How to Deal with Alcohol Cravings
How to Deal with Alcohol Cravings — affiliatemarketingmc at YouTube.com
Disclaimer: Marcus is NOT a doctor or a trained addiction counselor. The information in these videos is provided as a resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Nor is it to be used as a substitute when professional diagnosis and treatment is needed. Please seek professional help when needed. Alcoholism is serious… DON’T mess around! Visit www.TalkSober.com/help or get professional help.
When you’re an alcoholic, one of the hardest things to deal with is the cravings. What do we do when we get that craving to go out and drink, or test ourselves with one drink, or whatever it may be?
I want to bring a lemon to your attention. Think about the lemon. Cutting into it, the taste of it, the smell of it. You get a little tingling feeling in the sides of your mouth or in your jaw. It might be that acidic feeling. This is something your brain does when it remembers a certain thing, like the taste of a lemon. It’s automatically producing those sensations. Just like when you get hungry, and your stomach automatically growls.
The same thing is happening when you’re dealing with alcohol. Over and over again, you have trained your brain to think of alcohol with a good feeling. You’ve linked drinking with something positive. And every time you think about that drink, you think it will make you feel good. If you drink 3 drinks a day: Over the course of a year, that is 1,000 times you’re telling your brain that if you drink, you’ll be happy.
What’s happening here?
- Involuntary recall. Have you ever had a time in your life where all of the sudden, a memory popped into your brain that you weren’t even thinking about? You’re involuntarily recalling memories. Without realizing it, you’ve linked alcohol to certain places and times—a certain bar, after work, when you get stressed, when you fight with your spouse or family. You’ve linked this to pretty much everything.
- Euphoric recall. This happens when your brain only recalls the good. When you get a craving to drink, you don’t think about feeling like crap every morning. You don’t think about the negative experiences, you just think about the positives. This happens because your brain forgets the negatives automatically.
In my time drinking, it got to a point where all I thought about was the good, even though all I got was the bad. Every time I drank, it didn’t work anymore. It stopped making me feel good. All I had was this euphoric recalling making me hope I’d get that good feeling, and this was so strong that it bypassed everything else. That’s why I started drinking just to feel normal, and then I was drinking because that’s all I could do. I couldn’t see a life without drinking.
This happens because of your reinforced belief system. Your brain not only is linking all the good and forgetting all the bad, but it’s reinforced, and you’ve taught yourself that this is a solution. And it worked. How many times did it work for you? Over and over again, and your brain remembered that. The pain fades over time.
I’ll never forget the first time I was leaving rehab after being away from alcohol for 31 days. My eyes were like sensors that would find every bar, every alcohol sign, every grocery store that had beer on sale, everything. Because I had trained myself this way.
Trying to erase alcohol as a solution is counter-intuitive. What we need to do is replace it with something of equal or greater value.
A craving doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, or bad, or good. That’s just the way your brain is wired. It means your body wants something. It means you have an obsession in your mind, and it drives you to compulsion in your body. The compulsion makes you think you have the solution.
So, what should you really do If you have these cravings?
- Make the “ass-fall-off” pact. You agree not to drink today, even if your ass falls off. Cancel out the obsession of the mind and the compulsion of the body. Your mind will be quiet if it knows it you won’t give it what it wants.
- Stop your world for 15 minutes. This is the biggest thing that has stopped me from drinking. Next time you get the craving, give it 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, you can do whatever you want. But for now, watch a video, read something, go outside for a jog, or get away from your environment. After that 15 minutes, it will probably be a weaker obsession. If not, give it another 15 minutes, and then, give it another 15 minutes.
In this way, you take it one day at a time. Sometimes you have to take it minute by minute. Life will come at you, you’ll feel uncomfortable, and you’ll think you have the solution. But you’ll see that you can live without alcohol. It does get better, but you have to train yourself.
I used to think I was my thoughts. Now I realize that chemical impulses in the brain happen to all of us. So, realize that your thoughts are just thoughts. You are not the sum of your thoughts. You are not the sum of the things you do, and you are not the sum of the things that have been done to you. You are something bigger.
If you want to change the thought process, change what you do.
Remember that what you do changes what you think. Once you do this one time, it will start a new reinforcement. You will start to replace the solution with other things that work. Then you’ll learn a new solution, and you’ll start to learn a new way of life.
For more information, visit www.TalkSober.com