Dealing with old friends while living sober and saying goodbye.

So I ran into one of my best friends from high school who I haven’t seen in over fifteen months. The last time we were together I was high and drunk riding a seven day binge that ended in my second treatment in six months. There he was, of all places at my daughters soccer game last Saturday morning. He was there with his grandson who played on a team that played before my daughters team. I could of kept walking and he would of never saw me, however I screamed his nick-name across the field.
While I ran with a gang in high school, some twenty years ago, I still have the habit of scanning the scene where ever I go and that’s how I spotted Jose.
Now when I started my journey in sobriety back in July of 2012 one of the things that I could not accept was giving up old friends. Eventually I relapsed (a horrible one by the way). So the second time around even though it was hard, I killed all social media as well as my phone number that Ive carried for the past ten years.
When I moved back to my house with my wife, back in the old neighborhood, I had a great concern about running into old friends. However, I realized it was important that I close those relationships properly, even if my last words to them is, “sure, Ill call you later!”
I don’t feel I need to explain to anyone what I went through the last fifteen months, after twenty-three years of using and drinking, however I do feel its very important to close the relationship, either by phone of in person. Yeah, I’m probably not going to call Jose later, and have no intention to do so. But if that’s what I need to say in order to say goodbye to an old friend, well then that’s what I’m going to do.
So one-by-one throughout the last year or so, Ive been saying, “hi” and “bye” to a lot of close friends.
I can not deny having thoughts of my old friends and what it would be like to still hang-out. (I know that will lead me to relapse). That’s why its important to shut that door to move forward in sobriety, to release those thoughts and any reservation that might be still living in my mind.
Every thing in life, no matter how big or small, must come to an end in order for someone or something to begin or move on. And that includes saying goodbye to old friends.