For an introvert, facing a room full of people in rehab can seem far more daunting than it does for their extroverted counterparts. These tips will help make the experience easier.
Are you an introvert? If so, the prospect of entering rehab where you’re expected to spend day and night with a group of complete strangers is probably terrifying. But don’t worry – you can embrace your introversion and still thrive as you begin your road to recovery.
Not sure if you are an introvert? Take this introvert/extrovert personality quiz to find out. Most people will fall somewhere in between, but introversion is characterised by a quieter personality style with a preference for alone time and small groups. Rather than gaining energy from the crowd, introverts need their own space to feel charged.
As an introvert you may have started using drugs or alcohol to give you the energy necessary to handle large groups and impersonal social situations. It is not that introverts are shy or socially inept; they just find being with others more draining than extroverts. Introverts are more selective about the company they keep and prefer being around fewer people that they know well.
In a world that prizes extroverts – the outgoing, talkative, life of the party types – introverts can get mislabelled as loners and geeks. The fact is introverts have a lot to offer, especially once out of the fog of addiction.
As an introvert use these tips to succeed and flourish in your rehab treatment programme:
1. Make the most of your down time.
If there is free time, people tend to mingle together in common areas. You may feel pressure to do the same in order to fit in, but as an introvert spending time alone during free periods will help re-energise you for the next group activity. In a demanding treatment setting it is important for you to make the most of short breaks –there is nothing wrong with taking a few minutes away from the group to recharge.
2. Practice your lines.
For the introvert speaking up in a formal group therapy session is probably less daunting then the informal mingling with group members after. Inevitably there will be times when informal small talk is necessary. It can help to have a few topics in mind. Make a mental note of what you do know about people and use this to spark conversation. Where people are from for example- “You’re from Australia right? I’ve never been there.”
3. Focus on creating a few close relationships.
Introverts generally appreciate fewer more intimate relationships. Do not feel like you have to get to know everyone equally – this will just drain you. Focus on having quality conversations with a few people you would like to get to know better and foster these relationships.
4. Embrace the fact that you’re introverted.
In treatment you will be diving headfirst into learning how to accept yourself and live your life without drugs and alcohol. Accepting your introversion should be part of this. Recognise that as an introvert you have many unique gifts to share with the world. When sober you are thoughtful, careful with your words, loyal and dependable. Value close meaningful relationships not only with others but with yourself.
Getting treatment for your addiction is one of the best choices you can make in life. Go in with an open mind and some helpful hints and you will be on your way to a successful recovery!