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

Responses: 12862


Updated September 22, 2012

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

To Angelina

Alcohol to me is like a really bad boyfriend that one minute is buying you flowers and telling you how much he loves you, then the next minute he's beating you up and screaming at you. You love him, but you hate him so much at the same time. I have social anxiety issues. I will not go out in public unless I have to, or unless I am drunk. I am a functional alcoholic at first, a sloppy drunk after a few days of bingeing. I am over a week sober now, almost 2 weeks. So far, the drink hasn't called me yet. I was really sick this last time. I detoxed alone, not telling anyone I was withdrawing. I finally had to taper off with beer because the heart palpitations were terrifying. It was terrible. I wouldn't put that on my worst enemy. I hope by staying on this forum and seeking support, just maybe this time it will be the last time. I've never been sober for more than 2 months. Here's to giving this a go.
—Guest Margie

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

5 years ago, I went thru the divorce and child custody battle from hell...I had a beautiful horse farm n home filled with fine furnishings. My then husband became increasingly abusive though so I left. He stole everything I owned down to my family heirlooms n all family pics. I didn't the first pair of my girls' clothing. It was very traumatic. After 4 yrs of court battles n fighting a legal system biased against mothers, I finally got sole custody of my girls, this only being after my ex-husband was convicted of trying to run over me w his truck with my girls in the truck w him...I've always been a drinker but never developed a real problem until all of this occurred. At this point I drink 2 gals of vodka/wk. I've only noticed having real withdrawal symptoms over the last few mos. I'm so glad I have found this site because I've got to quit for my girls. I just need to learn how to forgive myself for all the pain it all caused them... :/ Words of encouragement are appreciated.


Hello all, this is my first time on this site. I'm 23 days sober from alcohol and coming off anti-anxiety meds that I started before realizing alcohol was the problem. It's been pure he** so far but the days are getting better. The nights are still filled with anxiety, chest tightness, insomnia, impending sense of doom. I'm just curious if anyone has experienced this. I drank every evening for 4 years.
—Guest Chas76

To megabeer

Hi. How are you doing? Hope you are coping well and fighting the bottle demon. Keep reading all the posts it helps so much. Write to someone that when u read there story it helped u. I am day 20 it's 2 am still no sleep in sight. Today I had a real bad day with staff and customers, came home and so wanted a drink, but I kept going, one minute at a time until it passed, which it did. My husband had a few wines which doesn't worry me as I was a scotch drinker, wine wasn't strong enough for me. How sad that is. I actually dealt with the problems of the day better sober than I did when I was drinking to cope. That sounds so twisted and it was. No one knew I had a drinking problem except for my husband, so like you I must of hid it well. I met an old friend who I hadn't seen for about six months and she couldn't get over how well I looked. That has only happened since going off the booze. Keep in touch, love your wife, keep off the booze and socialize without it. One day at a time.
—Guest Angelina


2nd day of being sober after almost 7 yrs of on/off drinking . heavy sweating, nausea ,diarrhea and other withdrawal symptoms consulted a Dr but didnt tell him about all past history had some antibiotics and well some antacids.
—Guest Deepak

Back To Square One!

Here I am again, going through withdrawal. I had nearly 4 months under my belt but blew it for the sake of it. No underlying issues just went on a 5 day binge. I had actually planned it but didn't realise at the time. It's such a powerful beast but I will resume the fight. Keep posting everyone, this site is so helpful.

To 3week willy

You said to take Benadryl tablets for sleeping? I am in Australia and we only have Benadryl cough medicine! Anything else you could suggest? I'm on day 20 and have not had much sleep in those twenty days.not that I am complaining but would love to be able just to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. I spend most of my nights on this site. U can see that by how many I have replied too. If anyone has any suggestions for a herbal sleep treatment I would love to hear from you. I don't want prescribed tablets, giving up the bottle was hard enough I don't want to have to go through withdrawals to get off sleeping tablets, cold turkey once is enough for me.
—Guest Angelina

To former winelover

I am on day 2 (again) after a one monh non-stop binge. Started again on a 5 day vacation and came home with every intention of stopping but just couldn't. By last week I was up to about a fifth a day. Finally yesterday I felt so sick and my stomach was in such severe pain that I couldn't even choke anything down. I made it through last night and somehow got through half a day of work today, but tonight is even worse. I feel a little better physically, but Im having intense panic attacks about my physical and mental health, fearing the worst...that I'm going to be reduced to a life of nonstop medical issues, before it all finally ends...badly. I've been in treatment twice, even had two really good runs of sobriety these last five years, but I always come back to this place. To this hell. You are not alone.
—Guest guest mark

