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Another person trying to make friends - it's not easy.....
July 7, 2007
10:29 pm
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Lisa Ann
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I have been reading a few posts about making friends and I am in the same boat. I found them very interesting, but I wanted to start my own thread - as they have lots of comments and I wanted to respond to all of them at once.

Anyway, I am new to AA - I have been sober for 5 months - going on 6, and I suffer from co-dependency. This really started to show - or I should say that I noticed it A LOT after I quit drinking. Anyway, I'm in a relationship now, which makes dealing with the co-dependency issues a little bit tougher for me. So, I am trying to make new friends so I have things to do and keep me busy - especially if my boyfriend is out of town or busy with something else. I can't stand sitting home with nothing to do. Sometimes it's nice to sit home and relax, but I can only do that so often. I feel like I have made some very good friends through AA, but two of them have relapsed and now I hardly ever talk to them. That really sucks! So, now I'm getting frustrated and lonely. I used to meet them for coffee or dinner and we had a great time. We would talk on the phone or text each other too. We would go to AA meetings together. Now, they barely ever respond when I text them. It's sad. I am still going to meetings and making more friends - or trying anyway, but it's really hard. I don't need friends that are only in the AA program, but I do need friends that do not need to drink when they are with me. Does that make sense? I'm sure that will change the longer I am sober, but for now I need to have friends willing to leave the alcohol alone while we are together.

I find this site to probably be my best friend, right now. I turn to this site and read posts and write my own quite a bit. It actually gives me some comfort, but I want a real person or people to talk to and have coffee with. I am a very friendly and easy going person, I'm just finding it tough right now to find people that I have a lot in common with and that aren't so wrapped up in alcohol and significant others.

Anyway, feeling kind of down tonight because I was going to go to an AA meeting with one of my friends, she sort of relapsed on the 4th, and she won't return my calls now. So, I'm assuming she is not interested in going to a meeting. I just wanted to visit.

One more thing - I never preach to those that have relapsed either. What they do is their choice, I just offer them my ear and let them know I am there if they need anything.

July 7, 2007
10:38 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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Welcome to this site. You will find all kinds here. Many people give great advice. Some just lend an ear (like me) Some need answers to questions that they have. I have met some wonderful wonderful friends. and had been given lots of encouragement in some hard things i've had to do. jump in, write your questions answer a question, start a thread and before you know it you've got friends.

July 7, 2007
11:37 pm
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kc38
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Lisa,

Congrats on your sobriety. I'm sure it is a struggle every day and I am proud of you. I am in a similar situation as far as friends go. I am co-dep on my boyfriend and when he has other things to do, I find myself sitting at home. I am divorced and lost a lot of friends because of that. I have 2 good friends, but they are married and have babies, so they aren't really available to catch a movie, have coffee, or dinner. It is tough to even talk on the phone. I have a 2 year old, so I understand how strapped for time they are. the difference is that every other weekend my son is with his dad and if the bf is busy (he visits his parents out of town often), I find myself sitting in the house alone and sad. I don't know how to make new friends, I had made some in group therapy, but one has made such strides, I am downer for her, one has tried to kill herself a few times, so I don't think that is healthy for me, and the other is a guy who was interested in me and my bf doesn't want me to be friends with him. So, I am stuck at square one.

I am sorry that you are in this situation and hopefully this site will give a bit of relief that you aren't alone. I know it is no substitute for face to face tangible friends. Just keep on hanging in there!!!

kc

July 7, 2007
11:39 pm
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Lisa Ann-

12 Step meetings are a good opportunity to meet people, but unfortunately your experience is not uncommon. It happened to me as well and made me sad. I didn't stick with the program, I left after about 6 months. However, I did witness a lot of turnover... as well as successes. This means that as long as you stay, there will be new opportunities to make friends and there will be others who prove themselves more stable.

When you go out with your AA friends, do you always focus on "the program" or do you do fun things as well, letting the friendship stand apart from the fact that you share your addiction? To me, this is important. I felt like I had to be with people I had things in common with other than drugs. I don't know, that was just a personal thing, a side benefit. I spent time with a variety of people in and out of the meetings, but I had my girls that I went out with and socialized. Unfortunately a lot of us were newcomers, and some of us relapsed. So you have to watch those friendships. I always hated the saying "stick with the winners" but what they mean is don't let an active user bring you down just because they are your friend. It's rough. You learn how to establish boundaries the painful way.

