Withdrawal Issues/My Abridged Story

Old 09-07-2012, 08:28 PM
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Withdrawal Issues/My Abridged Story

Hi SR,

I haven't been here in a while, but whenever I really sober up I come daily. *As I'm a newbie I mostly just read, as it seems to help. *Needless to say, I'm very thankful this place exits. *Thank you SR for all that you do. *

I'm tending to ramble these days. *I don't know if it's my brain overreacting because it's not used to being sober or having less alcohol or something else. *Please bare with me. *What I do know is that since I've been trying to quit, then binge, then quit again, *my once precise and to the point arguments/conversations have become long and drawn out. *Even when I drank everyday I wasn't like this. *So before you begin reading this, please know that it will probably be rediculously long and tedious. *

Before I ask my question let me preface it with the fact that I understand *we are not here to give, or ask for, medical advice. *I understand that. *I am merely asking for personal experiences, drunk to drunk. *

Brief personal history: *Both my mother and father were hardcore alcoholics. *My mothers mom, and Dad, were also alcoholics. *My fathers mother was an alcoholic. *There are countless others in the family who were/are alcoholics. *Some have/did quit drinking. *Others didn't/haven't quit drinking. *More than few have died from alcoholism, including my mother. *So there is an unendingly tortuous family history with alcohol. *

At the height of my addiction I had to have a cup of vodka in the morning just to get to work, followed by a fifth of vodka after work. *When I passed out at night I'd often wake up, at which point I'd take a shot or two and go back to sleep. *Drinking was a constant need and necessity. *It was one of my most basic needs, more so than even food at times. *

*It got to the point where I was going to several different liquor stores, because the workers started treating me differently. *It was as if even they knew something was very wrong. *Before my drinking became a constant 24hr a day need, liquor store clerks always seemed happy to see me. *We'd talk about all kinds of stuff. *Then one day they all seemed to stop talking to me. *They were still friendly, but there was definitely an undefinable unease between us. *There was no binging or social
drinking for me, it was a full time job. *I did this all while being a fully functioning and contributing member of society.*

My question: *About five months ago I decided enough was enough. *While my life was in my mind good, it had grown stagnate. *While work was fine and I was making decent money, my boss had stopped asking me to do special projects. *I knew something was wrong. *Anytime your boss starts to distance themselves, you have a problem. *Somehow, unbenknowst to me, I had gone from the golden boy of the company to a good to average employee. *

Personal relationships all around me began to fall apart. *Meanwhile my perception was so effed up by the alcohol I only saw half of this, and when I did I didn't understand why. *What had I done? I'd never shown up drunk anywhere, never violated company policy. *I'd never cheated on my girlfriend, never screwed over friends. *Looking back on it all now, I realize that I had become a very cold, closed off, guarded personality. *My once friendly, loving, charming and confident personality went straight to hell in a matter of months. *This after being a highly functioning alcoholic for years.

So anyways, back to my point. *Five months ago I quit drinking. *I woke up one day and that was it. *No more booze, ever. *At first it was great. *I went to some AA meatings here and there, and I read SR on a daily basis. *Now granted I never got a sponsor or told my real story, I was going to meetings. *All in all, I thought things were going great! *Heck, this was much, much easier than I thought it would be. *The withdrawal symptoms I suffered were very minor. *Slight irritation, increased cigarette smoking and shaking hands that were so minor only I noticed them. *Yep, I was incredible all right! *I'd licked alcoholism almost single handily. *My work improved so much that my boss and employees commented on it. *What was going on with me they asked? *Healthier diet, exercise , and vitamins I told them! *It got so good I even quit smoking, *(with the patch) something I never thought I'd be able to do. *Then one day it all came crashing down....

It started out innocent enough. *I was at home one day and it was a day off from work. *At this point I had 52 days sober, during which time I had never ONCE had the urge to drink. *Prior to that the most I had gone without a drink was maybe, maybe one or two days here and there for the past couple of years. *Before that I had been a hardcore binge drinker for 8 years. *

So I'm sitting at home when suddenly I become very, very bored. *I'd done all the work around my apartment that needed to be done, paid all of my bills, and even had a steak in the fridge marinating for later. * I was starting to get a little stir crazy when an old buddy of mine called. *He was in the area and wanted to hangout. *Great I thought! *Sure we'd drank together before, but it was very moderate, and he was a childhood friend that I've known for years. *He was not an alcoholic or drug addict. *While I had stopped hanging out with some friends, I didn't view his coming over as a threat to my sobriety.

