Breakthroughs On Your Way To Freedom From Alcohol Withdrawal and Detoxification After Withdrawal and Detoxification Breaking Thr
Posted Nov 13 2009 10:02pm
Alcohol recovery is a process that takes time, patience, fortitude and perseverance. Each set back will rip just a little more tenacity from your already shallow reservoir of resolve to beat the illness you are tasked with fighting. Little wonder then that small breakthroughs need to be savored and appreciated. Any disease that requires you to live minute to minute, hour to hour and day to day to survive the initial onslaught of demon compulsions is a tough adversary and so any victory is sweet.
Withdrawal and Detoxification
Depending on your alcohol consumption levels prior to seeking help, you will start experiencing detoxification within hours of your last drink. Initially you will feel like you do when waking up with a hangover, only the feeling will be magnified because you know you won’t be satisfying this devil with more drinking. This phase of detoxification should be monitored by your physician for the simple reason you don’t know how your detoxification will progress, and if you experience worse symptoms than you anticipated, you are in for a world of hurt so better safe than sorry.
Your physician can manage your withdrawal with medications to make this phase of your recovery tolerable and perhaps even comfortable. Many problem drinkers will have only minor detoxification problems because their drinking was not at a level where they required alcohol to function. Still, it’s wise to have your clinician monitor your progress. There are over the counter remedies available to make this part of your recovery less physically taxing. Natural sleep aids are helpful, vitamins and minerals to sustain your health and replenish it are imperative.
In the event you were a functioning alcoholic who needed alcohol to survive normal daily activity, then you need to follow a doctor’s instruction. The length of detoxification and withdrawal will vary, but after a couple weeks many alcoholics go from feeling like their head will twist off to being nearly human again. There is no timetable to normalcy here – just mind numbing acceptance that this too shall pass.
After Withdrawal and Detoxification
When you finish initial withdrawal and detoxification, physically the worst is over. This is a breakthrough for many reasons, not the least of which is you will tell yourself “I never want to go through that again!” and the memory of this will go a long way to keeping you sober. The first month sober is the toughest and to achieve this milestone is indeed special. 30 days and you are likely feeling stronger physically, and mentally you are more alert.
Regaining your cognitive senses and your ability to live day to day without alcohol clouding your thoughts will be noticeable. You will be a bit jumpy and perhaps irritable to be around, but you’ll be sober so appreciate it. Your support network is quite valuable now so be sure you have this in place. Although you will have been counting the hours and days, it’s nice to have others recognize your success as well. Support groups give this to you in ways that make you feel like you have won Olympic gold! Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate these victories with those who have been there for you. Anytime you can stock up on self esteem and top up the fortitude tank, it is a good thing emotionally, so savor these chances.
Breakthroughs such as attending a social gathering without the aid of alcohol as a confidence booster are very meaningful. Perhaps there was a time when you couldn’t leave the house without a few drinks in you to calm your nerves or quell your self loathing for a few hours. If that was the case, this experience will be especially meaningful to you and should be remembered as a benchmark by which you measure future gains.
Just being able to leave the house for any extended period of time without thinking about your next drink is like gulping fresh air after being underwater for too long. Exhilarating may not be to strong a description of the way you feel when recovery is progressing and your strong participation begins to pay off. Every forward step in your treatment, each new day you are sober, all qualify as breakthroughs in recovery.
Other signs of breaching the walls of sobriety are when you start thinking less about drinking alcohol and more about the immediate task at hand. What you are doing right now becomes more important than thinking about how nice a cold beer would taste or that feeling you get when the alcohol kicks in. You are searching for that same feeling but without the bottle – and it’s coming. Patience is key to long term recovery and the knowledge that you don’t need a drink to accomplish daily activities like having fun with friends or calming down and relaxing after a tough day.
The breakthrough all recovering alcoholics want, the holy grail that tells you in your heart and mind that you might just be alright, is when you feel ‘”the calm”. The feeling of peace and serenity that descends over you. Some call it a feeling of new found maturity – a sort of delayed arrival of adulthood. Others refer to the feeling of well being and satisfaction, acceptance of life without alcohol and the determination to continue to live sober because they have tasted normalcy and personal growth at a new stage in their lives and they like it.
Much time has passed since they were that person who was drinking heavily to the sane person they are now when sober, and the life experience they’ve gained in that time seems to elevate their appreciation of all things normal. There is confident recognition that life will be different from now on and that’s okay. You are after all a different person than the one who couldn’t function without alcohol playing a huge role in everything you did.
Alcohol recovery breakthroughs are stepping stones to achieving overall health and well being. Each one brings you that much closer to the peaceful tranquility necessary to live your life to it’s fullest and highest potential.
To set up an appointment with Michael Pearlman, M.D., Call 1 (866) 285-3400 toll-free or (617) 620-2230,