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timm84 06-10-2018 02:05 PM

Living in fear
 
Today is day No. 76 without alcohol for me. I have no desire or temptation to drink, even when I'm around it.

I'm very much focused on helping my body and liver recover through nutrition and supplements right now and I'm not afraid at all of relapsing.

Unfortunately, fear is creeping in just about everywhere else.

A few minutes ago I almost had a major freakout because I saw some yellowish coloring in the fingers on my left hand. I haven't had any jaundice but immediately my mind jumped to that and I assumed that my liver has taken a turn for the worse. I cried a little and almost had a panic attack. :dee

Turns out, it was just some turmeric powder (supposed to be good for liver) I had smeared on myself while cooking earlier. It came right off when I washed my hands. If it hadn't I definitely would have run to the emergency room and added another few thousand dollars to my debt needlessly.

This is pretty much a perfect example of my struggles in recovery and also why I became an alcoholic in the first place. My anxiety (especially with health issues) makes me turn little things into mountains in my mind.

It's now been 3 months of this kind of thing since my right flank pain popped up and I'm going to lose my mind if it keeps up much longer.

Before you ask, yes I'm seeing a therapist and yes I'm taking anti-depressants. I can't see her every day and you'd basically have to sedate me right now in order to get my anxiety to really disappear.

What I want to know is if others have any advice or strategies for overcoming this kind of fear. I don't think I would recognize a great thing if it fell in my lap right now because I'm so clouded with anxiety.

Help?

Porcetta 06-10-2018 02:35 PM

Understand completely as going through similar.

If one thing is going to de-rail me, its anxiety. I can't offer any pearls of wisdom but your not alone ! Have you tried cbt?

- what anti D are you on? :)

timm84 06-10-2018 02:59 PM

Thanks. Yeah, normally my social anxiety is what causes me to drink. In some ways the only thing that's really changed is that I'm more afraid of dying from cirrhosis now than I am of being socially awkward or alone, etc.

I have been seeing a CBT once every 2 weeks but it's been tough lately with a lot of my money going to sudden trips to the ER or immediate care in a panic. I'm supposed to see her tomorrow.

I asked my GP for something for anxiety a few weeks ago and was prescribed Lexapro and Xanax. I really, really, really did not like the Lexapro's effects so I stopped taking it (I know that's not a good idea to go back and forth on it - I've committed to abstinence.)

I take the Xanax (.5 mg) before bed and it's helped some. I sleep better, I'm getting fewer nightmares and feel more positive in the morning.

None of that seems to make any difference when I get a new symptom or when my liver wakes me up in the middle of the night pulsing. I jump right to full panic mode.

Forward12 06-10-2018 03:16 PM

I think pretty much all of us had some level of hypochondria in early sobriety. I would be sure to let your theripist know just how bad it is, so they can focus further on it.
You can also ask about what other programs are available for you that you can attend in between appointments. I know at least around here they have a community center that has a ton of different classes daily for everything from anxiety, to dual diagnosis, coping skills, cooking, AA, pretty much everything. Good ol' AA is another solid location.
Lastly mental health medications like lexapro can take up to a month to start working, so don't give up too soon unless the side effects are severe for some reason, you can inform your doc and they can switch you to something else.

Porcetta 06-10-2018 03:18 PM

Benzos are frowned upon here...... have you had bloods recently? Would the liver results help you have something concrete in front of you?

timm84 06-10-2018 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by Forward12 (Post 6922821)
I think pretty much all of us had some level of hypochondria in early sobriety. I would be sure to let your theripist know just how bad it is, so they can focus further on it

Yeah I will try to emphasize how bad it is when I see her next.

The trouble is I was a hypochondriac way before I ever had my first drink. It's gotten so much worse since I stopped. I know that's kinda part of the process to be anxious after quitting but in my case it's really messing with my life. I don't even want to think about how much medical debt I've racked up these last few months, which just piles on more anxiety.

In some ways I think our society is fundamentally rigged against people with addictive personalities. Once you get into a destructive cycle of any kind, it's brutal *and brutally expensive* breaking out.

timm84 06-10-2018 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by Porcetta (Post 6922824)
Benzos are frowned upon here...... have you had bloods recently? Would the liver results help you have something concrete in front of you?

Is the xanax considered a benzo? I'm still very new to anti-depressants.

Yes, have had several blood tests - most recent was 3 weeks ago - and they always say everything is normal - even my liver function is supposedly perfect.

I had a CT scan which showed I have fatty liver.

The pain didn't go away so I kept insisting on more and more tests. I'm glad that i did.

Eventually I got a fibroscan, which said I have the first stage of fibrosis. It's just been a cascade of freakouts ever since, though.

My doctor says it's reversible at this stage as long as I keep not drinking but I don't think I'm ever going to feel "OK" until this right flank pain totally goes away. Some people on here have said it may be a year or even longer before I feel normal again. That prospect is just gut wrenching.

BDTL 06-10-2018 04:12 PM

Check with your doc first to make sure you are healthy enough and if so, find yourself a good gym. You will be amazed at how anxiety levels can be worked away.

Mango212 06-10-2018 06:27 PM

Prayer. Heart-centered, emotion-felt prayer.

This has worked again and again on leading me to doctors, counselors, therapies and healing. I had gotten frustrated with no results from lots of doctors. Once I started really getting emotional in my prayers, I started finding people who really have helped me in many ways.

J50 06-10-2018 06:38 PM

The anxiety will lessen the further you get from the last drink. Just give it time.

I would also start facing the things you are afraid of.

Is it your health? Get blood work done to ease your fears. Anxious over the future? Start practicing mindfulness or gratitude and live in the present moment.

