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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:17 pm 
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[font=Verdana]
I wasn't exactly sure which forum to post this in, so it's okay if it gets moved by a Moderator.
Anyway, I have just gotten back from my counseling appt. this morning.
I admitted to her that I drank 2 cups of wine on Sat. (I'm on several psych. meds plus
2mg. of Suboxone daily.)
Towards the end of our session, we had discussed my pattern of
persistent relapsing (I don't know what else to call it). We both agreed that I tend to have trouble
with actually connecting with people in many social situations- she called it "social anxiety."
I am having difficulty stopping my alcohol use, mainly because I tend to use it as a sort of
"social lubricant"/ as a way to feel like I fit in and feel socially accepted.
I was wondering if anyone else has struggled (or is struggling) with this issue;
and, if so, how they deal with it?
(By the way, I am going to at least 2-3 AA/NA meetings per week,
and my counseling sessions are twice monthly.)
I appreciate any input on this issue. Thanks,
-exorphin-

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:35 pm 
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I personally don't have social anxiety, but I can tell you that many, many addicts do. In fact I think it may be one of the reasons a huge chunk of addicts end up on opiates. They use them - like you - to help them in social situations. Now, without the opiates, you must find a way to deal with that social anxiety without self-medicating.

Are you on an SSRI, by any chance? Many of the SSRI's also address anxiety, like Prozac or Paxil (and others). You could discuss that with your doctor.

The other thing I would suggest is that you consider looking into meditation. I know, I know - I thought it was a bunch of hooey and a crock of shit, too. But after trying it, practicing it, and getting good at it, it REALLY DOES work!!! There's a thread about it with some guidance on how to start out under the "Chronic Pain" section. I'm pretty sure it's a sticky, so that means it's at the top of all the other threads in that category. Give it a read and see what you think of it. I've been using meditation since I stopped my huge xanax habit in Dec '08. To be honest, I've gotten out of the habit lately and I really should start doing it again. I posted that thread, so if you have any questions about it or want more info about it, feel free to PM me and I'll assist you as much as possible. It really does work!!

Good luck and I'm confident others who share your struggles with this will be along shortly. Hang in there, my friend!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:01 pm 
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I have really bad social anxiety, which is the whole reason I started using drugs and alcohol. People like me better after a couple drinks, because I use it, as you said, as a social lubricant as well. As you progress in therapy and start working on those issues, I think you will feel less desire to drink. It is a long process though. Good luck <3


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:35 pm 
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I just wanted to pop in and let ya know I suffer from social anxiety too. It's like I'm always afraid that something completely stupid is gonna come flying out of my mouth or that the person I'm trying to talk to is gonna say, "Eff off and die dude" or my brain shuts down completely and I can not for the life of me think of anything to say.

I've been working on it by approaching people in my NA meetings and trying to talk to them. I've gotten better here lately with being able to hold the most basic of conversations, but I still crash and burn at times.

It's odd, I don't have any trouble whatsoever typing up a million replies to people on this forum, but face to face I'm a social moron??

Anyway, you're not alone.

The best advice I received on this subject was from one of my NA friends, she said, "Just do it!!" I guess practice makes perfect, right??

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:48 pm 
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I also know what you mean. I wouldn't say I get anxious or anything but I definately have trouble talking to people i dont know. It's more like i just can't think of anything to say and I do agree that when I am out and have a couple drinks then it seems to melt away and is much easier to talk to people. When I am out with my husband he will accuse me of being rude when we get home and I try to explain that I just can't think of anything to say. He of course does not understand this as he is a social butterfly. Sorry I really do not have any suggestions for you as I am in the same boat but I thought i would let you know you are not alone.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:48 pm 
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I dont think theres a rule that you have to be around other people.... At this point in my life I stay away from " social " events... I love my son and my wife and thats about it.... I dont hate people , but after working 50 hrs a week and keeping the grass mowed , I feel I deserve to sit home and not go places where there are people that I have to make small talk with, Hat, you are right again, opiates did help me be more social... And Breezy, please dont let anyone make you feel bad about not being a " social butterfly " ... Geeze, its so hard to be perfect at everything today, Mike (1 mg 1 time a day- forever , Screw tapering , I refuse to feel "crappy " )


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:37 pm 
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exorphin wrote:
[font=Verdana]
I am having difficulty stopping my alcohol use, mainly because I tend to use it as a sort of
"social lubricant"/ as a way to feel like I fit in and feel socially accepted.
I was wondering if anyone else has struggled (or is struggling) with this issue;
and, if so, how they deal with it?

