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Managing my withdrawal and panic attacks

Old 12-02-2009, 08:42 AM
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Managing my withdrawal and panic attacks

Firstly, I know this place is NOT for medical advice. No medical advice expected, wanted, or anticipated. I had a panic attack this morning, called a crisis line and hugged my puppies (known to lower blood pressure). I am responsible for me.

Still, if anyone can just "talk to me," it would be greatly appreciated. Like I said, called a crisis line and talked with people who know how to manage their own lives.

I have to set a boundary today. I have to tell my friend with a broken leg I can only be phone friends and it is greatly disturbing. Still, she has friends with two and three years of sobriety, and it's time for them to step up to the plate and be there for her. I have to take care of me right now. I am resentful I was sucked into the whole situation with the dynamics in place. I am torn between being honest and just blowing the whole thing off. First, do no harm. She is in a fragile state and I don't need to add to her distress. I suppose I can always tell her after the fact I just couldn't be there, or I could tell her the truth and how her stuff has affected me.

What do I do, short of getting help for my own codependency? I have a new therapist on 12/21. I see a shrink. I am trying to cover my bases as best I can. I want to get through the day without a drink. At the same time, she WILL call me and I am torn.

I hate this addiction and what it does. I hate my condition for what it is. What do I do? Let sober minds prevail.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:47 AM
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Hey Recovered. I too suffered with panic attacks for years. Always thinking alcohol made them go away. I retrospect, looking back drinking caused them! I am sober 24 days now, and my anxiety has pretty much left me completely. I guess I knew for years that drinking was causing them, but refused to admit it. Just get through the first few days of withdrawal and things will start to fall into place. I promise. Stay with us, you will find lots of support here.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bdiddy5522 View Post
Hey Recovered. I too suffered with panic attacks for years. Always thinking alcohol made them go away. I retrospect, looking back drinking caused them! I am sober 24 days now, and my anxiety has pretty much left me completely. I guess I knew for years that drinking was causing them, but refused to admit it. Just get through the first few days of withdrawal and things will start to fall into place. I promise. Stay with us, you will find lots of support here.
Thanks so much. Unfortunately, the longer I stay sober the more my psychiatric issues surface. Such was the case many years ago. I had several months of sobriety before my first panic attack. Clearly, alcohol does add to the situation and it's problematic, but I have this other stuff going on.

My main concern is staying out of the ER myself at this point and not drinking. Yet, I still will be talking her today and I am torn. I need to do the right thing yet don't know what it is. This could be a turning point for her if I tell her how her addiction has affected me. Then again, I am sure mine has affected her. Then again, I could just blow her off and be perceived as a bad friend. I am almost willing to do that rather than confront her on her stuff.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:00 AM
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Sounds like the opposite of what I have going on then. All I know is that alcohol does NOTHING positive for anyone. It only makes things worse. It may cover up symptoms, but once you get rid of it, maybe you can address the real issues and get help. I wish you the best of luck!
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bdiddy5522 View Post
Sounds like the opposite of what I have going on then. All I know is that alcohol does NOTHING positive for anyone. It only makes things worse. It may cover up symptoms, but once you get rid of it, maybe you can address the real issues and get help. I wish you the best of luck!
Thank you. I have been "blessed" with dual (or multiple) diagnosis/es. I have a lot of insight into things, yet am struggling to turn things around.

Yes, alcohol does nothing positive for anyone. Still, I feel like I am getting to be a pro at self-detoxing, which I know is NOT recommended per Sober Recovery Forums. The truth is I cannot take another hit to my insurance. (I live in fear of getting cancelled.) So I make the best of it and wean myself down. I am responsible for pets so I have to be responsible. The sad state of affairs in this country with health care necessitates I handle things, but I digress.

Typing this stuff out lowers my anxiety and is therapeutic for me. So thanks for letting me share.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:15 AM
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That is what this forum is all about. Letting people get their emotions out and feel better. Glad you have found us. Not sure if you have ever tried it, but I take Xanex as needed for anxiety/panic attacks. I love the stuff. I call it my "re-set button." haha. I hope you get some relief soon. I still take a xanex every night to help me sleep. But that is it, one/day. I am going to start weening that down (with the advice of my doctor) once my body normalizes itself without alcohol. I want to be completely drug free! I haven't been able to say that for years!
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bdiddy5522 View Post
That is what this forum is all about. Letting people get their emotions out and feel better. Glad you have found us. Not sure if you have ever tried it, but I take Xanex as needed to anxiety/panic attacks. I love the stuff. I call it my "re-set button." haha. I hope you get some relief soon. I still take a xanex every night to help me sleep. But that is it, one/day. I am going to start weening that down (with the advice of my doctor) once my body normalizes itself without alcohol. I want to be completely drug free! I haven't been able to say that for years!
Xanax is great, but off limits for me, as my Dr. will not give it to me, as it is addictive. I too would like to be completely drug free. I will still take Lunesta to sleep, as I figure sleep is very important to stay free of illness. I take vitamins, but sleep is essential. The past few nights I've been taking an OTC sleep aid along with melatonin. Today I get my Lunesta.

