Friendships and Life

I am working on building, or rebuilding, friendships in real life because I haven’t put much effort there, aside from the bare minimum, for the past 8 months. Getting sober has been my main concern- not friends. But obviously, friends are great when you have something to talk about, like old hook-ups, that leaves you feeling icky, icky and more icky. So there it is – lesson learned – we need people in all areas of our lives. We are not islands. Staying on my little sober island was good for awhile, but now it is becoming a hindrance to growth.

I don’t feel comfortable discussing certain things with my friends right now, though. When I say that I want to work on building friendships I mean the really deep kind where you can truly share yourself- even the icky, embarrassing parts. This makes me think that I might want to reconsider AA, because alcoholics are probably able to understand better about doing stupid stuff when blacked out, while moderate, normal drinkers don’t have those types of experiences often in life. I am expanding all the time… I can feel it. My life is getting bigger, and maybe AA should be a part of that. I am less scared (of everything, pretty much) than I was at first, so I might be able to handle going to meetings without feeling so shaky and close to drinking.

Sometimes I think that the friends that we attract mirror who we are, or how we are feeling, on the inside. When I am being judgmental or gossipy I notice those qualities in the friends around me. When I am feeling worthy and whole, I notice the best qualities about my friends. This is why I am going to work harder on developing friendships by being the best version of myself. For this introvert, that sometimes means staying home when I am feeling bad. That’s okay, though. It is all about knowing your limits and being comfortable in your own skin. Loving yourself.

I hate when I feel needy around friends. My people-pleasing, approval-seeking, perfectionist self comes out and wants my friends to tell me that I am doing everything right. That never happens, and is a ridiculous desire, so I need to keep seeking that approval from within. Loving myself by accepting that I am okay right now, as is.

Relationships can really push our buttons, can’t they? I think they are meant to sometimes, but sometimes you just want to have a few laughs and feel accepted. This happens to me more often around certain people than others. What I am trying to figure out now is how much judgment I am placing on friends, and how that is affecting the way that I feel around them. I want to be free from judgments as much as possible. Since I used to plan my social life and friendships around opportunities for drinking – instead of figuring out who gets me, inspires me, motivates me, challenges me – this is a whole new ball of wax. Like anything, when it is viewed as a fun experiment that cannot go wrong, it works so much better.

Enjoying life means enjoying people. I think recovery means figuring out how to be my genuine, social self in the world sans alcohol (like my tagline). A little at a time.


6 thoughts on “Friendships and Life

  1. I love this! I can relate- on my sober journey I am finding myself more drawn to the friends who are more giving, less gossipy, less negative or judgmental and I am noticing that more. I want no parts of it either! It’s true we can’t stay in our sober bubble forever but we can be picky on who, where or what we choose to see and do. We have too and it’s ok- well I say it is 🙂

    • Thanks Momma Bee! I am realizing that I have to give more to get more, which I didn’t do enough for years. I was always too worried about what I was getting from the relationship and when we were drinking. Boring! Time for more fun friend-type stuff- when I want to leave the sober bubble, that is. 🙂 Hugs!!

  2. whoa, can I relate to what you wrote here! Thanks for sharing it. I’m about to turn 4 months in my sobriety and this post put to words what I’ve been feeling strongly for awhile and just couldn’t articulate. I too have been thinking about how to put myself out there and work on new relationships. I still have some mending to do with myself and past relationships, but I need strength before taking all of that on.

    I just found a recovery group through SMART that I seem to gel with. I’ve only been once so far but it was 90 minutes where I felt safe, shared and best of all, laughed! Go and find your group. I went to other recovery meetings before this and didn’t get what I needed or didn’t feel comfortable, etc. I almost gave up but I know that I will never truly change if I don’t work on this part for me.

    Good luck on your journey and keep up the awesome posts!

    • Thanks!! I totally understand about needing time before taking it on… I have not been able to think much about this subject until now. We’re all different, yet the same in many ways! I am going to look for a group I think. Hugs!

  3. It was nice to read – it’s all about knowing your limits and being comfortable in your own skin. Loving yourself. And the other positive thing is we all need people in all areas of our lives. I’ve read quite a few of your blogs and think your finally getting it – enjoying life without alcohol.

  4. Jen, I like this post so much! “Enjoying life means enjoying people” is so spot on! I think your AA plan might be a good one. I’ve been thinking about that, too, as a way to talk in person to some people who are open and going through some things, and who get it. But I think you’re right, no matter who you’re with, being the kind of person you want to be helps you see that in others, and helps attract people who are more like that. I’m really curious to see how this goes for you–it sounds so good. Lovely post, and much to think about. Hooray for you! xo

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