Welcome to the club

Used 2013-10-13 Clubbed (AlKHall Anonymous recovery sobriety)


As a kid, i always felt like i never fit in. While i was often at the center in my circle of friends, i never felt like a part of them, like i was included in them.

Alcohol was the key. Booze was the key that opened the doors to a sense of belonging. Drinking came as a package that included a circle of friends and the courage necessary to talk to them.

As we say in recovery, that worked until it didn’t.

My drinking buddies were my closest friends and, as luck would have it, many of the  people i work with are heavy drinkers so i soon felt i was a part of that inner circle i’d always been looking for.

Unfortunately, when i got sober, i found myself once again on the outside.

Oh, they’ll never tell me i’m not welcome and at the beginning of my sobriety i was invited to a few events and i declined to go because i didn’t feel like being surrounded by alcohol and my friends will tell you how proud they are of me and how much better off i seem. Now, however, i only hear about parties the day after and conversation means nothing more than exchanging pleasantries in the corridor.

But you know what? i found a different group of friends. People i can count on, people who accept me for who (and what!) i am and who know exactly what i’m going through because they’re going through the same things.

i’ve found the kind of kinship i’ve been looking for my entire life here on line with y’all and in the rooms of AA. Thank god i’m an alcoholic, else i might never have found this.


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on October 14, 2013, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Yup – so true, Al. We find that many of our “friends” were actually drinking pals. i mean, I know that they are happy for us, but we’re old news. We’re not useful in the way that we used to be useful – another shoulder to bro-mance punch or to tell dirty jokes or to waste the afternoon away debating silly debates. Oh, and keep the rounds coming. On me this time. Ok, you get the next one, etc. It didn’t take me long to see that the only thing my “friends” and I had in common was the glass in front of us. The pitcher on the table. We never went for coffee, or jogging, or the pool hall. We didn’t do *anything* unless alcohol was present. Never mind just one neurotic, egotistical, no self-esteem dude – get a few together and misery loves company.

    I am not Mr. Popularity or Mr. Social, Al, but I know that the gents and ladies in my corner are there for the long run. They care about me and I them. I may not see them often, and time will pass, but I know that I have their back and they have mine. I can’t say that about my old chums. Everything came with a price, and so it’s a whole new way of thinking to do this without any other benefit other than being there and present. I have deeper friendships now than ever before, even if I am still introverted and aloof at times.

    Great post, Al. Thank you for sharing this.


    • i’m socially awkward myself, so i totally get what you’re saying. Especially the “introverted and aloof” part!

      Still, i pray for the courage to change it, but also the serenity to accept it! Also, my sponsor told me that my homework is to speak in every meeting i attend, and i have to admit that’s helping me feel a little more secure around other people.

      Thanks for the visit, brother, and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. I KNOW right!!!

    Me too!

    So nice to belong to something so damn good.


    • It’s great to belong to this community when i see i’m in the same company as the likes as you! That must mean i’m doing something right…

      Keep coming back, Sherry,

      Al K Hall

  3. Very happy to hear this blog gives something back to you, makes me feel better for all that I take out of it.

    I was very lucky to have people around me who included me in everything they did, regardless of my no longer participating. As a teen getting off alcohol there were very few people in the program I could befriend, I was lucky to have people who cared enough to try and understand what i was going through, to be there for me and to look over me when we were out, whether I needed (or wanted) it or not.

    So thanks meng, and i will keep reading if you keep writing.

    • Hey Brother!

      i so remember your early sobriety and how proud we all were (and still are!) of you. And when i say i was never part of a circle of friends, that doesn’t include you and our other roommate, of course. The three of us were a special kind of circle and still are.

      i’m sure i’d feel a lot more kinship with old friends if i still lived in the States and i know i feel right at home with all y’all, drinkers and not, when we hook up in our summer visits.

      That said, i’m sure happy to have you here along with the rest of the readers and the AAers in real life. i’ve replaced my sense of longing with a sense of belonging!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  4. Yep, I know just what you mean. But now I’m glad I’m not part of the crowd, because that’s not where I want to be or where I was meant to be. It just ain’t my spot. Getting sober has taught me what I need in a friend, and it isn’t at all someone who can guzzle 2 bottles of wine anymore. Phew!

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