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

Responses: 7850


Updated April 10, 2014


Hi all - I am very glad I found this forum. I am an alcoholic and find it hard to talk about. I am at the point where I realize I have to quit. Alcohol has taken over my life....barely remaining functional at this point. The shakes are nearly constant and I am experiencing social anxiety and nervousness like never before. All I can think about is where and when can I get my next drink. Kids want food, no not Subway - they don't serve! I am ready to try detox on my own, but I am very afraid of withdrawal. Aren't there Meds that can help with this?

To All

My post has nothing to do with the withdrawal process and there is nothing I could say or do that would get any of you to quit. The consequences of our drinking has never been a reason to quit. I finally got sober just over four years ago. I went through a medical detox followed by one on one therapy to resolve the reasons of why I drank and I have been able to break the addiction. My son in law got sober just over three years ago by taking his own life. Two days ago I took his sons to the cemetery to place flowers on his grave. They are only five and three and a half. Their idea of "Dad" is a cold granite marker with a name on it. As we turned to leave, the youngest said "Bye Daddy, see you next time" and my heart broke all over again. It amazes me that the consequences don't matter to us at all while we are drinking, but we force those around us to live with those consequences the rest of their lives. Take care everyone.
—Guest robert1952

My Story

My drinking summed up, first it was fun, then it wasn't, then it was hell. I had to lose everything to find anything. Before withdrawing, please see your doctor as the withdrawal can and does kill and just because you get through ok once doesn't mean you will this time. Life on its own terms both sucks and blows, but at its worst is 100x better than the horror of waking up in the horror day after day. I have so many horror stories, but if your on here then you have your own. Aa is worth a look, not everybody there is a head case, although there are a few! Make a decision, take some action, but please see a doctor first!
—Guest Lunny

Slipped twice this past month

I had 23 days, in drank 4 glasses when my best friend came home and 4 more a few days after. I'm using it as a learning lesson as I'm not ready to socialize with friends in a drinking atmosphere this soon. Happy I had more days not drinking than the days I did drink. :) I'm still experiencing withdrawal symptoms, insomnia, anxiety, shame and remorse from letting myself down. They are not as bad as the fist time but are still there.
—Guest Blue

Summer with out drinking can be done

Last summer was something I thought would be a drag without drinking. Not so at all. With spending time with the right folks, planning meals, games, evolving the children that were often left out do to adults drunkenness was a blast! Those that wanted to drink brought there own coolers and I brought the best blended tropical drinks one could ask for. This is how normal people have fun, not getting blitzed making a fool out of them selves and suffering from pain and shame the next day! We have great memories and lots of pictures to show. Even grandma twirking and grandpa smiling!


Hi I have just stopped drinking today after drinking heavily for about ten years. I have tried to stop so many times and as I only drink lager I have carried on telling myself that its not spirits. I have tried AA and it is not for me. I have got antabuse and am going to try this approach once the alcohol is out of me. I feel that it will take away the choice and that will make it so much easier for me. I will let you know how I get on and as it takes a few days to get out of your system I will have time to think and reconsider if I get weak. I so want to beat this as I have no quality of life and it is effecting my poor children so much.
—Guest Jean

Here we go again

I'm so scared. I've been an alcoholic/ addict for 10 years (I'm 29). I started bar tending when I was 19, what began as social drinking quickly became a major problem. Both my parents were alcoholics and mom died from breast cancer when I was 16. I dealt with it by not dealing with it, I had the most incredible best friend who loved me unconditionally since we were sophomores in high school. I had a great boyfriend, my dad is also amazing, I can tell him anything, he was aware of my problem and did everything he could. When I started bartending I developed my painkiller addiction, on painkillers I wasn't shy, could do anything and felt invincible...until the withdrawal started. I have detoxed from pills about 5 times but then I drink. My drinking started out with a big bottle of white zinfandel every night (with me nodding out and spilling it all over myself in front of my boyfriend and our mutual friends) .I was a mess and believed no one knew what was going on. I started drinking.


