I'm in the process (as of TODAY) of trying to quit drinking. I drink a lot, and when I go more than one day without drinking I begin feeling withdraw. I was also prescribed Adivan for my anxiety disorder, which I'm going to ween myself off of after I get a week or two under my belt of no drinking.
Can anyone give me an idea of what to expect as far as the alcohol withdraw is concerned. How long does it take to feel better? Are there any tricks or helpful things I should know?
I do know that you can die from alcohol withdraw and that scares me. I don't have the money to go to treatment, and I really need to stop drinking.
About twenty years ago, my cousin was on a cruise ship celebrating his second honeymoon with his wife. They were also celebrating his sobriety. He had quit drinking after a life of hard drinking. Alcoholism is strongly rooted in our family tree. He quit cold turkey with his doctor's encouragement. I did not understand why but he died BECAUSE he quit cold turkey. Amy Winehouse apparently died for the same reason. I don't quite get what the reason behind the medical muck up, but it has to do with how your body has adapted to alcohol over the years.
Nondrinkers will enthusiastically tell you to quit cold turkey, but as I had a family member die that way, I would suggest talking to a doctor first. If your doctor is cool to talk with, ask him about quitting, about medical tests you can take to monitor how your body is responding, about how the doctor can perhaps look into free resources in the medical community for you.
Of course, changing your relationship with alcohol will be harder for you via this route, but you'll be safer this way.
People forget how powerful they are. You -- and you alone-- can choose to make changes regarding how you will live your life. If you are serious about reducing alcohol, then you don't need a group or counsellor to TELL you what to do. Don't get me wrong. Groups of people sharing your struggles is a comfort, as is chatting with a counsellor. BUT if you haven't committed to make the change, then no amount of therapy or support will make a bit of difference.
If you are serious, then check for online resources. I would suggest you tackle the mental and psychological issues first. Once you have made the commitment mentally -- to yourself-- then you will be in better shape to handle the physiological symptoms. A diary or journal would be useful too. You can do some inner dialogue about your habit.
What does alcohol do for you?
When did you take your first drink?
Why did you take your first drink?
And more to the point, why did you take your second?
What does alcohol do for you?
What do you like about alcohol?
What do you not like?
The journal should be where you answer honestly. The advantage over talking with others is that you will likely feel silly writing lies to yourself.
Remember that you have the power to change your life and, if you truly want to, then nothing can stop you.
livelovelaugh, the good news is that most people can quit cold turkey and severe withdrawal is possible but not terribly common. People most at risk are those who drink quite serious amounts, all day drinkers, people who have a really long term problem with large amounts, and those who have had severe withdrawal before. that's not to say you shouldn't take precautions though if you are really concerned about it even if you don't fall into a high risk group. Your doctor can prescribe some valium for you to get through the detox stage and this settles the body down to avoid serious withdrawal complications such as seizures etc. If it makes you feel better then go ahead and ask your doctor to prescribe something for you for alcohol detox at home.
regular withdrawal for a drinker will cause mood swings (anger, depression, easily annoyed etc), you may feel jittery or shaky, hyperactive or lethargic, have intense cravings for alcohol, and this normally runs it's course over about 4 days. After that your body will start righting itself again, although that is where it does become a mental battle but you'll start feeling better physically.
As of the day of my post I ended up giving in to the urges and drinking again. The last day I drank was Monday, Aug 5th. So the alcohol was probably out of my system by noon on Tues at the latest. It's Thursday.....I'm hurting! The shakes aren't bad, but the nausea, headache, rapid heart rate, dizziness, overall feeling of pain, horrible irritability, and emotions swings are ******!
I don't know if I should take Budgiegirl's advice and try to taper off...Meaning should I drink a few beers today to ease the symptoms. I know you can die from alcohol withdraw. That scares me.
I guess I'm on Day 2, so hopefully if I can hold out two more days these physical symptoms will go away. I just hope I can hold out until these physical symptoms go away. It really is miserable and I wish I would never have gotten to this point in the first place, for the second time!!!
Last time I quit I had medical help. This time not so much.
Also, quitting drinking is difficult enough, but staying sober usually requires some form of support system. How do you feel about AA or online support groups, etc.? Have you ever been to AA or know any recovering alcoholics you could reach out to in real life?