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

Responses: 7893

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Updated September 19, 2014

Itching - response for susan (+ anybody)

I am itching right now after 16 days dry. Have drank loads of water etc. Doctor told me it is not dehydration after this amount of time it is the liver struggling to do its job so your body will be taking over for a good few months and pushing `normal` and everyday toxins through your skin. You may get spots which will prove this fact. Your liver rejuvinates - we are lucky for that! Keep off junk food and eat healthily - drink loads of water! Patrick (Liverpool, England)
—Guest Patrick

1 day in

I am 32 and I have been drinking heavily since I was 18. I have a beautiful boyfriend that lives out of town so he has not seen my drinking at its worse. I have tried over the last year or two to give up and 5 days has been the best I have managed. I have kept falling into groups that drink a lot of Friday nights. I moved out of my unit about a year ago after living by myself and I couldn't work out why I was sweating so much at night as I had decided to cut down on my drinking. Talk about denial. I only realised a few weeks after that started that it was because I was addicted to alcohol and I was also cutting down on cigarettes. The past year I have been dating my boyfriend the drinking has become worse and my personality has changed from a chirpy happy drunk to an angry drunk that is aggressive. This needs to stop. This week I had a day off because I was out drinking the night before and it was a binge week. Thanks for everyone's posts. I am moving forward from here.
—Guest Angel

Withdrawal without danger

Keep on drinking if you want to quit but try to drink a little less in the afternoon - your body will be topped up enough with alcolhol. See your Doctor and ask for medicatiom - this way you can stop safely and not suffer too much at all. Drink as usual one day then a bit less the next and then take the tablets on the third day. Don`t move about - just sit on the couch and watch TV or movies - comedy not horror! Just sip water or eat soup if you can. It worked for me totally in the past. My problem is starting again when I feel better but over the years/decades my body is slowly being poisoned to death. At 47 people say I look 57. When I have been off the booze for about a month people say I look 37. It is important to communicate as often as possible with people in the same boat as yourself. All the best, Patrick. (Liverpool, England)
—Guest Patrick

I haven't seen light for so long...

Ten days into withdrawal, someone in the breakroom said, Hey, I haven't heard you laughing in a long time. As a matter of fact, I don't thing I ever heard you laugh! I think that was the moment I know I could never ever drink again. How many decades I've spend drunk every night on the sofa and wondering when the fun was going to start again. This site has truly armed me with information and companionship. I will not let you guys down. After 40 years of boozing almost every day: I quit!
—Guest the walking tragedy

Alcohol withdrawal

This is my second dry day after a 5 week binge of drinking wine at dawn until about 10 p.m. - had a bad seizure yesterday having gone cold turkey at about 10 a.m. - Still feel hot/cold, shaky and very jumpy but have to catch a train - a 4 hour journey cross country (England) from Southampton to Liverpool. Have to travel as my Mum is ill and alone. Think I will have to drink something which is annoying because I have done the hardest part but insomnia will be next for 3 nights or more so I will have to drink a bit and just really try to keep intake levels down. The only problem is that once I am in the clear after a bottle - I feel good and will drink more - an alcoholic catch 22 - I hate this - I am 47 and need to stop - it started when I was 17. I have lost jobs, friends and family and always drink alone whilst watching films. There is a book by an author named `Carr` called `The easy way to stop drinking` - just bought it and will be reading it on the train!
—Guest Patrick

Scared

I tried to stop. It took only a day and a half and I'm back drinking tonight. I blogged last night about sticking with it cause I can't stand the sleeplessness and involuntary twitching. It's too hard. I don't know what to do. My weight is out of control and I know it's the drinking, but I can't stop! Please somebody help!
—Guest Chris

Daughter is Lost

We have a 36-year-old divorced daughter who is an alcoholic. She has two children that are suffering due to her drinking. We have always been there for her but it has not helped the situation. In the last seven years, she has gone from one live-in boyfriend to another, which is a terrible picture to paint for these kids. The kids have seen her violent fits when she is drunk and does not get her way. She turns her violent outbursts to us which is very hurting to the heart. In the last year, she totaled her car, got a DUI; had a stroke. After the stroke, she checked herself into a rehab center for only two weeks which did not completely make her stay sober. The center told her that her liver is damaged and gave her Rx for meds to stop her from driking but she only took it a week. She turned on her last boyfriend, trashed his home, with both kids watching; then left drunk with kids driving to the previous boyfriend's home. We are lost and do not know what to do next. She is not talking to us.
—jlostmother

Hard...Hard...Hard

I just got an amazing job and I am terrified that my drinking is going to sink it just like it has messed up every relationship that I have ever had. I would love to be with a woman, but my "little secret" (my inability to stop drinking once started) holds me back. I am so scared that my new employer will find out about this truth. My drinking scares me. vis a vis the withdrawals - they are hell! But when you get through them the other side is good. So why do I continue to drink? If anyone has the answer for that - please tell me!
—Guest grapengrainer

