163 Days

My weekend was rather eh, but I did attend my first two AA meetings. It feels really good to be with others like myself, with people who get it. I even went through some of the Big Book on my own later at home (like a Big Girl!).

All week I had been looking forward to hanging out with a friend of mine. I used to do a LOT of drinking with this friend, but we also would have dinner/movie date nights when we never drank. Those have continued since I’ve been sober, though I have pangs of longing when I see via the dreaded Facebook that she is hanging out at “our place”, our Cheers bar. We had plans Saturday for lunch and possibly hiking, but she canceled. Part of the reason she canceled was that she was broke. I know that she dropped a bunch of money on her car that week, but thanks to Facebook I also knew that she was out drinking the night before. I was so angry, because it seems like alcohol still wins even when I’m not drinking.

According to my treatment counselor, I should drop her and all my former drinking buddies. Easier said than done, and I know that you’ve all been there. It sucks. This person in particular, she’s become like a sister to me. It’s hard for me to consider severing ties, especially since we do not drink together anymore when we get together. But I let her canceling on me ruin my day. In fact, the entire day ended up being a comedy of errors. Just one stupid thing happened after another, and soon enough, I was wishing that I could have a frosty pint of IPA or a delicious fall seasonal. Just sit and relax with a beer (which most likely will lead to many more). I ended up stifling the urge later with ice cream. That’s something else I need to work on, but fuck it, ice cream is so much better than undoing everything I’ve worked hard for these past five months.

That next morning I attended my first AA meeting, and was welcomed quite warmly. Sunday morning I attended another meeting, this one at the hospital where I am doing my IOP. It was a huge group, and my IOP counselor was also in attendance. Great beginner’s group. And holy shit, alcoholics are so damned friendly! I’m still not used to random people hugging me or just coming up and introducing themselves. It’s pretty great, and like I mentioned before, it’s great just being with like minded people. Though I squirmed a bit at the end of each meeting when we all held hands and recited The Lord’s Prayer. My best friend gave me a great idea yesterday. She told me to pick Joe Strummer as my higher power! I am a music fanatic, and The Clash are one of my all-time faves. I think St. Joe can handle being my HP, and it will make me smile to think of him watching over me and guiding me down the right path.

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9 thoughts on “163 Days

  1. While I do agree that we need to reevaluate who we hang out with and who is in our lives when we decide to get sober, sometimes it’s hard to just dump them all. Some are drinking buddies, and others might be like your friend there. If you share other experiences outside of drinking and feel close to her, then there may not be need to dump her. But understand she may not understand your new found sobriety, and it’s going to be an adjustment to her as well. Patience is required at times with our friends and family as they adjust to our new lifestyle.

    As for the Lord’s prayer – you are not obliged in any way to recite it. I know many who don’t. You can say the responsibility pledge* if you want or just nothing or whatever you want.

    Congrats on hitting those meetings – you will find pretty much most of us are like that šŸ™‚
    Blessings,
    Paul

    * I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that I am responsible.

    • Paul,

      Thanks again for your input and wisdom. This friend of mine has told me how proud she is of me, and it is genuine. Though sadly, she and I both know that if something major happens in her life, she’s going to be drinking through it. Shoot, when I got into my car crash in May, she hit the bar by herself two days later, and spent the evening drinking and texting with my best friend who is out of state. It’s a struggle, and I hate this “all or nothing” attitude I get during my IOP. It’s been positive, but I don’t think I need to dump all my friends. Or have my boyfriend lock up his Xanax (yikes. that has never and will never be a problem for me.) Again, thank you for listening and for your insight.

  2. I agree, we don’t have to dump all of our old time friends but we do need to surround ourselves with positive people that support our new life. Luckily, I got to keep all my drinking buddies as best friends, but thats because they were the happiest people when I stopped drinking and got sober. I did, at first, have to take a break from them and make new sober friends that understood me. As time went by, I was able to bring my old friends back into my life but now with boundaries. I did a lot of one on one hang outs with them at first, and short visits. But as time progressed they all learned my new lifestyle and a lot of them were grateful to have sober activies in their lives. We get to have it all in sobriety, but we have got to learn how and we have to set boundaries. Anything is possible with boundaries šŸ™‚ For me too, I need sober friends that get my crazy thinking and call me out on it, my “normie” friends will co-sign…and I love them for that!! good luck!!

  3. I just started this sobriety business, and I moved to a craft-beer-paradise just two years ago, AND most of my friends are craft-beer-aficiandos. We have done other things together aside from drinking, but… not a whole lot. I’m hoping when I share with them that I quit that we can continue to hang out, because they are my only good friends here.

    • Totally know how you feel! Granted, I’ve been in my current city longer than you’ve been in yours, but still, most of my friends here are also pretty much my drinking buddies and fellow beer snobs. Sigh. It’s hard! And goddammit, I fucking love beer. But I know that it only gets me into trouble…

  4. Holy shit I can relate to absolutely everything in this post–what a good feeling. When I find out that my friends are down the street at our “cheers bar” and didn’t bother to call, I feel such anger which of course is fueled by sadness. Why couldn’t they at least ask if I wanted to grab a cup of coffee before hand? Seeing group pictures, too. Ouch.

    The Lords Prayer-totally. I’m so much more comfortable with the serenity prayer.

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