Imagine yourself walking down the sidewalk. Maybe you’re texting on your smart phone or maybe you’re smoking a cigarette and just casually whistling a tune. Maybe you just broke up with your girlfriend and are walking as quickly as you can back to your car because the thought of her makes you want to burst into tears, but you decided to wear flip flops that day and are now tripping all up and down the sidewalk as you race to your vehicle. Either way, at some point or another it will likely hit you. It will catch you off guard and you will need to have some tools in place to distract yourself from trouble brewing. I’m referring of course to getting clean and sober and having the drug cravings come knocking on your door. For those of us that threw away the life of misery that active addiction was, we prefer sticking with the greener grass nine times out of ten. Nobody in their right mind wants to endure the suffering that addiction and alcoholism bring when we are not keeping a relationship with ourselves or a higher power. The inside of our thick skulls quickly become chaos and so the idea is to do everything in our power to prevent returning to that place of despair.
Don’t Give Up the Fight
Upon getting clean and sober, the idea is to return our sanity and have the weight of addiction or alcoholism lifted. Mind you, that it is never cured, the irrational mindset can creep in, but more so the obsession is vanquished. Even somebody with ten plus years clean will still reminisce of various substances from their past life, but the difference being is they can rationally separate it into good and bad ideas. That rational mindset can think about it and leave it and be all the same. For a lot of people in recovery, drug cravings happen regularly. It can be an old song we used to use to, a specific smell, a familiar place or sense of déjà vu, or even just a bad day. In the end, it doesn’t matter what it is because as addicts and alcoholics, we usually take any excuse we can get to numb away from reality. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to combat this longing for something we really don’t want. One way is to have a cigarette. Now I’m not condoning cigarette smoking, for that is at the reader’s discretion. However, studies do show that those who have quit smoking end up going for a cigarette first when they’ve had a bad day and start turning to that alcoholic thinking. The cigarette is the first vice to relieve that stress and release those endorphins that we are so prone to wanting. If the shoe fits then wear it, if not- then throw it away.
Moving onto the next is the idea of just walking away. It’s that simple. Wherever you are or whatever it is that is providing this drug addled discomfort, remove yourself from the situation. Use the power or choice to leave the discomfort behind. This also brings us to the next tool which is one that is similar and regularly practiced in the world of Anonymous programs anyway. Meditation is a form of removing yourself from a situation but not in the physical sense. Using the power of meditation can bring about an acceptance and serenity in you that will help to push the chemical hunger back to rest. Give this method a good chance, for it is one that has saved myself numerous times. Another tidbit and wonderful thing about taking yourself somewhere else mentally is that you can do it anywhere in the world. Practice and you will see progress. Another key idea behind meditation is that it relaxes you. Sometimes soothing the body physically and mentally in a bathtub or shower will work. Some people like to lie in the sun and let the natural sun rays cook away the drug hankerings. Whatever your pleasure, relax the mind and body and the thoughts will follow.
The next method is maybe taking a look at the specific drug craving and trying to play it out without justifying- which we all do so well. Think about what it is that getting high or drunk would do. What would happen? The ramifications are usually pretty dramatic, not always at first, but if you believe yourself to be a pure drug addict/alcoholic- you know how that story will turn out. Play the tape over and over and the ending never changes. Think about it because this correlates with the next solution which is remembering thoroughly of the pain and torment that our addiction brings us when we are active. We start thinking of all the great moments we had and are quick to forget about the countless immeasurable misery that was laid upon our own doings. We mustn’t forget where we were at the beginning of our journey into recovery. Another method to go hand and hand with these two is to talk to somebody about your thoughts. You just played the tape out, remembered the awful times, and so now it’s for somebody else to confirm your insanity and remind you why you are where you are.
These last couple processes kind of link up together as well. One of my all time favorite techniques to rid the pesky drug cravings is exercise. Any form of it will release endorphins in the right way, get the blood pumping, and quickly take your head space elsewhere. Exercise in itself is of course, good for the mind and body. Being of healthy mind and body can help to prevent fewer cravings down the road. Then there’s the opposite which is eating food. Some like to indulge in certain foods that help relax them. Often times it is seen being chocolate which studies show releases the same endorphins as certain substances. Whatever your choice of method is, remember that it’s just for today. Everything is only temporary and the yearning for drugs will disappear.
Larger Concerns beside Cravings
Sometimes when we’re deep in the thick of addiction and alcoholism, we get attached to the chaos and drama that unfolds everywhere. We start getting to a point of pitying ourselves and thinking we deserve to be a slave to the drugs and alcohol. Nobody deserves to be slaved underneath chemical dependency. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.