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How Have Your Relationships Changed Since You Quit?

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 8 comments

How Have Your Relationships Changed Since You Quit Drinking (Transcript)

Hi, I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery and today I’m going to be asking the question, have your relationships changed since you stopped drinking?

Relationships Change for the Better

Really there is no way that your relationships can’t change when you stop drinking, they have to, alcohol is such an embedded part of your life, it was such an embedded part of my life when I was drinking, it just seeped into everything.
All my relationships were affected by it and definitely when I quit, that was the case as well there were, most of them were affected to the good, it’s actually one of the hardest things to come to terms with when you quit drinking that the fundamental nature of your relationships is going to change.

Your Drinking Buddies

This definitely is true when it comes to your drinking buddies, that relationship with your drinking mates when you don’t drink anymore is changed and it’s changed forever. If you ask yourself do you feel comfortable, would you feel comfortable getting drunk in front of a non-drinking stranger or a room full of non-drinking strangers and the answer is no, most of us wouldn’t.

It becomes that same thing in your relationship with your drinking buddies is that, the whole thing has changed you’re the one person now that’s not drinking and you’re going to find it boring, they find it weird and possibly even a bit distrustful, at the end of the day it’s reciprocal thing when people drink together.

You and I both drink together, we can both talk shite with each other and act shite with each other and when it comes down to it in the morning we’ve both got the same level of memory about the event and even if we do remember it’s always, “I was drinking” but when there’s a person there that doesn’t drink anymore, they don’t have that, they remember everything and you’ve got to watch yourself if you’re a drinker, especially when you get drunk, you’ve got to watch what you say, so you’ve got to be on guard, so you can’t relax and the drinking experience is not going to be good for you anymore.

Those drinking buddy relationships just don’t work and no matter how much you want them to, you want to go to the pub and still have the same experience without you drinking – it’s not going to happen. The pub is not going to change, the pub is there for drinking. If there was no drinking, it would be a coffee shop or whatever it wouldn’t be a pub anymore.

A Different Lifestyle

Do you know when you do quit drinking unfortunately you have to quit the whole drinking lifestyle, if you don’t you’re just going to go back on the booze again. There’s an old saying, “birds of a feather flock together” and when you change your feathers, you’ve got to change your flock.

There are areas in life which are cross-overs, for instance going into a restaurant, you can still do that, going to parties if you still want to do that there’s no point in giving up that. Going to festivals you’re always going to find at these places like minded people, people who are not there just solely for the drink.
In the pub generally the people that you are with and the relationship that you had in the pub that’s all about booze nothing more so.

Other relationships that have changed for me have been my family we really, I didn’t understand, I didn’t realize how deeply affected my family relationships were, how strained some of them were until I’d actually stopped drinking.
Now it’s like instead of being the drunk of the family, which I was for many years a lot of it’s very playful, like Jesus if you want a drinking buddy to go out with somebody that will under the table then go to Kevin or here we are Kevin’s at it again, I’d be the first one into the restaurant to try and get a few drinks in me or I’d have a few drinks in me before I went to the restaurant.

Another area is just the trust like I say the relationships, afterwards when I quit drinking I realized how much my family didn’t trust me with, certain aspects of their life, I’ve lived around my sisters for a long time and it’s the first time I’ve been asked to babysit and I never realized that before.
It was don’t give the baby to Kevin to look after and looking back on it, I can understand why, although I don’t think I would have ever drank while I was babysitting but…It’s always in the background.

Another thing is the amount of quality time that you spend with your family just increases because you remember everything, the next time you meet you’re not going back over old conversations that you’ve had but you’ve forgotten about but the ones who haven’t been drinking remember and there saying to you, “we had this conversation last time” and you’re thinking, “oh god” blame it on the Alzheimer’s.
As I said before everything is connected to everything else, so it’s not surprising that when you do stop drinking, that your relationships, all your relationships, do actually change for the better I can say personally.

So if you have any questions about that, if I’ve rambled on a little bit and you don’t understand everything then give us a shout. Until next time my name’s Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery.
Onwards and Upwards

How Have Your Relationships Changed Since You Quit?

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  1. JoDev59

    Hi Kevin, great blog today & I totally agree about relationships changing when you stop drinking. Its the same with pot-smoking too. I stopped that 27 years ago & suddenly all the people I used to smoke dope with suddenly would not talk to me or visit me anymore. I felt like a leper. But it was for the best as maybe if they had still come around I may have fallen right back into the filthy habit again. It is a real eye-opener as you see what your relationships are really based on- alcohol or dope(insert drug of choice). It makes you realize that you have some very superficial friends who really are not your friends but are acquaintances.

