Ask Katie: How Can I Stay Connected with my Non-Sober Husband and Friends?

This piece is part of the regular Ask Katie* advice column series at The Fix.

Dear Katie,

I feel so lonely. I have been sober from pot for one month and from drinking for two weeks. My husband is supportive of my sobriety but he’s not sober himself. That makes sense, he doesn’t have a problem the way that I did. He’s cut down on the drinking since I got sober, but he still smokes pot. He is in a band and he goes out with our friends on weekends; they all go see him play at various bars and I have just been staying home. I’m not ready to go to bars but I also feel isolated from ALL of my friends as well as my husband. And I know he doesn’t want to say anything, but I can tell that it bothers my husband that I’m not going to see him at shows. I’m afraid now that I’m sober, I’m not going to be happy in this marriage. Is there a way for me to stay sober, not lose my husband and friends, and get over this loneliness?



Congratulations on your sobriety and I’m sorry you are feeling so isolated. 

As I was reading your letter, it occurred to me how often I hear something along the lines of “this person/group of people claim to be supportive of my sobriety but they aren’t actually supporting me as a sober person.” I know it’s something that I have felt at times throughout my sobriety. Part of the problem is that our culture is so focused on substance use (especially alcohol) as a normal part of life, that people don’t always know how to support someone who is sober. This puts you in the role of having to teach the people in your life how to support you in your sobriety. (continued)


*I am not an expert or a mental health or medical professional; I’m a sober person offering my experiences and advice about sobriety. Every other Tuesday I will one recovery-related question posed by Fix readers, based on my experience. Send your general advice questions to me at with the subject “Ask Katie.” 

By submitting a question to this website, you grant The Fix permission to publish it on its site. All questions will remain anonymous. Due to the large number of questions received, The Fix cannot guarantee a response. But they do check back frequently!

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Katie MacBride is a freelance journalist, essayist, and co-founder/associate editor of Anxy magazine. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, Vice, Playboy, and Buzzfeed, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter: @msmacb

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