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Old 01-21-2012, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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do you EVER recover from alcohol withdrawal / kindling?


Hey guys,

This is my first post on this forum actually. Last year, around April, I started feeling very 'strange' after nights of binge drinking.. and by that I mean, I would feel restless, agitated, paranoid,.. sometimes I would start walking around my block 10 times

Anyway, one Monday after a weekend of binge-ing, I went into work.. was feeling actually quite fine. Then... , around 11:00 AM... (you know where this is going), it started to hit. It first started out as just the paranoia, increased heart rate, that I had experienced before, but then... .. it increased to the extreme,.. (Fortunately, I was by myself at the time, and no one could see what was happening.) I started convulsing, had literally no control of my muscles.. it was an enormous effort even trying to move my eyes in a certain direction.., let alone the fact that I felt a stroke coming at any minute!

I somehow managed to walk to the nearest 6 train, and get to a hospital / ER. To this day, I have no idea how I managed to do this. For the next week, I went to an inpatient facility for detox. And get this: During the van ride home after being released, I had ANOTHER bad withdrawal, no alcohol involved this time, mind you! No idea how this could happen, but it did. This time wasn't as bad as the last, but still awful. Went to the ER again for it (paranoid).

Since then, I have had certain isolated incidents where I would drink even just a little too much, and undergo very scary withdrawal experiences. Presently, I've only been having one drink a week (for about 1-2 months now).. and continuing to taper down hopefully to less than that,.. but still.. about 48-72 hours after that one drink, I get paranoia, extreme blood-rush to the head, increased heart rate, etc. The scariest part of ALL of this is it comes OUT OF NOWHERE! The rest of the time I'm feeling perfectly fine, and then BOOM!, it strikes.

I guess my question for you guys that have more experience with this is will this EVER go away? From strictly a physiological perspective, will it ever be possible to have even one drink without going through these horrible withdrawal episodes?

Thanks for any help guys,

Brian
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would suggest seeing a doctor and NOT having even one drink. My withdrawal lasted four days and that was it. It was a bitch while it lasted though. Alcohol effects brain chemistry so it will effect you even after sobering up. I had anxiety problems even when sober during active addiction.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Brian
Welcome to SR

I don't know what the answer to yr question is, but wouldn't it make more sense just to not drink?

D
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome,

For me one drink was to much and 30 not enough. To me it doesnt seem to be worth even that one .

I hated those feelings , they are not missed.

Good luck .
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome, Brian.

That sounds pretty worrisome. May I ask why you are still having one drink a week? I can't imagine doing that even if I didn't face the scary consequences you're describing. It was all or nothing for me. There are 168 hours in the week, and you're not drinking for at least 167 of them. We're talking about a fraction of one percent of your week. If you go for nice long walk once a week instead you will never have this happen again. Please consider seeing a doctor who's experienced with these things. From what I've read, the kindling effect only gets worse, even if you're abstaining for a month at a time....
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My next day hangovers & anxiety progressed right along with my drinking habits. I found that my anxiety & panic attacks almost completely disappeared after finally quitting & letting my body/mind recover over time.

All of the best ~ NB
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses guys. I hear what you're sayin'. Yea, the kindling effect is very unfortunate.. I wish I knew about that before! I just wonder with enough abstinence whether that will ever go away.

I don't know what I"m going to do in the meantime. Here everything seems to revolve around drinking.. nights out, weddings, celebrations, you name it. (it's preaching to the choir I know). I just wish eventually -- years from now -- I wouldn't have to explain to someone that I can't have a single drink because of a bad phase I went through some X years ago., y'know?
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I never explain anything...I just say no thanks.

Because drinking is so important to us, I think we expect it is for others too - but it's not - they don't need the essay on what happened and why we quit.

I had to change a few things in my life - a lot of my drinking buddies drank like I did so we came to a parting of the ways...but I reconnected with old friends and made new ones.

My life's the best it's ever been Brian

D
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianHill View Post
I don't know what I"m going to do in the meantime. Here everything seems to revolve around drinking.. nights out, weddings, celebrations, you name it. (it's preaching to the choir I know). I just wish eventually -- years from now -- I wouldn't have to explain to someone that I can't have a single drink because of a bad phase I went through some X years ago., y'know?
Oh yeah Brian, we have all been through the beginning stages of quitting & sharing our story of why we quit in different situations. It gets easier to share I promise (actually, you will find that most people don't really care that much about if "we" are drinking or not except a few nosey people or others with a drinking problem ;-).

For now just go with "Im not drinking today" then decide on many of the potential reasons why: health, driving, weight, or my favorite... "I have decided to quit drinking to improve my life".

P.S. All of those things that you listed involve drinking alcohol because you have been doing these things while drinking. Funny enough I was also shocked to find out that I could go to weddings, dinner with friends, camping, birthdays, work functions, concerts & New Years Eve sober & have a blast.... very strange at first but awesome once you get used to it.

