15 Months Sober, 2 Weeks Clean from Lexapro, Feels Like Early Sobriety
Fifteen months ago, I woke up with my last hangover. The shame, regret, and anxiety around my drunken behavior and the seedy motivations for my choices brought me to my knees and I finally surrendered.
At the time, I was taking 10 mg of Lexapro for general anxiety and depression. When I started the medication, I was struggling to learn my new job, my marriage was falling apart, and I was essentially a single parent in the evenings with my two little kids. The medication turned everything around in terms of my mood: my anxiety manifests itself in snapping at people and having no patience whatsoever, and this just went away.
When I decided to quit drinking and smoking pot, I also felt desperately like my medicine wasn't working anymore (duh), so my GP agreed to increase my dose to 20 mg. It helped, I think, in early sobriety to have the relief from depression and anxiety; I was able to focus completely on my recovery from alcohol and co-dependency.
My best friend and cousin killed herself at my 1-year sobriety birthday. She struggled, as I do, with depression/anxiety, but she was unwilling to deal with her addictions. I found out later that she had developed a nasty painkiller problem, but rather than deal directly with that, she was telling health professionals she was suicidal and anxious. She was a master manipulator and could usually get any pill she wanted.
She was found with an empty bottle of barbiturates and an empty bottle of vodka and a gun.
So I am enormously resentful of the pharmaceutical companies, and I want to be free. I used to feel like if the medication helps you get and stay sober, then, by all means, use it, and I still feel this way, but for myself, I want to know who I really am. I want to figure out how to manage my emotions and control my stress response. I want a healthy level of anxiety to get me off my ass. I feel like the medication helped save me at one point, but now it's like a really comfortable prison.
Anyway, enough rambling for now. Thanks in advance for reading this far. I look forward to a conversation about how to get through the early months of sobriety because, in many ways, I feel like I'm back at square 1.
Love and light to all.