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newcomer: Xanax and Alcohol - need help and advice

Old 11-03-2014, 02:22 AM
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Exclamation newcomer: Xanax and Alcohol - need help and advice

Hi All,

This is the first forum I've ever engaged in. I've read a few and found other people in my identical boat and read their responses, but never written one myself and I thought I should.

I know this may be longer than most but I've never written this before and never writing it means never talking about it bc I hide everything. Even if I saw a therapist, I know I wouldn't tell them. So if someone could listen (read)ÖThank You.

I'm almost 25 years old. I've been put on benzos (Xanax) for I think 4-5 years now? I've lost track. Like most, dosage has gotten a bit higher over the years, which has been 2 mg 1-2 times a day (I'm a 5'7"110 lb. female by the way) but I've actually never even taken that much per day even though my tolerance is at a point where I would be able to handle it. But taking it everyday and knowing that I was never taking more than prescribed was and is a way of excusing the habit in my mind. I'd take (on average) 1 mg a day, sometimes 2. There have been about 3 times Iíve 'gotten off it', whether by choice or otherwise. The first was about 3 years ago and I was oversees and lost my prescription and had to wait about 2 weeks for it to be mailed. I barely left my dorm room for 2 weeks, stopped talking to people who became close to me and if I did I was irritable, had zero appetite, barely slept, had night sweats, and was vomiting. Classic withdrawal. The 2nd I got through ok. It was by choice and I spent a week in bed and smoked weed the whole time, which helped me, relax, increased my appetite, and allowed me to sleep. Not sure why I got back into the cycle after that. About 2 months ago I had a strong urge to not be dependent on this nonsense anymore. Mentally and physically. I wanted to just stopÖ I could notice myself becoming more and more forgetful, struggling to find the words I was looking for, putting many things off, becoming a recluse but forcing myself to socialize simply to hide it from others (and drinking more in the process), spending money like I didnít have a future... the list goes on. All things that just seemed to be getting progressively more obvious to myself. I know that the physical pain is horrible but I was willing to power through the pain and ride my certainty rather than try and decrease and fall back in. I knew the dangerous side affects but I thought I could do it again. After a couple days I had full blown withdrawal symptoms and was in a lot of physical and mental pain. I wanted to believe that my dosage was a lot lower than most addicted, so the danger of cold turkey wouldn't affect me as much. I started feeling like I was having mini seizures so I called some dr's, pharmacists, even poison control (who told me I was an idiot and to see a doctor and I shouldn't have done what I did) and I was then convinced I should do it properly. So, here I am two months later doing basically what I've been doing the past few years.

I feel like I have such a battle of thoughts in my mind. I know I don't need it and I know that if I were clean, I'd be better. At the same time, knowing that and feeling that are two different things. I sometimes feel that sense of hope, but other times don't. I always think "tomorrow" but then tomorrow of course will come and go. And as I tell myself tomorrow I know I'm prolonging the problem. When I take a pill, when I pour an extra drink, I am telling myself in that moment that itís wrong but then I also give myself an excuse. Does everyone do that too?? Also knowing the pain that comes with the detox is enough to make you hold off on the inevitable. I'm waiting for myself to change but the only person to make myself change is me. I know all of this, but continue. And I know I allow it to continue and the thought of that almost makes me crazy.

A lot of the time I wake up in a panic. I wake up with anxiety that I know is not because I necessarily have an anxiety problem or anything to be anxious about, but because of the medication itself. And I can almost feel as though I hear a clock ticking. It is just me wasting precious time and I don't know why this is.

This isn't who I have been in my past. I have an awesome family, I'm smart (not as sharp as I used to be though, I can feel that), I'm pretty (which I can feel/foresee changing if this keeps up as well), I have an amazing boyfriend who is nothing like me in this regard, and all throughout my life I was a leader, involved in many sports and activities, outgoing, happy, never even used to drink when everyone else did in their teens. But I'd be depressed at times. I really believe everyone goes through this at some point especially in adolescent years but in the US, we are so easy to give out medication. I was put on antidepressants, which made me worse, started drinking in excess, took myself off meds, but was already somewhat ashamed of myself and then it began a downward spiral. The on again off again antidepressants, excessive drinking, shame, a week in a psych ward and panic attack later, I guess was the beginning of benzos. I don't even see a therapist or really ever did. I see a psychiatrist who's office I walk in to, she normally forgets my name/age/whatever else is going on in my life, hands me my prescription of Xanax... and Adderall, which I don't even like or need, and on my way I go.

As for drinking, I will over drink a lot. Its hard to stop once I start it seems. Sometimes I almost feel like I'm testing myself in some bizarre way. Also, the fact that Xanax is in my blood probably doubles the effect and makes me not care as much. But I do think all of these side affects within prescription meds feed into the drinking. I do believe I am strong enough to get to a point where I can no longer be on benzos and also be in a position where I can be out and have a couple drinks and not continue; Iíve done it before. No one else around me does this. I am not emulating some sort of action I am seeing around me. There is history in my family of substance abuse and I know they say it can be "hereditary" so I think maybe that's a piece, but nothing actually in front of my eyes. Nature vs. Nurture? I donít know.

My family has of course seen my overdoing of drinking. They have expressed concerns and I'll always seem to find myself doing it again and disappointing them at some point or another. There have also been times where my drinking was minimal but I had Xanax in my body, therefore just appearing as though I drank too much. They know the medication I'm on too but until I wanted to get off a couple months ago, they never knew how much/often I've taken it. But after expressing it to them, they are happy I was open, want me to be completely off it and support me. But I am very good at hiding pretty much everything, so the abuse/amounts/feelings etc. has been hidden and I'm sure there is denial on their part as well. But I guess Iíve been in denial with myself and have never expressed what my problems are because I donít want to be watched or have anyone worry.

This has affected my mind, body, outlook, attitude and overall behavior and Iím worried and uncertain about its ending point. Iím only 24. Either I go up or down from here. I know if I continue this I will eventually lose my life, but in the nearest future I will lose my boyfriend and the respect of my family. I want to be healthy. I want to have kids and be a mom and I have a road ahead of me before I can even consider that stage of my life. I want to be healthy and solid well before I enter that next phase. I just donít know what my strategy is supposed to look like.

Any tips would be much appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:06 AM
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Hi Summerbird - thanks for sharing your story with us

I don't know much about xanax at all except it can be hard to get off of, and that it's pretty dangerous to mix with alcohol.

It sounds to me like you're ready for change. I know how scary that can be, but there is a lot of support hope, understanding and experience.

As you have multiple addictions, I would probably see a Dr first myself - but you'll need to be prepared to be brutally honest (maybe print off this post?) and be prepared to work with them and follow orders.

Like I said, I know how scary that might seem, but you're not alone here

D
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:09 AM
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Welcome, Summerbird

Even though you say you don't have a strategy, you've already taken the first step, you are here and posting and talking, and wanting to get clean. That's the most important step you can take.

I don't have experience of the prescription drugs you are taking, but with the booze, if you think you are going to withdrawal badly, you need to be somewhere where someone can take care of you.

Others will answer you who have more experience, and you will get better advice than I can give you.

I'm so glad you found us, we are all very supportive here.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:40 AM
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The best tip is stick with SR - stay posting and reading. You won't be judged here and it's totally anonymous, or as anonymous as you choose it to be
You couldn't have found a better website, it's one big family.

Be kind to yourself x
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:44 AM
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D advice is sound and on point i would listen to D'sadvice
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