Early on in the days of our newfound sobriety, drug cravings or “the obsession,” can be very much a daily struggle for some of us. This has been the one thing we have known to be able to turn to for so long, and when we remove the substance we had grown so heavily dependent on, it’s like our security blanket is gone.
But in early sobriety, we are starting from scratch and learning how to live life. Unfortunately, even though we have made the first decision to stop using, doesn’t mean our patterns of thought and behavior will just change overnight and leave our heads completely.
Sometimes it seems that even the most trivial action or smallest inconvenience, like getting into a car or like waking up in the morning can cause a craving. Luckily there are many forms of action we addicts/alcoholics can take to avoid the first relapse.
Most of what we hear repeatedly is looked at as cliche but speaking from experience, cliche works. There is no way tell the thousands of alcoholics and addicts who came before us would be advising us so confidently if there was no merit to any of it.
How to STOP Drug Cravings
Take a minute before acting and think of positives. Remember life isn’t that bad. When you inhale, really focus on the breath. Think about how it feels traveling into your nose, down into your lungs, and expanding your torso. Then hold it for just a few seconds, and slowly exhale through your mouth. Do this 5 times.
Attend a Meeting
There are many people who have had the same feelings and have survived them without picking up, you can find them at a 12 step meeting. When you get to a meeting, pick up a “Where and When” for future meetings. What has helped me in the past was creating a meeting schedule for myself and pre-planning with another sober person to attend the meeting together.
Have Sober Supports and Use Them
The best part of sober supports is actually talking to them. You can say you have a million sober supports but if you don’t speak to any of them on a regular basis, you realistically have none. Every time you attend a meeting, raise your hand for a contact list. Being new in recovery is uncomfortable for everyone and the only way it stops is by embracing it. TALK TO PEOPLE.
Prayer or Meditation
Many of us are not yet 100% comfortable with surrendering our thoughts and actions (will and life) over to the care of a god of our understanding. So try just simply sitting quietly for a few minutes somewhere and focusing on your breathing or the world around you. It can make a difference. Go somewhere peaceful appreciate the beauty.
Move a muscle change a thought. Walking is one of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling antsy. I’ll just go for a walk along the water or the neighborhood. For more athletic addicts, running is a great way to release endorphins. Endorphins are like a natural high so why wouldn’t we want that? Yog or any class activity helps.
Writing down how you’re feeling can help. When you read it can show you how drinking or using is the worst idea.
Read anything not relating to actual drug use. AA literature is actually interesting because we can relate to almost everything written down, and those who have been published have done more than one thing right.
There seems like there could be a million and one other things to do besides getting high. Drug cravings are nothing to be ashamed of, we all go through it. What matters are the steps you take to lessen the burdens of them. When trying to grow spiritually, we become more aware of ourselves and sometimes it can be very scary.
But we must remember we are people who deserve a new chapter and in order to write it, we must be prepared for hard times and good times. Fighting drug cravings is part of being sober. With more time they become less and less. The obsession to use will disappear as long as we work to progress and improve ourselves from the inside.
The program of the 12 steps actually provides us with a guarantee, a promise, that the obsession will be removed. It promises us a complete psychic change if we take advantage of the program and work it to the best of our abilities.
One day you will realize, maybe halfway through the day or so, that the thought of getting high hadn’t even crossed your mind. It just happens! Fighting drug cravings is only a battle as long as you are not completely willing to give yourself over to this simple program, and really truly try your best to work at it. If you can do that, you are going to be just fine.
Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism and Addiction
If you or a loved one has a problem with alcoholism or addiction and want to experience recovery in a thriving community with lots of people just like you, then call the professionals at Stout Street today at 866-722-7040. Our trained staff is standing by to take your call and help you in any way we can. We know how difficult of a decision this can be and we know what it takes to ensure you find your own person path in recovery. You no longer have to do it alone, so give us a call today and find the happy and sober life you’ve always dreamed of.