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"...that's the danger in going my own way..."--who else can relate besides me


Friendship Having issues with a friend? Get it off your chest!

 
 
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Old 21st January 2005, 2:38 PM   #1
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"...that's the danger in going my own way..."--who else can relate besides me

So last time I was on this board I thought I was in love with my friend. Somehow I got over that and was happy to be a friend to the girl. But recently it's worse than being in love with her.

Does anyone else NOT drink alcohol in this world besides me? I'm sick and tired of finding friends who I think share the same dedication to not drinking, and then later on down the road I'm left in the dust as they decide to start goin to bars/parties and drinking. I don't think drinking is inherintly wrong, I'm just tired of feeling alone in this world. When you don't drink, it's hard to form truely close friendships with people who do, because you have two different ideas of "fun".

This friend of mine. Best friends 4+ years. She rarely partied and only drank very, very rarely. We developed a very close friendship, because neither of us went out with others in college and partied or went to bars. We found other ways to have fun in college. Last year she had a bad fight with some friends, doesn't talk to them anymore--and this year started to hang out with other people to make new friends. Before winter break she went to a bar one night and had some fun. Now that we're back at school, she's gone out every week, sometimes not coming home (at least she's not drinking and driving.) I can't help but feel abandoned. It seemed like an unspoken agreement to each other--that we didn't go out to bars and party. Now she seems proud that she drinks, on the verge of bragging about it.

I've made a commitment to myself. I don't want to drink. But alcohol has separated me from many of my friends in the past, and I fear that it is separating me from my best friend. Now she thinks alcohol is "fun". And leaves me to sit at home and watch tv. I'm tired of being lonely from living my life in the way that I want to. She was my support network, so I knew that the way I live was acceptable, because she did the same. Now that support is gone.

My parents don't have many friends. They are almost 60 years old. The friends they do have, my parents don't hang out with very often becaue they get drunk and my parents don't. Growing up, they always told me that they didn't hang out with people from our small-hickville town, cause they didn't like going to the bar. I always thought that I wanted to have more friends to hang out with when I was their age. Now I see myself heading down the same lonely road. Is there anyone who can relate?

John Mayer sums it up: "Everybody is just a stranger, but that's the danger in going my own way. Guess it's the price I have to pay now."
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Old 21st January 2005, 2:48 PM   #2
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Although I have had addiction problems for about 6 years now, and I recently fell off the wagon, I do understand....when I was sober for 3 1/2 years I could not BE around alcohol and I often remember complaining about the fact that every social event or occassion in the universe seems centered around alcohol.

My sober years were hard. They will be again - because I was alone often. I had friends who were dry alcholoics who went to the bar and drank water with lemon or sodas, but it's annoying and irritating to be around people who are drunk (especially when you would LOVE to be drunk yourself).

Anyways, stay firm in your beliefs. You'll meet someone who is into that stuff too (probably a recovering alcoholic, to be honest with you, since those are the only people I've ever known to be religious about avoiding the sauce).
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Old 21st January 2005, 2:56 PM   #3
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I don't have a taste for beer or wine or alcohol, though every once in a great while, I'll consume about 1/2 a drink. I guess I'd much rather piss away money on a good meal, or even better, chocolate

that was my problem in high school: coming from a small town where the only thing to do WAS drink, I felt like the odd one out. In college, it wasn't much better in some instances, because the people I worked with at a hotel in town were serious party-ers and drinkers. I absolutely HATED being bugged about my decision to not drink, and after awhile I'd make up excuses to avoid going to parties, I just didn't "get" the let's-hang-around-and-try-to-outdrink each other bit.

now, my other group of friends, the ones from the campus paper, also had some folks who liked to imbibe, but there wasn't such an emphasis on getting flat-*ssed drunk whenever we got together, so I felt more at ease with that group. If someone wasn't drinking, they didn't have to defend themselves, it was simply accepted that they weren't drinking.

my theory is that those people who rely on alcohol or drugs to "make" the party or gathering more interesting is because they lack a certain sense of maturity to find other ways to connect with people. this is not meant to be a put-down, mind you, just my very awkward way of saying I think they don't let themselves get past that high school mentality of booze or drugs being the only thing that'll keep things interesting. As if being drunk or high is enough in and of itself ...

it doesn't get any better as you get older, unless you develop a core group of friends who don't place such an emphasis on doing those kinds of things, who find other ways to keep themselves entertained. They're out there, you've just got to take the time to cultivate those relationships. That way you've got a balance of "party" friends, and those who can kick back without going into frat-boy mode!!!

your friend-girl sounds like she's trying to reinvent herself since the falling out with her usual group of friends. If she's a dear friend, close enough to not take offense at you telling her so, let her know you miss your "quiet" times together, where the focus wasn't on getting drunk, then leave it at that. Either she'll get the idea that she doesn't have to shxt-can all her old relationships or she doesn't ...
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Old 21st January 2005, 3:43 PM   #4
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Ok the problem some people who dont drink(not singling you out) is that they make a point of it. They almost
talk down to people who do drink, like they are weak or something.

