There are different kinds of benzodiazepines that will have a much longer half life than xanax, and will not hit you as strong (thus making the withdrawals much more manageable, and they won't completely knock you out.) Ativan is a good example, Klonopin is another. There are also barbituates but I have no experience with those.
I hope this helps at least a little, I was on 4mg of Ativan a day for a year and a half because i had severe social anxiety. It did wonders for me, and I was still able to put up good numbers in the gym.