Why Alcohol Causes Anxiety

There are basically 6 reasons why alcohol consumption and hangovers make many people anxious and I’m going tell you what they are. I want to share this with you so that you can be more informed and avoid becoming alcohol’s punching bag.

Ever since I became sick with nervous illness I’ve heard a lot of people say that anxiety sufferers should not drink alcohol because it makes you more nervous than you already are.

I’ve always found this to be ironic because there are so many anxiety sufferers that drink alcohol to cope with their anxiety, but true it is.

Now, the fact that alcohol can cause anxiety is just that, a fact. It is a scientifically based understanding, so this is not simple conjecture on my part.

Will alcohol affect all people this way? Probably not, but as an anxiety sufferer you should be aware of the possible pitfalls of alcohol consumption, so pay close attention.

Scientists believe that alcohol causes or at least increases anxiety in  6 basic ways and here they are.

1. Mood

Alcohol can affect our mood because it can affect the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel good brain chemical that when in short supply can cause feelings of anxiety and depression.

2. Drop in blood sugar

A drop in blood sugar can cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, nervousness, shaking and numbness. These symptoms can most certainly trigger a bout of anxiety.

3. Dehydration

This has been known to cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness and muscle weakness. These symptoms wouldn’t cause anxiety per say but they add to a sense of illness which fosters anxiety.

4. Nervous System

The nervous system is affected because in order for the body to fight off the sedative effects of alcohol it puts the body into a state of hyperactivity in order to counteract this effect. This hyperactivity can lead to shaking, light/sound sensitivity and sleep deprivation.

5. Heart Rate

Your heart rate can become elevated as a result of consuming alcohol which can cause a palpitation false alarm and put you into a state of anxious anticipation. Is it a heart attack or isn’t it you might ask. This “what if” questioning can increase your general state of anxiety.

6. Concentration

A hard night of drinking can also make you hazy, bring on headaches and create a sense of disorientation.

So if you’re going to have a glass of wine with dinner I don’t think you should be concerned. On the other hand, if you’re a heavy drinker, or binge drinker, then this might cause a real problem for you.

According to The Times Online, scientists don’t know exactly why all this happens but they do suggest that you eat before drinking, drink water in between drinks, and stay in bed if you are hung over to avoid all the problems I outlined above.

Some would say that maybe you shouldn’t drink at all if you have an anxiety disorder – that’s debatable. Do you think that alcohol should be avoided at all cost when someone has an anxiety disorder?

I don’t think that alcohol should be avoided if drinking is part of your social repertoire, however, I also know that moderation and good sense should be your guide.

In addition, although alcohol does have a sedative effect it should not be used as a coping tool. This type of behavior can lead to alcoholism and worse yet, more anxiety.

So if you know that you’re a light weight, or if you already know that alcohol makes you anxious, don’t bother. Maybe I don’t need to say it, but really some people just don’t know when to say no.

Note: I want to hear your opinions. Let me know what you think about this issue – comment below.


After waiting forever I finally completed a podcast for this article. Press play to listen now.

anxiety symptoms


  1. JoyisGone says

    Wow. Sad to hear all of your situations, but feel better knowing I am not alone. I could have written most of these posts myself. I wish alcohol didn’t help my anxiety in the short-term, but the fact is that it does. But the next morning I am a wreck. I’ve taken 5 anti-anxiety pills today, at noon, when I am prescribed 2 a day. I’ve had panic and anxiety for about 15 years now..the severity comes and goes, but I KNOW alcohol makes it worse, but when I am in the middle of a panic (or pending) attack, all I can think of is the short-term relief.
    I did read Dr. Reid Wilson’s free on-line help for panic suffers, and I would highly recommend it. I bawled like a baby the first couple of times I read it; he might as well have been writing my biography. But it has helped. But it is hard to think of “deep breaths” when I am in the middle of dying, going crazy or, as I like to call it, “freaking out.”
    Glad I found this page. Good luck to all of you.

  2. Laurie Constantino says

    I have been among the missing these days, primarily because everyone and their mothers want a piece of me, oh how tiring that can be, I had to be in every family function for the last 10 days and i was so exhausted I could not comprehend how the hell I did it, it was too much for one human being to endure, I drank through most of it but always started the day out with a Xanax, just for the heck of it, FAMILY DRAINS THE HECK OF ME, I am going to try to paste this poem about alchohol I wrote hope it comes out alrights,

    Laurie Nelson Constantino
    another night, another drink,
    sometimes wine, sometimes a shrink,
    both do the same thing, both listen well
    one gives a headache, one breaks the spell,
    neither can cure a mind in a bad state
    but one or the other does make one feel great,
    I prefer the drink, over talking it out
    dredging up sorrows is not what I am about,
    but reality tells me the drink will not cure
    the darkness around me for that I am sure,
    but alas goes the cork screw, alas goes the pop
    and I am quite eager to drink each tiny last drop,
    tomorrow I will regret it
    I will wake up and cry,
    I will pour out the coffee and tears on the fly,
    then promise myself not to do it again
    but when sunset nears nightly I am there with my friend,
    that bottle of wine, that shot of patron
    I am tired and weary and so all alone,
    so when does it end, when will happiness be mine
    I have not the answer for the booze makes me blind,
    thank God he is forgiving, thank God he is my friend
    for without this kind thought my life would now end!

  3. Frank P. says

    Hello All,

    Well, this past Sunday was 6 weeks sober for me. I have had a couple days of stress related depression but was able to pull myself together and turn the day around. Other than having no panic episodes lately, sobriety has made some other important changes in my life for sure. When I was drinking, even in between binges my blood pressue averaged 150/100 and slightly lower here and there. After about three weeks of not drinking my pressure was still high, but thank God I have found an amazing Doctor. He was very skeptical about putting me on any medication including Blood Pressure medication like all the other Doctors tried to do. After six weeks of sobriety, my blood pressure is consistantly 120/75 and occasionally a tad bit higher. This is so awesome! I am almost buzzed on a daily basis. So relaxed that I kinda feel almost brain dead at times? I can definetely feel the damage that I did from years of binge drinking. Maybe some of it has to do with age too. I am coming close to forty so that could play a roll in the dull edge I have been experiencing. Headaches are frequent now which the Doctor says is most likely the lack of sugar intake as beer has alot more sugar then I thought. That would make sense as I have never been a chocolate or candy eater until I quit drinking.I find myself buying a candy bar here and there which is very strange for me. I have been finishing alot of projects too. . shaping a couple surfboards, landscaping the yard, and feeling alot more confident in putting the business behind my family and my sanity. Unfortunetely, I have lost some close friends in my sobriety though. I just cant hang anymore. . atleast for now until I am completely sure that I wont break under the pressure. It’s kinda funny how you learn how unsupportive your drinking buddies can be. It’s so hard to explain to somebody what its like to have panic and depression when they have never experienced it for themselves. The Atarax has helped quite a bit, but I have even started weening myself off of that as well.

    Just checking in. . .God Bless all of You. .

    Frank P.

  4. Laurie C says

    hope everyone out there is doing well, I haven’t panicked in about a week now, hot flashing out YES but no panic thank GOD, didn’t stop drinking, hate that, the weight won’t go if the wine bottle stays open, got a reunion in July no stress there to be that girl everyone remembered. Hoping to get my life organized I am all over the place haven’t even filed the damn taxes yet, in Freeze mode again, what is that anyway when the brain tells you things you know you have to do and the body just won’t move!!! Happy Easter to all, be well,

  5. JP says

    Some good posts, I too, am just checking in. My drinking has been sporadic, but I haven’t had anxiety in a long time because of it. I am basically in control, but I didn’t notice, yet some more tricks to help me out. One, I would like to completely stop, but I must admit, I do like the wine with dinner and the beer with a friend. I even broke my # rules and still felt fine.

    The last time was Thursday, the office went out. I was drinking Bud Lights, they were drinking hard stuff. My boss then ordered a tequila shot I was trying to vere away from, but I said, f it, and shot it, it was smooth and good, I then got a water. I was ready to go home, the young ones were going to go out hard, I wisely passed and so did my boss. My boss wanted to go out for dinner, so I went with him. He ordered a glass of wine, I ordered the same, this was good. He used to order a bottle. We then had a sambuca after dinner and went to our respective homes.

    I definitely broke a lot of rules here, but, it was good Friday coming up, I knew I could sleep a little longer and it be a slow day. I slept in a little, and I stress just a little, and woke, well, a little hungover, but no anxiety. I liked that. The fact we were eating I think had a lot to do with it.

