How to Deal with Alcohol Cravings
Hey guys! It’s Marcus here from TalkSober.com.
Today, what I want to do is talk to you about alcohol cravings and how to deal with them.
You see one of the hardest things to deal with, as an alcoholic or a problem drinker, is the cravings. What do we do, and we get that craving to go out and drink or that craving to test ourselves with one drink or whatever it is.
Before we go any further, I want to tell you that over at my site at TalkSober.com/crave. I have set up different things that you can print out and use to help yourself when you deal with cravings.
Today what I want to do is I want to talk to you about how to deal with them, what to do with them when they come up, and everything like that. So that you can stay sober despite these crazy cravings you have.
What I wanted to do is bring this lemon to your attention and you might be saying, “Well Marcus what does a lemon have to do with my craving?” Well what I want you to do now is I want you to think about this lemon.
Think about it. Think about the taste of it. Think about cutting into it. Think about the smell of it. What you might be noticing now is you’re getting a little tingling feeling in the sides of your mouth or back here in your jaw. It might be like that acidity feeling or whatever it is.
Now this is something that your brain does when it remembers a certain thing, like the taste of a lemon. It’s automatically producing that stuff just like when you get hungry. You automatically have stomach growls and things like that.
Now the same thing is happening when you’re dealing with alcohol. You see over and over and over again, you have trained your brain to think of alcohol with a good feeling. So what happens, we’ll go over here to the whiteboard and we’ll talk about these cravings.
So these cravings. What do we do? How do they happen?
What’s happening here is you have your brain. You have now linked this drink. We’ll make a little fancy glass here, a little straw. You have like this drink with a positive feeling and every time you think about that drink, you go, “Yay wonderful! That’s going to make me feel good. Now what’s happened, let’s say you drink three drinks a day over the course of a year. That is 1000 times you are telling your brain, this equals happy, this equals happy if you drink a day.
Well you know, that’s getting close to where I was. Then you’re dealing with four times as many or like you know six thousand or something like that.
So what’s happening is over time you are linking this with the positive feeling.
The smell, the taste, the look, everything is being linked just like the lemon in your brain.
Now there are several things going on here and we’re going to talk about this over at TalkSober.com/crave. We got the 21 points. You could print them out take them with you everything like that.
There are several things happening here one of them is called INVOLUNTARY RECALL.
Have you read time in your life where you were going along your day, maybe you’re driving, maybe you’re going through a walk, maybe you were working or whatever it is and all of a sudden some memory pops into your brain that you weren’t even thinking about.
Maybe you haven’t thought about it in years or whatever happens or maybe you’re driving down the road and the song comes on and instantly just like the lemon makes you a tingle here instantly you start to have these feelings of sadness or feelings of happy or whatever it is because of that song.
What’s happening here is involuntary recall. You are involuntary recalling memories. Same thing happens with alcohol not only have you linked this drink to happy or whatever, you’ve also linked it to certain places.
- Maybe there’s a certain bar.
- Maybe after work.
- Maybe when you get stressed.
- Maybe fighting with spouse or family.
You have linked this to pretty much everything like I drink when I was happy, I drank one on a sad, I drink when I celebrated, I drank I was depressed, I drank when good things happen, when bad everything was linked to drinking. So this involuntary recall was going on over and over and over again no matter what happened. No matter what I did, this was being reinforced.
Another thing that is at play here another recall which is called euphoric recall.
Euphoric recall is what happens when your brain only recalls the good.
Think about it now when you think about drinking, when you get a craving to drink, you don’t think about feeling like crap every morning.
- You don’t think about those times when I was coughing up blood thinking about suicide, dwelling on guilt.
- You don’t think about that stuff.
- All you think about is yeah happy.
- You think about happy.
- You think about escape.
- You think about good stuff.
This is euphoric recall.
This happens because your brain here meant, your brain has an automatic forgetter. This automatic forgetter is telling you to forget about the bad stuff. For some reason this happens and it doesn’t link the bad with the drink it only links the good with it so much to where in mind drinking it got to where all I thought about was the good even though all I got was the bad.
