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For those tortured by PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) and who fear they might go mad Part 3



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For those tortured by PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) and who fear they might go mad Part 3

Old 06-07-2021, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CBS62 View Post
Hi Vinny, sorry youíre having a rough day. Can you describe what you mean by buzzing? I think I have that too. And the rocking most days.
HI CB,

Hope your doing great and thanks for the reply. The buzzing is like a irritability which causes the anxiety to be extreme. The buzzing feels like a switch that goes on in the head and makes the head race and doesn't allow it to rest or relax. The rocking sensation usually comes as well and feels like I'm swaying on some days. Just hoping it gets better which I know it should. Some days I feel better with symptoms just lingering and not causing any discomfort.
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:48 AM
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I had a lot of that buzzing sensation, and along with it lights seemed too bright and noises too loud. It's your brain and the physical anxiety created by it screaming out for neurotransmitters that you can't create or absorb enough of yet. On those really bad days when I felt that way, a lot of times I would remind myself that when my brain was screaming like that that it was screaming out for alcohol -- not like in a way where I wanted to pick up, but like that it was having a temper tantrum not getting what it wants and this was how it manifested.

I just wanted to say to anyone just getting started or in the early months of PAWS, find a community or a support network of people to talk to while you're going through this. This thread has been amazing for me and so helpful, but I could not have stayed sober without other sober people in real life to talk to. I've been doing AA but that's not the end-all for everyone -- I highly recommend cultivating a handful of people who have gotten sober and know how tough the first year or two are so that when you're having a bad day of it you can call someone and just have.a breakdown if you need to and they won't bat an eyelash. Early recovery is HARD. And the notion that you have to just be strong and do it alone is not realistic and a recipe for failure. Check out sober meetups in your city, check out SMART if there's any of those groups meeting - I'm sure Soberrecovery has places in the forum for this. There are still tons of online AA meetings to check out and now in person - lean on these resources -- it really does help to have many shoulders to cry on during this time.
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Old 06-08-2021, 09:08 AM
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So I donít know what to call it then. I thought when you all were referring to buzzing it was more like a mild electricity running through your body or a tremor. Which I have. I feel like my whole skeleton is kind of vibrating. Kind of a tingling sensation. Sometimes itís centralized in my hands and feet sometimes my whole lower body sometimes my upper body. Does that sound familiar to anyone?
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Old 06-09-2021, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BettyP View Post
I had a lot of that buzzing sensation, and along with it lights seemed too bright and noises too loud. It's your brain and the physical anxiety created by it screaming out for neurotransmitters that you can't create or absorb enough of yet. On those really bad days when I felt that way, a lot of times I would remind myself that when my brain was screaming like that that it was screaming out for alcohol -- not like in a way where I wanted to pick up, but like that it was having a temper tantrum not getting what it wants and this was how it manifested.

I just wanted to say to anyone just getting started or in the early months of PAWS, find a community or a support network of people to talk to while you're going through this. This thread has been amazing for me and so helpful, but I could not have stayed sober without other sober people in real life to talk to. I've been doing AA but that's not the end-all for everyone -- I highly recommend cultivating a handful of people who have gotten sober and know how tough the first year or two are so that when you're having a bad day of it you can call someone and just have.a breakdown if you need to and they won't bat an eyelash. Early recovery is HARD. And the notion that you have to just be strong and do it alone is not realistic and a recipe for failure. Check out sober meetups in your city, check out SMART if there's any of those groups meeting - I'm sure Soberrecovery has places in the forum for this. There are still tons of online AA meetings to check out and now in person - lean on these resources -- it really does help to have many shoulders to cry on during this time.
Thank you Betty,

I appreciate yoir post and gives me relief knowing I'm not the only one with those symptoms. I definitely need to find a community to work with locally. I don't know what I would've done without SR. It has been a life saver. All the best to you and hope everyone is healing and healthy.

Vinny
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Old 06-09-2021, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CBS62 View Post
So I donít know what to call it then. I thought when you all were referring to buzzing it was more like a mild electricity running through your body or a tremor. Which I have. I feel like my whole skeleton is kind of vibrating. Kind of a tingling sensation. Sometimes itís centralized in my hands and feet sometimes my whole lower body sometimes my upper body. Does that sound familiar to anyone?
CB yes I still get them slightly. Feels like a electricity zipping through the body. They have gotten so much better. I noticed relief from zaps around the 14 month mark. They gradually get better.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:14 AM
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Iím sitting at my work desk crying. Just feeling overwhelmed by everything. Itís probably PAWS symptoms. The stupid spreadsheet made me start crying. Iím just so tired of feeling so bad. I quit drinking for my health and well-being and I feel like crap.My husband has been very supportive but I know that I weigh him down because Iím struggling so much. I guess Iíll just chalk this up as one of the bad days. But thereís a lot more bad days than good still.
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Old 06-09-2021, 04:57 PM
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I hope that will flip around soon and you;'ll have more good days than bad CBS.

