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Beast Friends Vs Best Friends.

Old 04-22-2018, 12:23 AM
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Beast Friends Vs Best Friends.

This is one of the areas of my life that is still problematic. Before I quit drinking I always had lots of plans for the weekend and would have said I had a fairly active social life with many friends. That has changed in the last year or so - I hardly ever see most of those people anymore, they haven't gone anywhere and I could still include myself in that scene anytime I wanted to do, but I don't. Taking substances use out of the picture as a means to socialize has been very revealing to me, it was the glue that held many of my relationships together, without it the pieces don't hold together.

When I do get lonely enough or allow myself to get guilted enough to attend some of these parties, I find that I don't feel comfortable, I don't relate, I don't find the stories funny or cool the way I used to. It's a reminder of who I used to be and it causes me to turn away. I can see and hear their Beasts and it makes me anxious and upset.

On the other side - I've done some things this year that I would never have done had I still been drinking. I've gone dog sledding up North in absolute frigid conditions where it was about endurance. I've been ax throwing where I almost won the tournament. I'm going to Japan next month. I can play the piano again and actually make it sound good. I've lost 25 lbs and look like my old self again. My family has done a lot of counseling and healing.

I still find this to be a very solitary journey though. And I still feel like I let fear hold me back and I hate that. It's easy to go along to get along and I did that for a long time - it was fear of losing friends that held me back from quitting and now it's fear of being outed as sober that holds me back from making new friends. It's somewhat irrational, I know.

I wonder what other's who use AVRT experiences with this has been? For people who go to meetings it must be easier to create a new social life without substance use, and I'll be honest, I've considered going to meetings just to meet people, but I never do it because it would feel disingenuous and hypocritical considering how I really feel about them. I am so ready to stop hibernating though! It's been one hell of a winter here in Canada and I've been stuck on these midnight shifts and I'm starting to feel like a recluse here. That's why I'm up and online at 3am - because I've become a creature of the night.

How did some of you go about finding a new social life, or did you at all? Did it just happen on its own over time?
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:44 AM
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Maybe consider joining a meetup and starting an activity?
Also volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and meet some really cool people.
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Old 04-26-2018, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
This is one of the areas of my life that is still problematic. Before I quit drinking I always had lots of plans for the weekend and would have said I had a fairly active social life with many friends. That has changed in the last year or so - I hardly ever see most of those people anymore, they haven't gone anywhere and I could still include myself in that scene anytime I wanted to do, but I don't. Taking substances use out of the picture as a means to socialize has been very revealing to me, it was the glue that held many of my relationships together, without it the pieces don't hold together.

When I do get lonely enough or allow myself to get guilted enough to attend some of these parties, I find that I don't feel comfortable, I don't relate, I don't find the stories funny or cool the way I used to. It's a reminder of who I used to be and it causes me to turn away. I can see and hear their Beasts and it makes me anxious and upset.

On the other side - I've done some things this year that I would never have done had I still been drinking. I've gone dog sledding up North in absolute frigid conditions where it was about endurance. I've been ax throwing where I almost won the tournament. I'm going to Japan next month. I can play the piano again and actually make it sound good. I've lost 25 lbs and look like my old self again. My family has done a lot of counseling and healing.

I still find this to be a very solitary journey though. And I still feel like I let fear hold me back and I hate that. It's easy to go along to get along and I did that for a long time - it was fear of losing friends that held me back from quitting and now it's fear of being outed as sober that holds me back from making new friends. It's somewhat irrational, I know.

I wonder what other's who use AVRT experiences with this has been? For people who go to meetings it must be easier to create a new social life without substance use, and I'll be honest, I've considered going to meetings just to meet people, but I never do it because it would feel disingenuous and hypocritical considering how I really feel about them. I am so ready to stop hibernating though! It's been one hell of a winter here in Canada and I've been stuck on these midnight shifts and I'm starting to feel like a recluse here. That's why I'm up and online at 3am - because I've become a creature of the night.

