Finding The Anxiety Antidote in This Naked Mind – Yasmine’s Story

Yasmine Alice, actress and producer, shares the story of how drinking coincided with her anxiety and panic disorder, and how she discovered the anxiety antidote in This Naked Mind.

anxiety antidote

The First Drink

I had my very first drink at age 14. I had just started high school and was invited out by some more senior kids who had tattoos and dyed hair. We were hanging out on the beach after school and thought it would be “cool” to get drunk. So we went into a corner shop and bought some cheap red wine. This is back in the day and people didn’t really ask for IDs when selling alcohol. I remember that day clearly. Holding the bottle, feeling so mature, flicking my curly hair back, looking at my friends and giving them this blasé smirk and pretending to be a pro-drinker. Why were we, a bunch of 14 to 16-year-olds, drinking gone off vinegaresque wine at 5 pm on a school day instead of enjoying the sunshine and the beach, vomiting on the rocks and on our shoes, scared to death to call our parents, and questioning how to make it back home? Why?

Still Asking Why?

After having read This Naked Mind, I’m asking the very same question today. Why? Why did I drink for all these years? At age 32, I am now sober, healthier, and fitter than I have ever been. I actually go to the gym now and see progress, since I don’t have 2-day hangovers filled with anxiety, greasy take-out food, and 14-hour napping sessions. My mental health has improved in 3 months more than it ever did with 4 years of therapy and anti-depressants. My skin has cleared. I’m more successful than ever. And with an IQ of 143, officially recognized as a “genius”, I am yet to use my so-called intelligence to solve the great mystery of “why” I have spent so many years binge-drinking and harming myself.

What No One Talks About

When I say “harming myself”, I genuinely mean it. We have all read This Naked Mind. We know the medical reasons why alcohol is so bad for us. It is pure poison and we are just brainwashed by society, movies, and advertisements to think it is good to drink. It’s not. But the strange thing is, not many people are talking about the effects of drinking on our mental health. It is not a commonly known fact that alcohol is a depressant. September was suicide prevention month, and social media was buzzing. Not a single soul is mentioning alcohol.

How suspicious.

All these famous people that I have idolized. The lead singer of Linkin Park, Amy Winehouse, that kid from Glee… All these people have died after a drinking session. Amy Winehouse legit died from alcohol poisoning. Chester Bennington, who was sober for many years and then killed himself after a relapse. Need I say more?

The After Party Effects

I think I should. In 2017, I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. It was really bad. I had just broken up with my ex who was a narcissist, so I needed a lot of healing from that trauma. I was drinking so often that I didn’t even realize the toxicity of that relationship. But hey, I had a good job. I had friends. I was no alcoholic. My justification? I could get up and go to work. I was not living on the streets so I was “fine”.

After our breakup, my friends and I decided to go clubbing. And in the UK, we have a pretty heavy drinking culture when it comes to the clubbing scene. We like to pre-drink at home to “save money” before heading to the club and to “get in the mood”. Then at the rave, straight to the bar, get those double vodka cranberries in, and follow it up with some shots to get “fucked up”. The next day, I was obviously hungover. I had spent the whole day, eating unhealthy food, playing with my phone, laying on the sofa, and watching Britain’s Got Talent. It was exactly then when I got up from the sofa and told my mum to call an ambulance.

My heart rate went up to 250 bpm and no medical professional was able to help calm me for 8 long hours. Have you ever had a panic attack? Now imagine having that for 8 hours. After that day, I developed Panic Disorder. And I was drinking more than ever. More partying was called for. My anxiety antidote at the time was alcohol.

A Ticking Time Bomb

It was a sad time. I mean it felt like my body was a ticking bomb and it could explode at any time. I never knew when to expect these panic attacks and it was taking a toll on me. It was seriously painful and scary and I had no clue what was going on. I needed a glass of wine to wind down, relax, and forget about all that madness. From one anti-depressant to another toxic relationship, and from one therapist, to another self-help book. I have spent nearly every day since 2017 healing. Nothing helped. Anxiety became my new normal. It controlled my life. Changed my personality. It made me bitter, sad, and paranoid. There was no anxiety antidote available to me.

