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Time to call time at the bar

Old 06-22-2018, 05:32 AM
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Time to call time at the bar

Hello everyone, let's start with a bit about me.

I'm 31 and right on the border of dependancy.

I struggled with anxiety problems all of my life. It's a complex 1 as it's not typical of anxiety, I don't have irrational fears or worries, but whenever i'm out and about, the symptoms start up (shaking, heavy eyes, dizziness, struggle to communicate etc).

A while back I discovered alcohol and noticed it did help with anxiety symptoms.

2 years ago my mum died which left me in a state of isolation. Of course with bereavement it's important to have people around you at those times, yet anxiety got in the way of me meeting new people.

I would try and get out there, pubs (drinking coke and lemonade), coffee shops, casual restaurants. Sometimes people would mistake my anxiety symptoms as being on drugs, or would say 'oh, you are a nervous person, that's a shame'. When my mum was dying I even had a police officer tell me I look as though i'm up to no good, like a thief and I was searched.

Situations like that fuelled my drinking.

For the last 2 years my drinking has been for 2 reasons.

When out and about and anxiety symptoms are really hard to handle. I go to the pub, have 2 or 3 drinks, symptoms of anxiety reduce, I leave the pub, get on with shopping and go home. If in my 'tipsy' state where anxiety symptoms are reduced someone socialises with me randomly, I then lose control, have another and another in the moment.

The other is on a low day at home, I start drinking, play music of the past and allow myself to get emotional over mums death.

I am having CBT and after the last weeks events of alcohol I have hit a realisation and proactively trying to change.

I can't believe the illusion alcohol had me under. How I was doing myself good by drinking to control the anxiety symptoms. Yet in the last 2 years what has it done?

I have fallen over, lost bags of shopping, said silly things, had silly ideas, gambled away lots of money while drunk (thinking it was a good idea), perhaps more importantly above all that, I have made no friends..... Which was 1 of the main reasons for drinking (drinking to mask anxiety symptoms to meet people without the nervousness).

I have tipped away the alcohol I had left at home, i'm going to go to a church coffee morning and I want to keep posting here with progress.

Great to be here
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:15 AM
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I'm glad that you are here too Sam! This is an awesome site with some wonderful people with lots of wise words and experiences. The longer I've stayed sober, the stronger my inner self has become and I find that I'm so much more confident then I was when under the influence of alcohol. I, too, thought that alcohol gave me the ability to be more social/fun/an overall better person.....but no. I didn't like what alcohol turned me in to at all. I said and did really unbelievable things.

I'm sorry you miss your Mum. Perhaps finding some volunteer work helping others might help make that void smaller??
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:28 AM
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Glad that you're here. sounds like you've realized your drinking has become a problem.

Isolation and loneliness don't help our drinking, and can definitely make it worse. Definitely try to keep going to church meetings, post on here, anything else you can do? (join a book club, try to reach out to old friends, join Meetup.com.)

Best of luck. Do you want to quit your drinking for good?
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:18 AM
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Thanks for the welcome and sharing your experiences/comments.

First and foremost, I think quitting for good is the best option or at very least for now. The problem is with the context of my drinking. As i'm sure we all know, drinking 1 drink once a week in front of the tv while the football is on is a huge contrast to planning on going to the shop, experiencing anxiety symptoms and going to the pub to try and get the symptoms under control.

1 of course being someone choosing to have a drink and remaining in control, the other is having a feeling of needing to drink and opening that doorway to losing control.

So for the time being at least, i'm quitting any drinking and dealing with my anxiety problems head on. Although I think even if I do get my anxiety problems tackled, I wont want to try having another drop of alcohol as it does more harm than good regardless.


Definitely will be looking at other things here. My therapist is trying to get me into volunteering work at a few places here, but it's just a small area with limited things (nothing on meetup.com within 20 miles of this area).

Small steps though and getting out there having a coffee a few times a week I think could put some building blocks in place
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:28 AM
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Sam, I'm glad you joined us and that you plan to stop drinking for good.

I also began drinking to self-medicate anxiety and depression. CBT is a really good plan for helping with your anxiety. I think being aware and being mindful of your feelings throughout the day is helpful in itself.

You will find lots of support here, so I hope you continue to post.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:04 AM
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Hi Sam,
So glad that you're here.
I suffer from anxiety, and have done since being a little kid. I was always active, and couldn't sit still very easily. In my adult life I've developed alcoholism, and I put this down to anxiety and social unease. Over a period of decades, I've almost 'shut down' from doing most stuff I enjoyed, coaching my son at football, playing in a band etc.
It's a very common thing here, anxiety, and there are loads of people who will identify. Alcohol at first soothes the anxiousness, but then as the amounts raise, the depression side starts to kick in - and that feeds on itself.

A very interesting thing you mentioned ... listening to old music. I did that too, almost being back in that time when I had things under control. The problem was I thought that there were some very "deep meanings" in most of the stuff, and I realise now how wrong a perspective that was.

I'm relatively new here, but loving it. So I hope you keep posting, and look forward to checking in on your recovery.
All the very best,
Johnnie.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:37 AM
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It's so great hearing I'm not alone in that regard with the anxiety.

Now is 1 of those classic examples. Feeling positive so went to coffee shop. Not coping well at all. Shaking at the counter, making jumpy movements, really on edge. My hands are shaking as I'm using my phone now. It makes me feel so rubbish I would typically be going to the pub after to self medicate with alcohol. Not today though.... As much as these symptoms are making me want to.

Yeah that's it johnnie. When I do that I feel the buzz of the booze at the time combined with old music, adverts especially from early 90's takes me right back to those days. I get the same feelings, sensations and stuff as I would have had back then. Yet the reality is it's fake. I'm not back then as a child.

Will definitely add some more when I get back home. As my thoughts are everywhere at this coffee shop. I can't thing straight as symptoms are rife.
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:40 PM
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I'm glad you've joined us, Sam. SR has been a great help to me. It sounds like you have a plan and I agree that it would be best to quit for good--I suffer from depression and anxiety and drinking just makes matters worse. Wishing you all the best!
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:51 PM
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Welcome to SR Sam! I'm glad you have decided to join us. This site has been my greatest support in sobriety. Anxiety has always been an issue for me as well. I am a worrier by nature, and I used to think alcohol was the perfect escape from whatever was going on, however, whatever was going on was still there the next day, and I found myself in a viscous cycle, and alcohol was making my anxiety even worse.

I have found mindfulness and exercise very effective for dealing with anxiety.

You should pop into the 24 hour thread, you will find a great geoip of supportive people.
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