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

Responses: 7813

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Updated April 10, 2014

Most people experience some kind of withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit drinking alcohol. What were the toughest parts of withdrawal for you? Please share what you experienced and how you dealt with it. You also may want to take this quiz to determine if your withdrawals are mild or severe. Post Your Answer

Lock up

Never could stop by myself. always had to lock myself away somewhere. the constant shakes and self demoralization of drinking always follows when I stop. Blood pressure heat rate to the roof etc.
—rfd999

To: Guest Josie

NOBODY can take away your disability because alcoholism is treated as a disease. Consult a lawyer- this is crazy. You should be treated with respect.
—Guest Paralawyer

Just feeling so desperate

Just so stuck, managed five days, back on the booze, feel awful, so scared that my world will crash and then what? I have everything good, great husband, children, friends so why?!
—Guest Plantpot

Our regrets

Yes we messed up and did terrible things while I was drinking . Holding back from our recovery should not be because of our regrets. My Drinking habits were form way before I decided to get sober and Changing those habits were hard. I am not boring or not valued because I am not drinking. Those around me that continue to abuse alcohol do not get what I am seeking. Freedom from self abuse, making a fool of myself, being an irresponsible parent, wife and grandparent is what my life is meant to be. Regrets are because I did not see what I had become. Sobriety has brought me forgiveness to myself and others and also growth. It is hard to let go of our childish ways and to find out I am not a child. I and only I am responsible for my changes, no blame can go anywhere else. Take away the blame and guilt and you will find a sober and happy person. It is hard to swallow, that I messed up, I made a choice to be a drunk. Hello, who else poured that crap down my throat. Make today count! Clue
—Igotaclue

Any answers

First proper detox (residential) after 20 years dependent,it was great valium,vitamin injections,ect. messed up after 8months. im back on about 32 units a day,9% lager.7/8 tins.my withdrawals are the worst iv ever had, when i wake up i dry heave, if i dont have a drink within 2 hours after i wake up it is really hard to get enough beer in me that stays down long enough to stop the withdrawals.when i can not get any beer (cant shoplift stuck somewhere ect) the anxiety starts,hart beets fast sweat starts and head gets confused.at this point i start to get worked up and scared which leads to a panic attack.by now im well messed up i hear people shouting at me and hide in bushes or behind walls from people who are not there. for years iv had withdrawals but since iv stopped drinking special brew tennants ect. and swapped to cheep polish beer perla, kerpacky and lots of others (because they are cheep 1pound a tin) my symptoms are worse.then again iv got hep c.key worker says no funding
—Guest lee galand

125, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170 days...

I haven't posted in almost two months. Still no relapse...fewer dreams of drinking (those are a riot aren't they?...guilt without doing anything wrong.) Staying focused on getting to six months at this point. This is life changing and it does feel different. Life still presents problems and new ways must be found to deal with them...it's ongoing. Best wishes to all and to the Alcoholic who still suffers.
—Guest Eastport Chris

To: Halo

Halo, is your life unmanageable? Think carefully. If the answer is yes, after due consideration, then let me be the first to congratulate you. You have completed the first part of your recovery. Now what? You pick - more of the same, detox, a doctor, a program? To do this - to take action - you need tools, support, and help. You don't have to face this alone, which rarely works incidentally. I sincerely hope you will surrender and not be held hostage any longer. I'm 35 days off my ride. I'm not going to get back on it tonight. That's all I know. And that's enough. If you answered yes the hardest part is already behind you. The rest has been figured out for you - pick what feels right for you then put the strategy you decide on into action. Clearly you've had enough pain, anguish, guilt and more from this disease. My thoughts are with you. Keep in contact with us/me. You've got a huge group here on your team. This is doable. Good luck.
—Guest B52

35 days

Enormous immediate benefits, looking good, feeling like a new person. doing the gratitude/resentment lists every day. The old resentments will turn me back. Housecleaning (spiritual) is my ticket. Taking out and dumping my accumulated garbage every day keeps the even keel. I do the steps alone, living in Asia it's hard to connect to any program. Solo it is. Stopping is like cutting up credit cards. You think you're losing your lifeline. You're not, you gaining the life line you need for the comeback trail to the life you were meant to live. Good luck. Please don't moan/think about holidays, never drinking again, a life without booze ever. Just today, that's all you need to focus on. This day is all that counts. Good luck all.
—Guest B52

