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

Responses: 7804


Updated April 10, 2014

Drinking now

Here I am, reading inspirational stories with a drink in my hand. I can't get over the withdrawals. Why does alcohol control my mind? Last night I heard imaginary doorbells. My doorbell hasn't worked in a year. And I heard a voice calling "Mom!" more than once I want to get control of my life, but don't want to not have a beer once in an while with friends. Can it be controlled or is it my demise?

Had a chance and blew it

Been drinking every day for about 3 years since my divorce. Finally started having withdrawal in the mornings after drinking alone and decided to quit. As a single mother of 2, got tired of planning how to hide, buy and use without my kids knowing and had the perfect opportunity. They have been on vacation with their dad for a week...my first though was "cool! I can drink without hiding it for a week!" Then I thought "ok, time to stop and detox without them watching." They come home Sunday so thought I would start today. Finished off the bottle last night and felt ok for most of the day. Then all of a sudden around 5 (which is usually when I start) I suddenly got shakes, sweats, anxiety and went out for my usual rum and diet coke. Thought withdrawal would kick in quicker and panicked because my boyfriend is spending the night tomorrow and there is no way I am letting him see me like this, or sweating through the night. Decided to start again Saturday when he is gone.

Sober-in-Tampa (Day 11)

7/28/2011 - Wow what a rough night it was last night. I spent what seemed like an eternity struggling with myself not to go and buy beer. I finally tried to go to bed at 2200, tossed and turned and kept considering just having a drink. Finally I got up, jumped in the car and headed to Walmart to purchase some chocolate and yes it did the trick. I recommend getting the dark semi-sweet as you will tend not to eat a boat load of it and it seems to work better. That was a brutal day for me and spun out of control by pessimistic thoughts of the job market and having no luck yet landing a job. Today was much better and I cannot stress enough that good reasoning was that I kept busy, busy, busy. After I knew I would have a little down time at home I got a wild hair and rearranged all of my living room furniture and that burned about 2 hours. 2 hours of not even thinking about drinking. It is now close to 2400 and I am going to have a cold ROOT beer and call it a night. God Bless all!
—Guest Sober-in-Tampa

Time to Stop

Have a really good life but still drink a bottle of vodka a day. Not sure why. Can't believe no one notices. Read this site every night and am so inspired by the strength of some people to quit. I'll get there. Just not today.
—Guest Timetostop

Trouble sleeping

Hello. I have had a drink problem for 18 years, but I have been dry for 5 weeks. My stomach keeps turning over.
—Guest jimi38

Trying to stay sober

I feel for everybody on this board and wish you all the best in your getting well and finding your way our this circle of insanity called "alcoholism." If you're trying to detox on your own, please seek medical attention; it really does help. Myself I've been in the hospital several times before I finally was able to focus on my sobriety and become sane again. It's really tough, and in many ways you feel so beat up, embarrassed and foolish. Please work past all of the pain and try to get your lives back. It can be done. Be patient with yourself and realize that your human and have frailties. You're not alone. Thank goodness for boards like this.


I had always been a drinker. I began drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and taking large doses of Xanax after losing my job. I realized I had a problem and tried to up and quit cold turkey as I had done many times before. However, 2 days later I had a full blown seizure. I only remember running down the driveway reaching for help and my vision became very distorted and that's the last I remember. I woke up on a stretcher being taken to the hospital by ambulance. I was in the hospital for the next 6 days. It was there I began to do a wean down of the Xanax and alcohol with the drug Ativan. When I was sent home I had nothing to take. I was filled with horrible anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and shaking. I suffered for many months and several times just wanted to die. I don't know how I managed but it has been 7 months and I am still sober. The fear of going back and the fear of a seizure keep me clean!

