It’s an old Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) saying. In fact, AA has plenty of sayings that have helped their members throughout the years to stay sober and drug-free. A couple of them are included in this article, providing tips on staying sober.
With this saying, however, you might be able to tell with this saying that there are a few deeper meanings than the words themselves communicate.
There is a certain power that it suggests – that you are stronger than the craving. Just because a craving for drinking or drug use appears, doesn’t mean you need to continue a conversation with it. You can hang up. You can put the phone down. Period.
Of course, there might be a few different ways to do that. And it would be important to find the way that works best for you. For instance, if you notice that you’re experiencing a craving, perhaps talking to someone else about it isn’t going to work for you.
You might have realized that talking about it only makes the craving stronger. But you might uncover, in course of your recovery, that exercise is a way to turn a craving into a one-second phone call, meaning that when a craving appears and you immediately go running – no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. That’s what you do.
Exercise is a Great Way to Stay Sober
And the more that you keep making this craving-exercise connection for yourself, in time, the craving will stop coming around. Each time you go running when a craving comes, you’re telling that craving that you’re not giving in to it. You’re also telling yourself and your body that you’d rather take good care of yourself.
Below are a few other suggestionson staying sober and clean when a craving calls you. Some of them are those you’ve heard before. Others are new suggestions that might inspire you. And perhaps you need to find different solutions at different times.
What happens when you need to hang up on a craving while you’re at work? What about putting the phone down on a craving in the middle of the night?
Let this list inspire you:
- Watch a movie.
- Chew on some gum.
- Listen to music.
- Get creative.
- Start writing in your journal.
- Play a game.
- Have a snack.
- Take a shower.
- Call someone you love and tell them you love them.
- Connect with your higher power through prayer or meditation.
- Practice yoga.
- Drink a glass of water.
- Go for a hike.
- Surf the Internet for sobriety sites and find some inspiration.
- Engage your intellectual mind through reading or writing.
- Go dancing with friends.
- Join a sober living community.
- Challenge yourself to learn a craft or skill you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t, like playing the guitar.
- Dive into your work life and let your achievements there motivate you.
- Practice running for a marathon and then find one to participate in.
- Surf the craving by letting it be there but don’t answer its call by actually using. See if you can just watch the craving inside yourself. This one is tough – don’t fall prey to the craving!
- Examine what might have led to the craving – a thought, a mood, a feeling. And then challenge yourself to shift that mood, feeling, or thought each time you experience it.
- Plan a romantic evening with your partner.
- Take your children out for the afternoon.
- Read a good novel.
- Write a letter to a friend.
- Make a list of all the things you want to do achieve in your life.
- Create a list of all the wonderful things you’d like to do – visit France, go skydiving, or become a public speaker.
- Volunteer at a local public service agency.
- Find ways to love yourself and do something to show this love every day.
These are suggestions to communicate to your craving, hey, I’m not listening. Here’s what I’m going to do instead! May this list inspire you and keep you sober!
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