I decided that it would be best to answer this question in parts. There is a lot of information, and a lot of aspects to consider. So this will be the first entry to approach the question of using pills to get sober, or stay sober.
I started with pretty negative feelings about this topic. I am a person that got sober without pills to make it easier, and I believe that there is a lot of work necessary to maintain sobriety. I always say to people that I didn’t almost drink myself to death because I’m a pillar of mental health. And that is the truth. The bottom line is, if I had the self-esteem, self-value, optimism, and positive attitude…..I wouldn’t have been self medicating! When I first started drinking with my friends it wasn’t about getting drunk and changing how I felt, it was just about having fun. But as soon as I realized the effect alcohol had, I wanted to do it more. It made my insecurities disappear, I laughed a little louder, I was fearless, I felt beautiful, funny, and unstoppable. Alcohol cured everything! If I were bored it made me have fun, if I was sad it could make me happy, if I was tired it would wake me up…. you get the picture. I used alcohol to cure every issue I ever had, and for a long time it worked. Here’s what happens, eventually I became dependent on alcohol to solve my problems, and since I used alcohol for so long, I no longer knew how to solve problems by myself. I didn’t know how to depend on me, how to trust me, or how to believe in me. My habitual use of alcohol proved to me, everyday, that I wasn’t able to handle life on my own. I needed something else to deal with my problems. This is part of the psychological effects of addiction, and it is devastating.
There are so many reasons people seek substance to self medicate. Trauma, abuse, loss, broken family, poverty, any number of things cause a basic breakdown in self worth as well as negative outlook on life. This is why I drank. When you remove alcohol from the equasion, all of those feelings are still there, now you just don’t know how to deal with them. Alcohol was the solution, but now it is the problem. Can a pill for sobriety fix this?