Fatigue in early recovery

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Fatigue in early recovery

Post by DesignatedDriver »

Hi folks. First post so be gentle with me.

My name's Ross, I'm an alcoholic. I recently stopped drinking and am almost seven weeks sober. I've been attending my local meetings which I've found very supportive and helpful.

Since stopping drinking I've noticed frequent feelings of physical fatigue. I've spoken to my counsellor about this and she explained that the highs and lows of drinking are quite extreme and in the early stages of sobriety it can take a while to get used to feeling "normal" and this is often mistaken for fatigue or "feeling a bit down". Mentally I feel good, I'm in a pretty good place upstairs and I feel like I've stopped at a good time. I've got a very positive outlook about being sober and all of the possibilities and opportunities that sobriety brings. But I do feel tired a lot.

Is this something any of you can identify with?
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Re: Fatigue in early recovery

Post by Duke »

Actually, I had more of an issue with being able to go to sleep early on. However, my experience is that it is very common for people to experience changes like this. I wouldn't make too much of it unless it becomes a serous health issue. Things will settle down and you'll find your new normal.

Glad to have you with us.
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Re: Fatigue in early recovery

Post by Brock »

Welcome here Ross. The eating of sweet things is often recommended for helping overcome the negative effects of withdrawal, and while I expect at seven weeks the withdrawal might be on it's 'last legs,' it still may be possible your system is missing the energy supply of sugars in alcohol, it's a good excuse to perhaps try some sugary treats.

Well done with the meetings and the positive attitude, please keep in mind that those steps are vitally important, the literature is very clear that without the necessary work on these, we are without defense of resisting that first drink for very long. Or we may resist but lead an unhappy life doing so, best of luck.
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Re: Fatigue in early recovery

Post by avaneesh912 »

Since stopping drinking I've noticed frequent feelings of physical fatigue.

We alcoholic think a lot. We burn vital energy but we don't realize that. By working the steps we accept things and not waste energy by putting too much burden on our thinking apparatus. Working of the 11 step states that. But like others pointed out, it take some effort to get their.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Fatigue in early recovery

Post by desypete »

hi and welcome
i can id with you over those early feelings and the mood swings were huge in my early days

i would either be happy happy happy and everything in life was great or i would be really low and not want to do anything, just sit alone in my own pain and misery
this is where the discipline of getting my backside off my chair and into an aa meeting came into play

one thing i learned very early on was that when i went to an aa meeting i might be feeling crap but after the meeting my mood would change, i would always be going back home in a much more better frame of mind than i was, and it certainly beat sitting there isolating in my room feeling so sad and low

but i had to work for it and push when my head would say sod it

the aa words of keep coming back rang in my ears so i followed there simple advice and found it really does work, so in my early days it worked wonders for me and it still does today although i dont go to the meetings because i feel low anymore as i dont really have low days anymore, i dont go because i am full of fear of picking up a drink again, as that to has long gone
i go to meetings today to be there for others if they might need help at all and if i can help i will. also it keeps my feet firmly placed on the ground so i dont run away with the idea i am cured or that i am something specail
i am just a drunk who is sober today and my life is ok and that is how i like it just to be ok is fine with me

thanks for your share and keep on coming back
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Re: Fatigue in early recovery

Post by bbqking »

Many experience fatigue early on, I did.

I did quite a bit of reading on the subject and this is what I found:

Sleep can be greatly affected including the amount and quality for weeks, months, and some a year or more after quitting. Circadian rhythmes and normal hormone function is disrupted - even though you could "sleep" for 8 hours you may not be going through all the sleep stages normally and sufficiently, suffering from apneas, waking up not realizing it, etc.... also caffeine and nicotine can negatively affect sleep
There were times where I slept for many hours but woke up feeling like I hadn't slept at all. Melatonin and various other OTC supplements may help.

Nutrition - many alcoholics suffer from malnutrition due to lack of eating, poor eating habits, and malabsorption due to the pressence of alcohol in the GI tract interfering with absorption, and damage to the GI tract itself. These deficiencies can take a while to correct even with healthy eating habits - and deficiencies can affect hormone levels etc... see above
Large variety of fruits and vegetables are key along with essential fatty acids.

Exercise - let's be real, most of us probably weren't exercising regularly or at all while drinking leaving us in poor cardiovascular condition, so getting back into regular exercise will help decrease fatigue over time, gotta get that heart pumping and blood flowing. May also help us sleep better too.

Improving all those areas can improve our mental outlook as well.
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Re: Fatigue in early recovery

Post by Cristy99 »

Thanks for the info!! Good stuff and it makes perfect sense!!

I have heard of this. It does exist. I just wanted to validate that for you. I don't know anything about it, but I encourage you to keep searching until you find the answers you are looking for!! I have also heard it is temporary, thank goodness!!! Keep your chin up!! Welcome!!! And great job on the post!!
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