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Anxiety

Old 09-26-2022, 04:07 AM
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Anxiety

Hi,

I've been drinking heavily for about six years. This was normally every day over that time - drinking about two bottles of wine or equivalent in beer/cider. This year I successfully took 40 days off drinking and then returned to limit myself to two drinking days per week. This worked well for two months, and then after a holiday I slipped back into daily drinking.

The main thing I struggle with when not drinking is dealing with my general anxiety. My base level of anxiety is high. I feel this physically in my chest and pressure around my face/head. It's sometimes actually painful, other times just very unpleasant or uncomfortable. Getting through those 40 days without alcohol I noticed that my anxiety did not seem to diminish. My cravings for the taste of alcohol did diminish, but my anxiety didn't. When I was controlling my drinking, the breaks off alcohol of three or two days were like something I have to grunt my way through - like the non-drinking days I was "putting up" with things until I could finally actually relax on a drinking day.

I have tried a lot of things such as meditation, reading, breathing, yoga, exercise etc. Exercise does help when it's intense, but getting the motivation to do sufficiently intense exercise is difficult. Breathing helps when anxiety is REALLY bad and it helps to just pass 30 seconds or a minute and whatever wave passes - but it's not much use beyond that. Booze, on the other hand, is amazing for it. A few sips into a drink and my anxiety is washed away with a river...

I'd like to know if anyone can relate to this and has advice?

I have been on the anti-anxiety medication Zoloft for almost three years. It does seem to help quite well for preventing depression, but it hasn't don't a great deal for my anxiety.
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:04 AM
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Sorry you are struggling.

You are on this site because deep down you KNOW alcohol really doesn’t help. If t did, you wouldn’t be drinking two bottles of wine a day, daily.

It will kill you.

Welcome to sober recovery! It’s a great place of support for those seeking permanent sobriety, or those who aren’t quite in that mind frame yet. We do not support attempting trying to sustain “moderation”, as that is basically impossible.

Advice? Get sober, get to medical professional and be honest, brutally honest of your drinking history and desires. Make a plan to stay sober with some tools (plans, rehab, social support, etc) when your mind frame is there.

Breathing is good, and there are many tools out there.
Many of us drank to supposedly ease anxiety. But it wasn’t working for us.

Being free from the chains of addiction help tremendously. Being totally free of our anxiety issues is NOT attainable, even sober, so a reasonable goal must be established.

And lastly, but really important, get that social support. Here, AA, SMART, friends, relatives.

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Old 09-26-2022, 05:44 AM
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Thank you for the advice.

I have a drinking diary already which shows my ups and downs. 1 actually means a booze-free day - 0 means I was drinking. (attached file)

In that period in May, despite my success, productivity, health benefits etc, I'd say I was pretty miserable - even towards the end of it. Maybe I just didn't go long enough?

In August when I controlled the drinking I was very happy - but unfortunately the fact I've now lapsed shows that this apparent temperance is unreliable.

Attached Images
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DrinksRecently.jpg (79.2 KB, 187 views)
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:54 AM
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I have had anxiety and have it now along with depression. When I was drinking I started to use it to self medicate myself to feel better and the more I drank, the more I had to drink to prevent the anxiety and depression from coming back. I became a horrible cycle for me. I too am on zoloft and it helps somewhat. I just know from multiple day 1s it got worse each and every time I quit. I am really struggling right now with lots of issues so I have to be strong and not go get any alcohol with the thought that it will "help" me or "save" for this emotional and physical pain, and insomnia I have been dealing with. My heart goes out to you and I wish you the very best.
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Old 09-26-2022, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Alpine View Post
I have had anxiety and have it now along with depression. When I was drinking I started to use it to self medicate myself to feel better and the more I drank, the more I had to drink to prevent the anxiety and depression from coming back. I became a horrible cycle for me. I too am on zoloft and it helps somewhat. I just know from multiple day 1s it got worse each and every time I quit. I am really struggling right now with lots of issues so I have to be strong and not go get any alcohol with the thought that it will "help" me or "save" for this emotional and physical pain, and insomnia I have been dealing with. My heart goes out to you and I wish you the very best.
Thank you, sounds very similar to my situation.
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Old 09-27-2022, 10:56 PM
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I've always had terrible anxiety issues. Trauma and anxiety were the 2 big reasons that I drank. I can tell you, for me, it took a lot longer than a few months of sobriety before my anxiety got measurably better. For me, it may have taken more than a year.