    I actually noticed something else, a new rule, I gave myself and this works a lot! I give myself a 10pm bed time during the week. This means, ideally, I’m home, but if I’m not, no more drinking and start to think about gettig back soon. This was a trick I used to do with cocaine when I was younger, I knew after a certain time I wouldn’t get to sleep and feel like utter crap because of it. It works! I was with my running club, drinking casually, I had about 5 beers, but they more not quite pints (it was a special), and when it was getting close to 10, I stopped. At 10, I got in a cab and went home. I felt fantastic the next day!

    I’m not going to get too cocky, I’d still like to get more motivated with some other things in my life, I’d like to get in Frank P. mode, but all and all, mentally, I’ve been feeling ok.


  6. Frank P. says

    Still in “Frank P. mode”. . I like that one, but remember were all different.

    If you can go out and have a couple casual drinks and follow the rules that you set for your self, I think that is fantastic! I tries that for years and failed miserably.

    This Sunday is 2 months sober for me. I am absolutely done with drinking. The cycle has finally been broke. No more urges at all. Now I am just dealing with Depression. Now that I am sober it is clear that I do in fact have a “Depressive Disorder”, which would explain the severe anxiety after drinking alchohol (a depressant). After hearing my life of tragedy my theropist said that it is no wonder that my brain is depleated of the chemicals vital to fighting depression. I am still having these periods of rhuminating negative thoughts. . its a nightmare! Its like having a song stuck in your head. . but worse! The confusion, memory loss etc., is all part of it. Im gonna give myself atleat a full 3 months of sobriety to see if I can heal through further excercise, meditation etc. after that I have accepted that I may have to be on meds for awhile, an I am OK with that. They have now proven that we as human beings CAN in fact change our brain.

    It’s a sign of the times. . there are SOOO MANY people that suffer from the same thing that walk by you every day. We are not alone, and there is hope for all of us.

    Well back to finishing this weeks surfboard. . . .

  7. Anna says

    I’ve been following all of your posts for some time now. I am having moderate success being a moderate drinker, haha. I seem to go for a few days with little to no booze and then I slip and drink 2 bottles of cab. I disgust myself, and I feel like maybe I need to go to AA. Frank good on you with the sobriety. For me, I know that I drink to medicate myself OUT of anxiety, only to find myself suffering all the more from it. But I believe that many people suffer from depression who also abuse alcohol. It deadens our feelings and makes life easier in the short term…long term we just are not dealing at all. It makes me sad that so many people are suffering out there, but it does make me feel less alone!

    I hope everyone is doing well today. I am going to shop at a big box store and feel like I need to take an ativan to face it. Bugh.


  8. Laurie says

    Hi Anna, I know exactly how you feel, I can have a night with maybe one drink and or nothing to drink (not often though) but then most nights I could kill a bottle of Cabernet without even looking, I hate myself so much the next day, I tell myself the most hurtful remarks, I call myself a loser, beg God to forgive me, then I eat a xanax take a shower and go to work, I never miss work, but my house is a mess, my taxes not done, I do pay my bills on time thank God, I gained so much weight, look like shit, I wear black all the time, mourning my soul,my body, my life, I blame all of this on everything (the kid in prison, the kid on drugs, the kid with a kid, the absentee husband) but never ever do I take blame or responsibility for my actions when clearly I have complete control over both the drinking and the weight! Now the Tinnitus in my ears is really bad from falling and hitting my head in a drunken stupor, so it is true it is sad that so many people suffer and self medicate and I too have thought of AA many times, always justifying myself with the fact that I drink but only after work late at night and at home so I can’t be an alcoholic right?? yeah right! I will pray for your strength Anna, as I ask God to give me strength, I don’t know if I really want to stop drinking to be honest, I like wine, love the taste of it, I just don’t want to drink the whole damn bottle!!!! God Bless be well, Laurie

  9. Anna says

    Oh, Laurie, my heart goes out to you. It sounds like you have quite a lot of stuff on your plate adding to the sadness. The thing is we need to stop with the ‘self hate’ talk. I’ve been seeing a therapist and I swear it is amazing the things I am realizing; ie. how hard I am on myself.

    I also hear you on not wanting to give up alcohol entirely. I do love the taste of wine! I was stone cold sober for 6 months last year and although I had some pride for that accomplishment, I can’t honestly say that I was terribly happy. Now when the “witching hour” rolls around I pick up and pour because dammit I ‘deserve’ it! When I do drink moderately I feel great and like I’m in control. Then I have a day where I slip and pay for it.

    Ugh, well I will pray for both of us too and light a candle. I hope we can beat all these demons.


  10. This world is to much to bear says

    Their are that many scumbags out thier and bad people it makes me want to give up on life completely I can’t stop obsessing about how many awful evil humans their are In the world it makes me feel sick having 2 children and bringing them into this shit. I drink to calm my self from these thoughts . I now drink about 3 bottles of rose wine a week . A bottle ever other night always sink a bottle and on occasion a glass or 2 more . I feel this is to much and am going to die soon .I’m 28 year old male . When I was younger I used to drink more binging and all sorts smoke and smoke weed . I don’t smoke even normal fags anymore but still feel shit. And ill all the time . My diets shit I weigh nearly 9 stone and am 5 ft 6 ish maybe 7 . Don’t no y am writing all this sounds like am in a dating site . I’m scared of the future . Anyone wanna chat please MSG back .

  11. JP says

    Hi everyone, well, someone of you seem to be doing well, some seem to be in a valley right now, rather than a peak, it happens. It will get better. I am in a weird spot, not bad, just weird. Like I said, I’ve had zero anxiety as of late. The only thing different is my Dr. adjusted my medication again. I was on 150 Welbutrin and 20mg of prozac. I was doing fine, I just was losing my spunk again. My psychologsit told me to ask the psychotrist about a low dose of Ritilin maybe, which I was hesitant about, I was given a really, low, low, low stimulant and made me feel cracked out, I said I’d ask. The psychatrist agreed, bad idea.

    She, the psychtrist, suggested upping the Welbutrin to the next dose of 300 mg. That was my first med dose, which was great, until it made me all manic. She said, you’ve been taking it for awhile, your body may be used to, if you start feeling weird, just stop, and take a Xanax if need be.

    Well, this is the first week of it, and I feel fine, great actually. This does come around to our overall discussion of drinking.

    I’ve been pretty bad this week, meaning I have drank more than I wanted to, but nothing ridiculous or life threatening. I have had no anxiety due to it. Last night was my dumbest nigt. I had a hockey game, after our game watching some NHL playoffs, a few beers. I drive back to the City (I’m fine to drive). I decide, which I said I would not do any more, have a few more beers watching some of the late games out. I do, I plan on keeping it quick, but one of the bartenders was off duty hanging out and wanted to do a shot. I declined. When a 5 foot, petite girl with glasses starts calling you out, it’s kind of tough. So, I do it, and ask for some water. At the point, I made a concsious decision I can go in late tomorrow, there’s nothing pressing or any crazy meetings I need to be sharp for.

    Then, I start chatting with some 49 year old cougar. Make a long story short, she ends up coming home with me. So, it was a later night than I anticipated, but I guess I needed it.

    As for today, I’m just sluggish, a little hung over, but again, the anxiety is gone or not apparent.

    Now, does this mean I’m going to go back to I was in my twenties? No, of course not. I’m going to have a somewhat unproductive day, maybe even a short one, but this is not a habit.

    Again, I think I’m finding myself again through this whole divorce that changed my life. Any Dr. will tell you, be social, be social, don’t stay in; I tend to stay in, ironically, most weekends, and I live in NYC of all places. It’s an ongoing process, I think I’ve come to terms with it.

    If I said some back to back intense meetings, or a lot to today, perhaps I’d be feeling guilty and terrible, but I didn’t, so I took kind of a half a personal day, I don’t think that’s the end of the world, is it?

    Anyway, all be well and thank you for listening.


  12. Laurie says

    I drank a bottle and a half of cabernet last night, I feel horrible physically and mentally and have been crying all morning, can’t seem to get myself out of this night time drinking and smoking cigarette habit, how do I get the strength to handle life’s stresses without alcohol I am tired of drinking my life away,

  13. JoyisGone says

    I like the poem, Laurie. It summed it up nicely.
    I really am at the end of my rope. My shrink can’t see me until Friday. In the past, he has seemed a little disgusted with me; I’ve been on about every medication. I refuse to take Abilify, I know the nasty side-effects. (Scary, I know, but I work in the field). Weight gain and diabetes? Yeah, that’ll make me feel better.
    I came home today early from work, plugged my nose and chugged 2 beers. The rest have gone down smoothly. I know it is absolutely the worst thing I can do (I always want to shout: I am a sick mess, but I am not stupid!!) but in the short-term, it lowers my shoulders and makes it ok to breathe. To be alive, even.
    To my credit, I have had alot of family stress (2 deaths, and the wonderful attributes it brings out in the greedy relatives. I really don’t give a shit about money, so therefore I just feel taken advantage of). But it seems I can’t handle stress like most people.
    I hate the not-knowing/not trusting myself. I came home b/c I had a terrible dizzy episode-never had one before. I’ve felt like crap and probably have a sinus infection, but who knows? Maybe it is just my head cold/issues, or maybe it is a stroke?
    I’m so tired of feeling like this. I am tired of self-medicating with alcohol. I’ve tried every suggestion under the sun. I am feeling really hopeless.