That being said, people who drink like to drink with other people. Its like anything. Smokers stick together.
People who smoke weed, have a different vibe than people who drink. Meaning, if person a) is drunk
and person b) is stoned, they dont mesh very well. The drinkers will hang with the drinkers and the
weed smokers will hang with the weed smokers.

Just because your friend drinks and you dont, dosnt mean they dont like you. But when you are out at
a bar drinking and one of your friends isnt, it can be kinda a buzz kill. You want everyone to have as much
fun as you are having. The sober people arnt as relaxed and crazy as you are. So you go hang out with
the drunk people.

If you dont want to drink, then you are gonna find yourself in a small minority. Not your fault or thier fault,
just the nature of the beast.
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Old 21st January 2005, 3:53 PM   #5
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You want everyone to have as much fun as you are having

true ... but there ARE those annoying people who don't respect your choice to have fun without getting wasted. It becomes a killjoy when people start hounding you about why you don't drink, and frankly, you start resenting them and their drinking because they refuse to lay off. Sort of like when someone gives you advice on the same subject. After a couple of times of them insisting on why you don't take it, it starts to sound like nagging

The sober people aren't as relaxed and crazy as you are

ever watch someone with a sugar buzz? they're much more fun to be around a paranoid drunk. at least in my experience, the drunks get paranoid. though that could be because I like screwing with their minds!

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Old 21st January 2005, 4:19 PM   #6
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but if you flat out direspect someone's personal choice then yes, they will probably get defensive no matter what that choice may be.


if you feel you are being beraded, ask the person to respect your decisions as you respect theirs. if they cannot/ do not then move on.
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Old 21st January 2005, 4:39 PM   #7
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It comes down to the you or them factor. Most people drink. And being in the early 20's thats when most people
indulge in the most drinking. People tend to hang around people who have similar interesting. And drinking
is an activity.

When you drink you are way more relaxed and music/dancind/parties tend to be way more personal and fun.
Im not saying you cant have fun if you dont drink, but if you havnt drank, you dont know you definitly dont know
what you are missing.

There are always people who try to force thier beliefs onto someone else. I say if you dont want to drink,
try hanging around with people who think like you. Or else you are gonna be feeling left out of the group.
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Old 21st January 2005, 4:44 PM   #8
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Thanks quankanne and blind_otter, you don't know how much I needed to hear that. Well, maybe you could tell, but still.

And thank you Mr Obvious, for telling me I'm in the minority. You're a real life-saver. Do you have any idea how ridiculous it feels when you're the only sober one around? I don't feel comfortable around drunk people, cause I always feel it's just the booze talking to me and not the person that I know. And they might say stuff that they will feel embarrassed about later, or maybe never remember saying it in the first place. I don't think that everyone who drinks is weak. At the same time, you'd better believe it takes a lot of strength to stand ground and not drink, when you've got people who want you to abandon your choice of lifestyle. And could it, just maybe, be that people encourage others to drink for the *same* reason I want to hear from people who don't drink? Could it be because we all want some sort of verification that the way we choose to live our life is ok? Maybe that's the real reason that drunk people hang out with other drunk people. Not your fault or their fault, just the nature of the beast.

I have *had* to make a point out of not drinking on occasion because I don't want to be bugged by people who want me to drink. It's especially annoying when people who know I don't drink, and have known for a long time, still push for me to do it. That's just disrespectful, and a little hurtful. I never say anything about not drinking unless someone starts teasing me about it. Why would I want to? It just singles me out more.
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Old 21st January 2005, 4:49 PM   #9
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I dont think they are bugging you to drink because they want to be jerks. Like i said, its fun to drink and you
want other people to at least have that fun once.

Why did you choose not to drink. Have you ever had a drink before? Not being a jerk or anything, just
wondering. Religious, health choice, family, personal choice. I never drank before i was 19 because i
use to be very religious. Then one day i decided to try it. Loved it ever since

There is just a time and place for everything, and as you get older the getting drunk every weekend thing
wears off. Then its just special occasions.
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Old 21st January 2005, 5:11 PM   #10
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I don't drink because I don't want to get to the point where alcohol has to be a factor in the fun things that I do. It's something my parents have taught me, and I believe it. I don't think that alcohol is evil or anything, but it has been a factor in car accidents, rapings, and countless other horrible events. I don't drink because I want to be in control of myself, and it's a personal commitment. I know that I could just try one and have one every now and then, and not be a drunk, but I know that can easily lead to more than you intend, especially if you're drunk. Not to mention the health aspects--my family already has heart disease on both sides, which I will undoubtedly fall into.

Many kids in high school drink so that they can fit in. If I *ever* drink, I don't want it to be under peer pressure, or because of the need to fit in. Too many times when you do something to fit in, it doesn't do you good in the end anyway--no matter what the scenario is.

