Insecurity and Social Anxiety in Recovery
Insecurities and social anxiety are emotions that serve a purpose: they can be like little caution flags that come up as we encounter risky circumstances in life. If you ever felt insecure when a friend was knocking a beehive with a stick, you probably benefited from that insecurity. Maybe someone at a party made you feel nervous, so you left, later to hear that he had done something harmful or mean. Again, the feelings were helpful for you. In fact, a person who genuinely feels no insecurities or nervousness is probably very dangerous to be around. Carnival rides like roller coasters, in fact, play with these emotions for the enjoyment of the rider. These are normal levels of insecurities and nervousness.
Insecurity and Social Anxiety in Recovery: Normal after Addiction Treatment
Drugs and alcohol have generally suppressed your emotions and your feelings, so it will be hard to predict exactly how you will react to specific situations or conversations that can trigger your social anxiety. Things that never used to bother you or make you self-conscious may have a very adverse effect on you now that you are in recovery. Someone may innocently say something to you during a conversation that puts you into an emotional tailspin before you even realize what happened.
Recovering addicts tend to face not only social anxiety after getting out of addiction treatment, but also a desperate need for life to get back to normal. But the problem is that you have no idea what “normal” is supposed to be since you stopped using drugs or alcohol. And this can bring about feelings of insecurity and social anxiety in recovery. It’s difficult to socialize without substances because that is how you’re used to interacting with people.
While in addiction treatment, you are surrounded by people who want you to succeed and provide you with the structure you so desperately need. You are given the tools to learn a new way of living without drugs or alcohol and taught new ways of thinking that are healthy.
Once you make it through treatment and leave the security of an addiction treatment center, it’s important for you to recognize specific triggers and then understand how to work through those feelings of insecurity and social anxiety in recovery, especially early on.
Unfortunately, all of these things are pretty normal and are just a part of addiction recovery that you must work through. You are in the process of learning how life feels again, but without the cloud of drug or alcohol abuse lingering around your head.
When Insecurity and Social Anxiety in Recovery Become a Problem
These feelings become a problem when they are there all the time or when their presence prevents us from enjoying the challenges and risks of life. Risks, like roller coasters, can be enjoyed. Insecurity and nervousness must be controlled when the emotions rob you of the joy, limit your performance, or limit your willingness to participate at all. And especially for those of us in recovery. When we are struck by intense feelings of social anxiety and insecurity, we may want to self-soothe in not-so-healthy ways; the ways in which we were used to feeling better – by using.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or insecurity and social anxiety in recovery, please call toll free 1-88-672-4435