  14. JoyisGone says

    OK, Iknow I have typed enough. But just to let you know, maybe no one is reading, but it feels so good to let it out. Even though I am half-buzzed writing it. Maybe it allows me to say what is really on my mind: I am hanging on by a thread. If I didn’t have 2 wonderful nephews that I absolutely adore, and would never hurt, I wouldn’t be writing. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning I am pissed. I prayed I wouldn’t wake up; that way it is not my fault.
    I dont know what to do. It’s not like I am fat (I am) and haven’t tried dieting and exercise (I have, half-heartedly) so I know that I am to blame. I’ve tried every option I been presented to make it better. I HAVE really tried. NOthing yet has worked for me. I’m not looking for a magic pill. All I really want is relief. Just one day without anxiety. Panic isn’t everyday, thank God. I can’t imagine one day without being anxious, or worrying about becoming anxious. I’m just trying to hang on.

  15. JP says

    Hey Laurie, its okay. I’m actually in a similiar boat. I’m find myself falling off the wagon for lack of a better word. I’m not feeling anxiety, but I feel crappy today, I’m not sad, but feeling guilty I drank so much last night. I know how you feel. If you go back in this thread, I was feeling suicidal after one of these nights and very sad, much like you.

    I think I mentioned they adjusted my medication, which I thought would lead to less drinking with the increase in Welbutrin, but I seem to be able to pack it away. The first few I get a little bit of a headache, then it goes away.

    I bumped into an old friend yesterday and we decided to have a drink, he had like 4 kettle on the rocks and I had 4 beers. The bar bouught us one. I then had to meet some friends to see, yes, the original Bad Brains line-up from 1982 Downtown. So, you know beers were flowing there, big tall boys of bud light. After the show, me and a buddy that leave near each other stopped by a local spot…I think we had a bite and some more drinks and I did an Irish exit.

    Like I said, the anxiety isn’t there, but I did a Xanax before I even did antything this morning. I’m kind of being hard on myself, it was a fun old school night, but, not sure if this makes sense, I don’t like living like this. Granted, it’s not like I do these things every day, but I still don’t like it….I think I understand my struggle now.

    My therapist asked me why I spend so much time by myself, especially on weekends…this is why…I’m protecting myself, from myself. While not happy, I’m at least content and in control, but that’s no way to live. She asked me, “Do you like being around people?” I said, “Well, yes, I just don’t like to be around influence.” if that makes any sense.

    Most guys my age welcome being single again, they want to be 25, 25 again…honestly, I really don’t…I like being 37. However, I’m finding it strange as of lately that I’m…well…not.

    I know I said this before, but I think its time for another marathon.

    Laurie, it’s going to be okay. Try to get through the day and have a nice long bath, or whatever relaxes you when you get home.

  16. JP says

    Sorry for the double post, but well, yes, the anixiety is starting to set in…its not as bad as in the past, and I’m doing it to myself. I’m thinking a lot like Frank P. was, “Why and I doing this to myself?” “I don’t want to, but I do!” I think we’re all very sensitive people on this thread and beat ourselves up too much. I think, also, we’re having a birthday dinner for my mom tonight, just immediate family and frankly, this is one of those nights when after work I’d like to just go home and do nothing…so I think the thought of another late(ish) night is taking a toll on my mind.

    I also, which I know will be okay, but I have a work friend (different office) where this something defintely, emotionally, begining to develop between us. I think she has even come to terms with it now, the work thing made he reluctant and there’s a distance thing…anyway, I made kind of a crass comment to her last night, a txt, it wasn’t anything completely obscene or drastic and I know I’m making a bigger deal than it than I should. But I did apologize this morning, I was out with childhood friends doing something old school immaturity can happen…I told her I feel terrible and I’m not proud of it. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m sure she’s just busy. Like I said, it wasn’t anything crazy, something like, “I want to drape myself over you….and then drunken nonsense about the show.”

    She’s a cool chick, like I said, the very worst, she might be letting me sweat a little, or she thinks I’m being completely ridiuclous for apologizing for something like that.

    Frank P. I think I need to start taking lessons from you. I’m still in great shape, physically, but I need to get back into marathon shape…if I trigger my guaranteed entry to the NYC marathon, I think it may be the mental push I need to straighten myself out…

    I can only speak for myself, but perhaps some of you can relate or are going through something similiar. This is a time in my life of re-knewed self discovery. I guess I just didn’t think I’d be doing this at 37. I thought I’d still be married, probably working on having a kid right now…

    I’m sorry for the rambling, it just makes me feel better; I know you all understand.

    Laurie please post to let us know how you are.

  17. Anna says

    JP and Laurie; I meant to comment earlier this week after reading Laurie’s comment. Laurie, I am right there with you. Lately it has been a struggle to keep my drinking down to 1 bottle a night; most nights it’s more like a bottle and a half. I have gained about 10 lbs over two months BUT I wanted to add; I have quit smoking. Laurie you mention you smoke; I swear since I’ve quit my anxiety has decreased, even on the mornings after overindulging! So maybe you could start by quitting the evil weed, and then concentrate on reducing drinking. I don’t know. It’s hard; I feel like now that I’ve been a nonsmoker for 3 months I can reward myself with a bit more wine each night…not good thinking! Like JP, I have been working out every other day and that seems to help detox my body and help with anxiety too. I don’t know where you’re at right now, just wanted to let you know I’ve been thinking of you.

    JP it sounds like you’re working on a lot of stuff too. I am trying to do a whole personal overhaul at 41; not with a divorce but with myself/therapy/spiritually. The drinking is hindering it, there is no doubt. I’ve always suffered from social anxiety and drinking has always been my cure for that! BUT it’s not like I go out a whole lot, my hubby and I are homebodies and I have a 7 year old. I just love wine, love the taste of it, love the way it makes me feel…while I am drinking. Yesterday I had a thought at lunchtime; hm, maybe have a glass? That way lies madness. I’m a stay at home mom but I try to stay busy as I can…but thoughts intrude sometimes. And, what a great idea to do a marathon! That will certainly counter-indicate heavy drinking while you’re training :)

    Sending best wishes to both of you.

  18. JP says


    Thanks for the kind words. I have a feeling I may be ranting on this site a lot today, sorry people. I just haven’t felt this bad in a long time. I haven’t had this failure feeling for a long time. I was actually feeling very much in control of everything.

    My medication got upped because, while being content, I was having a hard time with motivation, upping the Welbutrin will help with that; I’m much more aware of what’s going on in a given day, from work stuff, to a woman checking me out on the street…I like that. However, I lost some control with the alcohol thing, again.

    I know I’m not a bad person, I know my “friend” is not mad at me (even though I haven’t heard back yet :-), I know I haven’t ruined any chance of potential romantic future with her…although I’d be lying said it’s not on my mind.

    I having one of those days I wish I could fast forward and go to tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to my mom’s birthday dinner, as awful as that sounds. I have tentative plans to see another woman I’m dating tonight, I really do like this one a lot too; we both have hectic schedules so its hard for us to see each other a lot – unless we take the bf/gf plunge and neither of us is ready for that. She’s cool though, I told her I’ve been shot this week, that I really don’t even feel like going to this dinner, she said we could play it by ear….again, she’s another one that can put them back.

    I’m so tempted to drop that next Xanax.

    For what its worth, my therapist thinks I’ve come a long way…maybe I’m just having a bad day…

  19. JP says

    Ok, everyone, crisis resolved. I feel much better now. Maybe it was the 2 1/2 Xanaxs I took during the course of the day, but it ran its course. I really need to make some decisions though. Drinking with this new cocktail can be challenging. I think I need to take a hiatus for awhile.

    So the things that were bothering me, first, my childish text to my friend who might very well become my second wife. I realize it wasn’t that bad, I just sounded a little like an idiot and she knows I was out. I haven’t heard back from her yet, but I don’t think there’s any need for alaram; she’s probably thinking I’m making a bigger deal of it than there (but female input, definitely weclome).

    I am now looking forward to my mom’s birthday dinner, I will refrain from drinking wine, which will be tough because my father orders some good ass wines!

    My tenantive date, I’m in the mood. I told her I feel much better and I’ll let her know when we’re done and perhaps we can meet up somewhere.

    Now, I’m sure if you all don’t hear from me for awhile, you’ll all be quite happy. :-)


  20. Ruth says

    Hi all,
    Hope all is going well for you, hopefully better than me.

