Growth is actually contagious, so if you want to reach your goals, you’ve got to get around people who are going in the same direction you want to be going, and you will catch the success.”
—Dr. Henry Cloud
Someone in my meetings had said “by getting sober WE changed the rules”. I have to remind myself that I am the one that changed the rules. I chose sobriety and that changes the rules for me and only me. No one else is required to change their lifestyle or self; other than me. The thing I do get to have a say in though is the people I surround myself with, I changed the rules because I needed to change me and my life. My social life is different now, which isn’t a terrible thing. I’m different, I’ve hit a turning point in my life and accepting it was and is a huge deal. I have to remind myself daily that I’m not like everyone else, I have to remind myself daily that I need to be sober.
On that note, surrounding yourself with the right people will change everything. Everyone deals with drama and turmoil in life, love and relationships – the thing is, you have to attack it with a positive outlook, you’re always going to get back what you put out into the world or universe. Our attitude has so much more power than we realize, we won’t always win and there will always be another obstacle. In those times, those are the times you need people in your life who not only listen but help in finding resolve, the people who help propel you forward through the bad things/times. You’ll end up replacing negative relationships with positives ones. I’m not saying you can’t be sad, trust me I have my days where I’m a hot mess express but I don’t camp out there; my friends inside and outside of sobriety don’t allow it.
The friends I’ve made in sobriety are inspiring, unforgettable and simply amazing women. Those women who have listened, related to me and shared their own experiences. They’ve never judged me and they haven’t criticized me, they’ve shown concern, care and give me their take on what they’ve been through, as I do for them. They’ve given me meaningful relationships and friendships in the safety of my sobriety. They understand certain aspects of my life as they’ve already been through this and can help me in difficult and uncertain moments.
This is not to take away from my friends outside of my sobriety though, the friends that I partied and got wasted with that are still there and are actually more supportive and active in my life now than ever before. They are the ones who are checking up on me and paying attention to the changes in my life and myself, because the truth is I have changed and I am still changing. Those friends have loved me through some of the worst times and all of the good times, they’ve held me through the bad days and laugh with me on the good days. They’ve loved me unconditionally and tell me how proud they are. They have gone through my emotional roller coaster while getting sober and they’ve listened as I’ve cried over realizations I make while working the steps and learning of my own flaws (I know, ME, having flaws – I didn’t believe it at first either). The beautiful thing is that they are watching me transform before their own eyes – they are going to witness and be a part of the most important and best times of my life. All memories of which I will remember, every moment of.
Sobriety, Growth and Change are hard. There are going to be relationships that don’t make it along the way and there will be relationships that grow and prosper along with your sobriety. It’s a constant process but it’s going to all be worth it, my life has been significantly better since I got sober and it’s continuously getting better each and every day; it’s not all rainbows and unicorns – there are tears, heartache and hurt but the good outweighs the bad and the life I want to live is far better than what I used to dream of living.