by D. Hippy
I am 55 now and quit drugs and alcohol because between the ages of 13 and 47 drugs and alcohol got me in trouble with the law thank God and the great state that I live in. I had known no other life than drugs and partying. Even though I always worked and had a job, drugs were the main part of my life. I am clean and sober for 8 years and have been very active in several different groups and being a sponsor..the big problem I have is not really knowing how to socialize. I have been looking to meet a significant other and I feel lost doing so. I don't feel like using or anything like that but I feel like a lost sheep with no where to go and nothing to do. The many groups that are around where I live do not do social activities and I don't know where to turn so I just thought I would look for some different ideas.
Thanks for writing in! That's so amazing that you have been clean and sober for 8 years! I can relate a lot to what you are saying. When I quit using drugs and drinking, I felt a lot of anxiety about going into social situations. My anxiety level has always been really high, but drugs and alcohol fixed that for me. When I quit, I had to find ways to cope with my anxiety and social situations in a productive
The best place for me to meet people was through 12 step meetings. If you haven't met people you can connect with at these meetings, try some new ones! Many meetings or clubhouses sponsor anniversary events or picnics when the weather gets nice. Generally this draws a lot of people (who might not regularly attend the meeting) and might give you a chance to meet and connect with some new people.
There are also a lot of sober events around the holidays..dances, BBQs, and things like that. Though you may be uncomfortable at first, this is a good way to meet people. Also don't be afraid to go to a meeting and share about how you're feeling. I think you'll find that a LOT of people can relate to what you are saying and might be able to give you some good feedback and suggestions.
If the meetings you're going to aren't participating in these activities, dont be afraid to try some new meetings. It can be hard to put yourself out there and to be vulnerable, but my experience is that doing so is the best way to meet people and connect with people. There are also AA conventions - (maybe you would be more likely to ho if you have a friend or two who would join you) which can be a good experience and is also a good way to meet other sober people that you may have a lot in common with.
I hope this was helpful!