    I’ve been suffering depression for a while since I last posted. I read all your posts and relate to them of course.

    I have just undergone a terrible work situation. I’m self employed, I’m 16 years in now and tried to fire my employee but he wouldn’t leave. Every day he works for me as a manager I feel 10 years older and I found he lied to people making claims I can’t commit to and I’m stuck now fixing old problems that could cost me my job. I may have to pay back $600.

    My depression has reduced me to the bed and as such I have had to get an extension on my taxes which I haven’t done in 13 years. I couldn’t leave the house. My tax guy is taking care of legalities, he’s a really nice bloke but it really affects my self esteem. When I was working, because what I do is not something almost anyone does, people are clamoring for my work so I work either 10 hours with two five minute breaks and feel like a trojan horse or in the week sleep from the stress. I’ve had enough of my manager and my partner doesn’t like him but after we’ve worked together 10 years it’s time to let him go. I feel a terrible obligation to keep him on because I am loyal at heart, but he has no idea of what his way of working does to me and I get angry which is not a good thing and we fight like he owns my work when I’m the only owner as I run a tiny business.

    My drinking has been bad. On the Chardonnay. Hello! Not at work obviously, it can’t be and I’m not going to lose my job to this guy over alcohol. My work is strictly professional. It’s a difficult issue as I am really good friends with his 90 yr old Dad who is not doing well and not long for this world.

    I think that alcohol and anxiety are hugely impacted by stress. I have had so much stress I’m on the point of either a complete detox or something. My counselor is useless. Nice lady but doesn’t do me any good, waste of time bless her heart.

    It seems to me that cutting back and carrying on with my artwork and starting a new business – I’m an artist and want to do different stuff – might get me on the right track. Sorry for the moaning and ranting, I was hoping this would be a bit more positive. I can’t talk to my family – parents died young so that’s a no-go – as they are all overseas and two of them have just had children and another sib is in for an op today so the last thing I want to do is talk negatively when they are either in pain or bliss.

  21. Laurie says

    Hi everyone, I was just reading this page catching up with everyone, I am the same as all of you, fighting the fight each and every day, yesterday I watched my 2 year old grandson for 10 hours on 4 hours sleep, I knew he was coming over early the day before but when I get home from work I cannot go to bed without having a drink or three!!! I work nights till 12:30 am so I stay up every night till 2:30 am to unwind, I call it my “ME TIME” and I justify that two hours of power drinking, smoking and face book, as I EARNED IT! I am so full of shit, I go to work Miss Happy Go Lucky everyone always says Laurie you are always so UPBEAT! they should on know that right before I head into the damn building to start my shift I say “SHOWTIME” and on with the damn show so to speak, I work in food retail, I am a manager, so I listen to asinine complaints from evil people every freaking night, this fuels my desire to run home to the bottle even more, after my grandson left last night I killed a bottle of cabernet in under 2 hours, sitting outside with my husband who was having a beer, he doesn’t overdue it like me, but he is 14 years older than me so he is slowing down now that he is getting older, I on the other hand am not! I wish all of us could just get the damn anxiousness out of our lives and learn to live life, not be afraid of it or sad by it, I started walking that helps alot, and I only smoke with the cocktails but I bought an electric cigarette so perhaps I can quit the damn smoking too, it makes me sick to my stomach but when I drink I just have to smoke how strange is that? I would never smoke during the day never, I am so freakin weird, going to a school reunion in July, not stressing over that yet but will as it gets closer, well I am off to work, I pray for us all all the time, I am so grateful for your honest posts, not that I want Misery to love Company, I just feel comforted knowing I am not crazy and I am not the only one feeling like I can’t breathe or swallow or go out or sleep, ya know all the fun feelings of a full blown anxiety attack, I will keep taking the xanax for now I don’t think I could have a day without one now, .05 mg not a very bid dose, and keep walking, and hope for the best, God Bless and let’s try to have a relaxing weekend, (doubt it but I will try) it is a prison visit on Sunday to see my son, that is always a stressed out ride! xo!

  22. Ruth says

    I feel your pain.
    I decided yesterday to give up on the wine forever.
    Then after several hours in, thought it would be a bad idea to cold turkey, so did my partner, so he had already run to the store so there I was last night at the Chardonnay saying just one glass… he doesn’t drink.

    Anyway I have no social life where i live but I do up north and so I spoke to a friend who said just come on and fly up and we’ll take care of you and go on walks and have fun times and do whatever we want, tons of people love you and you have loads of places to stay, etc, which is true. I’m lonely where I live and my partner and I are more friends than anything.

    I don’t talk to people about drinking, I’m just not as honest as I should be because people in general are judgmental enough and it’s not as if I don’t know that drinking too much is bad.

    My problem is that I have to fire my employee. He has done a lot of bad things with my biz over the last 10 yrs I’ve employed him and has seen ‘selling’ as the main component of what I do which it is not. That and the fact that his father who I’m really close to is 90 and dying and their relationship is poor so I’m denied a relationship with him because I can’t stand being a mediator anymore.

    Strange as it sounds my work is psychological/artistic and so at work I am professional as it is my own business but for the past few years my employee has misrepresented me which has put me uncompromising situations with him claiming things I cannot achieve.

    Maybe we can all live out our dreams and do what we want, but with drinking and anxiety it’s hard. I am on one Xanax a night… .25mg, the lowest but still it ruins my self esteem but I can’t stand nightmares and the fact is, as I don’t want the truth of it, Xanax does do the job. But it won’t fix the internal stuff in the long run. I’ll be ok, better times are ahead.

  23. Ali says

    Greetings All

    A wonderful quote from Anais Nin

    ” We dont see things as they are, we see things as we are”

    I have recently completed a course of CBT ( Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)this has course has furnished me with a better understanding of myself, through this I have been slowly able to replace my negative habits with more positive ones.
    I have also learned self awareness..I am able to recognise signs that would previously set me on a course of unhealthy behaviour…and are thus able to deal with them..this in turn leads to self empowerment…it feels great to be able to give the ol’ two finger salute to a negative perception that would have had me reaching for the beer!…BUT it’s a work in progress,..CBT is a practice…it is my choice to utilise these new found principals.
    We cannot change the past, but we can choose how we live in the present, and this in turn will have an effect on our future.

    I would think that many of us here, have had problems in the past…nothing is trivial, all is relative….and these problems have shaped how we deal with things today….

    There is a book called ” Get out of your mind and into your life” which I am going to try along with ” CBT” for dummies ( to re-inforce my learing!)
    At the end of the day, the main thing we are running from, is ourselves..it just takes a while to learn who we are and what we really wish for…but it’s all there!..it’s all to be gained

    “The power that is in the Stars
    is lost, foe now, among the weeds
    but years may find a climbing Rose
    then eyes may close and fingers bleed”

    @”This World is too much to bear”

    You are the most important person in the World to those two children

    big respect to you for having the courage to share your thoughts

    All the beat to everyone


  24. Josh says

    Joy, how long have you been feeling so bad? I have been there, and gone through similar things. I don’t know if you are open to any more suggestions, but I would really highly recommend that you pick up an audio book called “Wherever You Go, There You Are.” The author is Jon Kabat-Zinn.

    How much do you drink? How long have you drank that much? What is the longest break you have taken from drinking?

  25. Dave says


    I have only read a few commments here and I can identify with most things said.

    I have a very analytical mind which is both a blessing and a curse: A blessing because I have identified the anxiety that I suffer from and managed to grasp some semi-solutions to the problem; a curse because I sometimes find it difficult to turn down my thoughts.

    Anyway, my question. I would be very gateful if there is anyone reading this who has suffered from anxiety over a number of years and has managed to get rid of it all together. Please could share your experience.

    I go running and have made many life style changes that have helped. I no longer live in the city and have a largely wholesome life. I just still battle with anxiety on a daily basis and while I manage it I would love more than anything to I find a way to be free of it. I am considering cognative behavioral therapy – anyone got any good ideas?

    Thanks and peace


  26. Frank P. says

    Great Posts!

    Even with 9weeks sober this Sunday, I still use this site for strength. Thank you all for being so honest. Hopefully I can be strength for some of you aswell.

    Things are not exactly peachy, but I am surely seeing things in a different/better light with each and every baby step. Blood pressure is consistently 115/68. . still having a little depression here and there and over all feeling of not being in touch with my feelings, but sure beats being a ball of stressed out panick. My new theropist is a very sweet women who has actually suffered depression herself and is currently on Meds. I cant say that she has said much of anything that I already didnt know (meditation, exercise etc etc.), but just the talk theropy is a big help. She did give me a list of famous people that all suffer from mental illness. . you would be amazed!

