How I tapered off

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi all, I posted here a week or so ago about starting to taper off alcohol and I thought I'd come back and share my experience in the hope some people may find it useful .

First off, let me say that the only advice I am qualified to give is this: see a doctor first. If you want to quit, whether its cold turkery, tapering, medical detox, whatever, I would highly advise you go see a doctor first. As you all know, alcohol withdrawal can be fatal in extreme cases. 

How much was I drinking before the taper? 

I want to tell you this because I was probably drinking comparitively less than a lot of you, and more than some... I am well aware that people are in much deeper than I was/am, but everyones different and everything is relative.  

I had been drinking every night for nearly 4 years. Usually it was 4 or 5 pints of strong lager, but other times it was considerably more - especially at weekends (where I'd drink the best part of 8-12 pints). 

In the few months before I started the taper, I had brought it down to 4-5 pints per night consistently. Not a huge amount at all, but I still felt like I needed it. 

Here is how I tapered off: 

I used the old 44, 33, 22, 11, .5.5 model. There are many other ways to do it, it depends on how much you're drinking and how willing you are to accept some withdrawal symptoms (disclaimer: again, not a doctor). 

The first few days were tough. I had quite bad shakes, irritability and terrible sleep. I felt horrible during the day, and that was just from reducing down by one pint. I should say that I can be a hypochondriac and my mental state probably exacerbated these symptoms. 

I was seeing alcohol as medication that I HAD to take. No more, no less than what I had planned to drink. I wrote the amounts I would drink in my calender and drew a line through each night after I had finished the 'medicine'. This was very important for me, as it reinforced in my mind that I HAD to do this, and there was no turning back. 

Each day that passed, the withdrawal symptoms got easier and easier to deal with. By the time I reached my 1 pint per night stage, I didn't even want to bother drinking it. It wasn't giving me a buzz, and it certainly wasn't going to help me sleep any better. But I had to stick with the plan. Again, it was medicine now, and taking less than the required amount was just as bad as drinking more. 

Last sunday I had my last drink. It was half a pint of lager, and before I even realised it, I had drunk it and that was that. I haven't had any withdrawal since, besides not sleeping very well - but that will get better with time I am told. 

I still crave a beer every now and then, but I've made a commitment to myself. Being a kind of 'all or nothing' person, I generally find it easy to stay off of things once I've quit for good. Maybe I'm speaking too soon, but only time will tell. 

I hope some of you find this encouraging, helpful or at least use my boring writing as a sleep-aid.

Some of you guys have given me great advice in the past so I wanted to share my experience, and to thank you all. You played a part in getting me off the awful stuff. 


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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm glad you have succeeded PinkFloyd and well done.

    However, I must say, for other people, that this was an extremely dangerous thing to do. Those shakes can turn to serious withxdrawal symptoms that can kill so I would never recommend that anybody tries to get off alcohol without medical help.

    Don't let my advice take away from your success though, Pink Floyd smile Great band by the way smile

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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul smile

      I'm aware of the dangers of withdrawal, hence why the only advice I gave was to see a doctor. I monitored my symptoms very carefully over the course of the taper (and after) to be as safe as possible.

      It all depends on how much and for how long you've been drinking I guess. Some people can quit without much withdrawal at all. But again, like we've said, the only way to know for sure is to see a doctor smile 

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  • Posted

    Well done mr pinkfloyd(I love pinkfloyd). Wow, amazing and praise to you. I can't sleep tonight. Tried and it did not happen. I do think that normally you would have received more of a response for your achievement. And what an achievement. So pleased for you. I'm hoping this forum will return to how it was when I first joined a year ago. If it does 🙏 then you will get others others responding. A lot of people had a disagreement this week and the forum taken a bashing. 

    On a more positive note, well wow, fantastic and I'm so very happy for you. Hope others agree x

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    • Posted

      Thanks a lot. I hope you're doing okay too, wherever you're at smile 

      I hadn't heard of the 'disagreement' but thats a shame. Hopefully things will return to normal soo smile 

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  • Posted

    Glad you made it thru and I hope your plan can help someone else...thankfully, i don't need it right now.

    ​I also tried the taper two time I managed it....but I really didn't have a strict schedule...just to cut down ...the 2nd time it didn't work.

    ​Bless you.

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  • Posted

    Great job!! I did like you and stopped completely since I SO WANTED TO. Like you, I monitored my body and reactions carefully and realised that it was working really well. I also agree with Paul that it is best to seek medical advice and ALWAYS confirm so on this forum! Most people cannot and should not do what I did and what you are doing on their own. My mind set was SO postivive and I immediately saw how my mind changed to positive and remembering what I did and feeling free and NOT GUILTY...where is that next drink?? where did I hide the vodka last time?? Will my children see me in an odd situation again and NO MORE....yes, there is a lot of advantages and I wish you best of luck! Robin
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  • Posted

    Hello Pinkfloyd,

    I am delighted to know of your success.  You are wise to warn of the pitfalls in your method... but it has worked for you !

    I hope that you can continue your journey happily ever after !!


    Alonangel 🎇

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