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

Responses: 12862


Updated September 22, 2012

2,200 days sober - 1 day at a time

I can hardly believe I am writing this - it doesn't seem long ago that I visited this forum as an alcoholic desperate to quit, but frightened to do it. I didn't even know the sober me. I had drunk heavily for 15 years or more and my life was beginning to fall apart. I am in the public eye, have an outwardly "normal" life but was living a massive lie. It got so bad that I feared drinking with anyone I knew, so I would seek out strangers to drink with - a dangerous past time for a woman. Or drink alone so that I could drink how and what I wanted without anyone challenging me. I became semi-reclusive, paranoid and would often wake up in the early hours with chronic anxiety that would leave me utterly convinced that suicide was the only answer to my pain. Then, one day, I just couldn't take it any more. I read the posts on this forum, gained strength from the struggles of others, and quit. That was 2,200 days ago - and I have NEVER looked back.


How long do the shakes usually last? The sweating I can deal with, but I work online and I can barely type, no sleep, sore stomach, this needs to stop, I want my life back
—Guest Fighting123

To Wendy

I am 37 days dry! Your body aches and feeling very tired will go away. My first 10 days I felt like I had the flu it gets better each day. I just keep reminding myself it took me years of drinking to do the damage but it seems like I am getting better faster than I thought possible. Take care of your self sleep if you need it try to watch funny movies go to library keep busy. Good luck to you Stay Strong! Lucy
—Guest Lucy

I did it again

Hi all, new to this forum. I am a binge drinker. 2 days ago I polished off a bottle of brandy. Now I am from terrible withdrawal symptoms. Every time I go through the withdrawals I promise myself never to drink again. I do this about every month or so. I can not go on like this. I need to find the strength to not drink. It is ruining my life!
—Guest cora

Physical recovery is quick!

Just wanted to share some stats to inspire - I was completely sure I had permanently damaged myself after 20 years consistent heavy drinking. 6 weeks after my last drink, I had to have an eye op this week. The thought had terrified me, was convinced I would die under GA, or that I wouldn't even be allowed due to high BP or something. But that was BEFORE I stopped. As part of pre op checks, my BP has gone down from per-hypertension range to 105/71 and pulse was at 58 from a cruising 110. All bloods right in the normal range. I was one point off hospitalization for B12 and iron deficiencies 3 months ago! In 6 weeks of good nutrition and looking after myself, my amazing, abused but wonderful body has recovered to such an extent already! IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO STOP! Hugs and strength to all in our battles and journeys xx
—Guest Louise

To Clue and all

Yes Clue you are absolutely right. Many people do not know that quitting alcohol, especially cold turkey can be potentially life threatening. When you become dependent physically on alcohol and you develop physical withdrawal symptoms (shaking, sweating, etc) even hours without the booze, that means your body develops a tolerance and a homeostasis to it, and without it your body goes into hyper state with the rapid rise in blood pressure and heart rate with can cause seizures and stokes. This happened to a dear friend of mine who quit without medical supervision, but survived, thank god, but at that time I was unaware what caused it. So to all the people who are taking the courageous step to become sober, I commend you but please, please talk to your doctor you are worth it! I am now 9 months sober and I cherish every moment. Life is so much better sober
—Guest Marilyn

Time for change

I am 9 days sober & I feel very depressed. I've had every night with cold sweats & all I'm eating is sweets. This is the first break I've had in over 2 years & most of the time I'm physically fit but at this moment in time I'm tired, achy & feel like I could cry. I want to stay sober & i am determined to fight on. Reading everyone's experiences on this site is up lifting & comforting. I still have a long way to go so hopefully I will post more on my recovery soon.
—Guest Wendy

Juicing Detox

Juicing and drinking lots of water daily helps cleanse the body and liver of toxins research juicing for detox of the liver. Juice 2 beets, 1 apple, 3 celery, small piece of ginger, one dandelion root....juicing helps with getting sleep. Juice daily at least twice a day
—Guest Jazmine

