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

Responses: 7893


Updated September 19, 2014

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

I wanted to say to all the young party girls that may be pregnant to do some reading about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It is a very sad way to abuse unborn children and the life long effects they have. Drinking = sex and lack of memories and doing really stupid stuff we would not do sober. If you think withdrawals are bad try your hand at taking care of a child that you yourself gave a life sentence to of learning disabilities and motor skill problems. Boyfriends and husbands and future fathers take care of your unborn children too, don't feed them alcohol, feed them lots of love and safety, this world is hard enough as it is. This is my thought for the day after meeting a beautiful child with FAS. This was not his fault! Think beyond yourself, drink responsible this child could be yours. Hugs Clue

Rock Bottom

Last year, after 9 months sober, I relapsed. I didn't see that relapse coming. I felt great, in my mind alcohol belonged to the past, the old me was gone. I won't forget, ever. Coming back from a walk, my tricky alcoholic mind told me that having a drink won't harm, kind of rewards of having been sober for nearly a year. I did. I was ok, well, I thought I was. Not worth it, that was my last thought when I went to bed. I had a horrible nightmare, I woke up with indefinable guilt, shame, remords, anxiety. I needed another drink to stop the pain, the fear, I lost control, I lost my mind, and I drank for 2 weeks non stop. Back to square one, back to hell. I am powerless over alcohol. Period. Did I need that last drink to know it? I think now I did to know that I am an alcoholic for ever. "I won't drink today, it's as simple as that". You said it all. Never forgetting how bad it was. "One drink is too many, a hundred is not enough" I forgot how true it is. I am happy for you. Yvan.
—Guest Yvan

To all

I suppose like many, I tried quitting for the others, it never worked, it did when I stopped for myself first. I saw the damages I caused around me for so long, too late to get the past back, not too late for a new start. I can say today, without this site and AA, I would drink still. I wanted to know all about alcoholism, I needed to meet people like me, I needed to know I wasn't alone, I needed to hear here similar stories, to know there was some hope, I needed support, no judgment. I found it here and with the help of AA. It was hard, I had a relapse last December after nine months, a short relapse, but a blessing in a way. Never think the JUST ONE DRINK is ok, it brought me back to square one. Now I have great days, ups and downs like everyone, but I enjoy life, I love being sober. Alcohol was taking me to the grave, I have found myself again. This site 16 months ago saved me. I am again 6 months sober. Never give up, never. We all can do it. We are not alone. Love to all.
—Guest Yvan

Much appreciated

Thanks Igotaclue for the support and wise words you share. It helps so much. I come here at least three times a week sometimes more and it's really great to read what everyone is experiencing and the feedback from those who have been there. I definitely have PAWS but I think they are getting better now that I'm in the third month. I'm a runner and that helps a lot to alleviate the stress. Even just a few miles will really calm me down because my nervous system sometimes goes on overdrive now, especially after 5 pm. And other things that help are ice cream, finding shows on Netflix and watching whole seasons, reading, walking the dog, and researching on the Internet what I'm going through.
—Guest Runner girl

37 days strong

I am so pleased to see Rock Bottom doing well. Keep it up and to everyone else taking the right steps to deal with this life stealing addiction. We are stronger than it. I Have to say the first 3 weeks were ok, but I hit week 4 and I could have sold my soul at times. But at the worst, this weekend, where I paced the house, cried in frustration and knew that if there was alcohol around I would not have resisted. But there was none and I did not go out for any. I drank a liter of fizzy water and a cup of tea [my favorite tipple these days]. Mood dip really bad in week 4 and doubts, no fear, crept in. I can not go down that path again. I read my journal from day one and that helped. Feel on track again but the message is that i think i stopped planning how to handle 'my recovery'. I am in recovery and it will tie at least three months to feel any kind of normal before my future really begins and I really break free. Clue love your posts, you're an inspiration. Love to all.
—Guest Bernie

Day 19

Going really well, feel great. I wouldn't say I have had any real tests yet though, no parties etc. One thing I'm thinking about today though is how far away the withdrawal symptoms feel now and I know this is dangerous thinking. I can't imagine how I felt when I was on day 2, but I know it was horrific. Sweating and shaking was just the start. Depression, anxiety, really scared. Scared to sleep, not that I could. Seeing things when closing my eyes and the worst dreams in the world. This is what I have to remember and nothing would let me go back, no matter how great I feel today and how unimaginable those debilitating feelings seem to me right now. I'm just going to stick with my tried and trusted "I won't drink today" it's as simple as that. Love and support to all.
—Guest Rock Bottom

