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13 days sober and still awful withdrawl

Old 01-22-2021, 10:33 AM
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13 days sober and still awful withdrawl

Hi - I'm new to the forum and been looking for help. Drug and alcohol services and GP both not able to understand my symptoms so looking for someone who is experiencing the same.

I've been drinking 10-20 units per night, nearly every night for 3.5 years. Did a stint of 34 days sober in November (with diazepam) which wasn't too bad. Stopped again 13 days ago (without diazepam) and I'm experiencing the following symptoms that concern me - brain zaps, loss of balance, anxiety, depression, insomnia. Did have loss of appetite but I'm eating ok now.

Anyone else feeling these things 2 weeks after stopping?

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:42 AM
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I didn't experience brain zaps or loss of balance at any point, but I did continue to have anxiety, depression and insomnia well beyond 2 weeks. Sleeping patterns just take quite awhile to work themselves out. If the anxiety and depression are a result of alcohol, then they should likely ease up in the next few weeks. If they existed before you began drinking, or if they continue, you might consider talking to your doctor about an antidepressant.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by oboe74 View Post
Hi - I'm new to the forum and been looking for help. Drug and alcohol services and GP both not able to understand my symptoms so looking for someone who is experiencing the same.

I've been drinking 10-20 units per night, nearly every night for 3.5 years. Did a stint of 34 days sober in November (with diazepam) which wasn't too bad. Stopped again 13 days ago (without diazepam) and I'm experiencing the following symptoms that concern me - brain zaps, loss of balance, anxiety, depression, insomnia. Did have loss of appetite but I'm eating ok now.

Anyone else feeling these things 2 weeks after stopping?

Thanks!
Hi there! Great work on 13 days w/o diazepam 🙂 Iím nearly 28 days in and Iíve had quite bad dizziness and ringing in my ears, as well as a dull but constant headache since I stopped. These symptoms are very slowly, but very surely easing away. If you are concerned, you would be well advised to visit your GP to discuss any concerns, if nothing else at least to put your mind at rest. Keep going!
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:00 AM
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Yup to all of those. Took almost a month for things to really settle down. During that 4 weeks I stayed focused on getting my plan together. It kept me focused and actually helped with cravings. I was also hitting a meeting everyday and reading here. I drank a long time so it was safe to figure it would also take awhile to get through all the physical garbage.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:21 PM
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Thanks all, really reassuring to hear others have had the dizziness and ringing in ears, and that itís improved. Iím caught between thinking positive about my recovery, and fear that Iíve caused permanent damage atm, so itís great to hear others have been here and it got better.

im speaking to my GP on Monday about the tinnitus, just to rule out ear infection. Iím not going in anti-depressants- I went there before and thatís how this whole story started. This time, itís 100% substance free...
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by vkf View Post
Yup to all of those. Took almost a month for things to really settle down. During that 4 weeks I stayed focused on getting my plan together. It kept me focused and actually helped with cravings. I was also hitting a meeting everyday and reading here. I drank a long time so it was safe to figure it would also take awhile to get through all the physical garbage.
VKF - Did you get the brain zaps too?
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:49 PM
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Yeah I did. Not pleasant at all but it does happen. I chose to go to the ER in the beginning so had almost a physical in way.
You can always go get annual physical just to make sure. I would have gone regardless for peace of mind. When I say 4 weeks I mean it. I felt better everyday but things like the early morning shakes, zaps and dizzy spells hung on. It's miserable no doubt but survivalable. It's never gonna hurt to get checked out but you got to be honest. Lots of people are NOT forthcoming and that can lead to a misdiagnosis.
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:05 PM
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Welcome aboard Oboe
If you're like me you drank for years - it's going to take more than a couple of week for your mind and body to heal - but they will

Try and be patient!
D
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Old 01-22-2021, 05:13 PM
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Best of luck, Oboe. I would never advise anyone who's been drinking the amount you have to stop cold turkey like that. However, after thirteen days I wouldn't imagine there's much risk to you now. I suffered awful withdrawal, though mine was mostly anxiety, however it got so bad I became agoraphobic and barely left my flat for months. You're bound to be in a bad way still, and I think you should get checked our. But I gave read some worse stories on here from people who have years of sobriety under their belts.
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Old 01-22-2021, 05:34 PM
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Welcome Oboe! It will take some time for things to normalize. What you're experiencing is quite normal so give yourself some more sober time.
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:40 PM
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Big congrats on 13 days. Really awesome. I have slight tinnitus but it gets worse if I have too much salt or caffeine, or don't keep hydrated. I think those things raise my blood pressure and the tinnitus gets noticeable. Your BP is probably high right now.

A few years back I screwed up and forgot to put my earplugs in after a stop when riding my motorcycle on tour and the next day the ringing was horrible, and it stayed with me for several months. I was pretty concerned, however it slowly eased up, especially after I improved my diet and also when I tried to just be calm and accept it. Suddenly one day it was gone.

