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Feel like catching up, tapering off Benzos, "sober"

Old 09-13-2018, 04:56 AM
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Feel like catching up, tapering off Benzos, "sober"

Hello there. Tomorrow I will be one month sober.

Well, let's say that this post is mostly therapeutical for me. I'm tapering off Xanax, I'm already down to 0.25mg which is the absolutely minimum dose and will try to get off it in around two weeks (I do it very slowly because I know the withdrawal symptoms are not fun whatsoever).

To be honest my lifestyle, which around ten years was basically binge drinking my brains out every weekend affected me physically and morally. I have become socially awkward because despite daily interactions are normal (at work), I have become somehow awkward in leisure activities, I feel very uncomfortable with myself.

The hardest part for me is that I've always suffered from anxiety and OCD. Now I realize that one of the reasons I drank is to deal with this. Because this to it's a terrible sensation. But again is either this or probably die because of alcohol.

As an expat, I'm feeling pretty lonely, especially, because now that alcohol is of the picture ( I know that there's a lot of activities out there that don't require alcohol), I don't know where to start. It's a learning process, I should start from scratch.

I just hope I can do something not only to beat alcoholism but also to control my anxiety.

I want to send out a hug and a lot of strength for all of you out there fighting the good fight!
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Old 09-13-2018, 05:13 AM
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Good luck with the benzos Hope. I was fortunate not to get into them myself but I have seen other struggle. It seems a lot tougher than alcohol, and just as dangerous.

I heard a psycholigist say something the other day. It was in a different context, but he mentioned a number of drugs that treat anxiety, benzo was one, and alcohol was another.

I thought about that and remembered how a few drinks would give me "dutch courage", the ability to overcome certain fears, like the fear of rejection. It might work on other fears too, but then it created its own fears, often unidentified. One time I was holed up in a friends house. It was a work day, but I hadn't been to work for a few days. My father turned up, looking for me. I had all the curtains pulled. He knocked on the windows, the door, called my name, and I was cowering behind the couch absolutely petrified, shaking like a leaf. And that was connected with someone who cared about me.

I suppose the fear was there at the start, the booze fixed it for a time, then it came back worse than ever. It wasn't entirely related to my drinking, it was more a symptom of my inability to function in the world. Treating the symptom with alcohol, or anything else, never fixed the underlying problem.

I have heard it said that faith is the answer to fear and that all men of faith have courage. Another little saying I like is" courage is fear that has said its prayers".

It appears that what I needed was a faith that worked. Faith in myself was poorly founded as experience showed, but with some work and willingness I did manage to find a faith that worked. It fixed a few other things that were probably driving the fear, and as the cause left, so did the need to drink.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:05 AM
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I'm going thru a similar experience as well. I was taking both zanax and restoril
for over 10 years. Drank pretty much daily for many years. I stopped the benzos cold turkey 6 months ago and quit drinking 147 days ago.

Needless to say the past six months have been a real challenge. Although everyone is different, be prepared for a long recovery. The combination of alcohol and benzos is a toxic concoction.

My advice is be patient with yourself, maintain a well balance diet, exercise, pray/meditate often and drink tons of water. Daily visits to SR for support will help immensely as well.

Good luck with your journey-You made a great decision!
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:13 AM
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Thank you very much for the support.

Yes, so far it has been really challenging. It's quite weird knowing that I'll have to face again these anxieties.

Especially, weekends freak me out a little bit, but that's why I'm coming here on a daily basis.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Hope1989 View Post
The hardest part for me is that I've always suffered from anxiety and OCD. Now I realize that one of the reasons I drank is to deal with this. Because this to it's a terrible sensation. But again is either this or probably die because of alcohol.
I'm right there with you on using alcohol for long-standing anxiety. Getting that under control greatly reduced my drinking, but still need to bring it to zero...hopefully today will be that day for me. I've been tapering for this week and down to a glass of red wine a day.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:02 PM
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congrats on your month Hope.

Just curious - did you run your benzo taper past a doctor or are you doing this by yourself?

D
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