Hi guys ... I’m a 30 year old female and I’m in recovery. I’ve been sober from alcohol for 19 months and this past week it’s been very clear to me that social anxiety was the cornerstone of my addiction... it’s keeping me back from every aspect of my life.. I finally started dating in sobriety and I can’t believe the fear and anxiety this has aroused. This social anxiety has followed me in my sobriety but not to this extent. Getting a job was very difficult but I worked with professionals and was able to overcome the fear and work through it. But dating is different . I think I’m being rejected and I’m physically sick. These types of feelings is why I started drinking in the first place and it all makes sense. I’ve came too far to pick up a drink over a guy I barely know! My thoughts are irrational but I can’t control them and I guess I just wanted to share this with people who may understand where I’m coming from. Thank you!
This is my first post.. thanks for li... - Anxiety and Depre...
Anxiety and Depression Support
Hi Purple34, I believe you’re right about not picking up a drink for a guy you barely know. When you were in treatment did they talk about how long you should wait to date?
And I’m so thrilled that you’ve been sober for 19 months. Congratulations!!!
I’d probably wait on dating since it is causing you anxiety. This time is about you and your health!
I agree on that one...it's a slippery path and not good for sobriety....personally, I wouldn't be able to be with someone who drinks....it just would not work out.
I know what you mean but I don’t want to be alone my whole life .. it’s not just dating , it’s holding me back from school and work .. dating has just been extreme !
You don't have to be alone....and it's okay to have friends and acquaintances who drink if your secure enough in our sobriety.....but on a long term basis in a relationship...it's hard to stay sober when the partner is a regular drinker on a daily basis....People come to our house with drink...and I pour out what they leave, and ask them to take what's not open back with them...no problem.
I lived in a sober house for 13 months and they suggest not dating for a year and I folllowed the rule.. I actually liked the rule because it was an excuse not to date lol... I am a very proud person and I’ve done my best to hide the social anxiety.. Drinking covered it up until it turned into a full blown addiction.. so this was my first time liking someone and being intimate in sobriety and I thought since I’ve done so much work I’d be ok but holy shit that anxiety and impending doom feeling has taken over my body ... I’m trying to decide whether to face the fear or get some help first.. I think you’re right though .. put dating on a hold for now !
Well done for getting sober, I had a similar battle too so know how hard it is,good you’ve come on here to this lovely community I’m sure youlle get support to overcome your social anxiety and regain some confidence ✌🏼🌞
Thank you! I’m happy I joined the community because I can explain it to my sponsor and my therapist but they say everyone feels that way and I’m like no I feel like I’m going to die! I really hope everyone doesn’t feel this way when they go on a date or public speak .. because it’s torture !
Hi Purple 34,
Congratulations on your sobriety! This is a huge step in the right direction. I have had social anxiety that went into panic attacks. I remember my boss telling me last minute that I had to speak in university auditorium, in front of 200 ppl. I was so anxious and told her I couldn’t do it. She said it would help my career. Most of the people were doctors, professors and scientists. That made me more anxious. Well with no time to prepare I told myself, they know their science but I know my topic well. We all put on our pants the same; one leg at a time. No one is better than you, have confidence and you will overcome this with alcohol. Good luck!
Don’t get discouraged. You are doing great in your recovery. Being able to acknowledge these feelings and connecting them to self medicating in the past is a big step towards your success in conquering them. Are you getting any treatment that can help you address these underline feelings that led to you self medicating?
Thank you so much... I see a therapist once a week and I love him.. He facilitated the IOP that really helped me get sober but I think I’m going to see someone who specializes in anxiety as well. When those fears and emotions crept up on me this week it hit me and I said to myself this is why you started drinking and this is why you couldn’t stop! I’m ready to face it head on now
Yes! Kick it’s ass.
Congratulations on you sobriety! I just wanted to add that building self-esteem is important. It really can change the way you perceive things.
Yes I need to work on it.. I’m very proud but very insecure .. any social situation where I can be scrutinized I either avoid or go into full blown panic mode
I have been there. It's tough to get out of old habits and learn new ways of doing things, huh? Insecurity and anxiety hold us hostage. It takes time to build yourself up. When we stumble and fall, we have to get back up.