    Im not a doctor, just a guy who has been through hell and back emotionally,not to mention a battle for 18 years to keep my sight and numerous other very violent catastrophies that have plagued my life. Nine weeks ago I thought to myself while sitting in the car at a ski slope, “If I cant even get out and ski with my kids, how in the hell am I going to handle the next curve ball that life throws at me in this condition?” “How would I react to the news that my 71 year old Father is dead?” Certainly not in a strong respectful and honerable manner in an already alchohol induced wishy washy state of mind. . . Good thing I made the decision then, cause sure enough, bad news has reared its ugly head as today I was told that I now have secondary Glaucoma in my good eye. . .9 weeks ago in all honesty I would have kissed my children goodbye and taken a permanent vacation. That is not the case as today I will stand and fight. While we’re on the honesty kick, let me say to some of you who may think yourself into a worst state of mind then you actually are. In the past, my anxiety got so bad at points that I could not walk. . I have ran my head into walls to try and knock the repeating negative thoughts out of me. In privacy, I have literally collapsed and fallen to the floor and wep like a baby, so I think that my advice may help. But it might not be what you want to hear?

    “We are all our own worst enemies.” If someone is suffering from obesity. . the answer/solution to their problem is no more obvious than yours or mine. If that person chooses to beleive that it’s the worlds’ fault, or a gland problem then their problem will most likely be the death of them. It is no different than beleiving that there is a magic pill that is going to set you free from yourself. It may help for a short period of time like a crash diet, but in the long run you are not dedicating yourself to do what is best for you. It may seem harsh, but it’s the truth!

    I used to try and explain that my depression or anxiety was like a pill that someone had slipped me. Like a light switch that someone unexpectedily flipped on. Now I am starting to get an insite . . and I see that all along it was me that was eating the pill, flipping the switch cause I didnt have the tools to prevent me from giving in. Granted the lack of those tools in itself is a struggle, but one that we all have to overcome if we are to ever rid ourselves of the hell that we are PUTTING OURSELVES THROUGH.

    There I sat in that car on a beautiful mountain side with an absolute picture perfect family who adores me at my side, and all I could do is grovel in my own kaotic insecure delusions. Not because I suffer from some incurable mental illness, but because “I” chose to binge the night before “AGAIN” even though I knew exactly what it would do to me!

    I pray that each and every one of you find the strength to “do what’s right for YOU”, and give yourself peice of mind because YOU DESERVE IT! Each and every person on here is a good person to everyone except themselves.

    God Bless.

  27. Laurie says

    Thank you Frank P. you are absolutely right, we are ALL OUR OWN WORST ENEMIES and I am so happy for you for your sobriety, Alcohol has and is making my life chaos and miserable and heightening my anxiety so much worse than it should be, how did you find the strength to stop drinking, I can only go one day than I need a drink how do I stop this cycle of hell? I am open for all opinions from everyone, FRANK P your letter was so well written and it touched my heart and put the light bulb on in my brain! I want to be free of such demons so badly God Bless you RIGHT BACK!

  28. Anna says

    Yes, thank you Frank for chiming in here! I was wondering how your journey of sobriety was going. I’m with Laurie, I can’t imagine not drinking at least one or two glasses a night…I just don’t know how to keep it to only that much! Last night was horrid, I let go and drank two bottles of Cab. Ugh. I don’t even remember getting my kid to bed. Luckily my husband got up with my son this morning and I was able to get some sleep. I feel spacey and horrid. I’m going to go work out and try to shake the hangover off…tea and vitamins too. It’s a challenge for me not to reach for the ativan.

    Sending good wishes to all of us! I’m going to make MYSELF a promise not to have more than 2 glasses tonight. We’ll see if I can stick to it. Already the idea of a hair of the dog is filling my head :(


  29. Laurie says

    Hi Anna, my choice of poison last night was Patron, just one or two shots over lots of ice I said after a shit night at work, well that didn’t happen I had at least 4 shots and then I didn’t even remember until just this minute that I cooked boneless chicken wings drunk and smothered them in a half of a jar of Marie’s Blue cheese dressing, WTF thank GOD I turned off the toaster oven, put everything away, I must of eaten them at 3am don’t even remember doing it, when I realized I did this just now I started to cry, what will it take for me to stop abusing my self, a fall down the stairs, burning down my home, I used to only drink wine but I was killing a bottle like it was nothing so I started drinking Patron at 48 bucks a bottle, not a good idea, but it tastes so delicious and I can get pretty numb in like 3 shots over ice, so I was doing that twice a week, I think the only answer for me is to stop drinking altogether I am just petrified to stop, how stupid is that, this life I have now is one I truly am unhappy with, time is running out for me I feel it I feel something bad is going to happen if I do not stop this drinking, just before after writing to Frank P I had felt that creepy nausea coming up from my stomach and my heart started to race, I said oh shit here comes another anxiety attack, air condition is on so no real air in the house couldn’t breathe, ran up the stairs and ate a .025 mg of Xanax right away grabbed some dirty laundry ran down 2 flights and started a load of wash, believe it or not it calmed me down alot, now I am going to drink a straight 64 ounce bottle of distilled water washing down many supplements to replace all the damage I have done last night this is my day after ritual, every stinking day, still taste the tequilla in the back of my throat even after two cups of coffee, why does it have to taste so good, that bottle of wine, the kettle one vodka, the Patron, oh yes I only drink the best cause I am worth it! what a joke, I am a joke, not loving me anymore, that scares me, was going to go to prison to see my son tomorrow but now they are saying very bad rain, so when he called me this morning I said Tom I might not be there tomorrow due to the bad rain, the prison is up a steep mountain almost 2 hours away, think he would of said it’s okay MOM nah not my son, he said well it might not rain too hard Mom come visit me, oh and that wonderful Catholic guilt just took over my brain, and heart completely, I am so anxious as it is in a car on the highway can’t imagine it in sheets of rain with tractor trailers all around me and that damn mountain to hell. FML I am such an ahole, I have a good life compared to most yet alcohol has turned me into a negative, brain dead woman. shame on me!!! okay off to work where some strangers can beat me up with rude and hurtful words on why their cake wasn’t decorated correctly like that means anything in the midst of all this shit!

  30. Anna says

    Oh Laurie my heart goes out to you. Having a kid in jail must be so hard! OH and I hear you on the ‘good stuff’…I’m not an alcoholic if I’m drinking the good stuff, right? LOL the things we do to justify ourselves. If I can’t rein myself in I’m going to start going to AA again. Trouble is…the cliche’s don’t work for me much anymore. But maybe if I had a sober buddy, or I started going to meetings INSTEAD of drinking it would help. Tough part is, my husband drinks too…poison of choice is bourbon. I don’t care for bourbon but when I was sober I was always jealous when he got home from work and would pour himself one to unwind…I missed that ‘ah’ moment of the first drink.

    Prayers and hugs to you my dear. Let’s feel better today!

  31. redd says

    Hi guys,I have been dealing with anxiety for a short tiime but it seems like a lifetime. It started when I let my aunt and my sis in law move in around August. I was already trying to deal with stress from my marriage and they added a lot more. I would drink with friends and sometimes at home, maybe twice a week but with all the added stress I started drinking twice that amount. In early November I drank for four days straight and one morning I started getting dizzy and my heart was beating really fast and I couldn’t catch my breath. I thought I was having a heart attack but it stopped. Later that evening after drinking tea it started again and I went to the hospital.The doctor told me I was having a panic attack and he said to stay away from caffeine and alcohol for a while among other things so I stopped drinking for a while and didn’t have any more problems. After a while I started back drinkin again occasionally and I felt fine until my in laws visited and I binged for ten days straight. On the morning of Feb 15 I had a BAD panic attack. I thought it was over for me. I felt better that evening and it lasted for a few days and then one night my vision started going in and out and I started seeing auras and tasting metal. I thought I was having a seizure so I went to the ER and the doc said it was another panic attack. I haven’t felt the same since. I haven’t had a drink since then and I don’t even crave alcohol but the ongoing feeling of anxiety hasn’t gone away. The first month I was feeling weak and jittery and it felt like I was shaking really bad on the inside but nobody else could see it. That stopped after about four weeks and when I got a job that I really liked that helped even more. I don’t take meds or anything but I try to watch comedy shows a lot and enjoy life and that helps but I still don’t feel 100 percent like my old self. I feel distant sometimes and I noticed that after I eat chocolate something feels weird in my throat but I feel a million times better than I did at first. I just want to feel like the old me.

