I remember when I was a kid my mom would often say, “I don’t want you hanging around with those kids they are ‘bad news.’ ”
Of course she was right and I didn’t want to listen. Now here I am decades later and I have been straight and narrow for 11 days and I am starting to miss my old friends. As they say in the program “drinking buddies.” It is funny how I never identified them as “drinking buddies.” I just called them my friends. And though we did other things than drink together, the one thing that was a constant was drinking. We ALWAYS drank SOMETHING – even if it was a little “hooch” in our coffee for a little warm up in the morning. And then we went from there. We helped each other move, we spent snow days together, we painted camps, we’ve sat around the bonfire together. But ALWAYS with some sort of alcoholic beverage.
Why Should They Care?
At one time or another someone in the group of us would make a comment that “__________ isn’t drinking anymore. They have found God and now they are a pain in the ass.” This isn’t the comment in every case but it was a comment like that one that would resinate with me. I never was belligerent about other people’s drinking habits unless of course it ended in some altercation involving me, which did happen once or twice. For the most part, I am a live and let live person.
When I got divorced , I learned who my friends were and weren’t. I learned some hard lessons. People I would drop anything and go running to help or provide something they needed-deserted me in my darkest hours. If I had the money at the time, I probably would have drank more to “ease the pain.” But I didn’t have the money, so about 8 years later from the divorce, I guess I decided to make up for it! People that you think may be your friends often turn out not to be and I find that a very sad experience full of second guesses, anger and pain.
Since attending AA, I have been conspicuously absent from my usual routine. It is harder to do this time than it was during my divorce. I live in the same town and we now use cell phones and text one another. I am doing more healthy things, I am getting chores done around the house that really needed doing. I feel really good about that part. The part that don’t feel good about is that I am not comfortable in my own skin to say when they call or when I see them, “Hey I am in AA and I just can’t do the stuff I used to right now.” Or “I just don’t WANT to do that stuff right now.”
I have told the people I really needed to that I was going to AA. I also told my recovering friends (each of them from out of state), that I was going to AA. They were “safe.” Heck I haven’t even told my Mother – who would probably be thrilled. I am just not ready. Thoreau once said, “The only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead.” I cannot agree more.
Once Pandora’s Box is open it is never to be closed again.