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Readers Respond: What Were Your Toughest Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and How Did You Cope?

Responses: 7879


Updated April 10, 2014

Over 60 days in, B52

Thanks for your words B52,surrender is a great way to approach the situation,im on day 6 now and starting to feel strong....have thought about how I always seemingly thought I was controlling my days,preparing for drinking time...making sure I had enough for my daily situation,be it a working day or a day off day,ive concluded im a functioning alcoholic who has been very resourceful,tho not as much as I thought.My wife has been worried for a long time ,the more that she worried the more secretive I became.I can now see that the thing I was controlling was actually controlling me...and so in starting on the path to living without alcohol I have experienced that it cannot control me if I don't have it,in return I am beginning to sense a freedom and a dawning on me that I can have a life without getting blitzed everyday.Fruit tea and soda water and feeling good...its fantastic to have a clear head and better sleep...one day at a time.
—Guest Batman777

The Mind of an Alcoholic

I have begun the long process of quitting alcohol. I am embarrassed and afraid by my symptoms. I have been drinking for a solid 18 years and I am now totally sick of it. The problem is, it is making me sick to not drink. I am entering rehab any day now, but I have had to allow myself 3-4 drinks a day. The shakes, the cold sweats, the SEVERE anxiety are just too much...I hate myself for getting to this point. God willing, rehab will work. However, deep in my soul (and I would not tell a family member or friend this) I know it won't. I am horribly depressed and feel like a massive burden on everyone, even strangers. I see things that aren't there, I hear things that aren't happening, I feel like crap, and all I want to do is get drunk. I have ruined my life and deserve to die. Forgive me, please.
—Guest T

Man that was hard

This site should not be taken for granted, its a very powerful thing . I'm just coming around now after being through complete hell.i got a good dose of withdrawal depression and it wasnt easy to get out of .I'm seriously proud of myself because ...I didn't drink. It was screaming in my ear for days just to go to the pub and make it all go away.the thing is it doesnt go away if you drink it just brings you back to bugs in your veins, paranoid thoughts, low self esteem....its important to note that in order to give up booze you have to fail a million times.each time I relapsed I learnt another lesson of how not to let it in, even this time it brought me seriously low but in the back of my mind there was a tiny light in darkness .I knew it was just booze trying to push me back to pub.im feeling a bit better now .I know its not finished with me .I await its next trick.thanks a million everybody .this is not easy .keep going .we all can do it.
—Guest halo

To: doozy1989

That's exactly how my alcoholism started, just weekends, then one drink on weekdays next thing I knew I would wake up and have a drink just to get through the day. I ended up getting in a lot of trouble and never at age 28 dud I see myself being where I was. Alone, unemployed, on house arrest and then ya think.. how did I even get here?! But my rock bottom saved me entire life, and I hope u get the help u need before things spiral out of control. But I totally under stand the panic attacks, so scary! But u can do this, and at ur age u have so much to live for. I can now say I'm 11 months sober and I cannot believe I got here. So just stay strong and keep posting, this site helps more than anything.
—Guest amber13569

Time to stop

Over the past year I've become what I call a vodka-holic. Until last week, i was up to two handles a week. I drank mostly in the evenings, on weekends starting at mid-late afternoon. Typically 2-4 big glasses mixed with flavored seltzer. Recently I've started having lots of diarrhea, and often wake up not remembering what happened the night before. I get guilty and sneaky, especially around my family. I'm tired of being out of control and feeling bloated. I haven't had vodka in 4 days, and I have to fight the urge to go buy some. Otherwise, no shakes, palpitations, sweats or anything else serious.

To:Batman, Mac, Maureen

Staring at 4 empty bottles thinking how courageous you three are. My soda water bottles, wrung dry, are my best friends. I keep soda in the fridge at all times. My wubby, my blankie, my cling wrap keeping my sobriety snug. I am celebrating your steps. I hope you will treat yourselves as gently as you can over the next while. Get good and selfish. You have earned sober days. Reading these pages you've got to know it gets better almost immediately. Hang in anyway you can. The fear drops Maureen. It is possible to make this stick. So many here are proof of that. Life changing decisions scare the crap out of anyone. Avoiding that first drink is critical for me. Look forward to reading your posts. Paradoxically I find a lot of strength in surrender. When I gave up and surrendered to my disease it took a massive boulder off my back. Still early days for me but much better days. Hang tough.
—Guest B52


WOW,I have just discovered this site and cannot tell you how at home I feel,I am 4 days sober now and this must be my 50th attempt over the last 20 years,my best ever was 6 months dry but there is always that little voice in my head urging me to get drunk,I would give anything to be able to drink social like normal folk but I can't ,once I start I can't stop until my body won't take any more,I am 44 and alcohol has cost me every job,every home,every relationship all my life yet still I drink,makes no sense does it but it is exactly how it has been for me,now I have found this forum maybe I will find the strength to kick it for good,good luck to each and everyone of you on here strength in numbers maybe.does anyone associate things with drink?I do,just about everything,I am like,oh is a lovely summers day today must have a cold beer,or,oh a great film on tv tonight must get a beer for that,I do it with just about anything in life,thanks for listening to me rabbit on,Lee.
—Guest Yorkshire Lee

Over 60 days in!

