Diet & Weight Magazine

Recovery: What Friendship Means to Me in My Recovery!

By Sobrfit3
Written By:  Cathy Shuba
"Happy Wednesday!"
Friendship is a gift.  Friendship is something to be cherished.  Friendship can be rewarding, enlightening and full of love.  On the other hand, friendships can be complicated, difficult and down right hurtful.  My friendship experience would include all thee above and more.
When I drank I had friends that drank.  When I drank I never hung around people who did not drink.  When I drank I didn't care if I used you to drive so I could get wasted.  When I drank I did not care if you liked me or not as long as you could drink as much as me and not tell me I was drinking to much I considered you a friend.  When I was drinking I never had friendships that were honest with me.  If I did have an honest friend I would cast you out and the friendship would have ended with me bad mouthing that individual just so that I would come up looking good at the end.  My friendships when I was drinking were shallow, inconsiderate, selfish and all about me, myself and I.  My friendships when I was drinking were never spent without engaging in drinking.  I thought I knew how to be a friend.  I thought I knew how to share my feelings.  I thought I was a good friend.  I thought I understood the meaning of friendship.  When I drank my friendships were distorted.
When I chose to become sober I began to learn about a lot of things and especially about myself.  I learned quick when I stopped going to bars, parties and gatherings with friends which involved drinking suddenly stopped.  The friends I had while drinking suddenly stopped calling me, seeing me and making plans with me.  At the time it was hurtful, discouraging and mostly a glimpse at what "drinking" friendships was really all about.  It was God doing for me at which I could not do for myself, that time!  I still felt abandoned by them.  God was still with me!  I still felt hurt by them.  God never hurt me!  I still felt angry at them.  God never angered me!  I had to realize that when I chose to stop drinking that a lot of other things in my life were going to change as well.  My friendships were the first eye opening change I had to endure.  As time went by and I began to have several months, than years of sobriety I found I really never needed them or wanted them around anymore.  I finally realized what God had done for me truly saved me!  I was blessed to be sober and to have new friendships in the program and outside the program.  I realized what friendship was all about!
I, also, realized what friendship really meant to me.  Friendship means to listen, not preach, to be that someone for comfort or support, to show up when I say I am going to meet you somewhere, to love you unconditionally without judgement, criticism or shame.  Friendship means to be available, mentally, spiritually and physically.  Friendship means to tell the truth and not keep secrets or act like someone else just so that you will like me.  Friendship means to accept the other person's opinion, decisions and how they are as an individual without using control or manipulation in order for them to only see it my way.  Friendship means to be happy when something good happens and not jealous and spiteful.  On the other hand, since I have been sober I have still experienced some friendships that were not kind to me, hurtful and inconsiderate...but even though I still had to experience those feelings again, still gave me the opportunity to grow from it, learn from it and to be aware of it.  Lastly, friendship means to be fair, honest and true to myself, as well as to another human, in order for me to set my own boundaries and to allow for me to be treated the way I would treat another human being.
Today, I have many friendships with many people in and out of the program.  I am confident in my friendships and true to others as I am to myself.  It was difficult at first when I became sober to accept my old friendships were not really any true friends to me but with time and a lot of work I allowed myself to grow into a person who knows what friendship means.
Do you have good friends today?  Did you struggle with friendships when you first became sober?  Do you still hang with the same crowd when you drank or abused drugs?
Today, I will run knowing I came a long way in understanding the true meaning of friendship.  I will run knowing my heart is true to me and to my friends today!
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Sobriety Fitness by Cathy Shuba is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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