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Getting sober, with real friends......who are addicts.

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by ktdid, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. ktdid

    ktdid Member

    I am kicking a habit that I've had for over 15 years, half my life, all of my adulthood. I've got 3 people, although addicts themselves, who have proven themselves to be TRUE friends. They've ignored my calls when I asked them to during the first stages of sobering up. When I have gone thru bad breakups, they have been there to scrape me off the floor even after I completely abandoned them for the duration of the relationship, never holding my distance against me. In times of emergency, they were there to help. When I needed a shoulder, they were there. When I needed to vent, they were there. They have been honest when I didn't want to hear the truth. They have called me on my bs, ands set me straight. I would trust my life with these few individuals.
    But..... they are addicts. And while I can trust them to not offer or to tell me no, I cannot trust myself to stay sober minded around them. I'm unwilling to tell my significant other I will never speak to them again. I realize I cant just hang out with them, but these people have saved me from self destruction more than once. To make a bad problem worse, getting sober has left me incredibly depressed. I know being sober is a physical shock to my system, and that time will let my chemical balance heal. Ive even gone to see the medical doctor to help in the mean time.
    Getting sober for me means changing my whole life. But I feel these people are the kind of people who remain in your life no matter what, because they have been. Loneliness is my triggering factor to use, and the depression is the main cause for my unwillingness to end the relationships. I'm afraid of being that lovely right now.
    Any advice?
  2. Ali16

    Ali16 Senior Contributor

    Have you tried asking them to get sober along with you? Maybe all they need to get themselves out of the grip of addiction is someone to give them the reason to. You and your friendship could be that reason.

    If not...you may have no choice but to end the relationships. Maybe you could start attending 12 step meetings or other meetings for addicts in recovery? That would give you support and the opportunity to make new friends if you have to cut ties with your old friends. If you know you can't stay clean around people who are still using, you can't be around them...you have to put your sobriety first!
    deanokat likes this.
  3. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    It's good that you have friends you can trust. That fact that they would stay away from you when you call them and not bring you around what ever you were addicted to is great. Sometimes being alone is important, you have to be able to save yourself from your problems before you can help anybody else with there's. Once you find a successful way to get over your addiction you'll be able to help them with there's. I always believe true friends pull each other up not down.
  4. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    This is such a tricky one. I honestly wish I had the perfect solution. True friends are a rare commodity. That said I feel like I would go to the ends of the earth for them. Still your case has to take your own recovery into consideration and this is where the good kind of selfishness has to probably come into play. You have to protect yourself and if they are your TRUE friends as you are convinced they are they will understand if you have to distant yourself for your own survival.

    I firmly believe being a true friend does not mean being up in a person's face constantly. It's about being there when you are needed most. I see and sometimes hear my true friends sometimes months and years apart. I believe you can love from a distance and sometimes help from a distance. I hope you never have to sever ties completely.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  5. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I also have friends who would often smoke and drink, and we have remained really great friends even though I don't do the same stuffs as they do. But yeah, just try to encourage them as much as you can. Tell them the beauty of being sober and probably, they would eventually realize what they're missing in life.
    Winterybella likes this.
  6. ktdid

    ktdid Member

    Ty all for input. My boyfriend is very adamant I sever all ties, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I love these people, but the issue has the propensity to be one those 'deal breaker' ones for us. It wouldn't be such a big deal had he not abandoned me numerous times during our relationship. His tenancy to bail on me (sometimes due to a slip, sometimes because he gets it in his head I'm slipping when I'm not) has left me doubting his commitment to me. To me, during good times and bad, sickness and health, etc means you don't bail, PERIOD, especially in the hard times when teamwork is needed most. My friends have never faulted me for my absence, not one word, when he leaves me and I'm on their doorstep in an emotional heap. Even knowing when I beg him back I'll disappear once again. It's not fair to them to continue don't that, so I refused to cut them out of my life this last time we got back together. I limit my exposure to them to phone calls or safe places, but he gets crazy paranoid anyways, which I can only tolerate to a certain point.
    I think he doesn't have a right to demand I cut them out of my life when they are the ones who have stuck with me, not him.
  7. ktdid

    ktdid Member

    Part of the problem is also he is not an addict, and thinks addicts are 'those kind of people'. I'm not included because his love for me puts blinders on him. He can't seem to fathom the idea that they are good people with a bad problem. To him, they will never be anything but addicts.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @ktdid... This may sound very simplistic, but I'll say it anyway.

