PAWS (a.k.a why rainbows aren’t shooting out of my ass?)

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I am so proud of my continued sobriety (35 days- Woot, woot!). I know I am doing difficult stuff right now and my brain and body are healing but I have found myself wondering several times per day, WHY DON’T I FEEL BETTER? Seriously? What the hell. Shouldn’t I be doing cartwheels and smiling like a lobotomized, 50’s housewife? Instead, sleep is still mostly allusive. I still get headaches at night. I am two seconds away from “irritable bitch mom from hell” at any given moment of the day. Plus, I am still a LUMP on the couch (just with fizzy water instead of Merlot on the table next to me). I just LACK energy. My current spirit animal is a rotund house cat.


I was listening to the latest The Bubble Hour episode on Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms and have discovered why I might not be feeling super great, yet. Sigh.

The Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal

The most common post-acute withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Mood swings (yep)
  • Anxiety (definitely)
  • Irritability (oh, yeah)
  • Tiredness (always)
  • Variable energy (mostly low energy)
  • Low enthusiasm (eh…)
  • Variable concentration (What?)
  • Disturbed sleep (right now, in fact)

So according to the ladies on The Bubble Hour, PAWS is something that many folks in recovery deal with for 6-24 (WTF?!) months after quitting drinking. Yay. They promise it does get better… Any experience out there with anything like this?


Recovery Information Resource

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really good recovery site

This site includes several tests, checklists, PAWS information and much more. Check it out.