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Thread: Detox

  1. #21
    Registered User. Mulburry's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarista View Post
    Great going Mulberry. You're pushing through no matter who no matter what.

    You must stick with your plan and back yourself. Our body and internal chemistry is a superior and intuitive design that wants to work to heal and re balance itself, as long as we work with it and help it along. Be gentle on yourself. Sounds like you've at least had some good moments throughout the difficult days. Keep breaking down the walls of that prison, friend.
    Thanks.
    Ya I'm starting to think that constantly trying to make things better with medications might be the wrong way to go, for me at least (in that regard it seems like more things have hurt than helped so far), and just try to let the brain heal naturally, as hard as it may be.

    It has been quite the week, but in the meantime symptoms have subsided quite bit, at least in terms of the extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I won’t say I feel like I’m turning a corner, cause every time I do (or even think it) it seems like I go backwards (or sideways at least), but it does seem like things have settled down a bit.
    Last edited by Mulburry; October 14th, 2021 at 02:28 AM.

  2. #22
    Registered User. Mulburry's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    Quick update (up to Day 30): Feels like a slipped a bit more towards depression for a few a days, but starting to feel a bit better the last couple days (still getting some classic PAWS symptoms as well but seems more manageable now). Off all meds now too.
    Last edited by Mulburry; October 14th, 2021 at 02:32 AM.

  3. #23
    Registered User. Mulburry's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    WEEK 4-5

    It took a little over a week but the extreme anxiety phase slowly subsided (with attacks gradually getting shorter, less frequent and less intense). Occasional clonidine helped a bit, but I eased off of it as symptoms lessened.
    Then I seemed to slip into a phase with a bit more depression, I’d still get some pretty strong anxiety early in the morning but it would wear off pretty quickly and later in the day I’d be more tired (but at least fairly relaxed). I was also sleeping relatively well. This lasted for a little under a week.
    Then quite suddenly, from one day to the next, it switched back to the more classic mild withdrawal symptoms: some restlessness, mild anxiousness and agitation, even some of the mild physical symptoms (slight headache, sweatiness etc.). It sounds like a big mishmash of symptoms but it’s actually a very distinct feeling; it’s quite similar to the way I’d feel when I when I was trying to cut down on drinking. Sleep has been worse as well, even getting some of that middle of the night restlessness again (though not every night). Even though not as severe as an extreme anxiety phase (I have to keep reminding myself that I should just be glad to be out of that), these symptoms can be very aggravating when faced with them day after day.
    Cravings have been more intense lately, especially now that I’m off all medications, but I know a slip up now would be a horrendous mistake and make things far worse in the long run. I guess all I can do is keep plugging away day by day and hope symptoms ease up eventually.

    P.S. I've been reading a number of peoples posts (some from years ago) on here who've dealt with PAWS and it's comforting to know that others have gone through the same thing and made it out the other side. On the other hand, it’s a also a little scary/depressing to realize that some of these symptoms (even if they become more intermittent and/or less intense over time) could last for a year or more.

  4. #24
    Registered User. Mulburry's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    After over a week without internet due to some catastrophic weather I've been slow to catch up on internet stuff and haven't been around here much... but I'm still on the wagon so to speak.

    WEEK 6-11

    Over the last month or so I seem to be stuck in a cycle where classic mild post-withdrawal symptoms recede a for a few days to a week, then come back a bit stronger again for a few days to week. It does seem like there is a some, albeit extremely slow, month by month progress though. One thing I’ve noticed is how much more difficult it is to handle stress in this state (it seems like stress aggravates or sometimes even triggers symptoms as well). Unfortunately, my plan to have an as-stress-free-as possible few months has been continually interrupted by various occurrences lately (some more minor than others).
    One of these, unfortunately, is related to my general health. As tough as the mental aspects of this has been, I had expected/hoped that at least the physical health aspects would see a steady improvement. While liver and kidney indicators have improved, there are signs that there may be issues with my pancreas (possibly pancreatitis and/or gallstones). I’ve also been feeling very mildly sick again a couple times recently, which is not a great sign. So… more tests and more stress. Have had some pretty dark days recently, but trying to just be grateful that I'm alive and not damaging my body any more.
    On the bright side, I’ve now made it to 80 days, and the only ethanol I’ve had the pleasure of tasting has been whiskey flavored chocolate.

