Quit Drinking Anxiety, Sad, Stress, Headache, Irritable, Tired

This is Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery
and I got an email during the week of somebody who wants to remain anonymous, but they gave
me a mission to read the email out and I said I’d do an answer on it with a video so, I’ll
just name the video “Quitting drinking with anxiety, sadness, stress, headache, foggy
mind, fatigue and irritability.” So, he starts out: “I’ll have you know that I’ve stopped drinking
for almost two weeks now. Unfortunately, I fell back again last night for reasons I’ll
share with you in a moment, but I want you to know that at the same time, I will be continuing
my commitment to picking myself up and staying the course. “My one major concern and fear is one only.
As I quit, I started off fine; woke up fine, felt fine, then came this week – I felt a
lot of anxiety, sadness, stress, headache, foggy mind, fatigue and irritability. It makes
me feel like there might be something wrong with me in my life, while in reality, everything
is going fine for me. “My question is, is this part of the withdrawal
process? If so, how long does it last? I became so afraid, I’d quit before in the past. The
most 5 months, but I don’t remember going through this. The only thing I went through
was a headache that lasted a while until I started back up again. “Kevin, I really want this out of my life.
I want to know that as I stop, that these feelings will eventually subside and that
I will feel at ease like I once did before I ever started drinking. Did you go through
all of that? And how long did it last? What did you do to keep going? And how did you
feel at ease?” So he sent me an update and he said: “Currently, I’ve been sticking to my commitment
to quitting alcohol with the exception of that one day that I fell off the wagon. I’ve
been drinks-free for 23 days. I’m taking this very seriously. Although I am happier without
having to be brain-drenched in booze or feeling the terrible effects of it the next day, my
anxiety has been coming and going. I also get hyper palpitations from time to time,
but it’s usually from drinking coffee. However this is something that I think has a lot to
do with me quitting the liquor – I really hope I am wrong. “Will these feelings ever go away? I get
nervous about thinking about these things from time to time. I wanna be normal forever.
I’m willing to quit forever in order to get that normal state of living. Will it happen?” So, I did the answer to this question when
I was out walking earlier on, so here it is now: To be honest with you, everyone’s going to
be different. Everyone’s symptoms are gonna be different. Your symptoms are just exactly
that – they’re your symptoms. The length of time that you take to go through the symptoms,
the intensity of the symptoms, the amount of different symptoms that you get, the specific
symptoms that you get, are all gonna be different for you than they are with anyone else. No
two people are gonna be unique in this way. I think the thing that generally sticks out
for everyone, the thing that seems to be the same for everyone is that everyone expects
when they quit drinking that eventually they’re gonna have this Nirvana moment. And it just
doesn’t work like that. I think for most people, we’re just gonna have these see-saw motions
up and down. You know a see-saw is – I don’t know what they call it in America. It’s like
a roller-coaster sort of thing, you know the kids’ playground thing where it’s up and down
– dips and drops. The ups and downs, it’s really what it’s all about. It’s really what
we all experience. It’s just like that. One morning you wake up and you just feel like
you’re on top of the world. Like everything’s going your way, you have no symptoms, you
don’t feel like you’ve got any symptoms. The next morning you get up and it’s completely
the opposite. You’re full of anxiety, you’re full of stress, you’re full of self-doubt,
wondering whether or not you can actually achieve this thing. The great news is that eventually, all your
withdrawal symptoms will fade. They’ll just eventually disappear and you won’t feel them
anymore. How long that’s gonna take for you, I don’t know. It all depends on the person,
the individual person. And by fade, I don’t mean that in the sense of turning down your
TV and everything gradually and gradually gets less and less. I think what happens at
the beginning is that your symptoms are – those ups and downs – are very close together. They
happen very close together, it’s like you get high and low, high-low, high-low. And
then as you go on those dips and drops they get further, and further, and further apart.
It’s like what I was saying the other day about the having memories – now they happen
seldom that they surprise me when they do happen. It surprises me when I get a big craving
like that. That’s just the way it works and you have to accept that. I’ll give you an instance from my own personal
experience. One of my biggest symptoms was I couldn’t sleep at the beginning. No matter
what I did I just couldn’t sleep. I mean by sleeping, I mean drifting off and getting
a good night’s sleep and actually going to sleep for a few hours. I’d fitfully sleep,
I might drop off for minutes but I never felt like I was fully asleep if you know what I
mean. And then I’m not sure how long into the quit – probably day 5 or 6 or 7 or something
like that – I got a really good night’s sleep and I felt like I turned a corner. I
felt like that from now I was gonna be able to have a great sleep. In actual fact, the
next day it went right back to normal again. I just couldn’t sleep again. So, it carried
on like that for maybe 30 days, or just over 30 days. And then eventually I was sleeping
more than I was not sleeping. I was still having the odd fitless, restless nights, but
they were fewer and far in between. Do I still get restless nights? Of course
I do. Everyone does, and I just don’t attribute them to quitting alcohol anymore. There’s
a lot of other things, there’s restlessness, there’s being overtired, there’s eating too
much food, not having enough food…how many different reasons is there you know, but at
the beginning you know what’s happening, because you’re quitting. I’d really love to say, to tell you now that
my life is just a big bunch of roses, That there’s no problems and no issues, but it’s
a crock. Everyone has problems. I don’t know anyone that has got their life that sorted
out that there’s no issues. I mean, a lot of the time a lot of the issues are hormonal.
It’s all this stuff that’s just outside your control that you just can’t do anything about
that’s gonna cause problems. And people give me headaches sometimes, it just depends on
the person. Everyone knows somebody that is capable of stirring up a big bad headache
in them just by listening to them. It’s just life. The thing about it is that my life is much,
much more in my own control now. I don’t feel like my life is being swished around like
beer in a beer bottle. Your body and your mind just want to be stable – they crave that
stability, so your mind is going to do everything it can to try and bring that stability about.
Really, you’ve just started to get control back of the mothership. You’re getting your
body back. You’re getting your mind back. You just have to ride it out, and let things
happens. Let things happen that are gonna happen and that are out of your control.
A week will go by and you’ll be stronger in a week. A month will go by and you’ll be even
stronger. Six months, the same thing, you’ll just keep getting stronger, and stronger,
and stronger. And the whole point is that you will build strength upon strength upon
strength and that’s where your ultimate momentum is gonna come from – is the strength and
the courage that you build in those first few days and first few weeks of quitting alcohol. So I really hope that gave you some push forward
and I hope it gives you some encouragement that things will work out for you. So really
just keep it up and keep watching the videos. If you have any more questions just shoot
me an email, and I’ll either try to answer it or send you to one of the videos we’ve
done already or I’ll answer it on a video. So, whatever. Until next time! My name’s Kevin OHara for
Alcohol Mastery. Onwards and upwards!

