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- July 3, 2016 at 12:12 pm#39693AnonymousInactive
Hi all. I’m new, currently cutting down on my drinking, but having realized I’m probably not going to be able to escape having to stop completely. I don’t believe I am physically dependent on alcohol, but I can see that is where I am most likely headed. In many ways I’m a textbook case — which really bugs the hell out of me, btw, because there’s nothing I hate more than being a cliche (not a judgment on anyone else, just a personal problem, of which I have many). But the circumstances that got me here, and those that I’m currently living with and can’t escape, coupled with my general past history, leave me in abject terror that no help exists for someone like me.
My story is complicated and I don’t even know how to explain it, and I don’t know that it would make a difference if I did, but I guess I’m gonna try and see what comes of it.
I was always a partier, and I grew up in an environment where drinking to get drunk and doing drugs until they were gone was what you did. It might sound clueless but I honestly didn’t know there was a different way. I had alcoholics and addicts in my family, however, so in other ways I learned what not to do. I just wanted to have fun, I didn’t want to be like them. That’s kind of the good news, because even though I abused many drugs in my younger years (I’m a 46 year old woman), I would go hog wild for awhile on whatever chemical I was abusing at the time, but when it stopped being fun I was always able to recognize that I was getting out of control and stop cold turkey without too much effort. And then on to the next drug until I wore ’em all out and stopped using completely.
My real underlying problem is with anxiety and depression, which I have a genetic predisposition toward, and it wasn’t helped by my early drug abuse. Ten years ago when I realized I was self-medicating with alcohol I sought professional help for the anxiety disorder and depression. Therapy, meds, the whole bit. I was trying to help myself, but little did I know I was screwing things up worse than I ever could have imagined.
Anti-depressants and benzos were prescribed, which I took for three years. I never abused the psych drugs in any way, and in fact took the lowest dose of Klonopin available, and not only that, but I used to cut each pill into quarters and make it last four days. I was overly cautious because of a family member who had gone through a hellacious benzo withdrawal situation.
Than I lost my insurance and my doctor so it was time to stop taking the meds. I tapered myself off the Klonopin, and all was good for about a week or so after I was off it completely, until the withdrawal hit. I was one of the lucky ones who ended up with severe prolonged withdrawal syndrome, which is probably also a genetic predisposition considering what my family member went through and how careful I was about taking the Klonopin. I basically lived through a 24/7 five-week panic attack, and although things have gradually improved over time I haven’t been the same since. That was 7 years ago.
There’s no way to even explain the hell I went through, but I’m sure some of you know exactly what I’m talking about, having learned the hard way. Now I have this extremely abnormal physical stress reaction, and PTSD on top of it because every time I feel the slightest bit of anxiety I flash back to the benzo withdrawal. I have to make it stop, and there is no other way to do it besides self-medicating with alcohol. I certainly can’t go back on meds after what they did to me.
I could go on and on about what has happened since the benzo withdrawal, but the gist of it is that the drinking has become a problem. I haven’t lost the self-awareness to recognize it, but I’m scared shitless about having to stop. I’m down to two glasses of wine per day this week, and I have been doing OK for the most part, but yesterday an anxiety attack triggered a mini-binge, which I’m sure is just going to continue to happen since I have no other way to cope. I’ve never been good at denial, which is a mixed blessing to say the least.
And here I am. AA isn’t going to work for me for numerous reasons (another long story). I know that probably sounds negative, but I really do have my reasons, and I just know.
Any ideas for a tough nut like me?
BTW I’ve been reading these forums for several months, and I have become very fond of you all. I have serious doubts I can ever achieve what many of you have, but I need to try.
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