Sisters In Sobriety

In this episode of Sisters in Sobriety, Sonia and Kathleen dive into the world of friendships through the lens of sobriety. They tackle how navigating sobriety not only changes us but also shines a light on our friendships, encouraging us to think deeply about who we choose to spend our time with. This episode is all about finding the joy in discovering and nurturing relationships that truly reflect our sober selves.

Get ready to explore the highs and lows of friendship in sobriety, from the tough goodbyes to the joy of making new connections that really get it. Sonia and Kathleen will touch on important questions like how sobriety can reshape our friendships, what it means for our social lives, and how to create a circle that supports our sober journey.

Listeners will learn about the key ingredients of friendships that flourish in sobriety, including tips on how to spot the ones worth holding onto, setting healthy boundaries, and how to make new friends who share your love for a sober lifestyle. This episode is packed with advice for anyone looking to enrich their social life in a way that aligns with their sobriety.

You won’t want to miss Sonia and Kathleen share their own friendship adventures in sobriety. Their stories showcase the beautiful, sometimes messy journey of building deep, meaningful connections in sobriety.

Join us at Sisters in Sobriety, your go-to spot for making sobriety feel like the ultimate friendship adventure. Don't forget to swing by our substack for all the best sobriety tips, tricks, and tales. We’re all about helping you find your tribe and keep your sobriety journey fun and fulfilling.

  • [00:01:59] The conversation shifts to how sobriety transforms friendships and the need to reevaluate relationships.
  • [00:02:17] Kathleen emphasizes the journey of peeling back layers of oneself in recovery and its impact on friendships.
  • [00:03:18] The hosts discuss the importance of understanding how sobriety reshapes personal connections.
  • [00:04:08] Sonia delves into how sobriety can deepen some friendships while leading to the end of others.
  • [00:05:08] A discussion on the isolation and loneliness that can accompany sobriety, and how to navigate these feelings.
  • [00:06:19] Kathleen shares her personal story of how her friendships changed dramatically after she stopped drinking and using drugs.
  • [00:07:28] Sonia talks about her initial isolation in sobriety and how she gradually built a new social circle.
  • [00:09:49] The hosts explore normal feelings about changing friendships post-sobriety and how to deal with them.
  • [00:11:18] Kathleen gives advice on how to discuss sobriety with friends who still drink.
  • [00:12:56] Sonia reflects on the importance of finding a sober community to combat feelings of isolation.
  • [00:14:12] A candid conversation about when and how to let go of friendships that challenge sobriety.
  • [00:16:19] Discussion on recognizing signs that a friendship may not be conducive to recovery.
  • [00:17:29] The impact of social media on sobriety and friendships, exploring both the positive aspects and potential triggers.
  • [00:19:09] How to approach a friend you believe may have a drinking problem.
  • [00:21:07] Kathleen recounts how her social circle and partying habits changed after she became sober.
  • [00:23:36] Sonia provides tips on building new, healthy friendships in recovery.
  • [00:25:20] The significance of having sober friends and the positive impact they can have on one’s recovery journey.
  • [00:27:15] A discussion on navigating social situations and gatherings as a sober individual.
  • [00:30:34] Closing thoughts on how sobriety can improve the quality and depth of friendships, even with those who aren't in recovery.

What is Sisters In Sobriety?

You know that sinking feeling when you wake up with a hangover and think: “I’m never doing this again”? We’ve all been there. But what happens when you follow through? Sonia Kahlon and Kathleen Killen can tell you, because they did it! They went from sisters-in-law, to Sisters in Sobriety.

In this podcast, Sonia and Kathleen invite you into their world, as they navigate the ups and downs of sobriety, explore stories of personal growth and share their journey of wellness and recovery.

Get ready for some real, honest conversations about sobriety, addiction, and everything in between. Episodes will cover topics such as: reaching emotional sobriety, how to make the decision to get sober, adopting a more mindful lifestyle, socializing without alcohol, and much more.

Whether you’re sober-curious, seeking inspiration and self-care through sobriety, or embracing the alcohol-free lifestyle already… Tune in for a weekly dose of vulnerability, mutual support and much needed comic relief. Together, let’s celebrate the transformative power of sisterhood in substance recovery!

