Give up Alcohol and Cure Your Anxiety

Nearly seven months after giving up alcohol, I am practically free of panic and anxiety.

Over the seventeen years that I spent drinking alcohol I suffered miserably from what I thought was some kind of panic disorder.

I had huge trouble socializing while I was sober. Every day activities such as traveling on public transport, going shopping and being with other people just about terrified me.

For years I used alcohol to overcome these feelings. With the first few sips of alcohol came an immediate sense of relief  from the panic and anxiety that I was feeling, that seemed to be the only cure, even if it was only temporary.

Self medicating in this way was no easy feat. I had a life to live which meant that I had to plan my alcohol consumption around everything else going on in my life.

Life was a vicious cycle. Each morning I would awaken with the ever present feeling of dread, panic and anxiety. I would consume alcohol to help rid me of the panic and anxiety, then I could function and go about my daily business. As any drinker knows, the effects start to wear off after a period of time, so I would have to keep my alcohol levels topped up throughout the day to avoid a crash and feel the panic again.

There were times when the first few drinks to take the edge off felt so good and instead of just a few to make me feel better I would end up drinking way too much.

On mornings when I had a really bad hangover, the worse the panic and anxiety would be.

In hindsight, I have no idea how I kept up this lifestyle without having a complete breakdown.  It was terribly draining and made for a pretty miserable life overall.

Over the years I tried different anti-depressants but nothing really helped to rid me of the panic and anxiety. Nothing did it for me like drinking alcohol.

I am astounded by how much better I am now, just seven months sober. It is truly amazing. I can go anywhere, speak to anyone, look people in the eye, stand in line at the grocery store, walk into a crowded room, be with a bunch of strangers. I do not feel the panic and anxiety that I have experienced over the last seventeen years. The only medicine I am taking now is sobriety.

I can not say that I am 100% free of panic and anxiety. There are still some issues that I would like to work on but I have to say that the change is overwhelming. I feel like a different person.

I abused alcohol for such an extended period of time and I created the majority of my panic and anxiety. I always had an inkling that alcohol was not helping the issue but I had no idea that it was the cause.

I am happy to say that I wake up feeling the same way every morning. I am free from the debilitating panic and anxiety that I suffered from for all those years. The reason for this is purely because I have given up drinking alcohol.

For those of you who suffer from panic and anxiety, I came across a decent website that has a great deal of useful information as well as a program to overcome panic and anxiety. I have not tried this because giving up alcohol has been enough for me but it looks interesting.

www.stresscenter.com

Let me know your success stories and how alcohol has affected your panic and anxiety levels.

Thank you for visiting “Recovery Princess; Quit Drinking and Enjoy Sobriety”


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10 thoughts on “Give up Alcohol and Cure Your Anxiety

  1. I was happy to read your personal story about over coming and dealing with anxiety, and especially seeing the link to the stress center at the bottom. I have actually been through the ‘Attacking Anxiety and Depression’ Program this year. I finished the program this month as a matter of fact and it has helped me in more ways than I can count.

    The last couple of years my anxiety had increased to troublesome measures and I needed to fix my life drastically. Over the last year and a half I started having more many panic attacks that just seemed to progress. A combination of quitting drinking altogether and learning the skills provided in the program has and is continuing to change my life in a very positive way. I didn’t realize at first how much alcohol played a role in my life in regards to my anxiety. I have always had anxiety issues ever since high school and from then until my mid 20’s I used alcohol, marijuana and tobacco as a coping mechanism. I have quit drinking alcohol for about 9 months now and I have quit smoking everything a while ago. I have had much improvement in my life over these last 9 months since quitting drinking and going through the program. My life has been a challenge and uphill struggle with coping and eliminating panic and anxiety this year, but things have improved drastically and I am thankful.

    About a year ago I knew that I felt fine when I drank, and started recognizing the correlation between alcohol and anxiety. Drinking a few times a week was normal for me, some weeks more. Alcohol was a ‘no brainer’ choice for my lifestyle, but coming to terms with the truth about what it was doing was no easy task. So the combination of quitting drinking and confronting my anxiety was a challenge I had no idea I got myself into; until I was knee deep in it.

