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Working/staying at my job in early sobriety?

Old 04-09-2015, 06:27 AM
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Working/staying at my job in early sobriety?

I'm a few weeks into sobriety, and experiencing anxiety that has me literally crawling out of my skin and bawling my fists to the point where I have cuts in my hands from my nails

Unfortunately I work in a very demanding job both in terms of mental focus and hours (I'm a lawyer) and I'm struggling to keep it together at work without the "relief" of drinking at night that I used to have. (Of course the relief would cause me more anxiety the next day and it went out of control which is why I'm sober in the first place, but for some reason my anxiety has gotten much worse since I stopped drinking).

On one hand I want to just take a leave of absence from work (though not sure how I'd explain that) until a few weeks pass and I'm over the early-sobriety period (is there one?), just like I would if I went to rehab. On another hand I need to learn to deal with working without drinking, and I also heard you're not supposed to make any major life changes in the first year of sobriety....

Thoughts?
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:48 AM
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I should also note that I am very unhappy in my line of work
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:53 AM
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Have you consulted your doctor? I was prescribed Lexapro and it has been a great help to my anxiety, especially since I stopped drinking.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:59 AM
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I have always wondered why anyone would become an attorney... the stress and long hours. So I get why you would want to do something else. You have the stress of the job along with the stress of sobriety compounding things. If you are stressed to the point of cutting yourself with your nails, then maybe some medical intervention would help. It is best to get in front of this than be forced into something (like losing your job). Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:05 AM
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I had awful anxiety my first 6 weeks or so but I never missed work because then I felt in danger of being home alone drinking.

I pushed through it the best I could but I did get prescribed Xanax for really bad situations, I don't use it much because I don't want to trade one addiction for another. I haven't used it in over a month as of now and I feel okay.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:28 AM
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Ditto...........on seeing a Doctor and just being upfront with what is going on with you.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:30 AM
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I started a big thread on anxiety yesterday, there are some great tips there. I would say that I had MUCH worse anxiety than I do now while I was drinking and immediately after quitting, but i personally seem to have an anxiety issue that is going to need treatment of some kind above and beyond getting sober. I am starting to realize that I most likely always had it and used alcohol to try and self-medicate.

You could certainly take a day off and see a doctor or a counselor to see if they have any insight into how you might manage this all.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:41 AM
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If there's any way possible, I'd come up with some excuse to take some time off, even if it's only for a short time. Dealing with withdrawals along with a stressful job that you don't like is a lot to take on at the same time. Either way, I would strongly suggest that you see your doctor and get some meds that would help you get through it. John
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:45 AM
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thanks for all the responses! I am already taking lexapro (10 mg) and have been on it for some time but (naughty naughty) I was taking it when I was drinking so now that I'm not drinking, it might just be taking some time for the lexapro to properly take effect.

so is everyone else continuing working through early sobriety?

and ArtFriend - must say, out of all my friends who are attorneys (all live in NYC like me), and I have a lot, and they are all high-powered and very successful, literally all drink heavily. I'm the first to go fully sober and their reactions were "how can you possibly deal with the terribleness of being a NYC lawyer WITHOUT alcohol?" Gives you a good idea of what being a lawyer is like.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cambie03 View Post
ArtFriend - must say, out of all my friends who are attorneys (all live in NYC like me), and I have a lot, and they are all high-powered and very successful, literally all drink heavily. I'm the first to go fully sober and their reactions were "how can you possibly deal with the terribleness of being a NYC lawyer WITHOUT alcohol?" Gives you a good idea of what being a lawyer is like.
I can only imagine! High powered success has it's costs. I hope you can find some balance in your life and PEACE! That is my definition of success
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:59 AM
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Just my experience and not medical advice, but my doctor bumped me up from 10mg to 20mg and it made a big difference. Exercise and sleep helps a ton as well.

Again, just thinking out loud but have you thought about a possible long-term exit strategy if you are dissatisfied with your job? I'm not saying run off and quit, but life is definitely too short to hate where you spend a majority of your time.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
I started a big thread on anxiety yesterday, there are some great tips there. I would say that I had MUCH worse anxiety than I do now while I was drinking and immediately after quitting, but i personally seem to have an anxiety issue that is going to need treatment of some kind above and beyond getting sober. I am starting to realize that I most likely always had it and used alcohol to try and self-medicate.

You could certainly take a day off and see a doctor or a counselor to see if they have any insight into how you might manage this all.
This & here is the link to the thread http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-sobriety.html
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