Kathleen Killen is a registered psychotherapist (qualifying) and certified coach based in Ontario, Canada. Her practice is centered on relational therapy and she specializes in couples and working with individuals who are navigating their personal relationships.

Having been through many life transitions herself, Kathleen has made it her mission to help others find the support and communication they need in their closest relationships. To find out more about Kathleen’s work, check out her website.

Sonia Kahlon is a recovery coach and former addict. She grappled with high-functioning alcohol use disorder throughout her life, before getting sober in 2016. Sonia is now the founder of EverBlume, a digital tool that offers a unique approach to alcohol recovery support.

Over the last five years, she has appeared on successful sobriety platforms, such as the Story Exchange, the Sobriety Diaries podcast and the Sober Curator, to tell her story of empowerment and addiction recovery, discuss health and midlife sobriety, and share how she is thriving without alcohol.

Her online platform EverBlume launched in February 2023, and was featured in Recovery Today Magazine and deemed an ‘essential sobriety resource’ by the FemTech Insider.
The company champions self-improvement and mindful sobriety, with support groups designed by and for women struggling with alcohol.

So how can EverBlume help you meet your sober community? By offering deeply personalized support. Members get matched based on their profiles and life experiences, and take part in small group sessions (max. 16 people). In your support group, you will meet like-minded women, discuss your experiences, and gain confidence, knowing you can rely on your peers in times of need.

Whether you identify as a binge drinker, someone who developed a habit during the Covid-19 pandemic, a high-functioning alcoholic, or an anxious person using alcohol to self-soothe… There is a support group for you!

Current EverBlume members have praised the company’s unique approach to alcohol detox. “No one is judging me for not being sure I want to be sober for the rest of my life” ; “I felt so heard and understood and today I woke up feeling empowered to make the change in my life”.

Feeling inspired? Learn more about the EverBlume sobriety community at, or simply listen to Sisters In Sobriety.

Your sobriety success story starts today, with Kathleen and Sonia. Just press play!

[00:00:53] Sonia: Hi, we're Kathleen and Sonia and you're listening to Sisters in Sobriety. Thanks for being here. I'm Sonia and I'm with [00:01:00] my sister in sobriety. Actually, my sister in law, Kathleen. Kathleen, how are you doing today?

[00:01:05] Kathleen: I'm doing really well. Yeah, I'm doing really, really well. How are you?

[00:01:09] Sonia: I'm good. so my theme this week is protecting my peace. And I am learning how to protect my peace, my energy field.

[00:01:20] Kathleen: Yes, well, I just mentioned before we got on here, I think we should do an episode on protecting our peace because I'm very into that these days and also our energy and who we surround ourselves with and our energy and our home. And it really does relate to sobriety. So let's put that on the, on the list.

[00:01:38] Sonia: Yes! For sure! And I had a quote last night in my meeting about, the frequencies you vibrate at andvery interesting stuff.

[00:01:47] Kathleen: Mm hmm.

[00:01:48] Sonia: Well, today we're talking about friendships and sobriety. And so when you stop drinking, friendships, like everything else in your life, can transform in ways you don't anticipate.

[00:01:59] And [00:02:00] sobriety doesn't just change us, it really holds up a mirror to our relationships. Asks us to re evaluate who we surround ourselves with and why, and it's a journey of discovering not just who we are without substances, but who we want in our lives. Thanks. Thanks. So

[00:02:17] Kathleen: And as we peel back the layers of ourselves in recovery, which is really part of the process, we may find that some of our friendships were not actually anchored in growth and understanding, but in a shared escape from reality that substance use provided. So, When we let go of these relationships, it can feel like another loss in all the changes you're experiencing, but it's also an opportunity to cultivate connections that support our truest and most authentic selves.

[00:02:45] Sonia: today in our episode, we'll talk about the shifting landscape of friendship in sobriety, the sometimes painful goodbyes to longtime friends who couldn't go with us on this journey, and the joy of forming new profound [00:03:00] connections with people that truly see us and understand us.

