Episode 21: How to Overcome Anxiety While Being Sober


Feeling anxious?

The truth is we all feel it sometimes.

However, some get it bad more than others. 

One of the biggest reasons why people turn to alcohol and drugs is to "calm their nerves" or essentially temporarily stifle their anxiety. The only problem is it never really goes away.

It's also a huge reason why people don't want to get sober in the first place. Alcohol and drugs become a crutch for anxiety and addicts feel like they can't function without it.

However, you DON'T need alcohol and drugs to overcome your anxieties.

Kaila and Kiki discuss how they dealt with their anxieties and how it led them to addictive behaviors. They also talk about some of the ways they deal with anxiety while they are sober and why you don't need drugs or alcohol to feel calm and at peace. Plus, you'll hear some wellness tips on how to calm your anxiety in situations that it can be triggered.

In this episode, they'll cover:

  • How their anxieties lead them to become addicted to drugs and alcohol
  • What it was like dealing with their anxieties as soon as they got sober
  • Wellness tips and tricks on how to calm your anxiety down when you are sober



Kiki: What's up you guys, it's Kiki and Kaila here and you are listening to From Hell to Wellness. Today we are going to be talking about our experience at the famous V Spa. Today we wanted to discuss a lot about anxiety. So I actually suffer from social anxiety, but a lot of people that use is generally trying to cover up their anxiety. So anxiety is a huge part of being addicted to any type of substance.

Kaila: Your conquered some anxiety recently?

Kiki: Oh my God yes. So one of my more funnier anxiety is as you've heard in the previous podcast - is being scared of massages.

Kaila: It's crazy, I could have a massage like 24 hours a day and it would be okay.

Kiki: I want to be able to enjoy pampering, but for some reason pampering gives me anxiety. Even getting my toenails done it freaks me out because I am always concerned about the lady doing it, and I am like is she okay.

Kaila: I always think damn these ladies must have seen some nasty feet. [1:14]. I guess it kind of work on man sometimes because man gets pedicures now. You could not pay me to give a man or anyone a pedicure.

Kiki: That is so gross, but massages I don't know maybe it was because I got a weird massage from my boyfriend in high school. Oh my God it's so weird - I am not a very sexy person. I am like does this this turns you on. I think maybe he wants to like stain things up.

Kaila: He did and he was trying to have sex. Massages always guys, if a guy wants to give you a massage, he's just trying to have sex.

Kiki: And like you get into the crevices. So he got all of these massage oils and candles and I was like holy fuck. He got fancy given this was in high school.

Kaila: It was still a little early. Have you guys had sex yet?

Kiki: Yes, we did for sure - and I am not romantic so I think he was trying to be romantic or something weird. But I just remember like you know when you are young you don't know what anyone wants, and you are like why the hell does this work. I just remember him rubbing me with the oils and I just thought it was so contrived, I was like get it off of me get it off. So massages for some reason I don't associate with that, but V Spa.

So V Spa is a Korean spa and the Korean spa you get naked with all of the people, and we were actually chose to look like five different influenza girls. And I was getting a little anxiety but I was glad you were there because I was like we could talk and hang out and just feel comfortable. But first off you have to get butt ass naked, and getting naked is kind of scary - I mean you don't like being naked around people right.

Kaila: I don't like being naked around people that I know - if it's a room full of strangers.

Kiki: That's amazing. The naked part was okay I think after a while. I just wasn't sure, because I don't know why I was okay with getting naked.

Kaila: They were very comfortable with getting naked. Most of the other girls are very comfortable and I think that really helped.

Kiki: That helps ten time because I was like if they freak out then I am going to freak out. And I'm like how do I act, do I just go. But after the nude part was fine everyone got into the hot tub and we started chatting. And there are just such amazing nice girls and it really helps the environment just to be so chilled. But they were like okay be careful we are going to get a scrub, a full body scrub, and I never even Explore anything, like I don't even Explore the shower I am so bad. But the scrub was like, it was like the first part before you start getting massage.

Kaila: Well I have got to tell you; Korean scrubs are no thrills. They lay you out on a row of table completely naked, and then they just throw a towel over you, like a small towel over your private areas. Then they just like move you to the side move you to the back and just scrub you.

