Getting through Withdrawals

Patrick
  • “What are some ways to help with getting through withdrawals?”

    person being carried on a stretcher

    (Disclaimer: if you happen to be withdrawing from alcohol, stop reading this and go to the ER. Alcohol withdrawal is extremely dangerous and it can KILL YOU)

    1. Sleep - this should be a complete no-brainer. If you are going through some really crappy withdrawals, then the preferred method of coping with it is to sleep right through it. When I finally managed to kick cigarettes successfully, I pulled a little trick on myself where I stayed up all night and got really, really tired, and I timed it so that I would be starting to go through the worst of my withdrawal symptoms right then. It was a piece of cake at that point to fall asleep and stay down for a good twelve hours. When I finally woke up, I showered and grabbed some quick food, then managed to fall asleep again. After waking up that second time, I was well on my way to being through the worst of my nicotine withdrawals.

    2. Burn off nervous energy – If you can’t sleep, the next idea on the list is to find creative ways to encourage sleep. You can stay up all night and try to time your withdrawals accordingly, like I did with cigarettes, or you can also try other things to help you sleep. Depending on what substance you are detoxing from, you might very well be wired wide awake, and full of nervous energy. If that is the case, try taking a really long walk, say for a couple of hours. This will burn off a lot of that nervous energy, and also facilitate the detox process by producing some sweat. You’ll also develop an appetite, which will come in handy later so you can eat a big dinner. The extended exercise (nothing to strenuous, just long and consistent) combined with a fairly big meal, should do wonders at producing some level of sleepiness in you.

    3. The Power of Distraction – If you just can’t figure out a way to sleep through the worst of it, then the next best thing is to not think about it. That’s right: you have to find some creative ways to distract yourself from the misery that you are going through. One popular method of doing this is to lay on your couch all day and watch television or movies, although this is not necessarily recommended. If you are well enough to move around, then getting out and moving around is going to benefit you much more in the long run. Go to the mall or take a walk in the park. Chances are good that you can burn up some energy and hopefully be able to do a little sleeping when you get done moving around.

    4. Medically supervised – If you can afford it or have it arranged, then try to get into some sort of medically supervised facility for your detox. This is definitely the safest route to go, and is absolutely essential if you are coming off of alcohol. There are other benefits to going to a treatment center detox as well, and the medical staff can usually give some sort of non narcotic medication that will ease your withdrawal symptoms, depending on which substance you are coming off of. Out of all the detox centers I’ve seen, they only make you do one thing: sleep. That makes this the safest and most comfortable route to go.

    5. Take a Vacation – This one might sound a bit bizarre, and it certainly doesn’t fit for every detox, but planning and taking a major vacation can be a huge opportunity to make it through your withdrawals. Another interesting idea is to time it so that you go through the worst of your withdrawals at home, and then immediately following that, you leave on a vacation. The power of distraction comes into play here, and the excitement of going on a trip can help to offset what you are no longer doing/using/drinking. It can also feel like a reward for yourself to be on a major vacation, as you are starting out on a new healthy lifestyle.

    6. Ween Yourself Down – There are bound to be lots of mixed results and opinions with something like this, so always shoot for a fully medically supervised detox if you can. Barring that, attempting to ween yourself off of a substance can sometimes yield good results. But again, this method is controversial at best, and can be somewhat dangerous, so always try to encourage a medical detox instead. Remember, getting through the withdrawals are just the beginning….they are the key to your new life. Now you have to learn how to live and be happy without chemicals. (It’s possible, I promise!)

    Finally, I want to remind everyone out there to be especially cautious regarding alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as they can be fatal. I urge you to seek medical help if you or a loved one is detoxing from booze.

    First time here? Be sure to check out these posts:

    How to Achieve Long Term Sobriety 97% Usefulness Rating

    The Secret to Beating Addiction and Alcoholism 92% Usefulness Rating

    The Simplicity and Power of Gratitude 87% Usefulness Rating

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