I am a member of a lot of forums and am still surprised by people’s expectation of how sobriety feels. For years I poured liquid poison into my system, and am lucky that at no point did I expect instant recovery – I was worse I had no idea of the physical damage I had done.
At one point I went through a phase of waking up with incredible kidney pain, upset stomachs and constant headaches. When I say a phase it was probably years on and off and when I stopped drinking I didn’t even consider the physical damage I had done.
In recovery I have experienced migraines, stomach bacteria, digestive issues as well as bleeding gums and have lost 2 teeth. All of these, I am sure, were caused by my alcoholism. None of these also happened in the first month.
I got frustrated so started search the internet, as you do, and came across an abundance of information. The one common message was that it can take up to two years for all the toxins to leave your system. If that is true why would I expect to be instantly fixed afer 4 four weeks off the booze.
We all know about the emotional damage that we suffer and it is true that we have to focus on our mental health but we also need to go easy on our physical issues. Stomach problems seem to be something I hear a lot. I got the Helicobacter bacteria after about six months of sobriety and have also suffered other digestive issues, including constipation (sorry if that’s too much). Diet in sobriety can be tricky as my body naturally craved sugar, an alcohol replacement I suspect, so I would binge on anything with a bit of sugar. Especially biscuits.
I also survived on tea and coffee and totally forgot to drink a lot of water, then would remember and go through phases. Once I felt better I would forget I needed to drink lots of water and would then revert back to tea and coffee.
Eating is also a big issue for me, as well as craving sugar I would stress about my weight and starve myself. Once I felt thin and empty I would binge on take away and carbs.
Early sobriety comes with a lot of challenges and while the emotional ones are really important so are the physical. Some of us may be left with long-term damage but the body is an amazing thing and can heal. We just need to be patient and give it time, thirty plus years of drinking is not going to be fixed in three months.