How did some of you go about finding a new social life, or did you at all? Did it just happen on its own over time?
You’re not using AVRT in your post above.
That experience of grief and loneliness from the death of the drunken you (and its associated animalistic minglings) is real, but all wrong. It is 100% Addictive Voice.
On another note, it sounds to me like your life is AMAZINGLY better than it used to be.
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:09 AM
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Honestly, I've been so embarrassed that I even posted this. It was 3 o'clock in the morning and my BF hadn't come home yet from a party that I had said no to going to. I work these awful hours so I'm always awake in the middle of the night and things look different at that time than they do during the day. My life is way better and I do have friends, although I do miss my old best friend who lived down the street and who I partied with a lot. She's part of the crew my BF was out with and I did feel excluded, even though I excluded myself. I guess I can still be a bit of a drama queen, just a sober one lol. The best part of the drama is how I decided to create the thread here in this newly created sub-forum where it will stay FOREVER....
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:27 AM
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I ended up a frequent binge drinker before I quit for good. I had friends who knew me both ways and weren’t chemically dependent. I ended up marrying the sister of one who knew not to introduce me to her until I had straightened up my act. The dynamics of friendships that survive the transition from chemically dependent to common teetotaler is certainly a complex topic, and one possibly worth talking about.

What about your old best friend that lived down the street? How is that friendship evolving? Have you told her that you will never drink again?
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Old 04-26-2018, 11:36 AM
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Well we all live in the same neighbourhood and we all used to work together in a store that sold alcohol. Her and I became best friends and I currently live with one of the guys who worked there. We got along and liked to party a lot - binges that could go on until the wee hours, or even for days, on a weekly basis for the last 10 years, until I quit drinking last year - but they haven't. I have told her that I've quit for good, doesn't stop her from asking me to come out when she's drinking. She never pushes drinks on me (and it wouldn't matter if she did) and she never asks me how it's been for me as a non drinker. We do still go out for lunch from time to time and I do still go to the occasional party just to catch up and say hello. It's just not the same, we aren't easy with each other. But it was with each other that we did the craziest partying - our beasts really got along. We could go and go and go. We had a similar upbringing and we could both drink more than your average girl. Just talking about it gets my AV all riled up.

I have other older girlfriends who knew me before drinking became my only past-time, and we have reconnected and they know and are happy and supportive that I've quit. We don't live local to each other though and have families and whatnot so I don't see them often. I've made some new friends at work but they are mostly male and it's not the same as having a new girlfriend. Which is what I miss, a local girlfriend to just come over and chill.
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:57 AM
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So I found this really great article about how to make friends as an adult, because it is different. I feel like I need to make some new friends where the bond is about something other than partying, but the only way I've ever made new friends was from the party scene. I found it helpful, maybe someone else might too.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...-leap-of-faith
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:29 AM
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Excellent article, Billie...I really think loneliness is a growing issue for adults that is bordering on epidemic, and getting worse with so many electronic substitutes for real friendship taking over our lives. (He said, typing away on his online forum...!)

I'm still living in the same small rural town where I graduated high school. I "know" damn near everyone, and "hung out" with many of them back in the old days of closing down the local tavern and drinking until dawn. It's become a bit of a joke when old friends see each other these days and say, "We should get together sometime, have lunch or something," when we all know it's just polite conversation and won't ever actually happen!

And making new friends as an adult is really hard: "Would you be my friend?" would probably get you reported to Community Mental Health...which is kind of sad, actually...that kind of honesty is so socially unacceptable.

Anyway, I just make the most of my daily random encounters with strangers in public places; I'm the guy behind you at the grocery store making a joke about the weather or financing my purchase of a beef roast. It's a decent substitute for having lunch together, I guess; it's also pretty amusing when said stranger looks down with a slightly panicked look on their face; oops, sorry, didn't mean to freak you out with pleasant small talk! But that doesn't happen very often; I think we're all genuinely social creatures by nature.

