

THANKS!!!
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Fandy View Post
I have not told ANYONE except Mr. Fandy that I've stopped drinking..I use my HTN and prescriptions meds as an excuse that "right now alcohol doesn't agree with me"....and it's only been 15 days for me..suppose I tell people and then drink..they will think i'm a giant "A$$h***le
Hi Fandy,

You are already considering a time when you may drink again. Think about what you have said here. (This is the insanity of alcoholism)

You will have more chance of staying sober if you tell people you have quit for good rather than leaving the door open by not telling them so that you can drink if you need to in the future without losing face.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:43 AM
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can't control what that friend does, if it is too negative stop hanging with that person, being sober isn't easy. I have a friend who constantly bugs me about drinking, doesn't bother me now, no one is going to hold a gun to my head and drink, just have to let it go or change friends.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:45 AM
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IMO, reduce the email banter. Self preservation at the click of a mouse...
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:59 AM
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We all have triggers, but our friends cannot know these triggers unless we expose them. I have a couple of friends that like to have ladies' night and its suppose to be a movie and whatever. The whatever concerned me. I found that she was mixing margaritas for the party and you know what? I decided to cancel going because the night was being centered around the drinking and I told my friend since I no longer drink it is not appealing for me to go to parties that are centered around that activity. Believe it or not she understood. I actually hold my sobriety so high that if she didn't understand it might be the loss of a friendship, but not a friendship that was very deep. Get my meaning on that? True friends really care about you and your well being. Just a thought.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:10 AM
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I'm considering a mistake that COULD happen....I'm not that sure of myself yet....I know that if I tell people I'll be admitting something that they may perceive as having a negative opinion of me....I'm not ready for that step...especially to my family....I can see my brother's eyes rolling upward from here.

the weird thing is that I haven't really admitted to myself that I have actually stopped drinking, i am waiting for it to sink in and I can only take it day by day.....and yes, that door is still open a crack...I just can't lock it...yet..but I am getting close.

Easter Dinner will be a good time to test..it gives me almost 5 more weeks to work some things out.

sorry HH, I don't mean to Hijack your thread....
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:16 AM
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Horselover, thanks. I finally understand that saying no to certain situations is essential to my recovery in these early stages. I was just invited to spend a long weekend in Arizona (I am in snow ladden NY right now), and it sounded inviting. Nice warm Arizona...with my two drinking buds from college. We got together for our 30th college renunion a couple of years ago...we drank, and drank, and laughed, and drank...and got hungover...and did what we had done when we were 18, 19, 20 years old...and well...I was pretty sure that was going to be the M.O. of this upcoming Arizona weekend. My friend in Az knows I quit drinking and is sounding very supportive in emails. But my friend in NYC, the one with the Jack Daniels comments at the top of this thread, is not all that in tuned with what I need yet. (pretty obvioulsy because of her own deal with alcohol). And I was worried that this situation would be a downfall for me. And I put my sobriety first...for a change. This is really cool. I have never done that before. But I did it this time. I had to. I will go to Az next year when I feel like a clear headed strong individual. Not now though. I will deal with the snow and ice, and the cold weather, and not seeing my friends for a weekend...and I will be rewarded with healthier life...and the clarity of mind.

Fandy--I hope you get there. I am working on it..and I know you can too. Let yourself really want it. It might be really outrageously cool, right?
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:53 AM
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Houndheart you might plan a warm weather trip with some of your friends you find are more supportive of your new lifestyle?...this winter has been harsh (I'm in jersey about 30 miles outside the city).

Unfortunately (or fortunately) we outgrow certain rituals that were so much *fun* when we were less mature..and you may be outgrowing your friend you mention at the top of this thread....You are maturing, taking your physical and mental health seriously...she is not there on that same page....or maybe she would like to be but can't admit it.

