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  • Making friends

    Katiee
    Member
    Posts: 54
    Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:54 pm

    Making friends

    Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:42 pm

    I’m just after peoples advice on making friends in sobriety. I know that in leaving my old life behind I had to let go of the friends I had from that world as well. I used for many years so unfortunately didn’t really make any friends along the way that where clean. I have made a friend at work but she lives almost 2 hours away. I would like to make some friends locally but I wouldn’t even know where to start. I don’t even know if my anxiety would allow me to meet new people. I guess I’m just feeling a bit lonely these days and I don’t want the boredom bug to come hit ‘me. Any advice tips much appreciated
    2 x
    TheDees
    Moderator
    Posts: 166
    Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:29 pm

    Re: Making friends

    Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:59 pm

    @Katiee you've touched on a very important topic for many in sobriety. Moving forward many times also involves leaving behind friends or certain social circles.

    Have you thought of activities you could join as a strategy to meet people or perhaps volunteering? What kind of hobbies do you have?

    @Deyfhob has expressed he's also been experiencing this exact same situation as you.

    @ScorpionPW any advice on what has worked for you in this regard?
    2 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 369
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Making friends

    Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:32 pm

    It's a great question and an important thing to explore @TheDees.

    A really important part of my recovery was discovering which friends I could keep in my life and who I had to cut out (which was really hard and painful with some people). It was the people who could do other things with me, like get a coffee instead of go to the pub. Also the people that didn't try to convince me that getting into recovery wasn't the right thing and that "I was being brainwashed", that "I should be able to control it".

    This left a big void because I had to let go of people whom I thought would be life long friends. The remedy for this for me was attending peer groups and surrounding myself with a recovery community. It was essential for me to make new, healthy connections and if I didn't have that supportive environment around me I don't think I would have stayed in recovery for very long.

    Another thing that really helped me was a creative outlet. Writing and recording music was such a huge part of my recovery in the beginning, having somewhere to put all of the excess energy left over from stopping using.

    I know you're a bit further along your journey now @Katiee, it would be great to know what places you have found new connections and overcome loneliness on your journey?
    1 x
    Djarrimiri
    Junior Member
    Posts: 14
    Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:51 pm

    Re: Making friends

    Fri Dec 31, 2021 1:31 pm

    This is my biggest pain point too. I connect with people easily and have difficulty determining if they will be good for me. The only way you know ultimately is by trying.
    This means I will get hurt or I will be surprised happily.
    Other people are hurting too, which affects us all: matching our pains and healing areas is very hit and miss/trial and error.

    On Wednesday, I had dinner with a woman I met hiking more than a month ago. I thought she wanted to be friends. Nope, she wants to be my paid therapist. I relapsed hard, didn't see it coming - I did *so* well with AFDs pre xmas day, so I guess I thought I had it under control. I did not. I rang a friend, saying "I'll just sleep here (by a few restaurants) and go home in the morning." She was very upset and could not come get me, convinced me to go home. I don't know how I got home, but my knee is scraped and I'm bruised.

    On the other hand, my friends from xmas day were superb. None of them knew each other. I met most of them since August. We are all 'orphans' of a sort. They all got along well, had a great time!

    Most of us want to "belong" somewhere to some people somehow. Finding those people is a lifelong journey. (It's exhausting.) Accepting that is important. Also, it's quite possible that people who "belong" magically to groups that meet regularly are unhappy and unsatisfied. It's not possible that everyone else everywhere else but us has it easy or even a teeny bit better.

    Divorce, infidelity, financial issues, soooo many things affect our collective lives. People who "belong" get bored, lonely, frustrated, angry, feel impotent, feel inconsequential too.
    In our various ways, we're all just trying to make it. Sending you (and me) gentle strength and gentle patience
    1 x
    Djarrimiri
    Junior Member
    Posts: 14
    Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:51 pm

    Re: Making friends

    Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:43 am

    I'm on the turn from seeing a negative context around everything to see that positivity exists. It is changing my mindset.

    I will lose friends because of this. Looking ahead ... likely to be a lonely time until I establish a new positive friend circle. As we get older that gets harder and harder, takes longer and longer.

    I rarely think about drinking these days but that doesn't mean the loneliness won't make me think the bottle is my friend again. Of course, it absolutely is not but it is reliable and accessible.

    Fingers crossed.
    2 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 559
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Making friends

    Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:21 pm

    @Djarrimiri it sunds like you've done a lot of serious reflection on how your relationships and connections are serving you at this time.

    Do you feel like you have ways of making new connections at this time? or ways you can keep yourself feeling connected?

    @ScorpionPW and @PnorkelPW is there advice you'll might have?
    1 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 369
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Making friends

    Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:23 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing @Djarrimiri, I can really relate.

    I remember when I first got into recovery and had the realisation that I couldn't spend time with my so called "friends" anymore if I was going to pursue recovery. They would always ask me to "just come out for one drink" and couldn't understand why I needed to be completely abstinent from everything. I realised that there was no way I would stay clean if I kept spending time with them.

    Although this was a necessary realisation, it was a lonely one. It was hard to let go of people who I'd spent a lot of time with and who I thought were like brothers to me. As important as it was to choose my recovery and not spend time with them anymore, it was equally important to create new connections. There was no way I could do this by myself or I would just end up picking up again. For me, NA meetings were a great place to get support and meet like minded people who had been through similar things to me but who were also pursuing recovery. Over time I made much closer connections that were genuine, that were without expectation and based on mutual support.

    I'm wondering if you've found anyway to build some new connections or tried any groups before?
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 457
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Making friends

    Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:08 pm

    @Djarrimiri and @Katiee this is a subject that I really identify with and @ScorpionPW has hit on some great stuff.

    I'm actually going through a process at the moment because for too long work has been my social and professional outlet and I stopped doing things that gave me real satisfaction. I had to distance myself from friends when I got into recovery and I replaced it with work. Some socialisation but it was never the same. I've got a focus at the moment to make new connections through new interests.........and rekindling some old interests.

    I've begun to get back to swimming and the gym because I enjoy it............and as such have begun having conversations with different people in the sauna and steam rooms afterwards

    I joined the local neighbourhood facebook group a while ago and have found a social tennis group on a Tuesday night to join...........I figure it's a good way to connect with new people and get back to tennis after many years

    I started karate last year but had to stop because of work and covid...........I'd started to meet a couple of people there and would like to get back to it

    I'm slowly getting back to AA meetings............a great way to meet sober people and look after my recovery at the same time

    I moved an hour away from where I used to live about 2 years ago and haven't connected socially due to covid and focusing on the wrong things. I'm now moving forwards with the intention of doing things I enjoy and meeting likeminded people. These things I hope will enrich me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually while satisfying my needs for connection.

    What could you reconnect with to create a social circle that meets the needs of mind, body and spirit???
    1 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 369
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Making friends

    Tue Jan 25, 2022 8:56 pm

    I really appreciate you sharing this @PnorkelPW, I needed to hear it...I have been trying really hard to get some more connection in my life as well as the aftermath of all these lockdowns has left me in a world that feels quite small and isolated a lot of the time.

    I too have reconnected with NA meetings, am making more of an effort to call and see friends when I can, exercise a lot and not use the fact that I'm a full time single father as an excuse for not seeing people or going out and doing things.

    It's so easy to fall into restrictive patterns of thinking that hold me back from what I need to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically well but it feels good to be heading in the right direction again :D
    2 x

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