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Worried about getting hooked - August 8th 2013, 08:15 PM

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Hi there,

So, as a brief background, I am coping with some pretty bad anxiety, specifically agoraphobia. This is triggered by existing stomach problems that I have, and the fear of being sick in public.

Well, yesterday I had a follow up with my GI and was told that I have IBS. Okay, cool. Finally have an answer. However, this made my anxiety a whole lot worse because now it's possible that this constant nausea *isn't* just inside my head- there's a "legitimate" reason.

I left that appointment crying. My first instinct was to reach for a bottle of whiskey. This wasn't my first time drinking, but it was my first time drinking for the purpose of feeling less upset and anxious.

I'm worried that I'm going to get hooked, because I like the way alcohol makes me feel. I have been lectured so many times about the dangers, but at this very moment I'm just focused on the anxiety that it relieves for me.

How can I get out of this before it becomes a habit? I keep thinking about turning to it, and how it makes me feel sane. But I don't want to become an alcoholic.

I've tried yoga, kava, breathing etc and see a therapist and will be seeing a psychiatrist in a couple of weeks.

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Re: Worried about getting hooked - August 9th 2013, 02:51 PM

Attend an AA meeting, its full of people that turned to drink and they will all tell you how it ruined them and tricks to stay away from it. "Live life one day at a time. Say to yourself, I might drink tomorrow, but not today, I have today. Then repeat when you wake up the next morning."

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Re: Worried about getting hooked - August 9th 2013, 03:16 PM

I think it helps to avoid alcohol as an anxiety reliever if you don't have it in the house. Drinking socially when out with your friends or at someone else's house is fine. But when you want to have a quick fix for your anxiety, you don't want alcohol near by you. So I would think that is the first step.

Next, I would talk to your therapist about this. Let them know that this is what you are turning to and to give you better options. I think they are the best person to talk to about this right now.

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Re: Worried about getting hooked - August 16th 2013, 01:40 AM

Are you able to keep alcohol out of your house or at least hidden? That can reduce to urge to turn to the bottle when you're feeling anxious.
I also recommend trying out different alternatives until you find something that at least helps you get through the day. I'm glad you've already started going this, but it's going to take some time until you can find something. Definitely keep talking about it with your therapist so they can help you come up with more ways to cope. It's all trial and error until you find something that works and is healthy.
The thing about alcohol is that it's actually a depressant. It will actually make you feel worse when you're trying to find a way to cope. Try and use that fact as motivation to stay away from alcohol because it will only create a bigger problem.
I get anxiety myself sometimes and what has helped me personally is to have some earl gray tea and draw or color. Low cognitive activities can help put your mind at ease and can help relax you. You could also try putting together a playlist of relaxing music to listen to whenever your anxiety starts getting the best of you. Music is very therapeutic.

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