Almost 7 years in, the peace I've gained is measured by the one or 2 anxious days a month I have instead of the 1-2 less chaotic days I had when I was newly sober. It takes a LONG time for your brain to rewire itself. If there was one thing I could give people when they come through the doors of new sobriety it would be long term patience. This takes time. I can tell you with no hesitation that if you can hang in there, you will know a new peace in your life that you've never felt before.
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Old 09-28-2022, 05:36 AM
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my experiences same as all the really good shares here....
walking with my dog, listening to music gets me out of my head enough to deal with life....I turn off...like meditation in that respect

prayers to you
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Old 09-28-2022, 11:17 PM
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I'm almost 5 month sober and it wasn't until about 90 days where the anxiety/panic feelings subsided. I still feel anxious at times but it feels more like the level of general anxiety I had before I became the CEO of Old #7. I feel it, I accept it and allow it, then before I know, it's not there anymore
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Old 09-30-2022, 06:58 AM
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For decades I thought I had mental health problems - which I was forced to “treat” with alcohol. That the only way I could “live” with my childhood trauma, my complex PTSD, suicidality , depression, anxiety , etc was to “reset” my head with alcohol and other addictions.

But I had it somewhat arse-about . Now 19 months into my recovery journey, I can already begin to see it just wasn’t the case. I mean , I am not saying that I magically don’t have trauma or mental health issues. But I was probably never “treating” it or even “masking it “ or “taking the edge off” with alcohol at all. I really was making it bazillion times worse.

But it takes time and hard work to unwind that. for your brain to heal.

The anxiety and depression have weighed heavily at many points in early sobriety for me. Anxiety was crippling in the early months. At least 3-6 months of it. And depression bit me hard too , at several points throughout first year or so.

But my old friends since teenage years - anxiety and depression - are just not there like that any more.

So much damn, beautiful , sexy peace happens for me now.

It truly does gets sooooooo much better.

For the second time since I got sober I am completely free of medication (for 4+ months now) . I had to go back on anti-depressants and mood stabilisers last time I tried , because it got too sharp. but I feel like this time I am even better at managing what are objectively much less severe mental health fluctuations.

What’s more - If I have to go back on pills again, then so be it. Because I have every faith that over time, if I do not drink, if I stick to the journey of internal transformation and growth that I am on, I will eventually no longer need them.

That is how damn good sobriety is for anxiety and depression.

please don’t give up on it before you have a chance to feel the peace, too
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Old 10-01-2022, 10:37 AM
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I just want to express thanks to everyone who posted on this thread. I've read all the posts here and I've done some investigation into PAWS and anxiety. It seems that there may be something to this idea of GABA receptors decreasing when abusing alcohol. Search for "

Expression of specific ionotropic glutamate and GABA-A receptor subunits is decreased in central amygdala of alcoholics" and you'll find an open access academic article on the subject.


There's very little study data on how/if those receptors rebalance, but the general consensus seems to be that the brain does alter the number of these receptors in order to maintain a kind of equilibrium.

I have decided to give sobriety another go. I'm currently on day three. I'll be keeping a mood diary this time to hopefully see if after 3 months + I start to notice an improvement in base level stress/anxiety.
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Old 10-05-2022, 02:58 AM
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Someone suggested this woman to me. I've been struggling with having my flight or fight stuck in the open wide for a couple of years. I just feel unsafe constantly. Being told I need to address this physically as well makes a lot of sense to me.
https://youtu.be/oYNNLioTkyk


I also found this helpful

https://youtu.be/WQumUZfwyEQ
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Old 10-07-2022, 08:33 AM
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Hi Lithium,

I'm glad you decided to give sobriety another go. I'm six months in (this time), and though I also suffer from fairly high baseline anxiety/depression, I can tell you that it's much better now than it was in the first few months booze-free.

