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Old 06-04-2015, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post acute withdrawel syndrome. As I am crawling out of my 5 day depression, I have learned about this lovely feature to recovery and what is happening in this brain of mine. There are two sets of withdraw, the physical and the emotional. The physical occurs during the first month and the emotional starts at about 6 months and is on and off for up to two years. Now that I am pretty sure I had my first experience with this, can anyone give me any pointers on how to handle this when it pops up again. Please keep in mind, it was debilitating for me. I spend all of yesterday and the day before in bed. The good news, I'm feeling back to normal tonight and back on track. It seems to have left at quickly as it came. Any tools, suggestions or advice would greatly be appreciated.

Jennifer
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sometimes I stayed in bed all day, and I would tell myself "as long as I don't drink or get high I did good for the day." Be patient with yourself and stay sober. Things will improve but it can feel like very slow progress.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How long have you been sober Jennifer?
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't have suggestions beyond patience and talking about it. I've been going through this myself and I'm sincerely hoping it passes eventually. I'm glad that you posted to ask.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Glad you are feeling better now CG.

I think you should just do whatever it takes for you to not drink during the episode.

I hope these PAWS depressions go away in time CG, they probably will given enough time
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Old 06-05-2015, 04:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi.

I needed to get off my way of thinking which included too much of poor me, poor me pour me a drink.
I finally got off my a$$ and put my thinking into something else, like work, many meetings, helping others and more of a positive thinking pattern like “this too shall end.”

My getting sober and staying sober is a time involved process and involves steady work with no I WANNAS. I NEEDED TO WANT TO BE SOBER more than I wanted to drink to be successful.
The softer easier methods seldom work if we are alcoholic.

BE WELL
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ALCOHOL-ISM= INCREDIBLE SHORT MEMORY.

I CAME FOR MY DRINKING AND STAYED FOR MY THINKING.

WE ARE NOT FAILING AS LONG AS WE KEEP TRYING.

WHAT I USED TO CALL BOREDOM I NOW CALL SERENITY.
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Old 06-05-2015, 04:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There's the general advice that paws normally could last upto 2 years, and some have reported their paws lasting upto 2 and a half years.

The whole phenomenon is strange. I noticed that after stopping smoking I no longer appear to suffer from paws or "recovery pain" nearly as much as when still smoking. The whole set of paws has changed as a result. Actually to be honest, I don't even know if to believe in the paws phenomenon anymore. In any case, it is always good to make sure there are not other factors that could be causing the lousy feelings.

What was said here before, I think it is propably smart to give yourself time to focus on your recovery. Although at a certain point you'd propably want to start doing something more, if possible. The most important thing after all is recovery.
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There's a lot of misunderstanding and misconceptions about PAWs

this is the best link I know of

http://www.digital-dharma.net/post-a...r-immediately/

read it and see if anything gels with you Jen - it might be paws or it could be something else like depression?


D
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ooooh I couldn't get that link to work. Ruby...sounds very familiar. I just hung on tight and muscled through it.
I have had a depressed day here or there but this was the weirdest thing I have ever experienced. I have either 7 or 8 months sober (I have to keep track on another app, works best for me not to count the days). All the way up until Friday night I was working my program hard. I was happy. Yeah there were bumps in the road but I used tools and got through them. Praying, writing my gratitude list, doing my meetings, my school thing, my volunteer thing. Then I woke up Saturday. Extreme darkness. Extreme anxiety. Suddenly obsessed with other people and their lives. Suddenly listening to music I haven't listened to since I was partying hard back in the 90's. All work on myself stopped. I didn't even go to my Wednesday meeting. I couldn't get out of bed. I felt hopeless. As quickly as it came on, it left. Today I feel clean, refreshed, I feel like I did on Friday. I don't want to listen to that music. I don't care how others are living there lives. I feel free again. Very strange. Someone at my meeting noticed I was very off on Monday and have me some paws info from their rehab yesterday. Interesting stuff. Someone here mentioned smoking...very interesting because I am still smoking. I am quitting with a friend on June 16th so I'm curious to see if that helps. Helps...I can't even say that for sure, this is the first time this happened. I think I thought I had paws once (cuz I read it on here and turned out I was just having my cranky time of the month) but that was false. That was just me thinking myself into a bad mood. This was unprovoked.

Jennifer
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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In the really bad times, some of the things that helped me:

+ Do the Next Right Thing, and its sister...Do the Next Thing that Needs to be Done. Sometimes one of these was the only step forward I could make, and the other was the only next step I could take forward. Paired together, I could slowly keep moving.

+ God direct my thinking...God direct my thinking...God direct my thinking...God direct my thinking...

+ 99 Bottles of God on the Wall, 99 Bottles of God......all the way down to One if needed. (Just kidding, but it is good for a bit of humor)

+ A good friend in AA often told me to remember that if I keep doing the work of my 12 Step Program, the 'Dark Night of the Soul' will come to an end, and the Sunlight of the Spirit will return.

RDBplus3...Happy, Joyous, and FREE
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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it works for me but here's a mirror site

P.A.W.S. | What?Me Sober?
D
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Jennifer, I was wondering if this is what I have to look forward to. I am at 5 months.. ugh.
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Jennifer, I was wondering if this is what I have to look forward to. I am at 5 months.. ugh.
The good outweighs the bad!! By far. If it happens, and I stress IF cuz not everyone gets it, just be aware of it, do not give up. It passes. A five day vacation from bliss is totally doable. I don't want you thinking it's all doom and gloom or having you think yourself into having this. Not everyone experienced it.

