Before sobriety in AA, the only thing that could get me out of my shell, and breach my wall... was alcohol. I felt literally intimidated and shy and awkward in any social situation without a few drinks.... which was one of the reasons I had such a fear of being sober!
When I got to AA, I still felt out of place, shy and awkward, and didn't feel "a part of" as long as I waited for someone to ask me to do something.
When I realized that no one was going to ask me to do something... I looked around, and started creating my own jobs... like sweeping the floors, straightening up chairs, picking up trash and taking out the trash, and wiping off tables and counters at the end of the meetings. That finally got me out of my shell enough that I started showing up early to set up the meetings, make coffee, bring donuts or cookies, etceteras... and eventually, I was able to stand at the door and stick my hand out to welcome everyone to the meeting, as a greeter.
Suddenly, those actions had me feeling like I was "a part of" and it was amazing how people started talking to me... and saying hello to me, after I had been doing the same to them.
Somewhere along the way, I was told that "AA is preparing me for life outside AA." ... I didn't know how it was going to do that... so, I started doing what I did in meetings... while at the grocery store, and the junk stores... and department stores while shopping. I'd grab a shopping cart and bring it inside the store. If I saw trash on the ground... I'd pick it up and throw it away. I began to smile and say "Hello" to people I didn't know... and say things to clerks like "Thanks for coming in today! I really appreciate you coming in to work today!" .... it's funny, how, they often would smile back... or laugh... and sometimes say something like "Well, I'm glad you came in to shop!" ... And, I began to feel like I was "a part of" the world outside the AA meetings. And, guess what? I was able to start doing that... and feel good about it... while I was sober!!!!
Sometimes... it's kind of funny how this simple deal will work in all the areas of our lives!
Now, whenever I start feeling uncomfortable, awkward, timid, or shy, or feeling like "not a part of"... I know what to do about it.... Grab a broom, a mop, smile at someone, bring shopping carts inside a store... pick up trash... and welcome people just like I've known them all my life...
It works.... it really does! And, guess what? Now... sometimes... in the meetings... they actually ask me to do something! Imagine that!