I just have to settle down, figure out a way to deal with my friend, not drink and take a nap. The rest of the stuff doesn't really matter - at this point.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:25 AM
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Too bad your doc wont give it to you. Mine gives it to me like candy! haha. Well, I wouldnt say that. But he is a good personal friend of mine, so he re-fills it whenever I want him to. However, he knows I don't abuse it. Which is probably why he does it. He knows I take one every night. He has never said I should cut down, or go off it. He has tried putting me on Lexapro, and that didn't work. For some reason, Xanex is the only that that works for me. I am now hoping that now being sober I can let my body get back to functioning the way is meant to without drugs. One day at a time!
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bdiddy5522 View Post
Too bad your doc wont give it to you. Mine gives it to me like candy! haha. Well, I wouldnt say that. But he is a good personal friend of mine, so he re-fills it whenever I want him to. However, he knows I don't abuse it. Which is probably why he does it. He knows I take one every night. He has never said I should cut down, or go off it. He has tried putting me on Lexapro, and that didn't work. For some reason, Xanex is the only that that works for me. I am now hoping that now being sober I can let my body get back to functioning the way is meant to without drugs. One day at a time!
If you can stick to one Xanax a night, no problem. I think I'd abuse it and I am sure my Dr. knows this. If fact, I asked him for ONE PILL and he said, "No, and I mean Hell No!" So there, that was my answer. In some ways, I wish there were a methodone for alcohol, but not the case.

Oh well, he still helps me sleep and that is what is important.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:49 AM
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It sucks when your stuck between doing the right thing for yourself or doing what you think is right for someone else.
I am a strait forward kind of person. And sometimes that is the thing that gets me in trouble. But no one has ever had to ask me what I mean or what is on my mind. LOL
If it were me in your situation. I would wait til she was feeling a little better. But not too long. And then sit down f2f or over the phone, even through email if you have to. But you need to make your concerns known. Maybe she has some as well.
But mainly focus on whats best for you. If her lifestyle is affecting you, then stay away.
Ulitimately we cant blame anyone for our own state of mind and actions. We are responsible for ourselves. We can only change what we do and think. If an enviroment is bothering you or affecting you in a bad way. Then you have the ability to get up and remove yourself.
I had my first real serious panic attack aside from the ones when I was hospitalized last Tues night. It was scary. I have never felt such dread and fear before. It was very overwhelming. I had to remove myself from the situation and then it still took hours to stop shaking.
I called my Dr the next day and had him fill my anxiety meds. Non addictive anxiety meds. Xanax isnt a good idea for the addcitive person. My DOC is cocaine. But dont think I wouldnt eat xanax like candy if I could. So I am glad you know that about yourself.
Just take it easy on yourself. Your friends issues are not yours unless you make them yours. I have had to remove myself from my cousins drama that has put me in a serious spot to be arrested or hurt. But I took it upon myself to take it there. But she doesnt want to do anything about it and keeps defending what I was trying to eliminate. So my efforts were useless. If she wants to live like that and be treated like that. Its on her. But I am done hearing about it and getting involved. Its over for me and that situation. Cause it was pushing me over the edge when I am already in a fragile state already from my own issues.
Take care of yourself!!!! You are all that matters!
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:06 AM
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HI all, can I ask if you are sober from alcohol for 2 years and cocaine for 1 year, would you still get panic attacks? The doc puts my bf on lexapro, is that common?
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Aysha View Post
It sucks when your stuck between doing the right thing for yourself or doing what you think is right for someone else.
I am a strait forward kind of person. And sometimes that is the thing that gets me in trouble. But no one has ever had to ask me what I mean or what is on my mind. LOL
If it were me in your situation. I would wait til she was feeling a little better. But not too long. And then sit down f2f or over the phone, even through email if you have to. But you need to make your concerns known. Maybe she has some as well.
But mainly focus on whats best for you. If her lifestyle is affecting you, then stay away.
Ulitimately we cant blame anyone for our own state of mind and actions. We are responsible for ourselves. We can only change what we do and think. If an enviroment is bothering you or affecting you in a bad way. Then you have the ability to get up and remove yourself.
I had my first real serious panic attack aside from the ones when I was hospitalized last Tues night. It was scary. I have never felt such dread and fear before. It was very overwhelming. I had to remove myself from the situation and then it still took hours to stop shaking.
I called my Dr the next day and had him fill my anxiety meds. Non addictive anxiety meds. Xanax isnt a good idea for the addcitive person. My DOC is cocaine. But dont think I wouldnt eat xanax like candy if I could. So I am glad you know that about yourself.
Just take it easy on yourself. Your friends issues are not yours unless you make them yours. I have had to remove myself from my cousins drama that has put me in a serious spot to be arrested or hurt. But I took it upon myself to take it there. But she doesnt want to do anything about it and keeps defending what I was trying to eliminate. So my efforts were useless. If she wants to live like that and be treated like that. Its on her. But I am done hearing about it and getting involved. Its over for me and that situation. Cause it was pushing me over the edge when I am already in a fragile state already from my own issues.
Take care of yourself!!!! You are all that matters!
Thanks, Aysha. I think of survival mechanisms when I read your post. That is what I am working on today. You have your MP3. I have my TV and sofa. I just ate some spinach pie. Yum. I've held my pups. :ghug2

