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Old 01-08-2011, 11:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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When does your head start to clear out?

Hi again,

It's been just over a week without alcohol or pot. One thing I'm really hoping to get back by stopping is...I can't even think of a good way to put it...mental agility. Quick thinking, critical thinking, vocabulary, memory, logic, etc.

Right now I've got this kind of fuzz in my forehead. I've read that inability to concentrate and headaches can be part of withdrawal, and maybe that's what is bugging me. But the fuzz isn't all that different from what I used to feel before. The big difference now is that I want it to stop, and I think it goes way beyond just the withdrawal stages. I want my brain to be healthier.

I realize that you can't undo many years of abuse to the brain overnight but for those of you who have been sober for a while, I'm wondering how long it took for your heads to clear out. Was it a gradual process or was there maybe some moment where you realized "wow I'm thinking more clearly now"?

Thanks.


PS: This forum is very interesting and helpful. Thanks in general!
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi landd! Congrats on your week.

The brain fuzz took awhile to go away for me and it was gradual so I didn't really notice it but I'm going to say a couple months...good luck!
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi LandD

I drank and drugged (mostly pot) for 20 years - the last 7 years or so was daily. It took me a few months to feel what I remembered as being 'normal'...probably 90 days or so before I felt consistently 'clear'.

I think it's different for everyone tho
D
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm new here as well and just started to try to scrape 20+ years or booze and bong resin out of my brain. It ain't easy but now and then you get that moment of clarity that gives you a little taste of how nice having a clear head can be. All I can tell you is keep trying and if you fall down get back up again dust yourself off and start over. The folks here are very supportive and I've found that talking about it and venting helps. Stick around.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A few months for me, too. I think after a month I felt MUCH better and it continues to get better.

I think chronic exhaustion was a huge factor in the brain fuzz. It's almost funny how much I slept the first month. I would wake up after 10 hours. Still bleary eyed.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd say around three months I started feeling clear-minded and not so 'foggy'. I still have 'moments' (senior moments) but with a year sober my brain/mind is back to normal functioning.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi,

Yeah, that was a big frustration for me--I require a LOT of mental agility in my job, and it frustrated me to no end when I would hit those "blank spots" or seem to be unable to even get my brain in gear.

Everyone is different. For me, it took several months before things cleared up significantly, and today, at almost two and a half years sober, the cognitive brain functions seem to have returned to ALMOST the pre-abuse levels. I believe there will always be a residual effect on me, but nothing I can't live with.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I was very frustrated by the fog after quitting. I drank and drugged for 25 years, and in the last three or four, probably longer, though I didn't recognize it when it was happening, my cognitive abilities suffered significantly. They were slow to return, and I still have some impairment (as evidenced by memory and intelligence tests taken years ago and now). I did some permanent damage.

Looking back, I don't have crystal clear memories from my first six months or so sober. At a year, my memory still had not improved to the level it is currently--that probably took about two years. Working my brain seemed to help--doing crossword puzzles, sudoku, reading challenging texts, playing memory games (you can find some flash games in the arcade here). So did improving my diet and getting plenty of exercise, fresh air, and sleep.

I've heard as a guideline that it takes about a month for every year you drank/used for the brain to repair itself, though I wouldn't just sit around and wait. Be proactive.

Also, if you find yourself having difficulty not drinking, remember that putting alcohol (any drug) into your body resets the detoxification clock. If you can't stay sober on your own, I'd suggest going to an AA meeting to see if you identify. Alcoholics usually don't do well staying sober on good intentions alone.

Peace & Love,
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The first thing I noticed was I could again finish newspaper
crosswords....winning at .Scrabble came directly after.

By the end of 2 months...I was back in both physical and mental balance.

I was also ...eating a heathy diet...walking...attending aA daily...taking
a mlti vitamin + B12....drinking lots of water.....

All my best as you continue to improve
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I started working crosswords about a year ago because Carol recommended them. I hated them even before I ever started drinking. But it was very clear when I quit that my memory and my thinking was all kilter. So I started doing crosswords to exercise my brain,And I still do them,I started to like them. Dejavo was another thing. In my job I rely very heavily on my memory,and I couldn't remember if I did something, or if what I was remembering was the same thing from 3 weeks ago.
I would say it took about a year for my memory to come back to where it was when I quit drinking. Around the 6 month mark being the worse.
But like Sugah. I drank for a long time. About 30 years,so of course my mind didn't know just what was going on.
If any of you are a few days into this and going "A YEAR". Believe me,looking forward that seems like such a long time,but looking back a year seems like yesterday,and it was sooo worth it. So you might as well get started now.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nevertheless View Post
If any of you are a few days into this and going "A YEAR". Believe me,looking forward that seems like such a long time,but looking back a year seems like yesterday,and it was sooo worth it. So you might as well get started now.
Fred
Amen. I was impatient with the process, but thank God, kept working at it and didn't pick up a drink.

Whether you're one who bounces right back or it takes awhile, you've got a start. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, ask for help if you need it, and try to be patient.

Peace & Love,
Sugah
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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5 months off now, I still have major cognitive difficulties 50% of the time, strange thing is that I get the same scores now on IQ tests as I did many years ago. I'm hoping this is permanent.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi there. . . I can only speak from my own experience, but it's similar to what others posted. I seemed to have a "peak" of brain fog 2-3 months in, and then felt gradual improvement and pretty much back to normal at 7 months or so.

Welcome!
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Good question, I posed the same thing about a week into it. I am now 2 months in and still feel the fog. There are days when it feels a little clearer and others where I feel I've made no progress at all. Hoping it will improve a little each day. In reality I guess I shouldn't expect 20+ years of abuse to be erased in a few months. Just stay the course...it will get better....there is too much proof here to believe otherwise.
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