If there’s one thing I’ve learned faster than anything else in the last 30 days, it’s that sobriety is a lonely room to sit in.
You go from having all these people who always ask you to meet up and grab drinks and hang out, and you do. And the whole time you laugh and giggle and gossip and talk about god-knows-what. Maybe you do a shot or two, but by the time you get home, you feel good and you’ve had fun with your friends. Then you wake up one day and you’re two weeks sober, and people keep telling you they’re proud of you for quitting drinking, but your phone is silent. The only person who texts you back is your mom. Nobody hits you up to go grab dinner anymore. It’s like people think that just because you aren’t going to drink, you’re going to be boring.
My boyfriend told me that it’s not because people don’t want to hang out with me, but it’s a respect thing. Which I can see. Even he said he feels bad having a couple beers in front of me. But while I’m working on a Saturday night, he’ll be out with his buddies getting shit-faced, probably driving home, and not bothering to text me back. Are you worried that my sobriety is going to leak through your phone and onto you? I don’t think that’s how it works, buddy.
I don’t get invited to grab dinner with my boyfriend and his friends any more. The girls I work with will all talk about doing stuff after work, and act like I’m not standing right there. If I send a mass text to see if anyone wants to hang out, you better believe the only person who’s going to respond is my best friend that lives 1,000 miles away.
Nobody wants to hang out with the girl that doesn’t drink anymore. It makes them feel awkward because then they feel like they can’t drink or suddenly you’ll just lose focusing and take a bottle to the face. So they just don’t hang out with you.
Sobriety is a lonely fucking room.
I’m still working daily on how to deal with this. I haven’t quite come up with a solution yet. I’m about to be 25 years old. It’s hard to make friends when you’re an adult AND sober. All of the girls I work with, I actually became friends with them by hanging out at bars after work. I met my boyfriend at a bar, which is a story for a different time. I met my current roommate at a bar and were drinking buddies for a long time until now.
Drinking is such a social norm that if you don’t do, it’s weird. And people don’t like weird. They steer away from it. So at the end of the day, you’re sober and left watching your friends Snapchat stories of them all hanging out and getting trashed at a bar you used to pay the light bill at while you’re watching reruns and laying in bed eating leftovers.
Sobriety is a lonely room.