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  6. #25
    Registered User. Mulburry's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    MONTH 4 (early Dec to mid Jan)

    This month was fairly similar to the previous month with symptoms perhaps a little milder and more sporadic. Stress, anxiety and mood swings have been a bit of a struggle. It's funny, my response to how I'm doing could be quite different depending on the day: some days I feel like it's never going to end and fear that my brain is permanently altered; other days I feel better and it seems like I'm getting there, albeit slowly. It's interesting too how there can be such a fine line between excitement and anxiety (good energy and bad energy). I've had some days recently where it's almost tilted towards good energy, but it's a bit frustrating because some days I feel like if my brain chemistry was just a little more balanced I'd feel pretty good, but it's not quite there.
    Complicating things is the fact that I've been feeling mildly sick most of the time (varying in degree from day to day and throughout the day), very similar to the way I was feeling last spring. Aside from the annoyance and physical effects, it can also take a toll mentally as well. With some more medical tests, hopefully I'll get some more clarity on what's going on with that soon.

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  8. #26
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    My diet played a massive role in how I felt. A decade of hard drinking destroyed my gut and took a while to fully heal. I had all sorts of GI tract issues and all got better but took time. I ate yogurt near everyday and psyllium fiber every day. Even now what I eat really matters in how I feel. Long term sobriety really enables me to feel everything that is going on in my body. Lot of stress in the world now too and that is weighing heavy on all of us. Be well!
    Is Addiction Really a Disease?
    Watch this and find out....
    http://youtu.be/ekDFv7TTZ4I

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  10. #27
    Registered User. Mulburry's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    Quote Originally Posted by 4theboyz View Post
    My diet played a massive role in how I felt. A decade of hard drinking destroyed my gut and took a while to fully heal. I had all sorts of GI tract issues and all got better but took time. I ate yogurt near everyday and psyllium fiber every day. Even now what I eat really matters in how I feel. Long term sobriety really enables me to feel everything that is going on in my body. Lot of stress in the world now too and that is weighing heavy on all of us. Be well!
    Feeling sick for me has been more mild flu-like symptoms (minus the respiritory tract part), the doc just calls it inflamation. I've been working on my diet as well (have actually lost a bunch of weight), but that hasn't helped. It might still be related to liver issues (even though the liver benchmarks have been improving) or something else.
    I do still have some mild GI issues as well though. The doc recently ordered a test for celiac disease (amongst a bunch of other tests). I never had issues with gluten when I was younger so I didn't that would be it, but you never know. Like you said, long time drinking can really mess up your body. It's so insane that we poison ourselves for so long isn't it.

  11. #28
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    Re: Detox

    You mention inflammation and that is/was my biggest challenge in that alcohol is a monster when it comes to inflammation. Your 4 months sober should have that alcohol related component out of the picture, but I just wanted to share I noticed I leaned on sweets as my comfort reward and still do and when I over do it, I get inflammed head to toe, achy and lethargic. Sugar it seems may be the instigator as alcohol is carb heavy obviously so are sweets. I have since stayed away from over indulgence of sweets and my days of aches and pains are a distant memory. Be well!
    Is Addiction Really a Disease?
    Watch this and find out....
    http://youtu.be/ekDFv7TTZ4I

  12. #29
    Registered User. Mulburry's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    Ya I'm pretty sure alcohol was already causing some mild inflammation issues (probably things like the GI issues, chronic congestion, itchiness likely caused by that) for a long time, but the more flu-like symptoms, though they initially came on when I was still drinking, strangely enough subsided while I was still drinking... then came back again a few months after I'd quit drinking; which is the really bizzare thing.
    Thanks for the tips. I do have a bit of a sweet tooth as well but have really been trying to reign that in. That being said, I've tried going a few days on a super healthy diet, drinking tons of water (way more than necessary), things like that, but none of that has seemed to help so far.

  13. #30
    Registered User. Mulburry's Avatar

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    Re: Detox

    6 MONTHS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

    Well, it's been 6 months since my last drink... I'd love to tell everyone that I'm fully recovered and things are going great, but that unfortunately wouldn't be consistent with reality.

