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Dealing with drinking friends

Old 08-20-2011, 07:52 PM
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Dealing with drinking friends

Hi all,

Any of you have the experience of getting sober and still having good friends but those friends are also drinkers? The problem I'm facing lately is all of my friends drink...but that wasn't the basis of our relationship (at least for most of them). Now I try to go out with them and its just not fun anymore. Like for example, I went to a roof top party tonight and everyone was drinking and strangers who did not know me kept encouraging me to taste the "watermelon vodka because it is so good". Story short, I did not drink but in order to not be a debbie downer I just kept fake smiling and laughing at stupid jokes (I'm home now and my jaw hurts from all the fakeness lol). I don't know what to do because I like my friends and they're all pretty supportive of my recovery but I really don't care to go to the bars. Its only been recent that I've been going out with them because the first few months of my sobierty I pretty much stayed in, which that wasn't working either.

Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions?
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:22 PM
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Hi Chris. This can be tough in early sobriety. Frankly, I find that going to parties that center around drinking to be pretty boring, so I don't go to them. If you don't have any sober friends, perhaps you should find some. I don't use AA, but that might be a good place to look for people that are experiencing what you are. You might just find a few that you could hang with. There isn't anything wrong with keeping your current friends, but if you do, I would certainly not go with them to bars or parties. Drunk people aren't much fun to be around when you are sober.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:29 PM
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Hi ,

I know the feeling. Alot of my closest friends are hard drinkers. I have decided not to go to places like bars, or even hang out at night time with them.
That said I am only on day 4 on sobriety, just to let you know where Im at.
I have barely begun.

I share alot of non-drinking hobbies with my friends ie fishing and hiking. Day time bbqs can be ok as well. If my friends want to join me on those activities its fine. I have invited them on some day hikes but have been knocked back! that ok! now I dont feel bad knocking them back on an invite to the pub.



I know that staying sober is more important then anything at the moment. It sucks as one of my best friends is a bar owner! I went to his bar and he tries to get me to stop going sober.. "you just need to cut down" "you dont need to quit".. Hes not a bad guy but he doesnt realise how bad it is.

As I said, I am on day 4, and I really identify with your situation. Good luck with it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:33 PM
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I still don't go to things where drinking is the focus....I'm not tempted or scared - I just find such occasions really tiresome, boring and empty.

I do have friends who I can be with and where drinkings not the focus, even if drinking's occurring...we have a great time

have you got any friends like that Chris - or is this more an internal thing for you?

D
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:21 PM
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My friends aren't problem drinkers (by and large) but it has happened that I have been with them when they are drinking. I've actually had a really good time. CN you identify why you aren't having a good time?

There have been a couple of times now when people I am not friends with will keep trying to get me to drink. It annoys me a little but learning to let it slide is part of my recovery.

Like Dee I try to avoid parties where drinking is the actual focus ofthe event. Those functions are pretty boring, which might be why you hD to fake smile
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:02 PM
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I guess the problem is the events are focused around drinking. Like the roof top party. I'm still new in my recovery ...and recently after 5 1/2 months I had a slip and drank one night, so technically back at 2 days. Plus I'm still in the phase of having strong cravings and very uncomfortable around people who are drinking. Lately, I'm just putting on a face pretending I'm ok to be around drinkers but its really effecting my soberity. I just don't know how to be friends with my friends anymore because the events focus all around drinking. I don't want to lose them because we do share a bond that's unrelated to drinking but every time we do get together its at a bar.

I think more so I'm very frustrated and confused which lifestyle is better for me. I was unhappy drinking, but I'm equally if not more so unhappy sober. Does this eventually pass?
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:11 PM
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It took a lot of work for me to be happy sober - it's all that stuff besides not drinking that I probably talked to you about in another post?

I like my life now - I'm thankful for it, I want it to stay this way, and I'm comfortable with who I am.

I also know if I drink I'll mess all that up, perhaps forever.

I know you were sober 5 and a half months - but you relapsed 2 days ago...

maybe it's time to go back to the drawing board and work out what you don't like about your life and yourself sober - knowing what you don't like can be the first step to fixing those things.

D
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
I still don't go to things where drinking is the focus....I'm not tempted or scared - I just find such occasions really tiresome, boring and empty.

I do have friends who I can be with and where drinkings not the focus, even if drinking's occurring...we have a great time

have you got any friends like that Chris - or is this more an internal thing for you?

D
This ^^^^^. Most definitely avoid anything that has drinking at it's center, and not because I'm nervous or worried at all. Once again Dee nails it. Basically I avoid these events because - sans booze - it's some of the most mind numbing, boring activity I can imagine.

Playing live music I get to see the antics and behaviors of folks when they get off their face. Mind you I haven't played live much since becoming sober, but I have gone out to see mates who are still making their living in bars, and I have observed plenty.

Really, truly, when you're not drunk that whole nightlife/partying joint is not a spectacle at all, nothing to write home about. In fact the entire scene is rather pathetic, if not sad. Call me a buzz-kill but I swear the appeal for that lifestyle is completely lost on me now. Why in God's name would one spend an hour getting dressed, making sure that last hair is in place, spend 300.00 on a cool outfit - only to go out, stand in one spot, drink, hoping someone pays attention to you - in the end hoping you're not too drunk to reciprocate what attention you may have garnered. Just insane if you ask me. Having said that, put 15 or so shots of Jack Daniels in me and I would swear that I'm at Disneyland when I party.

Add alcohol and a frikin concentration camp can seem appealing.

Chris, you're gonna find out that - sans alcohol - some of the most entertaining things, things you used to love have become laborious and ... just generally ... NOT cool at all. At least that is my experience. That is a good thing and don't forget that. Nothing wrong with evolution, and what you are noticing is you have evolved from these experiences. You don't need them anymore. Full stop. So being blunt, stay away from them, or at the least, minimize your exposure - if only to save you from complete and utter boredom.

What I would do in your shoes is leave the drinking time to your friends and join up with them later, when they're not drinking. Otherwise you're in for some pretty lame evenings .
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:20 AM
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Great post, Binder. I've tried several times this year to go out sober with friends. It always blows. After 20 minutes or so I'm looking at my watch and planning my exit strategy. 3 hours and $25 worth of soda waters later I'm finally on my way home feeling nothing but relief. The conversations are soooo boring and feel so forced.

The last couple weekends I've stayed in completely. Buddy wanted to go down to the Irish pub in town tonight, but I'm not falling for that one again. I'll either get completely smashed or be horrible sober company.

This has to change though. Human interaction outside of work is very important. I need to find a way to get out of the house on weekends that doesn't involve drinking. I'd almost rather resign myself to drinking again than become a sober shut-in. I need to meet some damn girls.
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