But really, we should do lunch sometime! I like smart people.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:48 AM
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Yeah I have to admit that I find it intimidating to go out and try to make a friend. I've always been the kind of person who likes to have a few close friends, I don't need or want to be really really popular or anything. For me, it's really easy to make guy friends, I get along well with men, but my BF hates that and it's better to keep the peace. With women it's different, I rarely make a new girlfriend but when I do it's for life. I've decided that I'm going to follow what interests me and just wait for it to happen organically, these things can't be forced. But I've got to get active about it and involve myself in group activities. Join some clubs or team sports. The nice weather is finally here, so I'll be out and about more.

GerandTwine is right, a lot of my feelings are AV. Took me awhile to see that, but I do now. I'm pining away for my old life, it's my Beast that felt excluded. It's my AV telling me that my new life is lonely and boring without getting smashed at every opportunity. That's rubbish. There are infinite ways to amuse myself and I will make a new social circle. I only quit last year, the first six months I was focused on the fact that I'd quit, and then it was winter and I hibernated and went on midnight's at work. So much of life is about perception, the stories we tell ourselves. If I tell myself that I'm bored and lonely, then that's how I'll feel. If I tell myself that this is an opportunity to recreate myself and have new experiences and adventures, then I'll go have a blast.

I think it helps to keep in mind that lots of people feel this way. It's scary to put yourself out there and take the risk of rejection or looking silly. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:08 AM
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My problem is I have always been that loner chick. I'm an only child and I like my own company just a bit too much.

I get it about wanting to have someone to come over and chat - but everyone I try to spend time with ends up with some weird extreme view, like all they talk about is Monsanto or diet choices, or saving whales (just an example, not that there's anything wrong with saving whales) or they just want to vent about their husband/BF/family every time we are together. I don't want to hear it. There seems to be no filter anymore, no ability to have polite conversations that don't come down to gun control or politics or some other not-suitable-not-appropriate conversation. Seems everyone is looking for a reaction these days.

I think I only want to be with people when it involves some activity with multiple people...kayaking, hiking, community gardening. Something that keeps the conversation away from personal angst. That doesn't really seem possible in one-on-one at home talks. I've always been that way though. I try not to even get into conversations at work, because they inevitably devolve into the other person and their TMI about their sex life (or some other thing I have no interest in hearing.)

Here's my how-to-be-friends one liner:

Don't complain.

~Maya Angelou

Maybe this is why I'm a loner chick.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:33 AM
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I re-worked the whole 'Number Of Friends' equation in Early Retirement from the end point. That is, I lowered my expectations on the number and type of Friends I'd be involved with. In this manner, all the baggage about how to achieve the same result is upended [positively], and I've been more content with the outcome. I'm not trying to achieve the prior scenario of having the same number of drinking 'Friends'.

This entire topic is an active one around kinda-remote MesaVille. Years in, MesaMate is still adjusting to me; the not-drunk Introvert. Ya knock off the intake of 'stuff'. You revert to whatever you were 'pre-stuff' as an Adolescent. Feels mighty good, actually. ~25% of us might be Introverts, but - ultimately - we're all a mix of Extro- and Introvert Characteristics.

I've active on positive Social Media, and can also BS with about anyone I meet F2F while out in the Trailer with MesaDog. I'm satisfied with that. MesaMate needs more Chick Time, so we go our separate ways increasingly often. As is the case on my current Solo Trip.

My current thinking is that - just as Society sees Drinking as the norm, and pressurizes Social Situations - there's a number of covert expectations that something is 'wrong' with us Introverts. So, hey, just shape up and get out there more! I've come to understand and reject all that. This leads to Serenity; pivotal to maintaining what I call Effortless Sobriety.
.
- The Science Of Why Introverts & Extroverts Are Different -
.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:43 AM
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I think the effects of 'stuff' made me more gregarious and rounded off some misanthropic edges.
I've pretty much reverted to edged misanthrope( which may be the societal perspective of an introvert) , I will say though, if you are in a grocery line with me prepare to chuckle
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:53 AM
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The best comedy is thinly veiled cynicism.

