Quitting..What to expect ..What we did

Old 12-04-2007, 09:37 AM
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This thread is for our personal experiences
in de toxing from alcohol.

There are also informational links.

Withdrawing from alcohol is a serious
undertaking and can be dangerous.

There is no way to predict how you will react.
There are too many varibles.

For those reasons....Be safe...First talking
honestly with your doctor is a wise move.

This thread is not to be used for medical advice
but to compare how we each survived.

Last edited by CarolD; 09-14-2011 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:40 AM
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This is from my files...I think it is from NIH
(United States National Institute of health)

If you plan to stop drinking all at once, you need medical supervision for your detox if any of the following are true for you:

1. If you have a history of blood pressure that is higher than 140/90.

2. If you have used more than a six pack of beer daily, more than six 4 oz. glasses of wine or more than eight ounces (half a pint) of liquor per day for over a year.

3. If you have had prior withdrawal symptoms, such as depression or agitation.

4. If you have ever had seizures for any reason, and in particular if you have had alcohol DT's.

5. If you are using any other (either illegal or prescription) drugs in combination with the alcohol. This particularly includes benzodiazepines such as Valium, Librium or Xanex.

Withdrawal from significant or long standing alcohol use can be a serious process. Keep yourself safe as you make this change. You are taking a very important and brave step.

Withdrawal symptoms can include depression, insomnia, sweating, tremulousness, agitation, irritability, and brain "fog."

Bleeding, swings in blood pressure, convulsions, heart palpitations and hallucinations...means the ER.

Withdrawal begins 4-6 hours after the time you usually have your alcohol. If you drink every day at 6 PM you will begin to experience discomfort that night . If you have been a heavy drinker, your doctor may prescribe short term medication which will minimize the possibility of having seizures during detox.

Be and sober...
Please check with a doctor.

Last edited by CarolD; 12-27-2009 at 08:31 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:41 AM
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My De Tox

Day 1- Vomiting... Stomach Cramps... Heart Racing
Sweating and Twitching... Blurred Vision

Day 2 -Pain in liver... Head and Body Aches... Nose Bleeds
Hearing Voices... Convulsion

Day 3- Hallucinations...Compulsive Showering...Violent Dream
Jello and Broth stayed down

Day 4- Exhausted and finished!

I was so ignorant of the danger that I did it at home
with a friend who had gone to rehab.
Really lucky as I had several indications I needed medical help.

Don't be as risky as I it with medical supervision
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:45 AM
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Pease be aware....

Before jumping off the deep end with supplements
and or vitamins......for x.........please check with your doctor.
You might not have x.....and could do more harm than good.

The net has so many medical's far too easy to self diagnose.
I did guess my drinking had damaged
my liver....proved to not be the case when tested.

With my doctors permission....I did follow an eating plan + supplements
I found in my favorite "handbook" on alcoholism
"Under The Influence" by Milam &Ketcham.

I consider the eating plan was useful with quicker healing.
Please ask your doctor about hypoglycemia and see if that
applies to you. It does for many drinkers.

BTW.....Both "Under" and it's sequel "Beyond The Influnce"
by Ketcham & ???
can usually be found ..very inexpensively at Amazon.

Last edited by CarolD; 10-08-2010 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:50 AM
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Still feeling weird after your initial De Tox?
Please check out PAWS

Post Acute Withdrawl - Relapse Prevention Specialists - TLC The Living Center

sleeping problems? Please try this

Insomnia? 42 Simple Tips to Help You Get to Sleep - Insomnia treatment, cures

Last edited by CarolD; 04-04-2010 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:57 AM
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How did I get addicted to alcohol?

The Science of Addiction - Drugs of Abuse/Related Topics - NIDA


Alcohol Chemistry and You

Last edited by CarolD; 03-13-2011 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Link Repair
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:35 AM
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I did find this thread after all. Sorry to be so dense, perhaps killed a few brain cell too many before I finally stopped!!

MY DETOX, like everything else at that point in life I was beyond stupid in the way I went about it. I was drinking between 2 sometimes almost 3 fifths of Canadian Club whiskey per day. I had been a very heavy drinker for almost 26 years, but this level for about a year. I was always pleasantly drunk morning to night and if I didn't drink I would shake so badly that I couldn't write. Believe it or not I was running my business during all this. Just goes to show that we don’t always need to lose “stuff” before we hit bottom hard!