About the author


  1. anxiety might come cos the old you doesn't want to die (thats the ego monkey mind boozer talking) but anxiety gets worse if you worry about it and wake up looking for it because that feeds the 'fear'. worrying about anxiety=anxiety=symptoms=anxiety= symptoms etc. fill your day with activities that are creative or engage you (to break/drive out the 'worrying cycle', clean food, little treats here and there (for me chocolate), some relaxation exercises, avoid coffee n stimulants like energy drinks

  2. most importantly, don't allow yourself to be blackmailed by anxiety and its symptoms, it is false fear missfiring at a time when it is not needed, the anxiety mind will not understand this until you break the cycle of worrying about the anxiety and get on with fulfilling activites that engage you. anxiety is unpleasant but not dangerous! it is a bluff of the mind, and by the way i went through a stage of CHRONIC anxiet where i couldn't leave my home, breaking the cycle is easy if you know how

  3. I have the same thing now I have stopped drinking . Thanks for the vid its given me a bit more hope to carry on as I am, without going to the doctors to try meds

  4. Ive been off the boose for about a month now and yes I get the headaches esp if Ive been out at a place where theres drinking going on i didnt know this could be a sign of with draw symptons I just thought I was a migraine sufferer

  5. i thought you were going to dodge the question with your vague and "everybody is different" answer. I was looking for not a definitive answer or time-frame but in essence the HOPE and the assurance that at some point the "Anxiety, Sadness, Stress, Headache, Foggy Mind, Fatigue, and Irritability" will possibly fade. You restless night description and experience were EXACTLY the answer I was seeking. Same with the anxiety, sadness and etc. So there is HOPE and your video eventually gives that………. thank you. Just need to know the "mother ship" was out there to get on! a week, a month, stronger and stronger. Confidence and encouragement.

