The Paradox Cure

Here’s a fun fact about avoidant personality disorder: it’s often co-morbid with addiction or substance abuse issues. In my case, that would be alcohol abuse. Which isn’t surprising; alcohol is one of the few intoxicants you can buy without having any social connections whatsoever.

Here’s a fun fact about alcoholism: whether you go the 12 Step route, opt for a non-12 Step program like SMART Recovery, or go into individual therapy, you’re going to have to talk to someone. If you’re like the vast majority of addicts, there’s simply no way out of addiction by yourself. You need others. You need their support, their insight, their advice.

This is what drove me out of AA to begin with. The isolation from the other alcoholics, the complete inability to build the kind of connections that are essential for recovery. It was no failing of the other people I met – they were so outgoing, and generous, and kind. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hold up my half of a social interaction.

It’s enough to make you feel hopeless sometimes. I can’t deal with the symptoms of AvPD while drinking. I can’t quit drinking without dealing with the symptoms of AvPD.

But, as I predicted, I am feeling a little better than I was earlier today. I don’t know why; I never know why. I just think maybe I’m going to sort this shit out. Not forever, of course, but maybe for a little while.


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