Drugs and alcohol can create a whole new alter ego that you were not aware existed before you became intoxicated. Although you may be modest when sober, you could find yourself dancing on the bar taking off articles of clothing. While you may be happy go lucky without drugs and alcohol in your system, add something into your body that can get you high or drunk and you may unknowingly turn into Dr. Jekyll. Whatever the case may be, drugs and alcohol act as a social lubricant to lower your inhibitions causing you to act in strange and unbecoming ways that might be out of your character and that you would never do sober.
Whether someone is an introvert or an extrovert, does not define how someone will act under the influence. Most people loosen up after drinking or using and identifying the characteristics of an introvert or extrovert will become muddied by the effects of drugs and alcohol. Once these substances are taken away, however, then the truth of whether you are introverted or extroverted has a better possibility of being defined.
What is an introvert?
The definition of an introvert is “a shy person” and while introverts are often thought of as being timid and unsocial, there are other aspects to consider. Not all introverts are shy to the point that they completely retreat from others. Some introverts are classified in a psychological way by the way they are “concerned primarily with their own thoughts and feelings”. The characteristics of introverts are avoiding small talk, recharging alone instead of with others, diverting being the center of attention, but they are also detail-oriented people who are good listeners. An introvert likes to isolate which can also go hand in hand with the throes of addiction. If you were born an introvert, then most likely you will remain an introvert for the rest of your days.
What happens when an introvert gets sober?
Once you have achieved sobriety, you may feel like a born again introvert in sobriety experiencing social anxiety without the buffer from being under the influence. Although you may already know that you have introverted tendencies, they may come out in full force in early sobriety. Isolation is common in addiction and maybe the natural and comfortable inclination in sobriety for an introvert, but unhealthy for someone who needs support in their recovery. Rather than use their introverted behaviors to relapse, the tools that are suggested work for anyone – including an introvert.
Use self-reflection to your advantage
A recovery program is based on introspection and the strength of introversion is being able to self-reflect because they are comfortable in their own thoughts and feelings. Doing inventories is part of a 12-Step program which helps make being alone much easier because they are getting rid of all the inner turmoil instead of hanging out with the skeletons in their closet. Doing the work will give them the advantage of being an introvert in recovery.
Use meditation to your advantage
Since introverts already refuel themselves through time spent alone, meditation is something that is positive and beneficial for their soul. Instead of merely isolating, an individual can use their time wisely and find themselves in meditation. First, they need to find a guided meditation app to walk them through the process or download some Calm Meditation music to get them into the meditative state they are seeking. Trying yoga to their advantage can allow them to stretch and connect to a Higher Power all in one. Seeking the desired meditation is important and should be specific to the discovery of their higher consciousness.
Use recovery meetings to your advantage
One of the nightmare aspects that people who are introverted have to deal with in sobriety is attending meetings. First, they must be around new people and identify as having an addiction in front of strangers. Then there is the element of sharing in front of others which is terrifying for someone who does not want to be judged by these acquaintances. Here is what you need to know about meetings. No one is obligated to do anything they do not feel comfortable doing. 12-Step programs are meant to be suggestive only which means that no one can make anyone do anything that could potentially put them in harm’s way to stop participating in their recovery altogether which could put them in jeopardy for relapse. Meetings are important to find relatable and supportive people. An introvert may need to take it slow but should find their way to find a community to bolster them.
Do not let your introversion keep you from getting the recovery you are worthy of receiving. You can do this just like everyone else who also may have some sensitive issues to navigate through. The best way to get through your sobriety as an introvert is through being honest with yourself and share that honesty with a sponsor who can support you as an introverted person trying to recover instead of simply an introvert.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463