Friends

I have a chosen few. I keep them very close. I check in and I remember and I follow up. And they do the same.

But sometimes, even though I love them and they love me and we have a deep and shared history, this Not Drinking thing feels like it creates a chasm.

We went out tonight. Everyone wearing perfume, expensive denim jeans, chunky necklaces. We sat in a lovely restaurant and shared hummus and crusty bread and warm chocolate cake.

I drank cranberry sodas. They drank martinis and wine. We ordered a second round.

I guess the change happened slowly, but my recognition of it was sudden.

We were discussing husbands or boyfriends or children. As we always do. The conversation could have been, and has been, had over coffee or water or nothing. It was not an unusual moment. Until it was. And then they were laughing (too?) loudly and talking over each other (or just me?) and not finishing one thought before moving on to another.

They were buzzed.

And that was totally normal. Because we were, as I stated, OUT. And they were, as I stated, DRINKING.

But I’m not.

And so a shared evening suddenly did not feel shared. I felt separated and different.

And irritated.

At them? At me?

Both.

 

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6 thoughts on “Friends

  1. I guess you have to ask yourself, do you really want to be overly loud and buzzed. Would it have stopped there? I would have gone home and drank and drank. Couldn’t have stopped at round two. All was well until you noticed that the booze was changing them and not really in a good way. Any substance that alters personalities and character is not a good thing. You were having a good time and then wolfie stepped in and made you feel irritated. Instead of continuing with the camaraderie he made you think you were different or isolated. Not so, it’s all in the attitude. I’ve been out with friends and seen this change but you have to accept that you like your life better sober, roll with it, push through it and have a good time. I feel an awful lot of it is attitude. Put that old Donna Summers song in your head “I’ve Got a New Attitude”. Hope your feeling better.
    Sharon

    • You are SO RIGHT. I absolutely would have gone home and drank and drank. They STOPPED at TWO. TWO was my favorite starting point. …. I read recently, on one of the sober blogs, that even when we were drinking we would feel slightly isolated and different b/c no one else was drinking the amounts or at the pace we wanted to be drinking. This was very true for me. So, I would rather be sober/different versus drinking/different. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.

  2. Separate and different is really painful. I’m sorry you had a lonely end to your evening. I’ve had a similar sense, being with people who are drinking while I’m not and then, after a few drinks, they listen less and interrupt more. I think for me one of the things that happens is I start feeling isolated and then I isolate myself. The last time that happened, I tried to stay with the mood of the group. I just listened for a while and laughed along, kind of enjoying the fun, even if not in the same way. And then I did join in the hilarity again, and it was really fun again. I’m not saying there’s no isolation, or that it’s all you. I think that stuff is real, and it’s hard. But I do think that feeling can pass, and for me getting stuck in is worse than the feeling itself. Anyway, I hope you’re doing well today! xo

    • You’re right. The painful feeling of separation passed, replaced by a feeling of peace. It’s the same Wolfie voice … just a slightly different message. The strategy to defeat it is simple (if sometimes difficult): Just wait it out. Don’t act on anything right away. As Mrs. D said in a recent post, “work the program.” Thank you for your thoughtful response.

  3. I’m so happy to have found your blog! I am just starting to read through it all. I am #DAY181 today! I can so relate to what I have read thus far here in your blog. I’ve devoured many many other blogs, felt like I had run out of reading inspiration, and can’t tell you how excited I am to have found yours! I’m not interested in going to meetings. I’ve considered writing my own blog but haven’t started yet. Gotta go….lots to read to catch up here! The blogosphere has made a huge difference for me in my quest to get & stay sober. I cannot moderate, tried and failed too many times to count. All of the experiences and emotions I’m finding here are mine too! Thank you!!!

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