The past three days I have been suffering these symptoms:
- inability to concentrate
- heart palpitations
- apathy, or is it mild depression?
At first I put it down to the usual post-holiday blues but then I remembered – I had been drinking 3-4 drinks a day while I was in Penang last week. That is way higher than my usual consumption of 6-7 drinks a week, though that is usually consumed in the one night when I go out, which is not good either. So my current symptoms can only mean one thing – I’m suffering from alcohol withdrawal.
It turns out that you do not have to drink heavily to suffer from the symptoms. All it takes is for a sudden stop of drinking, or a sudden reduction in intake for the symptoms to appear. Supposedly the body would crave for more alcohol during withdrawal but I’m not feeling it and I’m thankful for that.
Though there are treatment programs for the severely dependent, there is no cure for those suffering from milder symptoms like I am. I just have to wait for it to pass.
The other thing that I have learnt is that drinking coffee whilst going through alcohol withdrawal is a big mistake. Coffee delivers caffeine in a big jolt which amplifies my symptoms. Tea is better because it releases its caffeine gradually but no caffeine would be the best, and I have reduced my intake.
However, the consumption of caffeine had become part of my daily routine, and that has its own withdrawal symptoms. Some of them are similar to the ones from alcohol withdrawal too, and I think I’m suffering from an overlap of those symptoms.
In conclusion, the next time that you think you are suffering from a post-holiday depression, you could just be experiencing withdrawal from alcohol. Especially if you drink like I do. And I must say that the feeling now is worse than the withdrawal from a certain other recreational drug. 😉