Facing Social Anxiety (a little bit at a time)

I have a few social events to attend this week, and I am trying hard to keep my cool. I can be a laid back social girl who doesn’t drink, right? I used to use all social events as drinking occasions, so thinking about going out sober is a new experience for me. The anticipation of drinking was probably more fun than the actual drinking, now that I think about it. Events used to be exhausting because I would begin to plan my drinking really early… whether I could drink beforehand, how I could stay semi-sober depending on the crowd, worrying about how to get home, finding the after party, etc. That does not even include normal planning like deciding what to wear (which I still think about because that part is actually fun!)

In the past I almost always drank too much during social situations. I have read about other people with drinking problems who drank mainly at home and feel kind of jealous… why didn’t I think of that? It would have been just as damaging in many ways but much less embarrassing! Ah well. Since I was a public drunk I feel accountable to my friends who know that I am no longer drinking. No big secrets here! I have actually been worrying about oversharing in regards to my alcoholism and sobriety more than anything. Once I start talking about quitting I have a hard time shutting up, which seems to invite unwanted advice and general awkwardness. I would rather speak eloquently and elegantly, shut the hell up, and then exercise boundaries when given advice that I do not care to hear.

Anyway, I am looking forward to testing out my sobriety in public in a few safe situations. Well, semi-safe situations at least. I will have supportive people at both events (a bachelorette party and a wedding). The bachelorette party is a low-key spa night at a girlfriend’s house near my own home, and the wedding is an afternoon event that I will be attending with my husband and son. Thank you sweet baby for giving me an excellent excuse to leave the moment I feel weird or uncomfortable.

Here are a few reasons why being sober in social situations is preferable to drinking (for me, at least):

– Make-up looks nice the entire time, hair is in place. Eyes are clear instead of bloodshot.

– Able to drive myself home without danger or fear. Aside from normal danger that comes with driving, that is.

– Leave at a reasonable time. I used to stay til the last drop was finished and then head to the next party. This meant keeping my husband and son waiting for me a few times this past year, or staying up way too late. Nothing good.

– No drunk texting. I am the worst at that. Ugh.

– Enjoy the company of friends and meeting new people instead of simply enjoying the free booze.

– Won’t say or do anything that I will regret the next day.

– Can walk better in heels.

– More dignified and attractive behavior overall.

– I can talk to anybody, not just heavy drinkers. I used to mainly confine myself to groups that I felt comfortable boozing around.

I have been taking it slow when it comes to being social because I still feel pretty shaky, so I am excited and curious to see how things go this week. I am sure it will be hard at times, which is why I am planning ahead. Life goes on whether you are sober or not, right? Luckily it is also easy to sit things out, as sobriety is my main priority.

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11 thoughts on “Facing Social Anxiety (a little bit at a time)

  1. I loved reading this. Your description of the unwanted advice made me lol. πŸ™‚ I hope your social events are joyous occasions that you will want to remember! Nothing is worse than the post gathering, oh shit, did I really do that!?!? Have lots of fun!!!

    • You are so right…that is the worst feeling ever! I am picturing myself being classy like Audrey Hepburn rather than some drunk broad. Ha! I am working on dealing with the unwanted advice, too. Maybe just keep my mouth shut? πŸ˜‰ Hope you are doing well!

  2. Oh how I could have written this…but I did both…drank at social occasions AND at home! Ugh.

    Be good to yourself and if it get tough just say to yourself, “I’m getting a good night’s sleep tonight and they aren’t…I’m getting a good night’s sleep tonight and they aren’t…”

    That worked for me every time.

    Enjoy!
    Sherry

  3. Oh have a wonderful time and remember it’s not really as much fun as it looks and if you struggle at all, focus on a treat that you can promise yourself as soon as you get out of the situation…have a reward to look forward to. You might even enjoy it and get the reward too!
    C x

    • Thanks Carrie! A treat is a good idea. I am going to bring a yummy AF drink to the bachelorette party also. Maybe some ice cream or a bubble bath when I get home… I hope it is a fun time, thanks for the encouragement! xx-Jen

    • Thank you so much Christy! I am actually feeling pretty good about going now. I think writing about it helped. Drunk texting, ugh! I forgot all about drunk Facebooking. I used to do that sometimes, too. The worst! πŸ™‚

      • Oh dear, yeah, my Facebook friends knew I had a drinking problem before I did, lol.

        Glad you’re feeling better about it all. The first sober things are awkward, no way around it. We think everyone’s looking at us, like we have three heads, but they’re not, I promise. πŸ™‚

  4. I agree with all of these except the walking in heels part – alcohol numbed the pain in my feet and now I just want to take my shoe off! Seriously though, good for you for getting out there. It’s great that you have support at both events. I also used to obsess about alcohol at parties etc and would never eat anything before I went out, so I could still feel drunk even if there wasn’t much booze around. Crazy times. Now I just focus on getting there, having fun and leaving at a reasonable time!

    • Those sound like good suggestions. I never used to eat before going out, either! So unhealthy! I eat much more often now that I am sober…hence not losing any weight. Ah well. πŸ™‚ I doubt I will even wear heels because the wedding is outside and I will be carrying a heavy baby part of the time, haha. I used to walk really badly in them after I was intoxicated, though. So I COULD wear them if I wanted to. πŸ˜‰

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