[00:03:03] Kathleen: And remember, you are not alone. We are all connected in our shared journey towards healing. So let's find solace in the knowledge that with every ending comes the promise of a new beginning. Why are we even talking about sobriety and friendship today?

[00:03:18] Sonia: Yeah, I think we need to understand how sobriety reshapes our personal connections, and it does require us to reevaluate relationships that serve or hinder our journey. AndI think sobriety can act as a catalyst for change, not only in yourself, but also with your social circle. Why do you think it's important to talk about?

[00:03:40] Kathleen: this topic actually came up for us because I had been hearing from quite a few people how much their friendships had changed in sobriety. And that was certainly the case for me. And friendships are an important conversation no matter what. sometimes sobriety can feel like a lonely journey and it's important to know that you're not alone.

[00:03:58] Friendships can shift and [00:04:00] change through various seasons of our life. And this is very true in sobriety as well. so it's an important topic to talk about. What, what might this mean for our listeners?

[00:04:08] Sonia: for some people, it will mean discovering that some of their relationships have revolved around substance use, and some really had nothing to do with that. And this process really can lead to the deepening of some friendships, forming new ones, and unfortunately, the ending of others, but, for everyone, it's about building a support network that nurtures your growth and your health and your happiness In a life of sobriety, what do you think it means for our listeners?

[00:04:40] Kathleen: Well, some people who are listening to this may already realize deep down that they know certain friendships aren't healthy for them. And this episode might mean that they feel empowered to take action on that or to reevaluate their friendships. It's okay to let go of friendships that don't serve you or lift you up.

[00:04:59] And [00:05:00] sometimes we almost need permission to do that. In what ways have your friendships changed since you got sober?

[00:05:08] Sonia: Yeah, I've had all of it. So I have people I can't be friends with and that's mainly people who are really heavy drinkers or drug users. And actually it was a small subset of people I hung out with because after I quit drinking, I really realized I was the heavy drinker and kind of the instigator of bad behavior.

[00:05:30] So most of my closest friendships have gotten deeper and that's, a combination of. different changes in my life and sobriety. And I've made new friends and I would say that at most they're social drinkers and often they don't really drink at all except for special occasions. We call them normies.

[00:05:51] So my friends are at least normies and at most sober. So what about [00:06:00] you?

[00:06:00] Kathleen: Well, I was for sure the instigator, so I was the ringleader for a lot of it when I was heavily drinking and using drugs. And I remember that I did lose a few friendships when I got sober. I alsoalmost lost some very dear friendships because of bad behavior on my part when I was drinking and doing drugs.

[00:06:19] Yeah. for me the nature of what I want in friendships is changing as I get older and sobriety certainly has something to do with that too. It's a really interesting time for me to be talking about friendships actually because I feel that I am, I coming to a different season of my life with friendships and sobriety, definitely being surrounded by people who, who I'm able to protect my peace with and then also where they are either mostly sober or normies is, is pretty important to me as well. I know both of us have experienced changes in our friendships since becoming sober.

[00:06:57] Sonia: Yeah, we have some in similar [00:07:00] ways and some in different ways.

[00:07:02] Kathleen: Yes, I really, really changed my social circle and the way I socialized for sure.

[00:07:08] Sonia: Yeah, I did too but I never really had that big group of friends that I think you had. I had like little groups and also I moved around a lot and so I always had this opportunity to like reinvent myself and make different friends in whatever city I moved to.

[00:07:25] Kathleen: So what happened with your friendships when you got sober?

[00:07:28] Sonia: So,initially, the 1st, 6 months, at least I went through this sort of period of isolation where I had no idea what to do in social situations. I didn't want to go to bars. I didn't really even want to go to dinner. Those were kind of tough. And slowly I just figured it out. So there was no way I was hanging out with people who did drugs or drank and, or did drugs so they could drink more.

[00:07:58] And so, yeah, I just started [00:08:00] doing things I was interested in. I went to cooking classes, knitting classes, and. When I look back,what I really should have done is go to some type of meeting, like sobriety meeting or support meeting around this time instead of isolating. But for the 1st year or 2 is just testing things and people out and just avoiding super heavy drinking friends and most of my friends weren't.

