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

Responses: 7875


Updated April 10, 2014

Grateful - Part 1

I am a 46 year old female and have been drinking since I was 12 year old. How sad is that? I wrote a few days ago saying how I had been in detox twice in the month of June. After leaving detox, I felt very messed up on the drugs they gave me. I am very afraid of that feeling and drugs in general. I know it sounds dumb, but the buzz you get from alcohol and drugs is different. To me, drugs mean you could OD. My alcohol soaked brain has always thought it was far better to drink than to ever take a drug. So me, in my infinite wisdom decided to lower my dosages, stop taking meds and felt I would be fine. Wrong move! Somehow, the higher ups challenged me and dumped a lot of crap on me. Drugs (meds I should have been taking) yuck, not the answer for me. Yup, back to alcohol, my true destroyer. Did it make it better? Hell no. Once you detox a few times, OMG the next day is pure hell. The symptoms of withdrawal multiply each time.
—Guest cw

Never Again!

I sat at an urgent care after a bender-weekend for help with a sinus infection and had a panic attack! It was 10 hours after the last drink. Heavy drinker especially for the last two years, I thought I was dying. I'm a 41 year old dad two great children and loving wife, stupid. I'd mixed a few Vicodins with vodka Saturday night (easily a 750 ml), then Sunday drank steadily from 11:00 am until 1:00 am. Like others, tolerance was so high, hangovers are rare. I'd convinced myself that since I could mix in a mid-week night of sobriety or two it wasn't that bad, nice rationale. I really thought I'd done permanent damage and was afraid to go to sleep for not waking up, perhaps I have done damage, waiting on blood work. The head has hurt and having occasional sweats / chills, but saw my doctor, was honest. I'm taking 200mg of B1 and he helped with Chlordiazepoxide for the anxiety. Now if the infection will go away, can focus on sobriety! Love all the posts, helps to know you're not alone.
—Guest STLSMD7

Lucky with withdrawal, but depression

I'm a 27 year old female. I've been through alcohol withdrawal some years ago (I was 24), staying with my parents at the time because I was so anxious, and under medical supervision. After that I had to go to a clinic anyway, because of the panic and depression (I suffer from a panic disorder, which I only made worse by drinking so much and going through constant withdrawal). Back then I had a "reason." My abusive boyfriend had left me, and it took ages before I realized I was better off without him. By that time, I was already hooked on about 2 bottles of wine a day. I didn't like it anymore but couldn't quit because of the withdrawal effects. I had also gained a lot of weight. That time I lost it easily after I quit drinking. I can't exactly remember when I went back to drinking. It started out with only a bit, because I could and because of the taste and fun. Lately it had been getting out of hand, I had again gained quite some weight and I got worried about doing permanent damage
—Guest Faith

To: fish

Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words, I know everyone here feels the same way about your involvement and you are an inspiration to all of us. I am on day 3 - longest I have gone in 4 years! Feeling much better, and especially empowered that I can do this!
—Guest hockeymeansparty

To: Merritt25

Good luck with the taper, stay strong stick to it and it should help with the symptoms. B1 also good will help the nervous system. Disclaimer: Not a doctor, but worked for me Take care all
—Guest Juddyau

Day 5

Morning of day 5. Feel pretty good, still up until 3.30 am. Couldn't sleep so feeling tired, most of the physical symptoms have gone now, and greatly enough the last beer I had in the fridge when tapering is still there. No urge to touch it at all. One day at a time though, but I think the anti depressants are really working, they are only mild but I feel very leveled. Worst symptom is boredom. So I'm just using TV shows to distract me from it. I remember day 1. 1 beer an hour on the taper and every minute seemed like ten, every 10 seemed like an hour. Now the days are just going very quickly! I just can't wait to sleep well and wake up refreshed. But when my body is ready. I know it's happy with me now. To everyone else. Keep going it is worth it to take control of your life back and feel good again. Keep reading the posts and see some of the inspirational achievements here. Thanks to all and good luck!
—Guest Juddyau

