Anxiety and drinking alcohol

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Anxiety and drinking alcohol

Post by CarmeloLabadie123 »

Hi all,

I have been having a hard time recently with anxiety and it has started to affect my daily life. I first suffered anxiety when I was around 24, I am now 30. It was after a fairly big life event, I was diagnosed with cancer although it was caught very early and I made a full recovery I had never really suffered from anxiety until after this, so I wonder if it was a trigger. I ended up taking CBT and it seemed to help and I got over it by changing jobs and doing something like stressful.

Anyway, I then emigrated to Australia from the UK and have been fine, until recently. I have never really been able to handle hangovers and often engage in 'hair of the dog' to quell my anxiety. The last two weeks though it's got pretty bad, I didn't go to work for 3 days as I couldn't leave the house to go to work. I'd end up drinking from 9am which makes me feel better temporarily. I went to the GP who prescribed me some medication, i took it for the first day but i felt horrible on it. I resolved to myself that I would try to get better naturally by eating well and exercising etc. So last week was really good, however I then ended up getting really drunk on friday, felt awful on saturday so drank all day. Then sunday was the same. It's now Tuesday and I haven't been to work as i'm stuck in a bad cycle. The thought of going to work in the morning feels me with dread. I obviously can't keep on like this as I will lose my job if I keep taking days off.

I know the alcohol is the root of the problems, I need to really moderate it and then I will be ok. Hopefully I can wean myself off today and get a good night sleep. Has anyone else been caught up in this self medicating with alcohol situation? I honestly don't think I am an alcoholic as I don't crave a drink when my anxiety is absent. It's just when it strikes, normally due to alcohol withdrawal I end up drinking again to make me feel better. I have hardly been eating the last few days and I have knots in my stomach. I woke up with terrible anxiety at like 4am and had to stop myself from reaching for some alcohol. I just don't now what's causing it. Anyway this is a good site!
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Re: Anxiety and drinking alcohol

Post by PaigeB »

CarmeloLabadie123 wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:56 am I know the alcohol is the root of the problems, I need to really moderate it and then I will be ok. ... I honestly don't think I am an alcoholic as I don't crave a drink ...
Bad news... If you are an alcoholic you will never be able to moderate it. Out Big Book says something like this, "It is the great obsession of every alcoholic that will be someday he (she) will be able to control AND enjoy their drinking."

Good News... We have a solution... We have found that total abstinence is the only way. Personally, the only way I have found to succeed in long term abstinence is AA.

From the Dr's Opinion in our basic text, Alcoholics Anonymous:
We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve...

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks--drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery...

All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence...

Perhaps you can speak to your doctor about alcoholism and ask about AA.
OR ... es/world/1 can just walk into a meeting, and sit down. Listen. See if you like the solution we have found.

I can probably reach a couple girl friends in Australia... We attended ZOOM meetings together during the Covid isolation! I'll see if I can put you in contact with someone of your gender. :wink:
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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Re: Anxiety and drinking alcohol

Post by MyNameIsBetsy »

Hi, and welcome.

Here is the single best description of an alcoholic that I know about: "If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. "

That description comes from our main text, the book "Alcoholics Anonymous." It's on the first page of the fourth chapter (We Agnostics). Here's the link:

It tells me that I am probably an alcoholic if I find I cannot quit entirely when I really want to. And it tells me that I am probably an alcoholic if I cannot control how much I drink when I start drinking.

I failed both of those self-tests. I could not stop on my own, even when I desperately wanted to stop. And I could not limit myself to a predetermined amount (for instance 2 drinks) when I started to drink. When I start to drink, I get drunk despite what grand promises I have made to myself or others. I am an alcoholic and I was killing myself with the booze.

I hope you are willing to take a good look at yourself and discover if you too might be an alcoholic. There is a solution. Life can be good.

Perhaps you might take a look through the first few chapters of the book in that link and see if, perhaps, you see some of yourself in the descriptions. If you do, then what we have might be what you want.

Let us know what you think. We're happy to answer any questions you have.

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Re: Anxiety and drinking alcohol

Post by Mike O »

Has anyone else been caught up in this self medicating with alcohol situation?
Yep, for 30 yrs until I worked the steps 13 years ago.
I think the fact that you’re here and asking us about this indicates that your drinking pattern is, at the very least, suspect to you.
Try reading the book Alcoholics Anonymous (aka the Big Book) and see if any of it resonates. It’s free to read online, if you google it.
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