Socializing without alcohol

Hey everyone! Have you ever used alcohol to loosen up so you can socialize? Maybe you felt you couldn't socialize without a good buzz?

If you no longer drink, how do you deal with social anxiety now? Do you feel your social life is hindered now?

I can relate to drinking to feel more at ease and be able to socialize better. My problem would be that those one or two drinks would sometimes cause me to drink one or two more than I wanted... leaving me more than buzzed and well... maybe even drunk. Not my intent, but didn't matter.

Learning how to socialize without needing alcohol was a journey... but it's possible. And sometimes I still fumble around with my words or sweat a lot when I have to engage with unfamiliar people. But it's nice not to have to rely on booze to get me by.... or feel tired or lousy when I get home.....

What is your experience with social anxiety and drinking? Or drugging?
  • 13 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I struggle with social anxiety and I used to use alcohol to feel more at ease at social events. When I quit drinking, it was harder for me to be around people in a social setting at first. But the more I did it, the better I got at it. It's like anything else, I guess: You get better with practice. That said, there are still some times when I may start to feel awkward in certain social situations. When that happens, I just remove myself from that situation, whether it's a specific conversation or an entire event. I give myself the right to do that for ME. Because being comfortable is something I deserve.
  • @DeanD thanks for sharing. glad you've gotten more confident. social anxiety is fairly common.... i don't think people realize just how common it is. you can't always tell.... but in a group MANY are having anxiety..and some do drink to try to decrease that anxiety.

    knowing your limits helps..... and giving yourself permission to leave or not attend is great....

    we do deserve to be comfortable! :)
  • I also struggled with social anxiety, although it's not the main reason I drank. I cand't remember a dinner party or evening where I can remember having dessert when I was drinking. By the time the main course had been finished, i was usually on another planet. the same goes for meeting folks for drinks, but I'd put a lot of it down to dissociation. For anxiety, I am doing EMDr, and it has helped a lot.
  • @zozzie thanks for sharing! i've heard good things about EMDR... glad it's helping you! :)
  • @Dominica, if you have access to it, it's just flippin wonderful. i even look forwards to the gruelling sessions, because the trauma gets stored in your body. There's a book "the body keeps the score", it's well worth a read, and explains why even when we tell ourselves we're better.. our bodies have imprinted certain things and it's the reason for a lot of our subconcious behaviours.
  • @zozzie thanks for letting me know. i actually have that book, but haven't read it yet :) (now i will!) also, yes, i am glad to hear EMDR is working for you... that's wonderful!

    good to hear from you!
  • My son is struggling mightily with anxiety. I'm going to pick up a copy of The Body Keeps the Score and look into EDMR. Thanks, @zozzie!
  • @DeanD , @dominica .No worries. Consider it your homework!!, lol.
    I'll come back and ask one day. tee hee.
  • I used to think if I stopped drinking, I wouldn't be funny any more. After I quit, I found out from my friends that they didn't think I was nearly as funny as I thought I was
    I am just starting my 20th year of sobriety and if there is one thing I notice is most beneficial, it's waking up in the morning and not feeling guilty. I drank heavily for 42 years and I can't remember a day when I woke up not feeling loaded with guilt. It's fabulous. Doesn't stop me from doing things I regret
    later but it's a different feeling.
  • @davemus hello and welcome! thanks for dropping in! congrats on your sobriety! that's awesome!

    so glad you're loving your life sober and free!
  • I’m pretty sure drinking for extended years has played the largest role in my social anxiety. From melting it to compounding it with next day guilt, shame and paranoia.

    @davemus, 25 yrs is pretty amazing. It’s encouraging. I’ve been mean and cranky and tired today. First day in my current 12 day sober resolve that I’ve thought about drinking and felt like I will miss it. WTH, I say to myself? (After reading on here for a good hour— whew.) I will not miss worrying about and wondering what i said, who I offended, getting flashes of “oh yeah, dammit that happened.” I can keep my resolve and sleep well, and feel good about myself when I wake up. That’s far better help for my social anxieties than drinking to melt them.

    I’m seeing a long time friend next week. She mentioned today that she found my favorite Cabernet on sale and bought a bottle for when I come out. I froze. Now this is social anxiety of a new flavor. I didn’t say anything. Our call was ending and I hung up without comment. That Cab will undoubtedly be one of many brought to a dinner with friends. Friends that I love and am close to, share a lot with, but have closeted the real nature of my drinking problem from. Has anyone else actually felt guilty for having to tell friends that we’ve quit? Guilt is the worst, and yet I’m excellent at it. Olympian quality. My friends would not make me feel bad, they’d be glad for me for wanting a better, healthier life. And I’m kidding myself if I think none of them has ever looked at me sideways wondering if I have a problem. I may not be ready to tell them everything, but I will enjoy the evening sober and be thankful for my clear head the next day. And for not behaving badly. Well, I’m sure it’s within the realm of possibility for me to behave badly while sober, lol. I was a mean cranky butt today after all. I’ll try to be nicer tomorrow. ;)

    I appreciate you all. @zozzie, I’ve also appreciated eating dessert vs drinking it. Am off to look up EMDr.
  • What a fabulous testimonial, @davemus! Thank you so much for sharing that with us! And congrats on your 20 years of sobriety!!! That is sooooo badass!!!!

    @SalTheGalFromCal... I never felt guilty for telling people I had quit drinking. It might've felt a little weird telling them, but I never felt guilt. Just tell them you've made a change in your life and leave it at that. If they're true friends, they will respect your decision.
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