About ten months into sobriety one of my friends from Scotland was coming to visit me in America. I was so unbelievably excited to see her, as my accent was fading and I needed my Scottish fix. I hadn’t told her I was sober yet. I was a little bit worried about what she would say. We drank together, and I was assuming she probably wanted to drink when she came over. I had to make a choice: conceal my sobriety, or get honest.
I chose the second option, and send an apologetic text saying how I was sober now, and probably wouldn’t be that much fun to be around.
The knots in my stomach released at her reply –
“Oh thank God. You were a fucking nightmare when you drank.”
This was a rude awakening, I always thought I was the life and soul of the party. Which was perhaps true – then I checked the facts and not the fantasy. What about the times when I had to be consoled in the bathroom? The one or two trips the A&E? The outbursts, the ballistic mood swings, the Ubers I was sick in? The times I had to be put to bed? My friends were the ones who had to tolerate that, and as good at fixing my messes as I was – they had to do their fair share of heavy lifting as well.
That was the type of friend alcohol made me: dependant, unpredictable, and often a fucking nightmare.
Who did alcohol make you as a friend? How does the fantasy line up with the facts?
Two tiny things:
- Write a list of things you like about yourself.
- Write a list of things you want in a friend.