50before50: #12 no more drinking alcohol (month 8)

I’m pretty pleased to hit the 8 month mark – the past month was a little wobbly and reaching a milestone is really helpful.

There were definitely times in my recent less-than-ideal mental state that I really wondered what the point of this was. I gave up drinking precisely because I was looking for more mental equilibrium. Everything was mostly working a treat up until recently – lots calmer, less crazy and less tense, able to handle SML (and bonkers Bobs) stress. I’ve definitely thought about having a nice glass of wine (how relaxing! how tasty!) in the last couple of days,

I’d seen PAWS mentioned on a bunch of sobriety blogs and had no idea what it was other than an association with struggles and relapses. After investigating a bit I was all ah-ha!

Let’s review the symptoms (and amalgam from here and here):
✚ Mood swings
✚ Anxiety and panic attacks
✚ Irritability
✚ Tiredness
✚ Variable energy
✚ Low enthusiasm
✚ Variable concentration
✚ Disturbed sleep
✚ Depression
✚ Lack of motivation
✚ General cognitive impairment
✚ Memory loss
✚ Difficulty solving problems and thinking clearly
✚ Obsessive thoughts

Okay, I’ll just tick all those boxes right now.

I wouldn’t have called myself particularly hugely dependent on alcohol or even an alcoholic (though I definitely had the lots of wine every night habit – okay, that’s pretty dependent), but I’ve certainly had All The Things – so maybe, yes?

Post-acute withdrawal feels like a rollercoaster of symptoms. Definitely this
Each post-acute withdrawal episode usually last for a few days. Yes, that rings true
Post-acute withdrawal usually lasts for 2 years. You what now?

After all this I felt marginally less crazy – just maybe there is a physiological reason for this and it’s all quite normal. This thought is really very comforting.

Onward to month 9!

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James O'Brien
July 15, 2017 7:39 PM

Congratulations! I wish I had your strength.