Yeah, I try to keep my interactions with others superficial. I've been the comedian since I was a little kid, I find great joy in seeing people laugh. But like MesaMan, in small doses. Like grocery lines are just the right amount of time.

I used to sell Real Estate. Oh dear Universe, shoot me now. It involved getting way too far into peoples' personal lives, and the "relationships" lasted months. Waaaaaay too long for me. Way too much drama.

I was also a waitress for a lot of years, which to be honest is just the exact right amount of time to know someone. About an hour. In that hour I have to charm the pants off them so I'll get paid. I can do that for an hour. Seven months, not so much.

hm. So I'm either shallow or introverted. Doesn't matter.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:58 AM
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I've become much more introverted in sobriety. I have no problem being by myself, in fact I find my dog to be the best company a lot of the time, she's my total buddy. I still like feeling like I have bonds and connections though. I love having deep conversations about ideas or getting to the heart of a matter. I find other peoples stories to be genuinely interesting, I know I'm a good listener too because people will tell them to me. People can tell me anything and I won't judge or shrink away, I've been through so much myself that very little shocks me or turns me off. I like feeling like I really understood someone else, and like I've been understood, when the conversation grows and evolves, you start in one place and end up somewhere you never expected to go.

I also love a good banter and witty people. I work for the post office and it's mostly male and some of these guys are hilarious, sometimes my face hurts from smiling and laughing so much at work. I'm just as bad as most of them too, I love when we can take a joke and run with it and play off one another. We're all a bunch of rodeo clowns.

I wonder if some of my feelings of needing to get out more and be living this bigger kind of life are genuine or just because I think I should be doing it, like MesaMan said. I do that a lot - think about all the things I should be doing. I should be fitter and prettier. I should have more friends and more plans. I should organize my closets. I should ..... whatever. Or maybe I should just chill the f*ck out and stop worrying so much haha
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:00 PM
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Good discussion! I'm very strongly introverted ... i do like people in small doses but have a huge capacity for solitude. Luckily my work involves long periods of working quietly by myself, intensely focused on mental puzzles. And my husband likes a quiet household too.

That said, i do like having close friends and talking, connecting, hanging out. I have a few friends but not that many female friends -- like you billie jean i have some good male friends but wish i had another girlfriend or two. I'm often torn between the desire to cultivate friendships and honoring my alone time/down time. I feel like something else needs to give .. maybe work less Also husband and i take off on long travel trips which is great, but tends to disrupt friendships somewhat.

This was all true before sobriety too ...but at least now I'm wasting zero time buying wine, drinking it, and wallowing in melancholy!
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:25 PM
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Sometimes I wonder how I had the energy for all the partying and socializing I used to do, I'm way more chillax since I quit. It's ironic but my attendance at work and my housekeeping used to be better when I drank haha. It was part of my rationalization and mania and rituals that everything had to be done before I'd let myself start drinking, and I always went to work no matter how sick I'd made myself. These days if I'm tired I leave the house work for tomorrow and if I even have a headache I call in sick. Some of the hangovers I would go in to work with, I'm surprised I got away with it.

I used to hang out with a some people who I didn't even like very much, I certainly didn't respect some of them, but although I would and did drink alone, I also liked company, and the only requirement seemed to be whether they could keep up with my drinking. I have been choosing my friends based on how my beast felt about them since I was teenager and my beast was born. Birds of a feather, flock together lol. These days any new friendships I make will be based on different criteria and heavy drinking will be a major turnoff.