Take care & keep posting ~ NB
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I never explain anything...I just say no thanks.D
Awesome advice on how to keep it simple above /\
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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There's also such a thing called "PAWS" that you may be experiencing to some degree (post acute withdrawal syndrome), especially when considering how little you're drinking while still feeling the effects of the addiction. For me it was anxiety attacks that would pop up out of nowhere, even months after I quit drinking. PAWS seems to hit hardest to those who have been drinking heavily for long periods of time, but it does eventually go away. I quit drinking last February, and my last bout with PAWS still hit me in October. Since then I've been fine. If you're not aware of PAWS, it would be a very good idea to research the subject. The key is to not to drink at all while learning how to accept and to live with your new self. In the end - and I've said this here several times - we all have a million excuses why we drink, but no one ever seems to have a single good reason. If you really want to get better, the very best thing you can do for yourself is to simply quit. You just have to WANT to do it.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The one study of the kindling phenomenon I read made the point that the symptoms intensify with continued use, not decrease.

What you are doing is making you worse, not better.

If this is the best you can do, then at least you know what you can expect. Next year won't be as good as what you're experiencing this year.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Brian thank you for posting this.
I was having the exact same experience, and nobody could validate it for me. I gave up drinking completely, sober date in signature.
It got so bad I could have one or two drinks and be tossing and turning, crying, anxiety-ridden, useless for five days. When just a few years ago I could go on 15 drink benders, then get up for work the next day.
I don't understand the science behind it, but I KNOW it was not "all in my mind" or psychosomatic.
I wish I had not been in denial about it for so long and given up drinking a lot sooner, just faced the fact that something in my body had changed permanently and any alcohol at all was ruining me.
Just know that it is a real thing.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi Brian, I know what you are saying and yes you can recover.
My advise to you would be to just forget alcohol, you are allergic to it now.

the key to feeling good and happy is to start getting fit, go for a jog everyday and/or get involved in sports, maybe join a gym....anything really just to increase your fitness.

Your first post related a lot to me.

Keep with it and love yourself.

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Old 01-22-2012, 02:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I've got good news on two fronts here.

Yes, you will get over the withdrawals IF you abstain from alcohol. You may eventually suffer from some sort of PAWS a few months into sobriety, but it will be nothing like the immediate effects of alcohol detoxification.

And yes, those social functions which previously revolved around alcohol can be enjoyed sans alcohol. I, too, was skeptical at first, trust me. I found that after attending these types of functions sober a few times, it made me realize that booze never really added much "fun" in the first place, and it was nice being able to actually ENJOY and REMEMBER the event at all. It was a mental connection that needed to be broken, and after that booze began to lose its mystical & magical properties.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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OK, based on this post I just read all of this article. Wow, the effects of drinking alcohol & binging in particular on our bodies/brains are even more severe than I knew (brain damage etc.). Thanks for bringing up the subject, so happy to be sober & I hope you find your path.

Have a read: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publicatio...22-1/25-34.pdf

Possible mechanisms contributing to kindling during alcohol withdrawal. Repeated binge drinking followed by
abstinence leads to repeated withdrawal episodes, resulting in increasingly severe alterations of brain functions. The
alterations include (1) a progressive imbalance between suppressive (i.e., inhibitory) and stimulating (i.e., excitatory)
influences (i.e., neurotransmission) on brain function, (2) disturbances in certain hormonal systems (i.e., neuroendocrine
dysregulation), and (3) other neurochemical perturbations. The changes result in increasingly severe withdrawal
symptoms, including seizures, anxiety, toxic effects on nerve cells (i.e., neurotoxicity), and altered perception of
alcohol’s effects. Any of those symptoms may increase the patient’s potential for relapse and vulnerability to brain damage.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:22 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
I never explain anything...I just say no thanks.

Because drinking is so important to us, I think we expect it is for others too - but it's not - they don't need the essay on what happened and why we quit.

I had to change a few things in my life - a lot of my drinking buddies drank like I did so we came to a parting of the ways...but I reconnected with old friends and made new ones.

My life's the best it's ever been Brian

D
Part of most obsessions is the need to share about them: ie, hypocondriacs going on and on about their illness....alcoholics forever explaining their drinking. Most people care as much about my drinking as they do about the Patriots winning today. It's hard for me to accept that others just dont care. Part of my self centeredness is assuming that others have the same interests as I do.

blessings
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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You could call it self centredness, tho to me it felt more like insecurity, filling the spaces with words...

To my mind it was a pretty natural response - I drank for 20 years and surrounded myself with drinkers for most of that period. I look back and think I was a little bit brainwashed.

Once I become aware of that, I had no problems not offering the explanations anymore

D
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:07 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Is the drink worth it? That is all I would ask myself and do.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:06 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
You could call it self centredness, tho to me it felt more like insecurity, filling the spaces with words...

To my mind it was a pretty natural response - I drank for 20 years and surrounded myself with drinkers for most of that period. I look back and think I was a little bit brainwashed.

Once I become aware of that, I had no problems not offering the explanations anymore

D
Hi Dee
Not to be contrarian or anything (although I am), I'm not so sure what the difference may be between self centeredness and insecurity. On a side note, the first requirement to correct a defect, strengthen a weakness or...in general to change anything....is to "admit it it needs changing." Hmmmm....that has a familiar ring to it, yes? <G> Insane people seldom think they are. Sane people are able to identify (admit) their "insanity"....a la Step ten.
blessings
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