A Personal Story
Finding sober friends has been a critical part of my recovery from alcoholism. It is not because I rid myself of all of the friends that I had while drinking. I have known my two closest friends for over 30 years. They have always supported me through my ups and downs, and they fully support my recovery. However, even though I have known them for most of my life, they do not understand the daily process of living in recovery. I cannot expect them to; they do not have my disease.
Sober friends do not understand where I have been, but I can meet a recovering alcoholic just once and feel like I know them. The commonality of our disease creates a kindred spirit between us that I do not even share with my lifelong friends.
Some days, I need to talk to someone who understand where my head is. That’s when I turn to my friends in recovery. My sober friends totally get that. It is amazing to have sober friends that I can go to dinner with, sit and talk about life with, go to church with and experience life in the present without needing to turn to alcohol.
Early on in my sobriety, I did experience a few times when I wanted to drink again. Life had gotten so overwhelming that I wanted to go back to my old habits. Having sober friends gave me the support network I needed to stay on my path.
My disease centers on just dealing with day-to-day life in a new way. No longer do I take a drink to numb the pain. Almost three years sober, I do not struggle with wanting to drink any longer. Finding sober friends, for me, was (and is) essential.
You can find sober friends in a lot of different places. Meetings are obviously a good place to start. I have a safety net of like-minded people who get me. Most of my life, I did not feel like anyone understood me, even those lifelong friends. Today I have people in my life that I can be with and know that no matter where I may be in my walk of recovery, they are with me and I am there for them.