One of the worse things about my anxiety was that it kept me convinced that there was something medically wrong with me, that I was going to die unexpectedly at any point from a horrible illness, without warning. I remember that as a kid there would be nights where I would be terrified of going to sleep at night, thinking that if I closed my eyes, when I opened them in the morning I would be blind, never able again to see the light.
I have struggled with Anxiety for a very long time, so long that I don’t remember when I first noticed a problem. Through my years at school I slowly changed from a kid that loved drama class to a child that could barely put his hand to ask a question. By the time I got into University I had been formally diagnosed with Anxiety, and it had become a real problem. I spent half my first year sat at the back of my lectures so no-one would notice me. Presentations were a panic attack that I knew would come, but couldn’t do anything about it.
I was very honored to be able to write a guest post on Marty’s blog, Gum On My Shoe, about the journey that I took through the waters of depression, addiction and anxiety. This is very personal to me, yet a story that like The Flawed Ones needed to be written. I would be immensely grateful if you visited Marty’s blog and read, not only my article, but the rest of the great mental health content that his site contains.
In an attempt at keeping my anxiety under control, I ended up with one of the worst dependencies I have ever experienced, even after being an alcoholic for ten years. Xanax brought me to my knees and kept me there for years, it destroyed me physically and emotionally, it took everything I had and left me a shell of a man. I have been fortunate to come out of the other side alive, but it still still important to care of those that are battling benzodiazepine dependence every single day. Some of them, like me, have gotten hooked, not by choice, but because they were prescribed medicine that they thought was going to help them and it ended up damaging their lives significantly. We must educate people of the dangers of prescription drugs, especially children and teenagers, as they are being bombarded by an influx of stimulus that make them believe that these types of drugs are not only fun, but also cool. Getting the word out there about the dangers of using Xanax and other benzodiazepines could save lives.
In the video below you are going to see a man under the influence of more than 10mg of Xanax. That man is me, but just in the physical sense. In the mental sense, he is someone I don’t know, someone I don’t remember being. This man caused a lot of damage, and I have had to clean it all up with almost superhuman effort. It is embarassing to watch, and even more to share, but I feel is necessary to show others what one becomes at this level of addiction.
My novel, The Flawed Ones, explores addiction and mental illness in depth, not through the eyes of professionals, but of patients themselves. Leave your email here to get notified of global release and maybe win a free copy.