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How do I learn to engage with people again after years of isolated drinking and using?

10 Answers
Last Updated: 04/07/2020 at 5:24am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC

Art Therapist

Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.

Top Rated Answers
January 28th, 2015 6:20pm
It takes time and perseverance, and knowing that you're good enough to engage. Your history is part of you, and it takes time to trust people with it. Asking questions and listening is a good way to start.
April 4th, 2015 6:49pm
Making amends is a good place to start. Think of all the people that were affected by your drinking/using and apologize to them and ask if you can make up for it now. IT's never too late to apologize and ask for forgiveness.
June 9th, 2015 10:05pm
Many AA chapters have sober social activities, where people can gather and talk casually without alcohol. You can strengthen your courage and your small talk repetoire there before going to other places. Exchange a pleasant sentence with people who wait on you in restaurants, check out your groceries. Keep it brief and in context (really rained yesterday, thanks for ____) and non-flirty. Volunteer somewhere where you'll be working with others -- you'll feel good about it (hopefully) and you can talk to others about whatever you're doing (helping out Special Olympics, Habitat, cleaning trails or playgrounds). Good luck!
May 19th, 2015 10:19am
the best thing to engage people is : buy them food and drink they like. buy them clothes and other things they like. care about how they feel. help them with their job. These things will make them very happy, and your past of isolated drinking and using will fade automatically.
October 25th, 2015 5:54am
Just by going out and meeting new people, putting yourself out there and trying new things, that's the best way to socialize with new people
November 25th, 2015 9:04pm
To engage with people again after years of alcohol abuse and isolation some kind of support system is likely required. This could be a friend, family member or therapist, that can help the individual readjust to society.
June 6th, 2016 9:57pm
Whatever you have done or been through in the past years, you will have to keep them aside and focus more on who and what you are going to deal with.
July 19th, 2016 4:14pm
Slowly. Make sure that you recognize triggers that might spark you to want to use again. Make sure you are able to deal with these triggers in an appropriate manner. Try to interact with people in places that don't offer the opportunity to drink and/or use. Coffee shops are becoming more popular for this reason.
January 23rd, 2018 7:55pm
It can be difficult to re-engage with people again when you've gotten used to drinking and using alone; some people never do. It's important to recognize the reason you are drinking or using. No-one including myself will tell you you have to stop. But just think about the reasons your using and see if they're still benefiting you. If it's not helping you anymore, it may be time to discover a new way of living
April 7th, 2020 5:24am
There are many different ways that you could reach out to others - it just depends on what makes you feel comfortable. Talking to Listeners on 7 Cups, or going on forums and reaching out to people there can be a great way to build some new friendships online. In your community, you could reach out to places to volunteer and meet people that way. If you have any hobbies or interests, try finding some groups that get together and see if you can join. Its all about finding what level you are comfortable with, and if seeing people everyday is a bit overwhelming, keep reaching out online and talk to people there.