Anxiety in sobriety

Part of the reason I drank – a big reason, I think – was to deal with anxiety.  Social anxiety, alleviating stress, dealing with a phobia – they are all reasons why I sought out the bottle.  I have forever had a difficult time socializing without a glass of wine in my hand.  I felt like everyone else was so much more witty and clever, and in order to get into the groove, I needed the liquid encouragement.  I also reached for the bottle after a tough day at work or when things at home were chaotic.  It seems like that was a huge trigger for me.  Now, I find myself cleaning instead of drinking – I guess that’s a pretty good trade off! 

One of my biggest triggers is when my vomit phobia kicks into high gear, as it is right now.  My sweet son came up to me about an hour and a half ago complaining of an upset stomach.  Well, about fifteen minutes ago, he got sick, and my nerves are raw.  I don’t do puke very well at all – probably because I haven’t been sick since I was a young child (weird, I know, for an alcoholic.  Seems like I always stopped myself right at the point where I would vomit.  Doesn’t mean I didn’t suffer on the other end, though).  Anyhow, I’m trying really hard to keep my cool and just be a good mom and not freak out.  I’m sure this all sounds ridiculous to the normal people out there, but damn, I am SOO anxious right now. 

I met with a therapist this week – I’ve been in therapy before but I was not receptive at all to it.  My new therapist, Susan, is amazing.  I connected with her instantly, and I’m going back to see her on Tuesday.  We have so many things to work through, my vomit phobia being one of them.  But I really want her to help me strengthen my marriage.  Despite the fact that I ended my affair two years ago, we are still suffering from the consequences of my terrible choices.  My husband has really been so wonderful and forgiving, and for some reason, I can’t seem to connect with him as fully as I’d like to.  For the first time in a long time, after talking with Susan, I really feel hopeful that she can help me become the person I want to be.  She even wants to incorporate my Catholic faith into our therapy.  I honestly can’t wait to see her again.  We are going to work on accepting anxiety as a part of life, and not allowing it to control me.  I really could use that lesson tonight.


9 thoughts on “Anxiety in sobriety

  1. Jessie- I too am fortunate to work with a fabulous therapist- which ultimately ends up, I think, accomplishing the things that other people do by following the steps of AA and similar programs. But for me, the solo deal focusing intently on my specific background and situation is so much more helpful. I hope it proves as helpful for you as it has been/is for me!

    Carrie at Day #24

  2. They call alcohol “liquid courage” for a reason. We always seem to want courage *in order to walk through our fear*. But that’s not how it works. Covering it with alcohol never helped me, but facing it head on has done wonders. Good luck.

  3. The ironic thing is that drinking brought a whole hell of a lot more anxieties – guilt, shame, remorse…but worst of all, full blown panic attacks (withdrawal based). I love therapy and am glad you’re enjoying it. It’s work, but it pays off. I am not in therapy now, but it helped me, even though I still drank (I lied of course to the therapists…so how could they help? But the last one I was very honest with)

    Hope your boy feels better 🙂


  4. Reblogged this on Sober Mommies and commented:
    Honesty is awesome. Thank you for posting this, Sober Jessie!!

  5. Thank you for sharing about this. Anxiety and phobias are extremely difficult to deal with! This post is honest, and beautiful, and totally reblogged. ~ Julie

  6. Hi!! I too am an alcoholic….been sober 8 days!!!

    I also have a vomit phobia!!! Im not too afraid of it after it happens with my children, but its the question of when will it come that scares me!!!???? When my children come to me saying they feel sick, especially in the car, I totally get an anxiety attack!!! This stems from my cousin getting car sick on me when we were young. Seriously, when people cough, I sort of step back, when I was a child, I would run….

    So good to have someone else out there with the same phobia!!!!

    Good luck with everything!!!!
    Will be reading your blog!!


  7. You’ve been awfully quiet. I hope all is well?

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