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

Responses: 7799


Updated April 10, 2014

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.

Old haunt

Thanks soberezed for the props! Can't have too much positive feedback. I went into an old convenience store that I hadn't been in since last year. It had beer everywhere and smelled like a dump. I was really happy to be buying gas for the car and that's all. Keep going everyone, it is so nice to lose the ball and chain. God bless BuddyT.
—Guest fish

To: Sober In Tampa and Posters

Today is day 21 for me. I feel tired, lack of sleep. I believe it is the battle, insomnia, stress and my body and mind adjusting to alcohol absents. As far as junk food, I am trying to avoid. The cravings for alcohol are gone, but I feel like I am missing something. We all know it is the alcohol. One day at a time, pray and continue the battle. I read on a sight the word (HALT). Hungry, angry, lonely and tired. A part of the healing process. We can all do this I have had 32 years experience I am done with this career. Someone told me years ago to never drink at home and to never drink alone. I should have listened. Thank you Donewithit, your words of wisdom are greatly appreciated and this time I am listening. I pray for us all as we continue forward!
—Guest Sobereyezd

To KKD and donewithit

7/27/2011 - Thank you both for your inspiring words and similarities. They say that misery enjoys company and I suppose that there exists some truth in that statement. It is comforting to hear similar situations as it enforces the notion that we are not alone in this battle and although impersonal as it may seem to some, words across the wire can still have a positive effect. God Bless you.
—Guest Sober-in-Tampa


Hi. I am Tim from the UK. I have just discovered this amazing site, so comforting and 'hope giving' from everyone's stories, that I so relate to in many ways. Regarding withdrawal: My alcoholic brain still directs me in the direction of strong beer to take away the irritability/ pure self pity that takes over after just a few days of sobriety. How very sad, and I hate this demon. A friend said to me, that it always sits on one shoulder, and will never go away. I have been trying to adopt and connect with my God, and say my AA prayers, along with many of my own, that come from the heart. This is a huge help, and then the old alcoholic thinking demon can kick in again in a flash, and the f..k it attitude gets the better of me yet again. I am gaining so much help from you fellow/friends sufferers from this disease, that promise a better quality of life/guilt free time ahead. I continue the battle. Thanks to all.

I'm scared

I'm killing myself and I really don't want too. I'm ruining my life and my liver and I can't seem to get help.
—Guest ruby

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

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