[00:08:22] And so I really didn't even tell them I wasn't drinking And no one really asked. And so then I went through a bit of a transition. I sold my business. I was transitioning to living in New York city. And you typically think of New York as like partying and nightlife, but it has everything and everyone.

[00:08:42] And so my approach to New York was just. To find activities and interest so not like necessarily sober related activities Which you can also find in New York But I justwent to classes and I found friends at this embroidery class and then we got together every Wednesday [00:09:00] and At someone's house and usually they did drink wine, but it wasn't any wine focused on that.

[00:09:06] I also went on photography walks and I made a couple of friends and they drank, but again,really little, we would go on the photography walk and then we would go out to dinner and they would have like one drink. And so I continue that approach. I moved to Toronto a year ago and I still take classes.

[00:09:22] I go to book clubs, but the difference now is I have a more clear standard of what I'm willing to accept and what makes me uncomfortable in terms of drinking. So my definition of normie may be different than other people's definition of normie, but I'm really clear on What is too much drinking for me to be comfortable with?


[00:09:49] Kathleen: And so what are normal feelings that people have about their friendships after getting sober?

[00:09:55] Sonia: Yeah,it is really about what the relationship was built on. So if it was built on [00:10:00] going out and drinking, then for sure, you're going to feel uncomfortable. I completely normal to feel lost in terms of socializing. And on the other hand, my relationships, like with you, were based on spending time together, even when I wasn't sober.

[00:10:14] So getting sober improved our relationship. I feel like it gave me a lot more clarity and depth about who you were and it let me trust a lot more. Not that I didn't trust you, but it allowed me to really get deeper. And so, relationships can go in a few different directions, just depending on what the root of them was.

[00:10:36] And that basis can change, right? So, not all the time, but it can. So, I have a friend in Toronto that I think, I never Spent time with sober, but now we have so much in common and we have so much more to talk about. And yeah. Does she have one or two drinks?

[00:10:54] Occasionally when we go out. Yeah. But really that basis of our relationship [00:11:00] changed from partying to just hanging out and talking and yeah, part of that is me getting sober. And also part of that is just growing up. How do you think we should discuss sobriety with friends?

[00:11:12] And what challenges people face when discussing their sobriety with friends who still drink?

[00:11:18] Kathleen: Well, It can be tricky. It can feel intimidating. It can feel uncomfortable to talk to your friends who still drink, but it's, it's totally doable. And,I do recommend not picking a bar to have that chat. So somewhere away from that. And, it's when you talk to your friends about your sobriety and even their friends who drink,

[00:11:40] It's a really vulnerable process. You're opening up, you want to be honest about why you're sober now, and you don't have to share every small detail, but letting them know a little bit about why you made this choice helps friends sometimes understand where you're coming from. There's also boundary setting because, it's [00:12:00] important when you have boundaries to communicate those boundaries, which can be mean letting your friends know what makes you comfortable and what doesn't.

[00:12:06] So you might sayI really still want to hang out, but I'm not comfortable hanging out at bars right now. So, true friends are going to get it and stick by you, and support you in your decision to get. To get sober, but here's a heads up reactions can be all over the place.

[00:12:24] So some friends might be supportive and others might not get it. I also think that if some of your friends themselves have a problem, it might be threatening to them in some way. It might shine a mirror in their face that they need to look at something. And so you might not always get the reaction you hope for, but it can really tell you about who's willing to stick with you and support you as a good friend should, and who's not. What advice would you give to someone who feels isolated or misunderstood by their friends due to their sobriety?

[00:12:56] Sonia: For sure, I think the answer is a sober community. So [00:13:00] people that are going through the same thing that you are is sober. It's one of the areas I find it most helpful to talk about in sobriety and it's just such a huge relief to tell people that you're actually connecting with, that you're having trouble connecting with other people.

