Are you wondering how to handle social anxiety when being of service in the community of a 12-step fellowship? Alcoholics and addicts can be overly sensitive people who may think when they enter a room, all eyes go directly to them. It’s no wonder that you as an addicted individual might feel overwhelmed when volunteering your time by chairing or speaking at a meeting. However, there are ways of handling your social anxiety so you can best be of service and be present in the moment to get your recovery on!
How to Handle Social Anxiety
It’s safe to say nobody, whether an addicted individual or not, likes having to deal with social anxiety. It’s uncomfortable. You may get jittery, start talking too quickly, veer away from people, or get completely awkward. Alcoholics and addicts like yourself may be used to “treating” this with substances but now recovery allows working a program to solve these thinking problems. Part of working a program includes being of service! How are you supposed to handle social anxiety and be of service when you are feeling anxious about being of service, though?
Don’t think, just do
When speaking or chairing a meeting, it’s helpful to just simply dive into being of service regardless of how anxious you feel. It can be beneficial to meditate, pray, and/or talk to a sponsor or friend beforehand. Alcoholics and addicts are well-known for overanalyzing. Don’t obsess and instead concentrate on how you’re helping others.
Speak from the heart
Speaking from the heart allows the anxiety and fear of what other people are thinking to disappear. The willingness to speak the truth of your testimony and connect with others can redirect your focus to being passionate. You may even lose track of how many people are present.
Take a breath
Remember to relax and not take yourself too seriously. You are being of service and doing your part which will help you maintain sobriety and broaden the relationship with your recovery community.
Be patient with yourself and trust the process
It’s important for you to understand recovery is a process. Your anxiety may take time to ease down. Trusting this is essential. Try not to get worked up if you find yourself getting riled up on the occasion. The “moth metaphor” is a great example for a story that emphasizes elemental themes of patience and trust. It begins with a man discovering a cocoon of a moth. He brings the cocoon along with him so the moth can come out from its cocoon. When an opening in the cocoon was beginning to appear, the man watched as the moth battled to get out but it was stuck. Under the impression he was being helpful, the man decided to cut part of the cocoon to free the moth. The moth was able to get out despite having a swollen body and little wings. In the following days, the man watched with the hope that the moth would continue growing but instead the moth lived the remainder of its life sprawled out unable to fly. The point of the “moth metaphor” is that it demonstrates how addicted individuals may only be able to salvage themselves when they are ready and entirely willing. When others try to save them prematurely, they may find they are unsuccessful. When the process is taken one day at a time and addicted individuals surrender, they may find they are exactly where they should be while doing the work the way it’s meant to be done in the necessary time it takes for them to recover.
Are you still struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs? Contact The Watershed for help today. You don’t have to go through the struggle alone, so call now!
24/7 Addiction Crisis Helpline: 1-877-975-4837
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