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Old 05-18-2015, 11:44 AM
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isolation

This place supported me in my first shaky months of sobriety at a time when I could not bring myself to any kind of support meeting. Anyway, it's over 2 years now, but I continue to struggle. A lot of it is I'm such a loner and have to fight so hard to step out of solitary confinement, if that makes sense. I'm not drinking which is good, but I'm not living either. I just wanted to share that. It seems like recovery is about rejoining the human race and I'm just not wired that way!

Thanks for listening.

Zorah
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:49 AM
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I am an introvert as well. I used to put pressure on myself to "be like everybody else" and try to be more gregarious and outgoing. I have realized that extroversion doesn't necessarily equal "better".

I think its important to differentiate what is societal imposed "norms" regarding social interaction and what actually feels right to us. Not that one shouldn't try to go outside their comfort zone, but I believe there is value in being true to oneself as well.

Congrats on 2 years. That is amazing.
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Old 05-18-2015, 12:10 PM
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Thanks Zorah I really relate
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:12 PM
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Congrats on your sober time Zorah

I'm a loner too but I understand the need to get out and connect too.

Volunteering was good for me - it got me out of the house, gave me purpose and got me interacting with other people again?

D
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:20 PM
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^^^^^^^^
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:30 PM
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I can soo relate!! For the past 5 years I've been in total isolation! Have my 2 kids and am perfectly fine being at home raising them! That's how my drinking was too! And home alone in the dark.

I'm trying to get out of my shell! It's not easy but I'm trying
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by zorah View Post
It seems like recovery is about rejoining the human race and I'm just not wired that way!
For me it was like this...

I did not fit into the human race. I didn't want to fit in, and I was fine for most of my life isolating. I had a rough time in any and all social situations, but wanted to socialize - and that's pretty much what led me to drink. Until it didn't work anymore.

Being sober, to live in isolation again wouldn't make me happy. While I was just "wired" that way, I felt a lot of my isolation was based in fear, and I needed to get past that. I faced the fears I had going to AA. I didn't feel I fit in a single bit until I was 6 months sober, and it took me a while after that to get comfortable. But I stuck at it. I took all the suggestions I could, found ways to step into and through my fears as opposed to avoid them, and within a couple of years I became an entirely different, "rewired" person. I am by no means an extrovert, I still get nervous in certain situations, but I put myself out there. I don't feel shackled by my fears any longer. I live a full life, which includes socializing with others.

I started to share some specifics about this in another thread a few days ago, I might as well post the update here. I started taking online courses, and we're urged to form study groups. People in my area put one together for this past Saturday. I was to be the only guy in attendance, and we were meeting in a cafe. I was the first one there, and I don't do well alone in a crowded cafe. Went back to my car and prayed, because I really don't like meeting people - especially in this type of setting... anyhow, long story short... I told everyone in the group to text me when they arrived, and one girl did. I still have that "flight" instinct with me and it was there, but learned to ignore it. I walked back over to the cafe. Another girl had just shown up too. I introduced myself, and had a REALLY awkward 3 or 4 minutes, but it eased up. I (and they) got comfortable, we met up with 2 more people, and we spent about 3 hours together walking and hanging out in the park, talking a whole lot. I now have 4 new friends, from very different walks of life.

I want my life to include moments (and people) like this. I didn't want to run from anything when I got sober, and I still refuse to. Meeting those people would have been no big deal for 99% of the people I know, but it was a big deal for me. I didn't let that stop me. I don't let the fact that I'm inherently an introvert stop me. There's been a lot of talk about the benefits of introversion lately, and I love it all - but I think it can be harmful if I start using it as an excuse to not do things I know I really want to do. Hope this makes sense, as I'm writing in a hurry. Have things to tend to before goin to bed...

Anyhow. That's my ESH. Hope it helps some. These things can absolutely be overcome, and it doesn't mean we have to start being the life of every party. Just learn to participate in life. Lots of tools available to help with that, too.

[edit] One last note. I started actually enjoying these "heightened" encounters. I get to feel thrills like I'm on a roller coaster, doing things that are just ho-hum non events for others . More excitement .
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:03 PM
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Amazing uplifting story Joe! Thank you for sharing.

I definitely have a tendency to isolate as well. It's something I need to work on. Being more outgoing in here is a first step.
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