Everyone who has taken opiates for a long period of time and have gone through opiate withdrawal know that the acute stage is difficult both psychically and mentally. You may feel like you have an intense case of the flu and you may experience mood swings. You are praying for it to stop and the lack of sleep just makes things worse. It's important to realize that these symptoms will not last forever. If you get through these hard times in the acute phase you will start to feel normal again.
P.A.W.S. is usually experienced by many people in recovery. Many professionals say that the symptoms can last for up to 2 years, but in my experience, I do not hear them lasting longer than 3 months. Most people have the same symptoms of post acute withdrawal syndrome which include anxiety, irritability, feeling weak, disturbed sleep, variable energy, and low motivation. These are all typical symptoms but it is important to know that they will not last forever.
In most cases, people can go weeks without feeling any sort of symptoms and then be caught off guard by a few days of intense symptoms. Some addicts may get discouraged and can not understand why they feel so terrible. They are unaware that the symptoms they are feeling are those of P.A.W.S. which leads many to relapse due to their lack of education on the topic.
It is extremely important to be patient with your situation. You should understand that this will not last forever and that the symptoms will be shorter in span each time you experience them. Do everything in your power to stay as healthy as possible during these hard times. Eating healthy is extremely important to help get the proper nutrients to your brain and body. Reach out to others in recovery and stay as positive and active as possible.
When times get tough, it is important to remember the big picture. We got clean so we could be healthy and live a drug free life. Do not lose focus over your goals and how far you have come due to the setbacks caused by P.A.W.S. They will not last forever and you will get through this. You are stronger than the symptoms you are facing. Do whatever it takes to stay motivated because life is better drug free. Stay focused and be patient and over time you will begin to feel like yourself again. Most importantly, do not lose hope. When your brain heals, you will heal and you will feel better than you have in a very long time.