I'm so glad I don't live that way anymore. My AV had such power over me, my whole life was organized around keeping the party going, it was nuts. So many of my decisions were guided by my AV and I didn't even know it. Not anymore though!
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:46 AM
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It was part of my rationalization and mania and rituals that everything had to be done before I'd let myself start drinking, and I always went to work no matter how sick I'd made myself. These days if I'm tired I leave the house work for tomorrow and if I even have a headache I call in sick. Some of the hangovers I would go in to work with, I'm surprised I got away with it.
I can relate, I have some OCD tendencies and my AV LOVED cleaning (especially the bathtub) and like you, it was part of the rationalization.
Like: "hmmm that bathroom looks a bit dingy, let's pop a beer and clean it. I would actually buffet the tub until it shined "(excuse for another beer)

I am afraid that since I quit, things have not been kept up to such high standards because let's face it, I have zero interest in polishing a tub or mirrors compulsively for half an hour as a sober person. Got more interesting things to do LOL
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:39 AM
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Just wanted to say I can totally relate to your post. I feel like a lot of my drinking relationships were super co-dependent and I just cannot imagine a healthy or normal friendship including endless guilt trips and manipulation about needing to hang out constantly or mesh our lives together in ridiculous ways. Still kind of surrounding myself with drinkers but not partaking, our priorities are not the same and that's abundantly clear now. Learning it's true you have to surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing.. but still struggling to figure out how to let sober friendships grow organically. Going with the sibling comment I am the oldest, so I'm extremely loyal and protective of people I choose to be close to but that's always come with the price of self-sacrifice.

Bimini, what did you decide to do after real estate if you don't mind me asking? If serving is like speed dating real estate is like marriage and yeah sometimes I feel like I don't know if it's such a good idea because I have a deep seated fear of commitment thank you very much, lol. I wanted to learn the ropes and then move on to flipping houses but I'm realizing even that is going to require a huge amount of networking and maintaining of long term relationships. But I'll never know until I try so that's what I've decided to do at this point.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:32 AM
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I agree that doing things I like to do, and socializing along with those activities, is really positive. To go to parties and try to drum up an extended convo is painful. Drinking, I could drag it out into all kinds of goofy, silly places, or tell the same old stories to different people. Now I talk to people about what is relevant, then I'm done. So, staying at a party for 4 hours is like being held hostage. I'm ready to go in an hour and a half.

Since my social life always included drinking, and was usually in the evening, those times are empty. I can read, or fool around with hobbies, or watch TV....but they all feel like I'm just killing time. I suppose it will change eventually, but that's the time the AV is screaming at me. It's telling me boredom is death.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cosima11 View Post
Just wanted to say I can totally relate to your post. I feel like a lot of my drinking relationships were super co-dependent and I just cannot imagine a healthy or normal friendship including endless guilt trips and manipulation about needing to hang out constantly or mesh our lives together in ridiculous ways. Still kind of surrounding myself with drinkers but not partaking, our priorities are not the same and that's abundantly clear now. Learning it's true you have to surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing.. but still struggling to figure out how to let sober friendships grow organically. Going with the sibling comment I am the oldest, so I'm extremely loyal and protective of people I choose to be close to but that's always come with the price of self-sacrifice.

Bimini, what did you decide to do after real estate if you don't mind me asking? If serving is like speed dating real estate is like marriage and yeah sometimes I feel like I don't know if it's such a good idea because I have a deep seated fear of commitment thank you very much, lol. I wanted to learn the ropes and then move on to flipping houses but I'm realizing even that is going to require a huge amount of networking and maintaining of long term relationships. But I'll never know until I try so that's what I've decided to do at this point.
I just saw this.

Real Estate sales just wasn't for me - and not just because of the extended-time relationships. I'm a woman and there are too many dangerous situations I had to put myself in while showing houses and/or holding open houses. Some bad stuff happened in my brokerage office and I decided it was too dangerous.

So I went back to restaurants after Real Estate. I still would do that again - it's a straight-forward, honest, fast paced, physical job that I could do for 25-40 hours per week depending on what I felt like - all of which are things that I'm attracted to.

Right now I'm not working. I'm also attracted to that.
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