To: All

So you have chosen to get sober? Do you have a plan? Just putting the drink down will need more strength behind it. I highly recommend you see your doctor! Do not be alone with your withdrawals! Read the many posts here or surf the web for information about Alcohol withdrawals. Do not play around with your life. Ask for help. Keep a journal to get out your emotions and fears. Try to keep a positive attitude about why you want to quit drinking. Believe in yourself, you CAN DO THIS! Know that you are not alone! Many have found sobriety. This is a new year and offering you a new life. Go for it, do it, be done with drinking! Hugs Clue

Still staying strong

Thank you Clue! I'm seeing a therapist and I have forgiven those who hurt me. I'm not going to drink that's not a option the Dr said I will die if I do. Thank you for all of your support keep writing everyone it really helps, Love to all Lucy
—Guest Lucy

35 years drinking a fifth

When I turned 21 I had one drink on my bday. At 26 gave birth to my first daughter and now have a 2 1/2 year old. I don't know what happened but I have been drinking now for the last year. Today I said it was time to change that. I have had diarrhea for a couple of days, gained weight although I'm not eating these days, drinking a fifth everyday or every other day, lost my job, and now my husband (who always has had a drinking problem) wants to leave me after 12 years. I could go on and on, however I hope the strength I have read in all you helps me quit. I don't want to be a loser to myself or kids. This is not normal behavior for me. Quite surprised I've been doing this horrible thing for the last year. Worse is the sweating, anxiety, sleeplessness. Ooh and nausea. I pray for you all and hope the stories I have read will help me get through this.
—Guest Guest

To: lucy

Getting sober brings up all kinds of painful memories. I can tell you that you can survive with out drinking through them. All of our stories are filled with sadness and pain. To heal from that pain I had to look at the sickness of others. There were so many things I could not control though out my life. What I can control now is how I feel about my emotions. I have found forgiveness in others because they were (sick) it helped me heal. I did not ask to be abuse or ask for the many deaths in my life. They are part of life. I can want to move forward and look at the rain as washing away all my pain and then the sun light to return to warm my heart. I felt seeing a counselor helped me understand my feelings and pain. I am now 15 months sober. I have peace in my heart, my health and love back in my life. All this by putting the bottle that held my pity down. I recall my pain was much worse drinking. Stay strong, raining days can wash away the tears. Love Clue

64 Days...No Booze!

Wow! 64 days with no booze...who would have thought? Definitely not me! I have tried over the last year to stop on my own and I couldn't do it. I tried to go to AA meetings and I would get a few days and then I would relapse. I finally decided in December to go to rehab and it was definitely the best thing I could have done for myself. I have been attending AA meetings almost everyday. Thank goodness for those meetings and you guys, I have been able to get through my days and nights. I try not to worry too much about the future. I just concentrate on today. Some things I still struggle with like sleeping and such, but I feel so much better now. It is so nice to actually experience feelings now and not mask them with booze. One day at a time guys. Just one day at a time!
—Guest jensniners

Still staying strong

On Jan 31 I reached 1 month WOW big for me never have made it to a month. I have been drinking for 50 year! Body feels very good. Mind is a different story. Trying not to run from my painful life! I have as a child and as a Women been beaten, humiliated. Alcohol was my only friend. Rain is a huge trigger to drink for me at a young age I watched my father kick my very little dog to death! Why have I survived all this my daughter died in my arms we all have our stories of pain but I don't know if I can survive without alcohol. I trying it is suppose to rain a lot this week this is very hard. nly friend my worst trigger to drink is rain my rain and because of that rain is a big trigger for me
—Guest Lucy

Alcoholics have it easy

When you are an alcoholic the great news is that you no the solution to the biggest problem in your life: STOP DRINKING. I am day two now, have had countless day 2s before but that itching drives me so crazy I dont want to go through it again, hope this time is it.
—Guest Jake

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

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