I’m really ready to feel better than I do. This sobriety thing is fucking weird because the ascension from crappy to better than crappy is extremely noticeable. But equally noticeable are the stretches of stagnation and occasional backsliding to less lovely feelings. I’m in the weeds right now and am trying to find my groove again.

I’m not going to drink today. Not even if my butt falls off. Someone said this in the BFB and I laughed so hard that a little bit came out. And it’s true. I’m not going to drink. I don’t want to. AT ALL.

But you guys, I AM FUCKING TIRED. I don’t know what the hell is going on with my sleep but it’s really starting to make me angry. And it seems like coming off of a weekend is even worse than sleeplessness during the work week. I’m waking up every few hours and have to readjust myself. And when I am sleeping, it never feels like real sleep. It feels like exhausting work. I don’t always remember my dreams but when I do, they almost always involve alcohol. Last night, I also had a dream that my primary care physician prescribed me some kind of really strong anti-anxiety drug. I was really excited about it and kept trying to get the prescription filled but every pharmacy was out of the medication. I remember thinking that the doctor really shouldn’t have prescribed me such a strong mood altering drug given my history but I was happy he did and I wasn’t about to remind him about my addiction issues. Obviously my brain is still like, DUDE GO GET DRUNKY DRUNK DRUNK LOLOLOL XOXO!

Getting out of bed was absolutely terrible and even now I feel foggy, not very chipper, and ready to nap for hours. Unfortunately, I’m at work and can’t. I keep telling myself that this is normal and that everyone I’ve heard from has expressed issues with sleep to varying degrees. But there is another part of me that keeps saying, “THIS SHOULD BE OVER BY NOW!” I mean, it’s been 43 days. I know that’s nothing. I know that’s a blink of the eye, a drop in the bucket. It took me nearly six years to do all of the damage I did. What makes me think 43 days is going to reverse it?

Usually I find it very easy to be grateful for the progress I have made. I’m able to work through the uncomfortable symptoms until the stretches of positive results return. But this exhaustion is mood altering in and of itself. It’s so noticeable and disheartening that I find myself saying, “YOU GOT SOBER FOR THIS?!” Then I tell myself to just shut the fuck up and cool it. No, stupid. Of course I didn’t get sober for this. What kind of dumbass question is that?

But what if this isn’t normal? What if people are telling me it’s normal but really this kind of lethargy is dangerous or a sign of something else being wrong? What if they are just telling me it’s normal because they can’t actually feel what I’m feeling and if they did feel it they would say, “OH SHIT THAT’S NOT NORMAL.” I really should go to the doctor and have them test me out to see if there is anything else going on. At least then I won’t feel stressed out dismissing these symptoms as completely typical of recovery.

I remember waking up mornings during the first 2-4 weeks and thinking, “WOW. I FEEL FUCKING GOOD!” And while I occasionally have those moments now, they seem to be getting fewer and farther between. Like I’m plateauing. Or sometimes even digressing. It seems the further from Day One I get, the more disrupted my sleep gets. Maybe it’s about to turn a corner? Maybe it’s going to take even longer? 60 days? 90 days? A year? I can wait it out. I have to wait it out.

I try my best not to whine. It doesn’t do me any good and it’s also really disgusting and not at all cute. But sometimes you just want to call a world meeting where every other human sits down in a massive auditorium, looks at you, and watches you ugly cry and moan and talk about exactly why your life is awful as you accidentally eat your own snot.

In my old world, this would be drinkworthy. But EVERYTHING was drinkworthy. Thursday was drinkworthy because Friday was the next day. Tuesday was drinkworthy because it wasn’t Monday. Sunday morning was sometimes drinkworthy because you had to wait for laundry and it was beautiful outside. St. Patrick’s Day was drinkworthy even though I’m not Irish and am terrified of leprechauns. Well. Not just leprechauns. Anything under 4 feet, really. Children. Snow White’s friends. I drank over anything and everything and nothing at all. And now you are asking me to NOT drink over things that actually are significant, difficult, and scary?


Okay. Not even if we’re really tired and feel like we’re going crazy?


Fine. What if someone dies?


What if I get in a car accident?


Fair enough. What if my relationship falls apart?


What if there is another Hurricane Sandy and I’m stuck at home for an entire week without internet or television or anything to do and I start to die of boredom?




