“I am your wife, not your drinking buddy” I yelled at my husband. This was the first of many arguments we had when I brought up the subject we need to quit drinking. This was years before I actually quit. Our marriage was bad, we were always arguing, I tallied up our receipts about the third week in August and our patio drinking bills were over $900.00 (that didn’t include what we drank at home) eventually our marriage was under so much stress, he agreed. We quit for like a hot minute.
I had a pattern of picking men, that like myself liked to drink. I have an ex boyfriend that said when we went on our first date he was glad to see I wasn’t some prude that had two drinks (should have been a red flag right there) Though back, then drinking hadn’t become the devastating evil drug it is to me today. I could function.
When I met my husband we liked to drink but there was also a balance in our relationship of hanging out and going and doing things. The problem is that shifted and by the time that August came we were probably 5 years into our relationship, all we were doing together was drinking.
Didn’t we both need to quit?
You see I thought we both had to quit, in order for me to quit. I wasn’t ready to take personal responsibility for my own life. I blamed him and it’s true we were drinking a lot and regularly together. BUT if I am unhappy I have to change my life.
Me quitting drinking was a decision I came to on my own, I didn’t even give him, or are marriage a thought in this process, of me quitting. The level of hangovers that every time I drank I wanted off earth. I would spiral, he didn’t even see it. I life, I didn’t like myself.
We are still together, the first year of my sobriety, I didn’t think we were going to make it. It changed our lives completely. I never actually told him I was quitting I just took action and did it. Fucked up and took action again until my sobriety stuck. My husband wasn’t supportive of my not drinking, he lost a drinking buddy, it’s ok he found others.
I’d love to hear if anyone else was their spouses drinking buddy, or struggles with this. Leave your comment below.
10 years ago when I was dating a drummer in a band (insert eye roll) and was hanging out with a faster than a soccer mom crowd. I met a woman who was in this circle, she dated one of the guys and I thought we could be friends. I make friends naturally and she was smart, fun, crazy, and extremely successful in her business.
I called her one time outside of the circle and outside of drinking to see if she wanted to go for sushi, and again one other time to go for a walk on the beach. Both times she said she couldn’t she’d been partying to hard and had to catch up on work as shit was hitting the fan and she didn’t want to drink. I hadn’t asked her to go drinking I’d asked her to hit up sushi and go for a walk. I was trying to make a friend but how she took our friendship, it had revolved around partying.
A few weeks later we were out and she was flying high as a kite and made a pass at me and when I refused, things got awkward, and out of control. I left the party, very uncomfortably.
Much later that night she called me up screaming so violently into the phone that she really didn’t need to call she could have just yelled outside from across the bridge. She had no use for our friendship never wanted to go get sushi with me and hated the fact I had a kid why in the fuck would she ever want to hang out with someone like me.
Wow I was stunned, a little hurt but I also realized that was the addiction talking. I put a hard and fast boundary around her. When she called again, which was some weeks later, my son answered the phone (welcome to landlines) and I refused to take her call and just hung up the phone. I have no idea what she wanted.
Why she popped into my head today, I was thinking of Friendships. This was the last friendship with a woman that I tried to make before I got sober. After that I tended to shy away from women friends.
When I got sober I didn’t have a lot of friends, just drinking acquaintances and I was lonely. About 4 months in I voiced out loud to my outpatient group I was lonely and everyone looked at me like yeah and? I was right where I was supposed to be. No one could tell me where to find sober friends.
This is what I teach in Fit and Sober, it’s not about finding sober friends its about creating a life you love and attracting friendships.
So off I went on the quest to find friends, follow up to my Outpatient Program, AA & Refuge Recovery but other than talking about not drinking, I never really clicked with anyone. The other issue for me was all these meetings I attended were fuelled by gossip & drama, which is so not my jam. In addition (this is second hand and just my opinion ) but anyone I know who has gone, made friends and relapsed the friends go away. It’s understandable, everyone needs to preserve their recovery and set boundaries but it just seemed fickle to me. I believe all meetings work, you may meet some great people but it’s about quitting drinking and staying sober, I was looking for friends though.
I have gone to sober retreats and the women were great and some had amazing bonds through this but that’s not what happened to me. I know I’m different, I always have been it’s one of the reasons why I drank, to fit in.
