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Long time it seems like

Old 11-22-2022, 04:48 PM
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Unhappy Long time it seems like

175 Days today, no alcohol. I wish I was happier about it, but I have some health issues. I don't know how much of it is PAWS, but the anxiety might be, my psych says it probably is. I've been on medication for months now and the one I've been on the longest now makes me sick. Is it normal to suffer from PAWS symptoms for 6 months? I'm getting so discouraged. I've lost nearly 50 lbs and look a LOT better, toned up from all the exercise, but I wish I were better mentally.
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Old 11-22-2022, 05:32 PM
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Hi TWB,

I don't know the answer to your question at all. Sorry. I just wanted to acknowledge that I read it. I also read some of your story and you've been through a lot. I wish you all the best and hope that you find some answers and solutions
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Old 11-22-2022, 05:40 PM
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Hi TheWayBack - welcome back

If it is PAWs its been suggested it could be up to 2 years for some people.
That's not everyone tho.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160316...r-immediately/

As for anxiety, I suffered from anxiety for years before I took my first drink, so I had to deal with it after I stopped.
For me it was exercise, and time. Eventually I got onto a beta blocker for something else and I think that it's probably helped too.

Have you spoken to your doctor about your mental health and the med thats making you sick?
D

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Old 11-22-2022, 06:14 PM
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Hi Dee,

Thanks for the welcome back. I've been diagnosed with GAD since Sept. I've had it all my life, but it became unmanageable after I quit drinking, around 60-70 days after and I guess I entered into my PAWS state. I spoke with my psych about the med problem yesterday.

I think I had some sort of false hope that I was just going to be wonderful after being off the alcohol a few months, but that's was just an illusion I guess. It seems I still have a long ways to go if I ever get there. Maybe I just did too much damage to fix. I keep doing labs and they keep coming back fine. It's frustrating because I am convinced there is something wrong and they are just not finding it. I started a new med and it seems to be somewhat more effective and does not make me sick, yet, but my psych is so conservative about meds I will be 90 before we get to a really effective dose. I don't want to be on any medicine but I do not want to relapse because of anxiety.
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Old 11-22-2022, 07:52 PM
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I don't know about you but I spent at least 20 years or so drinking, and a lot of that drinking was self medication for various things.

Things did get better but it still took time and work?

My second year was better in this respect than my first but I still saw improvement throughout my first year.
Not drinking didn't solve all my problems, but it gave me a fairly consistent base from which to work on.

Don't give up

That link I posted also gives some advice on dealing with PAWs - Its a good read

D


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Old 11-22-2022, 09:47 PM
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The heavy drinking lasted about 12 years. There was once it was so heavy I wound up in the hospital for it, about a half of a fifth or more of bourbon or vodka, every night, and the last of it was just insane. It was only beer and stuff like White Claw, but I was drinking so much of it I would have the worst hangovers and I was working like that! I just didn't drink one day and that was it, cold turkey. I had no acute withdrawals at all. But then between 60 and 70 days it hit me hard and I went into severe anxiety with panic attacks and wound up at the emergency room thinking I was dying. I also then suffered from terrible anhedonia for a couple of months before the meds gave me a little relief.

I've told my doctors, my GP and my psych that it was always self medication I was doing. My wife, her English is still not perfect, would say 'You are masking your nervous'. It was exactly that.

Thanks for the encouragement! Good thing my wife is here all of the time and has forbidden me to drink. That won't work, but somehow it works now. Poor woman is still traumatized over that panic episode I had. She says 'You freaked out'. Yep, totally.

I'm not in good shape. My vision is much worse, I did not take care of myself in any way and now need a bunch of dental work and implants. It is making me depressed.
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Old 11-22-2022, 10:30 PM
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It took me several years to get my teeth done - I had very little income - but I got there in the end.
You will too.

Its not like you stop drinking and that's the best you'll feel forever onwards...things WILL improve

D
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Old 11-23-2022, 03:03 AM
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Wayback,
I also had terrible anxiety and clinical depression after my second child was born. The anxiety was the worst thing I have ever experienced.
I still drank then, but my instinct was to STOP drinking, because I knew it was making it worse. And it helped a lot, together with the meds of course.
I know you know this, but the worst thing you could do now is drink. You may get some relief for second, and then it will be worse, and then you will have to stop again, and then it will be even worse.
I cannot say I know how you feel, but I do know how I felt, and it will get better with time, and the right medication, provided you do not drink.
Just to add that that child is 18 now, I have not drank in years, no meds, no anxiety, no depression. But it took time and perseverance. For me, I just decided to stop drinking like you did. And then I took it off the table. No optionality - I don't hit my kids, I do not drink. Ever. I had good reasons to, but I never revisited the decision, I just implemented it and persevered.
I am thinking of you. Please keep us posted.



