What To Do (And Not To Do) When You Have Cravings

Cravings are a natural part of recovery because they are such an intrinsic part of addiction. From day two to year twenty five, cravings can come on at any moment. It’s important to understand what your cravings are, where they are coming from, and how to handle them when they occur.

Don’t Panic

Cravings are normal. As recovery goes along and you earn more and more time sober, there will be a greater distance between episodes of cravings. It’s easy to fall into the false belief that experiencing cravings means you are somehow failing in recovery. Unfortunately, most people run with this fear and believe that cravings will never go away and mean they are going to relapse. Then, many people do. Cravings can come on subtly, happen like a flash of lightning, or appear through a using dream. When cravings come on, don’t panic. Remember that addiction is a disease that lives in the brain causing strange and irregular chemical reactions. Despite your hard work in recovery and the monumental changes you are making to your behaviors, the amount of time your brain has been sober compared to the amount of time it spent intoxicated is small. It’s like worrying a baby will never walk if they fall down once in awhile. Cravings are sometimes nothing more than the brain working out some kinks as you train it to live a recovery lifestyle.

To Investigate

Try not to hyper analyze the meaning of your cravings- leave that to your therapy sessions. In the moment your cravings hit, try to take a minute of mindfulness. Settle yourself down and connect yourself with a few deep breaths. After quickly doing a body scan to notice any tension, turn your attention inward. Is there anything happening in this moment, in the last few hours, or maybe the last few days that was particularly triggering? Remember, that your addictive behaviors were usually a response to challenging situations and painful emotions. Though you are learning to handle things differently the chemical responses in your brain are still catching up. Your cravings might be the result of enduring something you haven’t had to in a while.

Recovery is possible. It starts with you! Enlightened Solutions is here to provide an integrative approach to treatment which fuses clinically proven treatments with holistic healing modalities grounded in a spiritual 12 step philosophy. For more information, call us today at 833-801-5483


Be Of Service This Year

“Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.”  This is written in the chapter “Working With Others” in the primary text of Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The informative chapter describes numerous situations in which an alcoholic can help another. Connecting with alcoholics who might still be struggling is an essential part of being a recovering alcoholic. It is, after all, how Alcoholics Anonymous began.

Cravings

Bill Wilson had finally gotten sober after a lifetime of miserable alcoholism. On a business trip to Ohio, he found himself in the hotel lobby pacing back and forth in front of the hotel bar. He had worked so hard to stay sober and was actually enjoying his sober life. Yet some phenomena was overtaking him. He had an intense craving for alcohol, even though he knew how tragic it would be for him to drink. Suddenly, a thought hit him. He needed to speak to another alcoholic. Only another alcoholic could understand what he was going through. By way of fate he ended up in the house of an older man suffering from alcoholism by the name of Dr. Bob Smith. At the end of a long’s night discussions regarding alcoholism and Bill’s recovery- both men had been helped. Bill was no longer craving alcohol and Bob was inspired to get sober. Alcoholics Anonymous, and the importance of being of service was born.

Recovery is a Gift

The new year is an opportunity to refresh your service hood. Recovery is a precious gift which, many who have recovered have found, must be given away in order to be kept. Being of service to others in recovery can take many forms. Make a list of the ways you would like to give back this year. There is little doubt you will not regret it. Here are some of our favorite ideas at Enlightened Solutions.

  • Complete the 12 steps
  • Sponsor another person through the 12 steps
  • Take a service commitment at a meeting
  • Speak at H&I meetings (hospitals and institutions)
  • Donate a small amount to your favorite charity, organization, or cause
  • Pick up some small etiquette practices like showing up on time, writing thank you notes, and being courteous to all
  • Help the less fortunate

Enlightened Solutions believes the philosophy of the 12 steps offers a spiritual and philosophical foundation for a practical program of living in recovery. For the problem of alcoholics and addiction, we have a solution. For more information, call 833-801-5483.