Day 1: I decided that I couldn't live like I was anymore so I went into one of the bedrooms in the back wing of the house and shut the door. Thus began 3 days of hell. Severe chills, violent cramping to the point of pain that was almost unbearable. Hot flashes and then followed by more numbing chills. I imagined I saw all manner of bugs and creatures crawling on the walls and carpet, but no pink elephants!

Day 2: More of the same from day 1 with periods of complete exhaustion and lapses of memory for a few hours at a time may have been blackouts but I was the only one there and so I don't really know what happened.

Day 3: Got somewhat better, but most of the symptoms were still coming and going. A whole bunch of sweating and chills. I was beyond wrung out with dehydration and hunger. At the mid point of day 3 I came out of my “cave” and showered, shaved, and drank copious amounts of water. I was very shaky and exhausted. I finally slept a lot.

Week 1: Contacted an old college friend, he is a doctor who was and still does run the University of Utah's Medical center and Medical School and asked him for some advice on what to do now. He told me "get on your knees and thank God that you didn't have a stroke and/or die you idiot!" “There are reasons why they have detox centers!” After these kind words he suggested that I do something with the rest of my life since I MUST HAVE BEEN SPARED FOR A REASON! Obviously he didn't think my "solo detox method" was a good idea.

Week 1 & 2: I called my insurance agent who was the only person I knew in AA and he took me to a meeting and I have been going ever since. Got a sponsor, took the steps as quickly as I could and began making my amends.

Weeks 2 thru 422 (the present): Go to at least 2 meetings a week or more if needed, work with other alcoholics and exercise regularly, eat sensibly and pray when required based on life's little bumps in the road.

DO NOT FOLLOW the first three days under any circumstances. After week 1, if you are a PhD like I was (poor hopeless drunk), then what I have done just might work for you. Only my opinion however.

Thanks for asking me to participate Carol.

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:49 PM
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I don't know that I'm qualified to respond here, but I'll give it a shot. I was not an "alcosaur" (I didn't use just alcohol), but during the periods when it was the primary substance I put in my body, I did find myself withdrawing from it, though usually not without chemical (self-medicating) help.

The one thing I do know about withdrawing from alcohol, as I've watched my father and other family members, as well as other patients in detox go through it, is that it should not be attempted without medical supervision for those who are drinking heavily.

That said, the bulk of my physical discomfort was over in less than a week. It's been described above, so I won't bother to repeat it. The worst of it for me was the mental part -- the fog, the fatigue, the depression. I had several periods of "white knuckle" chemical sobriety where I was dry, but I was miserable. The depression turned to a vague discontent. I was not happy being just dry. I spent both of my pregnancies and nursing periods in this way. As soon as I could, I went back to drinking.

I'm not saying that it can't be done -- that the drink can't be put down and not picked back up without any other changes. I just couldn't do it. The booze was only a symptom of my problem. I was my problem, and that's where I had to do the work in order to recover.

Even during my last detox, I went to meetings, got a sponsor and began working the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Whatever method a person chooses, I urge that it be done with an open mind and complete willingness. I don't know that attempting to quit while holding on to reservations ever works.

I know that the one thought that kept me from seeking recovery was the fear of what came after. I did not have any adult experience living chemically, mentally and emotionally sober. Had I known how good it really could be, I would not have hesitated! But it didn't come without commitment and a lot of hard work, every bit of which has been rewarded a hundred fold.

Peace & Love,
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:10 PM
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When I quit it wasn't my choice. My kids were taken away and my parental rights were in jeopardy. I had to comply with Social Services and part of their requirement was monitored sobriety. I was getting no less than 2 BAs or UAs a day and as many as 4. Therefore drinking was out of the question. Detoxing never occured to me or them for that matter. I just quit with no concept of any medical consequences. I didn't get sick for some reason. I sure was depressed though. I fought through the Court Case and won after about 4-5 months and got my kids back. Now the decision to quit was mine and not theirs. I had been going to A.A. for a couple months to appease the Courts and decided to stay there and stay sober. The only thing was now that I had my sobriety for my own reasons in play I was expecting results and I wanted results right now. I wasn't seeing the results I wanted. I was expecting life to be a bed of roses since I quit but it wasn't happening. My depression got worse and I was wondering if it was all worth it. I went to the Doctor and got on some Anti depressants. I ended up taking about one a week when my wife would ask if I had been taking them. Again, I didn't get instant results from them either so why bother? This depression lasted about a year and a half, maybe more. It might be just a coincidence but my depression trickled away about the same time I started hitting the steps pretty hard.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:38 AM
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Physically, I did not have a hard detox even though I had been drinking heavily pretty much every day for the last two years and in the mornings when I got up for the last eight or so months of my "career". I think I was very lucky to stop when I did because I had started to make the transition to straight vodka as many of us do. I believe if I had kept on for much longer, things would have been worse. I did go to see a doctor because a medical checkup was a requirement of entry into the treatment program I had agreed to attend as a condition of keeping my job. Despite trying to sit on my hands for the whole examination, I was unsuccessful in preventing the doctor from noticing how much they were shaking. He was about ten years younger than I was and it was weird/embarrassing to talk to him about my drinking at first. But my head did not explode and I didn't fall off the face of the earth. He was pretty matter of fact about the whole thing and I actually felt a tiny bit better after the appointment was over.