Every time I drink it didn’t work anymore. It stopped working. It stopped being an escape. It stopped making me feel good. It stopped making all the good stuff happen and all I had was this euphoric recall saying I hope; I hope that I get that good feeling. This is so strong that it bypassed everything else. And all I was thinking about was hey, maybe goods’ gonna come, maybe goods’ gonna come, maybe this. That’s why I started drinking just to feel normal and then started drinking because that’s all I could do. I didn’t see a life without drinking.
Now this is happening because of your reinforced belief system.
You see what happened here is your brain, not only is linking this drink with happy, the places you drank with happy, the euphoric recall, the memories of escape, the memories of getting away from feelings all this stuff and forgetting all the bad, but you also have a reinforced belief system. You have reinforced and YOU HAVE TAUGHT YOURSELF THAT THIS IS A SOLUTION. You have taught yourself that drinking is a solution.
You’re getting a fight, you feel like crap, it’s a solution and it worked.
How many times did this damn thing work for you?
It worked over and over and over again and your brain remembers that. It’s a reinforced belief system and the pain fades over time. How many times have you woke up and you say, man I feel like crap. Man I got regrets. I got bad feelings. I got thoughts. I can’t shut them off. I’m never ever gonna drink again but then by noon you’re drinking again.
That’s because the pain fades over time and your belief system has been been reinforced and a solution that is in your brain is a good solution never gets erased, it only gets replaced. So trying to erase alcohol as a solution, trying to say cravings go away go away solution is counterintuitive. What we need to do is, we need to replace this with something of equal or greater value.
So we have the involuntary recall which again is like our lemon, remember that feeling there. Same things happening. You start salivating like Pavlov’s dogs every time you see a drink, think about a drink, and unfortunately if you turn on the TV, it’s everywhere. If you drive down the road it’s everywhere. I’ll never forget the first time I was leaving rehab after being away from drinking for 30 days, my eyes were like sensors that would find every bar bud light sign, every alcohol sign, every grocery store that had beer on sale, everything. It was like a tractor being because I trained myself this way.
So again, I want you to realize that we are not working on deleting the solution or getting rid of the solution but replacing it with something better. Now let’s talk about how this works because this is all what’s causing craving. Let’s talk about what to do because I believe that if you know what is going on, if we look at a craving and we say, well you know a craving doesn’t mean anything. A craving means my body wants them, just like the lemon. It doesn’t mean anything that the lemon makes your mouth feel that way. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean that you’re weak. Doesn’t mean you’re bad. Doesn’t mean you’re good. It just means, “Hey that’s the way the brain is wired.” So when you have these cravings, you don’t say, “Well you know I’m bad. I’m gonna go back.” Whatever, what you do is you look at it as obsession of the mind.
So you have an obsession in your mind. This obsession in your mind is going over and over and over again.
You say, whoa hey there’s a place I used to drink. Now I got and now I got to get something to drink. I think about what it tastes like. I think about what it looks like. I think about how it made me feel. I think about how it made me escape. Your obsession is in your mind. Just like the cousin of OCD. It’s an obsession of the mind.
The obsession of the mind drives you to compulsion in the body. So you got the obsession of the mind. It says, well going crazy, going crazy, going crazy, compulsion. Then the body says, I know how to shut this off. I know the solution. It works. It works even though it’s not working how it used to it. It’s a solution. It’s all we got and that’s what it’s saying. You got the compulsion in the body.
So what do you do when you have these cravings? Well number one, first and foremost make the ass fall off pact.
You might say, “Marcus what is the ass fall off pact? What does it have to do with anything?” What that means is you agree, agree not to drink even if your ass falls off.
So today you’re making the asphalt aspect that means you are agreeing not to drink today, even if your ass falls out. So no matter what happens today, not saying the rest of your life, I don’t care what you do the rest of your life. I’m saying, today you are agreeing not to drink even if your ass falls off because you can make it a day. And that brings us to our next thing.