[00:13:16] So you realize, okay, it's not me. It's not that I have Trouble connecting or socializing. It's just the situation. And so, yeah, I find these conversations so helpful. They've helped me, especially when you're navigating what activities can be sober friendly and coming to realizations about when someone's being.

[00:13:37] Truly difficult or just having trouble understanding and needs more explanation about your sobriety. So you may have a friend that is insisting they only want to go to a bar and you have to figure out is this person just being really difficult or do I just need to explain my situation more?

[00:13:57] And I think it's so helpful to talk to friends [00:14:00] in a sober community about these type of topics. But I wanted to talk a little bit. about when to let go of friendships and how friends can actually challenge your commitment to sobriety.

[00:14:12] Kathleen: So I do actually think reassessing your friendships is a really important component of sobriety I actually do think that reassessing your friendships is At every stage of your life, like every season of your life is actually important. and it comes down from a sobriety standpoint to understanding what the impact of these relationships have on your commitment to sobriety.

[00:14:37] So we talked at the top of the episode a little bit about protecting your peace and we will do an episode on this, but it's, it's understanding. What how your relationships like are they protecting your peace or are they destroying your peace? Are they bringing chaos to your life or are they not? And I think that obviously the most glaring indicator [00:15:00] is if friends are consistently pressuring you to drink.

[00:15:03] So sobriety requires a very supportive environment and if someone's persistent about, Wanting you to drink, that is very, very counterproductive to becoming sober or maintaining your sober life. and equally important is how friends respect your boundaries. So if you've communicated the need to, let's say, not go to bars anymore and your friends disregard that is a sign that the friendship might not be right for you.

[00:15:30] as you're sober. Friends, true friends, respectful friends will honor your choices and adapt to new lifestyle. And so also this is a huge one for me, huge consider how you feel after spending time. With these friends and I suggest that to everyone whether sober or not Consider how you feel when you spend time with people Does their energy lift you up?

[00:15:56] Does it bring you peace? Is it supportive? Does it bring you [00:16:00] down? And your emotional and mental well being should always be a priority and you can really tell Which friends bring that to you and which friends take that away.

[00:16:11] Sonia: Yeah, I agree. What, what are some signs that a friendship is not conducive to your recovery and how do you address this?

[00:16:19] Kathleen: I always say this to my clients I always start with, what do you feel in your body first? So usually our body tells us first when something's not right, before it even makes our way to our mind to give us a thought or emotion. So, I, I suggest asking the questions first, how do you feel in your body when you're around this person?

[00:16:40] Are you anxious? Are you not feeling good? Are you making choices that are aligned with your values when you spend time with these friends? Are they people who lift you up and support you being the best version of yourself, or are they wanting to cut you down, cut other people down, and bring you down to a lower energetic level?

[00:16:59] So look around. [00:17:00] Look around at your friends. Are they people who inspire you? Do they support you? Do they help you live a lifestyle that makes you happy? And if any of the answers to these questions are no, it is time to either lessen the impact that these friendships have on your life, which means setting clear boundaries.

[00:17:17] Or it might be letting go of some of these friendships. How do you suggest dealing with feelings of jealousy or resentment towards friends who can drink without any issue? It's a great question.

[00:17:29] Sonia: Ugh, normies. I, I have this. I have the jealousy and resentment and I would say most people I talk to who are sober have this and we just talked about it. Last week in one of my meetings is how do you reconcile like seeing a couple out to dinner having a bottle of wine and nobody's ordering a second bottle, which is what I used to do or have a side to drink, which I always have a side drink if we were only like drinking wine.[00:18:00]

[00:18:00] And so my way of dealing with it is reminding myself. I know this sounds cheesy, but. I'm so lucky that I get to be sober and it's not a dig against normies. It's, I'm just grateful that I don't have to make a decision of when or how much to drink and I can predict all my nights knowing I won't get too drunk because I'm not drinking at all and I know I'm going to wake up on New Year's Day and feel good.

[00:18:28] And so for sure, yeah, do I resent people that can have a couple of drinks, but. I also know that that feeling of resentment is just another sign that I have a problem with alcohol because if I didn't, I wouldn't even be thinking about it. People who don't have a problem with alcohol don't think about it. There you go. Yeah,

[00:18:50] Kathleen: it's a good point. It indicates oh, just another point that shows that I do have a drinking problem.

