Not sure where I fit in anymore.

RealWorldStrengthLLC
RealWorldStrengthLLC Posts: 550 Member
edited January 2019 in Motivation and Support
I've made a TON of life changes over the course of the last year - part of it was getting my fitness back, to a level I'm happy with, part of it has been going a step further and caring about my physical/mental/emotional health.

Pretty much everything has changed. I have a good idea of the direction I want my career to go in terms of job satisfaction. I have active hobbies and can actually do them without struggle. I care about and know about my mental health. 3 years ago I was an alcoholic, now I am an honest to god moderate drinker who could care less about booze except the truly occasional glass of scotch or beer. I've lost the vast majority of the weight I put on through discipline and changing my relationship with food. I've quit smoking by my own choice for the first time in about 6 years. The backbone of all of this was getting back to lifting weights and re-igniting my love for fitness. I'm really happy with all these changes and a better person for them.

That said - I'm not truly sure where I fit in anymore. A lot of my friends and family are alcoholics or alcohol abusers. The vast majority of my them aren't interested in being active, exercise, eating right, drinking less etc. The ones that are, I've strengthened those relationships. The other ones, they're becoming weak - and it's due to me and my changes. Most of these people are either family, or friends I've had long enough to consider family - I don't want to lose these relationships, but it's almost inevitable at this point - I'm lost as what to do and could use some input. How do I keep these friendships alive. Barring saying *kitten* it and buying a pint of whiskey, a pack of marlboros, ordering takeout for everyone like I used to.

Replies

  • Cahgetsfit
    Cahgetsfit Posts: 1,913 Member
    that's a hard one. A bit hard to maintain them at the same level as before, but you can still talk to them/see them every so often? Sorry I have no solid advice but sorry to hear you are going through this.
  • george5911
    george5911 Posts: 3,910 Member
    I've made a TON of life changes over the course of the last year - part of it was getting my fitness back, to a level I'm happy with, part of it has been going a step further and caring about my physical/mental/emotional health.

    Pretty much everything has changed. I have a good idea of the direction I want my career to go in terms of job satisfaction. I have active hobbies and can actually do them without struggle. I care about and know about my mental health. 3 years ago I was an alcoholic, now I am an honest to god moderate drinker who could care less about booze except the truly occasional glass of scotch or beer. I've lost the vast majority of the weight I put on through discipline and changing my relationship with food. I've quit smoking by my own choice for the first time in about 6 years. The backbone of all of this was getting back to lifting weights and re-igniting my love for fitness. I'm really happy with all these changes and a better person for them.

    That said - I'm not truly sure where I fit in anymore. A lot of my friends and family are alcoholics or alcohol abusers. The vast majority of my them aren't interested in being active, exercise, eating right, drinking less etc. The ones that are, I've strengthened those relationships. The other ones, they're becoming weak - and it's due to me and my changes. Most of these people are either family, or friends I've had long enough to consider family - I don't want to lose these relationships, but it's almost inevitable at this point - I'm lost as what to do and could use some input. How do I keep these friendships alive. Barring saying *kitten* it and buying a pint of whiskey, a pack of marlboros, ordering takeout for everyone like I used to.

    You fit in right here like the rest of us. As for the offline world, F' em, be your own trend.

    If the extent of your friendship is supplying all the food and favors then you need new "friends" anyway.
  • Cahgetsfit wrote: »
    that's a hard one. A bit hard to maintain them at the same level as before, but you can still talk to them/see them every so often? Sorry I have no solid advice but sorry to hear you are going through this.

    This is true, and I do make the effort to swing by and chat for a few minutes with each of them. But what used to be hours of hanging out is now me stopping through, talking for a few minutes, saying "do you want to go do ______?" which is almost always met with a "no I'm good", so I go do whatever ______ is either by myself or with someone who wants to go. _______ is usually anything from shopping to the archery range to a drive or whatever the *kitten*, so it's not even necessarily me saying lets go to the gym. In fact I never say that because I prefer to train alone anyways.
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,187 Member
    You are not alone in this cry of social isolation. Most people in advanced industrial societies have wandered from hearth and home in search of riches and pleasures, only to find loneliness and loathing. If you can measure a problem, you can solve it, so measure the size of your friendship and family circle. If it's too small, enlarge it. The puzzle is in figuring out how that is done.
  • george5911 wrote: »
    I've made a TON of life changes over the course of the last year - part of it was getting my fitness back, to a level I'm happy with, part of it has been going a step further and caring about my physical/mental/emotional health.