Mentally, it was a different story. Since my employers knew about my problem, I felt like I was living in a fish bowl the first weeks of recovery. First weeks? More like the whole first year. I had been drinking and using drugs for twenty five years and I had no idea how to live sober. It seemed as if I had to learn to do everything again. I didn't like it and I didn't like talking about it. I tried very hard to minimize it and pretend like it was no big deal but inside I was a mess. If I hadn't had the support from outpatient treatment for the first year and from A.A. and N.A. to this day, I don't believe I would have made it. I needed people who had been where I was and were where I wanted to be. I still need them but I no longer see that as a bad thing.

Even though my sobriety originated as a result of "get treatment or get another job", I really believe that my decision to stop was the most important decision I ever made. Five years ago, there was no way for me to know what it was going to be like today and a lot of what I thought it was going to be like was just wrong. It's still getting better.

One Love, One Heart,
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:50 AM
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First things first, every one is different, there are those that drank a lot more and a lot less then me that are still alcoholics.

There are those that drank a lot longer and a lot less time then me that are still alcoholics.

It is not how much you drink, nor how long you have drank that determines if you are an alcoholic, it is what happens to you after that first drink that determines if you are an alcoholic.

I drank for 40 years, during that time I learned that alcoholism is a progressive disease, the longer I drank the more I drank and the more I needed to drink. For years I could easily kill a case a day or more.

To keep on topic with this thread let us just say I had drank a lot for a long time and was finally at the point where I knew I had to stop or I was going to quickly lose everything and wind up drinking myself to death.

One big problem for me, after years of trying to quit and or control my drinking I knew I had to stop, but I was at the point where in order to feel normal I had to drink everyday!

I knew I had to stop but had no idea how because I had tried everything I could think of. Well I went and saw a doctor who specialized in alcohol & drug addiction.

I was beaten by alcohol and after looking on the internet I had a list of meds that I thought would be the answer for him to prescribe to me. I told him the whole truth about how much and how long I had drank for. I asked him which one of the meds he was going to prescribe me to where I could quit.

He told me that he would prescribe anything I wanted but it would be wasting his time as well as mine, he told me I needed to go into detox, because if I did not detoxing could kill me!!!! Well we spoke for a while and thank God he convinced me to go into detox, I had no idea how bad I was.

Well I checked into detox and they did a down and dirty physical on me including drawing blood. Next they gave me a fist full of pills, I knew some were for my blood pressure and they said a bunch of them were vitamins.

Well for the next 3 days every 2 hours around the clock they would take my blood pressure and have me hold my hands out to see if I had the shakes. I know my blood pressure kept trying to go through the roof and they kept giving me blood pressure meds and other things.

I was in a real mental fog, nothing really made a whole lot of sense those first three days, I remember folks coming and going, I do remember every evening we would go to an AA meeting but darned if I remember much except I picked up a 24 hour chip at every meeting I went to, I thought that was how it worked.

After the third day came around I was thinking to myself "Gee I must not have been that bad, I have not had the shakes since I got here." Well funny thing, the very next time they checked my blood pressure I held out my hands and I was getting the shakes!!! The nurse said "Well it looks like we need to up your anti-siezure meds".

Turns out they were keeping me pumped full of those to keep me from going into DTs.

On my 4th day the fog was kind of lifting and for the first time since I got there I was beginning to understand some things they were telling me. I remember them telling me that if I wanted a chance of staying sober long term I needed to go to at least 90 AA meetings in 90 days and get a sponsor! Although I was not sure what a sponsor was or did, I did know what an AA meeting was, it was a lot of friendly helpful people who were at one time just like me and were now sober.

