You’re sober. You’ve been through drug detox and drug abuse help. But you’re still experiencing cravings, and they’re intense. You still have the same thoughts, those thoughts that immediately drove you to drink in the past. You still have the same choices at your disposal – picking up beer at the grocery store around the corner would be no big deal. But you know that if you did, it would ruin everything.
You’re sober because you’ve made it this far. Your health is back on track and so is your relationship, and so why ruin it now? But the cravings might still linger in your mind.
Here is a list of ways to cope with those cravings so that you can walk right past the triggers in your mind and instead further into long-term sobriety.
1. Distract Yourself
Do something that will take your attention off the craving. Reading, going to a movie, exercise, or spending time with someone you love.
2. Talk About It
Call your sponsor, a friend, a relationship partner and get your thoughts and feelings off your chest. By talking it out you won’t feel as tempted if those thoughts simply stay in your head. Talking about your craving can also help you pinpoint the source of the craving, which could be useful information in the future. Talking about the craving can help take the charge off it and deflate its power over you. Through talking you can see that the craving is there for a reason, triggered by a feeling perhaps, and then you can be mindful of that pattern in the future. Furthermore, you might recognize that having a craving is nothing to feel bad about. It’s simply a way that your body and mind are attempting to cope.
3. Surf the Craving
Imagine yourself as a surfer. You’ve got this feeling and it’s intense. As a surfer you can ride the energy of this craving. Without letting it get the best of you, use its energy and have the best of it. Some drug counselors call it urge surfing. It’s a way of staying on top of the crest of the craving until it loses its momentum and ultimately, like all waves, crashes and dissipates on the shore.
4. Change Your Thoughts
If you were in drug detox and drug addiction treatment, then you might have experienced a form of therapy that invited you to explore your thoughts. You might have had the opportunity to not only look at your thoughts, but change them. You can replace the thought, “I need to drink to feel better” with “I don’t need to drink to feel better; I can exercise, spend time with a friend, or spend time in nature to feel better.” Furthermore, you can challenge your thoughts. Now that you’re sober you probably know the many consequences to drinking and drugging. When a craving comes, you can challenge that craving by remembering all the trouble and havoc the addiction caused. You might even make a list of all the consequences that the addiction created and post them where you’ll see them. This way, when a craving comes you can refer to the list and challenge the craving.
Find Drug Abuse Help & Addiction Is Treatable
Men and women don’t need to be sentenced to their addiction for the rest of their lives. Although it might feel like a prison, time in the small cell that addiction creates doesn’t have to be long-term. Once you find drug abuse help, once you make the decision to get sober, you will. Addiction is treatable. It’s possible to create for yourself a healthy, happy, and successful life. Cravings will feel like you’re being pulled back into the prison of addiction, but you have the strength to resist those pulls. And each time you do, you create for yourself more and more freedom.