Drinking again - dont know what to do

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hello people,

I have been drinking for a few days now - very controlled to start with. There is a pattern where I dont drink for a few months, then I experiment with a beer or two a night. My husband then starts to talk about - maybe we could pop down the local pub sometime if youre drinking is under control - like we always used to.  We have no social life where we live, and he is as fed up with it as I am.  

So many people we know know that 'I dont drink', that its very difficult to socialise with anyone who doesnt know this - hence alcohol is always very obviously not available when we are invited to dinner - not that thats very often!  

I started getting tinnitus in the last few weeks. Its complicated by the fact that I am also fighting an addiction to diazepam and am on a reduction programme with this. All has gone really well until a couple of weeks ago, when the tinnitus got the better of me, and I gave in and started to up my dose of valium.  I did tell the doctor about this when I saw her yesterday. 

I have also just had a sinus scan after referral to ENT as my specialist thinks I might need my sinuses drained. I had a bad infection earlier in the year. I am hoping that is the reason, and that I dont have to just learn to cope with the tinnitus, because I know some people have to.

I have also read that its an effect of withdrawal from valium.

I have had a few drinks today and a bit of valium, and the tinnitus is much better, but obviously, this is not a sensible solution.

I know this mix - diazepam and booze is toxic, and I have suffered the consequences of this many times before.

My son is in the middle of completing his A levels. Last night he was being sick for a few hours - half the night - and he had two important exams today.  I am so concerned about him - that the pressure of this is making him ill - and I know that I really must not add to the list of worries he has by him knowing I have been drinking again.

I cant keep up my abstinence programme with this pressure going on. He has already had to repeat a year of A' Levels because he had glandular fever the first year, and had alot of time off sick.

I have been getting such feelings of panic, and the only way to calm them is by drinking. I just want my son to be OK. I need to be there to support him. So far I have been, and I know he appreciates it. 

I had got to the point where I couldnt even have one beer without feeling ill and then I'd stop, but its as if I have managed to train myself up again to be able to deal with it.

I havet got a job or a driving licence, and I feel as if I'm wasting my life. Well I am, apart from always being there to support my son. I used to have a very good job, my own mortgage, - independance - but now I'm just reliant on my husband.   Not good.

I feel as though the only way to break this cycle is too be away on my own somewhere for quite a while without feeling I have to 'perform' or actively support anyone else. 

Is this totaly selfish of me?

I just want to be somewhere I can deal with all this - maybe with some counselling, but on my own, and get to the other side of this abyss., and emerge a stronger more capable person - like I used to be.

Sorry for the rambling post. 


0 likes, 20 replies

20 Replies

  • Posted

    That's a tough one alright, Ursula. Sorry you're having to deal with this. 

    I understand that the tinitus does resolve over time, but perhaps best to slow the withdrawal from the benzo? Check with your docs and see what they say. Perhaps some CBT to help with anxiety might be of use too. 

    I don't know if TSM would be of any help to you at this point, but you could give it a try. Benzos generally cause problems for TSM as I understand it, but I don't know if that's etched in stone and true across the board.

  • Posted

    Hi Ursula. I really feel your pain and am going through a quite similar thing. Son is taking gcses at the mo. Stay strong. ADEs advice good, as always. You definitely need to call your doctor about it. TSM definitely worth considering. I hope those with more experience will advise. 

    Will be able to write later. Lots of healing love to you xxx

  • Posted

    HI Ursula, so many issues to deal with and not certain where to start. Partly boredom it seems, temptation obviously and then giving in and drinking and why not...perhaps you should think about your target whenever you have temptations....that is what I did and gradulally managed to stop. I cannot give proper advice on your medication and problems since I have no qualifications and did not take any medicine but I do wish you best of luck! Robin
  • Posted

    Hello Ursula,

    Please, please try not to mix the booze and Diazepam... it is a very dangerous state to be in.  I do not wish to frighten you, but the consequences can be fatal.  Sorry to be so blunt, but you are suffering and it is hard to hold control then.

    Do you take an anti-depressant?

    Alonangel 🎇


  • Posted

    Yes, you have alot going on sad....so do I which is why I keep slipping back.

    We just have to get to a place where we are ready to FIGHT.  I may be there.

    ​I'm sick of being in hospital...letting people down.   I had 8 years sober...and my kids were super happy about it.   Possibly...your son is slipping up because he is worried about his Mom?

    ​I'm only speaking from experience all the things my kids told me over my 8 years of sobriety - how scared they were for me....don't let the alcohol fool you into thinking that you need to keep drinking to help your son...its the opposite.

    ​You should go somewhere for rehab and counseling if you can.  Its very hard when alot is going on to stay sober.  I'm in intensive outpatient and I am grateful for that.

    • Posted

      Thanks Missy abd everyone else for your support and advice. I bailed out because I didnt want my family to see me drunk and booked into a hotel for the night.

      Back home now, and just feeling so much guilt and shame.My husband has been angry and rightly so.   I cant believe I did this in the middle of my sons A levels.  When I'm sober again I cant believe how I could have been so selfish.  I suppose alcohol makes one selfish.

      Had been drinking a bit, with my husband knowing for a couple of weeks - just a beer or two sometimes in the evening, and had convinced myself I could manage it again as one way to help the valium withdrawal.  But Ive done this before and it didnt work.

