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

Responses: 12862


Updated September 22, 2012

To: Jolouisephilips

Hi, I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I really think you need to go back to your doctor, alcohol withdrawal can be very serious for some and it sounds like you need a medically supervised detox. Please don't suffer this alone it can be lethal. Tell your doctor everything, it is essential that you are helped through this and are not alone. Why has he put you on an unsupervised reduction plan, that sounds like madness to me. Very few alcoholics successfully taper, most do as you did and go back to a heavy binge. Are you American or British as different support systems are in place.
—Guest Mary

To: Fighting 123

I hate to say this but people, events, bills etc are not reasons to drink they are excuses. I would have drank if the postman's dog had a birthday but it was just another excuse to justify my drinking. It all comes down to you nothing else. You can't control other people or events that happen but you can control how you respond to them. Your learned response is to reach for a drink, think it through to the logical conclusion, will it change what's happened, No. Will it lead to another, then another drink, Yes. Will you wake next day ashamed and feeling like a loser, Yes. Will you dread seeing the look of disappointment on your husband's face, Yes. Nothing and no-one can help you until you REALLY surrender and accept that you cannot drink like 'normal' drinkers. Please don't wait until your husband decides he's had enough because, worst case scenario, he will have to justify his actions by telling everyone that you are an alcoholic and unfit mother, will it have been worth it...NO.
—Guest Mary

26 Days:

Thanks so very much for the kind and real words. Everyday I have the urge for a drink. I know it will never go away. Sometimes I think I will just have one but I know I cannot stop at just one. Reading all the stories and comments have helped me so much. I thank everyone for their honestly and truthful statements about their drinking and the feelings we have stopping. I feel so much better everyday but the monkey is always whispering in my ear. Will post again on my 30th. day as I seem to think that is something of a milestone for me. Thanks to all and I pray for us all. Peace
—Guest Fast Eddy

Cats away

Wife is headed south for a week should be interesting to see how I deal with being alone. Always had beer or such to pass the void gonna have to try to find something to occupy myself with. Oh bother what to do!!! Peace to all
—Guest Selfih65

Thanks for your advice

Hi All Just want to say thank you for your advice and support to everyone. You are all amazing people. I finally admitted 3 days ago I have a problem. I'm drinking up to 3 bottles of wine a day no hassle. I start my journey in 6 days time with my first session of counseling, I was very lucky to get in so quickly. I know it's going to be hard I won't lie I have for far too long. You have all inspired me to go forward on my journey with your honesty. I wish you all the best of luck and really appreciate you sharing your wisdom in the posts. I know in the future I will come back and share my journey with such honesty and integrity. Again thank you all
—Guest Thank you all

To: all

Into my fourth month of sobriety now , what a different life. Well worth the month of withdrawals. Keep reading these post folks, it really is worth the effort.
—Guest griffey1

Day 5 .. again :-)

I think many day 5s is better than many day 4s :-) Igotaclue & brownhorsewithdot and your insights into "coping skills" - wow you 2 are really onto something. I reflected on that and it very much strikes a chord. Like most I have made some bad decisions and had some situations thru which I simply adopted a "stiff upper lip" and drank on through cos I was good at that and it made me feel better. And I do like it. However, I'm starting to realise that drinking is denying real life. And real life isn't easy.. but its got to a be a lot easier without the shame, the awful, awful anxiety, the crippling depression (which has been a more recent addition to the suite of marvellous side effects) and poor health. Today I might start the long overdue job of painting my hall. I took this week off to deal with the latest detox. Still got a fuzzy brain and a headache but starting to feel better physically. Emotionally is going to be a longer journey i guess. At 39 its probably about time i grow up.
—Guest howwoulditbe

To Ready2bdone

Good for you for taking this step! I am a mom as well and one of my girls has a behavior disorder and I need a very clear head in order to anticipate some of her moods and reactions. Plus there are counseling appointments, paperwork, working with the school, etc. It's a ton of work that becomes overwhelming if you are trying to do it buzzed or hung over. Our lives become unmanageable and its a terrible way to live. Be careful with the withdrawal and seek medical attention if the anxiety gets to be too much. As ashamed as I was, I went to the ER because of chest pains and I am very glad I did. I got medication to ease the withdrawal and to protect me from seizure. I am familiar with the guilt, the shame and the fear. Life is so much better without those constant ugly feelings. You are worth this effort. Please stick around and keep reading and posting. We will help you through this. Peace.
—Guest Better_Now

Does is REALLY get better?

