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

Responses: 7799


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

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

I need link to one of you

I write literally on my white wall to see my attempted give ups. Its not looking good . sometimes when its there in front of you it really reinforces the brief days of freedom from booze pain. Im beginning to bore myself now like I did the people around me about this everest battle. i walked out of the apartment to go for a drink, even went into the bar, yep that close. I binge a minimum of six days hard morning and night. I have the barmans number to get in before the place opens . I dont sleep and my new expression of withdrawal is that I feel I have fizzy blood in my veins....I want everything in life and between my washing machine brain and booze ...nothing has started yet . It's embarrassing. 39 male......help.
—Guest halo

Sugar craving

Researched in my 31 days sober. I believe sugar craving comes from the need to replace the sugar from alcohol. No sugar, the body releases adrenalin which causes the anxiety/panic attacks in those horrible early days. I took a teaspoon of honey in dark moments when needed. It helped. I understood the sooner I lost the sugar hit the sooner my body would readjust, balance. Remarkably, just newly sober, I don't have any sweet cravings now and my anxiety has diminished about 85%. Amazing. Oatmeal, fruit, tons of veg, lentils, water, seeds, nuts, keep my sugar level with very few dips, hence less craving alcohol/sugar. Fatigue only lasted a couple of days, no shakes etc. If you are even thinking of quitting I hope you will start nutritious eating now to help before the crash and burn of early days booze free. Lots of research on the GI link and cravings. I'm clear, stable, no temptation to return. That isn't enough to maintain. Working thru every hour/day. Grateful for this site. Blessings!
—Guest B52


I love this site and I am praying it will give me strength to stop my insanity of drinking
—Guest kellyhouston

Dear All

Today I'm 30 days sober, reading all the posts have kept me bloody minded as one dear poster says. Not this drink, not today... Newcomers, if I can you but know that one. I hope everyone will stop beating themselves up. This is an illness. I also hope and encourage everyone who is hurting to urge surf, read about hypoglycemia and alcoholics then think before you dive into the sugar fest. We may be prolonging and compounding our cravings by switching over to sugar fixes. Low GI diets, high in beans (mung is my best friend), veg, 4 fruit a day will keep the blood sugar balanced. Planned snacks - avoid the sugar dips and sugar binges and you might avoid the craving. That's how I got through it. Read everything on recovery, the alcoholic need for a sound intake of unprocessed food and I swear you will get through your early days better and faster once you can hold down food. Good work everyone, this site keeps me sober and proves we are not alone on this voyage. Thanks all for posting.
—Guest B52

Im done

My first time here. I hate how I feel the next day after drinking 1/2 a bottle of tequila. I know I need to stop. What if my Dad calls and needs me and Im to drunk to talk or drive to his house. I drink cause I want to and can. I know that is not good. Im going back to AA this Thursday night. Why wait? I found a women's group in the city I work in. Im to embarrassed and ashamed to go in the town I live in.

Here we go again

I'm on day one again, after intermittent sober days and weeks. Just had a month of bingeing, wine every night, more at the weekends. Just had a weekend of blacking out and feeling guilty and ashamed. Last night just had one drink. The night was restless, sweating, anxious and awful nightmares. Nothing tonight and just got to stick at it and get myself on track. The forum is always a good reminder that it can be done. Thanks to all that post.
—Guest Plantpot


I'm pretty new on here. I've decided to slowly cut down on alcohol. Reading these posts helped me a lot in making this decision. Soon enough, I KNOW I can stop all together. It's my own personal decision. It won't be easy, I know. I used to drink socially, then a glass of wine in the afternoon, everyday, then it started before noon, with the help of a friend (we are no longer friends). I know it was my decision to drink when I should have not been, I don't blame her, but I also didn't smoke before I met her either. I stopped smoking, thank goodness. However, alcohol was a trigger to smoke and vice versa. Now, time to get off the wine and any other drink that I will end up abusing. Would quit cold turkey, but I was advised not to do that. Today, I have just had half a beer and won't have another for another two hours. No more excuses about this for me. This will not be easy. I know this because I already have light withdrawals and it's only 1:30 in the afternoon. Done!