Anxious Annie

Today I am about 24 hours sober and I feel so anxious but I know I have to beat this. I am a wine drinker and honestly I feel like I don't drink that much. Maybe three glasses a night but I am a consistent drinker and I want to stop/cut back. I guess I am at a cross roads....can I be a normal person that has a glass of wine at dinner...or will I be that person that can't stop once I start. I work out a ton and am a mother. I really have been drinking since college and I work in an industry that hires a ton of college grads so drinking is part of our culture. I just hate feeling hungover and I maybe have two or three mornings a month that this happens. I think the hardest part is the 24 to 48 hour period that I have..it is actually now. I am bored, folding laundry and craving a glass of wine. My anxiety is high and I hate it!
—Guest expat

Thanks marilyn...hey scooter

Thanks. Im sick of this constant battle, this never ending nightmare, where no matter how far I get away from it I end up hugging a toilet bowl . Marilyn , its taught me all the lessons and then its begins the same class again and again. ...I've never met anyone who suffers so badly from what I call the "fear".the anxiety, and insomnia arrives at about 3 am and my fizzy blood feeling lasts for days. I want to open a vein to let the booze out how do we forget the whole evil, twisted, paranoia that comes after. Im sick of failing. Its such a clever drug the way it makes you forgive it and then its beats the daylights out of you again....just walked Back through dublin city centre,and I became angry that we were all trained to drink, trained badly....scooter. ..drink doesnt make us exciting, makes us weak and pathetic. .....I missed my dad's death because they couldn't contact me I was being drunk and exciting. ..thanks guys.
—Guest halo

Husband

I don't have a testimony yet.. My husband is in the hospital from drinking too much vodka, he is hurting so bad rite now, I hurt to see him. To all reading this, think twice before u take that drink you depend on to soothe feelings that tell u, u need to drink to feel normal.. Get help now, before its too late. Love urself more than that terrible substance that lies to you everytime u sip... It's no joke!
—Guest Wife

To: Halo

Halo it sounds like you are in a desperate and viscous cycle. I am all too familiar with it. The booze is an easy and convenient temporary bandage that calls to us when we are in pain, anxious, bored, etc. It is a temporary solution that solves temporary problems. The more we use it, the more it becomes the easy solution for any problem. You have to see what it truly does to you if you want to be sober. You have to think of those you hurt, yourself included, if you keep drinking, and most of all you have to reach inside and know you will live a much happier life without this poison. Believe me. I read your struggle and I know that struggle.Find the strength in yourself and use every bit of it all to get sober. Know that there are many aspects in alcohol withdrawal. Consult your physician and be aware that it can be potentially dangerous without medical intervention. Everyone is different in their withdrawal, it depends on many factors. Reaching out is the 1st step. You can do this.
—Guest Marilyn

To: Catriona

If you are drinking every night you may be feeling long term effects. If you quit and feel this way it sounds like withdrawal. Taper or get yourself to a doctor please. Be prepared you will feel rough. But you will start healing almost immediately, even the hell days have a positive element. You're purging the toxic elements, they leave. Read the posts, take heart, start eating better. So many here have made the transition to an alcohol free life. You can too. There's no secret formula or magic. It's hard, very hard, but there IS enough strength in you to make it. I am sorry you are feeling so terrible. I'm over 30 days in. Real food replenishes what booze has leached away. Don't feel for a second you are alone in this. Good health is waiting for you with a bunch of other good stuff. Trust the posts here, good luck.
—Guest B52

Down the road

Been 5 years dry now. And it's a better life. I know I'm a bit more boring to be around. But what the heck.
—Guest Scooter

To: doneforgood

Isn't it funny how we have to push our body to the ultimate limit until we realize something has to be done? But good for you for reaching out for help. It sounds as though you are scared and know something has to be done. Myself it took a physical scare to tell myself this is enough. My rock bottom. The first part will be hard sure but it sounds like you have a lot to live for. I had a choice between my husband and alcohol, and I chose my husband, but even better, I chose life. Prepare yourself for both the physical and mental hurdles of withdrawal, and most importantly receive medical help before you attempt to quit. It will be rough but surround yourself with support. I am currently 14 months sober and can tell you life is so much better on the other side. Best of luck to you
—Guest Marilyn

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

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