Third Attempt - Help Me Make This the Charm

Posted , 5 users are following.

Okay, so I've been drinking off and on since I was 21.  I'm 31 now.  I figure on the 10th anniversary of my start with drinking, I might as well try and finally be done with it as well.

A little background.  I have long had various crippling anxieties and a severe medical and health anxiety that basically cripples my every day.  Have had this since I was a child.  I posted a much larger and detailed explanation of this in the anxiety forum if anyone wants the entire book.  I want to focus on the alcohol here, but it's important to realize that I have a severe medical phobia that prevents me from taking medications, even tylenol or ibuprofen.  If only I could alcohol into that category, I'd be fine.

I started drinking at 21 as a social thing.  I had friends with anxieties like my own and instead of going out, we would play video games together and drink.  What started social turned into a tool.  As soon as I realized it was the best sleep aid I'd ever found, it became something I did every night before bed.  I tried to stop once just because it was too expensive, but then I got a better job, so went back to it.  Then I tried to stop again, because I was afraid for my health.  I stopped cold turkey from drinking a pint of whiskey a night the first time, and I made it about a week until I could afford more.  So from about that point until last year, I was drinking again.  Last year, I tried to taper off with whiskey, and that worked about as well as something that doesn't work, so I started drinking one glass of wine in the morning and one at night.  That worked for about six days.  My problem is the health anxiety has me afraid of withdrawals that I've actually never experienced when I quit.  The only symptoms I have are constipation for a few days when I do quit.  Then what happens is I'll think about withdrawals, start having a panic attack, and my brain basically goes, "this is it, these are the withdrawals that will kill you!"  And I'm drunk by midnight.  I was doing so well, though.  Not drinking makes my overall anxiety so amazingly better for me.  So much so that when I know I have something coming up that's stressful on a certain, I intentionally /don't/ drink the nght before.  I won't sleep well, but the sleepiness is better than the day completely wrecked by the anxiety that's inevitable from having been drunk the night before.  So I don't even drink to deal with daily stress, just to sleep.  I'm sick of that, but every time I try to stop, anxiety makes me think I'm in DT (nowhere near), and no force of will stops me from drinking that feeling away.  I've tried to go the route of getting on medication, but it took an act of God almost to get me even to talk to a doctor because of my medical anxieties.  Then I just couldn't make myself even take the medicine once I had it.  So, to my question.  Does anyone know of a good tapering system that I can prolong, so that the entire experience dwindles slowly so that I'm confronted as often with the fear of withdrawal?  I basically want to trick my brain that I can't have withdrawals while I'm on a taper.  The two glasses of wine worked, but not well enough.  I don't really like beer, but I'll use it if there's a better taper with it.  I can't taper with whiskey.  I just end up drinking it.  It's a taste and smell that comforts me instantly.  When I was little my grandfather drank whiskey all the time, and every time I open a bottle I'm comforted like he was around.  I know, that's probably weird.  I have to break that association with it, and move on.  Any taper advice?

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  • Posted

    Confronted less often*

    I made so many typos and can't edit the post.  I hope I'm understood.

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  • Posted

    Hello aaron

    I've read your post and felt confused with what you express and can only say that perhaps that's how your mind is too . If so , I really feel for your situation and it must be very trying for you , working out stuff !! 

    ?It must be terrible to be a sufferer of anxiety , linked with medication , that could potentially help your addiction . It does confuse me , like you , that you can fill your body with alcohol , but not a medicine that could aid coming away from your addiction . But, what is your addiction ? It did interest me that you said you had a glass of wine in the morning and a glass of wine in the eve ? For most dependant drinkers , having one glass would be almost impossible ? I know you said this was for 6 days only but still, this would be a real achievement . 

    ?Have you had counselling ? You say you fear withdrawal but you state that you don't experience it . You possibly live in fear of what might happen , when really , the chances are , you wont . 

    ?Does this happen in other areas of your life ? 

    ?Anyway, it's late and I'm so tired . Wishing you lots of happy vibes . Maybe you need an alternative therapy with some meditation . You cannot go wrong with that smile 

    Take care x

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you!  

      Sorry I was confusing, and yes I am probably very confused.  I'll try to clarify if I can.

       

      "It does confuse me , like you , that you can fill your body with alcohol , but not a medicine that could aid coming away from your addiction ."

      Yeah, it's in no way a logical thing, but then anxious thoughts rarely are.

      "But, what is your addiction ? It did interest me that you said you had a glass of wine in the morning and a glass of wine in the eve ? having one glass would be almost impossible ? I know you said this was for 6 days only but still, this would be a real achievement." 

      I think the addiction would be a mental one to alcohol.  It only lasted six days because of the fear of going through withdrawals.  In ten years I've only had about two weeks total overall where I wasn't drinking at least a pint of whiskey a night.?

      "Have you had counselling ? You say you fear withdrawal but you state that you don't experience it . You possibly live in fear of what might happen , when really , the chances are , you wont . 

      ?Does this happen in other areas of your life ?"

      Yes.  My health anxiety does this so many times.  I can't seem to quit drinking because my health anxiety tells me I'm dying of withdrawals, when it's more likely it's just the anxiety.  The reason I was asking for help with a way to taper is that seems to be the best way to trick my mind into thinking I can't suffer withdrawals, I just can't find a taper that's scheduled properly and was wondering if anyone here had experience with tapering off somehow.

      Thank you for the vibes, goodnight!

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  • Posted

    I've been tapering off cider with no physical withdrawals...the fear of them has kept me drinking too for a year or more now. Down to 1 can at 1.8 units. Wish you good luck and don't let fear stop you from doing what you need to do for your health and sanity. Half of it is probably imagined. 😊

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    • Posted

      I know that half of it is imagined, haha.  Thank you for the wishes, and I really do need to get on top of that fear.  I got some small wine bottles I think I'm going to try a taper with that, and just try to go slower than I did last time.

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