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Having issues. Thinking about going into rehab

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Torchwood:
Some background info first: Married, been with my wife for 9.5 years and we have 3 daughters). I am diagnosed with insomnia and sleep apnea. Xanax cured my sleep apnea and Lunesta cured my insomnia. I also take 2 Advil PM for chronic joint pain. I take these all at once at night time. I am a drug addict and alcoholic. I have been since I was 16, which was 26 years ago. I went through rehab, did the 12 steps (which I do not believe in) for alcoholism and the meth/coke/handfuls of script pills 17 years ago. Yes, I have slipped up once in awhile and popped an occasional pill while drinking and did it recreationally but for the most part, I have already turned my life around. I live with the fact that I am an addict and keep it in check (delusional to a certain point I know). Couple times a year I feel the need to get my drink on and go get absolutely shitfaced. It's been like this after I spent almost 2 years completely sober after rehab. I do not do this around my kids. Ever. They have never seen me drunk nor will they. I have no problems in between these couple of times a year to sit back, have a cigar and a beer or scotch then stop after 2 drinks. Most of the time I don't even feel like drinking alcohol.

I have been on Xanax for the past 9.5 years for anxiety (all scripts written by my Dr. All of my Dr's transfer my records to each other and I hide nothing from them except what I am revealing here now because my next appt is in Sept) The attacks started when I left my ex-wife and went through the divorce. I went to full time use when I found out I had HIV in 2006. I have never really quite dealt with the fact that I have it and my coping mechanism has been more Xanax. I started off at .25mg whenever needed. When I started AVR's I was up to 6-7mg a day. Currently I am down to 1mg a day. For over a year I couldn't drop below 2mg. I almost went into rehab at that point because I could not drop my dosage. That is not the reason I am writing this. I know I could quit the Xanax at will at this point. I am writing this because my wife and I (we almost split up this past month because of what is going on in my head and what is going on with her but this isn't about her) have noticed a serious increase of irritability/agitation, moments of confusion, lapses of memory and depression. For me this is hard to deal with. I have/had a genius level IQ and have always had a great memory. Simple math is getting harder for me to do now. What I am fearing is that the years of Xanax usage has finally started to erode my brain.

I have no support groups other than my wife and a few close friends. This is not a case of where I need to do what I did years ago and make lifestyle changes. I am at a loss at this point.

BT65:
You need to stop the Xanax.  And quit eluding yourself by thinking that "getting your drink on" a couple times a year will remain a harmless activity.  That is, if you are truly an alcoholic.  And why are you discrediting 12 step groups?  They have been the salvation of many.

I was on scripts for years and years and ended up hallucinating.  I am also a recovering drug addict (which includes alcohol).  I stopped the scripts, which were many, and included Xanax and Valium, but in a secure mental health facility.  And it took about a year after quitting before I had any type of social manners, or could navigate through life without someone doing it for me. 

So, if you do end up going off the Xanax, give your brain some time to "clear up."  And I don't recommend you stop the Xanax cold turkey.  If you do not want to go into a rehab, then I would talk to your doctor about a slow taper.  Stopping a benzodiazepine cold after years of being on it, could result in seizures, which could be life threatening. 

Good luck and if you would like to discuss this further, just pm me.

Betty

Denver Toad:

--- Quote ---I went through rehab, did the 12 steps (which I do not believe in)...
--- End quote ---

So how's life working out for you without any type of support program? What is it you know regarding recovery that millions of recovering alcoholics and addicts are unaware of? How is it that so many less mensa than yourself are recovering and you're stuck?

Torch, I too once thought 12 Step Recovery was bull. Higher power this, group that, you're grateful for what? Damm these 12 steppers are one f'd up bunch.

It wasn't until I lost my attitude, gained a bit of humility, and was willing to openly listen did anything change. IQ has nothing whatsoever to do with sobriety. For me, submission to reality had everything to do with it. I couldn't out think my addictions.

Betty's absolutely correct about quitting cold turkey. Quit in a controlled manner no matter the environment. Rehab offers both medical supervision and the support of others with same challenges. One of the hallmark behaviors of people who relapse is failure to obtain a network of support. You took a step here and asked for advice/help. Follow it up with another step, be honest with your MD about what's happening.

Thanks for your post, it's a familiar story but one that's good for me to hear often.

Best of luck, I'm here if you want to chat. I'll be thinking of you in the meantime.
Todd



Ann:
I didn't get the impression that Torchwood was knocking 12-step programs in general. It's very true that they are valuable programs for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people, but that doesn't mean they work for everyone. Different strokes for different folks.

skeebo1969:

--- Quote from: Torchwood on July 21, 2013, 09:57:52 PM --- Yes, I have slipped up once in awhile and popped an occasional pill while drinking and did it recreationally but for the most part, I have already turned my life around. I live with the fact that I am an addict and keep it in check (delusional to a certain point I know). Couple times a year I feel the need to get my drink on and go get absolutely shitfaced. It's been like this after I spent almost 2 years completely sober after rehab. I do not do this around my kids. Ever. They have never seen me drunk nor will they. I have no problems in between these couple of times a year to sit back, have a cigar and a beer or scotch then stop after 2 drinks. Most of the time I don't even feel like drinking alcohol.

--- End quote ---

  I don't think we give children enough credit sometimes.  They are keenly aware of the dysfunction caused by a parent who has a drug/drinking problem.   Recognizing denial is tough, and living with it is even tougher.   I hope you get the help you need.

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