Someone who suffers from addiction may also find themselves experiencing some social anxiety now that they are sober. Most people use drugs and alcohol to take away the edge of feeling anxious when they are around others. Once that ease and comfort are gone, the stress of being around others could return in full force.
If this sounds like something you are confronted with, you should heed the warning signs. Dealing with the overwhelming pressure to be around others in group therapy or in a 12-Step program is important to identify since you no longer have drugs and alcohol to cope with. There are many things that can take you out of your sobriety, especially if you are not actively trying to replace the addictive behaviors with new ones that are centered around recovery.
Use your recovery tools
If you are feeling panicky, try some of your meditation techniques and stop to breathe. When you start feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, pick up the phone and call your sponsor so you do not feel alone. Have an exit plan ready to go if you are not mentally well enough to continue to hang out any longer, and do not feel bad about taking care of yourself. Hopefully, by using a meditative method, you can find that your social anxiety will continually dissipate as time goes on.
Use a different perspective
Yes, you may be terrified to be around others, especially those that you may not know very well. Take a new approach when you are surrounded by new friends and push through your fears. Not only will this aid in the strength of your overall sobriety, but you can take being around others with baby steps to get used to the fact that you need them just as much as they need you. Instead of running away in trepidation, start putting your hand out to others, one finger at a time, and you will see how this will help you to know that you are never alone.
Use principled actions
Suit up and show up they say and once you do just that, you have to admit that sticking to your word and honoring your commitments just feels good. Taking the suggestions in recovery that have been tested out by countless others that have had success in using principles to live by, builds more confidence than ever to combat social anxiety that is bringing you down. Taking contrary actions will most likely be the very thing that makes you feel comfortable within yourself and in a crowd.
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