If I could go back to the newly sober me and give her some advice, I would tell her to embrace shifts in friendships.
One of the things that I was most nervous about when I quit drinking was how my circle of friends would change. I can vividly remember going through each girlfriend I had and assessing what my quitting was going to do to our friendship. I was terrified that I would lose some friends, and I agonised over who was going stick around and who may bail.
I can tell you now that if your social life revolves around drinking (mine did), then there are going to be some shifts in your friends. But this is not something to fear, this is something to be excited about. It’s a massive blessing.
Why? Because nothing proves who your people are more than going through a sobriety journey. You have to learn how to connect with each other without alcohol, you have to find things to do that don’t involve drinking. You find your soul sisters, the people that you know you could call at the drop of a hat if you were in a jam, and those friendships are worth their weight in gold.
Yes you may lose some friends along the way and I am here to tell you that those friends were not meant to be in your life for this part of your journey. Love those friends from afar but let them go with grace.
True friends are ones that you can open up to about your fears, including the fear that you may be drinking a little too much. True friends will hear you out when you question whether or not alcohol is doing more harm than good. True friends will hold your hand through it all, learn new mocktail recipes with you, and understand that the TRUE you is one that is NOT chemically altered.
I know this thought of having friendships change and shift can be scary- when I tell you I get it, I really do get it. But just as we are meant to grow and change, so are our friendship circles.
If you feel like you don’t have anyone that can chat with you about your drinking and be supportive, I recommend finding a coach, like me or anyone in the This Naked Mind coach community.
Don’t let the fear of having friendships shift hold you back from your own personal growth.