I discovered early in the phobia experience that alcohol was a useful tool for combating anxiety when avoidance was not possible. I used to drink a small amount of vodka before leaving home or insist on an alcoholic beverage when a meal was suddenly thrust upon me when visiting friends or relatives.
After a few miscalculations I soon became familiar with the quantity that was required which was a balance between appearing orderly but with enough intoxication as to ward off an attack. This balance I might add was quite a fine line due to the power of the anxiety and hence the quantity of alcohol involved.
Although alcohol proved a useful crutch I was aware of the implications. I still wanted to be free of the phobia so as to enjoy “dry” dinners and I was wary of becoming addicted to alcohol. I simply wished to be free to enjoy the full spectrum of enjoyment associated with socialising over the consumption of food and drink.
However, this tool proved important in my quest for recovery. It was clear that whatever was going on in my head it could be influenced and controlled. I began to see that after years of being controlled I now had wrestled some control back.
Once I realised this I could see clearly that what the alcohol was doing was taking all the importance out of each situation. By doing this, my subconscious had nothing to base the anxiety on.
This was all very well and although I felt like I was approaching an antidote I still had one more obstacle to negotiate and it was a big one in phobia terms and one that took me a long time to find a solution. But once I did, I was almost there.