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dealing with social anxiety when sober

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by elle, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. elle

    elle Member

    I've been trying to get sober for a few months now. over the past few years I have drastically cut down on the number of days that I drink, I don't go to work hungover and have lost 10-15 pounds.
    Now I just go out once a week. but most of the time that means I drink too much and wake up with a hangover and hate myself.
    It's easy to stay sober when I'm just hanging out at home. but when I'm out with a group my anxiety tends to get the best of me. so I have a drink to calm my nerves but once I catch a buzz I can't stop drinking.

    Does anybody have any tips to get over the social anxiety? Does anybody else have or used to have this problem when you first got sober?
  2. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @elle... Have you seen a therapist or psychiatrist about your social anxiety? If not, I think it might help you to do so. Just a thought. For what it's worth, my adult son struggles greatly with anxiety and talking to professionals about it has really made a difference for him.

    One thing I know for sure is this: Self-medicating with alcohol or any other substance is not the answer.
    elle likes this.
  3. lonewolves

    lonewolves Community Champion

    Hi @elle,
    I might not know you, but I am still proud of you for coming face to face with your addiction. I have serious issues with self hatred, but I’m not being a hypocrite when I say that I wish you could be kinder to yourself. Cutting down to once a week is an AMAZING accomplishment, and you should be proud of the steps you took to get there. I wish I could be of more help to you, but sobriety has turned my social anxiety into a social phobia. I was only able to be social when I drank, which was the only positive aspect to my addiction. Now, 4 years later, it is pretty much impossible to get me out of the house. I still don’t regret giving up alcohol though, so please don’t let my story scare you. Maybe I should shut up now.
    Dominica likes this.
  4. True concern

    True concern Community Champion


    You should not shut up,what you said was sincere, honest,and straight from the heart.
    Dominica, elle and deanokat like this.
  5. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    Social anxiety is more common than most people know I do believe, I to suffer from social anxiety and I will share this funny TRUE story with you. When I first came to this site I was lost but I spilled my heart out for all to read,my story I believe is a bit extreme but anyways I couldn't find the courage to actually go to a AA or NA meeting but someone on this site @Cametobelieve0202 convinced me to go.I show up and there is literally 50+stranger's all standing up saying their names followed by Im an addict.Well the closer it came to my turn I started to panic and when it got to me i was stuck....I stood up said "Hi my name is Arthur and Im a straight up dirtbag,hide your wallet's, hold on to your key's, and can I sleep on your couch tonight"Well that didn't go down as planned so I sat and for 10 secs dead silence then everyone started clapping and one by one they came over and said "Welcome and thanks for sharing "So I go back as often as I can which is less than I would like but they accepted me even after my odd introduction. Stay Strong and God Bless
    Dominica, lonewolves and deanokat like this.
  6. elle

    elle Member

    I appreciate your honesty! Congratulations on your sobriety! that's quite an accomplishment. Have you ever talked to anyone about your social phobia?
    I've talked about finding a therapist for a long time now, but I am finally making actual steps to make that happen. I come from a good ole Irish family, so talking about my feelings is not something I'm comfortable with lol. but I feel like it would be beneficial in all aspects of my life.
    Dominica, lonewolves and deanokat like this.
  7. lonewolves

    lonewolves Community Champion

    I see a general practitioner regularly for all my health issues, a psychiatrist every couple of months, and last week I started phone counselling which I will do about 2 times a week. Initially I didn’t think counselling would help much, because they are mostly there to listen and not give advice, but now when I find myself getting upset, it’s easier to tell myself “oh I’m upset, I should tell my counsellor about this.” Instead of letting all my emotions take over my day without feeling like there will ever be an end to the pain. She also e-mails me information sheets based off of whatever issues I’m having, which is awesome. I told her to send me everything she would teach to a child, because I feel like I never learnt how to process my emotions. Feel free to private message me if you need to get anything off your chest. I know how it is to feel like your emotions are a burden on everyone around you, so if you feel that way too, you can message me as a starting point. Honestly no obligations!
    elle, deanokat and True concern like this.
  8. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    Arthur! I smile every time you share your introduction! Raw and real. I love it! And, I'm so glad you're here! :)
    deanokat and True concern like this.
  9. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    Therapy can be so valuable.... I wish everyone would be more apt to go to therapy at various seasons of their lives! Glad you're going! I too have some social anxiety...so I can relate. I will say it gets easier when I get to know people...
    deanokat and lonewolves like this.
  10. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Sounds like you're taking good care of yourself, @lonewolves. That's terrific! Self-care rules!!!! :)
    True concern and lonewolves like this.
  11. Cametobelieve0202

    Cametobelieve0202 Community Champion

    I totally get where your coming from. I had terrible social anxiety, occasionally I’ll get anxious now but for the most part it’s calmed down. Of course your going to be anxious trying to interact with others sober right? Up until this point you’ve had alcohol to ease your anxiety. It’s only natural that when you take away that crutch your going to feel anxious. I’ve been sober a few years and I promise it gets better. Just take it one day at a time. The first 15 times you go out with friends and don’t drink you’ll probably have anxiety. Then the next 15 times you’ll only have mild anxiety. Then after that you’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin, comfortable with who you are and what you have to offer. You’ll find you don’t need the booze. But you have to be committed to sobriety. No wishy washy ****. My sister whose a “normie” thinks social drinking has become an epidemic. Like even normal drinkers think they need that social lubricant in order to interact with others. How sad that is. But alas we aren’t normal drinkers so we don’t have that luxury. Along the lines of what you said, we drink WAY too much, so things we regret and ultimately sabatoge our own lives if we drink. Best of luck but know every time you do something sober your working towards the end goal of being comfortable being who you are sober. I bet she’s AWESOME!