Authors note: This is jumping back to the time between when she wakes up and the three weeks later. EXAM CHAPTER 2

These withdraws are horrible. I can not do anything. They have been a combination of physical and emotional symptoms, from mild anxiety and fatigue to nausea. I have been so shaky and sweat a lot. The doctor diagnosed me with Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome. It is the name for the symptoms that occur when a heavy drinker suddenly stops or significantly reduces their alcohol intake. He told me excessive drinking excites the nervous system. If you drink daily, over time your body becomes dependent on alcohol. When this happens, your central nervous system can no longer adapt easily to the lack of alcohol. If you suddenly stop drinking, or significantly reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, it can cause a number of symptoms. I have only experienced a few bad ones. Usually, i get the small symptoms all the time. Everyday is something different.

Each night, I never can sleep. The hospital has to give me sleep aids. If I do fall asleep on my own, I always end up jolting out of my sleep from a nightmare. I can never escape it. It all just haunts me. I am constantly depressed. I will just lay in my bed and not talk to anyone. I just let my thoughts eat me alive. I never see my friends anymore. If they do come up to visit me. I just lay there and not talk to them. I don't try to be anti-social, but it just happens. I get extremely bad headaches all the time. I get mood swings constantly. It's like I am bipolar. One minute i will be perfectly relaxed and the next I am like the incredible hulk and want to break everything in sight because i am so mad. I have to be on an IV to get fluids in me. I never even have an appetite, so i just don't eat. My body is so weak, I can't even walk on my own.

About a week or so later, I wake up feel so much better. No upset stomach, no shaking, no sweating, no mood swings. I have realized that the day would come, now I know this is the time. Drinking is history and my history was to live for drink. Now as I sit and speak these words I feel with clarity that the moment has come upon me, that the habitual drinking way of life has now passed. No more. No more ritual and control, only freedom. The power of being sober is almost overwhelming and calming, a new me.