An introvert is someone who feels drained by the company of others, and needs to take time alone regularly to recharge. Being introverted isn’t the same as being shy or suffering from social anxiety; both introverts and extroverts can struggle with social anxiety and shyness. If you’re in recovery, you may feel shy and anxious about making new friends or sharing your story in 12-Step meetings, but that’s normal no matter what your personality type. As an introvert, inpatient rehab may not be the best choice for you. Sharing a room with one or more other recovering addicts can make you feel drained and hostile and distract you from your recovery goals. Outpatient drug rehab may be the best option for the introvert in recovery.
Use Your Natural Strengths
As an introvert in recovery, you’ll be able to take advantage of your natural strengths to achieve recovery goals that your extroverted peers will struggle with. For example, self-reflection comes more naturally to introverted people, and this will help you throughout your recovery as you come to terms with the causes of your substance abuse disorder. You may already be more self-aware than your extroverted peers, and you’ll find it easier to reflect on the material that will be presented to you in outpatient drug rehab and apply it to your life and situation.
You’ll also find it easier than your extroverted peers to break off contact with old drugging and drinking friends or loved ones who aren’t supportive of your recovery. It’s not that introverts don’t need friends and companions; it’s just that they’re not as dependent on them for happiness. You’ll be less vulnerable to peer pressure and have some natural resistance to relapse.
As you progress through outpatient drug rehab, you’ll find that using meditation and other spiritual tools comes more easily to you than it might to your extroverted counterparts. As an introvert, you’ll be able to draw more heavily on your inner resources in order to rebuild your life free of drugs and alcohol. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t need to do the work necessary to reestablish a sober social network.
Practice Socializing in Therapy
It’s normal for every recovering addict to be nervous about his or her social skills – it’s not just introverts who fear that they won’t have anything to talk about with a sober person for longer than a few minutes. This is especially true if you also happen to be shy or suffer from social anxiety; even if you don’t, you may feel that you have less experience socializing than others who are more extroverted.
You can take advantage of your time in outpatient drug rehab to express these fears and concerns to your therapist during one-on-one counseling. Your therapist may help you practice making small talk about politics, the news, musical tastes or TV programs. He or she can also help you build up your confidence with socializing “homework,” or by discussing times in the past when you’ve successfully made new friends.
Don’t Skip Group Therapy in Outpatient Drug Rehab
As an introvert, you may also worry about sharing in a group therapy setting during outpatient drug rehab. Group therapy and recovery support groups are important – they help you learn to trust others again and help exercise rusty social skills. If you’re nervous about sharing with the therapy group in outpatient drug rehab, or with a recovery support group in the community, you can rehearse your story with your therapist ahead of time. If you’re an introvert, you may want to ease into participation in 12-Step meetings – there’s no obligation for you to share in every meeting or at your first meeting. You can attend as many meetings as you want before you share your story.
It’s Quality, Not Quantity
While the extroverts of the world might have you believe that you need a lot of friends in order to be happy, in truth you can be just as happy and healthy with a few friends, as long as they’re the right ones. In choosing your sober social network, don’t feel like you need to make friends with people you don’t like and enjoy. Don’t be afraid to pick and choose the friends who mean the most to you – and you can look outside of your 12-Step meetings and drug rehab peers, for friends at church, in volunteer organizations, at night classes, and so forth.
No matter what your personality type, outpatient drug rehab can help you live a better life. Call 888-699-5679 today.