Yes it’s really tough.. I thought I made a lot of progress and was shocked when my body/mind reacted this way.. I feel like I’m being held hostage but there’s so many things I want to do! Talking about it helps and i plan on working with a professional to get a hold on this .. and always get back up 🙂
We understand and are so glad you are posting. Talking about your dating anxiety is the first step to successful dating. Have you talked to a counselor? Before I started dating again, a Christian counselor helped me work through deep issues from my past, and afterwards, I felt more healed and ready to date. Also, sometimes who we are dating is the wrong person and your "gut" instinct may be telling you he is not right for you?? Trust yourself. Blessings to you and please keep posting.
Hey thanks for replying! I’m happy you were able to overcome your fears. I see a counselor once a week and he thinks so highly of me. I think I’ve put on such a good act that he doesn’t believe how bad my social anxiety is. I told him about not being able to finish college because of a public speaking class and he basically laughed and said to do it lol.. I liked what you said about dating the wrong person because I’m having these obsessive thoughts and I don’t think it’s because he’s that special .. I think my body/mind would’ve responded the same way if it was someone else.. thanks for the support it means a lot!
Many things in early recovery can feel overwhelming, it’s all about “getting our feelings back” I’m way down the road, 24 years down the road. I remember feeling this way early on, keep talking about it,keep putting yourself out there. Being uncomfortable is ok, that is the key, it’s ok to be uncomfortable, it becomes manageable, the panic will lesson each and every time to conquer these fears. Just don’t use!
Thank you for the encouragement! I won’t pick up because I have so much support in my recovery but being clear minded I am able to see this is where my addiction started and that’s scary but also a good thing.. social anxiety can be treated ! And congrats on your 24 years! I’m right behind u lol
I wanted to let you know that I took your advice .. I was going back and forth on “Am I just not ready for this yet?”... I’m a nervous wreck because this is all so new to me.. i was able to speak about the topic with a professional, my sponsor, friends, and on this site as well.. I have so much support and if not now then when? I’m seeing the same person still and each time we see each other the anxiety lessens.. I’m very happy that I didn’t let my anxiety win this time because in this moment I am happy. Thank u 🙃
Hi Purple34, great job and you should never feel rushed to be in a relationship. You are so young and have plenty of time for that. I wish I would have listened to someone telling me that when I was younger. There are a few of us hear dealing with unhappy relationships that I know now in my case (both times) were out of a sense of obligation and just looking for something else and not what I realized now is what I really needed. Now 28 years into the second one I’m trying to find my way out. Not easy. These pressures are easy to cause us to drink, I know as I was just 4 weeks clean until this past week. Nothing like you but I thought I would just have a couple drinks to relax and boom. Today is a new day and you’re encouraged me to start again. Thank you! The right time and person will be there for you if you just take your time and love yourself first. It’s the hardest lesson I am trying to learn my self. Welcome
First off welcome & congratulations! You have come a long way. I know, my son is an alcoholic & desires no help. He lives with me, so sad. So anyhow I'm so proud of you! Take a bow, I'm clapping for you for sure, 100%! Do you think that maybe you need time still do some work on you before getting involved? I'm in no way way or shape being a judge. I want you to know I'm here for you. This is the ugly disease talking to you. If you would like to pm me I'd love to get to know you! Love, peace, light, joy & hugs!!!
I’m sorry to hear that! I look back and it’s still hard to deal with what I put my parents through... it was brutal! Idk how but my dad never gave up on me! I’m trying to figure out if I need time or if it’s time to face my fear?? I’m a perfectionist so dating is hard to begin with .. and being vulnerable ... takes a lot of courage ! I went through hell and back before it was my time to get sober... I know now that I had to go through all of those things to get where I am.. I hope one day your son gets it.. thank you ❤️
Parents love with no conditions. you know yourself best. I wish you all the best with everything! Love, peace, light, joy & hugs!!!