  6. i am in alcohol PRISON , i have a family and almost 2 year old son and i managed to hide my addiction so far but with every day i am slipping deeper and deeper and all i want to do is have another drink, stuff myself with food and then throw up because i don't wanna get fat. i probably have bulimia and definitely alcohol addiction but i can't change anything…it's affecting everything, finances, sex life, social skills, i have big time hangover right now and i'll probably drink tonight again while my wife is sleeping and i can't do a damn thing about it

  7. i drank all weekend starting friday night and drank wine and beer all day saturday and sunday. its gonne take me all day monday and tuesday to start feeling normal. im going to have alot of anxiety and aggitation. it usually takes a whole week to feel normal after a binge like this

  8. Adding a B complex vitamin to my daily regimen and using melatonin as a sleep aid has helped me tremendously. Another youtube viewer recommended this to me for the anxiety and sleeplessness. I still can't believe how much this has helped!

  9. I have a question Kevin, do you think that lack of ambision and imagination is a thing that happens over time with alchohol abuse? I'm in my early menhood years and , I began drinking when I was 15 years old. I started with beer and till now , even thought I've tried drinking hard alcohol, I still prefer beer.I'm now fully awere that I'm addicted, amnd my efforts to stop so far have been in vain.One week ago, I was couting towards my second week off, and then i slipped again. Sorry for going offtrack.

  10. Do you also have video about how to convince someone to stop drinking because my dad has a drinking problem i think on average 10 beers a day but no matter what i say he doesn't believe he has a problem good video btw : )

  11. At the age of 15 I started drinking and smoking weed. I do have the predisposition for alcoholism. While i've drank in times of stress, my body has never become physcially dependent. At this point i'm sure it's psychological. My drug of choice has typically been marijuana. At first recreationally and then finding that without it, i have trouble eating or sleeping. I'm not sure if this is the cannabis treating my depression/anxiety, or if my body is chemically dependent to keep a balance. I don't feel the need neccesarily when i'm working or otherwise preoccupied.
    But i always have a pressure in my head, mostly in my temples. Whenever i drink or smoke, it goes away. Watching my father and our long line of drunken irishmen, i decided not to use the drink as my crutch.

    Basically I feel like your channel is a good tool not just for alcoholics but for addicts in general. Very inspirational

  12. Quit drinking: anxiety, sadness, stress, headache, irritable, tired. Back to the bottle: anxiety, sadness, stress, headache, irritable, tired . . .

  13. Kevin, there's that old saying 'Laughter is the best medicine' and in the case of alcohol withdrawal anxiety, depression etc. it can be a big help. Dig out your favorite comedians on YouTube and binge on them, most of them will be there. Your mood will be automatically uplifted, and following an Irish theme, I can certainly recommend a healthy dose of Frank Carson!

  14. Please please do a video solely on dealing with peer pressure and the comments people say and the way in which they try to manipulate you and brainwash you to fall and drink again. I live in Vegas. Alcohol runs this place. Help!

  15. Almost into 2 full months of no drinking and with some recent feeings of doubt and wanting to give in, it's so nice to com back to your inspirational videos. You are truly my hero ❤️

  16. Thanks for your videos, I've been watching them for the last few hours, because I seriously want to quit drinking today! I'm 31 and have been dependant now for 10 years, I've had 1 failed rehab attempt about a year ago, I used to drink at least 2 3ltr 7.5% white ciders with squash every day, but I'm trying not to drink that at all now, so I've switched to lager/weaker cider/alco pops etc, i have Been trying to cut right down for a long time but I have epilepsy and if I don't drink enough I get light headed, dizzy and have seizures, I also suffer from severe depression & anxiety and drink to get the courage and confidence to go out or see/speak to anyone, started taking anti depressants 3 days ago, I hate that I always have to have a drink with me whenever I go out, I panic if I don't, my amazing girlfriend of nearly 8 years understands that I need it and have a problem, but we have booked a 10 day trip around Iceland next week, but i have to get their alone a day before her (separate late booking) and alcohol is so ridiculously expensive over there I would have to drink very very little and stock up in duty free, I've only had 1 70cl alco pop all day now but after watching these videos starting now I'm going to try and go cold turkey and hope that I can stay sober and be alcohol free by next week and start my new better life off with the trip of a lifetime that I'll actually remember 🙂 thanks for all the advice.

  17. This is hard.. But I want to quit so bad.. But I'm dying for a drink… Having so much trouble trying to sleep.. It's been almost 2 months and I just want to fill a pool up with alcohol and drive in…

  18. When I first quit drinking I even dreamed of drinking. I struggled for a time and still do at times, but I have not had a drink for 32 years and don't miss it.

