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

Responses: 7879


Updated April 10, 2014

To: Matty

Hi Matty, are you taking magnesium? I believe bigfish is right to advocate this, it helps with many symptoms. It is very important you eat a healthy diet, I know Dylan is excellent at healthy eating advice. You joke but there probably is something in the fact that you have substituted drink for food in the past. i couldn't be bothered to eat if I was drinking, now I make myself even when I don't feel hungry. You are very wise and brave to see your doctor, nothing is worse than our own imagination. I agree with you about the internet, if we believed all we read we'd be having whip rounds for funerals left right and center. Good luck with the doc, keep us posted AND START EATING! or I'll have to bring you home and fatten you up.
—Guest mary

To Grannyann

I think that it is perfectly lovely to have wine with dinner. I live in wine country and pairing different wines with great food is a dream of mine. I just can't do it. If you can, I would say to enjoy it!. I used to be able but drinking crept up on me over the last 10 years, after I quit my sports, etc. It sounds as though you know what you are doing. Maybe someday I,ll be able to make a fantastic dinner and my husband and I will enjoy a glass or two, but for now, I'm a bit out of control. It's day 8 though and I feel good, optimistic about doing this. If I don't sleep I'm happy to read, which I couldn't do if I had fallen asleep after wine!
—Guest catlover

To blackbird

Someone on this sight a long time ago said that he/she just said "heartburn" . Has worked for me!
—Guest catlover

To activenomore

I found one more thing that REALLY helped me with sleep. It's a box that just makes white noise. I put it on "rain" We live in the country but there is a road going by. Cars or trucks go by so infrequently that I think that it kept me "listening" . Also there were just various other sounds. Any way, it really helped me. I'm on day 8 and feeling good. I seem to be obsessing about this and that. Catlover does,after all, have a cat! I saw a wild one heading into a barn! So I put out food and hope he/she stays. Cats/no mice/ no rattlesnakes.
—Guest catlover

To: All

Thank you all for the well wishes. The tornado left over 200 family's displaced and not 1 fatality. That is a miracle. It will be a week today since it happened and some of the roads are still shut down. I helped clean up one of the homes Tuesday and the tornado tore the double garage door right off and they still haven't found it. Our area had a record high yesterday 84°. I live in a cold weather state and the sun and warmth make for a joyous occasion. I'm sober today with a grateful heart. Have a wonderful day my friends.
—Guest harmony

To: Blackbird

Tell as much of the truth as you feel is required to avoid accepting the drink. Honesty is best but in the early days it can be hard. Tell people the truth right now alcohol makes you sick. People you trust tell more some will be very supportive, many probably know you have a problem. Love and hope

To: setitmentalchic

What a good question. I feel it's a personal choice. I'm an alcoholic. I can't drink today. I won't judge you because I don't know your situation. I can share my story. Often I told myself I'm not an alcoholic. I can handle this on my own. The harder I tried the worse it became. Then, the more I thought I do have a problem. I've had times of sobriety. I did the binge drinking sometimes so bad that I'm sure I had alcohol poisoning. I threw up (speckled with blood) for hours the next day and went through withdrawals. I thought hmmm I'll drink a few each day this way when I really want to tie one on my system will be used to it. Insane thinking! LOL So today I don't drink. I can't drink just one. I feel for the majority here it was a decision that we fretted over for some time before admitting it. I can say this was true for me. Let us know how you are doing. We care.
—Guest harmony

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

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

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