When I was living in New Jersey, I was introduced to "Xannies" at 19 by my best friend, who also suffers from extreme anxiety. Since we were too poor to go to a doctor and get a diagnosis, we did our own research and decided to obtain Xanax through street pharmacists to give them a try. Over time, our cries for help turned into an addiction and once we both became aware of what we were becoming, we decided to quit cold turkey and find healthier ways to deal with our anxiety. Thankfully, I thought we'd never go down this path again and we were one of the lucky ones who made it out unharmed.
Fast forward to 23, after moving to Portugal and getting a proper diagnosis as Bipolar, I was yet again face to face with my weakness: Xanax. I explained my whole history with the drug to my doctor, who guaranteed he'd give me the lowest dosage so I wouldn't have to worry. What I think a lot of doctors fail to realize is that the drugs themselves aren't the problem, the addict is.
I've been on 0.5mg Xanax for going on 6 years now and I'm happy to say that my relationship with Xanax was a very healthy one. I saw it as my best friend when it came to my anxiety and a building block for my mental stability. What I seemed to forget in the middle of this fairytale is that I AM THE BAD GUY. I am an addict and sooner or later, as all addicts do, we relapse.
I've been under a lot of pressure lately. I'm 29, I've finally decided to apply for college which has been a nerve wrecking process. I also take care of my elderly grandparents & I guide my addiction diseased father. I'm trying (& failing) to get closer to my crush, I'm trying (& failing) to create friends in real life instead of the internet. I've been trying for months to get employment to no avail. I've tried opening up with my family and the ones closest to me, but as much as they love me, I can tell they don't understand the weight of this pressure on me.
All I've been feeling lately is an overwhelming amount of failure, pressure and loneliness. For the first time in a long time, I could hear my Xanax screaming for me from my bedside drawer.
"Just one, the doctor did say I could take one in case of panic attacks"
One turned into three, three turned into five and so on...
This morning I awoke to 5 empty Xanax trays, each one holds 10 0.5mg pills. I took 25mg of Xanax in one night. I woke up 17 hours later to random misspelled messages I don't even remember sending, to my crush non the less. Smooth move. I couldn't even walk to the kitchen to get coffee #ADD #without rocking back and forth, off balance. I couldn't speak to my family without slurring my speech. My father being a former addict noticed right away something was off and instead of opening up with someone who'd understand my guilt, I lied.
I'm the most level headed, dependable, responsible and hard working person in this household. How could anyone feel safe knowing their caretaker has substance problems and out of all problems: pills?!
My father deals with alcoholism due to grief of losing his brother at 8 years old. My grandfather has Alzheimers due to neglecting his mental health to work to provide for his family. My grandmother has depression because she gave up on her dreams to be the best possible mother.
How can I tell such amazingly strong people that my problem is taking sleepy pills to make my brain stop? It makes me feel so weak, embarrasse and guilty.