  32. gerardo says

    we all went for a cruise about 2 weeks ago, after the 5 days of drinking when we got of the boat we rented a hotel room because all of us had different flights schedules . i felt fine in the morning about 12pm sitting in the hotel room it hit me , it was the worst feeling in the world . i had the shakes , felt extremely nervous, and could not stay still. my heart felt like a knot and i had sweaty palms, i felt really cold one minute and really hot the next . i think i must of taken like 6 showers from 12pm till 8, we left the hotel at 8 to go to the airport and my anxiety wasa at is worst . when i was on the plane before we took of i was loosing my marvels and was auctually thinking of telling the air waitress to open the plane door so i could get the hell out of the plane. i had no medication and i get nervous when taking medication. i felt really bad on the plane so i bought a beer and drank it really fast just so i could relax and try to enjoy the flight. the beer made ne feel alot better for a short period of time , but we had to other planes to catch and then the nightmare would start over again. its the worst feeling and it seem that i was going crazy.. i managed to pull it together until i made it home . after the ordeal i didnt drink for a good week and i felt fine. but im scared to do heavy drinking because the way a feel afte a weekend of drinking is not worth the bad feeling that ive been getting.. thinking of talking a break from alcohol.


  33. B. says

    Thanks guys. I thought the drinking was making it worse. I’m going to put down the bottle and try running and meditating. Anxious for 20 years, drunk for half of them.

  34. Cat says

    So great to read everyone’s stories. I suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder and have been self medicating with alcohol for about 18 years. My anxiety in the last few years has become so bad that just getting through the day without feeling like I am going to die is hard extremely hard. I have decided finally that the alcohol makes me feel a million times worse so I stopped drinking. The thing is though I don’t know how to deal with my anxiety now I don’t have alcohol. I refuse to take depression medication because I am not depressed. I exercise regularly eat healthily I have a good job partner family but anxiety is ruining my life. I just feel helpless. Cat

  35. Betty says

    I use to enjoy drinking at home with my husband on occasion ,until I started having panic attacks! Now just one beer or wine cooler sets me off! As soon as the alcohol hits my system….I`m panicking, my face gets hot, and my heart starts pounding!!! My husband always thought it was all in my head…..so I`m glad to read this and know that alcohol DOES affect your body in this way!!!

  36. JP says

    Laurie, it will be ok; Tequila can be poison though. As for me, I was doing quite well until an odd turn events, where ironically, I didn’t do anything wrong. I want to try and keep this simple and not get too much into the back ground. I guess all you need to know is I was at a business conference, a good friend (female) was there, someone I’ve been bonding with over the month – we both went through the whole divorce process at the same time. Is anything there more than friends? Can there be? I don’t know, possibly, then something bizarre happened one night.

    I said I wasn’t going to drink at this thing, but I did, but I didn’t get wasted. I also started drinking much later than everyone else and kept it…civil. I also stuck to just beer. When we’d be at the hotel, and everyone’s ordering drinks, I’d whisper to the cocktail waitress, “bring me a selzter water, with a lime, in a glass,” she said, “ok,” and wink back.

    Well, my friend is at this thing and we’re at one of the events. I wasn’t anticipating spending that much time with her, I even told her, we’d be both busy doing our own things, business wise, and she was running most of it. Well, she got SMASHED! I don’t think she realizes how drunk she was, I mean, I never seen her like this, but she did tell me one time that she wouldn’t want to go out drinking and parting with me hard, because she didn’t want me to have a bad opinion of her, which I thought was stupid and even told her that. We both live in different areas, I should probably add.

    Anyway, she wasted and she’s blabbing about some of my business dealings in meetings to another colleague of mine she shouldn’t be. Granted, she didn’t know the situation, and I don’t feel like getting into it, but I had a meeting with my boss, with a prospect, I needed to keep close to the vest, for internal reasons, and I found out earlier from an email from the boss. Don’t know what the odds are, but the one guy I needed to keep this from she’s telling him! We’re in to different aspects of our business, mine, you need some tact, she has none. I don’t think she thought she was doing anything wrong, and I don’t think it was malicious, but when she called me over and said, “J, aren’t you meeting with X?” And my colleague, who we wanted to keep this quiet from is right there, I’m like, “Fuck,” what do I do. I should add, I probably only had about three beers by this point, if even that. I played stupid, like I couldn’t hear her or didn’t know what she was talking about it, no big deal, especially in business, right. My other colleague left, and said, “J, let me get you a beer.” I think he knew what was happening. So he’s gone, and I attempt to explain to her the situation and why it needed to be kept quiet, before I could even start, she is screaming at me, “YOU LIED TO ME! Why did you lie to me?!” I’m like, “A, I didn’t this is what’s going on…” NO! Why did you lie to me, you now, now I see what type of person you are!” This is the crap I’m dealing with, she said some real hurtful things. I quickly realized I was dealing with an irrational person and needed to move on and leave her alone for the night.

    I was hurt, but also pissed! Which I vented to another colleague, her drunken idiocy and lack of tact, could’ve cost me business and whole big sh@# storm with a colleague of mine I do business with. I told my boss, he told me I should’ve told her off because she’s a drunken idiot that doesn’t understand our business and to f off. I’m glad I didn’t. Oh, how I dealt with it, I found a nice cute blond (normal) young girl to hang out with for the rest of the night.

    I saw her the next, she had to moderate something, she looked terrible. I casually went up to her and said, “So, was it a late one?” I’m trying to keep it light, she’s like, “Yeah, later than I wanted.” We start chatting a bit, one of her speakers I want to speak to after. She cuts me off and says, “J, can we catch up later, I got get this started” I say, “of course.”

    I see her later at lunch with one her gfs, we chat a little when they leave, I tell her I’d like to speak about something with her later, won’t take too long, she agrees, she knows what’s coming.

    The whole business thing, I don’t care about, I was more concerned about our personal relationship. This whole situation was avoidable, I, for once, did nothing, but I’m the one who feels like crap.

    I see her at our event, I can tell there’s tension. At some point when we’re alone, I tell her she looks great tonight and asks her is she’s ok. She responds with, I’m fine, I was taking back, and quite frankly don’t understand why you’d lie to me. I answered, I didn’t lie to you, I played stupid and there was a reason, there’s a lot of fact you are completely not privy to, you had me in a tough spot. I then said, “Do you want to talk about this now,” (the realty, the whole thing is so stupid). She looks at me, shakes her head and said, “J, I really can’t do this with you right now” which in understood, it probably wasn’t the right place. I did tell her I uderstand, but did get a chance to tell her how hurt I was, which kept her there a little longer, I also told her I was having anxiety about it for the whole day, which really through her for a loop and she asked, “why would you have that?” I told her the truth, “I said, X, you’re one of my favorite people in this organization, I don’t want our personal relationship ruined, because of something so stupid,” at that point she said, “We’re fine its okay,” and began to walk away, I stopped her, I said, “Oh, I need to give you a heads up, not a big deal.” I told her my boss might say something to her, not to worry, he just wants to explain to you the business background of the whole thing, and why I played stupid, don’t stress about, which she should’ve have…well apparently she did.

    I didn’t know this until I got back, but apparently she went up to my boss 3 times, repeatingly asking if she was in trouble, he said no, she wasn’t, which was true and he’s not her boss. She kept on pushing even, even in emails later on apparently, eventually my boss said, “listen, its okay, we’ll work on out, I know some stuff was said and frankly, J, is quite upset about it, and rightfully so…if anything, I think you owe him an apology” That might have been the email later, becauase he said let’s talk when you get back to NYC about us all going out.

    I saw her before I left, we had some light chatter, she made fun of me for being in street clothes, I was about to leave. I offered to talk again, she had the same response, “I can’t do this here with you right now.” She was right, for one she’s stressed to the nines, and it probably was not the approriate place. Actually, all I wanted to do was to explain the situation, that’s all, I even told her that. Since she didn’t want to talk about it there, I was able to get this in, “I don’t care about the business part of this, we’ll work that out….listen, you know I care about you a lot, right? (she acknowleged), and you must care about me a lot, otherwise you wouldn’t have got so pissed (I think she thought that might have been a little cocky)….I’ve been having a great time getting to know you better, and I want to continue that, that’s all, this shouldn’t change anything.” I can tell she had to move along, so I gave her a kiss on the cheek and left.

    BEfore I left, I sent her nice thought which I won’t repeat, it was just something thoughtful I would’ve said to her if none of this what happened.

    The thing that sucks, I am the one that feels terrible about this whole thing and I didn’t do anything! If anything, I deserve an apology.

    My therapist told me I handled every aspect of the situation perfectly; her not wanting to talk about it, while odd for a woman, and granted the place and timing might not have been ideal, only shows she’s got something going on with her, which has nothing to do with you…you should be proud of yourself…

    Then why do I still have all this anxiety, why do I feel like crap?! I’m not drinking, don’t want to, but I feel I may be starting to abuse Xanax, a little..

    Again, thank you for listening…Isn’t this a bitch, I have anxiety for someone elses drunken fiasco!