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Old 11-23-2022, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TheWayBack View Post
175 Days today, no alcohol. I wish I was happier about it, but I have some health issues. I don't know how much of it is PAWS, but the anxiety might be, my psych says it probably is. I've been on medication for months now and the one I've been on the longest now makes me sick. Is it normal to suffer from PAWS symptoms for 6 months? I'm getting so discouraged. I've lost nearly 50 lbs and look a LOT better, toned up from all the exercise, but I wish I were better mentally.
My PAWS lasted nearly 12-14 months in varying degrees if I'm remembering it correctly. In a nutshell, it F'ing SUCKED. I had so many symptoms. I don't wish it on anyone but it WILL go away eventually. As you know, we're not machines. Most of these symptoms will ebb and flow and there will be times when you won't have any- but for me, when my anxiety was especially bad, my PAWS would be too. I think there's a close connection.

I've got general anxiety disorder too. It was terrible for me the first 6 months in sobriety. Around 9 months I noticed it getting better, at a year I would say it was much better and after a year and a half or so, it was completely manageable with therapy. Anxiety is so underestimated, sort of like depression was in the 80's and 90's. It can be so debilitating. Give yourself a lot of TLC and be patient with your brain. This process takes a long time but I promise you it'll be worth it.

I don't suffer from it anymore. I manage it easily. That takes a lot of work. For me, therapy has been life changing. So do as much as you can stand and I also got into self help books too. Anything I could do to further understand why I was the way I was, was just another weapon in my toolbox to stay sober and recover.

Best of luck to you, and keep it up!
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Old 11-23-2022, 01:16 PM
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Thanks. I'm trying to hang in there. It's a constant up and down now. Last night I was pretty positive. This morning, I told my wife I just want to start drinking again so I can just get it over with because I cannot possibly take months more of this.

One thing that really worries me is my age. I'm 62. I have always felt and looked young for my age, even when I was drinking. But when I quit drinking and after a couple of months, the bad anxiety hit me, it was so debilitating that I thought I was dying, losing my mind and after a month of that, I felt like I aged 20 years all at once. Then it got better after I got medical attention, cleaned up my diet, and started regular exercise. But some days I think I just waited too long, if only I would have quit earlier, and the damage from alcohol is going to kill me anyway because I can't make a full recovery at my age.
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Old 11-23-2022, 01:41 PM
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I'm sorry you're struggling, TheWayBack. It sounds like health issues, physical and mental, are overwhelming you right now. I felt the same in early recovery. My suggestion is to try to slowly move forward. You can get your eyes tested and maybe you just need new glasses. You can look into options for the dental work. You don't have to do everything at once.

Like you, I only drank to mask my anxiety and depression. So, when I stopped drinking, I still had a lot of work to do. All these years later, I'm still a work in progress. I think we all are. Be kind to yourself and focus on what you've done to help yourself so far and what you can do in the future.
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Old 11-23-2022, 02:14 PM
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Maybe you can make a full recovery, maybe you can't. What you can do though is make the best of the life you still have in front of you. People don't make full recoveries from all manner of conditions other than alcoholism but still go on to lead full lives. Don't let the booze talk you into drinking with this silly sob story. You know it's not true. Alcohol is sneaky and lies to us in a lot of ways. Many of us had multiple health conditions to deal with once we stopped drinking. I had a hysterectomy and major spinal surgery to deal with as I had been drinking over the symptoms for a long time. It sounds like you're actually doing really well and making great progress, but your anxiety is telling you otherwise. Maybe write down a list of what you have accomplished since you stopped drinking, and refer to it when the anxiety kicks in and tells you that you aren't doing enough. Losing 50lbs alone is a wonderful achievement and will do wonders for your overall health and longevity.
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Old 11-23-2022, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TheWayBack View Post
Thanks. I'm trying to hang in there. It's a constant up and down now. Last night I was pretty positive. This morning, I told my wife I just want to start drinking again so I can just get it over with because I cannot possibly take months more of this.

One thing that really worries me is my age. I'm 62. I have always felt and looked young for my age, even when I was drinking. But when I quit drinking and after a couple of months, the bad anxiety hit me, it was so debilitating that I thought I was dying, losing my mind and after a month of that, I felt like I aged 20 years all at once. Then it got better after I got medical attention, cleaned up my diet, and started regular exercise. But some days I think I just waited too long, if only I would have quit earlier, and the damage from alcohol is going to kill me anyway because I can't make a full recovery at my age.
I'm 50 and I think the same thing. Every 40 year old in recovery that I know says basically the same thing. My point is, I don't think the feeling of "I just waited too long" is unique to anyone, we all feel it. I think most of that is guilt over not doing it sooner. This is the part where giving yourself a break and some TLC is a much better recipe than giving up. We know what giving up does. It kills us. I also know what it feels like to feel old and tired. We keep doing this, because this life of sobriety is the easier way.