    The Good:

    I'm not gonna lie and say staying sober has been easy (there are always those moments of stress where you feel like saying “fuck it” and just want to get drunk; or even times where you're feeling better and that voice whispers “maybe a beer or two wouldn't hurt”). That being said, so far, it also hasn't been as difficult as you see in the common narratives. I think all the challenges I've faced with this (the umpteen minor withdrawals / the effect of such minor alcohol fluctuations on my brain etc.) over the years and my concomitant health issues, are constant reminder that I have stay absolutely resolute. Even now, it feels like I'm still slowly clawing my way out of the hole, and the last thing I want is to slip and fall all the way back down to the bottom again.
    There has also been some encouraging progress in terms of PAWS (post acute withdrawal symptoms). The really distinct obvious PAWS, featuring a sort agitation and dysphoria (like something is gnawing at you constantly) have become much less frequent. From month 2-4 they tended to cycle back and forth and were present about half of the time, but I'm only seeing a spell about once a month these days (at least the last one was about a month ago).

    The Bad:

    Some more subtle brain chemistry alterations seem to still be present and more stubborn in normalizing; especially, it seems like my stress response system* is still somewhat off kilter. This aspect has gotten better but it seems like it's still incredibly easy for my entire system to get into a high stress mode, which has really been affecting my sleep lately too. It often just takes a relatively small trigger and then once that switch is activated it won't easily go back. All the conventional management techniques (positive thinking, meditation/mindfulness, exercise etc.) do help a bit, but only to a point. Anxiety (especially in the morning) and mood swings, are still lingering around a bit as well but have gotten better. All of this, at the moment at least, seems to be exacerbated by the medical issues.

    The Ugly:

    Ironically, as PAWS were slowing starting to get better over the last few months, it seemed like the sick feeling (kind of flu-like without the respiratory symptoms: headaches, brain-fog, body wide inflammation, fatigue sometimes etc.) was gradually getting worse. Recently, they tend to oscillate between a little better and a little worse but never go away altogether, and don't seem to be getting any better on an overall level.
    After what seemed like non-stop medical tests and appointments over the last couple of months, I'm still left without a clear diagnosis (it's possible it's still related to liver disease but the doctor isn't too sure). It's good to know I don't have heart disease, HIV, celiac or diabetes etc. but it's also difficult not knowing what's causing this for sure; not knowing if it will ever get better, if it'll get worse, if it's something benign or serious... I've even tried some alternative approaches (such as a gluten free diet), supplements etc. but nothing has helped so far.
    It's frustrating too because I've really been focusing on my health: aside from alcohol abstinence, I've improved my diet, lost over 50 lbs, still exercise every day etc. In theory my health should be improving but it sure doesn't feel like it.
    I'd really like to be feeling better and have my health (and mental health) back, and be able to move forward and get my life back on track but I'm stuck in sort of no man's land right now. With medical tests near exhausted, I guess all I can really do is try to keep living as healthy as I can and hope things improve over time.



    * Just a few blurbs from academic articles on how alcohol can affect the stress response system (the more I research, the more I learn about how incredibly expansive of a negative affect alcohol has on all kinds of brain systems, as well how many body systems it can damage):

    “Alcohol consumption can also affect DNA methylation. Research has shown that alcohol affects two genes that are important in the HPA axis, NR3C1 and FKBP5. These genes become increasingly demethylated with increasing exposure to alcohol. We know that the genes play a role in hormone receptor complexes, including cortisol. Studies have also shown one of these genes (FKBP5), in particular, is associated with elevations in stress, poor mood, and anxiousness. [7] “

    “These results identify a significant effect of high adrenal sensitivity, anxiety, and increased stress- and cue-induced alcohol craving on subsequent alcohol relapse and treatment outcomes. “

    “Specifically, neuroendocrine tolerance may contribute to mesocortical sensitization, which in turn may lead to decreased prefrontal inhibitory control of the dopaminergic reward and hypothalamic stress systems.”

    “However, as noted earlier, alterations in the HPA axis, SAM system, and HPG axis interact to take the PFC “off-line” via sustained excess glucocorticoid and catecholamine release; these molecules modulate ionic regulation of microcircuits,107 resulting in a failure to maintain homeostasis and a concomitant decrease in the function of normal reward and stress-related neurocircuitry.52,108 “

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