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Quitting Drinking Cold Turkey
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Quitting Drinking Cold Turkey

I am a 47 year old woman. I have been a heavy drinker for 30 years. Mainly binge drinking, and I guess what you
would call a "functioning alcoholic"..not drinking until weekend comes then seriously downing the beers! I quit about 30 days ago and now I am reading this may have not been safe and am worried. Do you think I am out of the danger zone? I haven't had much backlash...other than the anxiety and irritability. I know I should ask my doctor, but she is not exactly on the ball. I am not thrilled with her. Can anyone help? Thank you!
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Avatar_m_tn
Careful- when you start to feel "normal", that is where complacency creeps in.  Then you tell yourself "I'll just have one or two".  If you're an alcoholic, the one or two turns back into many drinks within a short period of time.  

I don't want to rain on your parade, but if you really have a problem with alcohol, then you need to be vigilant because it can be very easy to return to your old ways.  

I agree that the worst withdrawal should be over, but your body still has some healing to do.   Take a good multi vitamin with B-Complex.....this has been very helpful for my energy level.  
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1305762_tn?1311552599
Short answer: You're probably safe from the worst withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms you could have.

Long answer:

You're probably safe from the worst, most dangerous withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms you could have but it really wouldn't hurt to get a workup by your doctor. If you don't like your doctor then by all means feel free to look for a new one. At the very least you'll want to have your liver function tested, which is a fairly easy, painless process. I don't know what else you might fear but heavy drinking for 30 years? Probably not a bad idea to get a full workup and physical to check things out.

I'm about 35 days in to my sobriety and I still am very dizzy and lightheaded at times so I wouldn't freak out too much about a few symptoms as they're pretty normal. If you're wondering if you're likely to have a seizure I'd say you're probably in the clear. Severe withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms i.e. hallucination, DTs, and seizures will usually happen in the first few days or week of withdrawl (withdrawal). While I'm not a doctor and can't say for certain I'm pretty sure you're out of those particular danger zones if you're a month removed from your last drink.

How are you going about your sobriety? Are you going to AA? Counseling, etc?

Good luck. Anything we can do to help please don't hesitate to ask.
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1321662_tn?1322574951
I am doing it on my own. Not sure why I was able to put it out of my mind so relatively easy....i used to rush to the store every friday for a twelve pack so I could get drunk every weekend. It was definately controlling me. I worry about the next time I will be in a social situation, as that is when I fail. I have had bloodwork done many times recently because of high cholesterol, I think my liver was okay too (that in itself is amazing!). A big part of ability to stop is the extreme fatigue. I seem to be in bed very early and sleep most weekends--no energy to drink!  Thanks so much for your help.
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Avatar_f_tn
i agree with Westguy...alcohol withdrawal gets dangerous when you having the shakes,blood pressure way up,severe anxiety, severe insomnia etc.Yes the liver is quite the durable organ that tolerates a lot of abuse from many a drinking owner!You were very wise to stop......but the challenge is to STAY STOPPED!a support group,12 step,church....whatever u find helpful is important.......i love the saying in AA.......an alcoholic alone is in bad company!:)
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495284_tn?1333897642
I am very happy that you have decided to quit drinking.  Now the real battle starts. Please check into some type of recovery care.  This is vital to our success in recovery.  Drinking was only a symptom of what is going on inside you.  We cant stress this part enough on the forum.  We learn the tools that we apply to our lives so we can live a healthy sober life.....sara
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1305762_tn?1311552599
I know what you mean about how easy it seems to quit. I've been doing it on my own as well and so far I really haven't been tempted to drink or find that I miss it all that much. However, it's easy to stop something, even something you're addicted to when something makes you sit up and take notice of it. The key is STAYING off of it. If you find yourself craving the booze or compelled to drink it then maybe its time to start seeking help elsewhere.
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190885_tn?1333029491
maybe try some gadorade to see if it helps with the dizzy stuff...billy
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Avatar_m_tn
Careful- when you start to feel "normal", that is where complacency creeps in.  Then you tell yourself "I'll just have one or two".  If you're an alcoholic, the one or two turns back into many drinks within a short period of time.  

I don't want to rain on your parade, but if you really have a problem with alcohol, then you need to be vigilant because it can be very easy to return to your old ways.  

I agree that the worst withdrawal should be over, but your body still has some healing to do.   Take a good multi vitamin with B-Complex.....this has been very helpful for my energy level.  
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1323047_tn?1279197519
I quit alcohol and my doctor was most surprised I had no withdrawal symptoms, I was an on off binge drinker though, started up again recently so last night was sober not to bad an evening and trying again tonight. I agree with jacker here.

How are you to-day?