My counselor on my last day in detox had a talk with me and asked me what I was going to do when I left there, I told him I was going to go to AA and get a sponsor, but there was no way I could do 90 AA meetings in 90 days, I had a full time job and a family (Maybe). He asked me if I would promise to spend as much time going to AA as I did drinking? LOL Well he had me there!!! Needless to say I did more then 90 meetings in 90 days.

The day I left detox the first thing that popped into my head was to stop and get a 12 pack!!!! I had to pray the whole way home just to have the strength to not stop and get at least a beer!!! I made it home, hugged my wife and kids and told them I was going to an AA meeting, they were kind of shocked because I had just got home, I told them how hard it had been for me to just make it home and that for some reason I knew that AA was my only shot at staying sober.

Well I went to that meeting and I asked a guy to be my sponsor...... he said NO!!!! but he would be my temporary sponsor until I had been sober a while longer to where he could help me find a sponsor that fit me, he did say it may or may not be him.

For the first month I was still a mental mess, I was anxious, wanted a drink, my emotions were all over the place, I went from angry to sad in a matter of minutes and did not know why, that and I was still in that fog, nothing really seemed clear mentally. The only time I felt right was in AA meetings, these people understood me, they loved me, they helped me understand and accept what I was going through at that time as normal and I knew they were right because I knew they had been down the same path I was walking.

At the 2 month point I was mentally doing better, I was less anxious, wanted a drink less often, my emotions were still all over the place but not as extreme, I was less angry or sad and the mood swings were farther apart. I was still in that fog, but things were starting to become clearer mentally. Still the only time I felt right was in AA meetings, these people understood me, they loved me, they helped me understand and accept what I was going through at that time as normal and I knew they were right because I knew they had been down the same path I was walking.

In my third month I felt like I was spinning my wheels and the thought of drinking again was coming back more often due to a lot of things on my mind, from the meetings and from my sponsor I knew that I needed to start working the steps if I wanted a chance to stay sober.

Long story short, my temporary sponsor was out of town a lot and worked a lot so I got another sponsor to help me work the steps, as I worked the steps with my new sponsor the urge to drink diminished and one day it was simply gone!!! The miracle had happened, the urge to drink was gone.

The fog I thought had totally lifted during my second month sober, but my thought process continued to improve with every month I have been sober. Old timers in the rooms of AA had told me that I could see improvements mentally for over a year and they were right.

Please see a doctor before you stop drinking cold turkey, detoxing can kill certain people.

Please do not try and stay sober on your own, get into some type of long term support program, AA, SMART, or what ever, you are not alone so why be alone in fighting this.

Always remember there is no cure for alcoholism, if you are an alcoholic now you will still be one a year from now or 30 years from now.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:33 AM
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Dr Zips Nightmare!

i'm right there with taz...

a life'r...

started at the age of 13, drank to the abys til age 48!

did the House Cow Bit! (coming out of withdrawls)

day one... woe, i was a train wreck!

i had a close friend stay with me, because, i knew i could die trying to do this...

if i get too bad, call 911

question, what is too bad?

i told her more then once, dont call, i'll be ok... (so alcoholic)

everything i had herd, and read about the DT's... TRUE!!!

i started to shake, rattle and roll uncontrolabily... like nother ever before...

i was in and out of convulsions...

the sweats, the chills, hot, cold, hot, cold...

felt like bugs were crawling on me...

i was hearing voices, and all kings of ringing, and odd sounds...

hallucinations of what, i dont remember the images, just know they were there!

i felt like a crane was on my chest... heart'o racing...

anxiety, ppfftt... over the top!

and the real crowd pleaser...

that dreaded feeling of never ending empending doom...

day two, more of the same, i really didnt eat, did start drinking tons of water tho...

day three, a little bit better... ate little bits here and there.. and no crap...

started taking loads of vitamins...

and started doing pushups and situps to help relieve the anxiety...

day four, was almost like going back to day one again... then it slowly eased up...

day five, i started to get back some emotions... i was able to laugh, and i also cried...

i cried, because i never belived i would be able to make it through one day without a drink ever in the rest of my life...

day six... a emotional roller coaster...

now what do i do?

well, i hit the rooms of A.A.

and followed directions...

i prayed for just one day of being able to not drink, and now coming up on five years...

the drink wasnt my problem.. the problem was me!

i do til this day, believe my detox, doing it myway has helped in a huge way, to keep me from ever going back to that nightmare...

and of course, i get by with a little help from my friends...

my clean and sober friends...

and my power that be!

love, blessings, and give only love... cuz it cant be taught!


ps, i'm stil shake'n the hardtimes loose!
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:25 PM
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So much good advice and sharing here, there's not a whole lot more I can add on top of what's already been said. My experience with detoxing, at least what I remember most, was run-on anxiety attacks and loss of sleep for weeks.

