Drinking Away Anxiety

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

My Personal Battles as a Result

This day and age there are so many things to be concerned about. As a country, I think we worry about anything from terrorism to our children’s futures to the cost of living and that only scratches the surface. Why shouldn’t we worry? We never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. How do I know that my kids are going to come home safely to me every day after school? How do I know my kids’ common cold isn’t meningitis? After all, it has been advertised all over TV lately. Will my husband’s business go bankrupt? Will I be in a car crash? Will I get shot dead in the street for no reason like I see in shows like “The First 48” and “Cold Case Files”? All these thoughts swirl through my head constantly and it seems like there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

Anxiety is a growing problem in the world today, or so my doctor’s have informed me. Believe it or not, anxiety causes a number of various health problems like acid reflux, stomach ulcers, costochondritis, dysphagia, head aches (tension & stress) and you can actually develop allergies. You can also develop panic disorders, which in my experience are no fun. I have to battle everything I do. Simple things like going to the grocery store are difficult for me. I don’t like driving. I don’t like going to my kids’ school. I don’t like visiting anyone. All because of my battle with anxiety.

The hardest part about having anxiety is the feeling that no one believes that you are really in pain. I’ve been to three or four different doctors. I’ve had EKG’s done, an EGD, a chest x-ray, an allergy test, a sinus scan and a barium swallow. I’ve also been tested for any possible thyroid disorder. Everything shows that I’m fine. I do have a reflux problem, but that’s it. Then those ever famous words, “it’s anxiety, you have to stop being stressed”. Yes, because it’s so easy to just stop being stressed. I had a doctor try to put me on anti-depressants and sleeping pills. I don’t take pills. I can’t swallow them. I’ve been like that ever since I was little. I opted not to take them. I don’t want some pill dictating my mood. I figured I’d just find a way to help myself some other way. The only thing I agreed to take was Prevacid for my acid reflux.

If I back track a little, maybe eight years or so, to the time I turned 21 I think that’s where my story really begins. I think most kids wait for the day they turn 21 so that they can finally legally drink. It was a fun time for me. I had lots of fun with friends and did all kinds of fun stuff. Eight years later I had no idea that I wouldn’t be able to give it up. Have I been drinking non-stop for eight years? No, of course not. I’ve been pregnant 4 times during this period of time, so I didn’t drink then. It only got to the point where it was bad in the past two years or so. I think that is when my anxiety went haywire.

I figured if doctor’s couldn’t help me I would stick to the one thing that I knew would make the pain go away. Alcohol. Beer to be exact. It started out as a few certain days a week, like when my favorite shows were on. I’d always want beer to go with my favorite shows. A few days a week went to more than half the week, and then to every day. A couple beers a night went to three or four and at it’s worst it could be anywhere from six to eight a night. Now, that wasn’t every night. I would drink every night, but not that many. I would drink six to eight beers a night maybe 4 days a week, the other nights I might only have one or two.

If I had to deal with any kind of stressful situation I made sure a drink or four went with it. I decided that this was just going to be who I was and that was that. As my situation got worse though, my attitude began to change. I started getting head aches to a point where I felt like I would pass out. Imagine feeling that way when you are in a store shopping with all four kids in tow. I feel nauseated every day. My body is always tense. It’s not an ideal situation for a mother of four.

Ever watch that show “Intervention”? I do. I would sit and watch and realize that what those people, those addicts, were doing to themselves is exactly what I’m doing to myself. I’m using alcohol as a crutch. It offers me temporary relief from my pain and troubles. If I can’t feel good half the time, I can feel great for the other half. I would get up to put my kids on the school bus and I couldn’t even stand with out feeling I was going to black out. I would have to guzzle a bottle of water just to make it down the street. Is that what I want my kids to see? Do I really want my kids to live with the fact that I died because of drinking? Do I want them to blame themselves, that maybe they didn’t make me happy enough?

I came to this realization just recently. I don’t have to drink to be happy. It doesn’t grant me any kind of relief, it just makes me more sick. It makes my anxiety worse, as well as my panic disorder. In fact, I think that not drinking might even get rid of those things. I am in control of my own mind, not beer. I can find things that I like to offer me relief from stress with out poisoning my body and mind. Since New Years just passed, I decided to make a resolution to quit drinking. Then, a couple of short days ago, I downed a six pack. I did it on purpose. I don’t want a new year to dictate my decision to quit drinking. I want my own drive and desire to dictate my decision.

It hasn’t been very long, in fact only two days, but I have no desire to pick up a drink anytime soon. I want to focus on getting healthy again, and I can only hope and pray that I haven’t done so much damage already that it’s irreparable. I just got an exercise bike, I’ve bought a new book and some new puzzles. I’ve subscribed to a word puzzle book also. These are all things I like to do. All things that can help me clear my mind. I’ve got a plan to get my bath tub shiny clean (we have hard water) so I can start taking regular baths with some aromatic candles. I want to start my yoga again. There are so many things I can do to de-stress. It is possible to move forward and work on making life right again. I have to make it right. Not just for me, but for my husband and children. They all need me and if I’m not 100% I’m no good to them.

I’d love to answer any and all questions if anyone has any or needs some advice. I feel like I’ve been through a hell of a lot in the past 2 years. Since it’s only been a couple of days since I officially quit the drinking, I’ll be writing again with an update to my story. Much love to the world out there and take care of your minds and bodies!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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