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Old 07-21-2016, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cutting off "friends".


I've found myself in the situation where I'm having to cut friends off. They don't respect my decision not to drink or they're too stupid to realise. For example I had a long chat with one friend about how I've been sober for almost 2 weeks, yesterday. We went through the whole shebang on why it's a good thing for me and how difficult it can be, etc, etc. Then at the end of the conversation he invites me over for a beer.
This isn't the first time I've encountered this sort of insanity, I would never say that to a recovering friend. Now I'm almost alone socially. There's only one friend left as I've cut off everyone else.
I know in time I'll meet better people for me, but right now it's a very isolating experience. I can't even explain how I feel about it, a mixture of anger and sadness. It's like my friends weren't even my friends. We were just friends of alcohol together.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I will be your friend. And I won't offer you a beer, I promise.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Val.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's not a good feeling now Forester, but it's a common and necessary transition for most of us. And in the long run you'll find that many of these people were simply drinking buddies, who were there for the same reason...simply to drink alcohol. It's nothing personal against you, and it doesn't make them "bad" people. It simply means that the only commonality was alcohol and once it's gone there's no reason to have a relationship. You will meet many new friends that are interred in things other than alcohol too, it just takes a little time.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Doing what you need to do to be sober, that is taking care of yourself, Yes, you will have new interests & new friends & much more peace & happiness. Full support & friendship from me Forester a Forester's Daughter.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My best friend of many years is an alcoholic, like me. All we did was drink together. I am only 55 days sober and in the first week or two of my sobriety I envied her because she still drinks. I visit her infrequently now, and it is only for a Saturday or Sunday morning coffee (instead of at night when we would typically consume copius amounts of booze and black out together). As of now, I do not feel envious of her. Not one bit. Especially during those morning coffee visits where I am fresh, well rested, inspired and ready for the day while she is sitting in a cloud of booze stench with bloodshot eyes and can barely function.
As far as the friendship goes..........It is definitely awkward. But I really can't focus on that. Sobriety is my best friend now.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Mariah.

And thank you for sharing too Val. I'm glad for you that you can keep your friendship in some form despite of your lifestyle change. I had to back off from my life long best friend some years ago as he was having issues with meth. That was pretty hard. Then he went to jail in this state and then ran interstate against his probation when they released him. It may be a long time before I see him again. He's paranoid talking on the phone now, not a shadow of his former self.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've found myself in the situation where I'm having to cut friends off. They don't respect my decision not to drink or they're too stupid to realise. For example I had a long chat with one friend about how I've been sober for almost 2 weeks, yesterday. We went through the whole shebang on why it's a good thing for me and how difficult it can be, etc, etc. Then at the end of the conversation he invites me over for a beer.
This isn't the first time I've encountered this sort of insanity, I would never say that to a recovering friend. Now I'm almost alone socially. There's only one friend left as I've cut off everyone else.
I know in time I'll meet better people for me, but right now it's a very isolating experience. I can't even explain how I feel about it, a mixture of anger and sadness. It's like my friends weren't even my friends. We were just friends of alcohol together.
Yep I have a drinking buddy who was very pushy at first and I explained to her in no uncertain terms that it was over, boozing was not an option. I don't see her as much as I used to but we do talk and she's supportive now, says she's proud of me and is also rethinking her drinking.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One of the great gifts of recovery for me was learning who my real friends were...and making new friendships based on who I was becoming, not who I'd been.

Things worked out great - I know they will for you too Forester

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Old 07-21-2016, 08:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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AA was my cure for your problem. Today I enjoy friendships deeper rhan I ever knew were possible
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I've dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for the support Dee. I'm sure things will work out too.

Looking forward to the weekend. Looks like we'll get some sun. I hasn't stopped raining here since I quit.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My old friends fell into three categories. ..

1) people who weren't interested in sober me or being part of my sober life. (This hurt while I let the self-pity in, and then i thought about it honestly and realised if it were the other way round, I probably wouldn't have bothered chasing after them if they'd disappeared off the scene either). These were really just drinking acquaintances.

