True friendship was really hard for me to find when I was active in my addiction.
It’s hard to make friends when you’re an isolator with tendencies toward asshole-ism. Who knew?!
I myself, was a faux friend to most of the people I encountered on a regular basis. The closest thing I had to real friends were coworkers. Who, while on the job, were great conversationalists and confidants, but as soon as the weekend rolled around, I found myself ponied up to the bar, alone, yet again. Getting drunk enough to feel confident in talking to (or raving at) the regular, whoever it was that night, sitting next to me.
These days, in sobriety, being social has taken an active effort on my part. But, I can see now that it’s possible without booze.
Attending the same AA meeting every day helps. It’s always the same faces, and eventually, people just talk to you as if you’re an old friend. Because, well, you sort of are. If you stick around after the morning meeting, a group heads to the local supermarket for coffee and conversation. And, sure, it’s fuckin’ painfully awkward sometimes, but, there’s an occasional encounter that further proves that I am not socially inept. In fact, people actually kind of like me.
In rehab, we’re a small group and I’ve become particularly close with one of the other women in the program. Let’s call her Kim. We hang out after group and play music, make dinner, go to meetings, and have coffee dates, frequently. In Day 3’s post, I mentioned that sometimes dealing with and relating to other women is a struggle for me. Kim and I just click. She’s no nonsense. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. She’s really committed to her program. And, she’s super strong. It’s really nice to be able to have someone who knows and understands where I’m at in my recovery. And, I’m right there with her too.
This week my sobriety helped me show up for Kim in a way that I haven’t shown up for anyone in a long time. She had it pretty bad this week. Lots of her old demons were appearing, threatening her and her hard earned clean time. And, through it all, she stayed sober. I was and am truly proud of her. It’s strange and foreign for me to feel pride in the accomplishments of someone else. And because I am clean and sober, I was able to support her through some tough shit and see her come out on the other side.
Being present for my own life is a gift. But, being present in the life of someone else, well that’s a gift to them and a gift to yourself. Growing with, and alongside, other recovering addicts has given me not only insight, but, the ability to do service in a truly personal and rewarding way. It might even be more important than being the coffee girl at the AA meeting. And that’s fucking saying something.
Today, I’m grateful for all the new found friends that are popping up in my life. But, in all honesty, I’m even more pleased that I have the ability, in sobriety, to be a true friend to someone else.