Alcohol & Anxiety
Do you drink alcohol because it gives you the anxiety relief that you’re looking for in the moment? Maybe because you experience social anxiety... Or because it helps you cope with stress... Or because it gives you an escape… Or because it’s a habit...
Guilty! I used to drink for all of these reasons.
I’ve always been an introvert. I remember starting school as a little kid and dreading every aspect of it, especially things like recess, lunchtime, and going on field trips. Being around a lot of people has always caused me to feel nervous and overwhelmed. I’m shy and reserved, and I love my quiet time.
When I started drinking alcohol, I was using it to help me in social situations, and as an escape. I felt like alcohol helped me to relax in social situations, and just helped to turn off all of those unproductive, unhealthy, and negative thoughts. And once I began struggling severely with anxiety and panic, I drank alcohol to take away the anxious thoughts, panic attacks, and the symptoms. I would also drink when I was stressed. Then drinking wine every night became a habit.
My husband (boyfriend at the time), would encourage me to drink less, and expressed often (in a very kind way), that he didn’t like the person that I was when I drank. When I drank, all of my emotions came out, as well my past traumas and stresses. All of the stuff that I had tried so hard to hide from would come out in full force. I didn’t even like myself when I drank! And hours after drinking and/or the next day I would experience severe anxiety and panic attacks. And even though I knew that what I was doing was so unhealthy and that I was only making things harder on myself, I kept doing it.