In early recovery, it might seem as though everything causes you a little bit of anxiety. Opening up to others in a group setting can be especially intimidating. The anxiety you’re experiencing is completely normal and in many ways, is a good sign.
Anxiety before sharing means you care about the topic
It’s a good sign that before sharing in a meeting or in a group therapy session you find yourself anxious because you care about what you’re going to say. This is good for different reasons. First, you are coming to find appreciation for your recovery and for the treatment process. Many people spend their entire time in treatment resenting the fact that they’re in treatment and have to get sober. Many of those people do not stay sober and they also don’t get anything out of treatment. Appreciation is important. Caring is important. You are more focused on the topics of the groups, the topics being shared, and your personal experience of growth in relation.
Second, you care about what you’re going to say because you are learning to discern your jerk reactions from your actual thoughts and feelings. Communication is an art form and a practice. Emotional communication, especially for someone in the first few months of recovery, is a challenge for everyone. Taking a pause between thinking and feeling before speaking means you’re learning to regulate your feelings and articulate them in a healthy and effective way. Beyond communication, this is actually a sign that your brain is healing. Your cognitive functions are returning which is helping you process your thoughts differently.
Anxiety before sharing means you care about the people listening
Recovery is an altruistic lifestyle. Intrinsic in the twelve step philosophy and much of treatment is the idea that your story will help someone else. By getting and staying sober you are setting an example who believe they cannot do it. The more you progress in recovery, the more you have to offer. You gained wisdom, insight, and courage from other people sharing honestly about their experience, strength, and hope.
Anxiety before sharing means you’re engaged in the process
Being engaged in the process of a meeting or group therapy means your brain is regaining its ability to get involved in intellectually stimulating conversations and cultures. You are able to be present, make sense of information, create knowledge from that information, and respond appropriately. It can be difficult to see your progress in recovery when it is subtle, as in brain changes.
Cypress Lakes Lodge offers excellence in addiction treatment through residential programs for dual diagnosis care. Welcoming men and women with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders, our treatment programs help clients become more balanced and confident in their lives, experiencing total rejuvenation in mind, body, and spirit. For information, call us today at 877-938-1577.