Xanax may help get you started but use it sparingly and taper within a couple or three weeks.
You won't be totally, mentally present as Xanax is a sedative/hypnotic
Well, I would be more present with .25mg of Xanax in my system than I am when I am in a dissociative state due to intense anxiety. I don't know, maybe just doing it by force is the best way.
Take the Xanax. Personally I really think that benzo addiction is blown way out of proportion on the internet. My anxiety has never been social phobia but I too suffer from dissociative symptoms a great amount. I take Ativan, which is a close relative to Xanax (slightly longer half life, little less potency per dose). And at 2mg (equal to roughly 1mg Xanax) a day I'm with it all the time, no side effects. I have taken it for almost two years same dose, haven't built a tolerance, haven't had any memory problems or side effects...but most of all I didnt take it for about two weeks without a taper and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary of my anxiety/dissociative symptoms. I have taken 3 benzos, and they are relatively similar. It doesn't make me feel sedated, it more so say that it levels me out. You don't hear about the millions of others taking it that don't have problems because they aren't here complaining about it. And if you get physically dependent, so what really compared to your quality of life. In that case, a long slow taper should cause you little to no pain. Good luck.
Some people react differently to benzodiazapine's than others. Their half life can vary greatly from one person to another. It has been proven that tolerance can start in as short a time as 4 weeks. They are for short term interminent use. After tolerance with them you will feel withdraw between doses. Some symptoms of tolerance withdrawal are anxiety and panic. A common symptom of proacted withdrawal is feelings of being 'dissconnected' 'unreal'. If you get "physically dependent" you will only feel more anxious.
Im with RKK71, I am new to trying Xanax myself, I also have IBS which the Anxiety will bring on a flare-up, take 1/2 of the 0.25 to see how it goes for you, you may feel nothing physically, thats all i use and while i dont feel anything i know it is helping to just give me a sense of calmness, hope this helps!!
I was really scared to take that too, but it has helped me with my anxiety =)