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My anxiety and alcohol dependency
mattday920

2 years ago I started university, and for the first term I was loving it and absolutely fine! Then it got to January of 2015 and I had a cancer scare. Luckily it turned out to be nothing, but while waiting for my results from the doctor, I got constant anxiety attacks. I'd never struggled with mental health problems before this, and so I had no idea that it was anxiety that I was suffering from. There was a point where I didn't sleep for 5 nights in a row and this meant I used alcohol as a method of getting some form of sleep. After my results came back negative from the doctor, my anxiety didn't stop, and my alcohol use continued. For days on end I wouldn't leave my room in my flat and this meant I got really depressed and I couldn't tell anyone about my problems. Whenever I spoke to my parents I'd tell them 'how great everything is' but really I was dying inside. I didn't seek help for my problems but I spoke to the university and eventually told my parents and I left in mid-March and they agreed to let my try first year again. While I was at home my anxiety and drinking got worse. The drinking alone was going from a habit to a dependency. When I went back to uni in September, I knew my drinking and anxiety was out of control but I had to try again. Again I couldn't leave my room because of anxiety attacks, the only time I left my room was to stock up on the booze. I drank for a month straight and when I stopped I had to be rushed to hospital with the withdrawal symptoms I was having, which included hallucinations and uncontrollable shaking. They thought at one point I might have a heart attack, it was the worst experience I've ever had. I had a 7 day detox and went back to my uni house, but by this point I was so depressed about everything and kept having flashbacks of my withdrawal that I was on the verge of killing myself. I made the decision of calling 999 and they took me to the hospital, but all they did was get the mental health team to talk to me, and then sent me home without any offer of future support. This just made me scared that I was all alone and I hit the bottle again, having anxiety and panic attacks like there was no tomorrow. Eventually I plucked up the courage to tell my parents I couldn't cope at university, hated the people I was living with and hated my course. I went home and because I'd stopped drinking completely, was going to local AA meetings where I live at home and was dealing with my anxiety and depression a lot better, I got a full time job in a petrol station while I looked at my other options. Eventually I decided I was in the right frame of mind to really give university a go again. I went to Sheffield this September, and as soon as I got there told my other flatmates that I don't drink just to nip it in the bud. Unfortunately, however, the Tuesday after I'd moved in, I got mugged. I hadn't really struggled with my anxiety too badly for a few months but this really got to me, and I went on an alcohol and cocaine binge. My flatmates noticed something was up but didn't really say much. After a few days I felt more normal again, stopped drinking and started looking after myself again because I hadn't been for those last few days. Then last Friday, I went to the pub with someone on my course. I hadn't told them that I don't drink, and he brought me a pint without even asking me, I felt to anxious to turn it down. I then went on a 4 day alcohol binge but halfway through my anxiety was so bad, that I was having suicidal thoughts again, just walking up and down in my room for hours straight because I couldn't cope. I didn't want to leave my flat to buy more and I stole my flatmates alcohol from the kitchen. I told them about it, and the struggles I've had in the past but I'm really scared that they hate me for stealing their alcohol, and they're expecting me to go out and replace it but my anxiety and depression is so bad that if I buy any alcohol, I'm worried that I'll drink again myself and I'm so scared about mucking up university again. I went to the counselling service today and I just broke down, and she told me to see my GP but I can't see myself leaving my flat in the next couple of days until my parents come to visit me on Sunday, and I'm worried that they'll realise something is wrong, but I really don't want to tell them I'm having problems again and worrying. If you read this, then thank you because it feels good to write down my experience. I hope I get the support I need to see out university, but when I've had these problems in the first 3 weeks, a whole 3 years is really daunting.