My experience is that I definitely drank as a way to escape feelings I couldn't tolerate - like to the point that I didn't even know I was having those feelings, you know? It's been a long journey with a lot of trial and error (that last relapse was after 2+ years sober), and what I've learned is that I need to really pay attention to those physical symptoms first, then track back to what is bothering me and why, then work to get myself in balance. It seems like a lot of people don't need to go through the sort of intense reflection that I do, but it's what works for me. Everyone has their own path.

For me, medication is an absolute boon. I also take Zoloft for depression. They adjusted the dose during one of my hospitalizations because I was at half of what is generally considered to be an effective dose. In addition, I take Buspar and gabapentin for anxiety. My doctor and I have worked together to 'tweak' all of this, for which I am very grateful. Also yes to meditation, forcing oneself to do physically taxing things, and breathing.

Today, I'm anxious and I know I have good reason to be that way. But I know that I can bear it. Recognizing, accepting, and investigating my feelings is crucial. I'll do my best to nurture myself today because that's what I need to keep it together. You can do all of that too.

O
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Old 10-20-2022, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lithium12 View Post
Hi,

I've been drinking heavily for about six years. This was normally every day over that time - drinking about two bottles of wine or equivalent in beer/cider. This year I successfully took 40 days off drinking and then returned to limit myself to two drinking days per week. This worked well for two months, and then after a holiday I slipped back into daily drinking.

The main thing I struggle with when not drinking is dealing with my general anxiety. My base level of anxiety is high. I feel this physically in my chest and pressure around my face/head. It's sometimes actually painful, other times just very unpleasant or uncomfortable. Getting through those 40 days without alcohol I noticed that my anxiety did not seem to diminish. My cravings for the taste of alcohol did diminish, but my anxiety didn't. When I was controlling my drinking, the breaks off alcohol of three or two days were like something I have to grunt my way through - like the non-drinking days I was "putting up" with things until I could finally actually relax on a drinking day.

I have tried a lot of things such as meditation, reading, breathing, yoga, exercise etc. Exercise does help when it's intense, but getting the motivation to do sufficiently intense exercise is difficult. Breathing helps when anxiety is REALLY bad and it helps to just pass 30 seconds or a minute and whatever wave passes - but it's not much use beyond that. Booze, on the other hand, is amazing for it. A few sips into a drink and my anxiety is washed away with a river...

I'd like to know if anyone can relate to this and has advice?

I have been on the anti-anxiety medication Zoloft for almost three years. It does seem to help quite well for preventing depression, but it hasn't don't a great deal for my anxiety.
my anxiety became so bad that drinking was the only sure thing that would stop a panic attack and nothing else would. I would be living feeling like I was on a plane that was going down for 72 hours and then it got a little better but I changed from Zoloft to lexapro and I started feeling better and they gave me something for the panic attack. Talk therapy is the best thing in my opinion. I found after sixty days it really started getting better
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Old 10-28-2022, 11:32 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR8o...ndex=10&t=526s

This lady is a life saver , she is talking about anxiety and panic in many of her videos , her main argument is that you should not fight anxiety , fighting anxiety is what makes it scary , just accept it and know that it's not dangerous , keep doing that and after a while your anxiety should go down.
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Old 11-02-2022, 11:24 AM
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It takes time - 40 days is not nearly enough, in fact it is often in those first 90 days - when the brain is rewiring - that we feel the most irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness, etc. There's a reason AA recommends 90 in 90.. because it gets people through that phase of it. Even between 90-180 days is tough, although not as bad, but we are still healing.. and not fully at peace.

Please give it 6 months - it will change your life.
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