I respect people who enjoy a drink here and there on social events. But my friend is going out every week to the bars, and abandoning one of the foundations of our friendship.
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Old 21st January 2005, 5:21 PM   #11
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Well i can definitly respect that. Drinking is responisble for lots of bad things for sure, but it kinda brings out
the 'real' person if you will. I personally am a happy drunk. I am very personable, and love to chat with people.
A people person. I know other people who become angry and fighty when they drink.

You are not outta control when youdrink. I've tried alot of different things when i was younger(drugs) and
alcohol is the best because it still leaves you in control(unless you drink WAY too much) Oh and dont
drink and drive.

I really dont think your friends mean to treat you badly or differently because you dont drink. Its just
different than the norm. Like meeting someone who is from sweden. Dont see many of those
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Old 21st January 2005, 6:48 PM   #12
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Im not saying you cant have fun if you dont drink, but if you haven't drank, you dont know you definitly dont know what you are missing.

There are always people who try to force their beliefs onto someone else


can you say "ironic"?

maybe people like Bob know exactly what he's giving up when he choses not to imbibe, and they're all okay with it. It's the people around him, well-meaning though they may be, who become demanding when they don't respect his decision and keep "encouraging" him to let loose. And that's when it becomes a breeding ground for resentment .... why should a non-drinker have to give up his values just to please a bunch of people who don't respect him?
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Old 21st January 2005, 9:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for the support. I dunno, the real issue here for me is that my there is that I feel like alcohol is taking my friend away from me. You can say it's my fault for deciding not to drink, and maybe it is, but the fact still remains that I feel like this big divider is splitting my friendship like an ax. She's out again tonight. At least that's what her away message says. I don't know for sure where she is, but she didn't tell me. She went out last night. That's two nights in a row, for someone who not even 3 months ago never went to bars.

You guys don't understand. She is the only person who ever really accepted me fully for who I am. I've made some great friends, and met some wonderful people in the past, but none have been so close to me as her, because everyone else would go out drinking, and she and I wouldn't. The fact that she didn't drink or party, allowed me to form an incredibly close relationship with her. That's why I struggled in the past with "loving" her (I got over that). But she's still that friend. We did other things and had a heck of a lot of fun. I have some incredibly awesome people that I worked with at a summer camp for 5 years. They are *incredibly* good people. But I've never been able to form deeper friendship with anyone, because they go out to drink for fun.

I know she can tell that it makes me uncomfortable when she goes out to drink. She probably thinks I'm "looking down on her". But that's not why I'm feeling like this. And my reactions may just be pushing her away further. I'm trying to just accept that she's changed, I try to hide my reactions from her. But it brings me down so much that it ruins my whole day.

People keep telling me to find friends who don't drink. I had found my friend--for 4 f****n years. Now she'd rather go out and drink than hang out with me. I can't describe how much that hurts. Compounded with the fact that I don't feel like I fit in with anyone--(too conservitive for liberals and too liberal for conservatives). I don't know where I am anymore. She was the person I depended on as the one friend who stood on the same level as me.
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Old 21st January 2005, 10:06 PM   #14
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Well what exactly is wrong with drinking if the only other option to it is to be alone? I know lots of
fantastic people who drink. As you get older you drink less. Binge drinking is for the young(mostly).

I think you are looking at this the wrong way. You seem to be letting go of your best friend because you
dont want to drink. Not your best friend is choosing drinking over you. I'm sure she would love
if you came to the bar. But then you wouldnt enjoy yourself because being sober around drunk
people is like going to the dentist.

Im sorry if i asked this already. What is it about drinking that you think is bad. I think what people say
when they are drunk is 100% more truthful then what they say when they are sober(although they
might denigh is later ) And i've done tons of stupid stuff when sober too. As long as the person
knows thier limits, they will be in control of themselves.

Ok right, solutions. Have you thought about going to a church. That would probably be the best
bet for finding people who dont drink. .......you know.....thats about all i can think about. Actually
maybe you should go to AA meetings. Those guys shouldnt be drinkng at least, and would probably
appreciate someone who dosnt drink around. Maybe charities are something to look into. Helping
out at a hospital. Patients cant drink, and i hope the doctors dont.
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Old 21st January 2005, 10:16 PM   #15
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I'm not going to debate why I don't drink. Just leave it that I don't. Have you ignored everything that I've said?

SHE is the one that has changed the boundaries of this friendship--NOT ME. I actually have been looking for a church. But I'm in the Deep South bible belt, so everything is even more conservative than the mid-west, where I'm from. And I go to art school--so I'm way more conservative than other students here.

"I think what people say when they are drunk is 100% more truthful then what they say when they are sober" This is EXACTLY what I am talking about. Sometimes it's better if you don't say what you honestly think, so you don't get yourself in trouble.
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