Jennifer
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi Jennifer.

I'm very sorry about these weird mood problems you are having. Based on your description, I might have had something similar around the 4-5 months mark. Mine was intense anxiety and agitation mixed with some very dark thoughts and low motivation to do anything decent at first. I saw a psychiatrist then who prescribed and AD med for me. It seemed to help a bit after the first week or two, but then everything had gotten much worse and I had extreme mood swings all over the map, with a lot of depressive states. I endured for a while knowing that it takes a few weeks for the ADs to start working, but it was just getting worse and worse so I stopped after about six weeks. The really bad mood issues went away quite quickly, but I kept experiencing occasional episodes a few more times during the rest of that year, and to some extent also early this year. Usually the occasional episodes would last then only 1-2 days and then disappear as though they never existed. Stress could also trigger them I think. I also wrote about these things here on SR a few times last year. Once I even ran to the ER because I felt so weird and confused.

Of course I was also looking into PAWS a lot and I'm still unsure if any of that was PAWS, especially since I introduced those meds that complicated things. I never experienced the fuzzy head and other cognitive issues, mine were entirely moods.

The stuff that I cannot emphasize enough as helpful is what Dee's link says about good and regular diet. And exercise. I think that whatever these states are, they most likely involve fluctuations in our brain chemistry, and doing anything healthy and natural to balance that (with good eating, physical activity, relaxation and rest) can only do good to it. Maybe look into some sort of holistic fitness regime and try it? There are sometimes good discussions on fitness and healthy eating here on SR also. More recently, I've been experiencing a lot of anxiety and sleep problems and I want to revamp my diet and daily routine again a bit to see if it helps. I was also thinking perhaps it's an episode of PAWS for me as well (I'm over 16 months sober). Whatever it is, changing something for the better will not hurt.

Also, I recall reading you're having relationship problems with an alcoholic partner... that might also contribute to your weird moods?

Yeah quitting smoking may be a good idea, but if you are really dependent on it, do expect some discomfort for a while.

I hope you find something that helps and you feel better soon, Jen!
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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it works for me but here's a mirror site P.A.W.S. | What?Me Sober? D
Omg Dee....I haven't been eating like I normally do. Normal me: eggs and smoothie for breakfast, Decent lunch, homecooked awesomeness for dinner and fruits all in between. Dinner is by 630 every night.
The past two weeks; coffee and sugary cereal for breakfast, lunch maybe yes or no, sandwich for dinner and at like 9:00 at night. No vitamins, no normal snacks (peanut butter cookies). I have school at night and all my healthy eating habits went out the window. Time to focus on this. This may be a major issue.

Jennifer
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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this sort of thing comes in waves. and in the midst of it it seems like its all that there is that it will always be this way etc.. I had to grin and bare it. In time it gets easier but I still have my moments. And you know when i chime in on this board and start a thread along the lines of my cirucmstances are terrible I'd like to have a drink. Normally after everyone responds I think ya know this is just another one of those waves thats gonna come and go and this time it got me hooked and i started to freak out. there are many others that come and go and I ride them just fine.

I run daily one of hte main reasons is to keep my spirits up. I can be having the worst day then I run and its as if nothing else matters.

Find something you like to do and do it a lot something your good at. It'll just make you feel better when you do that something.

I'd say things like I may not be able to this or i may not be able to that I might not have this I might not have that. But i'm sober and I can xyz i'm good for that much.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Omg Dee....I haven't been eating like I normally do. Normal me: eggs and smoothie for breakfast, Decent lunch, homecooked awesomeness for dinner and fruits all in between. Dinner is by 630 every night.
The past two weeks; coffee and sugary cereal for breakfast, lunch maybe yes or no, sandwich for dinner and at like 9:00 at night. No vitamins, no normal snacks (peanut butter cookies). I have school at night and all my healthy eating habits went out the window. Time to focus on this. This may be a major issue.

Jennifer
keep your finger on the pulse of your moods as the correspond to dietary intake. bad foods or too little food can cause problems. Heck some foods might just cause you grief but are totally healthy foods for everyone else. Keep your finger on the pulse of how weather affects your mood. I know for me cloudy days i tend to be tired lazy this might lead to whineing how i'm tired and i dont feel like doing anything wawawawa where as the sun could come out that afternoon and I feel like a million bucks.

getting adequate sunshine is important soaking in nature stopping to smell the roses or enjoy watching a bee on a flower.

and some kind of exercise get the blood flowing.

these are all some good starting points eventualy it gets easy oh gee i know why i fel this way i ate usch and such. Or I know why i feel this way its been raining for 3 friggen days etc...
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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you could even take it another step start thinking am i missing some key nutrient in my diet? for example I had some sugar swing issues realized chromium helps with that and that broccoli had lots of that in it added more broccoli into my diet and wala problem solved.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Well I had my smoothie and eggs yesterday morning and no class last night so a normal dinner time. Today...it's like it never happened. P.s. Enjoying my smoothie as we speak.

Jennifer
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Diet makes a world of difference in recovery. Smoothies are a great way to eat in liquid form. LOL!
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