D
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Old 06-09-2021, 11:45 PM
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Paws came roaring back on Monday. 18 months on. I calculated that this is how long it would take trying to apply a month for every year that I drank theory. This calculation has not worked for me. For me the symptoms currently are feeling that I have some sort of brain damage, like I am kind of out of it and can't function or focus to hard without getting a headache, yesterday it was severe.... have become more shaky again recently, palpitations which I assume are in the stomach, and generally uneasy most of the day. It's true that I have been drinking too much coffee again. It's funny really - I noticed I could tolerate coffee all of a sudden and this then went to having like three cups of coffee a day because it was elevating my mood in a short period of time. Still this does not explain the brain damage feeling which persists. I'm really frustrated with everything and to top it all off have become thirstier. It's a really tricky one because everyone just wants to feel well and happy. I think I'll probably go and have a few more tests. I don't think I'm really cut out to dealing with this feeling every day for months and months more. I've come to the realization that how I am feeling now is not much different to how I would feel two days after a binge, and I kept drinking then to get rid of that feeling which worked. I'm not going down that road, but need to feel better soon. I really would not wish PAWS on my worst enemy - I used to be quite an intellectual kind of person now I notice that what I want to say does not come out right or am missing the words or even writing with a pen can sometimes be an issue.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by CBS62 View Post
Iím sitting at my work desk crying. Just feeling overwhelmed by everything. Itís probably PAWS symptoms. The stupid spreadsheet made me start crying. Iím just so tired of feeling so bad. I quit drinking for my health and well-being and I feel like crap.My husband has been very supportive but I know that I weigh him down because Iím struggling so much. I guess Iíll just chalk this up as one of the bad days. But thereís a lot more bad days than good still.
CB the bad days will come. Stay focused and don't put much thought into it. I know how it feels. Best thing we can do is continue with our support groups and stay focused on keeping occupied. Hope the good days come and stay.

Vinny
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by drycucumber77 View Post
Paws came roaring back on Monday. 18 months on. I calculated that this is how long it would take trying to apply a month for every year that I drank theory. This calculation has not worked for me. For me the symptoms currently are feeling that I have some sort of brain damage, like I am kind of out of it and can't function or focus to hard without getting a headache, yesterday it was severe.... have become more shaky again recently, palpitations which I assume are in the stomach, and generally uneasy most of the day. It's true that I have been drinking too much coffee again. It's funny really - I noticed I could tolerate coffee all of a sudden and this then went to having like three cups of coffee a day because it was elevating my mood in a short period of time. Still this does not explain the brain damage feeling which persists. I'm really frustrated with everything and to top it all off have become thirstier. It's a really tricky one because everyone just wants to feel well and happy. I think I'll probably go and have a few more tests. I don't think I'm really cut out to dealing with this feeling every day for months and months more. I've come to the realization that how I am feeling now is not much different to how I would feel two days after a binge, and I kept drinking then to get rid of that feeling which worked. I'm not going down that road, but need to feel better soon. I really would not wish PAWS on my worst enemy - I used to be quite an intellectual kind of person now I notice that what I want to say does not come out right or am missing the words or even writing with a pen can sometimes be an issue.
Dry,

I know the feeling is not easy. I feel the same and wonder how much longer do I need to put up with this feeling. It's a Rollercoaster. Some days are good and other days are rough. I know it has to get better and the body and mind heal but it takes time. Its slow and gradual. I'm on 19 months and will be a whole 20 months free of any toxin (alcohol, cbd and benzos) and I still get that disruption in my mind like im loosing it sometimes. I know we will get better and pray it comes soon. 🙏🙏

