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Hi, again, Julie - Just want to "butt in" :-) one more time to reinforce that, although you ARE feeling quick (and much-needed) immediate relief from the alchohol, unfortunately, that stuff can, chemically, just switch on the depression and panic before you even realize it. In the couple of hours since I wrote to you this morning, I keep remembering, over and over, those episodes from years ago, when I was fending off a nightmarish depression (my brain chemistry is very subject to clinical depression). Both times, I was so utterly convinced that the drink was the only thing between me and total mental collapse....when...in fact....it was not only contributing to it but making it so many times worse. But, at the time, I just did not want to believe that the one thing instantly easing those terrible, terrible feelings...might be actually CAUSING it. All I knew what that I needed something so badly to just get me through my panic at that moment. And, it seemed impossible that those few drinks--the one thing that helped me so much--could be part of the problem.

It may be impossible right now for you to give up the drinking completely. I know, from my own experiences, how badly you need that numbness. But....when you CAN manage it....please try to remember that this comforting numbness is being followed so quickly by the very symptoms you're trying to escape from. :-(

As a person who has still not given up pills, yet (I am hoping that suboxone, which has been such a miracle for so many people on this board, will do the same to help me), I may seem like the LAST person to be offering advice. But I do know (and I am NOT speaking "morally", etc. at all (!) that--chemically--the instant that the numbness from the drink wears off, your brain is being bombarded by the exact same symptoms you are fleeing. (And I feel awful for being so "abstemonious" about this one thing that is giving you such quick--even if just temporary--relief.) I just felt that I had to relay my experiences. And, when you are feeling up to reading, you will find that many medical books write of the connections between depression, withdrawal and drinking. One is called "The Noonday Demon" by Andrew Solomon. Quite a book!)

Anyway. Like everyone here....I want you to know that I'm rooting for you and I am certain that the withdrawal symptoms will be lessened by time. But I know that's not much comfort right now! The one thing that would help soooo much is to have people to talk to and share this misery with. I agree with Pat (and...by the way.....I know how much YOU'RE suffering, too, Pat). His advice to seek out NA may be a real lifesaver for you, emotionally, as well as physically. The worst part about addiction, for me, is the fear that those who may find out about this, might view me from a "worthy/worthless" standpoint--that I would no longer seem a "good" or a "strong" person in their eyes--a person with any "character"--no matter what good and decent things I've actually done in my life. . Sometime, even those fairly close to you, are just unable to get past that first step--in understanding how you got to such a point, in the first place. So, Julie....it would help you so much right now if you could find some special pals....and some "huggers" :-) --those who would be less concerned, right now, about HOW you got to that dark place--than how they can help you get OUT of it.

So..just want to let you...and Pat....know that a lot of us will be thinking about you guys and hoping that you'll keep writing. It seems more than a coincidence" that the two of you both met one another at such an "appropriate" point in your lives!!! :-)Actually--in effect...you've both just attended a new NA meeting--your OWN!(With "cross talk" not only allowed--but encouraged!) LOL!! :-)

my very best to you both, Lynn





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