His biggest problem, however, is something he shares with millions of recovering alcoholics and addicts: Once you give up your addiction, you often give up your social group, too. In Brian's case, it meant all his "swole" gym buddies, who by this point were also some of his only buddies. "After I told them I was stopping because I had a problem, they told me I really was weak. When I canceled, the bodybuilder who ran the gym said to me, 'You're turning your back on your physique, bro. You'll lose all your muscle.' I told him again it was for my mental health, since I would feel bad about my body no matter what, but he and a few others who passed me by just called me a quitter, as if this was personal." Of course, it is personal, in a way -- this is still all about validation, and tearing down quitters reinforces their group as the dedicated elite.
In March 2008, the Brewers renewed Braun's contract for $455,000, a $75,000 increase.  Braun then signed an 8-year, $45–$51 million contract extension (the total depending on his "Super 2" service-time ranking after the 2009 season) on May 15, 2008.  The contract is through the year 2015. The deal included Braun's $455,000 salary for 2008, and a $ million bonus in 2008. It could increase to $51 million through incentives. Braun also has a no-trade clause for the first four years, and then a limited no-trade clause allowing him to block deals to 12 teams from 2012 to 2013, and 6 teams from 2014 to 2015. The contract will keep Braun locked up through his age-31 season.  It was the largest contract in Brewers' history, surpassing Jeff Suppan 's. It was also the largest contract in baseball history given to a player with less than three years' experience.  Braun's agent, Nez Balelo, crunched enough numbers to show him what he potentially could have made over the life of this contract if he had chosen not to sign it. "But the question I ultimately asked myself was, `What can't I buy with that amount of money?"' Braun said.