The bottom line is that we usually blow things out of proportion, and nothing is as bad as it appears.

You will grow if you learn to let go.

I think the sooner we realize that, the more free we will be!

Katlyne 06-10-2018 06:55 PM

I used to have anxiety really bad. It affected my everyday life. It comes down to acceptance. I accepted that someday I'm going to die. We all do. When I accepted that, the anxiety went away. I have some control....how I treat myself...and how.i treat others. Other than that, I have no control.

AtomicBlue 06-10-2018 07:56 PM

Working the steps helped me with anxiety. It must be that I had to force myself to face some fears (5th step, some amends) and realize I could do it sober. Like Mango212, prayer helps me too.

trailmix 06-10-2018 08:02 PM


Originally Posted by Porcetta (Post 6922824)
Benzos are frowned upon here...... have you had bloods recently? Would the liver results help you have something concrete in front of you?

I didn't realize that. My understanding, from what I've seen posted at SR was that a Doctor would know what is best when prescribing medications.

Dee74 06-10-2018 09:13 PM

Hi Timm

I think a part of me took a long time to accept that I'd gotten through my addition with so little apparent physical damage to show for it.

I was really worried about my health for quite a while after I quit and I'm sure I wore my doctors out. Thats what they're there for tho. :)

Eventually I calmed down and although I can still worry at times, I think I have a reasonably healthy perspective now.

Stay off Dr Google at all times :)

btw I was once scared of having jaundice too and my doctor said - 'you know the Simpsons? worry if you get to that colour' :)

D

Berrybean 06-10-2018 09:57 PM


Originally Posted by trailmix (Post 6923067)
I didn't realize that. My understanding, from what I've seen posted at SR was that a Doctor would know what is best when prescribing medications.

From what I've understood from here is that some medical professionals don't always appreciate that an alcoholic is likely to get addicted to Benzos and have a hard time getting back off them. And also (this but is from personal experience as well), alcoholics can be extremely reluctant to give their doctor the full picture, for a number of reasons. And this can mean the doctor prescribes something that he spwouldbt usually give to someone of an addictive nature.

Living free of fear is one of AAs specialities. Not necessarily stopping fears pop up, but learning how to deal with them when they do. And AA you probably could go to every day if you needed it. Admittedly, walking into the first meeting isn't the most relaxing of experiences lol. BUT usually people leave even that first meeting feeling more hope and less fear. After a while those meetings become a haven, and somewhere to get an improved perspective.

The physical side of things is only a small part of Recovery.

BB

Porcetta 06-10-2018 10:33 PM


Originally Posted by Dee74 (Post 6923086)

btw I was once scared of having jaundice too and my doctor said - 'you know the Simpsons? worry if you get to that colour' :)
D

I ended up with yellow eyeballs :(

Forward12 06-11-2018 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by Porcetta (Post 6922824)
Benzos are frowned upon here......

I would have to disagree with that. I have severe anxiety and am on a benzo as I medically need it.
Though as berrybean mentions, it's common for alcoholics to lie to their docs about their drinking and they may prescribe medications they otherwise wouldn't.
As long as they have been 100% honest about their alcoholism, there is nothing wrong with taking a doctor prescribed, medically necessary medication.

Daisyaim 06-11-2018 12:43 PM

HI, I am new here, but your story resonates with me.. As I suffer the same, but its OCD that I have. I am constantly worried about health, etc... and always looking for the other shoe to drop. I am not sure if it helps, but you may want to read about OCD rather than anxiety, as there is different methods for relief.

Herbie1991 06-11-2018 02:21 PM

Omg
 

Originally Posted by timm84 (Post 6922758)
Today is day No. 76 without alcohol for me. I have no desire or temptation to drink, even when I'm around it.

I'm very much focused on helping my body and liver recover through nutrition and supplements right now and I'm not afraid at all of relapsing.

Unfortunately, fear is creeping in just about everywhere else.

A few minutes ago I almost had a major freakout because I saw some yellowish coloring in the fingers on my left hand. I haven't had any jaundice but immediately my mind jumped to that and I assumed that my liver has taken a turn for the worse. I cried a little and almost had a panic attack. :dee

Turns out, it was just some turmeric powder (supposed to be good for liver) I had smeared on myself while cooking earlier. It came right off when I washed my hands. If it hadn't I definitely would have run to the emergency room and added another few thousand dollars to my debt needlessly.

This is pretty much a perfect example of my struggles in recovery and also why I became an alcoholic in the first place. My anxiety (especially with health issues) makes me turn little things into mountains in my mind.

It's now been 3 months of this kind of thing since my right flank pain popped up and I'm going to lose my mind if it keeps up much longer.

Before you ask, yes I'm seeing a therapist and yes I'm taking anti-depressants. I can't see her every day and you'd basically have to sedate me right now in order to get my anxiety to really disappear.

What I want to know is if others have any advice or strategies for overcoming this kind of fear. I don't think I would recognize a great thing if it fell in my lap right now because I'm so clouded with anxiety.

Help?

I feel like I wrote this!!!!!!!!
I have severe health anxiety and I genuinely started drinking to help me cope and help me sleep. Iím scared of dying yet I could slowly kill my self with alcohol? What the ??

Seriously talk to me if you need reassurance that there is someone out there JUST LIKE YOU!!! Itís so draining and everyday I wake up thinking Ďthis is the day Iím going to dieí and itís always of liver failure yet I still drink? To make myself feel better. Vicious cycle. The shame is I was pregnant for 9 months and didnít touch a drop and was he happiest Iíve ever been!!!

anxiousrock 06-11-2018 10:50 PM

Iím confused how you can have perfect liver function but still all that other stuff. Doesnít that mean your liver is not functioning properly?


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