How long did PAWS affect you after quitting? - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How long did PAWS affect you after quitting?


Just curious. For those of you who have experienced PAWS. I know that many people don't.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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still does affect me 4 months after the fact

many people dont know they have paws

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Old 03-17-2014, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah I had never heard of it until I joined SR
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah PAWS simply means that the brain and body is healing and adjusting. You could just as well call it "recovery symptoms", because that's what it is. But I do think that 99% of people withdrawing from alcohol do have PAWS, like vandermast said, they're just not aware of it. And one characteristic of paws is namely that you're not aware of something, like half the brain is working at the time and memory is what it is. It's still temporary.

I'm at 9 months sober myself and I think I still have it. It is however a lot better and other things are much better as well. I think the whole PAWS is a matter of identification of your state of being. One thing that has helped me is knowing that whenever it hits, it measn that something is recovering...
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for that Unixber. I've read that it can last up to 2 years. I was kind of hoping that I would only have it for a couple months! hahah. I am pretty naive.. anyhow it hit last night and luckily because of this site I didn't panic over it, rather observing it now then getting upset. But what's helpful is you saying it's the healing of the brain. When you put it that way it's less of a road block but a bridge. (sorry that sounds cheezy but you know what i mean)
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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2 1/2 years. It wasn't bad the whole time. Towards the end it only happened rarely.
I drank heavily for over 30 years. I read the longer you drank the longer PAWs was.
Figure one month for every year you drank
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So how do I distinguish PAWS from the other pause >>. Menopause!! :-)
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So how do I distinguish PAWS from the other pause >>. Menopause!! :-)
Haha..like us forty/fiftysomethings don't have enough on our sobriety plate! Your primary healthcare provider can run a simple hormone profile on a blood sample. It's a good point though and worth getting checked out. Double the mood swings would put a crimp in anyone's day!
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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hahah! I don't think I am in menopause yet! However I am not too far away... That's a double whami!
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am still suffering from PAWS after almost 8 months after my last drink, I just wish it would end so I can get my life back.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Slipped! that is brilliant... ok I think that would be precisely 20 months.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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2 1/2 years. It wasn't bad the whole time. Towards the end it only happened rarely. I drank heavily for over 30 years. I read the longer you drank the longer PAWs was. Figure one month for every year you drank
Hi slipped, That's really interesting - towards the end did they just fade away day by day, or was it a case of three normal days then one PAWS day? I'm getting very frustrated with aches and fatigue plus mental fog, though relieved to know it will go in time.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Towards the end I could go months without issues and then for a few weeks I'd feel bad.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Here's a good link to an article on PAWS for anybody who may be less familiar with it.
Why We Don’t Get Better Immediately: Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) | What…Me Sober?

I'm at 11 months no alcohol and 8 months no weed. There is PAWS symptoms associated with both of these, so it's been a bit of a double whammy for me. But, it's much better for me these days. I do think I still experience symptoms on occasion.

It mentions this in the article, but I think it's really important to be aware that there are things that we can do to help with PAWS. Both with dealing with the symptoms and helping our bodies to heal.

A healthy diet, exercise and getting enough sleep really help. PAWS symptoms can flare up if our blood sugar drops so if you're feeling upset, a healthy snack and a glass of water can really help.

I also found that just being aware of it and choosing activities to help myself feel better and being engaged in my recovery really helps.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm 5 months and some change out since my last binge (I sound like I'm in Catholic confession) and I still have to remain cognizant of when the old PAWS comes tumbling in.

It usually starts with general malaise and quickly proceeds to full on apathy, depression, the wah wahs and a overall a lack of joi de vivre. Then I find myself wanting to drink away the blues (to black) and that's when I have to recognize it for what it is, take a deep breath and wait it out.

Just wait it out.

It usually lifts in the same manner it descends.

Not ever quickly enough though.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm almost three months sober and never sure if I'm experiencing PAWS or just the ups and downs of sober living. It is what it is. For me it's about awareness of my physical and mental state, breathing, and remembering I'm like the weather; the storms pass...
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Figure one month for every year you drank
I donít think there is any kind of timetable like that for PAWS ó it varies greatly with the individual. The duration of alcoholic drinking is only one of many factors that influence it. I drank alcoholically for ďonlyĒ about 12 years (still 12 years too many!), but even at a year sober, I still have bad days pretty frequently.

For me, the symptoms arenít so much about emotional ups and downs. They are more about headache, shakiness, fatigue, anxiety, and most especially cognitive and memory lapses.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I still have some symptoms of what could be considered PAWS well after a year.

Having said that, I honestly think that some of the aches and pains and "fog" that I have is simply a normal part of being a living human being. In the past the solution was to just drink and forget/numb said feelings. Now I just have to deal with them in other ways like eating well, excercising ( which I don't do enough of admittedly ) and getting enough rest.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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For me, the symptoms arenít so much about emotional ups and downs. They are more about headache, shakiness, fatigue, anxiety, and most especially cognitive and memory lapses.
Same here.

Occassionally anxiety punches me in the gut in a tense situation.

At 21 months the biggy for me is memory and brain functioning. It has cleared a bit recently but it surprised and worried me how bad it was at about 3 months.

I was not an everyday drinker but heavy binger crossing into every other day.

The memory lapses are probably the number 1 thing I think of to play the tape through when the AV flares up.

I am actually considering getting a scan done.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I was bothered by it for about the first year. Then things got a lot better.
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