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    ELIZABETHDS   23,443
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Incompatible Friends and Drinking Enough Water

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

This post is all about drinking.

First, I've cracked the code on getting myself to drink enough water every day. Hopefully this is a lasting change. My trick at work: get up and refill my water bottle as soon as it's empty (no excuses). My trick at home: make myself drink a glass of water before I sit down on the couch to read, before I empty the dishwasher, before I fold the laundry...just tack the glass of water on as a prerequisite for doing whatever thing it is I'm planning to do at home. I've been successful for three straight weeks with this effort, and for once I haven't had to give it a lot of thought.

On the other side of "drinking", I have some great girlfriends who do not do anything but drink when they socialize. They've each been my friend for between three and 7 years, so I don't really want to get rid of them...but it has become harder and harder to see them because they don't respect that I don't drink for "fun" anymore (special occasions only). It's just not compatible with my lifestyle or my goals, and I've explained that nicely at many points...but basically they just think I'm a big wet blanket.

It's worse if I go out with them and get something non-alcoholic or even nurse a single drink all night. It seems like a ridiculous problem to me, but this is where I am.

And I don't know what to do so that I can keep these friends but not sacrifice my own goals.

I tried "lightening up" and going out with them less frequently, but now I am not interested in drinking with them at all anymore. I've suggested alternate (even free!) activities a million times over the years but gotten nowhere. I've invited them over to my house (free drinks! and I can control what I'm drinking without a bartender to rat me out). I've debated faking a pregnancy so that I'd finally have a "legitimate reason" in their eyes for not drinking.

My friends are too awesome and smart (and, frankly, old - everyone in this scenario is at least over 30) to think that I'm judging them by acting differently than they do. I don't know why they care so much about what I drink when we're together, or why that's their only social interest. However, that leaves me not knowing what to do other than keep waiting things out and hoping for an inspiration.

Sparkfriends, have any of you found ways to handle old friends who have become incompatible with your healthy lifestyle? Or am I crazy for putting my health above hanging out with these friends?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLATURTLE 1/17/2013 4:35PM

    I know this blog is a week old now, and you've had a better meeting with one of the friends since, so yay for that!

But I just have to say... I can't believe these people are so quick to turn down a practically permanent DD!!

I don't drink much anymore either, but every time I go to a party or somewhere where I might like to, I'm usually the one who drove (husband has no license/can't drive. never has, never will) so I can never drink.

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ELIZABETHDS 1/10/2013 10:45AM

    Thank you both for your insightful comments :) There is certainly more to the friendships than just time (I've already "released" several incompatible friends who were just hanging on to hang on) - I love our girl chats because they offer support and camaraderie and all those beautiful things we get from our female friends. I just wish the pressure to drink could be left out of it.

I've been on this journey for more than two years and never found a way to make this work other than giving in. But, maybe I'll just show up at the bar next time and order the pineapple juice or water or whatever beverage it is of my choice and try to shut down the ensuing criticism, rather than giving in to the pre-outing questionnaire about whether I will be drinking or not. Maybe that will give me the opportunity to let them know what it is that I value in our friendship, and maybe that will help things go in a new direction. I forget how insecure people can be about relationships, even after years and years, so maybe there's more of an emotional component to this than I knew.

Again, thank you! It will be a few weeks before I try it out, but I will let you know how it goes.

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BLUE42DOWN 1/9/2013 7:17PM

    Just a thought, but while they may be too smart intellect-wise to think you're judging them, their emotional side might be feeling threatened in a variety of ways. (One key way could be that deep down they want to make changes in their life and haven't, so seeing you stick to your guns and live how you want is a constant reminder that they aren't.)

I think the question you have to answer for yourself is whether the only reason you're holding onto the friendship is because of how much time (years) has been invested in it. Hopefully there's more. Hopefully there's support when facing challenges, advice, reassurance, sharing of life's best and worst moments. Getting together for a social activity isn't what makes people friends. Look at those friendships to see what does make them friends. Once you find that (or don't), you'll have a better idea what you're working to strength or letting go of.

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SONYALATRECE 1/9/2013 5:00PM

    Have you told your friends your journey to better health?
If you tell them (while sober of course), they SHOULD understand. Otherwise, this is peer pressure at it's finest and you'll need to decide if the friendship is worth savaging or moving on. Sometimes friends outgrow each other.
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