What I'd like to mention is that I had no clue that detox or treatment was an option available to me. I just assumed that I'd have to sweat it out at home and hope I survived without any complications, and that's exactly what I did. When I talked to a few doctors after a couple months sober they asked me what made me do something so stupid, going cold turkey after daily use since 1980. Looking back, I wish I would've known better or had the common sense to do it differently, but God protected me as he'd been doing for years.

If you're thinking about achieving sobriety, please consult a doctor and be honest about your disease. I definitely didn't use the brains God gave me when I approached sobriety, there is an easier and softer way.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:29 PM
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Anything I might add would seem very dull after reading the hell you all went through, so I'll keep it brief. You have my respect for having gone through that and not caving in. I too could put away a 30 pack of beer all by myself in a day. Then I started on 100 proof vodka (can't smell it, supposedly - & much more convenient to take in to work). Nothing numbed me in the end. I'd fall asleep exhausted from trying to work and behave normally while being sloshed all day. Then I'd wake up after 2-3 hours shaking, desperate to sleep but couldn't. Up I'd get to have a drink. Finally just kept a bottle next to the bed & began round the clock sipping. I'd try to slow it down in the wee hours of the morning, anticipating work the next day. When I drove to work my knees would shake horribly - I remember being asked to sign a birthday card at work and couldn't do it - also, at lunch, having soup with my boss, couldn't get the spoon up to my mouth - everyone noticed. Decided to go to detox only to make it look better in court, after my 2nd DUI. Before going to the hospital I stopped on my own. When I got there they were very upset with me, saying I should have never tried to do it alone. I could have had a stroke, seizure or heart attack. My blood pressure was all over the place. I didn't see things or hear voices, but my skin crawled & I had to constantly pace, perspired profusely, & my heart thumped. For me the worst thing wasn't the physical part, but the mental - I was so full of remorse and horrified at what I'd allowed myself to become. Trying to mend relationships and "fix" all the things I had let slide was the worst part. Hard to imagine that after 3 yrs. sober I fell back into it once again without even giving it much thought. Then I found the miracle that is SR - daily reading and once in awhile posting has kept me safe for 4 months now. The cravings have become less - but this holiday season is a killer.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:01 AM
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Quitting, what to expect, what we did.

What a topic. Here is my experience.

The first 6 months my head seemed to be spinning, I could not quiet it down, so many thoughts, my brain seemed to race. I spent a lot of time driving around as I could not face being at home. My home situation was not the best at the time. I went to as many meetings as I could. Although it seemed I could not remember exactly what was said when I left the meeting I always felt hope. I was frightened, excited, happy, sad, angry, anxious, and so many other emotions some times all at once. I am thankful for the suggestion of 90 meetings in 90 days because it did ease my race brain although it did occur on and off for about 6 months. I occassionaly experience this today but have the tools to deal with it because I stuck with A.A. and worked the steps, got a sponsor, read the book, have gone to regular meetings, etc...

Physically, my hands shook for about the first 2 to 3 months. It was embarrassing and I did my best to hide it. My liver was enlarged and painful. I drank lots of water and started taking B vitamins (Thiamin is a vitamin given to alcoholics since it is depleted by the chronic alcohol use). My memory seemed to not be working, I had a hard time remembering things.

After over 6 years of sobriety, I found a link on this site to a PAWS website. This site was very insightful as to what I had experienced during my recovery. A lot of the physical and mental issues I dealt with in early sobriety could be explained by PAWS (Post Alcohol Withdrawl Syndrome). I would recommend anyone at any stage of recovery read through the PAWS information. It would have helped me not only understand but find some solutions to what I was experiencing that would have made the withdrawl easier to deal with.

Not everyone experiences what I went through. I do not post it to frighten or discourage anyone. I post it because I truely believe there is an easier way to deal with it than how I did it if one utilizes the PAWS site.