2) old drinking friends who cared about me, but as they drank like me and had no desire to change this, they didn't really 'get' it at all. They just thought I was having a bit of a weird stage of life and they could help me get back too 'normal ' by getting me back on the bevvies. I did have to lay off seeing these people much for a while, and when I contact them, I need to be ready with a non-drinking activity or meet up, because that's the only way to take responsibility for that situation, as its sure as hell not going to occur to them. But , they were willing to go along with some of my non drinking dalliance, and have said they were surprised to find they enjoyed it. I do still need to accept that these are never going to be the most reliable friends in the world though, as they may well stand me up if they start drinking earlier in the day,or are too rough from the day befores drinking, or have drank all their cash, or just clean forgot.

3) old, old friends who I'd lost touch with because I got sick of the fact that they didn't drink like me, or at least make the effort to come to the bar with me so that I could get drunk like I wanted to . Crazy thing is that I'd formed all sorts of resentments against these people. Thinking through my part of these friendships falling through also gave me a little more insight and patience into how the first two bunches of people might be thinking, and the ability to understand the selfishness that alcohol had brought out in me, and NOT get resentful or take it personally when it appeared in groups 1 and 2. Anyway. Once I'd got over my old resentments against these people in group 3, I did contact some of the closer friends (like my old best friend from growing up) and have had fun getting to know her better again after 20 odd years of barely any contact. I also have some of my family in this group (and each of the other groups to be honest) and our relationships have grown much stronger as I've worked my recovery.

As well as these groups there is, I'm happy to say, a new group. And these are my sobriety friends. People I've met through doing things in sobriety that I would never ever have done while still drinking. Some from AA. Some from church. Some from reading group, or writing group, or running club, or choir, or tap dancing, or whatever.

Once I got a bit more active in sobriety, and comfortable with myself, I found I didn't need or desire constant company, I didn't feel the need for so many friends that I just 'hung out with ' . There's limited hanging time nowadays. And I never thought, in early sobriety, that I'd ever be saying that.
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Heck, when I quit drinking, my drinking friends began weeding ME out! Made it much simpler...
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:50 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I relate to BerryBean's post a lot -especially category 3. I am fortunate that my friends are wonderful and supportive. That said - I had cut off any drinking friends COMPLETELY either before the end of my drinking or just didn't contact anyone when I stopped (5 months and 1 day ago!).

I kept a VERY small circle at first- basically, my parents and maybe three or four friends who knew all (or about 75% give or take) of my whole experience. As I have reached out to those I let get away (or drove away, at least a little, by my isolation etc), I have been thrilled at the reception; most didn't know how bad it was which I am grateful for since they were spared the ugliness. I suppose I am lucky this way, reading others' experience.

I say, if they aren't good for you, screw 'em.

Keep trying - maybe there are more good eggs than you think. As I remember more stuff I did years ago and with whom, those who were almost strangers come to mind and I actively reach out. Family, too, if you have it and they are supportive. And now that I am sober, I am also open to making new friends in different ways. I still keep a very small circle, though- it feels right and manageable, and enough as emotional support and friendship.

Sending you good vibes for finding good people to have in your life.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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That's when you realize your friend was actually the booze.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I believe that one's social circle either gets smaller or certainly changes when they choose to get (and stay) sober. I was in a situation many years ago that was a bit different, but I was essentially friendless for 3 full years. It saved my life.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I completely understand where you're coming from Forester.
I've always been a bit of an introvert with a small circle of friends. It's also quite difficult to meet new people and form friendships as we get older and have more responsibilities/less free time. Drinking has certainly made the whole 'making friends' process a lot easier for me. Although, the said friendships have been rather questionable. I wouldn't think twice about cutting contact with most of these 'friends'. Quite frankly, I doubt we'd have much in common once the drink aspect is removed.
I'm sure we will manage to find the right people for us. Or the right people will find us.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I also had to let my social circle go as they all drink together even now.

When I see them and how the drink is making them old and limiting their options,
I see it more as an escape than loss. . .
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