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Friendship difficulty(12 Posts)
I've recently given up alcohol. I'm 31 and have had massive issues with it. I finally sought help from my GP in August and have had support from a substance misuse service.
I have been sober for 33 days and I am incredibly proud of myself. I feel healthier, I have more money and I feel I have some control back.
My parents and husband are being amazing. They are equally proud of me and they inspire me to keep going. However, some of my friends are acting very strangely.
One of my closest friends just refuses to talk about the issue! I told her I was thinking of stopping and she kind of said "oh well that's nice" and changed the subject. She seems uncomfortable and awkward around me and she has stopped seeing me face to face.
I'm so upset by this. I'm not explaining it very well but about 4 of my friends are behaving like this. One even made fun of me for stopping drinking. He said "oh but you're boring when you're sober". It makes me so sad. I thought drinking was just an interest we all shared. I didn't realise it completely defined me as a person
Not sure how to feel better about it.
Very well done for stopping. That's a brilliant achievement!
Your friends' hurtful behaviour is probably much more about them than you. I imagine they have to work very hard not to think about their own unhealthy drinking and by stopping, you have shone a spotlight on it.
Painful as it is, you may have to distance yourself from them if their attitudes don't change, and find yourself some friends whose lives don't revolve around drinking.
Firstly, very well done for taking back control of your life and getting on top of this issue. You're doing brilliantly.
These people sound jealous of your success to me. Do they all still drink? Maybe they wish they could get a grip of themselves in the same way you have but haven't got your strength and determination. If I were you, I'd move on and find new friends who will love you for the person you've become, not hang out with people who seem to want you to fail.
That's a strange reaction. I'd say they're not really your friends. I have friends who.drink and those who don't. A close friend gave up drinking for a while as she knew it was out of control and it didn't change our friendship at all.
Something about you giving up booze is unsettling them isn't it? Could they be taking it as a judgement on them? Maybe it's a bit close to the bone for them and making them reflect on their own drinking.
Very sad that your friendships have changed like this but blummin WELL DONE to you
What everyone has said - well done. I haven't drank for many years and it has never been a problem with any of my friends but occasionally I'll meet someone who seems disturbed by it and tries to make me feel that i'm missing out or tries to force a drink on me. When you don't drink it shines a light on the very weird relationship a lot of people have with alcohol - just look at how much it appears in everyday conversation as a prop "had to have a glass a wine", "need a drink" etc - even in front of their kids. Crucially - You are not boring! it is they who are boring because they cannot function fully without it - the truth is that they fear they are boring without it. And they probably are. Time to move on.
Do you think your friends drink too much? It may be that they have tried / know they should try to do what you’re doing. It’s hard to see someone succeeding at something you’ve failed at.
But don’t let this derail you!
Thank you for the replies.
It has been really hurtful so I haven't reflected on it much but you all seem to be saying a similar thing. And when I think about the friends that have reacted like this, they are the ones who drink the most.
It's almost as if they think I'm judging them for their behaviour. But I'm not! It makes me so sad because one of them is really one of my closest friends. She is a caring, lovely person and has been very supportive of me in the past. But she seems entirely unable to be around me at the moment.
It isn't really as easy as finding new friends. I have a part time job as well as a full time doctorate plus a 2 year old. I do not have time to really engage in anything extra in the hope of meeting more friends. And I love the ones I have
I'd say it is because they have their own issues with it and you doing something about it makes them have to face up to that.
My sister has been sober for about the same length of time (well done BTW) and it is hard to get used to as our 'thing' would be to have a big glass of wine together as soon as she walks through the door (if she visits in the evening obviously!).
I'll get used to it though and I hopefully am not doing what your friends are - what I am saying though is that it is them not you.. If they are decent people they will adjust, but you may need to recognise that they need some time to get used to the new normal.
It's not you who is defined by drink, it's them! Clearly your abstinence has hit a nerve with them...
Get along to AA and you'll meet some amazing people and make some great friends - who won't be suspicious of your abstinence but will celebrate it with you.
Maybe trying talking to the one particular friend you mention. Tell her why you decided to stop. Give her a chance to maybe talk about her discomfort with it all. Maybe she'll join you!
I could have written your post OP. I recently have given up an addictive substance, I have an old friend who I used to indulge with an she has just been totally dismissive of my troubles and trying to quit (took a few times of trying before I gave it up)
It is hurtful, but what I've come to realise is that she's not my friend. She probably feels uncomfortable because of her own addictions and because it's always been the glue that binds us.
Actually she's right, because now I'm no longer doing it, the friendship has faltered and I realise was only ever build on a pile of sand based on our mutual interest in getting loaded together. I've cut my ties now.
So maybe it is like that with your 'friends'. They're not friends, just drinking buddies.
If they can't be supportive you are better off without them.
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