      I'm sick of letting people down as well. I was getting on so well with my son. Now I dont know if he'll forgive me for the betrayal of trust.

      Yes I think its time to pay the alcohol counselling people a visit again. Husband said if I'd just wanted a bit of time out in a hotel I just had to tell him and he wouldnt mind. I didnt tell anyone I was going. Thats the thing thats worst.

      I'm thinking of taking antabuse again - I know alot of people here dont agree thats a good idea, but anything which stops me drinking is a good idea. I feel safer on it, and I know my family are safe.

    • Posted

      Yikes...I have done the hotel thing and your right it is selfish....and scares your family more.  Once a mother we are no longer entitled to just take off!

      Pick yourself up....move on from this....and get in touch with the counseling group...and the Antabuse if that is what you need to do to REALLY BE THERE FOR YOUR SON. sad

    • Posted

      Yes - for me I think antabuse is the best answer.  I just dont want to risk this ever happening again. 

      I was actually starting to think I no longer wanted alcohol, but the programming just runs too deep. Some people can handle it - but I cant. 

      Being here for my son and being supportive and sober is all I want. Dont know if he'll forgive me this time around. With a pledge to take antabuse and to take it in front of him may help. I dont know yet. But I'm doing it anway.

    • Posted

      Ursula, I want you to listen to me here and understand one thing:

      It's not your fault.

      People with Alcohol Use Disorder do all manner of things that seem illogical and irrational, that's just part of the territory. It's because the part of the brain that drives drinking can't be accessed or controlled by logic or reason. One part of the brain that is involved with AUD has no use whatsoever for logic or reason or rationality. It doesn't even feel anything. All it does is recall patterns and routines. It knows how to compel you to follow a routine and it's quite powerful. That's why meds like Naltrexone and Campral are being used to overcome those compulsions.

      As for benzos, doctors are beginning to wake up to the fact that these are only for short term use and prescribing them for months or years is a big mistake. If you google:

      Benzodiazepines treat anxiety, cause long-term problems

      you'll find an article from the Bend Bulletin that lays out the problem. This has been a another failing of the medical community and it's not your fault.

      Not. Your. Fault.

    • Posted

      Thats really nice of you, thanks.

      Right now I cant believe its not my fault, although I understand what you mean.

      Yes it was a big mistake taking the benzos and I had no idea how addictive they were when I started. Trying to come off them takes a really long time, and I was doing so well - both with that programme and not drinking. 

      I was starting to feel almost like a normal person. Yes the behaviour which kicks in after a few drinks is pretty automatic and I follow the same awful patterns without thinking what I am doing.

      Thats why I cant risk ever drinking again.

    • Posted

      I'd be wary of using Antabuse, Ursula. At least investigate alternates like Naltrexone/Nalmefene or Campral too, as Antabuse does nothing for the cravings and can be very dangerous if the cravings drive you to drink on it. It's the craving you want to get under control, that's what powers the drinking and undermines your rational choice in the matter.
    • Posted

      Ursula, I was reading through some of the posts on Patient about benzo withdrawal and one person mentioned L-Theanine. That's a precursor for GABA and might help reduce anxiety levels, it's OTC. I don't think it's all that expensive and your pharmacist can likely tell you more about it. If you think it might be worth a go, check it with your docs to make sure they don't have any objections. Not a sure thing, but maybe worth a try.
    • Posted

      Thanks ADE for all youre advice. I will look into this.

      The irony of my binge is that initially I saw it as a way of a bit of a break from my withdrawal symptoms, but now my tinnitus is pretty bad - alcohol does that as well!   Dont know what it does ever do thats positive. Certainly for me nothing!

    • Posted

      You'll get past this, Ursula.

      Your idea of spending a bit of time away from the pressures might be a good approach. What kind of schedule did the doc put you on for tapering from the diazepam? 

      There's a book by Alex Korb called "The Upward Spiral", maybe check some of the previews on Amazon and Google Books. No matter what the cover says, it's a lot about handling stress and anxiety in a conscious way, but by using the optimal part of the brain to make a small change, then let the brain do all the work of building that into an "Upward Spiral". 

      Now... here's something of interest. When I read about George O'Neil (you can google up more info on him), this article piqued my interest even more. Looks like a good avenue for further research and discussion with one's docs. Google

      Benzo free - flumazenil works!

      This should show you an article on Benzobuddies. OP was on the equivalent of "40 diazepam" per his reckoning. 

      Might be worth a bit of study.

    • Posted


      its been a very slow tapering of the diazepam of about 2mg every 4 weeks, and slower now. I'm 'officially' on about one and a half mg a night, but I have taken more than that several times in the last few weeks. However, at least I did own up to the Dr about this when I saw her a few days ago. She realizes that the last stretch of coming off the diazepam is the hardest. 

      I obviously need a regular method of de-stressing which is not alcohol, and my husband keeps telling me to excercise more - so with that in mind we are going for a very long walk this weekend in the country.

      At least my son seems to have forgiven me which is just amazing - he is such a lovely guy - he had an exam yesterday which went very well, so I think thats helped!

      Taken an antabuse today - I know the risks, but it does stop me drinking, and thats more important than anything.

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