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Social Networks

July 3, 2010

Arguably my biggest challenge is forging new social bonds.

I’ve had to let go of some friendships.

To move away from some not supportive of my recovery.

Whilst some have moved away from me.

Sometimes, as a consequence of my behaviours when unwell and drinking.

Sometimes, simply as we move in different directions in life.

I am a private person, in meatspace. Guarded about my history of mental illness and alcohol-use disorder.

I struggle still with feelings of shame, guilt and inadequacy.

Despite being a fair way into the maintenance phase within the transtheoretical model, this barrier remains a challenge.

I investigate and explore local community groups, activities, sports et cetera where I will share common interests with others. I diarise, but rarely attend.

I have been back studying again for 18 months now, working with the same people even longer. Yet all my colleagues remain acquaintances only. My reticence and fear is the main barrier. I commit to social engagements outside Uni, but withdraw in fear.

This, naturally, drives people away.

I have not been in a relationship for 5 years now. Unusual in a 30-something.

I am not quite this guy, though.

I have become quite accustomed to interacting with my family, who do drink a fair bit.

I still remain fearful of social engagements with people who might drink, and how they will react to my not being a drinker.

We non-drinkers are in the minority, here in Australia.

Logically, most people probably would not care.

With my history of depression and ongoing medication, I can always say “for medical reasons” if pressed.

This is a challenge that frightens me.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Daisy permalink
    July 3, 2010 9:03 pm

    I can relate to this, particularly the seeking out of groups and activities where I can meet people with similar interests, then backing out.

    Non-drinkers might be the minority here in Aust. but I honestly don’t think that people – especially people who haven’t known you as a drinker before – would find it that weird. Lots of people don’t drink for various different reasons.

    Oh, and being Steve Carell wouldn’t be so bad – the man is adorable!

  2. July 3, 2010 9:20 pm

    Hi Daisy,

    I find that a reassuring thought. Thanks.

    I miss Steve vs Stephen…

    Kind regards,

    Banjo

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