It's Better to Ask for Help than to Ask for Forgiveness

I was headed toward an early grave, and I seemed to be the only one that didn't know it. The fact that I could die or lose everything just ceased to phase me. During my darkest period, the only reassurance I craved was that there would be more Xanax when I reached out for it. After encountering several ugly withdrawal periods, I came to terms with the fact that I needed it to properly function. After years of anxiety, the thought that I might run out was the only worry I had. Everything and everyone else came second. That's the way it was for almost two years until I entered addiction treatment.

I just wanted to relax, that's all. After I gave birth to my son, I started to have panic attacks practically every other day. I was worried that I wasn't doing my job as a mother and began to have really bad thoughts about "worst-case scenarios" and what might happen if I wasn't careful enough. I also developed serious postpartum depression and couldn't sleep. I needed an advantage; something that could relax me and let me sleep and breathe like a normal person. My doctor prescribed Xanax. If I could have predicted the nightmare that was to follow, I never would have even looked at the bottle.

I developed my addiction mainly because I expected Xanax to be a permanent solution; something that would cure me and make me an energetic, confident and attentive mother. My doctor said from day one that these pills were just a temporary solution to help me relax, calm down and get some sleep; but they made me feel way too good for me to stop all at once. So I fooled myself into thinking I could stop when I wanted to. As my addiction grew, so did my anxiety and sleeplessness, until I eventually overdosed on a combination of Xanax and alcohol.

My husband pleaded with me to enter addiction treatment for my Xanax abuse, and said the only way we could remain a family is if I started to help myself to get better. I was tired, broken and skeptical; but I agreed to try inpatient treatment. At first I was worried that I'd miss important moments in my baby's life, but was certain that I'd miss more if I didn't get help. I came to my program in need of a complete psychological and emotional overhaul, and that's exactly what I got.

The care and support I received from my doctors, my therapists and my family has literally changed my life, and is written all over my face. It hasn't been a perfect comeback, but it's been better than I could have ever imagined. My son and I have connected in a way that I never thought possible (for me) and I get to live every day knowing that I have the greatest family in the world. After two years of sobriety, I've learned that the only way anybody is going to know you're hurting is if you tell them and let them try to help you.

Contact the National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) anytime toll-free at (800) 784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the leading drug and alcohol rehab centers for you or your loved one.

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