Kiki: This is crazy because I have never actually experienced like the Bird Williams Spa.

Kaila: It's fine it's just a totally different thing. You don't get a full scrub at Bird Williams that's not what you are doing there.

Kiki: I see, so I think it's more like straightforward and to the point, but for some reason in a weird way, I think having that massage like that it made me feel more comfortable.

Kaila: I had a theory that you are not okay with like super soft massages, and [5:06] massage is not that.

Kiki: I think that's what it is because maybe my brain associate with soft massages like that, like the high school experience where I am like oh get it off me. But when she was kind of hitting me and really going for it, I was like this is actually really, really good.

Kaila: I had two girlfriends who only like deep tissue massages, so they like hurt me because I want to feel better afterwards. I want those knots work out, so they are like the harder the better.

Kiki: Maybe that's my jam.

Kaila: Yes, I think you are a deep tissue massage girl.

Kiki: Yes, but it was crazy how instantly the anxiety went away, and how instantly that experience was like I have overcome years and years of built-up fears. I was so shocked leaving the place, I was like how the hell did that happen.

Kaila: Well there is this one thing that they say about fear, and is that it's paper thin. Fear is a mile wide but it's paper thin. So you just take a walk through it and it's fine.

Kiki: I love that so much, it was truly [6:12]. All of these years of anxiety and building up this imagine - like this monster of massage which was really just like I hate it. And then going I was like wait, it's not even that bad and all of it was gone like that it's the craziest thing.

Kaila: I feel like that's a lot of experiences also before sobriety, is that everything was so uncomfortable and just being so self-obsessed and self-conscious, like what do people think - nobody is thinking about you.

Kiki: And it's amazing, you know I have said this millions of times but I would go into social settings and I would have to drink instantly the second I got there.

Kaila: That's a lot of people.

Kiki: Yes, and you've just got to go straight to the bar, and really it's a lot of people and all they are doing is the same thing as you.

Kaila: But also why first dates like people can't, it's always over drinks because people just can't handle not being brave.

Kiki: 100%. And if you think about it and it's like we are all in this together, it makes it a lot less intimidating I think.

Kaila: I mean before getting sober I was obviously uncomfortable in my skin - E made me love being around people, I still think E is a great drug. I can't do it now obviously and also it's like pretty much not cute after a certain age, but I only had fun memories of that. But coke did not make me socially, I mean it made me socially in my little circle, but I was like no you don't get to hang out with us. I had a party at my house and I had the VIP room in my room and didn't let people in, at my party at my house.

Kiki: Oh my God that's amazing.

Kaila: There was always people doing coke basically and we didn't want to share it with random.

Kiki: Well that can get expensive right?

Kaila: Yes.

Kiki: That's crazy that's so funny. Oh my gosh I have to talk about this. So this was really earlier on when we were in the bands, and do you remember Perry Farrell's wife?

Kaila: She's Asian right?

Kiki: I forgot what her name was.

Kaila: She was on the show Rock Wives or something.

Kiki: Exactly, like rock love wives or something, and we got invited our bands got invited.

Kaila: Where was I?

Kiki: I mean you were there you had to have been.

Kaila: No I wasn’t; I don't even remember being invited to this thing.

Kiki: It was the band, Jen was there Jamie was there and Kath, maybe you didn't go that day but it was a PR thing. Matt was there and I was there, and like I kind of try to avoid those things.

Kaila: His wife is Asian and blond right?

Kiki: Yes, blond Asian girl. So we were at this party and this was probably one of my first PR events with you guys, and I was still really knew and I was like holy fuck I was so scared and it was so intimidating. And I remember we get there and I got pretty hammered, and then everyone was socializing and I went into the bathroom. I went into the bathroom and they were like hanging out, and I ended up standing in the bathroom and they were like where is Kiki where is she we can't find her. I was in the bathroom.

Kaila: I was not at this event at all, like I don't even remember you guys going to this event.

Kiki: It's so crazy - I was in the bathroom and I'm like I can't go out there; I can't go out there. So I just started talking to the bathroom attendant in Spanish, and I was in there for like 45 minutes. I spent the entire party in the bathroom talking to the bathroom attendant.

Kaila: [9:58] you only speak Spanish when you are drunk because we have tested this sober. I won't let her let us down because she's always like I speak Spanish.