[/font]


Hey Exorphin.

This is like, totally normal. Have you ever gone to a party as a non-drinker, and felt the awkwardness early in the evening before people have been drinking. Then after everyone's had a few drinks, people loosen up and lose their social anxiety? Everybody is awkward, and has a degree of social anxiety. Most people imo are inherently nervous when meeting new people, no matter the setting. That's why they drink.

As a teenager, heroin gave me the feeling I could talk to anyone. I felt cool and collected, could talk to women, and thought I was a rock star. I used heroin for that! How messed up?

Don't beat yourself up over 2 glasses of wine. That's a phenomenal effort for someone who's trying to cut down or stop their drinking. Don't dwell negatively on the Abstinence Or Die stuff. You'll only beat yourself up over your mistakes, when obviously your handle of your addictions has improved heaps. 2 drinks on Saturday? That's less than your so called normal non-addict person! You're kicking arse imo. I hope your counsellor acknowledges this.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: "Social Anxiety"
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:08 am 
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Romeo wrote:
I just wanted to pop in and let ya know I suffer from social anxiety too... <snip>
It's odd, I don't have any trouble whatsoever typing up a million replies to people on this forum, but face to face I'm a social moron??

Anyway, you're not alone.

The best advice I received on this subject was from one of my NA friends, she said, "Just do it!!" I guess practice makes perfect, right??


[font=Verdana]First of all, thanks for all of the replies, everyone!

Anyway, I feel this same way that "Romeo" feels-
when he typed the above words: "I don't have any trouble whatsoever typing up a million
replies to people on this forum, but face to face I'm a social moron"...
THIS is exactly how I fell, as well.

I feel better, knowing that I am not alone in this issue. :-)
[/font]


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:21 am 
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tearj3rker wrote:
Hey Exorphin.

This is like, totally normal. Have you ever gone to a party as a non-drinker, and felt the awkwardness early in the evening before people have been drinking. Then after everyone's had a few drinks, people loosen up and lose their social anxiety? Everybody is awkward, and has a degree of social anxiety. Most people imo are inherently nervous when meeting new people, no matter the setting. That's why they drink.

As a teenager, heroin gave me the feeling I could talk to anyone. I felt cool and collected, could talk to women, and thought I was a rock star. I used heroin for that! How messed up?

Don't beat yourself up over 2 glasses of wine. That's a phenomenal effort for someone who's trying to cut down or stop their drinking. Don't dwell negatively on the Abstinence Or Die stuff. You'll only beat yourself up over your mistakes, when obviously your handle of your addictions has improved heaps. 2 drinks on Saturday? That's less than your so called normal non-addict person! You're kicking arse imo. I hope your counsellor acknowledges this.

Good luck!


[font=Verdana] Actually, my counselor was NOT happy at all, and called my two drinks of wine
on Saturday a full-blown relapse. But, like you said, I am NOT gonna beat myself up over 2 glasses (small glasses)
of wine. I liked your post in my thread. Please feel free to send me a PM to discuss this topic further...
Thanks,
-exorphin-

[/font]


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:34 am 
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Your therapist said WHAT to you? Two glasses of wine is a FULL RELAPSE for an opiate addict? I wholeheartedly disagree with that assessment. And her coming down on you like that is not in any way helpful or constructive. You'd think a counselor/therapist would recognize that.

I'm sorry s/he gave you grief like that and I'm glad you're not gonna let it get to you. I know for some recovering opiate addicts, full abstinence - including not drinking - is right for them. But recovery isn't a one-size fits all and total abstinence isn't what's necessary for everyone. And you are the only one who can decide what YOU need for your own recovery and if that includes a couple of glasses of wine, then so be it. There are worse things you could be doing, so you could call it harm reduction.

I think you're doing great. Keep it up!

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:51 pm 
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On the way back from my meeting last night I was thinking about this subject of Social Anxiety, I tried to remember how I felt when I was talking to someone face to face and it dawned on me of just how freakin' nervous I get which seems to hype me up. But when I'm sitting here at the computer typing up a response, I'm calm, not nervous and not hyped up. The "hype" thing makes my mind race a million miles per hour and it's like my speech center just gives up on trying to process what's going through my mind?? Something like that?

Now that I know when I'm calm and not nervous I can express myself pretty decently, I'm gonna see if I can calmly approach someone tonight and talk to them without going into full blown Social Imbecile mode.

I let y'all know how bad I crash and burn later. :lol:

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