[00:18:55] Sonia: for sure. what do you do if you think a friend has a drinking [00:19:00] problem? I have never really dealt with this. I always feel like I'm judging other people's drinking if I think that. So yeah, what do you think you should do if you

[00:19:09] Kathleen: This is a tough one because, I have, I'm not going to give too many details, but I, I have approached someone in my life because I felt like one of their children actually has, potentially a drinking problem and the conversation did not go well.

[00:19:25] So I think like, this video. Where I made the mistake is I, uh, I said something kind of in response to something else. That was not the way to do it. pick an appropriate time to talk about it, make sure it's private. And while obviously your friend is not under the influence,

[00:19:43] it's important to approach the conversation with concern and empathy and using I statements to express your worries. I've been really concerned because I've noticed you're drinking a lot, you drink so much and you're such an. When you drank like not that I've been concerned because I've been [00:20:00] noticing you're drinking a lot Andlistening is key.

[00:20:03] So be prepared to hear things that you might not expect. try to understand their perspective. It is crucial to avoid confrontation. So getting angry or making them feel attacked can just push them further away and it can lead them to be defensive. so offering help is a really delicate part of this.

[00:20:20] So mentioning resources like. Support groups like ever bloom or professional counseling can really help. And sometimes it's just saying, listen, I will be here for you. If you decide to get help, I will be here for you. And if you make that choice, I will be here for you. and then I do think, You might have to set boundaries for yourself because if their behavior is affecting you, you need to also be clear on what you can and can't handle for your own well being.

[00:20:47] So looking after yourself as well is just as important when you're close to someone who might be struggling with a drinking problem.

[00:20:54] Sonia: can you tell us a little bit about how your friendships changed when [00:21:00] you stopped doing drugs and drinking and overall partying? Because I know we've touched on it, but I've never really heard the full story.

[00:21:07] Kathleen: Well, I was the life of the party, so when I was drinking a lot and using drugs, I was the instigator, the ringleader, whatever you want to call it. I was always the one making plans. Like I had a huge group of friends. I would start getting calls around Wednesday, what are we doing this weekend, and I had a really, really fun, big social life.

[00:21:34] But what also happened is, in this group of friends, I brought all these friends together from different groups. And it was a moment in time, I was living in downtown Toronto at the time, and I was bringing in, All these different friends from different friend groups, and we started to have this community.

[00:21:50] And we formed this really solid group of friendships in a sense, but it was based around partying, drinking, [00:22:00] drugs. And so when I stopped using drugs, I didn't want to go to clubs anymore. I didn't want to do those things. I didn't want to stay up all night. I wanted to have just More low key fun. And that was a shock to some of my friends because a,I didn't seek to go and like go to rehab and get sober, it just evolved and happened that that happened for me.

[00:22:23] And so my friends were kind of like, well, why aren't we going out? And. It really bothered quite a few of my friends. I, I thought I had lost some friendships. and I did. I did lose some friendships. when I got sober, it felt like we all just went our own separate ways. And in some cases, one of my best friends, she actually ended up getting sober a few years later.

[00:22:47] And, we're still very, very, very close. but it was, it was abrupt for everyone because when I got sober, they almost lost their community too. And obviously, we've all evolved and [00:23:00] I see some people every once in a while, but others I don't at all. So, I also grappled with the fact that I felt like I let everyone down because I wanted to live a different kind of life.

[00:23:10] I was also then taking away that group of people. but in the end, it worked. it really was best for me and it really helped me live a healthier lifestyle and then I now I can reflect back and a couple of other people got sober as well. How can someone in recovery build new healthy friendships?

[00:23:36] Sonia: Yeah, I really think that shared interest is a good start and I find that even if you meet people that drink, they don't tend to do so during whatever activity it is you have in common. And I know I talked about that a little bit earlier. I also think being honest about the fact that you don't drink, not that you have to go deep or even say you had a problem, but just the, but [00:24:00] just, oh, I don't drink instead of.

