Sometimes when I reflect on my own addiction and recovery journey, I find myself thinking about the immense misery that surrounds drug and alcohol withdrawals. Sometimes when I share my experience on that topic with others I am directly asked, “What was the hardest drug for you to withdraw from?” I know that every addict has their own answer to this question. Every addictive substance comes along with its own side effects and withdrawal symptoms and each individual has a different experience with this. In my own personal experience, withdrawing from Xanax was the most physically and mentally difficult withdrawal to go through. There are multiple components and phases of Xanax withdrawal each taxing in their own way. Mood swings, sleeplessness, stomach troubles, immense brain fog, poor decision making, forgetfulness, and physical discomfort are all difficult symptoms that I experienced while withdrawing from regular Xanax pill use. Depending on the severity of a persons addiction, their heredity, and other factors, they may experience different symptoms of different severity.
One of the worst things about withdrawaling from Xanax is that the symptoms combine and multiply in a way that makes them even more difficult in combination than they ever could be each on their own. For example, poor decision making is difficult enough to experience as a side effect of drug withdrawal. When combined with forgetfulness, it becomes even worse. The combination of these withdrawal symptoms would make it so that I would say distasteful, aggressive things to people that I cared about when forced to go without the drug. After that, however comes the forgetfulness. It is extremely difficult to apologize for rude things that you may have said or done when you have forgotten about them entirely. Likewise, sleeplessness is a symptom that is difficult on its own, but even more of a struggle when combined with other symptoms. Not only would I be up all night and restless, I would also be physically uncomfortable and in a state of immense brain fog while attempting to sleep. For some people, however these withdrawal symptoms would have been a gift. Drug withdrawal can be terrifying and medically severe and detox facilities are life saving for those who use them.
Physical and Mental Withdrawals from Xanax
I can see many ways in which drug and alcohol detox, inpatient rehabilitation, or outpatient rehabilitation would have helped me to achieve recovery and sobriety sooner in life. I am also aware that I was lucky to have never been hospitalized or worse while going through withdrawals on my own. Reflecting, I would not recommend that anyone try to get sober and clean completely on their own. The physical symptoms of Xanax withdrawal lasted longer than any drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms that I have ever experienced. To this day, I still experience physical cravings for the drug even though I am in an active recovery program. Mentally, the obsession remains for a long time even after you have physically detoxed from the drug. Real treatment is the key to getting over these difficult symptoms. The mental and physical struggle of Xanax withdrawal is immense and it is not anything that a person should have to go through alone. The emotional aspect of the withdrawal causes feelings of immense loneliness and rejection but it can also cause lashing out. That is why it is important for support to occur in controlled settings where emotional and physical lash outs can be minimized. This was not my personal experience, and I have ruined multiple relationships while trying to go through withdrawals alone.
What worked for me in the end was seeking real, professional, reputable help. If a program of recovery has worked for many people who have gone before you and continued on to lead a sober, happy, productive, lives, then there is some merit to trying that path of recovery. Recovery can seem like a long road ahead, and in reality, it is, but each addict has a lifetime to complete that journey. All that can be done beyond that is making sure that the right choices are made moment to moment each day. When I stay focused on recovery and helping others in recovery, I am able to avoid going down the difficult road of withdrawal and relapse again. If you use drugs and experience any of the symptoms that I did when you go without them, or if you know someone in a similar situation, today may be the day you need to reach out for help. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 833-497-3812.