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

Responses: 7811


Updated April 10, 2014

Tough Week

I am back from CA tonight. I have not had a drink for a week now. I suffered the worst withdrawal symptoms yet. The day and night sweats were constant, the anxiety was horrible, but the worst, and most embarrassing was my confused mind. I feel like I cannot concentrate, and have a really hard time remembering simple things. I felt like an idiot at times, trying to hold an intelligent conversation. Also, I had really bad coordination for several days at first so that I felt like I WAS drunk. Now comes the hard part...keeping this up now that I am back home again, and in my regular routine. I do feel good right now, but not back to 100%, but then I haven't been 100% for so many years that maybe I don't remember what it was like. The numbness, tingles, and shakes are gone. Onto week 2...
—Guest lucky to still be alive

Trying so hard

Well I have been drinking since I was 13 years old. At first it was just "whenever" then entering my 20's it became more and more frequent. I have tried numerous times to quit but always ended up failing. The past 2 years have been rocky for me. Been in severe depression, and when being there, the only thing that I felt would help me was alcohol. I started drinking more and more frequently. In the past year I've had a huge heartbreak, which drove me to drink more than usual. Been going on binges and been drunk 6 out of 7 days. I just recently realized this is NOT the direction I thought my life would go in, so I decided that maybe this time I can quit. Haven't had a drink in 7 days. I haven't had severe withdrawal symptoms but they are there. Sweats, insomnia, headaches, vomiting. But after a week it is getting better. I know I can do this. Just need some support but too ashamed to go to A.A. Wish me luck.
—Guest WpR

Please keeping trying.

My husband died aged 50 on 22/2/2010 and I am now a widow at 40, after only 5 years of marriage. We were both social drinkers, but at some point over the last 3 years I believe my husband developed a need for alcohol.This was induced by a number of social factors, but the main problem was he never fully admitted it. By the time we realized the extent of the problem he was an alcoholic and we found it very difficult getting medical help. He was scared of dying, but obviously not enough to stop. He died on the street 2 weeks after we returned from a skiing holiday, leaving his family devastated. For the people you love, please try harder to quit, You're a long time dead.
—Guest Clare- WIDOW AT 40

Tough, but worth it

Ten days ago I sat in my bedroom surrounded by 50 empty bottles of bear. I drank heavily everyday for 10 years, but today is day 9 of not drinking, The side effects are small in ccmparison to a hangover every day and my eyes are now blue,as before they were always red, Good luck, everyone,
—Guest mark


I am a 32 year old mother of three beautiful children, and a severe alcoholic, I am scared everyday of my life! Almost everyone in my life has given up on me and I hate being this way! I have been to two treatment centers, jail, hospitals,and even tried A.A. I am just scared I will die of DT's.I have been through them before and they are so scary, I know I can do it though! After a two-week bad binge I lost track of all time and days; that was the scariest thing ever. After living a life of being afraid and not feeling good enough I am ready to stand up and look to my higher power to help live a different way of life, This is not living! A life like this is hell on earth, I want to smell the flowers and put my feet in the sand and feel it all, I want to see my children grow and grow old and gray with my husband, These are the things in life that I want, I want people's respect and love and not to be a burden. As tears pour down, I see things more clearly every day!
—Guest Guilt,"Y"

Here we go again

Worst part is that I am the only one that knows I have been drinking up to 1/2 of a 750ml of Vodka every night. More on the weekends. This has been going on for over 3 years. My wife knows I drink, but has no idea how much. I have three children and I have made the vow to myself "be a dad, not a drunk." The past 2 months I have tried to quit several times. Typically, I get horrible nausea the first 2 days with mild shakes and insomnia. The worst part is I can't and won't tell anyone about this. I have a high profile COO job, and feel my family would be disapointed in me. I go to work every day and keep my commitments at home. However, I know if I continue down this road it will only get worse. I am 72 hours into this quitting episode. Feel pretty good, taking vitamins and drinking lots of water. I wish you all the best of luck. Reading these posts has helped me a lot.
—Guest Still Trying

The horror of withdrawal

I've been drinking to one degree or another since 1981. It's been a family issue 10+ years. I have had 3 years sobriety. I am drinking a pint + daily if I can get it. If I don't, the suffering is pretty nasty. Sweats, chills, thinking, all night long, knees, neck, between boobs, bad dreams, tossing, turning. But, I have bad dreams all the time, so, whatever. Chills. Can't take a hot bath or shower. Diarrhea, vomiting. Shaking. Thoughts, Thoughts. No insurance. I run to the liquor store as soon as I have $2 to just get a pint. I am terrified. Have been to detox several times. Have gone to AA off and on for years. People do not realize the horror of withdrawal.
—Guest RZ

booze hound

I do not have withdrawals, but I drink to escape and it is damaging my health.
—Guest sk