For me, suffering with the shame and guilt over a life less lived because I was afraid of sticking it out and living in the bottom of a bottle was unacceptable. It has to remain that way.

Also, a little food for thought...Dr. Bob, the co-founder of AA was almost 57 when he and Bill Wilson started Alcoholics Anonymous. One of my first sponsors from AA was 68 when he got sober and is STILL sober to this day. He just celebrated his 97th birthday. We fell out of touch for a lot of my drinking career but we reconnected this year when I went to a local meeting and he was a speaker. He just celebrated 29 years of sobriety.

You, my friend could be at the beginning of chapter 2.. not the end. You gotta hang in there to find out.




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Old 11-23-2022, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BullDog777 View Post
I'm 50 and I think the same thing. Every 40 year old in recovery that I know says basically the same thing. My point is, I don't think the feeling of "I just waited too long" is unique to anyone, we all feel it. I think most of that is guilt over not doing it sooner. This is the part where giving yourself a break and some TLC is a much better recipe than giving up. We know what giving up does. It kills us. I also know what it feels like to feel old and tired. We keep doing this, because this life of sobriety is the easier way.

For me, suffering with the shame and guilt over a life less lived because I was afraid of sticking it out and living in the bottom of a bottle was unacceptable. It has to remain that way.

Also, a little food for thought...Dr. Bob, the co-founder of AA was almost 57 when he and Bill Wilson started Alcoholics Anonymous. One of my first sponsors from AA was 68 when he got sober and is STILL sober to this day. He just celebrated his 97th birthday. We fell out of touch for a lot of my drinking career but we reconnected this year when I went to a local meeting and he was a speaker. He just celebrated 29 years of sobriety.

You, my friend could be at the beginning of chapter 2.. not the end. You gotta hang in there to find out.
Thank you so much for that, it means a lot.

After I quit and hit that period where I had bad anxiety and panic attacks, I truly thought I was going to at least lose my job if not my mind as well. I didn't, it seemed like a miracle. I remember saying that if I could only keep my job then I would be the happiest person ever. Then I forgot about that and dwelled on the other things that are wrong with me. Yes, I am better and I do have health anxiety that I am completely obsessed with. I'm not giving up, even though every day there are times I want to.
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Old 11-24-2022, 11:40 AM
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As Bulldog suggested, this is just the beginning of your Chapter 2, best life. The PAWS will reduce over time.

Wanted to ask what kind of workouts you do? Over the years I found hard aerobic workouts to be the best for my anxiety (GAD), and they are also well-documented to be very good for brain recovery and health. I still do some weights but my core is 6 hours a week of moderate to hard cycling.

Stay the course friend, and Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-24-2022, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by advbike View Post
As Bulldog suggested, this is just the beginning of your Chapter 2, best life. The PAWS will reduce over time.

Wanted to ask what kind of workouts you do? Over the years I found hard aerobic workouts to be the best for my anxiety (GAD), and they are also well-documented to be very good for brain recovery and health. I still do some weights but my core is 6 hours a week of moderate to hard cycling.

Stay the course friend, and Happy Thanksgiving.
You might be surprised or even laugh at me. But I mostly do VR fitness exercise. It is pretty much all aerobic and I am always sweating a lot after a session. I do it for about an hour several times a week. I also do some pushups. That is about it, but I want to add in Yoga and weights. I have toned up a lot, and losing 50 lbs. didn't hurt any. I actually still need to lose about 10 lbs and I will try to add it back with muscle. I have to get started on the weights. I'm also looking at HRT as I am sure my levels are low, but I'm about to go get tested with a full hormone panel to find out.
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Old 11-24-2022, 05:41 PM
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TWB,

Tony was one of the wisest people I knew in AA; he liked to say "If you get lost ten miles into the woods, don't be surprised that it's a ten mile walk out."

It took me about 18 months to level out after getting sober. Nobody knows what "level out" means until we get there, and some of us do have permanent health consequences from our drinking. But without a doubt, my sober life is infinitely better than my drinking days. There are some regrets that it took me so long to get to the place it took me to get sober, but it's pointless to play the "if only I quit sooner" game. It will take time and effort to get the most out of your sobriety - just keep the faith and help your medical providers help you, by being honest about where you are and what you are going through (as you did). This journey doesn't end, but that's the point: keep working and growing, the day will come when you look back at where you are and realize how far you've come. Good luck & keep posting!
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