Sometimes I miss NA. I hope you get the best out of your program.

be well,
ella

July 8, 2007
12:18 am
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Lisa Ann
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Thank you to everyone who responded. This site truly makes me feel better. It's amazing, but I actually feel like I have lots of friends when I'm on-line posting and reading other posts. This sounds funny, but it's nice to hear that other people have the same issues that I do. In fact, kc38 - you sound a lot like me. I have a daughter that's 18 though, so I'm not very familiar with having a 2 year old any more. But, I know exactly how you are feeling. My boyfriend has a lot of friends. Our situation is a bit different, in a way, we have both been married before, but mine ended in divorce. I was married to an alcoholic and it was definitely a struggle. A couple years after we got divorced, he was killed in an accident. Needless to say, that triggered my drinking like you would not believe. I was really suffering from co-dependency at that time too. I couldn't let him go. Even after we were divorced, we were on and off again until he died. So, it was a very tough loss. My boyfriend now lost his wife to cancer about 2 1/2 years ago. We have been together for just over a year. He has many friends and I don't have many. I believe that I have a lot of acquaintances, but very few good friends. I think that a lot of that comes from me being an alcoholic. The people I used to call friends, I don't even talk to anymore. That's not a bad thing though, they were just bar friends anyway. But, making friends has been tough for me because I would rather be with my boyfriend, but when he is gone with his friends, I'm very lonely. I'm starting to meet new people in AA and that is helping me a lot. I even feel better now when I'm by myself, but I still get lonely.

Tonight, one of my friends from AA was supposed to call me and we were supposed to go to a meeting together and coffee. She finally texted me at about 10:00 and had just woke up from a nap. I asked her if she was just going to stay in tonight and still have not heard back from her. She is one who has slightly relapsed and feels very ashamed. I'm trying to tell her not to be ashamed, it happens to A LOT of people. Then, I had another person from AA who was supposed to call me last night - I saw her and she said she promised that she would call this time. Well, no call, which I guess I could have guessed that would happen. AND, my best friend from AA relapsed just over a month ago and now she hardly ever returns my text messages. I think I totally have to let that one go because it hurts too much when she doesn't respond.

I just need to work hard on making more friends and being okay with doing things myself.

Thanks to everyone for sharing, it does help me to feel a little bit better. I am going to my first co-dependency meeting this coming Tuesday and I'm really looking forward to it. I hope to meet people who I have common interests with.

Thanks again!

July 8, 2007
12:36 am
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It's good you have AA friends. Is if possible that because you are greiving a loss that you would feel lonely no matter how many friends you had? Kind of like because your grief makes you feel alone? It is hard to share grief or loss with anyone, whereas, addiction is an affliction that others can share similar experiences and you bond.

July 8, 2007
12:37 am
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sorry, I sent that too soon...

I meant to say, that perhaps in time you will feel less alone as you heal, and by then will have built up a support system.

July 8, 2007
9:54 am
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Lisa Ann
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Hi Mzrella,

Do you mean the loss of my ex-husband? If so, that is a very good point. I have never dealt with his death before - not truly, anyway. I started drinking a lot and I used that to numb my pain. I cried a lot, but never really went through the pain and hurt that I needed to when he died. The pain and emotions were too strong, so I had to numb them to survive - that is what it felt like anyway. Now that I'm sober, it's a different story. My counselor said that I am probably starting the grieving process with his death too - along with the death of alcohol - to me. That is definitely something I plan on working on with my counselor. I have a nice little to do list for our meetings together. I'm planning on going about every other week for a while. She's great and helps me out a lot. I am so lucky to have found someone that I can connect with so well.

Thanks for your post.

July 8, 2007
12:26 pm
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Rasputin
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Lisa Ann~

i admit it is really hard to make true friends and the higher your standards, the more difficult it is to make genuine friends. You feel kinda of marginal or someone who does not fit in. I work with nice people, but I haven't become intimate with any one there...be it female or male.

At church, I like most people and still I can't say that I have regular friend with whom I feel that mental and emotional connection.

I guess the best advice I can give to you is....persevere and keep searching. Never give up!!! Having a kitty helped me a lot in my own emotional recovery and as a compagnion. Pets really add spice to our life.

July 8, 2007
12:49 pm
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chelonia mydas
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Hi Lisa Ann,

Congrads on being sober and continuing to go to your meetings.

I understand how difficult it is to find people who don't have it as a central part of their social life.

I come from a family of alcoholics and have chosen to never drink- so I can empathize that it is difficult to find people to socialize with without alcohol.

Keep trying- the more people you try to be social with the more likely you are to find a few friends who aren't into alcohol.

One great place I have made friends with similar interests is through volunteering and joining hobby clubs. For example I am really into animals and nature- I have met many of my friends through my volunteer service at the local animal shelter and by joining the local audubon society and going on nature hikes wtih those folks. Out of those people there have been a few who don't drink- or are at least willing socialize without alcohol.