So number one, we are going to cancel out the obsession of the mining compulsion in the body because your mind’s gonna shut up if it knows it can’t get what it wants. It’s like a little baby throwing a fits and gimme gimme-gimme-gimme alcohol and if you give in, boom back to the reinforced stuff. It’s gonna start the cycle all over again. You’re gonna give in to it. So just give me a day.
Say you know what, Marcus I’m not gonna drink even if my ass falls off today. Tomorrow I could go out and drink as much as I want but today I’m not gonna drink even if my ass falling up and you’re gonna repeat this tomorrow and the next day and the next day and we’re gonna take it one day at a time. Sometimes if you’re like I was, you got to take it minute by minute by minute.
These things are gonna come at you.
Life’s gonna come at you.
You’re gonna feel uncomfortable.
You’re gonna get this thing that says I know a solution. I got a little snack for you.
You’ve got the solution and it says this is good.
This is what’s gonna happen and you’re gonna give in or whatever, but not if you agree not to drink even if your ass falls off. I want you to remember also in addition to that agreement, remember that what you do changes what you think once you do this. One time it’s gonna start a new reinforcement.
You’re gonna start to replace this solution with other things that work.
You’re gonna say, well wait a minute, wait a minute, I had that craving. It was an obsession and you know my ass didn’t fall off so I didn’t drink. I was, okay, I lived because for me I thought I couldn’t live without alcohol. I thought I couldn’t live. I felt like I couldn’t live without it but over time I’ve been sober for nine hundred and two days not because I’m one of those crazy people who counts every single day. I actually looked it up on Google, the time between one date, another day and there’s nine hundred and two days.
Okay now that’s 902 days of reinforcing in the beginning. I had tons of obsessions of the – all I thought about for about six months straight after six months. It was like 90% of what I thought about and then it tapered and tapered and tapered. Now it’s just like a fleeting thought and you know it’s a lot better. It does get better but you’ve got to train yourself this way, otherwise, you’re going back into all this stuff.
So agree, not to drink even if your ass falls off. Remember what you do changes what you think. So all this stuff, what you do is going to change what you think. And we’re gonna go through this with other videos as well. That’s why you want to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I’m coming out with videos all the time. I built this fancy office for you so I could make some videos out here. Guess I didn’t really want to talk about this stuff with the kids and the family around. I wanted to come out here, away and talk about it with you so we can hammer this stuff out and get to the bottom of what’s going on with your drinking.
So what you do changes what you think. Subscribe, watch the videos, start doing this stuff, because it’s gonna change what you think and realize, hey these are just thoughts. You are not the sum of your thoughts. You are not the sum of the things you do and you’re not the sum of the things that have been done to you. You are something bigger.
Okay so thoughts that come by like when I was going through all this. I used to think that I was my thoughts. I would thought that would say, hey you know what go hit that person, that’s all bad. Marcus you can’t think that that’s a bad thing. You’re a bad person. Spank, bad, terrible. And I would think these things and now I just look at it and I say, well you know what, chemical impulses in the brain happen to all of us. So you got to remember that this is what’s going on here and a craving doesn’t mean anything about you. If you want to change the thought process, change what you do, change what you do, ok very important.
If you start doing stuff, your brain is going to start to learn new things. So remember that, what you do changes what you think.
Don’t drink even if your ass falls off and lastly I want you to remember.
I want you to remember that you can stop your world with 15 minutes.
REMEMBER THIS. This is the single biggest thing that has kept me from drinking for 902 days. You can go to meetings. You could do whatever you want. They’re great. They’re helpful but this is the one thing that helps me remembering that I can take 15 minutes and stop the world.
