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  • Writer's pictureLou

Embrace the Withdrawal

Updated: Dec 24, 2019

By Day 5 of the sugar detox I was already experiencing; Dull headache, nausea, anxiety, sweatiness, dizziness, tingling and at night as I was dozing off to sleep, I was also experiencing shudders and hallucinations.

And on top of this, it was my first day back at work after the Christmas holidays. I was a bit nervous, for several reasons.

* This was my first day on the detox where I was required to leave my flat and venture out into the world of temptation, and an office that regularly stocks sweets

* I had woken up with a new symptom – bright red blotchy itchy skin

* My ex worked in the same building as me, and there was every chance I would bump into him and if that happened I wanted to look spectacular gracefully gliding through reception, not looking like a blotchy, sweaty, itchy tomato face, shuffling to the lift

* I intended to tell everyone at work and my nearest and dearest that I was on the sugar detox and that I plan to run the 2020 Brighton Marathon

So yeah, bricking it.

For so many years I had allowed myself to be a victim. Victim of my childhood, my relationships, my drinking. I sabotaged everything good thing in my life because I didn’t believe I deserved it and far to easily accepted every bad thing that happened to me, because I believed I deserved it. I thought about this whilst staring at my tomato face in my haunted mirror (Terence the ghost haunts it), and I smiled.

My motivations my perspective it all seemed to have shifted.

It’s was though I saw myself, running through a dense forest in the dark with something weighing me down. I was scared and running but I couldn’t pinpoint what I feared and running from. The entity weighing me down was getting heavier and heavier with each passing year, but somehow dropping it was scarier than carrying it. Sometimes the thickets we’re so dense I’d get scratched and cut, sometimes they opened out and I could almost see the moonlight through the trees. But always running, never looking back and never looking down. The fear drove my feet forwards.

And then the fear was gone.

Maybe replaced with a new fear? The fear of spending the rest of my life running in fear and in the dark. Surely whatever was behind me, and whatever I was carrying couldn’t be as terrifying/exhausting as spending my entire life running from it?

And I stopped. For the first time in 20 years I stopped running. Suddenly the weight I was carrying just disappeared. I then turned to see what I had been running from, but there was nothing there, just smoke that just floated up and joined the rest of the atmosphere. The sun shone on the exact same forest but now I could see it for all it’s beauty.

I breathed in deeply.

I pumped my fist in the air and told myself I got this and left for work.

I told everyone, and everyone was very supportive. I didn’t bump into my ex and at no point was I tempted by the sweetie basket. Boom!!! I went home buzzing.

It was fortunate that I felt this way because the following day I woke up with yet more withdrawal symptoms.

You know that weird furry teeth feeling you get when your long overdue brushing them? Well I had that, constantly. I went through two tubes of toothpaste in a week in the end. No matter how hard I scrubbed they still felt furry and the strangest thing is this symptom was not listed anywhere then the following morning I work up with the worst symptom. The mouth ulcers.

“Day 7

One thing I’ve noticed is it’s stopping me from spending all my time in fantasy land. Dreaming of a world where I am the best version of me. I like that I’m not doing that. Means I’m living more in the real world.

I’m also feeling far more motivated in general. Not only is my flat the tidiest it’s ever been, but I’m finding I’m keeping it that way daily without even thinking on it. I’m still thinking about my ex a lot, there are a lot of things that I don’t miss, and I held on to that – made missing the good stuff easier to deal with. The sofa cuddles with Flash between us. His cooking and the gut wrencher, the fact that he loved me despite my weird breakfast combinations and my obsession with marmite.

The withdrawals are really getting to me today. It’s the first time I questioned my decision to do this. I feel like crap, and it’s making me want a cuddle and therefore making me miss my ex miss and I don’t know what do to with myself. I’ve already taken Flash out on 4 walks today.

(this second bit of the entry must have been from later in the day. The handwriting was slightly messier and I was suddenly feeling different.)

Withdrawal Symptoms




Weird teeth film


Mouth ulcers

Skin problems



Tingling sensation in my extremities


and during the night – nightmares, shudders and hallucinations”

I spent the rest of that day watching documentaries on Netflix about how bad refined sugar is for us, I watched a documentary of prohibition and bunch of other health related programmes as I’d hoped this would help my resolve and maybe help explain why I felt so terrible coming off sugar and booze. To think how bad these things must be for our bodies if this is the reaction to not having them.

The mouth ulcers we’re the big problem because of how much they hurt. Everything else was moderately annoying but not as intrusive as the ulcers. That’s what got me down but importantly because I had not been prepared for them. The weird teeth film and the ulcers we’re not in any of my research. Nowhere had I seen that is said about either of these things. I was brushing my teeth every couple of hours and using strong mouthwash as often as I could.

I contacted my doctor and was advised that both are withdrawal symptoms for cutting out refined sugars and carbs. Baffled as to why they aren’t listed anywhere, but there you have it. Should you wish to undergo the detox do bear in mind that 2 potential symptoms will require you to stock up on toothpaste and Listerine.

I was symptom free by day 14.

It was weird, I woke up on that day and immediately noticed that the last of the ulcers we’re gone, then I just sort of sat there and did a mental check list feeling out for each symptom.

None of them we’re there.

Not even the dull headache. It was glorious not just because I was symptom free, but I felt better than normal.

Next stop, Detox life after the Symptoms.

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