I can honestly say, though, that it has been well worth the struggle of those first few months. The life I have today can not compare to the my life of drinking. Even the withdrawl was not as bad as the way I felt on a regular basis drinking. The reason is the only hope I had while drinking was each morning I would wake up and hope I would not drink that day but without fail by afternoon I was already fighting with myself planning where my next drink was coming from. Since the first day I walked into A.A. I have had the hope that I can live life sober, happy, and be at peace with myself and the rest of the world most of the time. I never had that drinking except in fleeting glimpses. The hope I have today keeps me going even when life stuff happens.

If you are reading this wondering if you can do this recovery thing, if I can do it anyone can. I can honestly say that for me it has been well worth the work that recovery takes. I finally have a real relationship with my family, friends, and myself. I was only able to maintain superficial relationships prior to getting sober. Hang in there, the journey can be quite beautiful.

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Old 12-06-2007, 02:11 AM
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What happened when I quit?

My drinking was binge drinking.

I hadn't got to drinking in the mornings yet. I don't think I was smart enough to realise that if I had a drink in the morning, I would feel better. I still couldn't face the morning drink. Too sick. Or maybe somewhere inside I thought that it was my last bastion of hope that I didn't have a problem. I could always say no to that question. After all, in our family, it's not allowed to have a drink before a respectable time of day and we were such a respectable family. I would struggle through till midday when I went to the bar. Then I would drink heavily until 1 or 2 in the morning.

For me, in the end, I drank very heavily every second or third day. The day in between was a hangover day. If the hangover wasn't too bad, I would be able to go to work late in the morning and to the bar and then feel a bit better but still be too tired to go out late. Or on those days, I could have one or two wines with dinner and go to bed early.

Those hangover days started getting very very bad. In fact, when I look back now, what I was doing was mini detoxing each hangover day. I was so so very sick. I had bad pains in my back and I was peeing blood. I remember one of them quite vividly. I lay in bed all morning. I couldn't move. I had taken painkillers but I was still in a lot of pain. Too much pain to sleep. Finally, at about 3pm, I went to have a shower. I couldn't stand up long enough to have a shower. I had to get out fast and crawl back to bed.

When I managed to stop for more than one day, the stomach cramps came. I remember feeling like my head was going to explode and I had bad chest pains. I had the shakes and sweats. It was a three day hangover. I drank water like crazy. No DTs though.

After two or three days, brain fog settled in. My hair got like straw after about a week and my skin was terrible. I felt queezy all the time.

So that's me - I was either drunk or too sick to drink.
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:57 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Illegitimi Non Carborundum
GreenTea's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Old Home Terra
Posts: 4,272
Oh, those horrible first thirty days... And those horrible second thirty days... I should have kept a log...

I detoxed while still going to work and hitting at least one AA meeting a day. At least I had people around me who knew to call an ambulance if something happened, (like if I collapsed and started seizing). My boss was very patient with me and allowed for a lot of flexibility in my schedule to accomodate things.

Drink *LOTS* of water, eat lots of nutritional food, and get plenty of sleep whatever you do... Let's see if I can remember it all...

Week 1:
Basically had a "regular" hangover, (regular *only* to a heavy drinker)... everything tasted like cardboard... nerves a continuous jingle-jangle... very "touchy", defensive and reactive... tired yet at the same time agitated... insomnia... nausea... felt like crying, felt like screaming, felt like guzzling a keg... headaches, bodyaches, anguish...

Week 2:
Insomnia... nightmares... nerves quieted a bit but still pretty raw... the "brain fog" settled in... fatigue... wanted to scream but didn't have the energy... nausea... constipation... diarrhea... headaches... bodyaches... everything tasted like sawdust... still very reactive and defensive and liable to lash out... depression knocking on my door...

Week 3:
More insomnia... more nightmares... very fatigued... nerves still raw and twitchy... headaches... bodyaches... lots of joint pain... nausea... more diarrhea... pretty unstable emotionally... taste buds come and go... hard to think straight...

Week 4:
Insomnia starts to ease off... more nightmares... no matter what I do I'm always tired... headaches... bodyaches... nausea eases up a bit... joint pain continues... starting to get regular "bathroom cycles" again... I'd shout at you but I just don't have the energy for it... taste buds are back... the world is pretty bleak and gray...