  19. Kevin: you are a very cool and inspirational guy. You and Michael Highstead. I think there is a start. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences in this way. That is so cool.. You are splendid and admirable in every way. Cool, man. No doubt, problems will be forever…I doubt I could ever be as strong as you, but I will try. Good man., Kevin O'Hara.

  20. The returning 'waves' of withdrawal symptoms are currently known as Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrom (google this!!). This can last up to 1 – 3 years to fade completely. This for many people can make it harder but definitely not impossible to quit in the long term, persistance is key! I'm in 3,5 months now and just out of a 1 month long wave of PAWS and finally feel fantastic again and it is as just it has never been there while i was feeling awfull with extreme cravings and anxiety, sleeping problems etc. Also it just feels finally like i have taken the right decision (this is a big deal!). BUT I know this is going to return and i will get a new wave, but they do fade and after that you will feel even better! Things WILL get better!

  21. Thank you. I’m on day 4 sober I can definitely feel a change mentally and physically. I sense my mind clearing up and it feels good.

  22. This is a really awesome book and it shows very easily the information and the amount of pictures it has, make it so fast and easy to read.>>>https://t.co/lZ2kVF5LID

  23. I had sadness and depressed mood only for a week. To sleep well and for anxiety I used powdered kava, it helped so much! In fact, I haven't slept so well for a while; however, my profound symptom was fatigue and feeling tired. I couldn't understand why I felt like this if I slept well. There is also supplement you can take to support your brain function and fight depression, it calls 5 HTP. Taking gaba before you go to sleep along with kava can make a huge difference. Still, not drinking is better. My overall health improved and as a result I performe better and feel better. Hope this helps. Good luck everyone!

  24. Your videos actually help very much despite I'm no alcoholic but opioid addict. Same same but different

  25. I recall Kevin talking about using affirmations and I can confirm that they have helped enormously in the past with other issues and I'm certain they will support me now. For anyone who hasn't tried affirmations, they work by teaching your subconscious to believe each affirmation. Your subconscious does not judge, so repeating an affirmation out loud at least 10 times every day will gradually become a NEW BELIEF about yourself.
    In addition to Kevin's 'I persist' and 'I am determined', may I suggest a phrasing that worked amazingly for me after an emotional trauma long ago.
    1: 'Every day and in every way, I get stronger and stronger'
    2: 'Every day and in every way, I get more and more positive'
    3: 'Every day and in every way, I trust myself more and more'
    4: 'I am now in the process of making positive changes'
    You can create your own too.. just as long as there are no negative words or phrases used and you keep them short.

  26. I'm 51 and I will lose all my friends if I quit drinking I'm not sure which one is worse either way I am most likely a dead man with in a year or two.

  27. I’ve been three months sober. I’ve recently relapsed and my god it sucks! When I was sober the pains would come and go but when I relapsed the pain was much much harder! Espically the headaches, brain foggyness, anxiety etc. Quitting is the only answer for I have found relapsing is far more worse. For anyone going into recovery and quitting you got this! Much love!

  28. Thanks for Sharing I been drinking since 21 I'm 30 now I don't drink every day but every 7 days but I drink for 2 days straight. I'm ready to stop for my health and my kid's

  29. Thirty days before good sleep? I’m jealous. It took me over six months. Just goes to show you it’s different for everyone.

  30. I stopped drinking it’ll be 5 years in December. I still feel anxiety am I’m currently in cbt. I’d advise anyone to try talking therapy 💚

  31. I'm trying to quit but at day 2 i get these symptoms. And as yet they are haven't had the strength to go more than 3 days. I'm not working and I'm not filling up my day well. I want to find work and fill nights with activity's so mind can't dwell on it. I'm just so lazy and unfocused. Best of times I'm undisciplined so I'm not sure. I'm going to see a psychologist through Medicare so I hope that goes well. I have seen one before but I see them as judgemental after a few sessions and stop going. I hope I can stick with it.

  32. In America we call it a teeter-totter… one kid sits on one side, one on the other, was that what you were trying to explain? I hate quitting symptoms, they get good or bad depending on the crap your life is throwing at you. I always have that "OH DEAR, I NEED MY SAFETY NET!!" insomnia was a biggie for me. Next was the stress of day to day life. I would get irritable. I wouldn't be able to handle the stressors thrown at me. I found out that, in general, humans back before "time pieces" wouldn't sleep fully though the night uninterrupted. I've found out a lot through my research about sleep and recovery. EVERYONE, now and then, will be sleepless. Headaches happen, over-stimulation in general in our society is almost a normal thing, and it will always be there, just trying to learn ways around things until you gain equilibrium is the best you can do until the withdrawal and brain reset happens 🙂 Like Keith says, "Strength upon strength upon strength." Keep up the good work, and than you for the great videos!

