Anxiety and Alcohol

Day 155 here. I am moving into a new phase of self-examination. I am being mindful about my anxiety. I am thinking about my anxiety, as I go through my day. 

Surprise! I think I drank largely to address my anxiety, my "monkey mind."   The alcohol is gone. How's that anxiety coming along? 

Still there. Morning, noon and night. I am doing some navel gazing about it. Interesting how my anxiety led me to thinking that my son was judging my new marriage (see prior blog) when after heartfelt conversation, I learned otherwise (see my comment to the blog).

Someone I admire once told me: "anxiety is a roadblock between you and mindfulness." Anxiety is a barrier to an ongoing relationship with the divine, with others, with wholeness, with self-love, with peace.

Alcohol is a temporary solution to an ongoing situation.

I've learned from many bloggers, including Mrs. D, that long term sobriety comes with profound introspection. It may be starting for me...

Anxiety is a life-long unwelcome friend. It is a part of me. How about you?

My hope is that naming it, regularly, and watching it, and breathing through it, will lessen its effects on my life.  Amazingly, I do yoga, I pray, I walk, I blog, I love others deeply, I have therapy for long stretches every now and again over my lifetime, and anxiety is still here. Hello.

I've decided to stop using benadryl as a sleep aide (benadryl is the active ingredient in over-the-counter sleep aides).  While it is safe, there are some concerns about long-term use. I want to see if I can sleep on my own. The last two nights, I went benadryl-free. I woke several times during the night, but I self-soothed myself and got back to sleep. This is my current frontier.  I am hopeful.


  1. Benadryl dives me anxiety. Maybe stopping that will help.
    I take 300 mg magnesium citrate before bed. Magnesium helps lessen anxiety and aids with sleep.
    My anxiety grew and grew in sobriety as I seriously had no coping mechanisms. I became paralyzed and paranoid.
    Medication was necessary for me to get to a level enough place for all the self awareness to help. It also turns out I have celiac disease. Addressing that probably helped my anxiety as well.
    I continue to take cipralex daily. I expect I always will. I still struggle with periods of intense anxiety. But most of the time I truly feel stillness and peace.

    I’ve been experim noting with tapping. It is surprisingly powerful.

    1. Thanks Anne! I am so sorry you went through such a hard time with anxiety in your early sobriety. My anxiety is still present, but I think it has lessened actually. I drank to calm down but the fact is, alcohol actually made me more anxious and depressed (Ironic, right?). I read recently about tapping. I'd love to hear more about your experience with it!

  2. I suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks for many, many years. After I got sober, I realized how much social anxiety I had, and how much I used drinking to cope. The good news is, it is so much better. Not perfect. I can still get anxious at dinner parties with my friends, when they are all drinking.
    What helped me was to realize the world doesn't really care about me, per say. People aer only concerned about themselves. So that takes pressure off of me. I learned to Accept my anxiety, and be afraid of it. To Float above the feelings, and Let time pass.

  3. Sending you love as you sit still with your anxiety and learn to hear its layers and layers..... I've learned to understand anxiety as a purely physical phenomenon, a physical riling-up that my mind instantaneously tries to attach content to, which makes it look like the anxiety is a response to that thing. But I've been around the block enough times, watching myself calmly handle supposedly anxiety-producing experiences, to clearly understand that it's only physical. For me the anxiety increases when I have wheat (and other grains, i think) in my diet, and disappears when I don't. Here's hoping you can uncover your own triggers. xo Adrian

  4. I suffered with acute anxiety for over 2 years after leaving up the alcohol and all kind of addiction.. Well done you for being so upfront and keep going. The world is your oyster. Mental illness affects so many of us and yet no one wants to talk about it.
    Symptoms of Anxiety Depression and my Psychotic behavior and Drunk with Addiction meant I was not a reasonable man. I stood up very slowly.


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