Nothing so much ensures a person’s continual isolation from others than their belief that they are different and that their difference is somehow wrong. This is the great divide between most people. An internal belief that what they are experiencing is not experienced by others and so, therefore, it is inherently bad. This, in turn, causes many people to shield themselves from others, and not allow them to see their true self. By doing this, it does not allow for true relationships to occur, but only a surface level relationship where the only side that is exposed is the one that the person believes they should show the other. However, life in sobriety makes you more social than you could ever dream of in active addiction.
This shielding and isolating is more so true for the alcoholic or addict than other people because of the added level of guilt that many alcoholics and addicts experience during their active addiction. This guilt causes them to eventually isolate from others and in time it completely destroys the social life of the person. Many people who come into sobriety express the fact that at the end of their addiction they were alone, and would spend their time drinking or drugging in their rooms. Yet many people who get sober are also worried about what they will do now that they no longer drink or drug. Many fear that they will become boring and no longer have a life, being relegated to live out their lives as some sort of pseudo-monk. This, however, could not be further from the truth and what almost everyone that gets sober finds, is that once they get sober they become more outgoing then they have ever been in their life.
Part of the reason for this increased sociality has to do with the idea of being different that was expressed above. The majority of people who share at meetings at some point talk about how they always felt different from others when they were growing up and in their active addiction. This feeling of difference is almost always talked about as a point of contention in the person’s life, and it is usually followed with a statement talking about how once the person got sober and found a fellowship in their respective 12-step program, they no longer felt this difference. They realized that there were people out there just like them; people that felt like they thought like them, and did the same things as them. This feeling of comradery usually results in the person then having the ability to truly expose themselves to others and by doing so they create better friendships than they ever had in their life. It also allows people to begin to accept themselves and by doing this they are able to come out of their shells and become more outgoing.
Another way that getting sober makes you more social is that you have access to a lot more people than you ever would have without sobriety. This does not just apply to people who are actively drinking or drugging, but “normal” people as well. There are few communities on this planet that are as large and as accepting and loving as the ones that surround 12 step programs. For instance, let’s say that you wanted to move to a new city where you didn’t know anyone. If you were not in AA or NA then where would you make new friends? More than likely you’d befriend your co-workers or you would join a club and over time you would make friends, but if you are in AA or NA you could go to any number of meetings around that city and within a week have the number of hundreds of people if you wanted. These are people who are just like you and the fact that you share that common bond means you can make sober friends that much quicker.
Before getting sober many people had to plan their lives around the acquisition and consumption of substances. There was a thin line that had to be walked and if you were planning on going away on a trip, you had to make sure you had enough of whatever your substance of choice was so that you didn’t get sick. This made traveling or going out a hassle, but not so once a person gets sober. Without having to plan their activities around drinking or drugging, a sober person can enjoy many more get-togethers then a person who is actively using. You can wake up in the morning and decide to go on a road trip, if you have the funds and time off, and not worry that once you get halfway to your destination you’ll begin to experience withdrawals. It is extremely freeing to be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and because of this, the social life of a sober person usually far exceeds that of a person who is actively drinking or drugging.
So if you are newly sober, or thinking about getting sober, and one of your misgivings is that your life in sobriety will be boring and that you will have no life, don’t worry, because in time you will find that this is categorically untrue. In sobriety, you will make some of the best friends you will have in your life and you will be invited to participate in more events than you could possibly go to. While in active addiction you were probably withdrawing from life and all that it had to offer, but once in recovery this will no longer be the case and because of this, your social life will take off.
If you or someone you love is currently living in the isolation that is drug addiction or alcoholism then call the trained professionals at First Steps Recovery, at 1-844-244-7837. Our recovery specialists are standing by to help you break out of your isolation and get you onto the road to recovery. So make the call today and take the first step toward creating a happy and healthy life.