Kiki: We went to Peru and I was like nope.

Kaila: It's like it's different [10:19] but you know I kind of speak Chinese with a different accent.

Kiki: Oh my God. But I ended up speaking to that lady for like 45 minutes, and then the party was over and they all came to drive me and I was just sitting in the bathroom the whole time. But yes the anxiety was real for sure.

Kaila: I just love you know I would say I never miss the 20's because I was just like so self-obsessed and self-conscious. And now with sobriety I have learned to actually love myself, but most importantly just not give a shit what anybody thinks about anything. Like really I think if we all live that way life would just be so much more honest.

Kiki: I love that, and I think it comes also as I get older too, but sobriety has definitely cleared that up for me. What happened with drinking or partying or anything like that. You end up hanging around people that you don't necessarily want to hang around but they are doing the same thing. Like they make you feel comfortable by you kind of doing bad things. I ended up hanging out with tons of people that I would never hang out with during the day, and you know the night-crawlers we all crawl in the night together.

Kaila: The lower companions.

Kiki: Is that what it's called - The Lower Companions. I had many and in fact I learned that I was the lowest. I was the lowest of all companions, which I learned because a lot of my friends don't really do a lot of drinking anymore because we stop drinking.

Kaila: And when you found out that you were the lower companion.

Kiki: Oh my God, it is a reality check. I was the lowest company I am sure out of all of my friends. But when you're sober you realize that you are around people, like you get to choose who you want to be around and I realized that I don't have to go out to social settings, unless if it's for work or if it's hanging out with you, or like people I want to be around. Like if I don't want to be around that person I don't have to go there because they are having alcohol there, so it's been a really benefit.

Kaila: It makes life easier.

Kiki: Yes, definitely.

Kaila: So I feel like I really don't get too much social anxiety in most situations, but I still am a true introvert. So meaning I need to rest and recharge and it is still draining for me, but that's different from having social anxiety. I think that's just being an introvert.

Kiki: Yes, and it was pretty debilitating I think being introverted and [12:58] it sucks it really sucks, but like on top of that having the fear of being blackout drunk the next day and not remembering, it was like this compound thing, and the what happens is you keep drinking to cover up for it. So it's good to be under that cycle and if you are suffering from social anxiety - try your best to avoid substance use because it doesn't really do anything, it's just a shity Band-Aid with the adhesive is coming off, that's basically what that is.

Kaila: Well here's the thing. Before getting sober I don't think I could have done these media trips that we do. Basically as a part of our work we go on media trips where [13:41] and go on a trip and I don't know who is coming, I don't know how many people are coming. I found out when I show up and I have no problem with it now, and off many of these trips I come out with lifelong friends. But before that without have given me a lot of social anxiety, and then not only that but you are with these people from like 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. talking about everything because you run out of stuff to talk about. Then just being sober and comfortable and not needing the substance to get through it.

Kiki: When you went on your first media trip and you were sober, was that scary to you?

Kaila: No, I was so excited, I mean the trips are exciting beside the people, there's like amazing experiences and stuff. Okay I was intimidated because I knew I was more of a blogger, and there's a hierarchy - I am no longer but I am going to clarify, yes there is a difference between writers and bloggers, and there's a hierarchy because it takes much more work to be a writer. Anyone can start a blog and do it - yes, it takes skills to have a blog with a big following. But as a writer you have to come up with intelligent story that are timely and fitting to the publication and pitch them.

And then you have to write them and they are a hundred times more harder to write than a blog because it's not just informational, it has to have a message a purpose and a story. So just to clarify, I'm a writer / blogger. But anyway I was intimidated on the first trip, and I have been intimidated and trips since then just being the lowest one on the totem pole. Like there was a trip I went on, I think I mentioned it before, there was a New York time writer on there, so I'm like I know we are close to that level. But like he was very nice and people are there to just have a good time, I don't feel like there. I mean I do hear always stories about that one awful person on the media trip, but I haven't been on that trip yet where I have encounter this one person.

Kiki: Yes, it's been pretty fantastic, the experiences are just so wonderful. I've had a couple of strange people that are very demanding I think - well not to me but very kind people, but very demanding and it's on their schedule or bust.

