As I have touched on many times throughout my blog, in my opinion, one of my key catalysts that led to alcohol abuse has been my anxiety. Over the past 12 months, I have managed my anxiety in sobriety using different strategies such as essential oils (snake oil), valium (great but doctors wont prescribe regularly because of addiction) and exercise (helps massively but when your heart starts racing you can’t always do a workout!).
At the start of the Coronavirus lockdown I had a Telehealth consultation with my GP and was asking for some valium as I was really struggling with anxiety because of the coronavirus. I didn’t want to drink alcohol, but i was experiencing all of my anxiety symptoms. My doctor didn’t want to prescribe me any more valium because of the addiction risk, so he suggested I try an anti-depressant, Lexapro.
At first I was a little reserved about it, I’ve tried anti-depressants in the past and they have often left me feeling quite numb, but I thought I can always give it a try, if it doesn’t work then I’ll just stop.
I started on a 10mg / day dose and didn’t have any reactions, in fact I was starting to feel really good, in situations that would traditionally push my buttons to the extreme, I wasn’t phased, I still cared, but my fury was gone. So he bumped me up to a 20mg / day dose and this was a total game changer.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have some anxiety, but the extremes have totally dissipated. In fact it could be argued that my current anxiety levels are within the normal realm.
In hindsight I believe my problem with anti-depressants was probably that I was continuing to take them and drink, now that I am sober, the anti-depressants are able to do what they are designed to do, without the serotonin fuck up caused by alcohol.