Withdrawal is Simply Hell on Earth

I am a chronic relapser. I have been to rehab 2 times. I now take Antabuse and stay sober for months. Then, I decide I can take "a little vacation". I;m so smart that I stop Antabuse for a week and then start drinking without any adverse effect from the Antabuse. But each time I "take my vacation", the more extreme my alcohol intake becomes. I drink to blackout almost immediately without intending to! When the binge is over, I am humiliated, have hurt/shocked/lost friends and then have to detox myself. After only three or four days of binge drinking, I experience profoundly painful physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. I call in sick with "the flu". I am too ashamed to admit I need to be in and inpatient detox, AGAIN, so I suffer. When will this end? When will I quit deluding myself into believing I can drink "once in awhile"? I'm through the worst of my withdrawals, am back on Antabuse, and am praying that I don't end up killing myself over this insidious drug.
—Guest Guest BL

Tired of Trouble

I am so tired of being a drunk, although I work in a professional setting. I drink on weekends. I have had withdrawals, headaches, bed spins, throwing up, diarrhea, bloodshot eyes, acne, accidents, stomach pain, shakes, panic attacks, nightmares, dehydration, sleep disturbances, sweating profusely, severe leg, calf and feet cramps, light hurt my eyes, black shadow people peripheral vision, depression,crying, suicidal, bad hygiene, not showering or changing, isolating, guilt, shaking and jumping when trying to sleep. pacing and heart palpitations. It was awful. I wanted to die. Trying to pray, feeling evil spirits around me... It's terrible.
—drunk1

Coming to terms

I have finally decided that my sleeplessness, anxiety, shakes, head aches, constant runs, night sweats, hot flashes, high blood pressure are all do to my alcohol dependency. I have to stop, but my symptoms are making it very hard. I started drinking daily when I was unhappy in my marriage. (12 pack a night) We then separated and I lived at the bar. Almost got a few DUI's and started locking myself in the house after work and drinking until I was inebriated. I went from beer, to whiskey, then grain alcohol, now I'm back drinking whiskey. I'm 34 and have been drinking half of a 1.75 L bottle a night. I wait until everyone is in bed then I start, so nobody knows, but the bank account shows the debits from ABC. I had gone to AA when I was 18 (court ordered) and hated it. Now I know why. Reading your blogs has helped me to see, I'm really not alone. There are others experiencing the same thing I am. That makes me feel a little better. I just can't wait for these annoying shakes to stop.
—Guest Chris

Leg Wobble

Well it can be bad sometimes, I was in Leeds UK and had a major panick bout, it came on and didn't matter how much I drank I was still shaking legs hands body everything. Next day I was fine. Then a few weeks ago I had what I class as close to delirium tremors I thought they were just shakes, but this was well bad, I struggled to get down the stairs, I live two floors up, when I got outside I couldn't step of the steps, I had to sit down to get down them, I somehow managed to get down to the off license, I knew I needed alcohol, I was swaying all over the place, shaking, even getting back up the stairs afterward was hard cause I thought I was pass out, I was holding the bannister tight, it was legs they just went on me. It's hard I find sometimes in the morning still in bed, I can feel stress and anxiety coming on, I have to get up eventually, but I am aching all over, and twitching, get up nearly fall over cause dizziness hits then. Legs wobble.
—Guest Lorraine

I need to stop

I have been reading all of these blogs and I suddenly feel not so alone. I just chugged a beer to keep from shaking. I need to stop, I have lost everything and I have no where to go and no way to get help. I want to quit but the DTs are horrible and I am wondering why I should even try. And yet I read this and I feel like if you guys can all try who I am to give up? I wish you all much luck, love, and happiness. We all gotta try, that's the only option left.
—maryfsunshine

Get Help Now!

I am the one that sits at home crying and wondering where you are, who you are with, if you are alive or dead. I lived with a dual addict. Cocaine and alcoholism. I begged my boyfriend for months to get help. To go to an inpatient treatment program. He refused. He said he has things to take care of. Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I had a fight. He was drunk and high. He threatened to burn down my house. Never in a million years did I think he would hurt me or my children. He return 1 hour later and poured gasoline around the outside of my house and lit it. I thank God everyday that we all got out alive. He is in jail awaiting trial for attempted murder. For all of you out there who are suffering or know someone is suffering, get them help before it comes down to what I am going through.
—Guest On the Other Side

Have to stop

I'm just starting. I have to stop - my life revolves around alcohol now - when I can drink and how. I've become a recluse - don't answer my phone or my door. I work full time, but can't wait to get home and start drinking. I feel helpless. I tell myself I'm going to stop, but the find myself in the car heading to the liquor store. I'm hoping that being on this site will help. My doctor's given my Xanax so I can sleep. I can't live this way. Why can't I be normal?
—Guest Jessie-Ellen
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