Also remember when setting out to meet people, you can have different groups for different reasons. One or two people don’t need to be everything to you for every reason.
Your inner circle needs to be and more than just the connection of not drinking
So what to do now: my sober list was exhausted almost 6 months into sobriety and I’ve met sober acquaintances but no friends. So I started working on a list of things I love to do and consistently show up.
The gym has been my therapy ( and my job) for years so I chose too take a class ( my choice was spin) and I show up 3 days a week. Guess what I met 2 friends here one is a fitness competitor and one is in recovery (yep)
I craft so I started going to scrapbook meetups
I am currently taking a photography course
I love to bike so I joined a women mountain bike group last summer
I love cats so I volunteered at a cat shelter.
I invested in a business mastermind last year
I joined a business network group
I took a cooking class
I joined a yoga studio
Joined online sober groups
You get the picture, now start your list what do you want to explore, what do you like to do that interests you?
Ok so out of all of this I have formed 5 close new friends, that aren’t in recovery, I have 2 amazing friends that I’ve known for more than 15 years, and really worked on rebuilding my friendships with but I also now have 4 close sober friends, plus a therapist that I can call on when I need to around sober people or recovery support.
Remember real friends don’t care if you don’t drink.
Comment below how you’ve made friends while being in recovery.
Don’t forget to sign up for my F.I.T. (Food/Fitness Inspiration and Teetotaler Tips)
The horror, right. I don’t track days sober. I have been seeing all over instagram, people holding up signs and celebrating and getting hundreds of likes. I am also in a couple of Facebook Sobriety Groups and a few months ago one woman posted she was celebrating she will have 500 days sober. I thought do I have 500 Days Sober? I don’t know. I had made a conscious decision last time I got sober not to track how many days I had sober.
10 Reasons Why I Don’t Track How Many Days I Have Sober
I used to track how many days I had sober, like every minute of it. There are even apps to do so, right down to the seconds you have sober. It would leave me defeated I was always resetting the clock.
I would yell at the app, are you kidding me it can’t be 11, 2 hours, 36 mins and 6 seconds, this fucking this is lying.
I felt like a failure every time I reset the clock. Not looking at it like it was a life lesson, or what I had learned, or what I needed to look in my life. I would just have self hatred.
I felt like I was whiteknuckling it. I didn’t feel like the numbers were ever big enough, nothing was enough and I had felt like I wasn’t enough long enough.
I didn’t count my drinking days.
I’d heard so many people in AA laugh about how many 24 hour chips they had .
I don’t want to be seen as the person who had 46,000 days without a drink a drug or a cigarette when I die. I want to be remembered for a lot more than that.
My days were being measured against a liquid instead of quality, productivity, kindness, compassion and what type of person I was. There is no measurement for that it’s about being a better person than you were yesterday.
It felt like sobriety had an end date like “The Whole 21” or the “21 Day Fix “Diets, just like my fitness, my eating healthy, there is not expiration date.
Sobriety is NOT a competition.
Ok now you know Why I Don’t Track How Many Days I Have Sober. My sobriety date is the first Saturday in August of 2017 I do know that much. If you are feeling any of the feelings up top, I’m telling you it’s time to start creating a life you love. Here’s what I did at first, instead of tracking every single day, hour, minute second. I bought a planner just a cheap weekly one, and I’d write my gratitude in it daily 3 things I was grateful for . Then I would mark off by the week, I started this planner at approximately 4 weeks sober, and I marked it off by the week and at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks I would reward myself. With experiences, I did a sensory deprivation float, went to baby goat yoga, and booked a yoga retreat. I looked back at my planner and around week 22 I had stopped writing in the weeks, faithfully but not intentionally did I quit writing and I see I wrote week 25, 29 and 30 and that was the end of counting. It just petered out.
Today I count today as sober, I write daily my gratitudes (3 at then end of every day and that includes: grateful I am sober today. We all have just 24 hours including Beyonce, no more no less. So enjoy today with gratitude, be happy to be sober, just for today, and know that life is more than just about being sober, it’s about creating a life of happiness, gratitude, goals, family, love, kindness, memories, activities and health and my sobriety roles into all of that. Instead of counting the days behind or counting the hours ahead, try and be present for now.