Cecil and Roger

Being Friendless…and Eating Sausages

At the time of this writing, I have 1101 friends on Facebook. That seems crazy to me, considering not long ago, I was virtually “friendless”.

1101 people have told me that they want to know who I am. They want to see what I am interested in and they are curious about what I have to say.

I, too, am curious about them and I want to learn more about their lives, their goals and their dreams.

When someone asks to be “friends”, I don’t just automatically click “confirm”.  I don’t accept a lot of requests because I realize that quite often, friend requests are sent haphazardly. Sometimes people simply want to increase their own friend list. Quite often, they are spam accounts.

I also spend a bit of time making sure these are people I would actually be “friends” with. I look to find whether our values are aligned; I see if I can learn from them. If not, I delete the request. I treat my friendships on Facebook the way I treat them in real life; discerningly. 

This was certainly not always the case.

Before I got sober, if Facebook symbolized my real life, I would have a lot more “friends”. I would probably hit “accept” on every single one.

You see, as I’ve shared before, I grew up as a kid who moved around a lot. This helped me adapt quickly to situations and make friends easily, but I also believe it contributed to my being a chameleon. I basically became whoever I was hanging around with; I was a follower.

I never had the confidence to lead because I had no idea who I was. 

When I was a drinker, I was a people-pleaser. I said what they wanted to hear. I doled out compliments, often disingenuously, in an attempt to make people feel better, and as a way to endear them to me.

I had many acquaintances and never lacked for people to hang out with. On any given night, I would be out for drinks with people, but I lied to myself about these so-called friendships.

They were my drinking buddies.

For the most part, the people I hung around with were not friends. They were place-holders in my life and they held me back just as I held them back. We played the role of “friends” by being the ones who grabbed drinks after work; the ones who would party together on weekends; the ones whose couches we would crash on.

Defining Friendship

Merriam Webster defines a friend as:

  • a person who you like and enjoy being with;

  • a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity)

I define a friend as someone who will tell me the truth especially when I don’t want to hear it; someone who will call me on my bulls#@t and show me who I really am; someone who will encourage me and push me towards my goals; someone who will allow me to tell them the truth and cheer-lead them as they move towards their own goals and dreams.

In the midst of my drinking years, I had the distinct good fortune of meeting and developing friendships with a select group of girlfriends. We have been together for over 20 years and I have always respected these women immensely.

But for many, many years, I didn’t feel good enough for them. I knew they were going places; they had relationship and career aspirations and I knew I was drifting, with no clear direction.

I never wanted to get too drunk in front of them for fear of letting them see me in such an unfavourable light, although I certainly didn’t always succeed. I admired these women for being brave and strong and vulnerable and for knowing who they really were.

Throughout those early years together, I often felt that I didn’t deserve their friendship. I didn’t trust myself around them and, at times, we would go months between seeing each other. I found myself pulling away, knowing I wasn’t a good influence, knowing I wasn’t the kind of person they needed in their lives. I hated not feeling worthy of their friendship, but I knew this was the truth at the time.

No matter what, these women have always been there for me, and our friendship has strengthened in the years since I got sober in ways that feel hard to describe. There is such honesty and openness and I feel incredibly blessed that they stayed with me through it all. I am deeply grateful to them for seeing something in me I didn't yet see in myself and I can only pray that I can be as good a friend to them as they have been to me all these years and I am excited to see where our friendship will take us in the years to come.

I love them dearly and owe so much of who I have become to their influence. To Karen, Sandi, Sheri and Toni...thank you. The gift of your friendship has been a lifeline to me through all these years.

The Book

This past weekend was very special for me. I haven't attended many social events in months as I've been embedded in the writing of my first book. I underestimated how long this book would take me to finish.

Granted, it is more than "just a book", it is a guide-book for the 28-Day Kick The Sugar Challenge and I also developed several new recipes that I had to prepare, test, re-test and finally write out formally when I was satisfied that people would actually enjoy them. But still, I didn't expect it to take months to complete.

I drew from my own experience and I dug deep to write from my heart, opening myself up and being vulnerable in a way that feels a lot like what I do here on my blog, but also feels different...because it is a book.

I can't believe it is at the printer as I type. I am awaiting the final proof. Within days, I will receive it and know if it is ready for the world to see. I am excited, nervous and filled with gratitude for what this means...to me and to those who will read it.

I can't wait to see how this story unfolds.

In the meantime, I needed to get out this weekend and connect with others. I left my home office and ventured out. It was for a really great cause, and I wanted to be in nature...surrounded by animals that I adore and people whom I admire.

Making Friends

We attended the Friends & Family Fun Day at Tranquil Acres. If you watched my interview with Ryan Theriault, you will know what an amazing place and business Tranquil Acres is.

The event was stellar and the positive energy was palpable. I believe I have met true friends on this farm. Ryan and Kyle are two of the most incredible people I have ever met due to the life-changing work they do and the culture they create on their beautiful farm.

To learn more about their services and to donate to Heroes Equine Learning Program, or H.E.L.P., a program that assists our military, veterans and first responders facing post-traumatic stress and operational injuries through peer and equine-based experiences, visit http://www.tranquilacresguesthouse.com/.

A special thank you goes to Dawn, Julie, Lana and Lily who graciously helped out on Sunday, sharing their stories and teaching us about the horses, their roles, and what they love most about Tranquil Acres. Thank you to Shola, the beautiful horse who trusted me to guide her through the arena and over some obstacles. Thank you to Cecil the donkey, who makes Roger so happy. Theirs is a special friendship. 🙂

Trusting Myself

For so long, I didn't trust myself to be a good friend. I didn't trust myself, period. I didn't like myself, let alone love myself, and I believe that unless and until we can show ourselves love and respect, we are unable to offer these gifts to others. Unless and until I could call myself on my own bulls#@t, how could I be trusted to do the same for my friends?

