A few months ago, I spent time with some former drinking buddies and walked away feeling confused and disappointed yet strangely liberated. When I gave up alcohol, these friendships shifted immediately. Removing the through line of the thing that brought us together in the first place left behind a vast silence- while they never discouraged me from quitting drinking, they haven’t encouraged me either. They just went silent.
It took me a while to share Sober Laura with these friends. There were a couple I felt particularly nervous to reveal Sober Laura to as I knew they would make my choice about them- and I was right. Upon telling one former drinking buddy, she said, “Yeah, I always knew you had a problem. Not me though. I’ve never had a problem with alcohol.”
This person I partied and drank with for over 20 years; yet, I am the one with the “problem”. Neat!
The conversation turned into an argument. I pointed out- very loudly- that there had not been one get together in the past two decades of knowing each other where alcohol was not the main focus. Further, to label me as someone with a “problem” with no blame placed on the addictive substance itself is downright insulting. In the end, we hugged it out, relayed hollow let’s-get-together-again-soon platitudes, and I left knowing full well that the friendship was over.
I felt true sadness on one hand but, on the other, complete relief.Continue reading “Former Drinking Buddies”