    Pretty much everything has changed. I have a good idea of the direction I want my career to go in terms of job satisfaction. I have active hobbies and can actually do them without struggle. I care about and know about my mental health. 3 years ago I was an alcoholic, now I am an honest to god moderate drinker who could care less about booze except the truly occasional glass of scotch or beer. I've lost the vast majority of the weight I put on through discipline and changing my relationship with food. I've quit smoking by my own choice for the first time in about 6 years. The backbone of all of this was getting back to lifting weights and re-igniting my love for fitness. I'm really happy with all these changes and a better person for them.

    That said - I'm not truly sure where I fit in anymore. A lot of my friends and family are alcoholics or alcohol abusers. The vast majority of my them aren't interested in being active, exercise, eating right, drinking less etc. The ones that are, I've strengthened those relationships. The other ones, they're becoming weak - and it's due to me and my changes. Most of these people are either family, or friends I've had long enough to consider family - I don't want to lose these relationships, but it's almost inevitable at this point - I'm lost as what to do and could use some input. How do I keep these friendships alive. Barring saying *kitten* it and buying a pint of whiskey, a pack of marlboros, ordering takeout for everyone like I used to.

    You fit in right here like the rest of us. As for the offline world, F' em, be your own trend.

    If the extent of your friendship is supplying all the food and favors then you need new "friends" anyway.

    I wasn't saying that supplying food or favors was the basis of my friendships, it was just an example of what used to happen.

    I can't just say *kitten* em, and don't want to - these people are either family, or friends that have been in my life 10+ years at least. I don't want to just ditch them because my life has changed and gone in a different direction.
  • Running2Fit
    Running2Fit Posts: 702 Member
    This is a pretty typical thing in life - people grow apart. True life-long friends are a rarity. You’re growing and changing as a person and it sounds like in a very good way! You don’t have to say *kitten* them and cut them out completely but maintaining a relationship as close as you always had just may not be a possibility.

    Also, you say you invite them to things but they always say no. It sounds like you are putting in the majority of the effort. For any relationship to work there has to be a balance of effort - not 50/50 all the time but generally over a long stretch of time it should even out. But you can’t force them to make that effort. It sounds like to some extent they are choosing to let the relationship fade and if that’s true then you can’t save it on your own.
  • george5911
    george5911 Posts: 3,910 Member
    george5911 wrote: »
    I've made a TON of life changes over the course of the last year - part of it was getting my fitness back, to a level I'm happy with, part of it has been going a step further and caring about my physical/mental/emotional health.

    Pretty much everything has changed. I have a good idea of the direction I want my career to go in terms of job satisfaction. I have active hobbies and can actually do them without struggle. I care about and know about my mental health. 3 years ago I was an alcoholic, now I am an honest to god moderate drinker who could care less about booze except the truly occasional glass of scotch or beer. I've lost the vast majority of the weight I put on through discipline and changing my relationship with food. I've quit smoking by my own choice for the first time in about 6 years. The backbone of all of this was getting back to lifting weights and re-igniting my love for fitness. I'm really happy with all these changes and a better person for them.

    That said - I'm not truly sure where I fit in anymore. A lot of my friends and family are alcoholics or alcohol abusers. The vast majority of my them aren't interested in being active, exercise, eating right, drinking less etc. The ones that are, I've strengthened those relationships. The other ones, they're becoming weak - and it's due to me and my changes. Most of these people are either family, or friends I've had long enough to consider family - I don't want to lose these relationships, but it's almost inevitable at this point - I'm lost as what to do and could use some input. How do I keep these friendships alive. Barring saying *kitten* it and buying a pint of whiskey, a pack of marlboros, ordering takeout for everyone like I used to.

    You fit in right here like the rest of us. As for the offline world, F' em, be your own trend.

    If the extent of your friendship is supplying all the food and favors then you need new "friends" anyway.

    I wasn't saying that supplying food or favors was the basis of my friendships, it was just an example of what used to happen.

    I can't just say *kitten* em, and don't want to - these people are either family, or friends that have been in my life 10+ years at least. I don't want to just ditch them because my life has changed and gone in a different direction.