  33. I quit drinking 11 days ago i had a headache for the first 6 plus days extremely tired just felt like very un well I was drinking 16 beers a night the past few days my energy is slowly coming back I now go for walks outside I feel less bloated but sad and lonely is this normal also my testicles are definitely bigger is this normal also

  34. The further into recovery I've got the worse ive felt the less positive and optimistic and the less motivation I want to hide away in bed all day and do NOTHING but I can't… I'm 2months and 22 days sober from 2 months and 10 days I've felt sh×t terrible anxiety yeah it's eased off a little it's worse sometimes of the day than others I feel depressed and it feels like NOTHING will ever get better I just want to cry when I think of it the psycolpgixal pain I'm in its torture and the one thing that can temporarily give me a break from this I can't have I just want to feel normal I wish there was a time limit but there isn't I quit due to how it made me feel for the next few days after but I didn't anticipate feeling worse
    So sick of this shit feel as though my brain is rotting inside my own head

  35. I quit on nov 26th 2018. It’s been about 93 days. The first month was fine. But after about 30 days, weird feelings came about. Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, lack of motivation. Is this post acute? Does anyone know what I am taking about? Physically I feel fine. Lost a ton of weight. But mentally it’s been tough. All of my emotions are in high definition. It seems to come and go. Some
    Periods of feeling down last a little over 2 weeks.

  36. It’s been 1 week since I had my last drink. The withdrawals are getting to me and it’s really hard to fight the cravings. I am praying these withdrawals end soon. I want my health back and my life back, thank you for talking to me. I’m not alone and it’s a disease I’m going to beat. Thank you 🙏 I

  37. Been completely dry for 6 weeks today, don’t really miss the liquor and I feel like I could go to a bar sit with my friends and drink sparkling water.

  38. So they will make a truck… That's good. For some time now I've been figuring "If Tesla really wants to make money, they'll make a viable ( lovy.biz/44oi )1/2-ton LUV fleet-truck.". And they plan to make Class-8 semi-tractors & buses as well? Makes me look forward to the first luxury EV motor-home, built with fixed roof-top & retractable solar panels, all powering the EM-induction cook-top, water-heater & washer/clothes-dryer. Add a water collection system with reverse-osmosis treatment & UV-sterilizing, and you'll be set to survive anywhere, anytime!*

  39. Im on day 6, I get cravings but not too bad. I wake up feeling great but the cravings start around 3pm and I need to get the evening meal in me to get them to drop. I have been taking sleeping pills to get a reasonable nights sleep and they dont seem to have any adverse effect on me but I know when I do stop them I will have to go through that sleepless withdrawal but I want to get through the alcohol first and I'll sort the sleeping pills later.

  40. Alcoholism is so toxic in my Family four generation of my grandfather to my great grandfather to his father and his father they all Died from Alcoholism Totally fucked Up My Family Such Dysfunction so so sad 😭 Alcoholism Ruins Generations 😢

  41. I keep in my mind. Alcohol won't help, it's just poision.think about if I want to go back to feeling/looking $h1++y.

  42. Meetings, gym, running… good stuff, works for me. I felt like that for a couple of months. Drinking makes it worse.

  43. im 33 days sober and i can say first hand that i have the anxiety from quitting…honestly i havent even thought much about going back to drinking…i want to really push myself to live sober..but i feel the lack of alcohol in my body..i feel weak, tired, anxious…but it's more worth feeling like this than feeling like you're drinking your life away, waking up hungover everyday, waking up at 8am and hitting the packy standing in line at the door when they first open with all the other alcoholics..i dont wanna ever be in that spot ever again…so 33 down, 10,000 to go

  44. A lot of people drink because it relieves their anxiety, sadness and stress. If you don't deal with what is causing those feelings in the first place (and you can't when you're under the influence) you will continue to feel them. It's not necessarily a withdrawal, you're just feeling your emotions instead of numbing them with alcohol. Still, quitting the alcohol and recognizing those feelings is the first step in dealing with them.

  45. Day 18! Haven’t gone 30 days in 25 years. I am pushing hard. Wanna know what being “me” feels like natural.
    Ty for your videos sir

  46. im on day way. just started withdrawing yesterday. split a pint with my friend, took away the feeling like death feeling. but i have work today. i never drink before i go in but, ill start off day one today. tired of feeling like shit.

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