27 Jan

No sooner had I declared I’d been craving free since I first went to AA, was I besieged by cravings. Joy,

On Sunday morning it was tipping it down in London so I skipped my marathon training run and spent the morning cleaning, tidying, drinking tea and keeping happily productive. And then, out of nowhere, I decided it would be a great idea to drink vodka. VODKA?! I never even drank vodka really, it was the drink I drank as a teenager going out experimenting with alcohol. Absolute madness.

Anyway, I swerved the craving, went for Sunday lunch with friends where bottle after bottle of wine was consumed, sipped my sparkling water and headed to an AA meeting after to make sure I didn’t pop to the shop and buy vodka (?!?!?!?!?!) on the way home.

I’ve learnt a lot about cravings in the past year of trying (& failing) to give up drinking, so thought I’d note them here to share what I’ve learnt.

They often come from out of the blue You can be there, strong, content, doing the sober shimmy through life, and BAM! It rears it’s head. These illogical cravings are some of the hardest to deal with because you can’t attach them to any particular incident or emotion.

A craving is not a license to drink In my early, naive attempts at sobriety, I thought the second a craving came up I was beaten, and gave in. Not so. A thought or feeling isn’t an action. Don’t translate it into one.

Pre-empt them where possible Some situations are just designed to trigger cravings. Whether it’s a situation you associate with drinking, a stressful environment or a boozy function, if you know it’s coming up, try and tackle that craving in advance. For me, that involves eating a chocolate bar- the sweetness kills the craving dead. I try to avoid sugar, but I found this solution through trial and error and hell, it’s much better than the alternative.

Tell someone Blog about it, text a sober friend, even call a helpline if you don’t have any sober connections yet. Articulating the fact you have one can be enough to quiet Wolfe, and you’ll get some support and encouragement back.

It always passes It just does. It’s horrible waiting it out, but it goes.

Play the tape to the end
This is a funny one for me at the moment. It’s always previously helped to think of what could (will) happen if I drink, but lately that’s been a source of anxiety that has fuelled the craving. I cast myself forward to the feeling of Another Day 1 and feel utterly worthless and unable to do this sobriety thing. And then I remember that I’m not there, I’m here, doing it. Hurrah for me!

So here I am with another day sober. I’ve stopped counting, but now I’ve got a couple of weeks under my belt again it’s feeling easier. Not easy, but not so excruciating.

I’ve still got so much to learn and lots of situations to tackle sober, so if you have any tips for beating cravings I’d love to hear them.

Happy Monday!

(P.S sorry the text is weird on this post- my laptop is broken and I’m posting from my phone!)

8 Responses to “Cravings”

  1. wren1450 January 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I absolutely agree that a craving is not license to give in, and I always did that. I turned into a robot when a craving hit and ZOOM….headed right for the wine with no other thought in my head. Now I, too, think of going back to Day 1 and ruining another day with a hangover and remorse. I’ve had some real white-knuckle times this go-round to get sober but now, on day 19, they are not quite as bad. However, I am with you…..I know that cravings can pounce in like Wolfie at any time or place. I just need to be vigilant and ready.
    By the way: what is “tipping”? You said that you did not go on your run because it was tipping. Is that rain??

    • FitFatFood January 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      Haha yes, that’s British for “raining” 😉

  2. One day at a time January 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    It’s that thought of Day 1 that does it for me.

  3. jenisthesoberist January 28, 2014 at 1:18 am #

    For me it is Day 1 mixed with the thought that it could take me weeks…months…even years to get the motivation to do it again! I very firmly tell myself there’s no going back. The only way out is through the cravings. It actually seems to help sometimes! 🙂

  4. Glenn January 29, 2014 at 2:31 am #

    I love this post and what a great way describe your sobriety, “Not easy, but not so excruciating.”
    My life in sobriety has been just that, but just a little better with each day. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times when sober living tests the boundaries of my patience and virtue (and I use those terms loosely) but I have come to learn that everyone has their own pile of junk and if we all stood around and threw our junk into a collective pile we would most likely pick up our own junk and leave the rest to the original owners. A bit of a run-on sentence but I don’t think I am being graded on this.
    Also, I for the longest time went with nary a trigger until relatively recently. It reared it’s nasty noggin during a time of emotional duress (for which I am solely responsible) and took me by surprise. Frankly, being unprepared I didn’t really have an effective coping mechanism in place and am grateful that I have the support of a loving family in place. If it weren’t there I’d still be out looking for love in the bottom of a bottle of spirits, or wine, or beer…
    Nonetheless, it’s great to read your writing! Keep it up and I wish you well.

  5. lucy2610 January 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Sober shimmy – I love that! When a craving strikes I use the 15 minute rule. You can find it on my blog if you’ve not heard of it before 🙂

  6. creepycait January 30, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    This is the first blog of yours that I have read, I look forward to reading them all. It gets so much better. I have almost 4 years sober and sometimes I get cravings. Its all very strange. But its ok. A couple weeks under your belt, thats great. Life is just begining for you and you are just learning so much about yourself at life….at least thats how it was for me. You typed this on your phone? Awesome. I could never attempt that. I look forward to following your journey!

  7. Binki February 20, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    Reblogged this on sobernoodles.

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