I was so afraid of the “friends” I would lose by giving up alcohol. I was so scared that people would find me boring and of all the thing’s I would miss out on. I was so afraid of everything I would have to give up. This fear stemmed from the part of me that no longer knew who I was without alcohol. Considering that my life revolved so deeply around alcohol, it’s only natural I was afraid that there would be nothing left when I removed it.
I am more than happy to admit how wrong I was. When you clear out people or things that no longer enrich your life, it is not a loss, but an opening for new and better things to enter. Don’t get me wrong, things did change.
For instance, some of my party friends disappeared from my life when I stopped drinking. At first I did take it personally but then I realized how surface level those friendships were. By giving up fake friends, I had time to build new relationships and deepen some old ones. So if the price of being able to be build meaningful relationships is to give up some fake ones, I wouldn’t exactly call that a loss.
Now the next part, what about the fear of who I was without alcohol? Ya, that one was deep. And honestly it sometimes still is. Addiction is a well designed disease; it eats away at you slowly and by the time you realize how trapped you are, you have no idea how to get out. At least that’s how I felt. Over the period of a decade my relationship with it went from a flirtatious love affair to a deadly abusive relationship. It changed me slowly over time, slowly but drastically. My entire world revolved around getting my next drink so much so that I didn’t even remember what I actually liked doing once I stopped.
My first year of sobriety was kind of like dating myself. It took me some time to rediscover what I liked doing, what hobbies interested me and overall who I was. I was like a young infant experience the world for the first time. Although it felt new, it also felt right. The alcohol wasn’t who I was, it was masking who I was. As that mask was removed and I slowly dipped my toes into the pool of uncovering who I was again, I felt more free and alive than I ever had.
So all my fears of what I would lose…
What if I stopped getting invited places altogether? What if people judged me? Well News Flash to myself; people are always going to judge. Especially considering I was their source of entertainment as the drunk. So if I’m going to be judged I sure as hell want to be judged as my best version!