I have been fighting to remain sober for months now and recently put the drink down AGAIN. It's killing me and my family. Is it normal to be scared of sobriety after drinking every day for so many years? Does life really become easier, happier, more energetic?? Why am I so scared to give up my wine? Is this a normal fear? I just want hope in knowing this roller coaster of emotions from withdrawals will only get better....can someone reassure me? I'm scared yet excited of this new way of life
—Guest Fighting123


I drank before things got really bad for me. I never thought it would become such a dangerous and destructive habit. Depression and alcohol are a dangerous mix. In depression you are so vulnerable.Low self esteem, lack of hope,self hatred. because I had adopted alcohol as a way to cope it ended up taking over my life. The worst part came when I realized that I wasn't worth sobering up for. My sister took her life because of her mental illness and I felt so guilty and ashamed that I was putting my parents through that nightmare all over again. By my own efforts I have been sober for three weeks but I am afraid that I cannot maintain it if there are other issues. Meds did not work for my sister. I find this website has been the most help I have had yet. I have been trying to do damage control by controlling my drinking but it will boil over soon.
—Guest Am I there?

To: Liftmeup

You are exactly right, I have to face the fact that I cannot drink. I have quit in the past and it wasn't all that hard, just the first few days of shakes, nausea, etc. I did so well, then fell victim to oh, I can just have a couple, NOPE! Now I am going through the horrible withdrawals all over again and it sucks. I never imagined I would put myself through this again. It's just not worth it. I need to fight this once and for all before I lose my family. Thanks for your support.
—Guest Fighting123

To: AmIthere

Hi there, I'm glad you found us. Are you still suffering from anxiety and depression or have those issues been resolved. You know of course that alcohol is a depressant so it could be making you feel anxious when you are not drinking. Are you on any meds and do you feel able to talk to your doc. I know this is a lot of questions but if you could give some more info we will be better able to help.
—Guest Mary

Effects Alcohol Withdrawal vs Stopping

I am going through reduction following many months of drinking at least a 70cl bottle of vodka daily plus wine in evening.I have already been through 1 terrifying episode of visual hallucinations in 12/12 but not diagnosed as alcohol withdrawal just given diazapam for a week being put down to lack of sleep.I knew no better being something I have never had exposure to so did not even occur to me the true problem so continued until I stopped completely for 2 days in 1/ 13 thinking I was doing a good thing (again naive) to suffer 48hrs of terrifying visuals resulting in hospitalisation for a night where it was finally diagnosed as withdrawal.I have been on a reduction plan supported by Addaction, GP, family since doing really well until this weekend when I drank far to much as I have been having very bad anxiety and thinking I can see things etc for a few weeks now.I am now really scared to stop incase the visuals really do come back.Has anyone felt the same and how can I overcome it.


Well, I am in my early 30's. Have a good job, good home, and a problem. Lost both my parents in the last 10 years. I have been a moderate drinker since 21, but in the last 4 years since I lost my mother it has increased exponentially. I can easily polish off a handle of scotch in a day and a half and the same for an equal size bottle of vodka. During my work week the drinking would start when I get home until I pass out and on the weekend ti would start early. I know I have a problem and am finally doing something about it. I have become an angry drunk and lost the most important people in my life recently. It is sad it came to this for me to finally take the leap, but here I am. The stories here have been inspirational to say the least. I am now at almost 36 hours sober and feel a bit cloudy with very little appetite, but doing ok so far otherwise. I am just absolutely petrified of the possibility of sever withdrawal symptoms. I am determined to succeed with this though.
—Guest finally doing something

To: confussed

everyone has a different rock bottom. If you can't drink without stopping then there is a problem, if your health is failing there is a problem. If you feel you are a terrible person there is a problem. If your drinking makes you an ass to those around you there is a problem. You don't have to be a bum on the street begging for money to drink to know you have a problem. Only you know if your drinking is a problem. How do you stop? (STOP)!!! Try it for a 3 months and see how you feel about not drinking. I wish I didn't go through the hell of withdrawls, you are one fortunate person if you can do it so easy. The test is not wanting to drink after quitting. If you know the amount your drinking will catch up to you, we all here will tell you it will. Feel very blessed that you can stop now before it is to late. Life is very very short and the ride as an alcoholic is a ride to hell. Jump on a harley instead it is much more fun!

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