I'm tapering off

Had a scary experience 10 days ago, quitting cold turkey. For the first time upon quitting, my blood pressure soared. I'm 56, female, physically active, eat healthfully, and basically don't care if I live to old age. My wine drinking over the past decade has gradually increased to a little over a bottle a night. Have a great job that is very challenging and rewarding, and drink to blackout every evening. When I cut back I can't sleep. Tried hypnosis a year ago, and quit for 5 weeks plus lost 15 pounds! Then promptly started drinking again. After reading about detox vs. tapering off I decided to opt for tapering, but there is no advice about how gradually to do it. So I'm making it up! I've switched to beer, and am going to limit to 4 beers a day for a week, then 3 beers a day for a week, then 2, then 1, then none. I'm terrified of seizures and Wernicke-Korsakoff. I'm taking 100mg. of B1 (thiamine) daily. Walking every a.m. Last night I slept; this morning my BP was normal! Yay me!
—Guest Merritt25

Day 2

I still feel pretty crappy but it's getting better. Had a horrible time trying to fall asleep last night, my legs kept jerking and waking me up just as I'd doze off. Never had that before, plus I was sweating like crazy. I still have the crawly-itchy feeling and a headache but most of the other symptoms have subsided. Had a hard time concentrating on work (I'm self employed) so I spent the day cleaning up around the house and getting some groceries and vitamins. Hoping to get a good night's sleep tonight, have my first consultation with a rehab place tomorrow morning. In one hour I'll be officially 48 hours dry, woot!
—Guest Trying To Stay Sober

To: hockeymeansparty

Dear hockeymeansparty, I have been following your posts. I have great hopes for you to conquer your problem. When facing the truth, we all have denial, anger, humility, fear etc. Everyone here understands the high emotions swirling around. Keep posting. You are helping others get to the honest point you are at. God bless the posters and BuddyT. Truth works best.
—Guest fish

Day 27

Today I feel good except for the mood swings etc. Alcohol has taken so much of my life, but I refuse to let it end it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I intend to spend it sober! For those of you that have relapsed, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. We are all in the same boat riding these waves together! To HockeymeansParty: You Go Girl!
—Guest Sobereyezd

Tried to stop today

I tried again today, to stop drinking. I've never had a DWI or lost a job due to drinking, but I am someone that suffers in silence. I always felt in control, but I realize now, that I'm not even in the same zip code as in control. My 7 seven year old son let on that it bothers him to see me always with a drink. I decided to stop for him. I ended up in the hospital twice in one week. The withdrawals were so bad. I vomited and had panic attacks constantly. If someone can help, I need it.
—Guest Hopefull 2000

To: Roger

Dear Roger, I believe that you haven't hit the bottom yet and you can expect even worse withdrawal symptoms (if you will continue to drink). When this will happen it will prevail your cravings - you will be scared to death to drink another glass. But don't wait - go to rehab center and they will help you. You are thinking about suicide - don't please, one more reason to stop drinking immediately. I can remember when I was in the same position - almost killed myself, it was a question of decision. Now I am 13 months sober, still having some troubles, but live completely different life. I have lovely daughter, renovate a house, cycling a lot...it is great.
—Guest vilci

Day 3

I want to thank all of you for being so courageous and posting your experiences. It has helped me so much to make this decision to quit. I am a functioning alcoholic and have a good life. I have always loved wine and have been drinking for over 20 years. At first, it started with a couple of glasses at dinner and eventually migrated into a bottle a night (drinking alone). For the past couple of years, I have been opening a second bottle. This started to scare me and I know I have to do something about it. This is the third day and I am feeling good, I haven't had the symptoms people have described this time (but I certainly have experienced them before). I am taking multi-vitamins with a B-50 complex as well as drinking lots of water and eating healthier (lots of greens). I hope this works! Good luck, God Bless and thank you all for sharing your life. It helps to know I am not alone.
—Guest Samara

Hit bottom

Well I finally realized its not for me. This past weekend I went to a party and got completely #### faced. I was unconscious for a wile and I didn't know what I was doing when my girlfriend woke me up. She told me I called her every name under the sun. And that she was just trying to get me to bed. When she told me this I was completely shocked. Well now I am going to get some help because this cannot ever happen again, I love this person more than anything in the world.
—Guest James

Forgot to mention

I know people have spoken about hallucinations, never had any during the day but as I was dozing off last night they kicked in! Very realistic, I felt someone touching me sexually and pushing at my body, pulling at my hair, and at one point I got cold and tried the pull the blanket over me and couldn't as if someone was sitting on them. I actually felt the weight of a body next to me and I couldn't move. It was very scary and real, felt like some kind of demon ghost messing with me. I finally said out loud "bring it on demon alcohol - I am better than you!" I actually think it was alcohol in evil form getting in my mind! Hopefully that the was last of it, I am now facing day 2 and feel hopeful.
—Guest Hockeymeansparty

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

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