I'm sure yours will ease up too.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Auchieshuggle View Post
Best of luck, Oboe. I would never advise anyone who's been drinking the amount you have to stop cold turkey like that. However, after thirteen days I wouldn't imagine there's much risk to you now. I suffered awful withdrawal, though mine was mostly anxiety, however it got so bad I became agoraphobic and barely left my flat for months. You're bound to be in a bad way still, and I think you should get checked our. But I gave read some worse stories on here from people who have years of sobriety under their belts.
Thanks least. I should point out - this wasn't a cold turkey. I've been practising dry days, weeks and even a couple of months last year. My support worker says this means I'm not alcohol dependent. However, it's clear from what I've learned that everyone is different. I'm trying to get checked out, but difficult to visit medical centres atm as you all know! Also, the doctors for me (in UK) haven't been very helpful. They just say stop drinking, or only drink a bit, and then refer you to counselling services.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
Welcome aboard Oboe
If you're like me you drank for years - it's going to take more than a couple of week for your mind and body to heal - but they will

Try and be patient!
D
Thanks Dee74. I know, I just need to ride it out and be patient! Hoping in a couple of weeks I can post some positive news on here......
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:21 AM
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It took me nearly nine months to feel completely at peace.

Have you tried nutrition, exercise, meditation, mindfulness, quiet music? I listened to exclusively instrumental music in early days. Also, I cut back on my caffeine to a half-cup per day in that first six months. I was also super sensitive to sugar and would often feel "hungover" if I ate too much sugar.
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:15 PM
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It took me way longer than two weeks to find my equilibrium and I definitely had the brain zaps and anxiety. My BP went sky high for about a month which made me feel very unwell too. My recovery was gradual, I did a lot of googling about withdrawal and got the impression it would all be over far faster than it was. The sites are often talking about the time involved in being out of the danger zone of withdrawal rather than the amount of time it takes the body to get back in balance.

Before becoming sober I used to regularly have dry days and dry spells that lasted for months, I used to tell myself that meant I wasn’t alcohol dependent, that I didn’t really have a problem, but the truth for me was that I did. I cannot safely drink in moderation and periods of abstinence were fuelled by the knowledge I could go back to it any time and when I did ‘this time it will be different’, but it never was. I really struggled with resentment that I could not drink again in early recovery ‘never’ was really hard for me. It took me time to reframe my view until I saw alcohol as a poison and that didn’t happen overnight either.

Your nervous system will be trying to recalibrate and that does take time, it took a few months for me and I did work with my GP to monitor my symptoms and was on BP medication for a while.
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:21 AM
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Sounds like my story scottynz. I have also had several stints of dry days/weeks/months in the past couple of years, and also think I'll be good to go back to drink this time. I haven't made a decision on "never again" yet, that's too much pressure right now. My focus is to get better, then cross that bridge in a few months. I don't know if I can be a moderate drinker, I have been in the past, but that was a long time ago..
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by biminiblue View Post
It took me nearly nine months to feel completely at peace.

Have you tried nutrition, exercise, meditation, mindfulness, quiet music? I listened to exclusively instrumental music in early days. Also, I cut back on my caffeine to a half-cup per day in that first six months. I was also super sensitive to sugar and would often feel "hungover" if I ate too much sugar.
Hi Beminiblue, I'm good with diet (after about 3 days of appetite loss), I run 2-3 miles every couple of days (not yet back to 13 miles as I was a couple of years ago!) Mindfulness is something I want to explore more. Shame there are no in-person classes atm.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:21 AM
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Congrats on getting sober oboe! I now have two months and had some mild but quite weird physical symptoms coming and going in the first 1.5 month. My anxiety got a lot better almost instantly and I haven't had bothering mental symptoms other than some occasional irritability so far, but had physical symptoms that definitely felt neurological like a strange sense of balance, diffuse and random sensitivities and aches anywhere in my body, seconds of strange altered perceptional states and moments of panic, and definitely sleep issues. And I even caused some extra weirdness with a supplement I was taking for a while after getting sober - it took a bit to link it to some symptoms that completely went away after stopping it - just another one of the old cliche that self-medicating with seemingly harmless things is not always what we think it is.

For me, apart from the sleep issues, all of these were quite mild so I didn't worry much but they gave me extra motivation to book some doctor appointments for checkups. I still prefer not to believe I'm completely out of the woods as so many people who recovered say weird stuff can happen even for a year with having otherwise medical test results. I think it's good to investigate with a doctor, even just for peace of mind, then learn new ways of relaxing.

On the brain zaps - I never had those, but many people describe them also when coming off antidepressants or benzodiazepines, and adding that to quitting drinking can exacerbate withdrawals. Did you take the diazepam longer in the past or only for a few days?

In any case, a big part of this recovery game is definitely patience, which is something most of us addicts were not the best at while using
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:47 PM
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Hi Oboe, the good news is you’re doing well. The bad news is 13 days is still early days. I didn’t feel human for two to three weeks.

This is an international site, but I’m in the UK too, so I can visualise 10 to 20 units a night. It’s a lot as you know, so you’ve done amazing stuff to quit, but it’ll take time. The unpleasantness might last another week or two, but I’ve been there and came out well, two years ago now.

The running’s great. No lockdown can stop us running so keep at that. You must have noticed the benefits of not having last night’s intake sloshing around inside? I’ve tried mindfulness but not very successfully, but I do still get in a one to one yoga class once a week. It’s bloody cold doing it outside, but if something’s important, the likes of us will do it.

I think you’ll be fine. I really thought I’d never succeed in the early days. The feeling of anxiety and despair felt too much. But as I said, it started to fade. Just keep yourself occupied with whatever for the next few weeks. Don’t dwell too much on that you’re feeling bloody awful. Keep going
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