Can you not drink for 15 minutes? Of course you can. You know you can because every time you go to bed, unless you have an IV hooked up to you, which would be ridiculous but every time you go to bed you are stopping for minutes. There are times throughout the day where you’re stopping for 15 minutes. You’re not drinking straight so we know, we know we already know that you can stop for 15minutes. So what I want you to do next time you get the craving, say you know what my ass hasn’t fallen off yet although Marcus it looks like his did. I wasn’t born with one but you look at it, you say, you know what my ass hasn’t fallen off. I’m gonna give it 15 minutes after minutes. I can decide something else. I can do whatever I want but now we’re gonna do this. Now for 15 minutes, I’m gonna watch video. Maybe I’m gonna read something. Maybe I’m gonna go outside for a jog. Maybe I’m gonna get away from my environment because you can change and you can stop your world in just 15 minutes. I know that you can not drink for 15 minutes and I know after that 15 minutes it’s probably gonna be a weaker obsession. You’re probably gonna be hanging out.
Well you know whatever. If it’s not, give it another 15 minutes. After that, if it’s not give it another 15 minutes, again like I said for this first six months, it was crazy time. I was trying to deal with this stuff. It was nuts. You know, I’d be going crazy. I’d drive around and drive around, thinking, well I could go somewhere and drink but I’m not going to and it was like a fight but it gets easier.
You just got to get past this part because you’re gonna learn a new solution. You’re gonna learn a new solution and think about it. It might have been a while since you had a lemon but those feelings are still there. They’re still there and we want to realize, all this is an obsession of the mind. We know that thoughts are nothing more than chemical impulses. Nothing more than chemical impulses.
And if this stuff resonates with you, if it makes sense and you say Marx I’m starting to see how this works and I’d like to take you up on that little ass fall-off pact and I’d like to learn the minute trick and I’d like to learn not to fall off a stair and I’d like to learn 21 things that can stop me from craving and point one, thing is I can do when I’m having these crazy meetings.
So what I want you to do is go to TalkSober.com/crave. That’s TalkSober.com/crave.
Put your name and email in the box.
I’m going to send you a series of thirty-one letters I wrote to a family member of mine who’s an alcoholic, trying to help him through this stuff, trying to shsare him. Say you know what, these are the things that I want you to know.
These are the things that have worked for me and if you want me to send those letters, I’d be happy to send them to you discreetly through email. I’ll just put a little header on it. We’re not going to like, email you and say, hey check it out, you got a problem. No. It’s gonna be discrete. It could be, cool we’re all here to help each other out and I got to tell you you’re gonna start to feel a heck of a lot better. And you can do this.
So go over to TalkSober.com/craving.
Use these little three things I told you.
Understand what’s going on.
Understand how the mind works.
Understand, hey you know what it’s not me being weak, it’s not me being a loser.
It’s not me being giving.
Can’t hack it.
It’s just the way the mind works and unfortunately throughout life in school, no one set us down and said, here’s how your brain works.
So we got to learn that on our own and that’s what I’m gonna teach you here.
So remember, agree not to drink even if your ass falls off today.
Give me today if you get stuck, you got these things. If it’s tough, take minutes and remember what you do changes what you think and what you think and believe, changes the way that you feel because at the end of the day, we all drink because we want to feel better. That’s what we want. We just want to feel better. This stuff, it’s gonna make you feel better than ever, better than drinking ever did for you because you’re gonna start to learn. You’re gonna start to learn a new way of life and you’re gonna start to feel better because this solution is gonna be replaced and all this craziness is gonna start to go away. You’re gonna start to think clearly. BELIEVE ME, I’VE DONE IT. IT WORKS.
So go to TalkSober.com/craving. Check out the other videos. Subscribe to this channel and I’m going to help you stay sober minutes at a time in a minute. And again to remember, don’t drink today even if your ass falls up. Again I’m Marcus from TalkSober.com.
I hope this video has helped you if it has put your comments below, I love reading your comments and your comments are actually what I base my next videos on. So if you’d say, Marcus I’m struggling with this, we’re gonna help you out with it. We’re gonna make videos about it. We’re here to help you. Thanks again for watching. I hope this helped you take it minutes at a time and do the things that make you stay sober. Yes thank you again. That’s TalkSober.com/crave. I’ll see you there and I’ll see you in the next video.