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

Responses: 7893


Updated September 19, 2014

To relapsers

I wanted to weigh in on the subject of relapsing. Some people in AA labelled me a "chronic relapser." They may not have intended me to hear them and the words cut deeply. The words almost made me want to give up and drink myself to death, but instead I kept trying. I think, for us, trying is the key. It is the determination to meet every single day with the resolve to do our best that particular day. We do relapse along the way. That seems to be the nature of the beast we are confronting. I believe it is important though to resolve to try again the next day. And one last thing, I was very hard and very cruel to myself whenever I failed or did not meet my goals. That cruelity may have made it even harder to stay sober ... and it certainly made it harder for me to reach out and ask for help. So please remember to never give up. Best wishes.
—Guest Sterling

To: Blackbird

What you need to do is stop putting yourself down, You are not stupid you have a disease that is cunning, baffling and wants to kill you. Hang in there, it sounds like a lot of people on this site care for you. You are worth it , just don't give up!

With any addiction

Hello to all. I think with any addiction habit to overcome there is a period of shame. But there is no shame in trying to get better. It is a good sign when anyone one of us realize we need to make a difference in our lives. To bigfish I have scheduled myself for a haircut in anticipation of an interview. I loved your posting about how to enjoy oneself. Thank you. A year ago I could not have even made that phone call or gotten interviews. It is ever the since of shame that stops us from enjoying the present sobriety. I want to wash it off me and be proud I have come so far.
—Guest to all

So glad you are here.

I have gotten so much out of your responses to people and your giving heart. I am a bit of a jittery mess today not through alcohol but nervousness about job interviews which involve travel and possibility of moving. For some reason today I wanted to drink but have said no. Do not go back into it. I have this feeling if I were to take a drink I would end up just where I was 5 months ago. It was so awful and I still suffer low self esteem from it. It's a nervous day but feel sure I will make it. Stress is a trigger for me but alcohol only causes more stress from my experience.
—Guest to mary and all.

To: Catlover

Who in the H are your spiritual advisors?? How can they say you failed? Catlover, you are one of the few that I so relate to. I was out in my yard today, listening to classical , music and wishing I knew more about it. You do, girlfriend. When I said I loved "Meloncholica" you recognized Wagner. I wish I knew you better. Of course, on this site, we are all anonymous, but you've had so much to handle in your life. My question to you (and mostly to all the other posters) is what should you have done other that have some wine to cope? Gone to church? Taken some drugs? Life is not easy. Your husband and stepdaughters are nightmares. Don't let anyone beat up on you. I'm a Unitarian,,,and our mantra is "Do what you can" and "want what you have."And, above all...don't beat up on yourself for what all humans deal with. Would like to say "love ya," but that would wound weird. Please...be well.....
—Guest Grannyann

To: Robert1952

WOW! If that definition of choo choo isn't a blessing in disguise, I don't know what is. Congrats to you on your sobriety. I am struggling with mine right now, and stories like this give me hope and strength that I too can stop drinking. I have 4 young beautiful children to live for and an amazing husband I love so very much. Inspirational stories like this is what I need to remember to stay strong. God Bless..
—Guest fighting123

11 days

Still sober. Beginning to understand that there can be be beauty without it. But cannot spell
—Guest Gray

To: Becky

Wow 5 months is great. Congratulations, you are doing great, you are right this site is amazing keep your voice here. Love and hope

All who struggle

Trying is not failing. Blackbird, catlover and anyone else who stops and starts, you are trying, you are struggling. To face it again and again takes strength and bravery and is a clear testament to your desire to not drink. Blackbird use your stubborness and willfulness. You are not stupid, learn to forgive yourself each day, each hour. Start with little stuff. I think most of us are very hard on ourselves, not sure if that is something we bring to Alcohol our it brings out in us. GIVE YOURSELF a break, laugh off your mistakes it takes practice. Keep posting. Catlover the insomnia maybe a symptom of some deeper cause. Maybe you can figure out that cause and move past it? You have not failed, failure is not trying, we all know you have tried and I bet you try again. You spend so much energy caring for others, find some way to care for you. Love and hope

To: Catlover

I have literally written and deleted dozens of replies to your last post because I know I can be ruthless at facing reality and it can come across as brutal. I only know that you are not coping at the moment, you have too many advising you but not enough giving practical help. It is easy to tell others what to do and then walk away and leave them to it. You are isolated and need help. Are there any day centers your husband can go to to give you respite?
—Guest Mary

To: Blackbird part 2

When that time came, it wasn't worth it, I just went to bed. I lay awake sweating and looking at the ceiling but mentally congratulating myself on one more day. Please believe in yourself, we are none of us (I dare say) any different. Don't knock yourself out, I never went as long as ten days before so you're doing better than I ever did in the past. Keep trying, you will get there. Love and best wishes.
—Guest mary

To: Blackbird

Oh Blackbird, I felt so sad reading your post.You're neither stupid nor a failure. Do you honestly believe that this is the first attempt for the rest of us? I can only speak for myself but I tried to cut back/stop numerous times before and failed every time. This was really my last attempt before asking my husband to find me a private clinic to dry out. It really was last chance saloon, reading all the other posts and the support is what helped me, plus, I finished a highly responsible job where I always felt I didn't deserve to be (low self esteem). The right factors were in place at the right time and I hit my rock bottom. I had done so many shameful things when drunk that waking in the mornings was a nightmare in itself wondering what I had said or done the night before. Large sections of my evenings are a total blank. You can do this blackbird. One tip I tried was to note the shop which stayed open the latest so if I had to I could go there for alcohol. When that time came
—Guest mary

To: Big Fish

First and foremost, thank you for this site. I am struggling with alcohol and it sucks. Tried meds, counseling, therapy, nothing works. My dad has nearly 25 yrs under his belt. I don't want to die young, I want to beat this poison. Where and how do I begin? I am beginning to lose hope.
—Guest Fighting123

It is the alcohol

It is easy to tell you are discouraged and the alcohol is telling you very negative things about yourself. I spent 6 months doing the same cycle you are doing now, trying to quit, making it 3 days, then maybe 2 weeks, then back to 4 days...it was really hard and I felt as discouraged as you do now. Plus the continual battle of going through withdrawals over and over again. It was a terrible time. I see now it was my time of struggle to finally say enough. I just can't do this anymore. You are aware that alcohol is not good for you and you need change. That is a good start. Build on that. Please don't think you are stupid or a dissapointment to anyone here. We understand the struggle. Just concentrate now on one day again. You can make it. My hope and understanding goes out to you.
—Guest to blackbird


Dear posters, I believe in God. I believe that God forgives our sins if we ask him to. With that in mind, who are we to not forgive ourselves? This is what allows me to forgive myself. Knowing that God who is infinitely better than me, can forgive me. So I can too.
—Guest Big Fish
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