So he showed up and we were talking, chilling, just taking it easy watching NFL network or something. *Then he asked if it was cool if he smoked. *Not cigarettes though but marijuana. *Now I'm 28 and he's 29, I had quit smoking that stuffs years ago. *It just never did much for me besides make me mentally and physically slower. *When I was younger it was something my friends and I had all messed around with, and most of them have grown up to be fairly successful in their own way. *A couple are even police officers and several are firefighters. *Responsible people. *So whatever I said, go for it. *I considered it harmless, and I still mostly do. *

So he lit it up and started smoking away. *He knew I didn't smoke it, so he didn't offer. *He was unaware I had quit drinking, because i'm very private with stuff like that. *Omg this story is getting long. *To skip to the point I ended up taking a few hits of the weed. *I got really high, ended up reasoning to myself that just one, just ONE pint of vodka would be harmless (hey, my old buddy was there, I was hi, and I was going to BBQ. *One of my favorite drunk tasks) that pint went fast. *It gave me a nice buzz and I felt great! *

Skipping ahead further, I've now turned into a binge drinker. *I've still got it, I can drink all but the worst right under the table. *I'm back to my worst nightmare, Mr. Vodka. *The difference being now I might go a week without drinking.

So yesterday I decided again that this was it. *Yes, I'd effed up again, but unlike before, during and after the binge sessions I knew I HAD to quit. *And I REALLY wanted to. *I'd really enjoyed my brief sobriety for the most part. *

So to make a long story short, I'm experiencing some rather uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. *The few times that I've binged and then sobered up here since all this I've noticed them, but just a little. *This time around their all over the place. *My heart rate is way up, my hands have a decent shake going on and I'm highly irritable. *There's some sweating but not too much. *I went to work and left at lunch, terrible case of food poisoning I said. *Now thankfully I have the weekend off, so I have some time. *Despite being a raging alcoholic, I've never taken a full sick day and won't start now. *I'm not going to the hospital, let's leave it at that. *Not gonna happen. *I have my reasons. *So look, I'm not going to have a seizure and die, that would have happened last time. *I am really uncomfortable though, physically.

After some brief research on the Internet I learned that some hardcore alcoholics who quit cold turkey like I did, don't have any real withdrawals, then binge drink here and there, then quit, can end up having withdrawal symptoms when they try and quit. *It wasn't making sense to me why I was having these now, and not last time. * They called it "kindling." Has anyone heard of anything like this, or been through it? *

The other thing I have done is get a six pack of beer. *It's just Newcastle and I've only had two. *It seems to help a little. *I've read online how people have sort of weened themselves down this way. *Has anyone in here? *How did it go? Any personal advice? *Please don't delete this, I'm not asking for medical advice, just the experiences of fellow alcoholics in similar situations.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. *I apologize for rambling on in an unstructured manner. *Hopefully something in there made sense. *Please, check your judgments at the door. *I get plenty of that from my girlfriend and some of my family. *I'm serious about getting sober. *I'm using the beer as medicine. * I could drink a dozen and still be stone cold sober. *I just can't take the shakes, heart palpitations, headache and a strange development of paranoia. *Thank you for your time.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:45 PM
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Well, all I will say is that if your heart rate is up and you're experiencing other symptoms, there's no way for you to know you won't experience a seizure or other serious complications (heart attack). Definitely don't rule out medical attention.

Weening... Sort of like moderation, right? That doesn't work so well for me though I have tried it in the past. It's just that my weening lasted three weeks. Not exactly the point of it, right?

Anyway, good luck and please be safe in your detox process!
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:10 PM
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Hi again Seth asked for personal experience so I'm going to give it.
See a Dr.

Don't mess around with your health - it's just too important.

So look, I'm not going to have a seizure and die, that would have happened last time.
Like you, I detoxed without apparent ill effect...probably hundreds of times over 20 years.