I guess we really have to take care of ourselves to be of any use to anyone else. To this end, I am going to turn my phone off today and not deal with anything. I have to go pick up a couple of necessary prescriptions, buy some nutritious food and just rest. We really do beat ourselves up with this crap. At times it is only the basics. Good food, rest, sleep and when we can muster it up - exercise. As you said in one of your posts - baby steps, baby steps. We can only take on so much.

I've paid the electricity. I've paid the water. I have a bed to sleep in, should I choose. Here's hoping you have a stress-less day and hang in there.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:38 AM
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OMG, now another woman in my group is in the hospital due to alcohol-related seizures. Now this is two. Ok, thanks SR for being here for me. To anyone reading out there, even those in the first few days (like me), just be grateful you are as intact as you are. This thing is wicked and brutal.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:43 AM
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Praying for you. xxoxoxox
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by yuki View Post
HI all, can I ask if you are sober from alcohol for 2 years and cocaine for 1 year, would you still get panic attacks? The doc puts my bf on lexapro, is that common?
Hi yuki, I think if you made a thread of your own you will get some responces. I have no advice for you but others may.

Sounds like a plan Recovered. Thats what I am doing today too. LOL
Me and my MP3 and my big cup of hot green tea with honey and just total calm and relaxation. I have been on pins and needles for weeks now. It feels good to let go. My body is so sore from being so tense. Nice hot shower later. I am going to make this a good day. And it starts by tuning the rest of the world out. LOL Gotta love Mp3s.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:12 AM
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Thanks, now I am just shaking all over. I don't know how to calm myself down without a drink.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:07 PM
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Try and just go somewhere quiet aqnd concentrate on your breathing. i know its hard when your mind is going a million miles an hour. But just sit in silence and listen to your heart beat the sound of your breath. Listen to the sounds around you.
Sometimes we have to force ourselves to stop and breathe. Because if we dont, we are just going to go crazy.
I hope you feel beteer. But please dont drink. It will onlt make it worse and prolong the misery.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:40 PM
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I always advise people to seek professional help as soon as possible. I think thats especially important in the case of dual diagnoses.

Not being American your system confuses me - I realise you have insurance issues, but, bottom line, isn't your health and well being the most important priority here?

If it gets to the point where drinking looks like your best option, I think you need more options, Rec.

D
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
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I always advise people to seek professional help as soon as possible. I think thats especially important in the case of dual diagnoses.

Not being American your system confuses me - I realise you have insurance issues, but, bottom line, isn't your health and well being the most important priority here?

If it gets to the point where drinking looks like your best option, I think you need more options, Rec.

D
Thank you D,

I am frustrated beyond belief. Yes, our American system sucks. Yes, my health and well being is most important, but you must understand we can lose everything for medical conditions. At times we have to weigh the benefits. If we can take care of things on our own, that is what we do.

I voted for Obama and I am incredibly frustrated. I should not walk around with my choices being getting help and getting my insurance canceled (and all this implies) versus not getting help. Yet this is where things stand in this country. I am uninsurable in the private sector due to my drinking and mental health issues. I cannot buy it at any price, save for what we call "portability insurance," which costs a fortune and covers catastrophic situations only. It's complicated.

At any rate, I spoke with a woman from my group this morning. We need to address the bottom line issues, as we are falling like flies. She has offered to come over and sit with me through this process. If I go into the hospital, she has offered to take care of my pets. Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:47 PM
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Sorry for what you are going through. However, this can be the LAST time you ever have to go through this! Remember that! If you can muster up some energy to go for a walk, that can help. Play a relaxation CD and just take deep breaths. Breathe in for 3 seconds, breathe out for 5. Relax your muscles starting with the bottom of your feel and work your way up to the top of your head. Take it one minute at a time, and you come through OK. Keep us posted, and if things get too bad, get medical help no matter what the cost is!
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