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

Responses: 7893


Updated September 19, 2014

To: Josie

Because you have an illness. It has nothing to do with a great family. Each morning every one of us struggling has a fresh 24 hour period. We can manage ourselves and our disease. You're feeling pretty raw, please get help, a group, therapy, AA, whatever works. Today I'm 40 days in, 40 days off the ride. Lots of soul searching, prayer, quiet thoughts, grudge and gratitude lists. I can only change myself and my habits as I go about my sober day. My job is to ask for strength every morning to get me into my bed at night booze free. One day at a time becomes one day at a time in a row. Don't deny the illness, surrender then do what you have to hang on. It gets so much better. Can you finish I took that first drink because... If you can find the trigger that set you off you might be able to deal with it in a different way next challenge. Good luck, we all know where you are. You can change the destructive road into a quiet calm sober path.
—Guest B52

To: Planpot

Are you getting close to getting off the roller coaster ride yet? You must see that all that you love will be lost if you don't do instead of talk. Many that I have met that stay drunk is because of the fear of being sober. Being a drunk is all that I knew so I did not see a light ahead of me. It takes more than loving our kids, husbands. wives and families because we can't do it for them. I had to want sobriety as badly as I wanted to drink. Slowly my sobriety won out because life began to give me back my esteem, health, friendship, money, relationships and financially peace. Drunks not only run from life but also love the drama of it. It make us feel needed. What I could not see is that need was really fear for me along with disgust that I was not doing something. Get of that roller coaster and plant you feet back on the ground, find who you are and how strong you can be. Make your goal just 3 month and find help to do it. Hugs your friend Clue

To: —ild41987

Hitting your rock bottom maybe what it takes for you to do something. You are young and have a wonderful life ahead of you. A good start is to look for an AA group, it's free and you can learn how other crawled out of the same place you are now. The change you need to make must come from working for it. Reach out for help, it is there if you look for it. I don't know where you live but look for the resources in your town. There is freedom from this drinking cycle and along with it comes many mental and emotional changes. If you have no money then AA with show you how you can make your life changes. There is always hope and there is defiantly freedom from this addiction.The question is not what should you do but when are you going to do something. Your a grown up now, it is time to make some decisions like one. You are seeing that no one but you will save your own butt. Once doing so many doors will open up for you. I promise it can be done. Hugs Clue

Sleep very important

Sleep can be hard to come by, going from the constant sedation of alcohol to the hyper excitability that comes from quitting. With many suffering from sleepless nights, the the lure is there to grab that drink until you pass out. It is important to know your body is reacting from the lack of alcohol. It will take time to adapt but eventually the sleep cycle will regulate. This is not permanent. It takes patience and practice of good sleep hygiene. A few tips: expose yourself to as much sunlight as you can, avoid your TV, laptop, etc. an hour before bed, it will rob your body of melatonin. Tire yourself out during the day with vigorous exercise, avoid caffeine after noon hour (it can stay in your body for 8-10hrs), and consume a multi-vitamin with magnesium (it promotes relaxation). Some foods to try that can increase melatonin and/or drowsiness before bed :cherry juice, pumpkin seeds, bananas and warm milk. I hope this helps, it sounds like many suffer with insomnia.
—Guest Marilyn


I'm 27, I've been drinking anywhere from a pint and a half to a 1.75 a day. I can't remember my life, or who I am anymore. I've had three duis, two in one week. I have lost every thing. Cars, apts, friends, respect, trust, my dad is a bad alcoholic, seven duis, I don't have health insurance or car don't know what to do.

Lock up

Never could stop by myself. always had to lock myself away somewhere. the constant shakes and self demoralization of drinking always follows when I stop. Blood pressure heat rate to the roof etc.

To: Guest Josie

NOBODY can take away your disability because alcoholism is treated as a disease. Consult a lawyer- this is crazy. You should be treated with respect.
—Guest Paralawyer

Just feeling so desperate

Just so stuck, managed five days, back on the booze, feel awful, so scared that my world will crash and then what? I have everything good, great husband, children, friends so why?!
—Guest Plantpot

Our regrets

Yes we messed up and did terrible things while I was drinking . Holding back from our recovery should not be because of our regrets. My Drinking habits were form way before I decided to get sober and Changing those habits were hard. I am not boring or not valued because I am not drinking. Those around me that continue to abuse alcohol do not get what I am seeking. Freedom from self abuse, making a fool of myself, being an irresponsible parent, wife and grandparent is what my life is meant to be. Regrets are because I did not see what I had become. Sobriety has brought me forgiveness to myself and others and also growth. It is hard to let go of our childish ways and to find out I am not a child. I and only I am responsible for my changes, no blame can go anywhere else. Take away the blame and guilt and you will find a sober and happy person. It is hard to swallow, that I messed up, I made a choice to be a drunk. Hello, who else poured that crap down my throat. Make today count! Clue

