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

Responses: 7872


Updated April 10, 2014

To: blackbird

When I first quit drinking I only told a select few. The first week was very overwhelming to me mentally. I'm sure I looked like death warmed over and felt even worse. Gradually I wanted to tell more people, my close friends. I own my own business but only some of my clients know. Some of my clients I'm personally close to, others are just business. If other clients find out I won't mind. If my story helps one person with this disease that makes me feel ok with many knowing. I have 2 best friends I've known since jr high and high school. Both of them drink but can take it or leave it. With a grateful heart I'm still able to spend time with them. A few others know I may not be able to attend a function they are having "yet". I love them dearly but don't trust myself. Why temp fate? I hope my story helps. Congrats to you and I wish you the best :)
—Guest harmony

To Mary

Thank you again Mary for your kind thoughts. I truly appreciate it. And I would consider us to be nothing less than friends. I would love to put out my email address on this site, to be able to talk with anyone, whenever. It doesn't have my name attached to it. Is that OK for us to do? If anyone knows, let me know. I have some very defined thoughts on attaining sobriety, but I am afraid to say them here as I would not want to offend anyone or Buddy T. I feel all of us can attain sobriety, it's keeping sober that's tough. I remember getting out of detox the first two times and asking myself, "now what"? The usual "plan" didn't work for me in the past, so after the third time in detox, well that time I had my own plan when I got out and it worked. You and I have the same view with the mind. To me it's everything. Doesn't matter anymore how many "drinking" people or "drinking" situations I am around. If I hadn't allowed myself to be open in my mind and change, I'd still be drunk.
—Guest robert1952

To: Matty

Thanks for the well wishes. Your self diagnosis comment was funny. Good to see you have a sense of humor. In our recovery it's needed because at times, especially in the beginning first months things are overwhelming. I hope all goes well for you tomorrow. I'm thinking it'll be a few days for some of the results so hang in there. No more self diagnosing, I'm liable to catch what you think you have. lol Hugs to you sweetie
—Guest harmony

To: Anybody with insomnia

Insomnia was the worst withdrawal symptom I had. Here are some things that have helped me. Remind yourself that it will get better. Your body needs sleep, and it will heal itself so that you can sleep. It will happen, but it can take a while. It took around a month for me. Exercise. Google "sleep hygiene" and try all the suggestions given. Get outside in the sun everyday. The sunlight helps to establish your circadian rhythm (24 hour clock) which will help you sleep better, and it also helps your body produce Serotonin and Melatonin which help you sleep (as well as create vitamin D and who knows what else that has not been discovered). Avoid stimulants like caffeine until your sleep is better. The stimulants are not going to help with the other withdrawal symptoms, either.

To: Setitmentalchic

Honestly there is nobody on this forum that can answer that question for you. Only you know for sure, but that can be difficult if you are in denial, and many of us deny we are in denial, that's the nature of it. But deep down inside you probably know. Maybe take a look at "Cut Down or Quit - Should You Cut Down Drinking Alcohol or Quit" on this site, if you have not already. Wishing you the best of luck.

To: Blackbird

Hi Blackbird, I am glad your #1 goal is to quit. For me, that was the necessary ingredient. Make it the #1 priority. It still is too. I believe it is important to forgive yourself. We can't be well and carry around a bag of regrets and guilt. Forgive yourself, don't do it anymore and go forward. For mental health. I just told people that alcohol makes me sick. If anyone offered me a drink I said "I have been wanting a Coke all day". That did the trick. I'm sure you will get some more responses on how to answer people. I believe in total sobriety. It is freeing to not make the decisions over and over again. Once I decided no alcohol at all. It got so much easier. Very best wishes to you, Blackbird. We are here for you.
—Guest Big Fish

To: Catlover

Hi catlover, 7 days for you! Great! I am so glad to hear you slept 2 days! That should help your outlook a lot. A good night's sleep is so refreshing. I'm really happy you are doing so well. God bless you.
—Guest Big Fish

To: Duglasses

Hi Duglasses, welcome here. Congratulations on choosing sobriety. The experts say the worse should be over by 48 hours. I felt better on day 4 myself. Also some may linger for 2 weeks but probably not severe. You can google levels of alcohol withdrawal if you want to read it. It depends how long and hard an individual drinks, so it does vary. Believe me, you will feel better when the alcohol gets out of you. Keep going. It is worth it! Best Wishes!
—Guest Big Fish

To: Littleone

Hi Littleone, Good job on 5 days sober! Yea for you! Even better that you are gonna go to the counselor. Great plan. You are gonna feel better and better. Keep going! ( - :
—Guest Big Fish


Dear Cheryl, thinking about you. Best wishes to you! With Love to You.
—Guest Big Fish

To: Susan7

Hi susan7, I remember your posts. What wonderful news! Not only are you one year sober but your daughter too! I am proud of you both! Excellent! You both get a Whoo Hoo! ha ha
—Guest Big Fish

To: Hopelessness

Hello to you, hopelessness. Alcohol is a depressant. When the alcohol is in you, it does make you feel hopeless. The further you get away from the alcohol, the more hopeful you will become. I promise. Life is beautiful when sober. You can do it! Make a plan and get going! Everyone around you will benefit. God bless you and all the posters.
—Guest Big Fish

To: Stetitmentalchic

I hope to clarify what I've been trying to say. I think I'm in a different place than a lot of you. I'm older (almost 70), retired, have a stable family, am in good health (at the moment), and never had any major problems relating to my drinking, other than embarrassing myself, falling asleep right after dinner, not remembering stuff the next day. I came to this site because I want to change. Since "wine with dinner" is a real pleasure in my stage of life, I am trying for the control method. Most of the times it's been ok, but others "not so much." I would never say this is a good method for anyone else.We all need to find our own way. Be well.
—Guest Grannyann

To: Joe

Hi Joe, welcome here! I got the shakes badly also. If you feel they are too bad to quit cold turkey, you have some other choices. I tapered down over a period of 30 days. Keep drinking one less drink until you get down to one, then stop. This lessened the severity of the withdrawals enough for me to quit. Then I took a week off and quit altogether. The tapering down is what allowed me to be able to do it. You have another choice: go to the doctor and get some trazadone or some meds that lessen the severity also. Quitting can be a big shock to your system. I believe it is good to take steps to lessen the severity. I wish sobriety for everyone, Joe. I am rooting for you.
—Guest Big Fish

To: ChangeisGood

Dear ChangeisGood, 4 days! yea for you! The fact that you chose St. Patrick's Day tells me how over it you are! That is great! Keep going. Sobriety rocks! I love a life with no alcohol. I know you will too! ( - :
—Guest Big Fish

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

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