Recently, the opportunity has presented itself to me to reconnect with some of the friends I lost touch with as I started my journey into sobriety, which started me thinking about how I have changed over the past year and how my relationships changed.
Prior to starting recovery, I hung out pretty consistently with a group of fantastic guys and we hung out pretty much every weekend – going to breweries, movies, grabbing dinner. We were all very close. After I stopped drinking we initially kept hanging out, but once I started my program of recovery I pulled back on hanging out and eventually stopped getting invited to things. At first I was upset, but then I realized I was the one who changed the game, the one who pulled away. They were also dealing with the change and my pulling away, and honestly I would have done the same thing if I was in their shoes. This is just one example of how my relationships have been impacted by my sobriety.
Through my first year of sobriety, I have had to learn who I was, what my hobbies were, and how to connect with people. I’ve heard that alcoholics stop aging socially when the begin drinking. If that is the case, my social age is 18. I’m learning who I am as an adult and what I enjoy doing. Almost everything I did before involved drinking and I am having to learn to separate if I enjoyed the actual activity or just the drinking. It’s been a slow process.
As I begin to figure out who I am, I am going to have to learn how to re-connect with people form my past and that may not always be the best or easiest thing.