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  1. #11
    Registered User. beatle's Avatar

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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    If you are as bad an alkie as I am, cold-turkey withdrawal was hell, and I usually spent at least a full day or two in bed (getting up to pee was a major ordeal). I used sleeping pills and benzos, so it wasn't so easy to stay awake. I also had all that anxiety as Accountable mentions, making me all the more miserable. I never thought about the idea of just staying awake and "running off" the withdrawal symptoms. Sounds like a good idea, although I hope I never have to try it out.

    As for the beer idea, I think it makes great sense. The best way to get off alcohol is to do it gradually. Problem is, if you are a truly bad case, like myself, it is impossible to stop once you take a drink. So drinking beer instead of the hard stuff would still give you some of the feeling of the satisfaction that you want/need, but you would get full from it before you could drink so much in volume. The tapering off route is so much safer (if only achievable).

  2. #12
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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    when I hear about other people's experiences, it frightens me. I have so much compassion for people that go through such difficulties. There was one point in my life where I was in major drunken trouble and it seemed more like what a lot of people talk about. Maybe it's the Irish in me?

    Why am I so afraid? Just this morning I found a note with my wife telling me to leave. I don't think she's super serious, but I'm screwing up big time. I bought a litre yesterday with the intent of only fending of withdrawals. I ended up drinking most of it. I did all right until late at night and I started pounding it. I hate my self for becoming so much like this. All it would take is to do something else. I feel like a compulsive maniac.

    Good news, I haven't had a cigarette in almost a day. Now THAT was a worse habit.

  3. #13
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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    So, beatle, how did you wean yourself off of it? i feel like I need to make a schedule or something, otherwise it just doesnt work. Part of it is that I don't have a job right now, so the thought pops into my mind more often.

  4. #14
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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    For those of you who have successfully endured a painful WD, were muscle cramps/pain a problem? Curious as the anxiety, shakes and muscle pain are my main issues (heading soon into day 3 AF for first time in over 10 years). Nothing extreme or dangerous, just a pain...literally.

  5. #15
    Registered User. Determinator's Avatar

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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    Rejuve, can you get some detox meds from your doctor on an outpatient basis? it's worth a shot and will make detox not only more comfortable, but safer.

    National, yes, muscle cramps and all kinds of weird pains and aches. it's a par for the course I'm afraid. Muscle cramps during detox can be relieved somewhat by taking magnesium supplements (about 200mg 2X per day) and keeping hydrated.

  6. #16
    Registered User. Accountable for Me's Avatar

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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    National,

    As Determinator mentioned, the magnesium & lots of fluids really help with the muscle cramping. Not only are we lacking in essential vitamins and minerals, we are also severely dehydrated.

    Magnesium helped me tremendously through my roughest withdrawals. Don't forget to drink lots of water as well!

  7. #17
    Registered User. tiptronic_ct's Avatar

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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    Rejuve, I haven't seen any detailed mention of supplements on this thread?

    Are you taking b-vits, L-glutamine etc, etc? It really helped while I was tapering down from a bottle of vodka + bottle of red a day (now down to 2 glasses of red). I was sceptical at first, but very surprised when I tried it out!

    Good luck!

  8. #18
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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    Thanks for the advice...the muscles seem better today, but they came on late in the day yesterday so I'll pick some up just in case.

  9. #19
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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    Goodness, I haven't been through withdrawals in a while now - not the awful ones. The worst thing about trying to sleep through them is not being able to sleep much at all anyway and the hideous nightmares that always accompanied them. And I mean AWFUL nightmares that would keep me awake for hours afterwards as they were so disturbing. And then waking and not knowing if you're awake or asleep and if it's real or not.

    When I had withdrawals there was no way I could even leave the house for 2-3 days as I felt like my face had been hit by a shovel. So dizzy I couldn't even shower the first 2 days. Couldn't even focus my eyes properly, so couldn't have come on here.

    All I was able to do was lie down with the radio on and feel like sh*t, shaking, sweating, sometimes vomiting. As Beatle says, going to the loo was an awful ordeal. Hallucinations, visuals, thinking I would fall down the stairs if I tried to walk.