Kaila: I always hear stories about somebody who is like always late and making everybody wait, or like just being crazy.

Kiki: That could be a nightmare, and then you are with them for so many hours in the day and you're kind of stuck with them but yes. So one of the greatest part about being sober is that you know both of us are introverts. I know it doesn't seem like it, but I always like to clarify it because people are like you are not an introvert.

Kaila: Introverts can turn it on for a period of time but they are sometimes dying inside, not because of social anxiety, but just for a true introvert - extroverts gets recharged by being around people, introverts get drained.

Kiki: 100% oh my God, that is literally what it is. Even like going to lunch sometimes I am like oh, and then afterwards I am like oh my God I am so tired. It's nothing against anybody it's just that you have to turn on the socializing that's why. And turning on socializing requires a lot of energy I think mentally physically and emotionally.

But I learned that and before I used to hide, I wanted to hide that I was an introvert because I thought that it was like weaker or something like that, and I was really embarrassed by it so I would drink and become this extroverted person, and like I wanted to be that person so I hid from it. But now that I am sober I am okay with being introverted, I accept my introverted personality and I embrace it I love it - it is who I am and that's what it is.

But for those of you who are trying to get over your social anxiety fears. Instead of drinking or using substances, here are some great recommendations to try if you are sober. One of the things that we covered is that remember everybody is self-conscious. Every single person out there is experiencing it at different degrees, but they all are self-conscious.

Kaila: And they are not thinking about you.

Kiki: 100%. They are not thinking about you they are thinking about themselves. So just remember that they are going through the same situation and don't think that it's you. So the second one is past examine evidence of your anxiety. Is your anxiety really justifying - like what evidence, is it anxiety making it true, like is my fear of talking to this person, is it actually real or is it just something that you are imagining in your own head.

Kaila: And I have got to tell you something about conversations. If you are nervous about having a conversation about something with somebody. I've gotten compliments on being great conversationalist because I just asked them questions about themselves. You don't even really have to talk, just like ask them questions that are open.

Kiki: Yes, that's the best way and it seems like to me most people are extroverted, that might be my own judgment, but if you go to an extroverted person and just ask them questions, it's the greatest way to have a conversation ever.

Kaila: Extrovert love to talk about themselves. Introvert not so much.

Kiki: I hate it, I hate when people ask me what I'm doing and I am like oh fuck. And then I always try to turn on them because I don't want to like - I'm like please don't ask me what I am doing I don't want to talk about what I am doing. They are like oh yes you are in there what are you doing, and then when you do that they're just like - and then it's like yes I don't have to talk anymore.

And another thing is imagining the really worst scenario. Like really try to imagine what would really happen in that case, like if you did let's say something that was wrong, or ask a question that somebody didn't want to talk about. They would probably just move forward and not really think too much about it. So you don't have to worry about you stuttering or flubbing up or saying something like that, it's just really not a big deal.

Also again remind yourself that your anticipation is truly worse than your reality, like your quote that you said. The fear is really paper-thin once you step through it. It's gone and done and then you are done and you are over with it. And that anticipation is that mile long or three-mile-long road of being fearful. Also bring a Chichi, I know this sounds really crazy but you can put it in your phone.

Kaila: Have you done this?

Kiki: No but I did use to do like the affirmation thing in the mirror at different social events.

Kaila: I have done affirmation but not about social things. I feel like affirmations out loud are very helpful in life.

Kiki: Definitely helpful, and if you can't remember them you can write them down in a notepad in your phone, and pull them out when you are in the bathroom and read through them and listen to them in your head or read them out loud if you are in the bathroom. And any of the anxious thoughts that you have and the challenges, once you read them through they become a lot less anxious and they become a lot easier to handle.

And also of course don't ever, ever be afraid to get help. Seek help and talk to somebody that you can trust, even talk to a therapist or go to a meeting and meet other people that have the same type of mentality as you. Thank you so much for listening in this Thursday. Social anxiety doesn't have to be as bad as it seems. If you have any great experiences of overcoming social anxiety or awesome tips. Feel free to leave them in the comments, and also don't forget to subscribe. Leave us a happy review if you are enjoying, or give us suggestions of what you want to hear for the next episodes. And again have a wonderful day and they sober folks, we will talk to you later.


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