    After eliminating the factor of alcohol from the anxiety related equation, I realize now that I was hiding and not dealing with many things that were direct reasons for causing anxiety in my life. Things aren’t perfect for me, and probably will never be. But they are a lot more realistic and honest as a result of quitting drinking and learning to deal and eliminate anxiety and panic.

    I haven’t had a panic attack for months now. I understand what they are and how I was giving myself them. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% anxiety free, but I have a better understanding and coping skills so I can deal with anxiety and stress in my life. And I am optimistic that my progress will continue to be positive and full of strength.

    So now, I am just doing my best to be honest and healthy with myself and others, and to figure out what is really causing stress and anxiety so I can figure out the solutions to the problems. Not by consuming alcohol, creating additional threats and problems to myself.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us.
    Removing alcohol from the equation leaves us with having to handle anxiety full on. I too used alcohol to medicate the anxiety and to be honest, I too never really understood the extent of the influence that alcohol had on my anxiety levels.
    It is only now that I am truly sober and not drinking that I can see the correlation. It took quite a while for me to learn the coping skills without alcohol but I did. My life has dramatically improved. I would really like to do one of the programs for lessening anxiety, I think it would be very beneficial. I just read a ton about it and learnt alot on my own.
    Thanks again!

  3. Recovery princess just to tell you that I have recently given up drinking as it was destroying my life and making me so unhappy and I take the greatest comfort from reading your archives! i log on everyday just top read it and it gives me the inspiration I need!

  4. Hi Sammy,

    I am glad that you find Recovery Princess helpful.
    Let is know what is working for you or what you are struggling with, hopefully by sharing we can make life a little less stressful.
    Madison

  5. Thank you so much for such a great website. I am 3 months into sobriety 🙂 I have been drinking heavily too on and off for about 17 years. I am 41 now and I don’t wish to go back to drinking at all. I think I have always had anxiety since I was little but I had no idea that drinking could make it so utterly unbearable.

    I think if I had never started drinking I would still have had anxiety but not to the degree that I have had. I have felt terrified on and off for years over things that shouldn’t scare me, like you said, shopping, socialising or meeting people. It is scary how incredibly destructive it is. Thanks for this post in particular. It gives me real hope that these first few months which have been riddled with anxiety will only get better. I like you have been on goodness knows how many anti-depressants and I am off all those now too. Here’s to sobriety being the only drug I will need from now on 🙂

  6. High folks,this is my first post so ill try not to bore you.I am going through anxiety ,depression and drink dependancy at the moment,not nice.I am booked into Detox(dec17) and am still waiting to go in now(05022015).
    My problem is that the waiting is also making me anxious,(vicious circle)but i know it is going to improve my life explanantially.I have been doing the breathing exercises which seem to work at the moment,oh forgot to say i’m 44 and have been drinking for about 30 years and always remember being nervous even before then.
    I have 2 beautifull grandkids and would like to be around when they graduate about 16 years time,so i know drinking is eventually going to end that if i don’t do something about it.
    Anyway i can’t wait to get detoxed because i want to know who i am?

  7. I’ve suffered from social anxiety for about 10 years now, and was using alcohol to self medicate. I’d drink before any social activity to lessen the anxiety but would always feel even worse the next day. Then finally about 2 months ago I made a decision to change my life! I realized that in order to have the quality of life that I desired I had to start facing these situations without drinking. And a crazy thing happened! After about the first 10 days my anxiety levels dropped so dramatically! It was the alcohol that was causing me to stay in these negative thought pattens. It’s been almost 2 months without a drink and I feel amazing! My mind is sooo clear and I feel so present in the moment.. If you self medicate with booze, please stop drinking and you will be amazed at how quickly your anxiety will Drop! You deserve a better quality of life than dealing with anxiety! You just have to make the desision the you will do whatever it takes to get there! Once you make that decision, you will be amazed how quickly your life will start to change! I wish you the best of luck.. if I can do it, I promise that you can to!

  8. Such a lovely read, thank you for sharing that. My son has been doing exactly the same, he has been self medicating with alcohol for probably about the last 8 years, as soon as he feels any anxiety when he is out with friends, or pretty much in most situations, he has to have a drink to feel calm. But it is making his anxiety worse. He doesn’t seem to know how to cope with the anxiety without having a drink. Can I ask how did you cope with the anxiety when facing these situations, did you have any techniques, it must have been difficult?

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