Relying on Alcohol for My Social Anxiety
For about the past 8 months, I've been heavily relying on alcohol to ease my social anxiety. I drink every day starting around 1:00 PM and I generally don't stop until about 8:00 PM, and this is because I never know who will come around or what type of social situation I will have to deal with. I work from home, so it's never a dangerous situation that I'm putting myself into. My alcohol level has become very tolerant. I can drink a lot, and once I get started, it's a little hard for me to stop until I feel that buzz and can keep it going. I don't care to get completely drunk, unless I'm hanging out with friends and family during a gathering or something. Any other day, it's just to feel normal, whatever "normal" is. Alcoholism runs in my family, and I do get nervous that I could eventually fall into that due to my social anxiety and feeling like my only option is to give up.
About 4 months ago, I lost my true first love due to my dependence on alcohol. It got to the point where I felt as if I needed to be buzzed to go see him, just because people make me nervous in general. That wasn't the only reason it ended, but it absolutely contributed to it, even though he says it didn't. We were a fantastic couple - never argued, never fought, always smiled when we were around each other - until I had my embarrassing moments of drinking too much and I would be a mess about 6 months into our relationship. I think I just stressed him out.
I told him about my social anxiety, and he was completely understanding, but couldn't relate. He was a teacher, so he was constantly dealing with fellow teachers and hundreds of students a day. He offered going small places with me and helping me deal with my social anxiety, slow and steady, but we never did. To someone who's not familiar with social anxiety, it can be like a completely foreign subject to them. And for me, it feels like I'm living on a different universe. I do get envious of people who are outgoing and can have a conversation with a stranger. I want that to be me one day.
I'd like to know if anyone else has ever become dependent on alcohol for your social anxiety, and how you went about stopping it? Or, if you're still doing it, do you find it helpful, or does it just make you feel worse for being reliant on a substance to deal with social anxiety? I know it's not necessarily a healthy way to deal with social anxiety, but it helps, and I just go with it for the time being. Even going to a therapist for help makes me stomach churn and I get sweaty and begin shaking. Honestly, my social anxiety has started to embarrass me. Sometimes I just feel helpless.