    The most important person in your life is YOU. You are the one person who has control over which people you allow to be in your life. You also know the reasons why certain people should be in your life and why others shouldn't. So, simply put... Do what's best for YOU.
  9. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I didn't know the true meaning of friendship until quite recently... I have this two friends who have always been there for me. One of them is still my friend despite I rejected him 2 times (proposed me). I never thought things would be the same ever again. I know is not the same, but this kind of things make you realize how important is to keep true friends around... Specially now that is so hard to make friends, let alone true friends.

    But truth is your friends are addicts... I'm guessing they drink alcohol as well. So it's very hard you can stay sober if you do out with them, but at the same time i know you feel so torn apart when you think about walking away. I know the feeling! But deanokat has a very valid point, in the end your life is about you... you are supposed to be the first and most important person in it. That means you have to take care of yourself, no matter what the others say... you need to fight to stay sober and live a healthy happy life.

    Is there a possibility you still remain in contact with them... tru texting or something like that? Keeping a safe distance during this crucial moments? At least while you think this through, I think you really need some time away from them, you are having a difficult time right now. Just keep your distance, maybe you could tell them you really need to focus on staying sober right now.
  10. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion


    Ktdid, my copying this twice is not a mistake. It's my way of saying I support this 200%. In my previous post I was focusing on what you ought to do in connection with your friends. I somehow did not zero in on the obvious pressure for you to choose. Take it from someone who has been unselfish to my own detriment. Do what YOU know in YOUR heart is the best thing for YOU.
    deanokat likes this.
  11. seatones

    seatones Member

    I would say if they are REALLY your TRUE friends, than you should be able to explain to them the situation and they will understand. If it were me I would meet up with them and explain that you really appreciate their friendship but you are trying to quit a multi-year addiction and being around them would hinder your progress. Being addicts themselves, they are going to understand how difficult it is to quit and hopefully sympathize with your feelings. I know if I was one of these friends, I would be sad that we wouldn't be able to hang out but happy for you and give you your space. To me this is what a real friend would do, regardless of their current standing in your life.
    deanokat likes this.
  12. mochaisis

    mochaisis Member

    I agree with mostly everyone here. Having true friends is a rare commodity, and from what you've been saying, I wouldn't disagree you. Your true friends will respect your struggle, even if they don't understand it or aren't ready to become sober themselves. They'll understand, just like you do, that just because you aren't hanging out, it doesn't mean you're not friends.
  13. LinB

    LinB Senior Contributor

    These friends are good and genuine. I would suggest that you keep them close. Develop your boundaries and the strength not to cross your boundaries with them. These boundaries will protect you from hanging out with them in an environment that could get you involved again with drugs. But I tell you that they are good friends. Very kind and helpful, and they will continue to help you as long as you keep them.
  14. LinB

    LinB Senior Contributor

    That is so true. It is your consistency and discipline in remaining sober that will cause them to convert to sobriety.
  15. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    These people are your true friends. You don't have to see them everyday or hang out with them all the time for them to be your friends. They will still be there for you when you need them and who knows in the future they may need you for the exact same reason as you are struggling with now. If your cuts ties with them then you may loss those friendships and that would be a shame. They understand what you are going through and they are supportive of your decisions. Do what you feel is right for you, not for your partner! This is your life journey and nobody has the right to tell you who or who you shouldn't associate with. I am sad to hear that your partner walks away from you. It is hard to trust somebody like that. I would never give up my friends for any partner. The decision would have to be mine and mine alone! Good luck!! Do what feels right in your heart!
  16. lalabee21

    lalabee21 Active Contributor

    It’s very hard to find real friends in life and you are very lucky to have them. I can understand the loneliness part, solitude can be challenging sometimes, but it’s only because when you are alone you are forced to be with you and deal with everything you’ve been carrying for years. Maybe it’s time you do this. The process can be long and a bit painful, but you have to do it sooner or later if you pretend to stay clean.

    I also think that just because you don’t hang out with your longtime friends doesn’t mean you’ll forget about them. Right now you have to look for yourself first, and once you feel better you can be there to help them when they need you.

    There’s also no need to be alone all the time, you sound like a very nice person and I’m sure you’ll meet new people. This does not mean you’ll leave your friends behind, you’ll always be there for them and you can visit them from time to time. But if they’re not interested in cleaning up then your priorities are different at the moment. Even if they don’t offer, been around them can make you feel weak at times. Just take care of yourself first, so you can be strong for them later. Your friends have to motivate you to get better and stay clean, be an inspiration for them, they need you. Help them by giving an example that it’s possible to do it.