What are your interests and/or hobbies? If you feel you don't have any, maybe create a thread to see what others are into and start trying out some new things to see if you are interested in it.

Another place many people find alcohol free friends is through their religion and attending religious services. I'm not much into that- so have never found it helpful to me, more because I don't relate to them as much as the people at the animal shelters and nature centers. But that just goes to show that just because something works for one person it may not work for another.

I am glad to see you continue to try. You will find friends, it just takes time and effort and being able to go through dozens of attempts that didn't work.

Hugs,
Chelonia

July 8, 2007
4:09 pm
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courage to change
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Hi

Hope my life story helps a little. First couple of years my life used to be clubs, and wine bars, etc. Then its was loads of recovery friends, and now its few recovery friends, and hobby friends. The way I met friends was through learning to do different dancing, and sports. It all takes time, but I searched out people who I feel safe with and get to know them more. Reaching out a little SLOWELY - helped. The rest of the time its just socialising through hobbies, and recovery friends.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Love to you

x

July 9, 2007
2:15 am
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Hi Lisa,

Yes, I meant the loss of your husband. You may carry your love for him forever. And being that that loss is something that is hard to feel like others share, even others that knew him- because in losing your husband you also your relationship is and that was unique between the two of you. That sort of thing is not quite "replaced" by others, though it can certainly help to have friends and a support system. People do go on, fall in love again, etc... but AFTER they have coped and grieved for a while and feel ready. And since you drank, you didn't get a chance to grieve during that time. I'm only guessing, I have not experienced either marraige or loss of a mate, so I can't compare. Just an idea.

hugs,
ella

July 9, 2007
2:19 am
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Ps

I know you were divorced when he died.
But did you still have feelings for him? Could your void have begun with the divorce?

July 9, 2007
2:20 am
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sorry, read back your old post... I forgot you said you were still together on and off... wow.

July 9, 2007
3:47 am
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rmckayx2
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I got sober when I was 16. That's over 20 years ago. I still have many friendships I made through AA. On one hand- program friendships are great. People to relate to and talk to when you go through a hard time. Unfortunately people who begin to drink or use drugs again will always associate you with program. Which is always a buzz-kill for them. I always treat those friends who drank and used drugs again as I would anyone else. I don't view myself as a beacon of sobriety and don't presume to know how other people should live. Anyway. It does suck having that awkwardness. I think after a short amount of clean time- your friends will narrow as you learn more about yourself and what you want in your life. Which is good in one way. Since you are becoming more comfortable in your skin. On the other hand- it's strange because one day you might outgrow several of the friends you have now. As needy and screwed up as I was when I first got clean- I look back and shake my head when I think of the kinds of people I got sober with with. I can only recommend that you choose the people you spend your time with very carefully during this delicate time.
Good luck..

July 9, 2007
8:31 am
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Lisa Ann
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Thank you for all the ideas and suggestions, that is exactly what I needed to hear. I do have some hobbies, and one of them is that I'm starting to sell things on Ebay. Between my daughter and myself, we have tons of clothes that we no longer wear and most of them are in very good shape. Some of them I will donate, but that is something that really keeps me busy - however, that is something I do alone. I have two cats and they are so precious to me. They love me and hang out with me in whatever room I happen to be in, so that really helps too. Plus, I have been getting out more - going out for coffee with people from AA and I will be going to more meetings - in fact, this week I'm going to a few AA meetings, an NA meeting tonight and a CODA meeting tomorrow night. So, I have a busy week planned. Plus, my boyfriend is coming to stay the night on Wednesday and Thursday and I am going with him on Friday night back home to help him finish moving out of his house. So, this week looks good and I'm actually taking things one week at a time right now, instead of one day at a time. It feels so good. I'm even going out to dinner with an AA friend, who has relapsed, but she seems to be doing okay and I know she will not drink around me. I am also looking into some volunteering work, as well as maybe a part-time job - to make extra money and also meet other people.

Thank you to everyone for their replies, you are truly what I want and need right now as I begin this journey in dealing with and hopefully removing co-dependency from my life. It will be a journey, but one that I am ready and willing to take. Thanks to everyone. I'm doing GREAT today :o)

July 10, 2007
12:44 am
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Lisa Ann-

Ebay is cool, I just started shopping on it this year- and bought clothes!!! So I'm sure you will enjoy that and do well. People have been so reliable and great- I've heard stories but have had no bad experiences. I hope it works that way for you as a seller.

It sounds also like something you and your daughter can get together on.

I'm glad you are doing so well today, sorry if my last posts were confused (I was tired)... hope you end up enjoying your summer.

-ella

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