I'll have the Crown & coke without the Crown... I guess.
May 27, 2008 8:45 PM Subscribe
My doctor told me to quit drinking. I'm a moderate drinker (I think), but I'm having a difficult time with giving it up. Also, what do I tell people?
I'm being treated by a psychiatrist for anxiety disorder; specifically panic attacks. I'm taking 100 mg of Lamictal daily and .5 mg of Klonopin as needed (which is usually once every other day). The doctor's rationale is that people with panic disorder are susceptible to alcoholism via self-medication, and that the alcohol provides a temporary relief but actually makes the anxiety worse in the long run.
I'm 95 lbs and I average 3-5 drinks/week. It has fluctuated up to 7-10 when I was single and probably a bit more when I was in college (~10 years ago). I know there have been times when I had something of a problem. I used alcohol to curb my social anxiety, and while I never had any consequences from it (i.e. DUI, missed days of work, fighting), it became a habit. As soon as I'd get to the bar/party/whatever, I'd slam a drink as fast as possible in order to relax and get through the rest of the night.
Nowadays I'm engaged and we're pretty domestic. We don't go out much; I'll enjoy a beer or glass of wine at home with my fiance. He drinks less than I do, and his presence influences me to drink less than I normally would. When he's away on business, I drink more.
When the doctor told me not to drink, I was immediately angry and resistant although I didn't show it. I really, really didn't want to give it up. He suggested getting rid of all the alcohol in the house, and I haven't told my fiance about that part. My fiance said he'd been concerned about my drinking and that he was glad a doctor had pointed it out, but I think he's oversensitive to it given his family history. I also wonder if the doctor's religion (Islam) plays a part in his no-alcohol policy.
I don't know why I'm so resistant to giving it up. I quit smoking on a dime three years ago, and although I'm sometimes tempted, it's incontrovertible that smoking is harmful so it's fairly easy to resist. Not so with alcohol; I'm not arguing that it's healthy, but since I haven't experienced direct consequences from drinking, it's more difficult to resist.
My family are casual drinkers; there is no history of alcoholism. I don't know what to tell them when I visit. Alcohol is ever-present and I've never been known to refuse at least a glass of wine. I'm also not sure what to tell my friends when we go out; I can get away with ordering soda a few times, but eventually they'll wonder what's up. I am not keen on ordering a drink that looks like alcohol but isn't. Besides, I'm pretty predictable on what I drink and it's not easily camouflaged. I don't want the stigma of "recovering alcoholic" because I don't think that fits.
However... I miss drinking and it's only been a week. I can't really envision a life completely without it. I assume it will get easier, but any tips to smooth the path would be appreciated.