[00:24:02] Oh, I'm on antibiotics or I'm driving.

[00:24:05] Kathleen: never used that.

[00:24:07] Sonia: You haven't?

[00:24:08] Kathleen: No. driving, yes, but never I'm on antibiotics.

[00:24:16] Sonia: People use it. I mean, yeah, I'm on antibiotics is a big one.

[00:24:20] Kathleen: I have a UTI.

[00:24:22] Sonia: Yeah, you're not supposed to drink on the UTI medication.

[00:24:27] Kathleen: It's true.

[00:24:28] Sonia: So I think it is better to figure out early on if it seems like an issue for someone. I know we talked about this a little bit during the dating episode and I really think that, sometimes like establishing a new friendship can be like dating.

[00:24:42] So what you don't want to do is, and I have done this with dating, is spend time with someone and then realize. a few months later that they're a heavy drinker or they drink more than what you're comfortable with. So you may end up doing a bunch of day activities, but then the first time you go [00:25:00] out to dinner, your new friend is like stumbling out the door.

[00:25:04] So I feel like that is something you want to be pretty upfront with the fact that you don't drink, when you're establishing a new friendship. How important do you think it is for someone in recovery to have sober friends and what impact do you think this has on their sobriety?

[00:25:20] Kathleen: Well, I do think it can be a game changer. So I do think it is important to have friends that are sober and it's almost like that your sober friends can guide and affirm your journey to sobriety. it is something shared and you, it relieves that pressure of like, well, they're sober too.

[00:25:38] So they're not going to drink. for example, for you and I, it is never, I mean, I don't even think about it. I don't even think about when you're, you don't think about it either. I'm sure when you come to my house, like, you know, there's no wine here. You know, there's no alcohol. I come to your house.

[00:25:51] Like I know the same. We don't even think about it. I don't like, do you think about it? I don't even think about it. No, we just know. having a sober [00:26:00] friend is like also having allies who get it and they understand the rough days They celebrate the victories no matter how small they are, I know you love milestones Sonia So you're you're sober friends can help help celebrate those Milestones with you and it really creates a bond that goes beyond a usual friendship.

[00:26:18] It's a really a deep connection And it's rooted in a commitment to share a sober life, but you also can have friends that aren't, well, are normies, as you have introduced to us today, that they can be normies, obviously, I'm not saying to people, Oh, get rid of all of your friendships. But I do think it is important to have a community of sober people around you.

[00:26:42] Recovery can be lonely. And if your old crowd is going out on a Saturday night, and they're all drinking, and they're all using drugs, and you don't have any sober friends, sometimes sober friends can fill this void, So, I, I mean, we've talked about this a little bit for you, Sonia, that you, even in your [00:27:00] support groups in Everbloom, sometimes people don't have friends that are sober, and even the support group can give that sense of, uh, community, but that bond.

[00:27:08] Sonia: Yeah, that's so true. This is a bit of a strange but related question,

[00:27:14] Kathleen: Mm hmm.

[00:27:15] Sonia: but what impact do you think social media has on sobriety and friendships? And what are like the pros and cons of social media for people in recovery? Heh.

[00:27:29] Kathleen: Gosh, there's two sides to this. Social media is obviously can be a big part of our lives, depending on how much you're on it. And for someone in recovery, it can be like walking a tightrope because on one side, social media can be a great place to find support.

[00:27:44] There are groups and pages full of people who are going through the same thing. They can offer encouragement and advice. And it's also, it can be a good spot to learn about staying sober and find uplifting stories of recovery. But there's another side to it. [00:28:00] Sometimes social media can be like a minefield of triggers.

[00:28:04] Pictures of parties or people drinking can pop up when you least expect them. For me, it's those like Facebook memories that pop up. I'm like, come on. It was like pictures. I'm like, no. so that can make staying sober harder and social media. People generally share the perfect. Version of themselves, like fully filtered, they share only a small amount of what their life actually is.

