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First Week Symptoms?

I am a 38 year old woman who has drank pretty consistently since I was 16.  There have been splurges throughtout the years when I have gone on major binges when I have also used prescription pain killers.  I have gotten totally plasterd at company outings (I am in an executive position) and I have been embarrased to go to work the next day to face the people that answer to me.  I have been married for 14 years to a recovering alcoholic, he has not drank in 23 years--he has been incredibly supportive and has helped me to make the decision to quit drinking.  I am 5 days into sobriety and I have had some major withdrawl symptoms including night sweats, vivid dreams and extreme moodiness and I swear that I have not slept for more than a couple of hours each night which has made it very difficult to work my required 10 hour days.  I went to get an over the counter sleep aid, but it makes me very groggy the next day........is there any end to this?  Does anyone have any suggestions for me that will help me get through the first couple of weeks?
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Avatar universal
Be careful and watch your symptoms- you may want to be in cosultation with a doctor if things get more serious.  That being said, I wanted to answer your post because there is some similarity to where I was last summer.  I think everyone's reaction to quitting is a little different - for instance, I actually had to sleep a lot.  I thought that I'd feel fine in a week, but it took over a month before I started feeling better. I'm not saying this to scare you - just try to have patience.  It took awhile to turn yourself into a heavy drinker, and it's going to take awhile for your body to get used to functioning without the alcohol.  5 days off is great though.
I think there are some meds the doctor can perscribe to keep you from feeling so edgy, but I have no experiance with these.  Good luck and God Bless.   .  
Avatar universal
Wow on 2 counts..ur hub must really love u to be recovering and stay with u for that would be hard for him...ur a relapse trigger....9 out of 10 men leave an alcoholic woman....9 out of 10 women stay with an alcoholic man.if u've been drinking steady since age 16 i do think u have quite a problem from what ur describing.....does u r hub go to AA?have u ever been to a meeting?have u thought of checking out counseling for urself?there are a lot of good medications out there that aren't addicitive that can help with anxiety/depression/insomnia with the stopping drinking and i've seen Campral do a fab job helping ppl stay sober and not have the craving to drink.Google Campral for more info.
190885 tn?1333029491
5 days ? your in the real bad stuff right now...it does get a lot better...in two weeks you'll probably notice a difference..and the anxiety should be under control in a few months...but i always say you really need a year to clean it out mentally...and even then you gotta not want to go back...your husband sounds like great support..he already having a good handle on alcoholism..you don't see that too often...are you having thoughs nightmares? i had them every night right at 130..it took a while but i did figure out that what i ate for dinner made a difference on how good i would sleep..like because my body was going through so much already if i ate stuff that was hard to digest it would give me trouble...or if i ate too close to time to go to sleep... maybe go for a long walk after dinner...if you've got a dog take it for a walk..the dog will love it and you'll feel a lot better....after the walk just eat a grapefruit or something after that..my withdrawals were bad and lasted a long time..do you have tremers? ....also looking back at myself quitting alcohol i would have got something from a doc..look into the campral like ibizan says...good luck...keep us posted...billy
462570 tn?1273636577
I never had the sleep problems when I got sober (other than night sweats) and stepped into recovery but MANY of my fellow AA members did and still have!  From all accounts - your sleeping patterns should level out around 3 to 6 months with some slight distrubances now and then.
When you drink - you disable your brain to reach a certain sleep level - there are 4 main levels of sleep - and that would be level 1 - right before you fall asleep - kinda hazy 2 - 1st stage of sleep 3 - REM (dreaming) and 4 - DEEP (restorative/healing).  Alcohol can disrupt the patterns and keep you from reaching REM and can keep you from reaching a full level 4.  (You may not remember ever dreaming when you were drinking)  So you bounce around the sleep stages.  The alcohol literally "rewires" your brain and so for awhile, until the brain is able to do it on its own again, your sleep patterns are messed up.  You have trouble falling asleep cause the alcohol was responsible for getting you to Level 1 and 2 (alcohol is a depressant)(your brain is relearning how to do that on its own) you have vivid dreams and even nightmares because you no longer have the alcohol surpressing this stage.  The night sweats are VERY normal and I had them SO badly!  I would wake up SOAKED for the first 3 months.  After the 3rd month it was better and it only happened occasionally up till the 6th month of sobriety then it stopped.  You can do this!  Just focus on one day at a time and if you haven't gone to AA - PLEASE - find a meeting and attend one.  Keep It Simple!
190885 tn?1333029491
tink...that was interesting....one of the freakiest things for me was when i started remembering my dreams...now i remember so much of them..and i very rarely have nightmares...somewhere a little while ago i read a question  "do you dream in colors"  and i had to think about it... i have good enough control to remember to think about it while i dream...so i'm comming up with both black and white and color...sometimes only one color like purple...and the rest black and white....last night there was a girl that was in a dream with very blue eyes and the face did have some color but not a lot...lots of times there are no faces at all...going through withdrawals my nightmares were so vivid..at first i thought maybe i had always had them but because i drank i was too out of it to remember ...but what you say sounds right to me..i'm working hard on trying to recover as much of the damage i did to myself as i can...i know it won't all come back but it's still improving well after a year....thanks...billy
462570 tn?1273636577
Keep on Keepin' On as they say!  I did SO much physical damage to my body that half of my 4th step was on the anger and resentment towards MYSELF for screwing up my health! (Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, gallbladder disease and pancreatitis)  I am always elated to hear that another recovering alcoholic is staying sober and regaining health!    They say that it takes around 1-3 years to repair/restore the body after sobriety if it is gonna repair!)  Most of my men friends in AA talk about their dreams like you do!  In and out of color - etc.  Be sure to have a 6-8 ounce glass of water with fresh lemon juice squeezed into it in the morning...this is a natural liver detoxifier!  Keep It Simple!
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