So here’s the thing: I may feel awful today and I may want to crawl into a hole and fall asleep and never come out, but it is this very feeling that should be my motivation to stay sober. Drinking for so long made me feel like THIS. It was alcoholism that brought me to a point physically where normal human existence is HARD. And that’s really fucked up. So I’m going to stand in solidarity with my body and mind. These symptoms are SOS signals. This is me trying to tell me that me is broken and me needs to heal. So like always, I’m not going to ignore this. I’m going to sit in it. I’m going to feel it. I’m going to hate it. And I’m going to embrace it as further evidence that sobriety is the only way out and that today is not the right day to drink.



  1. I wrote a post on the Women for Sobriety website related to this. “I did not quit drinking to feel this bad” I called it (or something like that). I had headaches, nausea, never got a full nights sleep, I was irritable…it went on and on…and then it passed. Do you take anything for sleep? Valerian? Melatonin? I find that not sleeping will make even the most sane, sober person insane (or like my husband when he goes 2 days without a bowel movement–he acts like that is hell–he has no idea). I obsess over alcohol; he obsesses over his bowels. We are not even that old. What a pair 🙂

    Thanks for writing and me making me feel normal through this storm.


  2. Could this be PAWS? I felt shit for ages, around weeks 3-6 and then it got better. I (eventually) cut down the sugar too, which wash;t helping.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    1. Has to be PAWS, right? And it’s funny you mention the sugar thing. I notice that if I eat carbs/sugars, I am much more heavy feeling and generally tired/frustrated than when I eat clean and lite.

      1. Adkin treats are amazing. They have a Reese cup version, a Carmel nut type…it is like a candy bar without the sugar rush.

        Add the valerian and melatonin and you will be new and improved 😉

  3. Most definitely PAWS. I came across this article when I was at around the same point in recovery as you are (generally feeling like crap emotionally and physically exhausted – hello naps). http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/post-acute-withdrawal.htm. I didn’t even know that this existed. Explained a lot. As for the sleeping thing – I found this app called Simply Being – guided meditation (I listen to the ocean waves sound) Start it up when I just get into bed and it helps relax me, and get out of my head. You can set the guided meditation for 5-25 minutes….and you can then set the sound to continue for up to an hour after the meditation. It is most excellent. If someone had suggested meditation to me when I was still drinking – you would have heard my eyes roll the next state over. Now I use it even for 10 minutes in the middle of the day when I just need to ground myself. Also, if I’m feeling really “itchy, twitchy, and bitchy” and get up, go outside and walk, breathe, and just move. Even if it’s just around the block.

    “This too shall pass”

    Keep it up! K

  4. Sure sounds like PAWS. You will feel f’in awesome again! I promise. And you’ll likely feel like crap again too. yay!!!! : ) it’s ok though. Hang in there! P.S. I love your blog.

  5. Yup, it is normal. It gets better, then you think you are over the hump, then it gets worse. Then, as I can attest to, as you are approaching a milestone, you get the fuck it’s, this shit is boring, so why the fuck am I doing this to myself.
    My AA buddies tell me to give it a year, and it all seems to settle itself, mind, body and soul.
    OTC sleep aids were a god send in the beginning. You HAVE to sleep, being overtired makes everything seem so much worse than it is.
    Give Batdog the chihuahua a hug!

    1. Simply Sleep, Sominex, meltonin. Tried them all over the past week and they all made me feel very sick the next day. Decided to start using hot baths, guided meditation, and teas. And if I happen to be tired in the morning, so be it. I really was feel awful taking anything.

  6. I got a DWI about a year and a half ago, and as part of my sentencing, I had to attend an 8 week course on driving while intoxicated (or driving while on any type of mind altering substance). These things were mostly common sense, but some things hit so close to home, anyway.. one of the things that stuck with me, is that research has shown that it takes an alcoholic just about a year of sobriety to “reset back to normal”. The more we drink, the more our body stops producing the regular chemicals for happiness/sadness. They’re all out of whack, and that has a major impact on our sleep cycles, and like previous peeps have said, if your sleep is all messed up, then nothing seems right in the waking hours. We can get through this together.

  7. I had PAWS for the first year… Nothing major or life-inhibiting so don’t be alarmed. But just weird symptoms that would come and go… Headaches, sleep issues, itchiness, weird ass dreams and night terrors (around 9 months), strange cravings. You’re right, time takes time. And I’d tell myself a lot – anything beats the hell I was living in. Good luck 🙂 Xox

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