[00:28:33] And so it can make you feel down, like you're missing out or you're not doing as well as someone else. So you compare yourself to others. So too much time on social media can become its own problem. It can take you away from your real life connections and activities that help with recovery. And I really think it's about balance.

[00:28:51] Be picky about who you follow and set limits on how much time you're spending on social media and then make sure that you also have real [00:29:00] life relationships, not just online relationships. How do you handle social situations or gatherings as a sober individual, especially when alcohol is present? Mm

[00:29:12] Sonia: Yeah, so I think group settings are different than like one on one hangouts. And so I'm thinking especially of like birthdays, sports games, New Year's Eve. And so the one on one hangouts are a little easier to steer in the right direction. So you can be honest and tell someone like, I don't feel like going to a bar, let's plan something else.

[00:29:35] But I think for organized activities, you have to think of a couple of different things. Is it an activity that you can participate in reasonably, realistically, without alcohol? So if it's a drinking game No, but if it's a sports game, maybe. Also, are you able to explain to a friend what makes you uncomfortable and see if you could change some of the specifics, like [00:30:00] move from a sports bar to someone's house?

[00:30:02] Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn't. Or do you need to just avoid it? Certain things all together or certain activities with certain friends. And so, if so, how do you deal with that? Do you tell your friends why? Or have you already tried? So it's the group hangouts, the group kind of parties that require a little more effort to figure out.

[00:30:27] How can sobriety improve the quality and the depth of your friendships, even with those who aren't in recovery?

[00:30:34] Kathleen: It can really change your relationships for the better. Even with the friends who aren't in recovery. For starters, you can be more present in your interactions. We talked about this when you were sharing your story, when you were drinking, we were still friends, but the depth of our friendship wasn't like it is now.

[00:30:50] So you can be more present in your interactions without, alcohol involved. You're really listening, engaging, and making the conversations deeper and more meaningful. [00:31:00] Sobriety also, I think, can let your true personality shine through. It's not masked by alcohol or drugs.

[00:31:07] And this can really strengthen your connection with friends because they get to know the real you. And they can relate to the real you. Also, sobriety can bring healthier activities into your life. So instead of hanging out at bars, you might, Find yourself doing things like going outside or engaging in hobbies so you can have different shared experiences with friends.

[00:31:31] And finally, choosing sobriety often means that you're working on yourself, you're dealing with your personal issues and learning to handle stress better and working on personal growth and that can make you a better friend. You might become more understanding, more patient, more compassionate, and all of those qualities help deepen your friendships. In what ways can friends support each other's sobriety and overall wellness? What

[00:31:59] Sonia: [00:32:00] a friend, if you're sober or not, right? So I think being a good friend the same. And so you have to see, are they overall, are they understanding? Are they actively listening? Are they responding with helpful suggestions? Are they asking questions? But I think you really need to just feel like they're giving you support and even willing to compromise or happy to compromise, like some of my friends are.

[00:32:26] So when they go out with me, they're like, Oh, I get a night off from drinking and I'm gonna go to CrossFit tomorrow. So yeah, I think a good friend is Is a good friend regardless of, whether they're sober or whether you guys specifically talk about sobriety, just are they willing to support you?

[00:32:45] Kathleen: with you from today's episode?

[00:32:49] Sonia: I think what resonated with me was when you said, listen to your body, which is something I've been working on a lot. And [00:33:00] soWhenever we talk about that, I always think of that Gabe Armate book, The Body Keeps Score. And so, I'm really starting to understand that my body is keeping score of how I'm feeling.

[00:33:13] And so, I need to start listening to, does this situation make me uncomfortable? And that really resonated with me, and I'm going to work harder on that. What about you? What resonated with you today?

[00:33:27] Kathleen: resonated with me is just the importance of having sober friends and, being I think that it can be so hard for people if, it can make sobriety even more daunting if they have all these friends who don't, or who do drink or are consuming substances. And so really making an effort to create that community, to surround yourself with people that are sober, as well as having your other friends, I think is just really, really important.

[00:33:59] Sonia: thank [00:34:00] you for listening to Sisters in Sobriety, and we'll see you next week where we'll talk about the stigma of addiction in different cultural communities.