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Old 02-04-2011, 08:50 AM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Southern NJ
Posts: 14

Need advice with withdrawal symptoms!!

Hi everyone,

I am new to these forums, and I am new to sobriety as of 2/23/2011. I'd like to share some of my withdrawal symptoms, and see if anybody has some insight to whether or not they're normal.

Firstly - my habits. I was an evening drinker. I usually started around 5:00pm, until I fell asleep around midnight. My featured poison was red wine and sometimes a martini. I would easily drink a bottle of wine within an hour, and would for the last few months, I progressed to two bottles of wine per night. During the last few weeks, I would find myself finishing the two bottles, then just having "a little bit more" out of the sangria bottle since it wasn't so strong.

I am in my 30's and I quit cold turkey because I didn't want to look back ten years from now and realize that I wasted my opportunity to have a rewarding life.

I also gave up tobacco products about five days ago, and switched to e-cigarettes to ease the transition to a smoke & nicotine free life.

My symptoms -

First couple days, I had a weird appetite, and a little bit of anxiety. I remedied this with herbal teas and wheat thins.

Since the first day, I haven't so much suffered insomnia, however, instead of going to bed at midnight - I have been up until 4am every morning since my first day of sobriety. This is becoming a chore! Last night I was able to fall asleep around 2am - which was rather comforting.

Additionally, the two alarming symptoms are:

1 - severely diminished libido
2 - clay colored stools (everything was normal while drinking)

Does anybody have any insight about these? It was my understanding that these two items are often experienced by people who drink, not by people who sober up. I'm making the assumption that my body is pushing out toxins and has to balance out before things return to normal.

I appreciate any help that anybody has to offer. I don't have health insurance (another reason why I quit), so I can not afford to have bloodwork drawn for peace of mind.

Thank you all very much! I'll be active on the boards as a way to pass time, and I hope that everyone is making a smooth successful transition to their new lives!

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Old 02-04-2011, 12:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Sober02232011

Welcome to SR.

Detox and withdrawal are different for all of us, and present in many different ways. If you're like me you abused your body for a long time - it can, and does, take time for the body to return to a normal state.

But none of us are doctors here...if you're worried about this, I really recommend you seek professional medical advice - there are a lot of free clinics around for example - google free clinics and your local area.

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Old 02-04-2011, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to our recovery community
Congratulations on heading into a sober future keep posting ...many of us are winning over alcohol.
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Dee74 (02-04-2011)
Old 02-04-2011, 01:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi and Welcome,

I think you should talk to your dr about the symptoms you are experiencing.

I'm glad you found us.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

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Dee74 (02-04-2011)
Old 02-04-2011, 01:56 PM   #5 (permalink)

Join Date: Feb 2011
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Thank you everyone!

Many thanks everyone!

This is the first time that I've stopped drinking for more than a few days. In the past, I've always wanted to stop drinking - and this time, I believe my efforts are more effective because I've "decided" to quit.

Now, when I develop a "craving" or "thirst", I'm leaning on herbal teas and health foods to satisfy my desire to "consume".

Fortunately, I have a variety of hobbies and interests to keep me busy - and as soon as they start to grow old, I'll be introducing healthier and more active routines into my lifestyle.

2011 will be my quest for ultimate health, versus ultimate oblivion =)
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome - good to have you with us. Way to go on getting sober - I'm a little envious that you quit smoking at the same time! I still haven't conquered that one.

Maybe you could save up your wine money each day until you have enough to see a doctor, just to make sure everything's OK. It's scary, I know, but there might be something simple you can do to help out with your symptoms. I had light colored stools once during a drinking binge (scared me, for sure), and googled it, but there's so many different conditions that can cause it..... thankfully, it went away after a day or two.

All the best to you - there's a lot of great people here, so I hope you keep reading and posting!
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:34 PM   #7 (permalink)

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since it's only Feb. 4, i assume you mean you've been sober since 1/23?...congrats on 12 sober days, i wish you many more.

you are doing a lot of dietary changes? if you are worried about the "outcome" you've gotta remember that we are what we eat. 2 bottles of red wine every night contain a LOT of sugar, it might take longer for your body to adjust to the change.

not sleeping much in 12 days can also wreak havoc with your health. i agree with everyone here in that you need to see a doctor and have some professional advice and a blood workup. you can make calls about some doctors or groups who may charge you on a sliding fee scale. if you are female seek out a woman's health center.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:40 PM   #8 (permalink)

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Southern NJ
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Artsoul: Thank you for the kind words! I truly believe that the electronic cigarettes were the saving grace with the cigarettes. The hard part with tobacco (especially pre-manufactured cigarettes) is battling the withdrawal of the "other chemicals" they add to the tobacco. I picked up a "Top-O-Matic" cigarette injector and purchased Harvest Gold (brand) Natural tobacco - which supposedly has no additives mixed in. I purchased these items because it brought my cost per pack down to about $1.75 per pack. Even with this change, I suffered a withdraw from the boxed cigarettes available over the counter! The electronic cigarette took about two days to adjust to, and I'm already regaining my sense of smell and taste--and my allergy to second hand smoke =)
My ultimate plan is to start with e-cig refills that have normal nicotine content, and taper down to nicotine free. At that point, the only addiction left is the habit!

Another thing that could be complicating my stool color (after much research) is the fact that I have Crohn's disease and was recently taking medication to manage a flare-up. Fortunately, within my research, "any shade of brown" (disgusting topic, I know!) is supposedly within the normal zone. I'll probably give myself a month and see if things return to normal and then consider medical help from that point forward.

I really look forward to navigating the forums! I was afraid that many of my friends would exile me from existence since a healthy portion of them were out with me eating and drinking every night =0) Fortunately - of the people that I've spoken to, they are all supportive of my change in habits and are willing to partake in sober activities that don't involve me sitting around at the bar. This is a really cool thing for me because when I stopped going to the bars I frequented in my twenties, everyone seem to disappear and stop calling - as if they didn't notice my leave lol.

Thanks again for the support and the kind words!
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artsoul (02-04-2011)
Old 02-04-2011, 04:50 PM   #9 (permalink)

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Southern NJ
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Fandy: LOL You are so right about the date. I just realized that myself and thought "gosh - I have a long way to go until my first two weeks of sobriety!"

I started my dietary changes a few months before sobering up - I've always been pretty good with getting my fair share of vegetables. Since I've stopped drinking, I've started consuming massive amounts of tea (herbal and regular), a little valerian root to calm me down the first few days, and I also started eating massive amounts of cauliflower to curb my newfound appetite for junk-food (which may be the culprit).

As mention in my previous post, I'll give my body a couple more weeks to adjust and contact my doctor if I don't see myself moving towards normality. Aside from the above mentioned, I actually feel better than I have in a number of years and I'm crossing my fingers that I've made it past the heft of the detox. What has me nervous is that I've read it can sometimes take atleast 6 weeks to detox ... lol

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to respond - I'm off to the Vitamin Shoppe to pick up a supplement called "The Ultimate Meal" to ensure that I'm getting plenty of extra nutrition!

(and I'm male - so my gyno would look at me funny) lol
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