One of my biggest fears about living life as a sober person was how I was going to maintain and create friendships without the social lubricant and cringe-buffer that is alcohol. It seemed entirely unavoidable to have friendships without alcohol.
But whilst social situations and circumstances may involve alcohol, it doesn’t mean I have to participate in it. My belief in my sobriety and my boundaries around it will make social situations manageable. In fact, I stand more of a chance at a meaningful connection and having human experiences if I am sober and present. This may seem shockingly simple, but it was revelatory for me, and a massive hurdle to get over. This process has involved losing and gaining friends, and a lot of careful determination over my comfort level.
My identity as a social being was intrinsically tied up in the “fun drunk” act. Underneath this bombastic character I was an achingly insecure person who felt horribly alone whether I was with people nor not. Many people were shocked when I started a sober life, because they didn’t know it was a problem. They just thought I knew how to have a good time – from what they were seeing. Thus some people were discouraging or confused. On the other hand were the people who knew me deeply - the people who wanted the best for me, and saw through what I was trying to project with alcohol. They supported me, sought my truth, and accepted me for all I was.
These people are my Champions. My Champions are still my best and closest friends. We are Mighty Companions, friends who saw me in hell, stood by me as I was finding my way home, and walk with me as we do this work.
Identify the Champions in your life.
Make you feel seen and supported.
Leave you feeling energised and excited after spending time together.
Take you as you are.
Have the bravery to be honest.
Actually affirm you as opposed to lovebombing.
Have jealously or superiority as their first response to you.
Belittle choices you make for yourself.
Selectively approve of you based on company.
Enable you because it’s easier than healthy confrontation.
Remind you of your shame or pain to keep you small.
These are the people we don’t need to drink to be around. They are quality, not quantity.
Write about your Champions.
Two tiny things:
- Call, text, voice note a Champion.
- Write a thank you card.