Unsupportive Friends

I am staying with my good friends P and C this weekend. They just happen to be the last people with whom I got drunk. I was nervous about being sober around them. I was worried about their reaction. And I am now starting to wonder if these are two friends I might have to let slip away.

The first hour or two, there was no mention of my sobriety. I started asking them about their house hunting. Then we talked about my living situation and job. We talked about some events in our lives the past few months.  We talked about my family. I was happy that they did not offer me any of the wine they were drinking. But they didn’t offer me anything to drink. I couldn’t help but feel everything seemed awkward.

After a while of offers of nothing, I got up to get myself some water. Then I sat down to continue the conversation. When my glass was empty, he jumped up to offer to refill it. He kept asking if I wanted lemon or grapefruit squeezed in it. They have a soda water machine if I wanted bubbles. I said no thanks but he insisted on lemon. I guess plain water was too strange.

We talked a few more hours and avoided the talk of my sobriety. Then I mentioned that my reunion is at a brewery. I said that is gonna suck. “Oh yea, cause you aren’t drinking?” Yep. I quit. He squirmed and changed the subject.

Later, after she went to bed, it came up again. This time I mentioned I have been sober more than 4 months. He didn’t seem impressed. I said “actually my last drink was with you guys.” I did not hear a “way to go.” No “congratulations”. It seemed like he was mourning. Like that uncomfortable feeling you get when someone says their grandmom died and you do not know what their relationship to their grandmom was like. How should you react?

I tried to tell him how great I felt. How happy I am. I said I was sad that I haven’t lost weight.

“Booze doesn’t affect your weight. Diet and exercise do.” Really? Booze is not included in diet? He told me how he lost weight by cutting out carbs. Isn’t alcohol liquid carbs? He said their diet is 60% veggies and it helps keep them thin. They also eat a lot of fruit. But they also drink a lot. I guess he is thinking of hops and barley as veggies and grape wine as fruit.

I told him my thoughts of going for a degree in psychology. He asked what would I do with that. I said “maybe become a therapists for alcoholics”.
“That is a lost cause.”
I could not believe he said that. He started to say that alcoholics will never change. I said “I DID!” He responded “but that is you. You are different. You have the strength.”
I was fuming. Then I said I have thought of specializing in pregnant women with addictions.  He laughed. “Oh that is really a lost cause!” He said those people don’t want help. I wanted to punch him.

That was when I realized he is not gonna be a supportive friend. This might be my last time I go out of my way to visit them.

It made me want to crawl back in a shell. This is what a lot of society thinks of alcoholics. Do my friends think I am different cause I wasn’t on skid row?

He told me he has been trying to get his wife to cut back. And maybe he will cut back too. Just for his liver. The way he talked about it, I realized he thinks I cut back. He thinks I am moderating now. I can’t think of exactly what he said but it hinted that he thinks I will start drinking again. This is one of my “drinking breaks” with which they are so familiar.

I showed him the photo of my sundae from my first class flight. He said “that would go better with a glass of free champagne.”

Maybe I don’t have as much in common with them as I thought? Maybe boozing was our common thread? I was their maid-of-honor! Maybe in 10 years when they talk about their wedding, they will mention they lost touch with their maid-of-honor because she stopped drinking.

Now I am sitting here in their living room drinking coffee. She went to work. I woke up at 7:30 when she was getting ready. I think she was shocked. Usually I am hungover when I stay here. She told me to wake up P if he is not out of bed in an hour. I kept putting off taking a shower to avoid making him late for work. It is now 2 hours later. The alarm has been going off forever. He keeps hitting snooze. I took a shower. I have to go through their bedroom to get to the bathroom. I purposefully made noise. It didn’t wake him. Maybe if he wasn’t drinking wine until 2am, he would have no problem waking up. I feel waking him up is a lost cause.

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Mistake 136- When they asked me to be maid-of-honor, they also smiled and said “guess who is the best man!” I guess correctly. He is a good-looking guy that P has been forever hinting he wants me to get with. I once asked him “that guy is a playboy! Why do you want us together? He is not the relationship type.” P agreed but said he thinks we could have fun together. So when they giggled about making me and Playboy their witnesses, I felt they were hoping we would hook up.

And during the wedding rehearsal, Playboy started the charm. “You smell nice.” “You look great.” “Your legs look amazing in that skirt.” I accepted the compliments but thought to myself “No way! I am not falling for your lines.” A year before this, he bragged to me about all the young European girls he banged. Now he is trying to seduce me? He opened doors for me the rest of the evening and held the small of my back as I walked past him.

We had a great rehearsal dinner. The couple showed a video they had made of their relationship. When a photo popped up that had me and the best man with them, P nudged me.

I drank a lot of wine at the dinner. Then I took a few of the bridesmaids to get our nails done. I should not have been driving. One of them even made a comment. I even hit a small curb with my rental car.

I was staying in the same hotel as Playboy and a few of the groomsmen. We all decided to take the groom out for drinks while the bride did a few last-minute things with her family. I was not driving this time. So I drank a lot more.