Vinny
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:56 AM
  # 91 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by drycucumber77 View Post
Paws came roaring back on Monday. 18 months on. I calculated that this is how long it would take trying to apply a month for every year that I drank theory. This calculation has not worked for me. For me the symptoms currently are feeling that I have some sort of brain damage, like I am kind of out of it and can't function or focus to hard without getting a headache, yesterday it was severe.... have become more shaky again recently, palpitations which I assume are in the stomach, and generally uneasy most of the day. It's true that I have been drinking too much coffee again. It's funny really - I noticed I could tolerate coffee all of a sudden and this then went to having like three cups of coffee a day because it was elevating my mood in a short period of time. Still this does not explain the brain damage feeling which persists. I'm really frustrated with everything and to top it all off have become thirstier. It's a really tricky one because everyone just wants to feel well and happy. I think I'll probably go and have a few more tests. I don't think I'm really cut out to dealing with this feeling every day for months and months more. I've come to the realization that how I am feeling now is not much different to how I would feel two days after a binge, and I kept drinking then to get rid of that feeling which worked. I'm not going down that road, but need to feel better soon. I really would not wish PAWS on my worst enemy - I used to be quite an intellectual kind of person now I notice that what I want to say does not come out right or am missing the words or even writing with a pen can sometimes be an issue.
Sorry to hear you're still having a rough time Dry. Have you gave up the caffeine before in the last 18 months and if so how did you feel? If you're like me and just naturally prone to being anxious might want to see what it's like to give it up for a few weeks-just be prepared for the first few days to suck. Also there's probably not a single person on here who hasn't had a B vitamin deficiency along the way and while vitamins have their place food is best and I found chicken livers to be a superfood packed full of them. I try to eat them at least twice a week along with a lean cut of steak twice a week as well. It's not going to cure you but for me at least I feel a good difference and at least for the time being I'm calmer now then where I was before I started switching up my diet. Just hang in there Dry, Rome wasn't built in a day!
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:08 AM
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Very Interesting video regarding alcohol recovery. Figured I share it
https://youtu.be/r2VwaKhKHWg
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:44 PM
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Dry and CB - so sorry to hear about your rough days. Uugh PAWS is SO tough. I have a really hard time trying to explain it to other people because you really can't know unless you've experienced it. One of my anxiety/mental symptoms is that I feel super restless and I like everywhere I go and do I feel like I have to hurry up and finish it so that I can get done, and on to the next, and over and over. On good days, I don't feel this. I don't love it, but I tackle this now by writing out a to-do list and that helps me from spinning out so much - like I can focus on getting one thing done at a time and it takes up the hours of the day when it's a bad day. I use Post-it lined notes haha. It's got like just enough lines so that I can fill it without the list becoming unrealistic.

Dry - the coffee is a big red flag for me regarding your symptoms. Like I was shaking my head :-( Just because you could tolerate it doesn't mean your brain is totally healed, unfortunately. Caffeine is a drug, even if it's not in the same class as alcohol or others. If it can lift your mood it can, and does, affect it in other ways (ie negatively). My sponsor, who has been sober for four years, recently stopped drinking caffeine and she described it as feeling like "a low-grade acid trip" which immediately made me think of PAWS. Also, I think you did the right thing and told on yourself about how you were using it - to elevate your mood. We are alcoholics - we are addicted to feeling good as fast as possible, and when we find something that works we'll do it over and over -- in this case, one cup of coffee turns into three. Which three cups of coffee for a "normal" person is a LOT of caffeine. Three cups for someone still in early recovery is a lot for those freshly-minted receptors. I would take my foot off the gas on the coffee - it's ok to not be ok and not be a "normal" person who can drink tons of coffee.

CB - the electric buzzing did often feel like it was down into my bones during months 4-8ish. I felt that there is no way that just alcohol withdrawal could be the only cause of this, and that surely it was something terrible like MS that nobody was discovering. Around month 10, I crossed a threshold where this faded and then just stopped all together. Now sometimes I just get tingling in my feet. I remember thinking that when people said that when symptoms just fade away, that there was no way that was true - but honest to god that's just exactly how it happens, and it's going to happen to you. Right where you are, timewise, I still had a lot of physical symptoms too - remember that your body doesn't have nerve tissue that's just exclusive to your brain; your whole body is made up of nerve tissue, and all of those receptors had become accustomed to their daily dose of feel-good alcohol. So it's natural that as this nerve tissue heals, you're going to feel that all-over electricity feeling. Think of like when you would take that first couple of sips of wine and how your whole body would ease a little -- those nerve endings are healing, they're just screaming at you right now.

