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scared of AA and strangers, help me please

Old 05-18-2013, 08:42 PM
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scared of AA and strangers, help me please

i am sorry that i am posting another thread but i am not sure what to do about my current situation. i am scared to death of AA and the people there, those strangers really make me feel icky when i am near them. i mean i have a real fear of going to meetings but people keep telling me to go. i dont know what to do with myself i am scared that i am going to end up drinking because my weekends are not full of anything. help me please....
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:52 PM
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Well, Legend, quite a hard for me to come up with advice since I am not in AA myself, but I will try...

I think those strangers are quite scared themselves because it's challenging for any person to share details about something so personal as addiction. Try not to think about what they are going to think about you ( hope it makes sense), but just as way to get off your emotional burden and pain. Just let it go. Don't overthink, don't feed the fear. Fear is powerless unless you borrow it your own power.

But if it's still so stressful to you, then post here a lot. I used to just live here (still spend a lot time as you can see). Here's a great community, a lot of different threads about hobbies, books, music, etc. Enjoy! And you can always vent out and share your feelings, fears and worries.

Think about some hobbies. There's always something you like. Even though you can't remember it at once. Look deeper into yourself, peel off fear and regrets. There's a great and creative person inside everyone.

To turn to positive side of life is hard work too, but it's worth it, just like sobriety.

Keep posting, we are here for support)
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:53 PM
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Is therapy an option for you?
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:54 PM
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If you have social anxiety there are other options - most recovery methods including AA have online meetings nowadays...some methods, like Rational Recovery, have no meetings at all.

Many other people, like myself, have stopped drinking without meetings at all too, by using places like SR

In the end tho, if you've tried this other stuff , and you feel you need face to face person to person help - but you are scared of that help - that's a real bind.

If thats the case, one way or another, I think you're going to have to face your fear Legend?

D
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:57 PM
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I was going to say, I just took a psychology course and one of the methods is facing your fears. There are different approaches to doing it.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:59 PM
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I'm in the same boat. I can't ever see myself going to AA or any other meeting like that because public places, social situations and having to talk to people absolutely freaks me out. I've always been this way. It's one of the reasons I started drinking in the first place.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:04 PM
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Legend & Anew: would you feel more comfortable if someone met you or picked you up for the AA meeting? They will do that. You call the local number in your phone book.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Elisabeth888 View Post
Is therapy an option for you?
i do goto therapy all week long, its the weekends where i have nothing to do
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:06 PM
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Just a thought . You do not have to speak you can just listen . Some meetings NEVER call on people others do and you just say ...Pass . I can relate but have been to tons of meetings not always great but sometimes so worth just hearing people talk
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:15 PM
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I had a similar problem,I was scared and dint feel comfortable because english is my second language.I was thinking like -damn,what if I have to share and ppl wont understand me because of my accent and improper grammar.I gave it a try and it wasnt bad at all.Nobody push me to say anything so for the first few times I just listen what others had to say.Im still kinda quiet but its a great opportunity to break my insecurity and feel more confident.Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:20 PM
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if i go and not talk, will it still help me? i need to find sober people to hang out with, i wouldnt know how to approach someone
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:24 PM
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Just give it a try Go,listen,talk to somebody after meeting ,they will give you phone numbers so you can def make some sober friends there.Thats what I did at first and it helping me a lot.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:25 PM
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If you just go and stand around and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes you will meet people. Guaranteed.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kasiaa View Post
Just give it a try Go,listen,talk to somebody after meeting ,they will give you phone numbers so you can def make some sober friends there.Thats what I did at first and it helping me a lot.
its the going alone that stops me, how can i overcome that fear?
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Legend40 View Post
if i go and not talk, will it still help me? i need to find sober people to hang out with, i wouldnt know how to approach someone
I still get a lot out of meetings if I don't share. It's just nice to be in the same room with people going through the same thing and hearing their stories.

As a newcomer, you don't even have to approach anyone. They usually come to you lol. Most meetings ask in the beginning if it's anyone's first time. Just raise your hand and say your name. It's a great way to meet people and get some numbers to call if you struggle. At my first meeting, I just introduced myself and said I needed help. I was swarmed.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:30 PM
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Start slow, sign up for the May Class or the 24 hour club daily here and just commit for a day to stay clean and sober. Do it agai n.Start building up a little support group here. Then when you begin to feel a little better maybe you will feel a little more confidence about checkin out a meeting. Have u ever been to a meetin?


As I look back at my first meeting which was a long time ago, I can now see how those fears were this illness all along trying to prevent me from trying to get well .I liken this illness to the devil and it does not want me to get well .
People in AA are not mind readers but I do believe we can try to be sensitive to and conscious of new faces coming in the rooms .If you are new to a Face to Face meeting please raise your hand when asked if anyone is new so folks will know that you are new .That way people will most likely reach out to you and welcome you and I promise you will find hope .

Please do not be discouraged if someone doesn't run right up to you as they may be going through their own stuff .Today when I see newcomers come in, I try to reach out. Any new face I have not seen I go up to and say a simple Hello and Welcome .

When we come in to the rooms of AA for the first time, it can be a scary experience and we don't know exactly what we are getting into .We don't understand the lingo and it can sound like a secret language .Then we hear about a Higher Power and the word insanity lol. It can be intimidating .
I just want to encourage you if you are new to walk through that fear because the hope you will leave that meeting with will far outweigh the fear you walked in with .Perhaps for the first time in your life you may truly believe that you can get well as you see others laughing and enjoying themselves .And again If no one reaches out to you immediately please don't take it personally, it has nothing to do with you .

Please keep coming back cuz it will and does get better each time and before you know it people are calling you by name and you feel like you are part of something special .

You can do it. We are all just human and we can empathize with you, as we have been there . We all remember what it was like at our 1st meeting.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:34 PM
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What helps me most in AA is listening to what others have to say, It helps to hear that others are going through the same thing. You hear their solutions, you hear how they got through that day. Yes you do hear some depressing stories, but they help me. One, I may have some avice for that person, and that makes you feel good. Two, sometimes what the person says or has been through can be a wake up call. It can remind you of places you don't ever want to go, but you very well could be headed for. Three, it gives you a chance to think about and care about another person. Giving you a break from the constant thoughts about yourself.
You do not have to talk. And yes, you will get something out of just listening. Some people don't like AA. And that is fine. This is my opinion and experience with AA.
I guess if you have tried everything to stay sober and nothings working maybe you could give AA a try.
Whatever you choose, I wish you the best.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Legend40 View Post
its the going alone that stops me, how can i overcome that fear?
Find someone you know that is willing to go with you. Open AA meetings allow any and all to attend, alcoholic or not. You can even go as far as asking them to speak for you, if you don't want to talk. They can say something like "I'm here to support *insert name* as they didn't want to come alone".

As has been said, fear is an excellent way to avoid change. It will keep you right where you are at. It has me, that's for sure. If you want to change you're going to have to put yourself in unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations. You have to decide just how important change is to you and what you're willing to do to get where you want to be.

I hope this helps,
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:49 PM
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i had to get a huge heapin dose of courage to go through the doors of my 1st AA meeting. fear of the unknown was holdin me back. but what could it hurt? my other option was suicide.
them doors got easier and easier to open. met a group of people who knew right where i was at, how to get out of where i was at, and were willin to show me how.
haent had another drink since that 1st meeting and got sober.
bet move i ever made was to get some courage.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:58 PM
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You will get a lot out of just listening. Like most things in life, probably more than others who are thinking about what they are going to say instead of focusing on what is naming said. I'm a big listener.
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