A friend of mine, who is also in recovery, and I have recently engaged in some candid conversations about what we’re both experiencing in our separate journeys of sobriety. It’s a fantastic friendship, we get honest and to the point with each other. I value the relationship greatly.
Recently we discussed some of the wreckage of our past and the things we are doing to repair those relationships. After she shared her story with me I began to take inventory on some of the relationships in my life that were strained because of my issues with alcohol.
I have lost friendships because of being an alcoholic. In fact, I recently found out that one friend in particular had distanced herself from me not because of my actions, but because of the fact that her family was stricken with the disease of alcoholism. Therefore, having nothing to do with me, this person decided that she did not want me in her life any longer. That pissed me off for a while but now I understand that is her shit, not mine. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about that one.
There are other relationships that have ceased to exist simply because I don’t associate myself with going out to bars and being social in an alcohol induced environment. For me it’s just not a good idea at this point to find myself in those situations. Off the top of my head I can list 20-30 people in my life that I used to have relationships with based solely on getting fucked up and causing trouble. Perhaps those relationships ended because they we doing more harm than good. Still, it’s sad to me that it has to be that way.
On the flip-side I have been able to reconnect with several people that I used to run hard with, in a different light, while I’m sober. I find that these folks in particular have a good understanding of where I was and where I am now. I enjoy hearing their perspective on what I used to be like. We can laugh at the past and chuckle about how stupid and dumb we used to be. Some of these folks still drink, and that’s completely fine, for it’s clear to me that not everyone has the same issue with alcohol as I do.
Recently there is one person in particular that I am very grateful to have reconnected with. The two of us did not speak for almost a full year. Because of a miscommunication that we had had over something trivial we had completely stopped speaking to each other. We had shared a connection that, to me, was extremely important. It was honest, fun, silly, candid, and personal. This person saw me at my worst, unbeknownst to her. I am happy to say that we were able to put aside our differences and get back in touch to resume what we used to have in a friendship. Today, it’s all good.
Reconnecting with people, that I had lost touch with during my first several months of sobriety, is a gratifying experience. I feel like I had to retreat for a while so that I could come to understand myself in a different light. I was accused by some folks of isolating and that is okay. Perhaps I was isolating. Whatever it was it seemed to work as I’m now able to be more confident in myself, and my level of sobriety, to actually seek out social situations with people that I trust and who know where I’m coming from.
Don’t get me wrong, the thought of being in a large group of people is very scary. However, it’s progress, not perfection. I’ll take it for now.