Drinking is a symptom of my anxiety or Panic Disorder as I was diagnosed. Never in my attempts to get sober have I ever thought of my mental illness(es) being the primary condition, but it makes a lot of sense. I can get sober, but I still find myself feeling the urge to drink even when I absolutely do not want to. The reason I have the urges to drink for me is because I am usually afraid and anxious. I blow challenges out of proportion in my head and ruminate about what might happen. Quickly, simple challenges become huge scary obstacles and I know that if I drink then I will lower my anxiety and I also will lose my crippling concern about outcome. When I am drunk, I am capable of facing anything mainly because I do not care.
Once I come down from my high, I am always left with the consequences and crippling anxiety, which in turn leads back to my severe depression. Drinking for me is a vicious cycle, but when my anxiety spikes when I am sober, drinking serves a purpose. If I could keep my anxiety in check and face my issues head on, I would not feel the urge to drink. This is just one example of why I feel the urge to drink, but I believe it lays some concrete proof that there is more to me drinking than just wanting the buzz. I drink because of deep rooted fears and anger.
When I take care of myself, take my meds, meet with my doctors, and talk about my issues, I can resist my urges to use when they come up in my day-to-day life. For me, knowing why I constantly destroy my life is crucial. I got to a point where I no longer wanted to drink but I could not go about my day without some alcohol. Now living a dual recovery lifestyle, I can get ahead of my alcoholism by treating the mental side of my recovery as well. For me, if I do not feel anxiety, then I do not want to drink. I know it is impossible for me to never again feel that way, but keeping it in control greatly aids me in my goal of never drinking again. I am by no means recovered, but today I feel like I have a better chance than ever at making it one more day in my recovery by treating both sides of my dual diagnosis.