I was so happy to connect with artist and screenwriter, Mel Richer, who, in less than 10 minutes of talking said to me "I think we are soul sisters". These are the same words used by Rachel Vidito, General Manager of The Great George Hotel on P.E.I., after our first two meetings together.

I am learning to make new friends.

Until I was able to be honest with myself and be vulnerable in front of others, I didn't attract the kind of people who would be honest with me and share their lives.

Today, I may not always like what is happening in my life, but I can tell the truth about it instead of pretending everything is going well. Today, when friends ask my opinion, I give it, honestly. I still love to give out compliments...but now, I mean every one. I want to make people feel good because I think there is enough negativity in the world and my father taught me to be an enthusiast...and I want his legacy to live on through me.

Until I got sober, I didn't know who I was. Today, I am getting much closer, and I am so excited to be on this journey with people I can call my friends; both old and new.

I am becoming a better friend.

I want to love my life. I want to love my friendships.

I want the same for you.

I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. If we are already friends on Facebook , thank you for allowing me to share my life with you and I am so grateful to you for allowing me to learn about you. If we aren't yet, let's connect! We can also connect on Twitter and Instagram.  Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. For joining, you get my personal meal plan, shopping list, and a week’s worth of easy, tasty recipes. http://sarahtalksfood.com/

P.P.S. I developed this recipe for my upcoming book, The 28-Day Kick The Sugar Challenge, and I want YOU to be the first to get it!

I am not a fan of store-bought sausage as it typically contains cane syrup, sodium, msg and a lot of fat from the pork.  These are made with extra lean turkey and fresh herbs that combine to taste remarkably like traditional breakfast sausage without harming your health!

Served on a piece of whole grain toast with a poached egg, you can turn one of these babies into a healthy "egg muffin". They taste so much like a traditional breakfast sausage, I don't think you'll ever go back to store-bought! Please let me know what you think if you give them a shot. 🙂

TURKEY BREAKFAST SAUSAGES
Sarah Roberts, Inspired by Ann Boroch
Makes 12 sausages

Why I Make This: I wanted to create a recipe for people on the 28-Day Kick The Sugar Challenge who were missing a traditional “sausage & egg” breakfast.  These can be made ahead, made in large batches, and used for easy grab-and-go breakfasts, fast snacks or with a salad as an easy lunch. Top with an egg for a healthy “egg muffin”. They really do taste like traditional breakfast sausages but they are made by you with far less sodium and saturated fat. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound (453 grams) ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil plus more to grease the pan
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage (or 3 teaspoons of fresh, chopped)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram (or 1 teaspoon of fresh, chopped)
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch cloves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a muffin tin with avocado oil.
    2. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat and sauté the chopped onion for a few minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.
    3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Once done, remove onion mixture from the heat.
    4. Place the ground turkey in a large bowl, add cooked onion, egg, flax seed, remaining salt, remaining pepper and spices. Mix well.
    5. Divide the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and press each one down to make round sausages.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
    7. Allow them to cool slightly before removing them from the pan. Enjoy!Notes: I've made this recipe using a vegan egg instead of a real egg. To make a vegan egg, in a small bowl simply combine 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds and/or flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water and let stand a few minutes before adding to your recipe.Make a double batch to feed a crowd or to have for leftovers. These also freeze well.

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4 Comments

  • Helene

    Reply Reply June 28, 2016

    What a great post! I can’t wait to read your book! What you describe about friends is so true. I have learned that I had to let go of some to be able to move forward in life in the direction of my true path and passion.

    The program you speak of with the horses – I so have to look that up as my daughter has been asking (she has anxiety and depression issues).

    And THANK YOU for the recipe!! You are amazing!

    Helene

    • Sarah Roberts

      Reply Reply June 28, 2016

      Hi Helene!

      I am so happy this post resonated. Yes, when I got sober I had to do the same…walk away from relationships that no longer served me. It is hard to change our lives and until we surround ourselves with people and by experiences that are leading us closer to our goals, we will struggle to get where we want to go.

      I am so happy you will be in touch with Tranquil Acres. Their program is phenomenal. I believe strongly your daughter will benefit greatly. Visit tranquilacres.ca for info.

      I can’t wait for my book to become available. I am awaiting the final proof and after that, it will be ready!! Thank you so much for the support. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      xo S

  • Karen

    Reply Reply June 29, 2016

    Sarah,
    You’ve written a beautiful post – once again! I want you to know, that at times you have may have felt undeserving of our friendship, but in a sense — that’s what true friendship is all about – people that will always be there for you even when we aren’t being the best person we are capable of being. But, I also want you to know – that regardless of how hard you are on yourself — the gift of your friendship has personally been a blessing in my life that I feel incredibly fortunate to receive. You are a rock! Your positive energy is unbelievably inspiring and you draw people in with your magnetic personality. I thank you for your friendship and I look forward to continuing our journey together!!! xo K

    • Sarah Roberts

      Reply Reply June 29, 2016

      I love you, Karen. YOU have been my rock, and I have admired and respected you since the day we met. You are such a strong and capable woman. When I think of you, all I can think of is the ocean…you have the most calming energy of anyone I have ever met. You and your energy are blessings in my life. I can’t wait to see where we end up on this crazy journey together!
      xo

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