As for me, I am SURE I will get there in my own time and my own way....I am still dealing with a lot of issues that make me ask a lot of questions about myself without obsessing. Some days my thoughts and opinions about why i do things change every HOUR. But at the same time, I am happy with my decision not to drink...I keep taking a quick peek at a sober future. THAT is awesome to me!
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:32 AM
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For me, sobriety has been outrageously cool!!!
Good for you Hound, for knowing that it is a little too early for that trip to Arizona. That is HUGE!!!

I remember that in the first year (especially 6 months), I had to make some of those choices. I threw a Superbowl party when I was 8 months sober. I ALWAYS got trashed for Superbowl. So I threw a party with just my AA friends and hubby. I had a great time. Now this year, I am much more solid in my recovery and comfortable in my sobriety so I threw a SB party and was able to invite both sober and non sober friends (hubby is a normie). It was a great time. But would it have been great a year ago? Probably not. My point is that it is up to you to judge where you are at in sobriety and base decisions on that.

I would let your friend know how you feel. But keep in mind, this is your deal, no one else's. It is not up to everyone else to accommodate us. It is our responsibility to take ourselves away from people and situations that can endanger our sobriety
I was a year and a half sober when I had to ask my husband to get rid of an open bottle of Maui Rum that was in our freezer. We have beer in the fridge that has been there a year, does not bother me. But for whatever reason I began to obsess on the Rum when it was left here by some friends. I felt so stupid telling my husband to get rid of it. But you know what? He did not blink an eye. It never occurred to him that it would bother me but for whatever reason, that day it was an issue. The minute I shared with him that it was taking up space in my head, he poured it out. Again, my point is that I had to realize that it was making me uncomfortable and take the necessary steps to take care of myself.

Good luck! I
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:45 AM
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I went through similiar experiences early in recovery. Ultimately you know your situation better than anyone else. Is this person really a friend or was it based on enabling eachothers drinking. Do you actually value this person's views and respect her or is she a fair weather "friend". Regardless, if interacting with her causes you to crave booz; tell her. If She doesn't get it, you have better things to do with your time. Whether we realize it or not, we ultimately have control over how react to the actions and words
of others (took me a while to get it, but it's true). In my opinion, your still very early on w/out booz and it takes some time to function in a healthy functional way automatically without being emotionally
reactive in a negative way. Alot of experienced counselors recomment not making other major changes/decisions in your life for about a year (this totally confused me a six weeks, but made perfect sense at six months. Keep us posted; this is a great place to vent, and get alot of great advice
from people who have gone through what you're going through and are where you want to be.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:49 PM
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I believe this in where you really find out who your real friends are. First, you really need to educate them on what you are trying to accomplish and that this is a life or death situation for you, because it is. Then , I would be honest and explain to her that you value her friendship and you want to keep it but in no way can Alcohol be a part of it. If she is your real friend, she will make the changes needed. It's also helpful if she were to read up on Alanon and maybe go to a meeting depending on how close you two are. At the end of the day, you must put recovery before anything else and that includes ending alleged friendships if neceesary. One my best friends wasn't sure how to deal with it and would say things or invite me places until I had the talk with him. he now knows and our families still get together for the same events we did in the past but he understand smy life situation better
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:37 PM
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Some great advice here HH

With my friends, I tried my best to be open, direct and honest about what I was and what I needed to do.

Most of them got it - a few of my drinking buds did not. I still don't know whether they were just oblivious, or scared, or jealous, or miffed that I was not going to be an on call drinking bud anymore...maybe they just didn't like change, or maybe the drinking was our only point of connection.

Whatever the reason, they wanted me to stay the man I was and I couldn't do that...so I had to leave them behind.

I hope you have better luck with your friend

D
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:35 PM
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Thank you. I have not given up on her. I think that I have not communicated well enough to her that I am really serious about this. I think she thinks I am just "on the wagon" and cleaning up my act for Springtime. I need to be more clear with her, inorder to give her a better chance of understanding. She's a bright and sensitive person. I will see how it goes. I am glad I can always come here for strength.
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