I am sorry to say that there is no easy way fighting this Alcohol addition. It sneaks up on you like a deathly viper. You can get past the addiction but the mental obsession is something different. I had lots of questions about why I couldn't drink like others. I was really mad. It all came down to the fact that I hated my life and the drinking that caused pure destruction. I had to face only 2 things. Life or death either me or someone else. Things couldn't get much worse so it only could get better. I pulled all my guts out, fought with all my life. I reached out for any help I could fine and I MADE IT!! Drinking does not define who I am, it defines that I was sick and can be healed. Being a drunk has taught me that I have a strength well beyond my dreams. My life has begun with many blessings, lots of new beginnings. I am almost sober 2 years now and people could never guess I was an Alcoholic and neither can I. It starts with just quitting drinking that simple your done!
—Guest Igotaclue

I don't enjoy drinking...

But I dot it anyway. First off, thank you IGOTACLUE for your words. I realize that I need to get reacquainted with my emotions, which is a huge reason why withdrawal often feels unbearable. I'm also realizing that I don't like drinking. This may seem obvious to others, but it just hit me like a ton of bricks. The FUN of drinking left a long time ago. Halfway into a bottle of wine I'm actually just hoping for the binge to be over. What a strange addiction this is. If only this awareness translated into a lack of cravings. Thank you all for these posts. They help me get perspective when I'm in the fog. Every day is a struggle but I'm trying.
—Guest ladien

To: Abbieanne

I hope you are ok, abbieanne. I have been in that boat, husband not talking to me, and just the self hate and remorse one would think would be enough to stop. hoping your withdrawals are not too bad....i have been in and out of AA for years, just minor withdrawals. please keep reading the posts here and get to a meeting if you need support. i swore many times to family that i would quit, only to start the following weekend in all the instances. stay strong and see a doctor if you need.
—Guest susan7

To Hell and Back

I wouldn't consider myself an alcoholic, but then what alcoholic ever does. I can usually keep control of myself, though definitely drink more than the average person. However, I recently went on holiday with a friend and a 3 day bender ensued. I'm talking waking up at 6:30am because we both couldn't sleep to do shots of vodka. After day 3 when I stopped drinking, the withdrawals kicked in and it has been enough to scare me sober since then (Day 6 now). I wanted to kill myself. Racing and intrusive thoughts, it felt like I had 40 thoughts racing through my head all at once - the worst possible feeling. I was hearing voices, music, and felt like I was going crazy. I was thinking of anything in the hotel room I could use to kill myself and take the pain away. I told my friend how awful I felt and wept in her arms as she told me it would be ok. All with a heart beating out of my chest and a migraine headache. A true hell on earth. Stay strong - we can all beat this evil substance.
—Guest Kim

To: Abbieann143

Dear abbie. I have been in your boat. Many , many times. I know the absolute desperation that depression will bring to our lives, how you feel there is absolutely no reason to live. As well as alcohol addiction, I have been diagnosed with depression and I've fought many battles. But there is hope. First is getting rid of the poison that will drag us down farther. Alcohol will not only destroy us physically, but mentally and spiritually too.There are many sources available online, or in your community. It will be a fight in the beginning but the reward is worth it. You can post on this sight to seek support during withdrawals. It is also important to talk to your doctor. When you are feeling down its hard to make proper decisions, I know. You have the strength in you to fight this. By posting on this site it shows you have the courage to seek help. There is much to live for. Reach out for help and you'll be surprised how many open arms out there. All the best, Marilyn
—Guest Marilyn

To: Cherylgeyer911

Welcome back. It's good to hear from you. Sad story about the baby robins. It would have upset me too. I'm glad to hear you want to work on getting you healthy. I see your struggles with alcohol. We understand and we are here for you. You don't have to do this alone. Stay strong
—Guest Harmony


Welcome here. I find that vitamins help to boost my energy. I suggest B-12 complex, daily multi vitamins, fish oil, and magnesium. Magnesium can be dangerous if you have kidney or liver damage so use with caution. Exercise will also help to boost your energy. Start out walking 20 minutes a day. Try to stay away from processed foods and lighten up on your carbohydrates. Hope this helps. :)
—Guest Harmony

To Cherylgeyer911

Hi cheryl, thinking about you and wishing you well. Fight the good fight! It is so worth it! Love and hugs.
—Guest Big Fish

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

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