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Historical Post: Great Friends - Oct 4, 2015

Great friends

October 4, 2015 by julieannhowe

Being sober has had it’s challenges.  From needing to keep busy because I get stir crazy much easier, to needing friends because I tend to hide in my home, a bit of a hermit to the outside world because I can’t do all the things I love to do as much as I used to do them, because they all involve alcohol.

My weekends have been planned out for me, by myself of course, with much purpose.  I don’t like to set still for long because sitting still gives me the fidgets.  So I’ve been working hard to make sure I have something to do.  This was easier when I was in a relationship, because I looked forward to weekends with my guy and could plan things during the day and expect his company in the evening.

For the most part I have been on a baking spree and have really focused on the expansion of the size of my ass, because lord knows it isn’t big enough!  In all seriousness, I love trying new recipes and I enjoy taking said goodies to work to share with the fantastic people I work with and save myself from my own baking insanity.  Let’s be real, quitting drinking is good for quality ass downsizing, and baking isn’t helping that cause.

This week has bought a few changes that were much needed, and some that are just okay.  My dear friend who has been rooming with us for a few months moved out and seeing her each day in my home will be very missed.  My new wonderful friend who is transgender has moved in this week and amid it being a little chaotic has settled in nicely.  We get along famously and I look forward to the friendship we will build as friends/family going forward.

I had to say goodbye to a co-worker who was my pillar and now I have to support the department and be the pillar in her stead.  I truly want to be a pillar she would be proud of knowing she helped construct and strengthen.  I look forward the opportunity as long as my company also looks forward to my being that opportunity.  There’s a touch of pressure for certain but I do pretty well to shut that off when I walk out of the work door and into my personal life.  I would be lying if I said there isn’t some underlying concern for me though. Certainly I am making plans in my brain as to how to move forward.  Today I plan to meditate on this and see where I land.

This weekend in an effort to decompress from the trials I am facing professionally, I had decided it was time to adventure and play a little.  I found myself taking my new roommate and my daughter and going on a creative run around the city of Portland.  First we drove our way up to the Mystic Gallery and I bought some fabulous incense and sage for my room, so I can sit and meditate to the smells of an Indian temple.  We went from there to the comic book store, Things From Another Planet, where we went shopping for some Marvel comic book love and looking at Pop’s bobble heads dolls to set on my desk and remind me there are great fun things in this life, and to always smile.  From there we headed into the heart of Portland and went to Blick’s Art Supplies on 12th and Glisan.  We enjoyed wondering through that massive art supply store and collecting the things my teen needs for her new art class in college.  We then walked about 4 blocks to the Rogue Public House in Portland for a much needed energy replenishing, and then on down to the car to head out to Moonshadow on Belmont and 39th for a venture into the spiritual world again to see if anything there was needed.

When all was said and done, we stopped for food for the night and headed home.  I had plans for the evening, but they hadn’t panned out, so on top of the lack of things to do, I had the let down of something not coming together and disappointment there.  I was all dolled up with no where to go and darn it, I was itching for something to do.  I had read earlier in the day that some football friends were having a bonfire at their place not far from us, and I reached out to see if it was okay for me to stop by.  They of course said yes and I loaded up at 10 pm and headed down to say hello.  Mind you, I made myself a fresh bottle of sparkling water and took with me.

When I arrived they were all quite happy from doing a pub crawl and welcomed me with open arms.  I sat around the fire with them and of course was offered a drink.  I politely declined showing my sparkling water and got a round of great support from them all for sticking to my guns with not drinking.  I don’t have any issues with not drinking around those who do.  What I do have issues with is when people treat me fragile because I’m not, or trip over how they should act around me.  I made the choice to be sober, they didn’t and there is no need for them to avoid doing what they do just because I am around.  In addition there is something to be said about being allowed to be strong enough to say no, and stand by what you are doing.  They not only were polite (not rude as some might thing) to treat me like one of the group and offer me a drink, but also to support me fully when I respectfully declined the offer.

We sat around the campfire for some time laughing and joking.  Each of them reminding me why I feel like they are my brothers and my family.  They are funny and not the kind of angry drunk I am used to.  They joke with each other, even crossing into the offensive side and yet all know there is love so pure for each other that none of that will ever tear them apart.  I enjoyed them all for about 2 hours and headed home just after midnight, very satisfied and feeling like I wasn’t such an outcast.

I think sometimes our minds set us up for this feeling of being an outsider once we chose to walk away from alcohol.  It is difficult to related to others without the beer goggles on.  Things are often times not as funny or relaxed given the lack of libations.  These guys however made me feel normal, and that is the reason I love them so much.  They know who I am without alcohol and still love me for who I am.  I’m thankful for that.  It’s huge for me.  I have struggled to feel comfortable in my own skin with those who I care about so much.

I look forward to continuing to work to build new relationships with people who are not drinkers while maintaining “some” of my old relationships that mean so much to me.

One day at a time…

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