Tools I use while going throug detox

I made a plan. I bought flavored sports drinks and lots of bottled water. I bought fruit, candy and snacks I liked to eat. I ate a lot of soup to sooth my stomach. I had Melatonin for sleep. You can buy it at a health food store. I took vitamins b12-zinc D to get my body jump started. I started a journal to bitch in and tell my feelings to. I changed my grooming habits and tried to look human again. Also I prepared myself for some serious cravings by taking a walk, exercising, cleaning up messes, making a list of things I needed to do for years and sticking to it. I made sure I ate, drank and rested as much as I could. I knew sleep would not be my friend. I did things like put puzzles together, read about alcoholism, painted a room and gardened. It took a lot of pushing because I had no energy at all. Most of all I took some me time to sit and talk to myself about my real goal. It took a lot of deep breathing during the panic attack and patience with my body being so out of whack

To: runner girl

64 days is awesome! The ups and downs that now are happening are normal. Its important to eat, drink, rest and keep away from boredom. These feeling can make you think you are craving. Look up P.A.W.S. it was very helpful for me to read about it. Your Brain and body are now healing and your sides effects of drinking will go away. My feeling of doom was from many things. My best friend was booze and it had left me with many scars. I had emotions that I had no idea what they were or where to put them. I started a journal and wrote my feelings down to get them out. I joined a woman's AA group and that really help me a lot. To hear that others understand me and to see that many have beat this addiction gave me the strength that I could to. To me the quitting drinking was easy but the emotion part of staying sober is what I needed a lot of help with. I need to understand Why I drank and what I found out was not pretty but I could get past. I just didn't want to feel. I do now! hugs clue

Day 10 Still Going Strong

Found it hard today the depression has kicked in again. Plus I lost a good friend because she was always drunk and didnt like me being sober. I coped by cleaning the house and cooking a really nice meal. Feel a lot stronger, eating healthy and keeping up with everything. Lot of time on my hands I used to spend drinking. My swollen abdomen has already started going down and I have energy. Plus I have my self-esteem back dont feel like a loser at life.

64 days...

So it's been 64 days and finally I feel kind of good. I'm almost afraid to say it. The last couple months have been hellish I must admit. After the initial bad week there was a honeymoon period of feeling okay but then after that each day was a battle. And it's hard to describe because you face different crazy things like feeling out of sorts, random twitching, bouts of dehydration, coming out of your skin and just sort of a heavy fog. And now and then there is a glimpse of feeling ok. But there's also this doom like feeling like reality is slapping you in the face and you don't have your normal crutch to turn to. But I was determined and I am still determined to experience life without the poison and I must say that this glimpse I'm having on day 64 is pretty amazing; hope it lasts a while.
—Guest Runner girl


Any experience using the drug camprol in early sobriety? Been prescribed to me and I'm waiting to receive it. Any input welcome. Thanks!
—Guest chablis


I am no expert or qualified to tell or judge anyone what to do. I can tell you that 19 months ago I was in your shoes. I was drinking a quart of tequila a day drunk on my butt 24/7. I to suffer from panic attacks and PTSD and I know what you are feeling. I just wanted to lay down and die. I had left a relationship of 10 years, lost my business and was loosing my house that I worked hard for and it was all because of my drinking. How could I find a job being a drunk. I could I change anything being a drunk. The booze made my panic worse, my depression severe, my will to live almost taken away. As you keep saying you have had enough. Have you? When you stop feeling sorry for yourself and believe you can not drink then the healing will begin. It is not just about quitting it is about doing, working hard. I started with AA, it is free and it works for those that make it work. Get help, you can't do it alone. The booze is bigger than you and your life is a mess. Hugs Clue

Drinking and violence

I personally am not a violent person to anybody but myself. I punish myself for not being able to find a job, for having social anxiety, for getting withdrawals so bad that I call them "floor withdrawals." Which are the day after the panic attacks, and I literally cannot seem to wake up. I spent the entire day last weekend moaning on the carpeting of my apartment, to the point where even getting up to go the bathroom seemed impossible. I'm sick of this.
—Guest Josie

Rock bottom

12 days is an awesome start! Be proud of your self! It takes a lot of guts to know what you need to do to have a better life and to actually do it. Hang on tight it is quite a ride with many ups and downs. Do not listen to your stinking thinking about drinking. That voice is a lying demon, the truthful thought is the one that has your best interest. Stay strong hugs Clue.

To igotaclue

Thankfully, we don't have kids. Times have been rough. We lost electricity and I went through such bad withdrawals again, alone, while being yelled at. I feel better today. I cleaned the house and I'm doing laundry and drinking Gatorade. But I know you are so right in every way.
—Guest Josie
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