The last time tho, I suffered several mini strokes.
I'll always carry the effects of them around with me now.

I'm not saying that will happen to you.
I am saying - don't count on past experience.

Messing around with tapering was futile for me - it was like trying to control the very thing I couldn't control.

If you're worried about withdrawal - just bite the bullet and see a Dr, Seth.

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Old 09-07-2012, 09:15 PM
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I'm so sorry for what you are going through right now Seth.. I was a big binge drinker on Mr. Vodka myself.. & I think what finally got me sober was the tremendous fear of progressing into major withdrawal.. It always worried me and was enough to finally stop me.. So please get some medical care if it gets worse.. at that point you must.. I am the same as you about avoiding medical/hospital crap.. but I woke up so anxious and sick one day even I, a famous doc hater, dragged myself to the emergency clinic, of which I am still paying the bill for.. but sometimes we get in dire shape and have to..Luckily I never ended up suffering withdrawals .. but I read up on that topic you mentioned on "kindling".. I had never heard of it till now.. sounds like a real condition though.. Poor guy, I just wish you didn't have to go through all this, but consider getting looked at if it keeps on.. even if only to get something to take the anxieties of quitting away.. and, most importantly, please let this experience serve as your "turning point" and remind yoursel of it after you are well anytime you feel that urge from the "devil water".. as I came to start calling it towards the end..
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:47 AM
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Thank you all very much for your support. It means a lot to me and I really appreciate it. I was never suggesting a course of moderation management. I've never believed in that, and it clearly didn't work for their founder. I was simply trying to alleviate my worsening withdrawal symptoms. After looking into the "kindling effect" further and hearing your experience Dee, I have decided to go to the hospital first thing in the morning. Thank you for sharing that with me. This "kindling effect" is terrifying, and somehow I'd never even heard of it. Seriously scary stuff that should probably be brought up more in various recovery programs. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:59 AM
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One last thing that will bug me if I don't say something... I have no idea what those * are all over the place in my first post. I wrote that on my iPhone on the notepad then copy/pasted it here because it was easier. Feel free to delete this entire thread, as after rereading seems kinda rediculous.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:27 AM
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no need to delete the thread unless you really want to - it's a common enough question - you might help someone else

the * are an I Phone thing.

Glad you'll be getting checked out tomorrow

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Old 09-08-2012, 03:50 AM
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What stuck out is when you wrote about not having a seizure.

We can't predict how our bodies will react to the sudden stopping of alcohol, not ever.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:54 AM
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Congrats on choosing sobriety and good job on being checked out medically. Keep us posted on how you are doing.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:39 AM
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Congrats on choosing sobriety and I am glad you have decided to go to the hospital and get checked out.

What Dee reported, unfortunately is a common occurrence, along with the chance of seizures and heart stoppages (me) with some having the T.O.D. (me again) put on their medical chart.

Cold Turkey stopping, and doing it alone can be DEADLY and unfortunately none of us know if it will be ourselves that suffer the drastic outcomes.

I hope to see you posting your recovery story as the days go by!

Love and hugs,
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:37 AM
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No ramble at all Seth, I enjoyed reading it. Well not enjoyed your misfortunes but you know what I mean.
I hope doc gives you some meds to ease the withdrawal
Doubt keep your guard up at all times, the dope let you down.
I was considering taking the odd toke here and there but your story has reinforced to me that it must be totally clean or nothing.
Hope you feeling better soon
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:40 AM
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Seth, I am so glad you are going to see a dr. I don't want you to die! The doc can make your wd much more comfortable and safe. Hopefully you'll get a good dr. Most are very professional and nonjudgmental and have seen it all. I am so proud of you for deciding to get sober and for making the very difficult decision to seek medical help as well. Take care and please please keep us posted on how your are doing. I'll be thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. You can do it! I loved vodka too.... And rye.... The hard stuff. Day five for me so I'm very new, but I saw a dr. before stopping, best thing I ever did. Make care.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:13 AM
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Glad you're back and getting sober! You're doing a great thing by getting medical help, too (not easy for us to do). I didn't realize until after I got sober that, apparently, even mild to moderate withdrawal is really hard on the body. You'll be starting your sobriety off right by getting checked.

Once you get through this, things are going to get better.
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