    And the pain was like no ordinary pain - it was like a ripping inside of me, a tugging sensation inside my torso. Not the most painful feeling at all, but the most frustrating and feeling like I had someone touching me. I'm sure I don't even need to go into the anxiety!

    I could never taper as I would end up drinking it all too quickly and finishing everything in the house until I was too sick to go out and get anything.

    I am so glad that I went through it for the last time. If ever I want to try to drink ridiculously again, In hope I can remember how awful withdrawls were.

    Good luck, sorry if that was a scary post. I think tapering is a much better idea than going through that, although it won't be easy. I really hope you can do it successfully. Keep posting!

  10. #20
    Registered User. beatle's Avatar

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    Withdrawals worse asleep or awake?

    Hardly any true alcoholics can taper. I've done it a few times, but not through willpower, that's for sure. (The rational part of my brain disappears with one glass of anything with alcohol in it.) It still can be done, but only if you have a flawless plan. I have developed two (although I hope to never need them again!).

    Strategy #1 (I did this successfully 3 times):

    1) Make sure there is no alcohol in the house (I know this is a difficult starting point, and until a couple years ago, when I confessed to my husband, we always had tons of it around -- although I did most the drinking, he did most the buying in Duty Free on his trips abroad). He agreed to an alcohol-free house since then... of course it always had my alcohol hidden in the closet or the basement.

    2) Assuming your house really is alcohol-free (meaning you've used up your stash and are ready to go out for more), go buy exactly 3/4 of what you usually consume in a day. Bring it home, and allow yourself to drink at the normal pace, or draw it out if you can. By the time you -- or at least I -- have had a couple drinks, you cannot drive anymore. It is dangerous and you risk your life and reputation. No matter how drunk I am, I always remember that. I'll do almost anything for a drink, but I won't risk killing someone for it. (Of course, this step also assumes you live too far to walk to a liquor store... and in my case, all the liquor stores in my country close at 5:00, anyway, which is helpful.)

    3) When you are done with the 3/4 of the usual, you will be pretty mellow, but pissed off because you really want a little more. But tough luck, you can't have it, so, seeing as you really are not suffering so much and there's no way to get any alcohol, you go to bed early and fall right to sleep anyway, because you are actually pretty drunk, just not quite a s drunk as usual.

    4) You continue this routine, tapering slightly down at your own speed for as long as it takes. After a while you can get by with a drink or two. Then you decide whether you want to go AF or not. I have usually been satisfied with moderation, but that only lasts... well as long as it lasts.

    ****Every time you sober up, staying there is the biggest challenge. These strategies are just ways to do it by tapering down, and thus avoiding horrible withdrawals. The rest is a big puzzle, that everyone has to figure out themselves.

    Strategy #2: (This depends on you having a willing partner to go along with the scheme)... You get drunk and feel awful, and in a moment of hazy, miserable weakness, or I prefer to call it strength, you give over all your hidden alcohol to your partner on the condition that he/she allow you to have, say, 3 drinks the first night, 2 the second and third, one the fourth and fifth (for example--- you make up your own schedule). In order to make this work, you can never be allowed to go out of the house/apartment on your own during the sobering up period. It's a tall order, I know, but if you are lying in bed in agony for 3 days, you can just as well be cooped up in the house looking forward to your next drink for 3 days, and at least avoid the physical pain and risks.

    And, finally, if you are convinced that going cold turkey is the only option, then you should get lorazepam (ativan) from your doctor and take a lot and lay in bed for 2-3 days. If you don't want to admit to your doctor you have alcohol problems, tell him/her you have severe anxiety problems and you have researched it and believe lorazepam will help you. (This is what I did, and I got a 2-year's supply.) Lorazepam makes you very drowsy, but it takes away a lot of the worst discomfort, and, most importantly, it reduces the risk of seizures.

    Good luck and PM me if you have any more questions. I believe I am the Queen of Withdrawal here (but I will willingly descend the throne and give it over to a more worthy drunk!).

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