Relationships

It’s been a weird few weeks with an overarching feeling of standing on the sidelines, watching from a distance. I’m normally in the thick of it all but I just haven’t wanted to be. I’ve had a few episodes of truly craving an alcoholic drink. One particularly bad moment on Monday where I was almost persuading myself to go to a bar after work whilst walking through town and sit with a large glass of wine. I didn’t. I downloaded and tried out mediation apps (following the advice from all you lovely people), I read some of ‘This naked mind’ and I took a very long bath. It helped the edgy feelings pass.

I will have been 7 weeks sober this weekend and there have been lots of changes within me. I have mentioned them in previous posts. What I didn’t account for was the impact my not drinking would have on my relationships. Not all positive either.

I am slowly becoming more sure of myself, beginning to accept how I am and confident that I deserve to be treated well by others. “Yes, yes, yes!” I hear you cry and it is good. It’s a massive shift and is definitely the right way for me to be heading. It does mean, however, that I’m also less accepting of the poor behaviours of others. I’m allowing myself more ‘me’ time and because I’m now enjoying my own company, I’m spending less time seeking out company of others. I’m still keeping those I love and have supported me throughout close but my friendship circle is becoming much smaller.

I also didn’t account for how exhausting this journey would be. It takes effort and work to not turn to wine to block out difficult emotions. The things that are coming to the fore now I’m sober are challenging to deal with. I’m having to learn new skills to work through all this. I’m ok with that but it takes time and energy. This impacts on my nearest and dearest who also want my time and energy. Some days I just don’t have much left of either. I’ve been using it all up on myself. I feel selfish about that. It’s hard. Who’d have thought giving up booze would feel like a selfish act?

I think my husband also feels I’m being a little too self centred. The ‘wow, you’ve done so well’ comments have all but disappeared. Now I’m sensing resentment and boredom with it all. I’m different, I’m changing and the thing we used to share, drinking, has gone with nothing to replace it.

I guess that the issues that are now becoming apparent in my relationships have always been there. I just dealt with them differently before and buried things under a cloak of wine. My default position was to blame myself: what did I do to cause this, what should I have done, I’ll apologise and smooth it over. I don’t do that so much now. It’s a huge relief to not take the weight of every relationship and friendship on my shoulders but it’s clearly difficult for others to get used to the change.

Maybe being Alcohol Free in 2020 will mean some relationships naturally come to an end. That feels sad but I have to believe, if it happens, it’s the right thing for me. What I do know is that being sober will help me develop new relationships and friendships that are positive, supportive and exactly what I need.

Happy New Year to you all

Claire xxxx

25 thoughts on “Relationships”

  1. Happy New Year, Claire! I feel like women, in particular, feel selfish when they put taking care of themselves first instead of behind everyone else (and maybe not at all). I know I do, but it isn’t good for anyone for us to not take care of ourselves. And it does seem natural that relationships that aren’t healthy will be replaced by more loving ones as you yourself get healthier. But some people probably just need to adjust to the new and improved you! You are doing so great! I hope you are really proud of yourself! ❤️

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    1. Hey.
      You’re absolutely right! When I was struggling with anxiety and depression I disengaged and spent lots of time alone. I felt helpless about that. Now it’s different. I’m engaged but I’m choosing to have some ‘me’ time and time out. I know it’s what I need. But that does bring feelings of selfishness for sure, even though it’s so important.
      Here’s to letting go of unhealthy and ‘hello’ to loving relationships.
      Claire xx

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  2. i so so so can relate. The relationship i was in when i first quit ended in my 4th month of sobriety- we just grew apart as i started realizing we didn’t actually have all that much in common. It was easy to not notice that when we were both drinking all the time. In fact, i became quite bored, very quickly after only 2 months but kept hanging on & hoping. In the end , i realized that it had to go- along with a few other relationships that were no longer healthy or viable. It’s just what happens…and it can be very sad.

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    1. Hiya. Hope you’re ok and survived the whole festive season! You just don’t realise how many things are buried by drinking through it all. I really had no idea. I’m feeling ready to be honest about relationships, emotions and my life but it’s very scary and going to take a leap of faith I think!!
      I’m not rushing the journey though, time will let things unfold I’m sure.
      Claire xx

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    1. Ah I know. I appreciate any comments and support and all our situations and circumstances are different but we can 100% still learn from other’s experiences. Plus, there are things you said that definitely resonate!
      Hugs Claire xx

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  3. Claire, a lot of what you say mirrors so many people’s experiences. This journey starts with giving up booze but ends up being then about self discovery and what we really want from life, relationships, career etc . Some of that can be quite dislocating and scary maybe uncomfortable as things hidden by alcohol slowly emerge into awareness.
    You are a smart, intuitive and compassionate woman and hopefully your journey will provide exciting new possibilities in many areas as well as some real challenges.
    Here’s to a 2020 of discovery. Jim x

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    1. Thanks Jim ☺️
      I know it’s positive, I can feel it’s positive but finally becoming aware of things that have been kept hidden is definitely a test of strength and resilience!
      Maybe my word of 2020 should be ‘discovery’ 🤔
      Claire xx

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  4. Hang in there Claire! I definitely see less people outside my immediate family these days and it’s taken me the last 8 months and counting to be ok with my best friend who was also my longtime drinking buddy. Jim is so right – it’s about finding out who you really are and what you really want to be doing with your time. 💞

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  5. Happy New Year Claire 🙂 Yep, this is where shit gets real. And setting boundaries is definitely part of it. And yes, some relationships suddenly appear for what they are and leave us with difficult choices, and others leave our loved ones with a new situation they must adapt to (and if they love us, they will adapt!!!!). Basically it’s almost like there is a giant filtering/sifting process happening and it’s not always smooth but time definitely makes it smoother and easier and you are left with the life you WANT (not the life you put up with) 🙂 so keep on keeping on and writing your amazing very perceptive posts and you will seeeeeee what magical things 2020 brings to you 🙂 xxx Anne

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  6. Being sober is SO EXHAUSTING and hard… it sometimes takes all you got after being badgered by others as to why you aren’t drinking, or ‘are you still off the sauce’ or just the internal battle you have with yourself … I get it and it’s tiring. I also understand your worry of taking away alcohol and your relationship changing. Your significant other seeming to resent more than support… believe me I also get it. I had the same thing happening except he would always tell me he wanted to same thing and to be sober and healthier (he was very codependent and would do anything he was told), but then he’d go behind my back and lied to me for years. He’d say one thing and do another and it was a disaster. I never made him do anything, he had a choice and he always told me what I wanted to hear I guess. Either way not good, I wish you the best in your journey xx

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    1. You are so right. It’s tricky for many reasons but I like myself better sober and I’m more at ease with others not liking me, it’s their choice. That has to be the right way to go!
      X

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  7. Hey Claire
    I’m a little behind as I’ve been away. I hope you are ok and are super proud of your 7 weeks. I felt a real change too around this time, it makes you feel real sad but also like oh ok so this is what it’s really like!
    I love that you are determined to make 2020 sober, I’ve not been able to commit to that length of time. Shows your strength.
    Happy new year and here’s to the best year ever xxx

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