I associate everything with drinking

I have been retired for 8 years and have drank a 12 pack every day since. Every day I tell myself maybe tomorrow I will quit. I know it is hard on my body because I have had several tests done and they all point to abuse. I associate everything with drinking. Mow the yard, work outside etc. Please give me some suggestions.
—Guest Really Tired

Sober-in-Tampa (Day 10)

7/27/2011 - I have been struggling the last few hours now with thoughts of really desiring a drink. I know that I am kidding myself to believe that it would just be one. God, what a struggle. I thought it best to write these feelings down now and hopefully just release the burden off of my shoulders. I was getting depressed with the lack of interest I have been getting in the job market and am really agitated as I am approaching a year now without work. It takes all of my energy not to throw in the towel and drown my sorrows and I guess that is sometimes what it does take. I sure hope this feeling of dependency goes away in time and I still manage to come up with reasons why I should not drink. I decided that it was not the right time after all to try and give up the smoking as well because I just do not feel I have the strength for that now as well. Baby steps I suppose. God bless all and I pray that you muster the strength in your time of need.
—Guest Sober-in-Tampa


Its been 6 days. This is the worst day yet. When will I stop thinking about a drink?
—Guest Judy

To: I'm Scared

Hello friend, we all know exactly where you are right at this very moment. Trust us ruby, read and write to us as much as you can during this experience because it will pass. All the physical crap will ease and you will have a clear mind to tackle the emotional side. Take the advice as far as the vitamins, green leafy veggies for magnesium, calcium, etc. The sleepless nights will ease with time and vigilance to not drink. It is so wonderful being proud of yourself for making it through each day. Yippie for you. Honor yourself ruby.I don't know if you believe in a higher power, just know that he believes in you. Stick with us.
—Guest Kid-o

It gets better

I am on day 106 of no alcohol. I never thought I could get to 30 days. I was generally fine for 8 to 10 days, then I would fall on my face. I have not felt or looked this good in a very, very long time. Over 30 years. I lost the craving for alcohol this time. I had what is know as the "white light" experience. God took it away finally, as I finally decided to surrender. I hit bottom way too many times. I am left with medical bills I can not pay, DUI problems, divorce, etc. Yeah, it kicked my butt. Never thought it could, but its the worst demon out there. I never had full DT's, but I shook so bad I had to use a straw to drink as I could not use my hands. The hot and cold flashes, insomnia and diarrhea were just more good times. It's unfortunately not funny. I totally sucks. But, having said that, day 106 and life is really good for me. God willing, I will never pick up a drink again. I recommend AA as a support group. Everyone in there has experienced the same things I have.


Shakes and insomnia. Try eating soup around people. That will make you feel like the biggest loser in the world. Or when people say "are you cold" and it's 90 out. I am nine days in and still if some one drops something or I hear a loud noise I feel like someone shattered my eardrum with a blow horn. night sweats also suck beyond belief. Wake up drenched, always twitching at night, I feel bad for my wife so I sleep on the couch most nights. Exercise has helped me even if it is just walking or stretching. I have been a severe alcoholic for 20 years. Everyday I think how is this going to be possible my entire life revolved around alcohol for so long. It's like a friend who does not judge you while your hammered but then kicks your butt up and down the block the next day. The regret and guilt has become unbearable, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am going to try and kick this sickness. I know I have at least another week in me. HA! Got to have a little humor or else I'll die.
—Guest nod

I'm in love with a recovering alcoholic

My love Matthew is an alcoholic and he is 3 days sober. He. Was drinking up to a case of beer a day. Sometimes a little less and sometimes a little more. He has been drinking for 21 years more on than off. He has made this decision on his own to stop drinking. He has had the shakes really bad and has thrown up quite a bit. He wants to eat but has trouble keeping it down. Please help me help him.
—Guest Diann Matthew

First post

Struggling with a whole new pattern or level of destructive drinking. Have some AA experience but some difficulty with their 'God' thing, "powerless" and rigidity with regards total and complete abstinence. Have been working on "harm reduction" and cutting back, but I'm not winning in that at this time. Real struggle going on within me. Hoping this forum will help me.

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

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