I've stopped counting. I applaud ALL who post. By reading every post on this site I learned about so many of you - and myself. I learned sobriety is much more than not partaking. Not buying in to the voice in my head. My former drinking buddy got a look of panic on her face when she asked me how I was doing and I told her I was just fine and over 2 months. Thank heaven I was spared the dreadful withdrawal so many of you have endured. I'm sure I would've caved. Congratulations to all of you. Keep it going, don't listen to the voice in your head, the one that says let's have a drink. No, and shut up. I'm not taking that first drink today. That's all I know. The fear drops, the anxiety diminishes. Not problem free, no pink clouds, but even the worst problems are better sober. If you're suffering, there is plenty of evidence here people can heal. I'm grateful the fog is gone. Wake up feeling good. At long last. Grateful. To all suffering, sobriety is achievable. It truly is. Best!
—Guest B52

15 months!

1 year, 3 months! Another milestone. Each and every day sober is precious, and is worth the difficult journey. Many trials, yes, but it makes days like today worth it. No more waking up with hangovers, regrets and lost memories. I have truly found my genuine self in my recovery. A great person who now doesn't have to rely on booze for a crutch. Who can now have fun in every situation. I am now practicing a meaningful life, mentally and physically. I am learning to overcome everyday obstacles with my inner strength that I've always had in me. True fulfillment always has been in me all along. I'm glad my recovery has truly opened my eyes to a wonderful life without alcohol. Every single person has that strength within them to end the self-destruction once and for all. It is worth it.
—Guest Marilyn

Very very low

Thanks igotaclue, b52. This cant be normal I feel like my head is in a vice.im very very low. Feeling like im wearing a helmet full of glue. I cant get rid of very negative thoughts.im being lashed by them and my head hurts.this is very close to crazy. I know if I drink they will pass for an hour and then for days and days I will suffer at the hands of booze.im very near to going to the pub.i know the drinking plan has never worked.i need this depression to pass its very strong. Today I told my girlfriend to go away for her own good I dont think that is wrong decision.im paranoid ,down and depressed.people in work are asking if im ok and are getting annoyed with my mood.is this normal? Will this pass? Im hoping this dark period will pass and im about to walk into the light.if I drink I fail. God this is hard . thanks.
—Guest halo

Rude awakening

My name is John and I am an alcoholic.I am on day 3 of being sober....this site is helping me on a daily basis as I begin the road to freedom,basically been drinking for 35 years pretty much everyday....worked in the drink industry for 20 years...gave that up 14 years ago...still maintained my ritual of "controlled" drinking...sometimes only having 2 cans a day...lots of times 10 cans a day,beer,cider,wine...rarely spirits...ive given up or stopped many times,always with the good intention...but always started again,last couple of years started to binge before drinking moderately on a daily basis....absolutely sick of it now,always hiding how much ive had and feeling half shit all the time...it is like a continuous loop,a cycle....ive had enough now.This time is for me.Ive contacted AA, ive found this site and all you fellow humans who have suffered,are suffering,are surviving.Im going at it one day at a time and I want to be free,im 52 and am doing this for myself.Strength and hope.


Withdrawal is brutal. Tried quitting 3 times, and all were awful. Tried again today, but it was severe this time (bad shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat). Instead of going to hospital or doctor, tried to wein and reduce for a few days. Have had quite a few. Just need to get through withdrawal for a few days and all will be fine. Then going to use AVRT (Rational Recovery). Just read today and it inspired me. It's up to me, Anybody else do it through RR? Big Plan?
—Guest Mac


Trying to stay away from the demon that is drink on anti buse day two have been here before and stayed away from the demon for six months feeling scared
—Guest Maureen anne

To: Halo et al

I am so happy to hear your news. I'm 59 days in. Head talk: cut it off at the knees. You're not ready to go back days, months, years blame/guilt tripping yourself. Do that later when you've got more time in. When you're ready, in weeks, months, whenever, start a list of stupid stuff I've done, another on grudges, one on gratitude. A few key words is enough. the gratitude list you can start today. Don't live in the past feeling the "churn", don't live in the "never again" future. Just live this day with a grateful thought for being sober NOW at this moment. I KNEW you were ready to do this. To those suffering, all of us at the base have internal fear, alcohol is the external expression - then oops, how did I find myself ruined, wrecked (again) and addicted? Cut yourself some slack by living this one day, no other, with clarity. Those simple lists (when you're ready) release the pent up poison, self hate, blame, guilt kept us on the run. Past irrelevant, future, not here. TODAY = key
—Guest B52

To: halo and starting over.

For me becoming sober also brought back the reality that I was sloppy, reckless, self centered and a terrible angry mean drunk. Yes it is true I was selfish and only cared about my next drink. There is nothing I can do about my past. The only thing that made me feel good was to say my sorrys and to make a sort of forgiveness pack with myself. I had real reasons I chose to drink and I had to find out what they were to become sober. I found that if others did not want to forgive I had to still move forward. The only person I had to prove anything to was myself. The only day that matters is today, the past is gone and the future can not be predicted. So I stay in the moment, be the best person I can be just for me. It is my happiness I seek and learning how to do that with out drinking has been my toughest challenged. 2 years now and I have no regrets, I only wish I had become sober sooner. Being sober is exciting, the real me is showing and I like me very much. I am talented and blumin

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