Any answers

First proper detox (residential) after 20 years dependent,it was great valium,vitamin injections,ect. messed up after 8months. im back on about 32 units a day,9% lager.7/8 tins.my withdrawals are the worst iv ever had, when i wake up i dry heave, if i dont have a drink within 2 hours after i wake up it is really hard to get enough beer in me that stays down long enough to stop the withdrawals.when i can not get any beer (cant shoplift stuck somewhere ect) the anxiety starts,hart beets fast sweat starts and head gets confused.at this point i start to get worked up and scared which leads to a panic attack.by now im well messed up i hear people shouting at me and hide in bushes or behind walls from people who are not there. for years iv had withdrawals but since iv stopped drinking special brew tennants ect. and swapped to cheep polish beer perla, kerpacky and lots of others (because they are cheep 1pound a tin) my symptoms are worse.then again iv got hep c.key worker says no funding
—Guest lee galand

125, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170 days...

I haven't posted in almost two months. Still no relapse...fewer dreams of drinking (those are a riot aren't they?...guilt without doing anything wrong.) Staying focused on getting to six months at this point. This is life changing and it does feel different. Life still presents problems and new ways must be found to deal with them...it's ongoing. Best wishes to all and to the Alcoholic who still suffers.
—Guest Eastport Chris

To: Halo

Halo, is your life unmanageable? Think carefully. If the answer is yes, after due consideration, then let me be the first to congratulate you. You have completed the first part of your recovery. Now what? You pick - more of the same, detox, a doctor, a program? To do this - to take action - you need tools, support, and help. You don't have to face this alone, which rarely works incidentally. I sincerely hope you will surrender and not be held hostage any longer. I'm 35 days off my ride. I'm not going to get back on it tonight. That's all I know. And that's enough. If you answered yes the hardest part is already behind you. The rest has been figured out for you - pick what feels right for you then put the strategy you decide on into action. Clearly you've had enough pain, anguish, guilt and more from this disease. My thoughts are with you. Keep in contact with us/me. You've got a huge group here on your team. This is doable. Good luck.
—Guest B52

35 days

Enormous immediate benefits, looking good, feeling like a new person. doing the gratitude/resentment lists every day. The old resentments will turn me back. Housecleaning (spiritual) is my ticket. Taking out and dumping my accumulated garbage every day keeps the even keel. I do the steps alone, living in Asia it's hard to connect to any program. Solo it is. Stopping is like cutting up credit cards. You think you're losing your lifeline. You're not, you gaining the life line you need for the comeback trail to the life you were meant to live. Good luck. Please don't moan/think about holidays, never drinking again, a life without booze ever. Just today, that's all you need to focus on. This day is all that counts. Good luck all.
—Guest B52

Anxious Annie

Today I am about 24 hours sober and I feel so anxious but I know I have to beat this. I am a wine drinker and honestly I feel like I don't drink that much. Maybe three glasses a night but I am a consistent drinker and I want to stop/cut back. I guess I am at a cross roads....can I be a normal person that has a glass of wine at dinner...or will I be that person that can't stop once I start. I work out a ton and am a mother. I really have been drinking since college and I work in an industry that hires a ton of college grads so drinking is part of our culture. I just hate feeling hungover and I maybe have two or three mornings a month that this happens. I think the hardest part is the 24 to 48 hour period that I have..it is actually now. I am bored, folding laundry and craving a glass of wine. My anxiety is high and I hate it!
—Guest expat

Thanks marilyn...hey scooter

Thanks. Im sick of this constant battle, this never ending nightmare, where no matter how far I get away from it I end up hugging a toilet bowl . Marilyn , its taught me all the lessons and then its begins the same class again and again. ...I've never met anyone who suffers so badly from what I call the "fear".the anxiety, and insomnia arrives at about 3 am and my fizzy blood feeling lasts for days. I want to open a vein to let the booze out how do we forget the whole evil, twisted, paranoia that comes after. Im sick of failing. Its such a clever drug the way it makes you forgive it and then its beats the daylights out of you again....just walked Back through dublin city centre,and I became angry that we were all trained to drink, trained badly....scooter. ..drink doesnt make us exciting, makes us weak and pathetic. .....I missed my dad's death because they couldn't contact me I was being drunk and exciting. ..thanks guys.
—Guest halo
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