Week 5:
Insomnia pretty much goes away... still having occassional nightmares... no matter what I do I simply can not get enough sleep and I don't wake up feeling rested... depression settles in... thinking a lot about the past... depression... start to put on weight (which I took as a good sign)... thoughts of suicide... did I mention the depression?

Week 6:
Depression with brief periods of mental hyperactivity... "brain fog" lifts... very unstable emotionally... can't stop obsessing about the past... depression... still can't get enough sleep... still rarely feel rested... thoughts of suicide... depression, depression, depression...

Week 7:
Starting to get into a regular sleep pattern... still lots of fatigue but starting to feel rested some mornings... starting to think clearly again... still lots of depression... still lots of obsessing about the past... always crying inside... lots of futility... have I mentioned the depression?

Week 8:
Thoughts of suicide go away... still lots of depression but starting to find moments of joy or at least a little peace... some nightmares start up again... still sleeping quite a lot... starting to be able to smile occassionally... depression is less crushing and not as constant... feelings of futility come and go...

Week 9:
The depression eases up and isn't nearly as constant but its never far away... still can't get enough sleep... I think the heaches had gone away by this time as did most of the body aches and joint pain... starting to be able to laugh again... still a bit obsessive about the past... nightmares a lot less frequent... starting to feel more rested after sleep but still sleeping a lot...

Week 10:
Starting to come out of the depressive funk... starting to take an interest in things like laundry, people, talking, sunshine, fresh air, rain, AA meetings (participating rather than just attending)... emotions are still everywhere but not nearly to the same extreme... able to smile and laugh even if faked... still thinking a lot about the past... life starting to look a bit liveable...

Week 11:
Starting to take a lot more interest in other people... starting to feel okay with myself... when the depression comes, it doesn't come nearly as strong or for as long... I start being able to set it aside for later consideration, (like before bed), if I indulge it for a few minutes... occassional nightmares...

Week 12:
Able to breath easier... able to function in a room full of people... finding moments of joy in activities... begin going to AA meetings because I *want* to (not because I feel I *have* to)... bouts of relatively mild depression maybe only two or three times a week instead of daily and am able to deal with them a lot more effectively... not thinking about the past nearly as much... starting to feel human again... starting to assert myself a bit...

That takes me to about the 90 day mark and already I was feeling worlds better than I had when I was drinking... Still a lot of "stinking thinking" but I was at least able to think clearly again... Still a lot of thinking about the past but my emotions were stabilizing... Depression still came but I'd feel, well, silly I guess if I'd indulge it for more than maybe ten minutes... Still a lot of thinking about the past and my family, and then my step-sister died... Right after my 90 day mark, I have to face them (family) and interact with "those people" (family) right in my face again and I almost relapsed... A lot of calls to my sponsor, a lot of praying, a lot of wishing I was back safely at home again... I almost relapsed, but by the Grace of God I didn't... Thank You God!!!!!!! ... And I eventually made it home safely... More depression after that... (I think its been about eight months now since the last bout)...

Anyway... I guess that covers my detox... Those horrible first thirty days... Those horrible second thirty days... Life looking better around the 90 day mark, and hope and some joy had returned.

Through it all, I can not stress enough the importance of the following:
1) Drink lots of water
2) Get lots of sleep
3) Eat lots of nutritious food
4) Go to as many AA meetings as you can, (I think I did 120 in 90)
5) Do as much service work as you can
6) Talk with as many recovering alcoholics as you can
7) Find something -- anything -- in the way of "little nuggets of joy" and foster them, focus on them, polish them, nuture them and encourage them as much as possible.
8) Pray... Pray, pray, pray... And then pray some more.

My first day of recovery, my temporary sponsor told me to spend the entire day doing nothing but sitting outside, looking at the world, the trees, the grass, the clouds, the people and simply BREATHE... It was the best advice my temporary sponsor ever gave me.

Remember that I was a pretty "hopeless" case, (at least *I* think so)... Your mileage may vary and you likely won't need as much time just for the detox as I did... God works in mysterious ways and I simply can't thank Him enough for pulling me out of that hell... For hell it was and I do NOT want to go back...

Thank you for letting me share.

You are not alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-08-2007, 01:00 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
same planet...different world
barb dwyer's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Butte, America
Posts: 10,946
Well ....

Thanks for the invitation to share, Carol - but I think it's been pretty much covered ... the closest to mine is my good buddy Jfanagle ...

Some differences, of course.
But the physical symptomology ... yeah. that's pretty much it.

