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Anxiety, fear and confidence.

Old 07-08-2015, 01:35 PM
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Anxiety, fear and confidence.

A common theme I read about on this forum is people struggling with the things I've mentioned in the title. I have experienced them more than I would like to admit as well. But I experienced them primarily when I was drinking heavily and I have a bit of a theory. My theory is not to be confused with true alcohol withdrawal.
I think that when we drink alot, like daily or during a bender, like a little kid stealing candy, we know what we are doing is wrong, and we are embarrassed about it. But when drunk, we're drunk. Liquid courage. Over time, these feelings escalate because time and time again we know what we are doing is not right, not normal, and just plain wrong (if we are to be completely honest). This manifests itself into fear, anxiety and takes a huge chunk out of our confidence. We find it difficult to look someone squarely in the eye, we are afraid to speak up about something we disagree with (adding to relationship issues), we are afraid to leave the comfort zone of our own home, or try something new and different for fear of being embarrassed or failing. According to my theory, this is a result of the long term or daily drinking chipping away at our character, our integrity, our self worth and we become a shell of who we really are. This may be ridiculously obvious to some of you, but it kind of just dawned on me over the last year and half or so. When I am living my life right, I can look someone in the eye, I shake hands with a firm handshake, if I disagree with someone or my wife, I let it be known, I answer my phone knowing it may not be a pleasant conversation (customer for example), I openly admit my faults, I am willing to try something new knowing full well I might not be good at it or fail completely (but I don't let it ruin my day). For me personally, it is a direct correlation to my drinking. When drinking a lot, avoidance is my best defense. If I can avoid everything I don't have to experience the ANXIETY, FEAR AND LACK OF CONFIDENCE I mention in the title. Does this make sense to anyone? I hope so, because if not, I'm completely crazy. Thanks for reading.
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:42 PM
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Totally! When I was drinking at my worst I couldn't even look sideways at myself let alone somebody else. We compromise ourselves.
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:51 PM
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For me drinking definitely created a shell of an existence, I was simply coasting on auto pilot through life, my life I was not proud of, the more I drank the more anxious I became, the more embarrassing, shameful things happened and the more misery my life spiralled into!!

Sobriety has created the opposite, more confidence, less anxiety and a life to be proud of, I even like who I am now a lot more!!
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:16 PM
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I think a lot of it had to do with being obese people treating me like i was an idiot and such. I used to say i swear it says dumb moron on my forehead and I just dont now it cause all too often people would basicly just treat me as such right off the bat. People where naturally inclined to treat me as if i was small and worthless.

I lost weight and guess what? A lot of people treated me ions better and a lot of people that treated me crummy disappeared.

As for anxiety and fear however yes beer was my liquid bravery every single time. I still have anxiety and fear and a lot of it has to do with my lack of social skills to be honest. I really dont interact well. I mean I pull off a good show. My wife says i come off as a normal person and such to the world but inside there are so many walls up that i have to try and knock down just to have a conversation.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:19 PM
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just to add one thing i started to realize about myself in the last year with social interaction and confrontational situations or just tough situations my fear is because I always assume the worst. Wife mad? she'll probably walk out that door on me or kick the snot out of me or something. No thats not her at all. But my upbringing taught me that any little error on my part will be swiftly met with really harsh consequences as a result i walk on eggshells around people even when i dont have too I'm always afraid of the backlash basicly that probably will never come but I've got it all cooked up in my head by default.

I'm working on this trying to get my mind to not think this way.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:19 PM
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This is a great and insightful post, thomas11!

I was talking to my counselor just last night about how I feel that my anxiety levels have decreased significantly and my confidence level is rising, rising everyday. While I was drinking I always felt like I wasn't living my true life, I wasn't being true to who I really was. It felt like a false life, ready to collapse at any moment.

The feeling of solid ground beneath my feet lifts me up everyday!
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:28 PM
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I can relate to the anxiety, one day I had none, zero, nothing. After a long weekend binge while hungover buying a coffee in the morning I had a mild panic attack.

Never had any anxiety in the past at all. Its like one the day the brain just gave up.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by zjw View Post
I think a lot of it had to do with being obese people treating me like i was an idiot and such. I used to say i swear it says dumb moron on my forehead and I just dont now it cause all too often people would basicly just treat me as such right off the bat. People where naturally inclined to treat me as if i was small and worthless.

I lost weight and guess what? A lot of people treated me ions better and a lot of people that treated me crummy disappeared.

As for anxiety and fear however yes beer was my liquid bravery every single time. I still have anxiety and fear and a lot of it has to do with my lack of social skills to be honest. I really dont interact well. I mean I pull off a good show. My wife says i come off as a normal person and such to the world but inside there are so many walls up that i have to try and knock down just to have a conversation.

You are so right about this! I put on 30lbs since I hurt my knee and people totally treat me differently. I get asked ALL the time if I'm expecting a baby. My response is usually, "No, I'm just fat like you." I'm really harsh with people when they ask me..... honestly I'm just plain rude right back at them.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:46 PM
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Makes total sense

Good observations.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by hopscotch123 View Post
I can relate to the anxiety, one day I had none, zero, nothing. After a long weekend binge while hungover buying a coffee in the morning I had a mild panic attack.

Never had any anxiety in the past at all. Its like one the day the brain just gave up.
When I had my first panic attack....I panicked. I had no idea what it was, why it happened, what was going on, nothing. And it occurred after a binge as well.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:06 PM
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I agree with you. Drinking shattered my confidence in the end. Which is ironic cause I started drinking to gain confidence. Just one of the many things I came to realize as my alcoholism grew. Was really only a matter of time before the negatives out weighed the positives. A cost benefit analysis proved it to be true.
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:58 PM
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Totally relate to this thread... In the end all alcohol left me with was fear anxiety low self worth depression and excess weight...
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