“One of the most profound changes in our lives is in the realm of personal relationships.” NA Basic Text p57
Personal relationships have always been important to me whether or not I was using. We are a species who do not want to be alone. After being clean for some time though, I found that 90% of my personal relationships where all fake, The remaining 9% were so hurt emotionally and mentally by my actions that they are no longer around. There is also that one percent that has stood by me, knowing I was a better person than I had become.
I haven’t spoken to my son in over ten years. He holds a lot of animosity toward me for good reason. At one time I had custody of him, due to my drinking/using and an ex-wife who was abusive I ended up taking him to his mother. He never forgave me for that, nor the fact that I never called. To say that he is a bit angry with me is an understatement. I do however check his facebook from time to time to see how he is doing. He has grown to a typical young adult with some dreams and a talent for music. Though he doesn’t know it, I’m quite proud of him.
Three marriages are a shambles largely due to my drinking and using. There were issues and problems on both sides, but if I had not been using at the time I probably would not have had the mistake of marrying two of them and most likely would not have screwed my third marriage so badly. The fortunate thing is that my third wife and I are on good speaking terms and we have become even closer friends during this difficult time.
The rest of the folks who were in my life are gone now. Mainly because I was no longer a supplier, but also because I quit my old ways of being friends. I don’t use or drink just to be liked and just to be around people anymore.
Since I have quit drinking/using, I find that I have less friends right now. Although I have less friends, I have friends who will stand beside me no matter what the circumstance. My current wife and I are separated; however there seems to be times when we have never been closer. We talk as friends, really good friends. She has issues to deal with due to my leaving just as I do, but we are working together to overcome the situation. Where it ultimately leads I don’t know. I do know though that I have a best friend for life that I can confide in at any time and vice-cersa.
I have a few close friends in the NA program, who know of my past and present situation and still accept me for who I am. The woman I currently live with is also a recovering addict with three wonderful kids. She accepts me for who I am and the emotional struggles I am going through now. I have an opportunity for a ready-made family, which is what I want at this time. I want kids in my life that I can play with, watch grow up and earn their respect.
My point is that since I have stopped using, my personal relationships may be with fewer people, butr they are the strongest relationships I’ve ever known. It’s not about the quantity of friends, rather it’s about the quality of your friendships and personal relationships.