This Was Normal

Not a single therapist mentioned sobriety. And it wasn’t like I was lying. I was pretty honest with how much I was drinking if asked, which was twice a week (usually) to go to a club or a bar to socialize. This was my normal. This is normal in the UK. Then maybe one more evening with the girls at a bar, or wine at dinner… All very “normal” stuff. But if I were to look at the amount I was drinking, it was way beyond what the NHS considered “acceptably moderate”. This year I started to drink some wine at home alone. Work was stressful, so of course, I deserved some good wine. It wasn’t the cheap vinegar I had when I was 14 either. Now it was the expensive vinegar. It tasted just as crap, but hey, look at me, I’m so mature and “posh” and “French” and oooh-la-la.

With my fancy wine glasses and expensive bottles of reds. I was invited to a birthday party. The usual. I went out, I had a ton of drinks. Around about the same amount that my friends had. At 5 am in the morning after a whole night of raving, I found myself with a bottle of beer, a plate of cocaine, in a bedroom with a prostitute and a drug dealer. I was in deep conversation with these random new “friends” of mine that I met in the club. How was it that I somehow graduated from law school, but I was spending my time with these people?

How Did It Come To This?

By the end of the next day, I started to have alcohol withdrawal symptoms. If you ever had them, you know where I’m going with this. If you have not, please stop drinking today and right this second. It is no joking matter. I genuinely had the scariest moments of my life. The fastest racing thoughts, the most painful tummy aches, couldn’t leave the toilet, and couldn’t eat either. I started to have shivers, felt cold, anxious to the point of losing my mind. I decided to take a shower. Midway through my shower, with shampoo on my head and fully naked, I decided to go to the balcony and jump off. Opened the balcony door and all of a sudden, I stopped. I said to myself, what is happening to me? Right there and then, it hit me. This was alcohol. This isn’t me.

No wonder I was feeling so anxious. But wait, why didn’t anyone tell me this before? I have been so vocal about my mental health struggles for all these years. Not a single soul recommended I should cut down on drinking!? I spent the next 2 days with IBS, shivers, and more anxiety. But I knew I had to get through it. At one point, I sat down in the corner of my living room, crying and praying, please God, please Universe, I promise I will never ever drink again. Please let me survive this. Let this pain stop. Please let my mind calm down.

I Survived

Genuinely, I cannot believe I survived. I think I had alcohol poisoning and substance-induced psychosis. You might be thinking, why didn’t you go to the ER? I did. They made me wait 3 hours and gave me a “chill pill”. They didn’t even talk to me or give me a leaflet about alcoholism. Nothing. They just said, here’s some Diazepam, off you go. The only thing that has ever helped me to date was This Naked Mind. It was my true anxiety antidote!

Start Reading Yasmine’s Anxiety Antidote

This Naked Mind was Yasmine’s anxiety antidote and it can be yours as well. Start reading the first chapter for free now!

This is Fixable

I swear, nothing else has ever benefited me. AA was so depressive. It was full of people, crying about the fact that they miss drinking! How can you miss feeling like utter death!? And why would you say you are weak over some human-made substance? We can’t be! So long as we change our mindsets, it must be that we can do anything we want! And that is exactly what This Naked Mind showed me.

That it was just brainwashing.

That it was fixable.

That everything could be safe and peaceful again.

Nothing Lost, Everything Gained

Many months later, I’m still a party girl! I go dancing in the clubs. It is my cardio. I come home late at night, shower, meditate and then go to bed! No blackouts, no IBS, no lost phone or stolen wallet. I’m not even triggered by my friend’s drinking. It’s actually hilarious to watch the drunks, I love it. I get myself a soda and pretend it’s gin and tonic so people can stop bothering me and questioning me. Because believe me, if you tell them you are sober, they will be triggered! I wake up the next day, I cook myself a healthy breakfast and I go to the gym. I finish 1 book every week! My IQ is finally doing something!

I’m so fabulous and I look in the mirror and I actually genuinely love myself. Don’t read this as “oh, she is so big-headed”. No, I purely love myself. I love my body and I care for her. She doesn’t want to be poisoned. This body wants to go to the spa! She wants to be able to afford a new Chanel bag. To have healthy relationships. She writes gratitude lists. I can’t believe this is my life now. And believe me, it can be yours too.

Take that leap of faith.

Don’t moderate, just quit.

Was This Naked Mind Your Anxiety Antidote?

Did you find freedom from alcohol with This Naked Mind, The Alcohol Experiment, or The PATH? Is it your anxiety antidote? Inspire others like you with your story and share it on the blog!