Best Wishes
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1284022_tn?1291362149
good job!  maybe sit in on a few AA meetings to get advice from other people who are going through or have gone through what you are doing right now.  they're all over the place!
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498385_tn?1362453004
This is so awesome congrats on the freedom you are about to enjoy!!!. Welcome to recovery it is one heck of a battle but welll worth it. Just one day  at a time okay easy does it, we didnt become sick in one day .I personally go to aa i found out it wasnt the booze that was the problem it was me I couldnt accept life on its own terms ....that was a scary thing but people surrounded me with unconditional love and am clean and sober today and I do know what peace it today I wish you well ,if you have any questions please feel free to chat with me hugs....
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1321662_tn?1322574951
Just wanted to thank you ALL for your comments. It is wonderful to have such caring people in this world. I basically disconnected from everyone and pretty much everything due to alcohol. I am about to go into my first social situation after quitting and hope I can make the right choices. The ironic thing is now that I have quit, I am feeling other health problems. Wonder if they were masked during the period of drinking! The fatigue has always been a problem for me, but now it has gotten worse. I came across some other information on this site which fits my symptoms, and wish I had joined this site years ago! You all are a true Godsend. Now at least I have a starting point on what to do. Late start in life...but invaluable. Thanks again, and I hope all of you are successful in your sobriety. I appreciate your well wishes.
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1323047_tn?1279197519
Late start in life for me to although I have managed 90 days once. Enjoying this morning waking up hangover free, so glad I found this site! A lovely sunny day to enjoy in Britain!
Alcohol is cunning, it becomes your best friend and I truly relate to your story. I was very, very tired when I managed to stop for 90 days so this is normal I have heard it from other people as well. I struggled like crazy with social situations and if I gave you the story of this battle I would be here till Xmas!

It has taken 3 years (oh dear) but

1) Take the car
2)  Sit with non-drinking friends, by now I have a group who know my problem and support me whilst out.
3) OK I see waiters with glasses of champane and people 'enjoying' themselves. Play the tape to the end. I will be out first thing in the morning in the garden with my dog, where will they be? In bed? hanging over toilet? I find this helps.
4) Obvious but find a lovely soft drink. I like tonic water with lemon which cleanses the body, sip and think how much good it is doing to you.
5) Look at drunk people and thing thank god I am not there.
6) I love proper conversation with friends now that I am a non drinker, I used to slur at people and of course I smelt of it.

Could go on and on.

Anyway my best wishes just a few tips from my 3 year struggle I never drink whilst out now, the hurdle is over, you would be surprised how many short journeys my car has made!

Sober whilst out but decided to go for another 90 days as relapsed at home.New determined quit at home sober last night, every sober eveing is treasured by someone like me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Two of the so called oldest ppl i worked with for sobriety were 64 and 72!its never too late...u just have to want it in the biggest way!
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1053987_tn?1279308110
Hi all,
Keeping you motivation to quit up is very important.  I read books about alcoholism and do online forums like this one.  "Beyond the Influence" is a great book.  I consider it the alcoholics bible!  The other forum I use is Smart Recovery.  AA is not for me.  I've tried, but I live in a small town the the groups here are pretty inflexible on alternative methods. I like the holistic approach.  Keep your mind, body and spirit well and it will be a lot easier journey.  

I wish you the best!  Keep up the good work!

Oh yeah, I've been sober 14 days since my year long relapse.  I had three years sober before that :-(  but I'm back on the horse again!!!
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1223598_tn?1289972059
When i was in rehab group I remember them saying the withdrawals that are more harmful from detoxifying happen in the first week or so, maybe two. i cannot remember the exact number, but I remember thinking it was a very short time. so if that is correct your body should already be through that. they said it happens rather quickly for most - which i found odd.

i personally had none of those withdrawals, worst was basic sick stomach feelings and mental things. it depends on the person i think.
the cravings and things that come after were harder to deal with than physical things for me.

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1321662_tn?1322574951
I survived my first social situation this weekend, and I almost caved a couple of times but luckily I stayed strong. I knew if I had even one, I would not be able to stop. I actually sat a a beach bar and ordered a coke, and at the beach restaurant, an iced tea. A true FIRST in my life on a beach weekend thing!! Thanks for all your support. It helps to know others are out there facing the same demons.
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1305762_tn?1311552599
Good Job!!!! Proud of you!!!!
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495284_tn?1333897642
Way to go!!  I am proud of you too!!!          sara
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4119697_tn?1351188486
I LOVE your idea of 'fast forwarding the tape'. I can fastfoward and KNOW that I will feel like death in the morning. I will loathe myself and perform poorly at work. It is a vicious cycle that I have been in for years and years. I function well as an alcoholic so convincing my friends and family that I actually do have a problem is difficult. People like me when I drink - I'm fun, I'm the life of the party! Why would I give that up? What if I'm no fun without alcohol? So many questions and concerns...Thanks for your post.
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