Like ...(differences)
I interviewed for this job on four days off booze.
I was still shaking, vomiting, sweating ....
and had to get dressed to come in here for an interview.
I literally had to sit on my hands to get through it.

Got to the end of the interview
(which felt like it lasted somewhere around a WEEK)
stood to shake hands all that;

and I hear myself saying to the GM:
"Listen, you got a minute?
There's something I need to tell you about me before we conclude this thing."

And I told her.
I told her I'd been fired for being drunk on the job.
Told her that four days earlier - I'd tried to commit suicide.

I told her I was committed to the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous and that nothing - NOTHING was going to be able to come between myself and my recovery.
I told her it wasn't because I wanted to be well - it was because I had nothing left ... and had failed to die.
I told her I could not promise her I would never drink again.
I told her that I could not start out on a road of rigourous honesty as called for in the Fellowship without telling her these things before she considered me for a job with this hotel.

She hired me on the spot.

SO I got up, and went to the Alano club, where my sponsor and a couple of others were waiting to see how I did ...
got out of my car and looked down
(I'd felt a 'breeze)

I'd interviewed .. with the top half of my shirt open. And I was so sick - I didn't feel it until I got outside.

I still have that same job today. The God of my Understanding walked me into this place as surely as I am sitting here typing this post. The GM hadn't even noticed the shirt - she told me months later that what had impressed her about me - was my honesty.

What to expect?
Expect to get better.
Expect your laughter ... to come back.
Childhood laughter.
Not that angry drunk laughter at someone's expense.
That bright, happy laughter we knew as kids .. but forgot as drunks.

Expect things ... to make sense again.
Expect ... life ... to happen all around you.
Expect the simple awe of a bluer sky.
Expect to be able to see it (life) for the miracle it is.

What we did - whatever it takes.

It will work for you as well. It takes courage to choose life.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:52 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
everything is already ok
nogard's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Melbourne Victoria Australia
Posts: 19,828
Thanks Corol

My detox from Alchol was a complete shock.

My 11 year relapse started with a day off from my 20 recovery from drugs.

I had no resepct fro alcolhol and so even whn I quit. I continued that detox'd on my own at home in a reomte area.

I had dt's
shakes for weeks
palpitations (called an ambulance this got so bad)
stomach cramps

Most of this lasted about a week. My advice is get help detoxing and eat lots of fruit, drink lots of water, sleep when you can sleep.

Professional detoxs can be good, talk to someone who has been through it.

Good thing is its gone. These days I don't even think about using or drinking, really! Isn't that a gift.

I wish you well.

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Old 12-17-2007, 01:49 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Upstate, N.Y.
Posts: 4,639
My detoxing wasn’t as bad as some people can be. I think I was just lucky. I have always taken a lot of vitamins even while I was drinking. So I think that helped a lot with my detoxing. I didn’t see a Doctor about quitting drinking which wasn’t a good idea. I have a fear of Dr's so that is what held me back. Detoxing can be dangerous, so seeing a Dr is the better way to go to be safe.

Here is my personal experience when I was detoxing:

Day 1- I had some stomach pain, but no problem with eating. Very nervous, some shakiness, insomnia really bad. Only able to sleep a few hours. I drank a lot of water. I also started my recovery this day that I decided to use.

Day 2- Still some stomach pains, but still eating well. I was still very nervous and shaky some. Sleeping was still really bad. Very tired during the day. I still drank a lot of water.

Day 3- I still had some stomach pains. Still very nervous. Sleeping was still very difficult at night. I took some naps during the day which helped. Still drank a lot of water. Mentally and emotional getting very hard with not drinking.

Day- 4 Feeling a lot better physically. Still having problems with sleeping. Still drinking a lot of water. Emotional and mentally getting harder.
End of week 1- Physical done with detoxing. Emotional and mentally getting harder.

Week 2- Sleeping still hard but better. Emotional and mentally really hard. Crying and anger was the 2 biggest problems.

End of 1st month- Finally sleeping normally. Still drinking my water. Emotional and mentally still hard, but learning to deal with it because I know it will not last forever.

I had a lot of support when I quit. That helps a lot when you are quitting. I had friends here at home and I came on SR 2-3 times a day.

It is possible to quit. I know. I drank for many years and I’m now sober. Living sober is so much better. I feel like I have joined life again and it feels great.

Thanks Carol, and everyone else for being here.

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