  37. Katrina says


    I have been working on a similar situation with my therepist for the past two weeks. I have been a worrier all my life but only started having anxiety attacks for about a year now. I mean , I worry about things that happened years ago that I wish I could have changed. I think it’s absolutly ridiculous but I just can’t seem to let things go. So that’s what we have been discussing. She asked me to ask myself when something is necessary to worry about or unnecessary. I have since been repeating that to myself when I start to worry about something. Is is something I should LET GO or is it worth something that I should carry with me. Is the worry worth the problem or worth adding to our already anxious lives??

    There is something that I have been wanting to ask some of you on here. Do you remember the first panic/anxiety attack?? I haven’t always been this way. I mean I was a big worrier but at some point my brain decided to work against me. I can remember my first attack and I wish I would have made the decision then that it would never happen again and that I was in control. Instead, I let this take over and have to fight this “thing” everyday. Good luck to all of you and thanks for listening.

  38. Laurie says

    I have been drinking every night now it is the only way I know how to relax and sleep, does it work, NO!!!!!!!it wakes you up with dry mouth and pee time and it sucks but when I am drinking I forget about life for a while and sleep for about 4 hours, so I will take that for now other choice is Ambien and I do not want to take that so my Patron brings me sleep but the morning guilt is too much for me to handle, I am a hot mess so to speak~“““““`

  39. Laurie says

    in the business world my friend JP the games we must play it is sickening but you did good, I am proud of you, Satan knocks on every door it is up to us to not let him in, I am drunk there I said it, I am tired and drinking and hearing that sound of panic, it sucks but eventually I will pass out, hope everything works out for you love much, Laurie

  40. Anna says

    Hi Katrina, yes I do remember my first anxiety/panic attack, it happened in high school. I had an agorophobic reaction to shopping at a very crowded mall. I started all my avoidance behaviors in high school. I am just in this past year working with a therapist to do some exposure therapy and CBT. I feel like in my case I was just hard-wired for anxiety, my grandmother had it bad too. I also have some low self-esteem issues.

    Laurie, I downed 2 bottles of cab last night. UGH. I’d been good earlier in the week, drinking but not much, switching to herbal tea in order to go to bed sober anyway. The ironic thing is that I actually slept well last night for the first time in awhile. 81/2 hours. I am feeling shaky and sick anyway though, you know the drill. I guess I’m just too stupid to stop.

    JP it sounds like you handled an upsetting situation to the best of your ability. How is your anxiety?

    Sending wishes for peace to ALL of us.

  41. Laurie says

    Hi Anna, I think I have hit an all time low in my life, I am panicking real bad these days, can’t breath, heart racing, and I am getting so tired of drinking to calm me down, the Xanax only works in the day time for me for some reason at night when I get a panic attack it doesn’t work, this past week I killed a bottle of good tequila like it was nothing, and in between that a couple of bottles of good red, my stomach is huge, I am disgusting, dehydrated and dread the nights. I am okay at work, I eat a Xanax to get me through the shift, I work in food retail, but when I come home why can’t I just go up to bed and go to damn sleep, I can’t my mind will not rest, I can’t stand the tinnitus in my ears, I never have a quiet moment, I too sleep better after getting tipsy, last night I was drink Tequila, and ended up at my kitchen table eating at 3am, 2 hard boiled eggs, 8 cold shrimp and two garlic knots dipped in oil and vinegar, oh now that is a great weight loss program, I feel like such a loser, well off to work 2 to 10:30 tonight, and already asking God to help me NOT DRINK tonight, I am so tired I need sleep, I am afraid to take ambien, Tylenol PM doesn’t work for me, I don’t want to drink, just sleep, someone suggest something for me please,

  42. Laurie says

    Hi JP how is everything going with that situation you talked about above, I hope it all worked out, I am sure your friend is embarrassed and probably doesn’t remember a whole lot about that night, I have had those nights, thinking back on some of them I want to hide I am so embarrassed, alcohol has become my enemy now, it is killing me slowly, I also think I could not live without Xanax, up to .5 a day, I know it seems small but I know I need it every day. I hope your relationship with your friend stays in tact, somehow I don’t think it will ever be quiet the same after that night, and that sucks. be well, thinking of you Laurie

  43. Anna says

    Laurie I’m so sorry. I can tell you that I will drink 2 herbal teas combined that curbs the edge of the anxiety (I do this during the day — I drink a ton of herbal tea). The two I combine are both Celestial seasonings brand, Tension Tamer and Sleepytime Extra (with valerian). Put one bag of each into a big mug and leave them in, don’t just steep for 3 minutes. It sounds crazy, I”m not into homeopathic stuff in general, but it calms my heartrate. I also have been doing deep breathing exercises breathe in for a count of five, (using those deep abdominal muscles) hold for a count of five, then exhale slowly. Do that slow and deep 10 times. It will slow down that crazy pumping heart and concentrating on breathing rather than the anxiety itself helps too.

    I hope some of these little home remedies help. Then tell yourself something like, okay, I will drink but only (insert # that has become ‘moderate’ for you, lol don’t feel bad 3-4 glasses of wine is moderate for me). Try your best to sip slow and stick to your moderation.

    Snack attacks! Yeah I get those. I eat triscuit crackers, my downfall is potato chip type stuff so I try to substitute something else crunchy that is not as bad for me. Some people swear by baby carrots but I just want to dip the damn things in ranch dressing haha :)

    sending hugs and well-wishes,

  44. ST says

    I’m going to be the youngest person to comment on here.. but anyway, since I was about 8 years old I’ve had severe panic attacks and anxiety, it makes me hot and dizzy, I can never sleep. I remember weeks where I hadn’t slept and I had to be rushed in to hospital because it was literally killing me.
    I moved to Spain when I was 14 with my mother and my little brother and sister, however after just 18 months my mother decided she didn’t want me because I caused her too much stress, so she kicked me out and off i went back to England.. I live in a house full of lodgers, the constantly swap and change. Therefore they never really get to know me, they just see a silly little school boy who got held back a year (due to missing coursework in Spain) This has made my life a living hell, I’m a 16 year old boy, I’m alone, I feel constantly nervous and my mates think I’m amazing because I’m independant. Due to this I’m quite quiet, this don’t help as silly little prepubescent boys think they can start on me for some popularity game.
    Recently to ‘solve’ my problems I’ve started drinking.. BUT.. obviously it doesn’t actually help, it makes me worse than normal, i panic, i get really worked up and end up in a corner somewhere crying my eyes out.
    I guess this is a plea for help! Someone tell me who I can see?? I just want to be remotely normal, I don’t want to be alone.. And if people just think I’m being silly just say, i really don’t mind.
    Thank you for reading.. Shane, 16

  45. JP says


    You’re exactly right, I worry about things that are out of my control. For once, I didn’t do anything wrong; as a matter of fact, I did everything right!

    I think she’s just really embarassed…I mean she should be, and I actually should be pissed, but I’m not. That’s what my boss said, “She must feel like an idiot….she bugged me three times about this in person, if she was ‘in trouble’ and even over email. I kept on telling her, no you’re not, but I know some things were said, J obviously cares about his reputation, and if anything you owe him an apology.”

    I now understand why she doesn’t want to talk about it, because when she hears the facts, the reality why I played “stupid” and I by no means lied to her, she is going to feel even more like an idiot.

    Honestly, I’m over it and don’t expect an apology…I just want things to go back to the way they were, I’d think she does too. This is someone who once told me, not that long ago, I feel so fortunate to have someone like you in my life…the fact she’d throw that away over something so stupid.

    I realized what happened right away. We both got divorced around the same time, and we were both the two that got left by our respective (ex)spouses. This was a classic example of projecting, projecting that went completely haywire, due to alcohol of course…for whatever in her delusion, smashed drunken head made her think I lied to her (even if I did, her reaction was completely irrational)…I am a man she had begun to trust, because she’s very sick (mentally) right now, and when in her ineberiated mind she thought “lie” that’s “betrayel”, and I’m sure, whether she realized it or not, brought her back to her divorce….she’s not handling it well…sad thing, I completely understand.

    I can’t remember the first time I had anxiety, probably something work related, as for drinking, I’ve been good with it, only a little bit of anxiety the first day of the conference because I was out with a hockey bud late (this event didn’t happen). I noticed though, I have been taking too much Xanax lately.

    I really haven’t felt the desire to want to drink. I had two beers last night with some wings watching the hockey game…that’s it.

    As always, I feel for you all and we are not alone. Perhaps the problem is deep down, we’re probably too good of people, despite all our demons.


    P.S. Laurie, I think my best course of action with my friend right now is to lay low for awhile.

  46. says

    Hi Shane, I’m sorry to hear about the situation you’re in. I wonder if there’s any other family members that you can contact? I think the most important thing right now for you is finding a good support network. If family is out of the question, then what about close friends? It’s important to not be alone, especially at 16. Whether its local programs, family, friends, and so on, just hope you reach out to those around you. Best of luck.