Back at the hotel, the guys he was sharing a room with wanted to go to sleep early. We had a wedding the next day! Playboy asked about continuing drinking in my room. A wife of a groomsman joined us. We had fun. My mini-fridge was stocked with beer.  I kept saying I need to get to bed. I was meeting the bride early the next day for our hair.

Soon it was just me and Playboy in the room. And his charms worked on drunk me. We had sex. But I remember I was at least coherent enough to insist he use a condom. He tried to tell me he is “good” and doesn’t need one. I busted out laughing and reminding him he once confessed to me how he “bangs” a lot of girls.

I was late for the hair appointment. I was hungover. But I drank mimosas to clear that up. I told the bride what happened and she laughed. When I told her he tried to not use a condom, she said “ew!” When the groom found out, he seemed please.

I felt a little uncomfortable around Playboy the next day. We acted like nothing happened. I remember hoarding some anger at myself for sleeping with him. I let myself down.

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7 thoughts on “Unsupportive Friends

  1. Sometimes our sobriety makes others uncomfortable because it forces people to look at their own habits. If your gut tells you that they are unsupportive, then perhaps leave it be for a while. Everyone I know weren’t happy with who I became and the shit I did drunk and lying I did, but I know they were happy when I got sober. It’s not a big thing these days. Most people don’t care, as long as we are happy and productive and sober. Everyone has their own problems they worry about. There is also a lot of ignorance around alcoholism and alcoholics, even amongst alcoholics(!), so I don’t expect people to understand or get it. I didn’t understand it until long after I got sober.

    Find those who value you for you and not for what you used to be or used to do.

    🙂

    Paul

    • I think maybe I just need to give them time. It seems my friends that have known me the longest have been supportive. Maybe they didnt see how bad my drinking was? But I was mentioning a story to C about a night we went out in 2011 and I was drunk and she said “you were WAY drunk!” Maybe that is what they associated with me. But I am more than that. Hope they still like the me I am without booze. But if they don’t, I will have to cut ties.

      It reminds me of when I came out as bisexual. I lost friends due to that. They didn’t understand. They were uncomfortable. I don’t regret any of the friends I lost then. Real friends will accept you for who you are.

    • Oh and I texted my “boinking buddy” to thank him for his support. I guess I thought all my close friends would be cool with it but this visit is making me realize they aren’t. So I figured I better reach out to the few who have been awesome.

      Even though I felt like a Bartle & James commercial. “Thank you for your support.”

  2. Oh, I am sorry to hear! I feel your pain. That’s hard. I lost all my friends, or alienated myself from most. I don’t know what’s worse, losing friends because I was a drunk or because I am sober. But anyway, it sure doesn’t seem like they are supportive at all and you really don’t need that kind of stress. You are bettering yourself, that’s enough work! Also what Paul said, many people just done get it and they still view it as a weakness. But more and more I find people that are supportive and you will too! You got a whole lot of people here in the blog world that are rooting for you! Woot woot!

    Hang in! Sending many hugs!

    • I am with a mutual friend of the couple right now. She asked why did I quit. She seems understanding. Maybe it is because she is older or has seen it in other people? I am not close to her. But this gives me hope that I will find some support in this circle of friends. Maybe P and C will come around. Maybe when they see the improvements. Attraction…not promotion. 🙂

  3. Most of my friends have been great, even though pretty much all of them don’t really get it, but there have been two in particular who have been notably crap such that I have had to basically let them go. It still makes me a little sad/hurt/angry but it is what it is. They made snotty comments repeatedly, encouraged me to drink even when I made it clear I was struggling with depression/anxiety and drinking was making it worse and I was worried about my drinking, and just haven’t been around much. They also never, ever – unlike kinder friends – made any effort to ask about why I was quitting and listen to me or express any care/concern. It was all about why I should be drinking, disparaging my not drinking, and being clearly happy/relieved those times I was drinking again. Those are just not real friends.

    Like Paul said, it makes some people uncomfortable because it holds up a mirror. They people who have been weirdest with me about it have, without exception, been the ones who obviously have an issue themselves. Having said that, I have had friends who drink a lot (including one or two who I suspect have an issue) who have still tried to understand and be kind and caring, because they’re big enough people to get beyond their own shit. Good people.

    If these people can’t/won’t it’s more than ok to distance yourself. I sometimes think with the two friends I mentioned that even if I were to return to drinking tomorrow I wouldn’t want to hang out with them much anymore anyway as they’ve shown what kind of (not) friends they really are so why invest our energy into that? There are too many good people in the world to make that time for instead. The friends who ask, listen, support, go out of their way to offer you nice, non alcoholic beverages and arrange non-booze-focused dates – those are the ones to hold onto.

    Ok, sorry for that long ramble. I was just thinking about this quite a lot today looking at Facebook pics of those two together (drinking) at various events and fuming a bit thinking about how they simply no longer invite me to things. Because clearly now that I don’t drink what’s the point of my company. Pfft.

    You are doing so great!!!

  4. Pingback: Reunion… Success! | 365reasons2sober

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