Just an update before bed. Today I did go out and do things, so I now have my prescription filled and hopefully in a few weeks (that's how long these things take) I'll have a better handle on my anxiety. It's entirely psychological, but I already feel better just knowing that I've done something.
One thing that gave me a small smile today was when I took the pill bottles out of my bag when I got home and saw the little sticker on them that says "do not consume alcohol while taking this medication."
I remember reading that label the last time I was taking this, and thinking it was a bit ridiculous. I mean, these drugs (SSRIs, used for depression and anxiety) sometimes take weeks to work, and at the time I remember being amused that the sticker-makers thought it was reasonable for me to stop drinking for weeks or months. Obviously those stickers didn't apply to me, they didn't mean that I should refrain from drinking. With this and the sleep apnea concerns I mentioned a few posts back, it really brings home that I was taking my life into my hands every time I drank. I made some really poor decisions.
I feel really good about dealing with my anxiety in this way, now that I've been 8 and a half months sober. I'm hopeful that maybe this is another piece in the puzzle for me to have a happy and fulfilling life. The drugs aren't magic: they will handle the chemical causes of my anxiety, but - just like with sobriety - I still need to continue learning how to respond to things in a better way. It will take me time to stop acting anxious, if that makes any sense, long after I've stopped feeling quite so anxious.
There's a lot of research that shows drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness are connected, and now that I'm in a place to work on my mental health, it can only help reinforce my goal of staying sober.
This blog isn't supposed to be about my anxiety, but I guess that's how alcoholism works: it affects everything, nothing is safe. But the flip side of that, though, is that now that I'm sober, there isn't anything in my life that can't improve. So, while it's too bad that I made bad choices, I now have a future where I can make good choices.
This is the recovering alcoholic's life: balanced on the edge between a frightening and dangerous past and a future filled with possibility. Not really a bad place to be, after all.