    Relationships of any kind should be a 2 way street. It sounds like you're the only one driving. You don't have to act like they dont exist anymore or anything like that, just realign the way you prioritize your time. If they are a true friend, relative or not, they will understand and either A) be good with the change and accept it for what it is B) hopefully realize the value of your friendship and put in a little more effort on their own end to maintain it.

    Based on just the context here, you're coming from a good place and it is clear you care about others. Betting you've been called"loyal to a fault" a time or two.

    Bottom line is what matters most to you should be you. Not in a selfish narcissistic way, but in a preservation and quality of life kind of way. If the relationship is causing you to have guilt over making a better choice for you, it is toxic. Just the longer version of how I would see it, again based off the above context alone.





  • jogetsgains
    jogetsgains Posts: 341 Member
    Its good that you recognize its tough for everyone. You have changed, they have not. Neither party will be completely satisfied with the relationship. Don't focus on what you have lost. Keep spending the 15 to 20 mins with them, keep inviting them to things, and keep leaving when they say no. The relationships have changed but you haven't lost them completely. Think of it this way -- if you were always meeting to get drunk then you were really only spending 20 minutes of quality time together anyway! The rest of the time was drunky time.
    Embrace your new relationships and embrace the changes in your old ones 🤗 you don't have to apologize for changing.
  • missysippy930
    missysippy930 Posts: 2,547 Member
    Your choice.
    They make their choices.
    If these are people you care about, and value as friends and family, your decision whether you have them in your life. You can not change people, they have to do it for themselves.
    Personally, I wouldn’t give up on them. Maybe, by your presence alone, you can quietly, influence them to make changes themselves.
    Why would you ask if you should give up and join them, and go back to what you determine to be negative habits, if you are happy with the direction your life has taken?
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,144 Member
    I started weight loss by giving up drinking completely for 3 years. Even though it took some adjustment, my bar friends, who were actual friends, remained friends. The rest were just guys at the bar.

    Although it took awhile, a lot of my friends, came around to my way of thinking. As we got older, 1 by 1, they got away from drinking for various reasons. Got married to the right woman. Health problems. Decided his business was making too much money to mess around. Fact is, if you’re into the smoking and drinking lifestyle, it gets really hard as you get older. Really hard. Some guys don’t care. Some actually like it. Some just can’t see any alternative.

    I think weight loss and fitness are mostly solitary pursuits. Try to involve yourself in some kind of group activity. Do they have a park district gym where you live. Volleyball? Pickleball? Fitness classes? A bike club? Church softball? Volunteer to pick up trash along the highway? Anything where folks get together to do stuff.

    Do anything to get out and meet people that will support your goals. Sometimes you have to defend your program. If I had my way I’d change the name of this board to Determination. Keep going you’re doing the right thing.
  • mmultanen
    mmultanen Posts: 1,029 Member
    Anytime you change it forces the people around you to change too. You change positively, they have to re-assess. You change negatively, they have to re-assess. It's a process that's uncomfortable and challenging for everyone. I think you're doing all the right things by maintaining contact with the "old friends" and your family and recognizing your limits. You don't engage in the behaviors or settings that don't work for you any more but you let them know what you do engage in and invite them to join you.

    You're reaching out to them and should continue to do so. Meet them where they are, while respecting your own boundaries. Over time this "new" relationship you have with the"old" people might die out, some will change into new kinds of relationships, some will thrive and grow. If you can, continue to strengthen the relationships working and put some effort into cultivating new friendships as well. You'll find all kinds of like minded individuals at your gym or at AA Meetings (if you participate there) it will take time, but you'll find a new place to "fit in". Best of luck to you, sounds like you've taken charge of your life and are in a much better place.
  • BZAH10
    BZAH10 Posts: 5,579 Member
    Cahgetsfit wrote: »
    that's a hard one. A bit hard to maintain them at the same level as before, but you can still talk to them/see them every so often? Sorry I have no solid advice but sorry to hear you are going through this.

    This is true, and I do make the effort to swing by and chat for a few minutes with each of them. But what used to be hours of hanging out is now me stopping through, talking for a few minutes, saying "do you want to go do ______?" which is almost always met with a "no I'm good", so I go do whatever ______ is either by myself or with someone who wants to go. _______ is usually anything from shopping to the archery range to a drive or whatever the *kitten*, so it's not even necessarily me saying lets go to the gym. In fact I never say that because I prefer to train alone anyways.