Hi Purple34 I know it’s tough to deal with addiction. I am around your age and dealt with it a few years ago. Meetings are really important and so is therapy. Do you have a sponsor? That’s important too. I’m very proud of you for being sober 19 months! That’s huge! Remember one day at a time. Work on your steps. Hang out with people who are sober too. The real culprit is mental illness. Addiction is a coping mechanism. And they say you can date after a year but take it slow. Just have some fun. Don’t waste a breath on anyone who makes you uncomfortable or possibly puts your sobriety in jeopardy. I wonder why you’re feeling sick. Maybe see your doctor. There’s a lot of good advice people gave you. And Anytime you wanna talk I’m here! Love and hugs ❤️🤗
Hey Maria thanks for the advice! I do have a sponsor but I think I’m taking it more serious than her... I think I need to do step 4 again ... I hear you with the mental illness ... mine comes in waves and I have to tell myself this is temporary...I had a physical trauma a few years ago and was in the icu at mgh for 2 months ... so all my doctors are located there and they’re great.. I see a meditation therapist and a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction and I recently found out they have a center for anxiety! I’m going to call on Tuesday and set something up ! Thanks for caring ❤️
This is ALL amazing! You seem like you got a good support team, you’re working hard on your sobriety and you just sound so grateful. This really makes me happy to hear all this.
As for your sponsor, maybe look for someone else. I found someone older with more time is really good because they’re experienced, they are a little more tough loving and take stepwork seriously. And don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. You have to do what’s best for you!
You are rocking it! ☺️❤️
Thanks girl! I was leaning towards finding someone older .. the steps have been tough for me because I struggle with a higher power so I feel like I’m a pain in the ass lol! The thought of breaking up with my sponsor is overwhelming because she’ll take it personal but you’re right it’s my recovery and I need to do what’s best for me. Thanks for the support !
Don’t think of it as struggling with the steps. Think of it as a challenge...a good, healthy challenge. It’s going to get to some deep roots. And it’ll help you figure out why you’re battling with your higher power as well as yourself.
I would sit down with your sponsor and tell her you want to be friends and you’re just doing what’s right for you. I’d definitely get a new sponsor first though.
I wish you luck and keep me posted! Message me anytime if you want 💜
Congrats on 19 months!!! That is so fantastic!
I've been sober & still go to meetings for 25 years now.
When I was newly sober I foolishly got into a relationship & there were tons of red flags! It didn't end for 8 months. I almost lost my sobriety.
So, having learned a really good lesson, I stayed single. I was super codependent & I had to accept that. If someone asked me out, I would ask my sponsor and others that I trusted what they knew about that person.
After 1-1/2 years sober I was asked out by someone who met the minimum requirements from my list. I would fall in love in a heartbeat, which meant I had to be careful!
I had stuck to the "rules" & asked around about him. I received nothing but good reviews on this guy. He was 9 years sober at the time, had a job & a place to live other than someone's couch. He was only 1-1/2 years older than me. Since I was given the green light, I started dating him. I have not "just dated" for, like...EVER!
We dated for 1-1/2 years, didn't move in together, he proposed & we married 6 mos later.
We've been married almost 22 years & the hubby now has 33 years sobriety & he still goes to meetings (are you catching the drift that meetings are important?).
What I know is that I had to be comfortable in my own skin; I needed to be solid in my program & he in his; I'd better damn well seek advice from sage & wise people before making a big decision; I need to attend meetings and I keep connected with AA's people and its literature.
Good luck, Purple. Keep in contact with sponsor and make sure a prospective significant other is an honest, kind & self-sufficient person!
Take care - Colleen
Dating, I think we never ponder why when we fall in love and break up it is physically difficult not just emotionally difficult yet we still take the chance and plunge head first. That is ok but I think we need to be honest with ourselves. If a relationship is meant to be, you will know it. Yes we sometimes have to have discussions, compromise and work things out, but the commitment to the relationship is mutual. If it is not mutual, the second you come to that realization, move on, get out, do your heart a favor and run! And I have to speak on this, to get intimate before you can determine whether this relationship is going to work is a mistake that will cause you more heart ache than it is worth. We spend time working at a relationship that is not meant to be and the right person walks by you and you never notice. You will not end up alone, do not let fear force you into making a mistake that will steal precious time and most of all cause you emotional pain. Wishing you the best.
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