    I am a Professional BIRD Trainer/Breeder/Toy Designer, so your “when you change your feathers,you’ve got to change your flock” really resonated with me. It is so true what you say. All birds of the same type have all the same behaviors within a range. Each type of Bird I train has a set range of behavior for that bird thus they are attracted to others who act,sound,look the same. It is the same for DRUG addicts of all sorts- Dope-smokers, drinkers, etc do all act similar & feel uncomfortable when someone of another flock(does not do what they do) is around them-they lose that feeling of sameness.

    The other day I looked at a young sporty girls utube about why she does not drink & she mentioned that when you decide to stop drinking & you are around others who do still drink ,its like the proverbial “Bucket of Crabs”. I thought this was such a great analogy & it is true as a bucket of crabs will all move around together hopelessly inside the bottom of the bucket,but if one dares to try to climb out,they will try to drag that “smart-Alec” back into the bucket with them. Its like they are saying to him–“If I am going to be boiled alive & eaten ceremoniously,then so are you!!”.

    Similarly, if you dare to mention that you are trying to stop drinking at a drink-Fest,you will have your old drinking buddies saying things like-Oh, come on just have one. or Aren’t you going to have a drink with your old Buddy? Whats wrong with you,getting too wholesome for our company? But I just bought you a drink for old times sake! ,etc,etc. Its those crabs trying to pull you back down & the pressure drags some straight back into the “Bucket” again-too weak to try again. Avoid places where all your old buddies are drinking,especially when you first stop drinking.

    I am on ALCOHOL FREE Day 6 today Kevin,& I must admit Day 3 & 4 were the hardest for me. I became super-sensitive,angry, a bit paranoid,very teary-BUT I still did not drink. I am still filling my smiley money-sock with Dollar coins every waking hour & as it is hanging on the fridge door, it is a reminder of the wasted money spent on alcohol. My Husband even said that my good example may even have an affect on him soon- with his drinking.

    Anyhow Kevin, Thank you for your interesting & entertaining blog comments. Jo from Australia:)

    • Kevin O'Hara

      I’ve seen that YouTube video, its a great analogy she is using about the crabs alright. We’ll make changes one person at a time Jo… good on ya for not giving in…

  2. ronnie

    I see what you mean about drinking buddies Kev ,i said to my m8 ive packed in the booze he looked at me aghast as if to say what you cant do that .wierd innit i did think about going to the pub with two of my m8s but like you say Kev it just doesnt work best to keep away full stop , as Allen Carr said Alcohol is the biggest con trick ever invented , and the only thing you have to justify not taking it
    Keep up the great post’s Kev ,

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Cheers Ronnie… it’s a con job that is sucking in more and more people every day. A drug is a drug is a drug… and so is a drug user!

  3. Matt

    Kevin – I stumbled upon your site, and I think it’s great. There are plenty of “sobriety” sites and forums around, but I find your videos especially uplifting and inspiring, since you’re plainspoken and you don’t preach. I have been alcohol-free for just about two years, after 30 + years of regular, excessive drinking. I’m in bars all the time as a part-time professional musician, and it’s been liberating to no longer give in to the temptation of free drinks. I can truly say I don’t “need” it any more. Keep up the good work with the site – you’re providing an invaluable service.

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Hey Matt, I’ve known plenty of musicians in my time who just couldn’t take it any more, stopping with alcohol or music seems to be the choice most are faced with in the end. Good to hear you got out. Thanks for the kind comments by the way, I really appreciate it, makes it all worthwhile.

  4. sammy1968oo

    Hi there Kevin,

    I’ve found you’re podcasts so inspirational, my partner is my drinking buddy, but i’m determined to remain alcohol free as I can’t moderate. Something in my mind has switched and I really want to be teetotal and am looking forward to a different way of life. Not sure what my partner will do, he likes a few beers and that’s ok. Today he annoyed me over something, usually I would be drunk and go loopy over it, but i’m sober and was nice, calm and dignified…so yay ..progress has been made.

    thankyou..you’re ace.

    Sam x

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Way to go Sammy. You have to think about yourself first. If you don’t, you’re no good to anyone else. Thanks for the lovely words!
      Take care


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