Alcohol Addiction Treatments
Hi everyone! I wanted to start off by introducing myself, I am Nicole Banner. I am also an alcoholic. I am currently 6 years and 8mts sober! All thanks to God. I am not an addictions counselor. I am just one alcoholic in an unfortunately growing population that has increasingly been on the rise since Covid began. Women being the most affected.
I am not here to tell you all the things that could happen if you continue to drink. Chances are that’s already pretty clear to you if you’re searching for information. Truly the fact you stopped to read this, may give pause for reflection. I did however want to go over some different options and express some of my personal changes as I worked through my first 60 days of sobriety.
Here are some different avenues to seek professional help-
Alcoholics Anonymous – old school but effective and proven
Residential Rehab – or in treatment program, effective but not ideal for everyone
Talk Therapy – to me this is definitely effective and can be used in a group setting so the family gets some healing and closure as well, or one on one
Medication – which can be given several different ways to provide ease and comfort to the addict.
All of these are effective methods of getting sober and I do not believe there is a wrong choice. I can say everything doesn’t work for everyone. So if you try and relapse maybe try again or a new option that maybe more suited to your individual life and struggle. I personally used a little AA and a little talk therapy. I was fortunate enough to be related to a former sponsor! She talked me through most cravings as I did quit “cold turkey” so to say.
How do you know when you’ve hit rock bottom? I was a fully functioning Alcoholic or at least I thought so. For me I had lost my job, damaged my marriage, neglected my responsibilities, drinking and driving, and had little to no care about stopping. As most, I did something I did not think I was capable of doing as my family was the most important thing to me. So enough was enough I was a grown woman who was crippled by a liquid!!! Not me, so I quit. Again.
Your first few days sober. Initial withdrawal symptoms can last for various amounts of time. There is no particular way/amount of time these things happen. I sincerely believe it fluctuates on levels of addiction as well as levels of individual physical needs.
Here are some common symptoms-
Hangover – most people have to drink on the last day so the first day of sobriety can have lots of hangover symptoms.
Night Sweats– this one seemed to take forever as everything seems to finally come out your body.(Drink lots of water)
Shaking– the shaking typically accompanies the sweats
Paranoia– This is when the anxiety of being sober truly starts to set in
Brain Fog– Feelings of confusion and/or forgetfulness
Cravings– Strong wants and urges to just have a drink
These are common symptoms but there are Severe cases where hallucinations (visual, auditory, and tactile) can happen as well as High blood pressure and even stroke. These first days of sobriety the cravings are the absolute worst. Do not give in to the inner voice screaming at you to just have a drink already!!! I promise you this too shall pass. Take it one day, one hour, one minute, even one second but do not give in! You got this!
30 days in!! Congrats!! So I’m gonna jump in with a quick story at my 30 day mark. I can remember driving in my car, with my boys and this sudden overwhelming grief began to flood out of me. I began to frantically whale and cry. I had to pull over because it had gotten so bad. I called my husband for a quick get it together speech. He said something profound at that moment. How long did you think it would take before those emotions caught up with you? He was correct, I had numbed out for so long. So I sat and cried until I was done and drove away knowing I had just beat a generational curse.
With that being said, around 30 days your emotions will be heightened and you will need to mourn the loss of relationships, money, and time that must be processed. You will also begin to feel the fog brain lift and your thinking becomes clearer. Make sure you are staying busy, getting plenty of sleep, and lean on your support system.
60 Days in!! OMG!!!! So just to throw this out there, you may not feel any real changes yet. Not the withdrawal symptoms, the actual brain changes. But keep up the good work they will come. You must change your habits, relationships, create routines, set goals, and truly commit to your new sober lifestyle. That will retrain your brain. But enough with that, YOU MADE IT 60 DAYS!!! WHOOP WHOOP!! Keep yourself motivated! Find a class for you or maybe with your kids! Look up amazing motivational speakers like E the hip hop preacher, Tony Robbins, and well you get the point. Go to group therapy to find other people going through the same things as you. Get a home church and nurture your relationship with God. I’m not bringing him into this last because he’s last but because if you skip the entire message and just read the top and bottom you’ll find God. I will keep you all in my prayers daily. For your success, growth, and continued motivation. Love you all!