    This may be the extent of these friendships, unfortunately. I agree with what @george5911 said, asking what do they offer YOU in terms of a relationship? Do they contact you regularly (and for things other than the things you don't participate in anymore)? They need to make an effort, too.

    I get that you don't want to cut these people out completely but every stage of life has its changes and this seems to be a time for you to find a new circle of friends.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,886 Member
    Life changes and people grow apart and go in different directions. I have friends that I've known for ages that once upon a time I couldn't have imagined not being thick as thieves. Most of my long time friends I still see from time to time and some more than others...but all of our lives have changed over the years...my first big change was getting married...then it was having kids...then it was getting back into fitness and healthy living.

    All of those things had impacts on my other relationships...I still have friends that are my age who are single and childless and they hang out and party and play video games and whatnot just like we did in our 20s...I'm just passed that being married and having kids. I see those guys maybe once or twice per year at a pool party or something. The flip to that is I've developed other relationships and have stronger relationships with older friends who are also married and have kids as our priorities are similar and our kids are growing up together.

    I used to be a big football fan...I still love the game, but I used to be a fanatic and pretty much all I did on Sundays was get up and watch football all day. I would typically meet some guys at the bar or one of their houses or my house and we would start drinking at noon and go all the way through the end of the Sunday night game. That changed somewhat when I got married, but my wife also always wanted me to have my time with the guys, as long as it wasn't all the time...changed more when I had kids...changed more when I got into fitness and healthy living. Most of the time I'd rather head out for a long bike ride on Sunday than sit on the couch all day...or go and take my kids to the climbing gym or trampoline park or out for a hike or something. I rarely sit and watch a whole game anymore, let alone a whole days worth. I still get together with those guys every once in awhile during the season, but usually I'll just meet them at the bar to watch a game and not hang out all day. We all still talk and we're friends, just not as close as we used to be.

    I got into the whole good livin' thing in the fall of 2012. At the time I didn't have any friends that were particularly interested in fitness and good livin'. Years later I have quite a few that I've either met through group meetup rides on the weekends and people I've met in my gym, including my trainer and his wife (who is my wife's trainer) who are very good friends of ours now with kids of roughly the same age. That was one I didn't really see coming...professional relationships budding into very close personal relationships.
  • I kind of feel that way too. In some areas, trying to figure things out and take care of myself. Trying to start my journey and see where it goes.
  • Kimberley2019
    Kimberley2019 Posts: 5 Member
    You should be incredibly proud of all the changes you have made. As many people have said it's normal to outgrow friends and family when you life goals change.
    But that just means you need a few more friends on your own level, you said you go to the gym but have you considered joining any sports groups where you live? It's easier to grow a bond with people and potentially become friends if you do the same class/team.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,294 Member
    We change as life goes on. It's hard.
  • Thanks for all the replies, gave me some perspective.

    I know people change and grow, its just a damn shame when people who have been there your whole life seemingly have no interest in growing with you.
  • george5911
    george5911 Posts: 3,910 Member
    Thanks for all the replies, gave me some perspective.

    I know people change and grow, its just a damn shame when people who have been there your whole life seemingly have no interest in growing with you.

    That is because you aren't allowing them to miss you.
  • lorrainequiche59
    lorrainequiche59 Posts: 898 Member
    Thanks for all the replies, gave me some perspective.

    I know people change and grow, its just a damn shame when people who have been there your whole life seemingly have no interest in growing with you.

    Sounds like you're grieving the "loss" of the negative relationships in your life. People grow & change at their own rate IF they choose to grow and change. Some never do because they don't want to AND you cannot make them follow your path just because you'd like them to. Like others have said here any healthy relationship is a two-way street, give & take! Interestingly, you don't mention any of these people bending over backwards to cater to you, to stop by & spend 20 mins talking with you, checking in on you!! You seem to be doing all the work and it isn't working is it? Cause if it were working we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    You also say the vast "majority" of them are not interested in the things you are now interested in so what's the draw for you? It would be interesting to see what would happen to these relationships if you stopped trying so hard. I've been there, done that.

    Save your energy for your positive pursuits, for your life changes that are within your control and find people who you have something in common with. IF there is any substance to your other relationships, they will make an effort...if they don't, then you're not losing as much as you fear. Hoping the best for you...don't let this stuff hold you back from the good stuff in your life.