Old 01-27-2010, 08:41 AM
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I have been following these boards for about a year now but have finally decided to become more involved. I was hesitant to post anything in my early sobriety, but I think I've gained a lot of perspective over the past year and feel like sharing my story might help someone else struggling with alcohol/drug dependency.

My story is similar to many that I've read on here. I'm in my 40's, and for many years was a heavy-but-not-alcoholic drinker, as were many of my friends. Over the past decade or so, I noticed that my drinking became more the purpose for going out, rather than just a fun but small part of socializing. Eventually I started drinking every night. This didn't seem all that unusual at first, as many of my family members and friends have post-work cocktails and wine with dinner. Gradually, however, it became a crutch.

It's easy to see how this happened: I've struggled with anxiety, insomnia, and panic attacks all of my adult life, and I thought that the alcohol helped with that. As all the experts will tell you, alcohol *does* work as a short-term anxiolytic, but in the long term it makes the underlying anxiety much worse. In an effort to help control the anxiety and cut down on my drinking (but not quit, god forbid), I asked my doctor to prescribe me something for anxiety and insomnia. He had no idea about my drinking, and ended up prescribing klonipin for panic and restoril for insomnia. At first I was religious about not mixing them with alcohol, but that eventually changed. In the course of about a year I became physically dependent on alcohol and benzos. Nevertheless, I managed to avoid some of the obvious problems related to dependence, i.e., no DWI or loss of job (although my work suffered a lot). My close friends and family knew I had a problem, however. How could they not? I was medicated around-the-clock. I had no emotional depth and had lost my sense of humor. I was practically a zombie. I was just killing time on this earth, not living.

My wife eventually told me that I had to quit or face going to rehab. I *really* didn't want to go to rehab, not the least of which due to the great expense, so I agreed to get off the pills and booze. I leveled with my doctor, who was very understanding and helped me taper off the benzos. It was a hellish few days followed by a very raw few weeks. I still harbored the fantasy that I could drink again, however, so after about 3 months I tried to moderate again. This worked okay at first, but then within a couple of months I was back to daily drinking, usually starting in the early afternoon. I told my wife that the experiment had failed (as if she didn't know!), and I resolved to never drink again. Quitting the second time around was easier without the benzo co-dependency, but it's still something I never want to go through again!

These past several months have been wonderful, and my anxiety is basically gone. I strongly urge anyone else who uses alcohol to control their anxiety to *please* quit and allow their body to return to its baseline condition. It takes a while and is not easy, but the rewards are innumerable.

Thanks for listening!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:07 AM
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Hi and welcome to posting and not lurking
Well done on your year. I can't imagine going through all this time without the support and advise from other members.
Maybe it's because I'm female (need to talk) and you are male (what? now?) lol
I'm just kidding everybody. Please no messages.
Anyway I'm sure you can help a lot of people on here with your experience. Thanks for starting. How are you feeling now after all that time?
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:14 AM
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bona fido dog-lover
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Even tho you joined a while ago... welcome to SR! I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to post. Your experience could be very encouraging to newcomers!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:18 AM
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Hi welcome aboard
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:00 AM
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Welcome!! I'm glad that you've decided to share your story.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:20 PM
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Don't resist, allow
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Hi, thanks for sharing. Look forward to seeing you post here more.

Congratulations on being sober.

I can understand your reluctance to post here but we are not alone in this and sometimes it is good to reach out and ask for help. If you have been lurking for a while, then you probably know what I am going to say next It is a good idea to use a specific programme of recovery. Many of us find that we can go for periods of time, even long periods of time, sober but living sober all the time is a different matter.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:26 PM
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Hi and Welcome!

I'm glad you decided to post after all this time.

I also used alcohol to self-medicate anxiety/depression. It helped me sleep and I thought I had found the answer. Of course, that lasted only a few weeks, before I became aware that the alcohol was in control.

It sounds like you're doing great!
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:32 PM
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Welcome to posting parasol - and congratulations on your sober time

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Old 01-27-2010, 03:24 PM
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Dang it. I just wrote a long reply that disappeared when I tried to post it. I'll try to write it again later when I'm not feeling so frustrated. Thanks to everyone for all the welcome messages.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:53 PM
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The New Me starting 1/11/09
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Great post. Welcome. Glad you are here.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:01 PM
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Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
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Congratulations on your success.....
Thank you for sharing with us.

Welcome to the posting side of SR
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:49 PM
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:16 PM
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:33 PM
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On my path.
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First - Welcome!!

Second - I am a member and still lurk.

Third - I woud add depression to anxiety - they seem to go hand-in-hand. They do for me.

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Old 01-28-2010, 04:17 AM
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Welcome Parasol - Glad to read your story and to have you here! Your thoughts about your recovery will be of help to all of us.
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