To Former wine lover

Hi it's Angelina, after mid nite can't sleep have been on this site for hrs. I too had the flu after I went cold turkey, it's now day 18/19 and I still have a slight flu. Runny nose, coughing, breathing not so good, but still alcohol free. I think I was drinking so much and not eating that no bug could have survived in my body, would have got drunk and died, the bug I mean:) you don't deserve it, it's just your body getting rid of all the toxins, it just needs a bit of TLC and you will come good. Put your self on some vitamins. I take b12 and 2 multi vitamins everyday. If you had been drinking for a long time and now your not your body is just trying to get better. Eat healthy and be proud that you have got off the booze. If you go into the sites to find out what's wrong you will go crazy, just take one day at a time. Let your body recover, be kind to it as we weren't kind to it when we were drinking. Good luck and let us know how you are going.
—Guest Angelina

To Andy

I am on day 18 and I just read your story. Boy that sucks. Day 25 I would have thought all of that was behind you, but obviously it isn't. It's after midnight and I still can't sleep. Has anyone else had the. 25 day feeling like Andy? I know it's a struggle everyday but being sober is so much better than relying on a bottle to get through the day. It's April, 2014 tomorrow. I hope things are ok for you Andy. Let us know what happened so when we get to day25 we know what to expect, and how to handle it. Good luck and everyone keep posting, it so helps.
—Guest Angelina

To Need to stop

Hi my name is Angelina and I am 18 days sober. I too have the same problem can't sleep. For the first 5 days I didn't sleep at all, kept going but I wasn't tired the next day at all. I just kept reading all the posts here and that kept me sane. Last nite I feel asleep had 2 hrs, got up read some more posts, went back to bed slept 4 hrs. I have been averaging about 2-4 hrs per nite. I had all the withdrawals in the first 5 days except for the not sleeping which is still going on. But if that's the price I have to pay for being an alcoholic for so long then so be it. It's now after mid nite and still wide awake. I try not to look at the clock too much as that seems to make it worse. Keep going, keep trying, don't give into the alcohol just to sleep, we can catch up when we r six foot under. Being sober is so much more fun than being a drunk and not remembering anything u do or say. Just one day at a time.
—Guest Angelina

To all that read this site.

Hi my name is Angelina, I am sober for 18 days. When I first went cold turkey I found this site and I was totally surprised how many of us were out there. I read straight for at least 24 hrs everyone's story I could relate too. I was surprised how many woman had problems, I thought I was going to be the only female. I also realised that I would have to stop drinking forever, as I knew I wouldn't be able to just have a "one drink". I think we should all try and stay in contact with someone, it made a real difference for me when carebourn wrote to me, I was really touched. It makes me so much stronger each day knowing someone that I have never met actually cares that I stay sober. Family and friends are good but they really have no idea how hard it is and what we all go through. We all understand because we are the ones fighting it every hr of everyday. We know what it is to get to the next day without a drink, we know what the withdrawals feel like, how hard it is. Good luck to all.
—Guest Angelina

To margie

Hi Margie it's Angelina. So glad to hear that you are doing well and are on day 2 . Also doing a cross word puzzle is so awesome. Amazing how the brain comes back. What I would like to know is that you seem to think you will get back to drinking again. Why? When I decided to give up and after reading all these stories I realized that I would never be able to drink again, I know I wouldn't be able to just have one drink, I would have two, then three, and before long I would be back to where I was when I started. I never want that to happen again. I actually have more fun sober when socializing than drunk because I can remember things and don't say stupid stuff like I did when I was drunk. I hated when my husband told me things the next day what I said or did, I would have had no idea, total blackout. I'm 53 and I don't want to be remember as the drunk who did and said stupid things. Why do you go back to it? I would love to know because knowing these things helps us all. Good luck.
—Guest Angelina

To: Louise

Hi Louise thanks for your posting and kind words. I was thinking tonite maybe I am sending too many replies, but it know that I feel for everyone that writes and sometimes just knowing that a total stranger responds to your post is very satisfying. We all need to help each other out, I know you guys keep me going each day and nite. I am now day 18 :) and very proud of that too. Many people have commented on how well I am looking,( that's because while I was drinking I looked so bad). So everyone out there, keep going, if u are new and just started being sober, keep reading this site, send back a reply to someone, it can make a huge difference to them, give them strength to stay sober for the next hr if they are doing it hard, or for the day. ALL of us deserve to be sober and win this fight against the bottle, it's no friend, it's a demon that takes over our lives, and our brain as we don't remember much when we drink. Keep strong. Hugs to all of you.
—Guest Angelina

Extreme anxiety and guilt- day 30

30 days without drinking And this month has been terrible. I haven't felt physically good since I stopped drinking on March 2nd. I spent hours and hours on the internet trying to find out if I have a terminal illness. I actually was sick with a flu but still haven't gotten over it. I have had blood tests done including ALT and everything was fine I am told. However I am sure something is wrong inside my body and because I have abused my body for so long I feel I deserve this. Just wondering if anyone else has extreme anxiety and drinkers remorse like this? I am going back to my doctor to ask for more tests and I think he thinks I am just suffering from anxiety symptoms.
—Guest Former wine lover

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