36 Days

I made it through five weeks, and am starting on my sixth. I saw the doctor on day 2, and my BP was 160/110. I saw him again on day 30, and my BP was 122/80, and I'd lost 7 lbs. I'm eating healthier, sleeping well, and exercising like a fiend (maybe I replaced one addiction for another, but it's a better one). While drinking I couldn't figure out how to stop when I had a liter of vodka every day and some left over to start in the morning. But I did, then went through tortured confused thinking for days, then started eating better, and after a week or so started feeling "normal" again. Now my biggest struggle is just staying away from the first drink, but the more days that go by without it the less I feel like having it. And, as AA's Living Sober says, I try not to think about what I liked about drinking, rather I think about my last drunk -- the last time I blacked out after saying the wrong things, embarrassed myself and my loved ones, and lost hope. Strong stuff to remember.
—Guest Way Enough

To: mike m

Excellent write that is what I am doing after 14 yrs of trying to stay sober I have drank 35 yrs been in aa for 5 yrs going through 12 steps for 2nd time ,this is a great site just found it 5 days ago God bless everybody that is fighting this horrible disease.
—Guest hoffmandoo

so finished pt 3 (last one, promise!)

Essentially, it scares me that withdrawal took place so many hours later than previously. It is really scary and uncomfortable. I am ready to quit now, and I thank God for opening my eyes. It isnt worth feeling like death and bedridden for hours the next day, just so I can have a buzz the night before. It isnt worth the health issues or possible death. I started really soul searching and now see how selfish I have been and still am. I have a 5 yr old little boy and husband who need and love me. I have started reading the Bible recently and I think if I just meditate, pray, and remind myself how horrible these withdrawal symptoms are, then I can be successful. Thanks for reading, if you managed to. I pray us alcoholics can be successful in our paths to.sobriety.

so finished pt 2

Anyway. Fast foward to now, and I have had many points of having a hangover or puking stuff up from the previous night, but never withdrawal. I was in denial and thought it was okay, because sure, I drank often and alot, but I always recovered just fine the next day and could go without for several days just fine. The thing is that in the last few weeks, I started feeling different. It all started when I woke up after a night of drinking, felt fine for a few hours, and then started feeling ill-flu-like symptoms. I felt scared, like I might die! Heart racing, nauseous, cold sweats, shivering, foggy mind. I induced vomiting, because even water upset my stomach and seemed to sour in my stomach. Once again, wasnt enough to keep me off of drinking. I rationalized that taking a few days off would help. But ever since, I feel these symptoms the next day after a night of drinking. This time, I drank and the symptoms showed up 24 hrs later instead of 8 or 9 hrs after having drank.

so finished

I am going through my 4th or 5th withdrawal from alcohol right now. Let me start off from the beginning. About 4 years ago, at 21 yrs old, I began smoking pot. Now I dont believe pot is bad for everyone or a gateway for everyone, but it was for me. I had to quit smoking due to moving back to Texas from California with my husband. I knew it would be bad if I ever got caught trying to purchase pot or got caught in possession in TX, so I quit, but under went a depression and missed smoking. I ended up picking up cigarettes to replace it (horrible idea!). It was also a stressful period, because we were transitioning my husband's career and had to move in with my mom for a year. I started drinking more and more to let loose or relax. At first, it was taking a handful of shots at night. The more my tolerance went up, the more I would drink and become belligerent. Eventually, I found a niche in making glasses of coke and whiskey, sipping it to prevent blacking out. Part 2 cont...

To: clue

Happy b-day clue, you are an inspiration. keep up the good work.
—Guest griffey1

Happy Birthday Igotaclue!

You give a lot of love to everyone on this forum with your kindness and wisdom. I'm sure I'm not alone in giving you some back. Thanks for helping so many of us get through the darkest times of withdrawals.
—Guest Runnergirl

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

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