Those first early days of recovery can sometimes feel like you aren’t making much progress. In fact, you may find that instead of floating on a pink cloud, you feel like you are trying to see through one. Brain fog is a common withdrawal symptom that can interfere with your ability to think clearly. You may worry that you will never feel normal again, and it is very common for people in early recovery to wonder if they’ve done irreversible damage to their brain. Fuzzy thinking is annoying, but it does get better. Understanding when alcohol withdrawal brain fog goes away gives you hope that helps you to maintain momentum during your recovery.
You can rest assured that brain fog goes away just like your other withdrawal symptoms. While the time line is different for everyone, you should start to notice differences in your mental acuity as you make your way through the detox process. Most people find that they are thinking much better within the first week, and their ability to make decisions and remember information only continues to improve as they make progress in their recovery. Your experience should be similar, and you can always ask the staff at the treatment center if your challenges with thinking are normal.
What Does Brain Fog Feel Like?
Most people who have dealt with alcohol addiction have some idea of what brain fog feels like because it is very similar to how you might feel after a round of heavy drinking. Even a mild binge can lead to hangovers that create foggy thinking. During brain fog, you may experience any or all of the following symptoms.
- difficulty concentrating
- trouble remembering names
- racing thoughts
- mental fatigue
- lack of focus
- fear that you’ll always feel this way
After the first few days of recovery, you will start to notice that the brain fog seems to lessen. You may have breakthrough moments when you can suddenly think clearly, but then these are followed by moments of fuzzy thinking. This is all very normal, but the fluctuations in your thought process are a sure sign that you are getting better.
What Contributes to Fuzzy Thinking?
There are several reasons why brain fog happens. It is important to remember that your body is going through a lot when you first stop drinking alcohol. The brain is so good at adjusting to changes regarding what you put into your body that it figures out how to function during times when you are drinking heavily. Once you take away the chemical reactions that alcohol causes, your brain has to refigure out how to work normally again. Brain fog during the initial stages of withdrawal is often just your brain trying to figure out how it used to function before it was flooded with alcohol on a regular basis.
Your habits before you came to the treatment center can also contribute to brain fog. Many people with an alcohol addiction are malnourished, and it is possible that your body does not have the nutrients it needs for proper brain functioning. This is okay. A large part of your treatment plan involves helping your body to physically heal through strategies such as eating a nutritious diet that is carefully designed to give your body the nutrients that people with alcohol addiction tend to lack. Your brain fog may also be another side effect of the symptoms that accompany withdrawal. For instance, insomnia might make it hard to think well during the day.
What Happens After the Fog Clears?
Eventually, your brain will get the message. Your body will heal, and you will be able to think freely again. Once the fog clears, you should see your situation in a new light, and this is the moment when you will discover just how good it feels to be sober. While you will have been working through the issues that affect your addiction during the brain fog, you will get a renewed chance to focus even more on getting better.
With the fuzzy thinking out of the way, you can get more out of your therapy sessions. You can begin to find ways to cope with any coexisting mental health conditions, and you can also begin to create a plan for long-term sobriety. This is also a great time to take advantage of the various programs offered at your treatment center. Go on and try out that meditation training or learn a few yoga poses. You’ll begin to develop new hobbies that further enhance your brain functioning and help to increase your happiness. Are you ready to start feeling like you used to before alcohol took over your brain? We can help you make brain fog go away! Give us a call at 844-639-8371.