I'm still having good and bad days. But often on my bad days I'll notice that I'm doing something that I would not have been able to tolerate just a few months ago. Like I can say "I feel bad today, but I don't feel THAT bad like before." It ain't much but I'll take it? I really am feeling miles better than month 4, 5, and 6 holy moly - what a terrifying time. Folks who are at those months - it can't be said enough times, really -- this isn't permanent. You will get better.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:32 PM
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BettyP and Dry your posts describes so much of how I am feeling - the super restlessness, having to hurry up - electricity running through the body not to mention the painful feet, headaches. Plus a whole range of weird physical discomfort. But the thing that has hit me like a sledgehammer is Coffee!
I probably knew it but just didn't want to face it - I drink ALOT of coffee, very strong and black. 5 or 6 cups a day.
I need to stop drinking it - I dread to think how I am going to do that - I love coffee -or course I do. I suppose I am still an addict who likes my fix.But I will do anything to stop this terrible physical pain and discomfort.
This has been a great thread, it has opened my eyes to how dumb I have been. More importantly it has made me realise I am not having a panic attack, or suffering a nervous breakdown, I feel relieved that tomorrow I can start to make changes that will hep me.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:58 PM
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Dusty I would try cutting your coffee to half caf if you're having a hard time cutting out coffee all together. Turning off a 5-6 cup a day habit is not going to be as easy as just stopping cold turkey. Also, a lot of the joy of a cup of coffee is the ritual, so if you can get yourself to get it down to just decaf you will probably be a lot better off. And like, spend some money and get yourself some actually good decaf coffee - don't make yourself suffer with some cheap brand, even if you drank a cheap brand before. Get one that's fancy that you like. Make your recovery as livable as you can - think of the fact that you're already saving tons of money just not spending it on alcohol.
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:11 PM
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Thanks BettyP - good advice. I have just gone back and read this thread from the beginning - and I think from what I have read I am suffering with PAWS. Anxiety attacks, Dizzy spells, painful feet, pins and needles or burning sensations in my feet - feeling like all my limbs might fly off - restless limbs - disorientation and so on. It is as everyone who has posted here describes, a roller-coaster of pain and anxiety! But I am so very glad to have read it all - I see now my recovery is going to be hard work. But it has helped to read how things do get better.
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:31 AM
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Folks,

Has anyone been having speech issues during PAWS? Things like not remembering words or having a harder time constructing a sentence?
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:18 AM
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Betty, thanks so much for taking the time to respond. Your words on many occasions have comforted me. I feel like a baby that needs constant reassurance that I don't have some horrible neurological disease. Part of PAWS is thinking you are dying.

Vinny, you have been a huge help too! Not a lot of us have the rocking dizziness sensation. I am still "on a boat" most days.

Dustyfox, welcome to the PAWS thread! Look for decaf that is processed with water not chemicals. That is what I drink. Every time I put a little regular coffee in with my decaf it exacerbates my PAWS symptoms so I am back at strictly decaf coffee and lots of decaf teas.

Graceful, I definitely struggle with finding the right word and remembering peoples names. Also, putting words in the wrong order when I speak and when I am writing. It seems to come and go.

My six months is coming up on the 17th. Here is my current symptom list:

Rocking sensation, occasional vertigo with a few days here and there that I wake up and it is more mild or not there for a few hours. Once or twice in the past month it was gone all day but returned in the evening.

Numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. Electricity feeling in my bones/skeleton. Mostly in the afternoon and evening.

Tingling and pain in my back and neck. Comes and goes.

Anxiety that is up and down. Especially health anxiety.

Depression most days.

Anhedonia all the time. A few tiny windows of joy, very fleeting.

Derealization pretty constant.

Feeling of doom and that I am dying of some dreaded disease.

Nystagmus comes and goes.

Insomnia and appetite are better YAY!






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Old 06-11-2021, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Graceful123 View Post
Folks,

Has anyone been having speech issues during PAWS? Things like not remembering words or having a harder time constructing a sentence?
Graceful: The list of symptoms that could potentially be associated with PAWS is almost limitless. I know many people have mentioned having issues like you mention with speech during recovery, I know I have. Having said that, it can also be symptom of many other things.

Your best bet is to address the things you can - diet, exercise, getting adequate sleep, cutting out things that seem to make it worse ( caffeine, sugar, ) etc. It's important to remember that PAWS is not a disease within itself, but a wide array/collection of possible symptoms common to addicts in recovery. And if any of those symptoms become too debilitating, it's best to see a doctor or counselor to look into that specific issue for a solution.
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Old 06-11-2021, 02:49 PM
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18 months ago today I had my last drink (in the morning, to stave off withdrawals) then went to the ER that afternoon to get help. I have read and re-read this thread so many times that I have lost count. I am so grateful to Matt for starting this thread. The people who have contributed to this thread have helped me immensely and I will never be able to thank you enough. Drycucumber77and Vindawgs I am going through the same thing and on the same timeline as you- I was hit with a wicked wave of paws about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Horrific brain fog, DP/DR, dizziness, electric buzzing throughout the body, and other things after feeling quite good for a little while. I am also almost 5 months clean from medical marijuana so the overlapping of paws symptoms has been nearly unbearable. There have been times throughout this ordeal that I have wanted a drink or some cannabis but I will not do it. Thank you so much to all of you and I send you all so much love. I finally have mustered up the courage to post and say hello and thanks.
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