Tough, but worth it

I drank heavily for over 15 years, and finally put myself in a rehab to stop for good. I had detoxed before, with help from my doctor, and twice ended up in an ambulance with seizures from trying it on my own, but this last time was all on my own--no meds--because I was in the facility. I started hallucinating early the second day, along with the shakes, sweats, and major confusion. I thought I asked for someone to take me to the hospital at least 8 times before I actually asked someone. They gave me something in the ER to stop the shakes, but it was a really terrible experience. They say that each detox is worse than the last and that alcohol is the only detox that can kill you. I believe it, and am glad I never have to go through it again.

Just getting started

This is day 2. I have been drinking regularly for nearly 11 years. It started of reasonably with two glasses of wine a day. Last year my husband went onto nights and loneliness overcame me. We have just come back from a two week holiday during which my drinking peaked to two bottles of wine a day. I am so tired of it, the sleepless nights, the self torture etc. So now I am determined to stop and never go back. Yesterday was my first day without a drink in a very long time. I became nauseous last night and I have spent from the early hours of this morning being violently sick. Has anyone else experienced this or is it just a coincidence?
—Guest Sam

It's worth it!

Anyway, just wanted to say how much better I feel sober, and how the outcome is so much worth the pain and suffering. Alcohol is a poison. It hurts and destroys your mind and body, and much like certain spicy foods, you don't feel the pain until after you stop consuming it. Then the effects of what you've been doing to yourself kick in; the symptoms of withdrawal were always there, but just masked over by the fact we never stopped to let them sink in. The mental and physical distress is your body and mind healing, and when it's done fixing the damage caused, you'll be a brand new person in ways you cannot even imagine. So never give up, you're completely worth it and there will be great rewards.
—Guest Sober

Admitting I am an alcoholic

I have been drinking almost daily for over 33 years. I have tried to keep myself to two or three glasses of wine a day. Last night I drank much more and ended up in a terrible fight with my husband. I even ended up calling the police. It scared my daughter to death. I have been thinking I need to quit for a long time now but it was hard to admit I really had a problem even though many of my family members have this same problem. I have asked my family for forgiveness and told them I will quit. I threw all the alcohol in the house down the drain. I am upset, scared, nervous. I don't want to let them down. Today is my first day without alcohol.


I am 22, been drinking since I was 16. When I went to college my drinking increased dramatically, but I kept it to 1 or 2 nights a week, but would binge. Within the past few months some personal problems and my general pessimistic outlook on life made me want to drink more, just to deal with the everyday struggle of life. I drank a 18-24 pack a night, 5 or 6 nights a week. The others I'd just have a few. During the day, I'd drink nothing but water and not eat so I could drink that night. After realizing that alcohol is only a temporary solution to my permanent problem, I decided to quit. Tonight is my first night without a drink in a while. I can't sleep, I have a headache, I'm sweating yet feel cold, my stomach hurts, but I won't drink again. I think the hardest part will be explaining to my boss that I look so tired and sick because I DIDNT drink the night before. Should be awkward, seeing as I've been a functioning alcoholic and a model employee for quite some time.
—Guest DepressedDrinker

Trying to get better.

I knew I had to quit drinking and smoking when I called in sick to work and my boss didn't believe me. I really was sick, but apparently everyone thinks I'm that big a drunk. Pretty embarrassing. Plus I keep thinking how much I spend on my habits, what a way to waste money. Anyway wish me luck, I'm not looking forward to the withdrawl, but I think it might be worth it to get clean.
—Guest Trying


My son has lived rough for the last 15 or so years due to his use of drink and alcohol that have made him socially unacceptable as a result he has no contact with the great friends he once knew and only associates with other users. Having been police bailed to my house I began my own detox. I was not prepared to buy any drugs he was using, so he had to do whats called 'the rip' - not pleasant but not life threatening and he began to shape up after 3 or 4 days. I asked him what he had been drinking so I could reduce it, his reply was 10 super strength, which he couldn't afford. It just another little stunt to get more from me. For the first 3 weeks I cut him down to 3 a day morning, afternoon, night. He appeared to be quite normal with this although extremely angry. I then started leaving the morning on until later and later each day. I have now got the morning one down to 4 pm although I give him Diazapan to stop the shakes of the morning. He has another before an hour before bed.
—Guest Mother of a user

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

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