  47. Anna says

    Dear Shane, I just read your heartbreaking story. I live in the U.S. so I’m not sure exactly what your options are there, but I did find a list of hotlines you can use:
    There are quite a few, many specifically targeted to people with anxiety or depression, and young people. I don’t quite understand your family situation (I would never send my son away from me like that!!) BUT you don’t have to live with such intense anxiety and shouldn’t have to. Perhaps you could even see a GP and find out about prescription help. I use lorazepam about 1-2x a week when my anxiety is really bad; I call it my ‘safety net’. Others have been helped using traditional anti-depression drugs; both anxiety and depression seem to have a similar chemical basis that the SSRI drugs address. I don’t personally take them because they make me horribly nauseous and one of my phobias is emetophobia (fear of vomiting) so, well that’s not very helpful to me :/

    I hope that you can find some help, you shouldn’t have to live like that!

    Hugs across the pond,

  48. Laurie says

    Hi Shane, I agree with Anna you need to see someone for the panic attacks, I have them too really bad ones, they have affected my overall health, you are young you can beat this you just need to find a good support group some meds, and maybe a part time job would help with the anxiety of being in the lodging house. I will pray for you,

  49. JoyisGone says

    Hi Josh,
    Thanks for responding. I’m glad to know there is someone, anyone, out there listening! Oh, I know I drink too much. I saw a therapist (one I think I will really like—no touchy-feely bullshit) who asked me if I thought I should stop drinking. Sometimes I need a kick in the ass. I haven’t drank for 3 weeks, and it wasn’t hard, and I haven’t missed it. It is just so easy to turn to the bottle (or in my case, the can) when I am in “panic mode.” And I KNOW it sucks the next day. I truly don’t want to be drunk. I want to be calm. I want my shoulders to relax. I know that does not make me any less dependant. I want to stop bouncing from scared that I am dying to wanting to die. I will try the audio you suggested.
    Thanks for the suggestion, and really just responding. It makes me feel less alone.

  50. JP says

    JoyisGone, try certain vitamins too…especially b-12. Also, running is known to be a natural anti-depressent, and now there are even reports it can create neurons in the brain (or something like that). I am training for my fifth marathon; I went on a 7 mile run last Saturday, and wow, I felt amaziing! Empowered! It had been a long time I felt that from running, due to some injuries and other things, it felt more like a chore, but not this last Saturday.

    I was actually a little bad yesterday, big Rangers game that went to overtime…I drank one ore two more beers than I wanted to, and of course, it had to be a woman, got me to do a shot..at least it was just Vodka. I was concious of time and the one that went over my beer limit (#5), I didn’t even finish. I was hanging with these people, one of them was the bartender and I just knew I had to go to bed.

    I slept in a little, I started having the anxiety a little bit. I kept telling myself, it’s not a big deal, you just got a little excited due to the Rangers game. I showerd and started feeling better, got a coffee, went to work, was feeling ok. I then took a Xanax at work, felt better, I just took another half, and tempted to take another one.

    I don’t feel anxiety right now, I just don’t feel happy. Truth be told, one of the reasons I stayed out to watch the game, was, well, quite frankly, I was having a good time and I wasn’t getting stupid. I was forgetting about this dilemma with my friend…it was actually an innocent, fun, night…nothing embarrassing or sutpid happened. I probably shouldn’t have had the last two beers, and definitely not that shot, so I felt slightly, and I stress, slightly hungover (again, need to watch it with the meds).

    Now, I just feel sad. My dilemma with my friend is still bugging me, even thought, ironically, I did nothing wrong, she was actually totally in the wrong, but I get scared that it won’t be the same. Perhaps I’m over reacting…like I said, I’m not mad at her, I just want everything to go back to how it was, regardless of what stupid crap she did to me that night…I don’t care…

    Suicidal thoughts have been coming back…not that I would do anything, more like, what’s the point? type of attitude.

    Anyway, sorry to take up so much time.


  51. JP says

    Here’s a quote for you all I think you can all relate to….”Paralysis by Analysis” Who does that sound like????

    I started feeling better mid day, because I dropped another Xani, now I’m thinking it’s time for another one…


  52. J says

    HI all, hope everyone is doing ok.. Well, i’ve posted advice here in the past, but now i’d like to ask some advice…Serious advice only. Well I got laid off from my job about 2.5 years ago, havent worked a day since, and the MAIN reason is that I have such HORRIBLE anxiety at the thought of going back into the work place, especially in a closed in cubicle… I’ve actually had job offers but have turned them down (all of them) and made up some excuse, but the bottom line is its 100% from my anxiety. I just imagine myself at an interview OR if i took a job sitting there 8 hours having god awful panic attacks.. Because of this I have zero money left, savings are all gone, no unemployment and about to get kicked out of my place. My only option here is to apply for social security(which would take well over a year anyway). I’m at the end of my rope and dont know what to do here, can anyone please give some advice? Are my fears unfounded? Will this anxiety go away once working again? Or will i have a MAJOR panic attack the moment i set foot back in the workplace? I currently have another “good” job offer and if my panic gets the worst of me again, i’m going to be out on the streets (or living with a family member ) soon..Please , any “good” advice is appreciated, nad please just dont say “try it ” or something silly..I need some real help here..thanks

  53. Anna says

    Hi J, my heart goes out to you, honestly. I have been a stay at home mom for several years now and the thought of re-entering the workforce makes me panic too. In fact I found out today that there might be a position for me at the University where my husband works…I tried to be real nonchalant about it, but I have forgotten how to cope. I used to have massive panic attacks in meetings that cost me one temp job. My happiest job was the one where it was just me and a computer and I was rarely bothered by humans. Sad, I know, but social anxiety sucks.

    Honestly, I can’t think of what advice to give to you. I am currently in therapy and I have been taking very seriously desensitizing myself from all the phobias I have. That does include exposure therapy, which really does work. I recently ordered and am working through “the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” by Bourne, if you cannot qualify for therapy…you could probably find a used copy for cheap on amazon. Also, I have to ask, are you on any meds? Several people on here use benzos to help get them through the day. I have an ativan scrip that I use 1-2x per week. It might help to get you through that initial: interview, then ease you into a new job?

    I’m sorry I wish I had a magic wand that would cure us all. :(


    P.s. JP and Laurie, how are you guys doing? I only drank 3 drinks so far tonight and have switched to tea, wish me luck :)

  54. J says

    Anna, thanks for your post……Ya know you hit the nail on the head about the “massive panic attacks’ in meetings, thats EXACTLY what happens to me..I need to do something cuz i’m out of money, but i just cant go back into that high stress envirorment, and actually i’m not sure what else to do. I take 1/2 xanax sometimes when needed, (thats the only med i’m on, and REFUSE to take other anti depressents) but i dont even know if that would help with going back to a 9-6 job every day..ugghhh.. Anyone else have any advice?

  55. Katrina says

    Hello J and Anna,

    As hard as it may be to get through my days in the work force with my anxiety, it does help to read and relate to some of what you (all of us) are going through. I to have been living at home for the past year with my mother. Driving is a struggle for me, so every day is an exhausting challenge. I am currently the “Boss” at my store and have done a pretty good job of hiding my panic attacks/anxiety. I have to hold staff meetings weekly and meet with the CEO/CFO once a month for our reviews. I dread these meetings. I tend to cry the day before as pathetic as it sounds. I’ll admit, I do take half a xanax to get through it, but it works. It gets me through that one hour of heart pounding fear. I used to drink myself to sleep (wine is my drink of choice) just so I could get a few hours of rest before I had to face these people. I try my hardest not to now because I have found it just makes it worse. Now some advice….and I hope it helps in some way. J, relating to what Anna said, I focus on what can get me through my day. I do like being alone. Time in my office away from people is what I prefer. I will take it when I can get it. My therapist has been telling me to focus on these positives. For instance, If I have to go to a meeting, my positive thought will be…”It’s over in an hour. Then I am free and I did a stand up job getting through it.” I have also been focusing not on my anxiety, but FEAR. Just like Anna I have developed these phobias (driving/agoraphobia…or just my anxiety attacks). My therapist has challenged me to face them. As awful as they are, she challenged me to just sit through one. I won’t be going sky diving anytime soon but I have decided to take “baby steps” with this process. I have driven without xanax for two weeks and have had three terrible anxiety attacks. I used my breathing techniques to get through them. It was very hard but I did it. I feel that facing the FEAR and reminding yourself that “you did it!” helps. Everyday is still a struggle and it’s hard being around people that just can’t grasp what we are going through. When I try to explain to my family why I can’t go to a busy restaurant to eat with them, they just don’t get it. We weren’t always this way so I am hell bent on believing that we can beat this “thing” that has taken over our lives. Good luck you guys.


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