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Old 05-27-2008, 05:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dealing with the urge to drink

I have difficulty at times fighting the urge to drink. Sometimes I manage to convince myself that I will regret it the next day at work but during days when I have no work the next day, the desire to drink is quite high and I often find myself drinking that night. Any thoughts on what might be helpful to deal with the urge to drink? I've been to a few AA meetings recently and that has helped somewhat, but hasn't done much in terms of removing the recurring thoughts that tempt me to want to drink.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Going to a few meetings wasn't enough for me. I had to work the steps, and not my idea of how to work the steps either. The process had to be shown to me, and I had to perform that process. I also spent a few decades succumbing to that urge. Been a long time since I had it though. Good thing, I can resist anything but temptation!
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes...it's often a problem....

In early sobriety....
I timed my cravings.

They were 5-7 minutes in duration.
Not too long too endure discomfort
.
Soooo....I took action.
Walked...rushed my teeth... Drank cold water...Hard candy

Within 2 weeks...the lessened in both time and intensity.
By 2 or so months .... they vanished.

Now...were they mental or physical?
Darn if I know. Nor do I care.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ask for phone numbers when you go to meetings, and call, if you can, folks with time. There's no magic words they'll say over you, but chances are, they've felt the same things. Just calling to say - Hey! How are you doing? is enough to distract you while you're making it through that craving. Like Carol said, they usually don't last that long - unless we fixate on them.

Peace & Love,
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanac View Post
I have difficulty at times fighting the urge to drink.
I had to stop fighting the urge. Fighting set up a power struggle that I would "win" (or "lose") by drinking.

When I stopped fighting, I had to live with the fact that part of me "wanted to drink" and another part of me "wanted to stop drinking". Every time I felt awful and "wanted to drink", I chose not to drink. I just suffered quietly through the discomfort. The desire to drink was there, but I did not act on it. After a while, I stopped feeling the desire to drink.

I went on to work the 12 Steps of AA, but not to stop drinking so much as to learn to deal with all my fears and anger. I wanted to become an emotionally and mentally healthier person, and I saw a path to that in AA. I wanted to learn to live life with a greater sense of happiness, which I have learned through the 12 Steps. And for me, I'm pretty sure that feeling happier, much happier, is a huge buffer against going back to drinking.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Collinsmi, Carol, Sugah - thanks for the feedback. I agree the urge or cravings come and go and that I manage to find other things to do to keep me occupied (cleaning, cooking, exercising). Sometimes I just simply run out of things to do and have a long afternoon or evening with nothing to do.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One thing that helps me, and I'm starting at day twelve of sobriety to have cravings sometimes, is to read a list of all the things I hate about drinking, starting with I really don't like myself drunk. I'm not the person I want to be. Other reasons too; spending money I can't afford to spend, feeling like dirt the next day, having to start all over from day one... it's a long list and I can always think of more reasons not to drink than reasons to drink. But as was said, my cravings don't last forever, even tho it may feel that way, and that if I do something else they will go away. I choose to walk my dogs when I have a craving or feel crappy about myself. (my dogs will probably resent it when I no longer have cravings cause they love the extra walks!)

Just remember, this too shall pass. And as was also said, you have to want to stop drinking more than you want to drink. So remind yourself of why you don't want to drink. TAke a walk. Take a shower. Call a friend.

You can do this, but don't fight it. RAther admit that you are powerless over alcohol and you choose not to fight something stronger than yourself, a fight you can't win.

:ghug3
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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welcome to the forum, deanac
Congrats on fighting the urge. This is a step in the right direction. Going to AA meetings can help, as you already said.

Many of us find that staying sober is like riding a bike: it take practice. AA provided me with some tools to fight my addiction/re-occuring thoughts.

All I can say is it's a good thing that you are here. Getting support can really help. Like riding a bike, it gets easier the more we practice. If you think about it, riding a bike is a complicated actvity. Practice makes it second nature. I realize this may sound like over simplication of the issue...but....when you consider how many people in AA are able to stay sober, this is proof that recovery progams DO work.

This website is a great resource to get advice on dealing with urges. My urges went away. The way I got rid of them was to throw myself into my recovery. This website, AA, and my spirituality keep me sober today. I hope you can find answers that work for you.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR Dean, when I got out of detox the best way I found to deal with the urge to drink was going to AA meetings, calling other AA's when the urges were really strong, staying busy doing things like others have mentioned.

For me what finally rid me of the obsession to drink was working the steps of AA with a sponsor.

Alcoholism is a tough beast to deal with, one that I know I could not have dealt with alone and most folks who overcome it do not do it alone, they reach out here at SR and in recovery programs like AA, SMART, WFS, and other recovery programs.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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welcome to sr dean. Yeh that mental obsession for booze can be very difficult in recovery but over time i do beleive it gets better- and will eventually go. For me though the urge only lessened when i started workinmg the steps of AA with a sponser. Unfortunately i gave into the urge this weekend juts gone and, although deeply regretting it at first, it's made me realise i just need to re-assess things suggested to me by others. These things include- keeping sober company, keeping out of wet places for a while, getting to many meetings (and for me sharing at them all so i feel more a part of), and talking honesetly with my sponser whenever i notice my thinking going a bit wrong....
It was my stinking thinking that led to my drinking so this for me is something i need to keep in check- by sharing it, reading the daily reflections book and genereally trying my hardest to be positve. Also keeping a close contact with my H.P.of course!
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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These days, the only thing that gets me through the strongest cravings and desire to drink is to pick up the phone and call another AA'er. The old-timers with longer sobriety are the ones who have helped me most. They've heard it all, they've helped many others, and they have no problem explaining something to me in terms that my one-track mind can grasp.

Getting on my knees and saying a simple prayer also helps: "God, please remove my obsession for alcohol. Thank you."

Going to meetings also helps.

It's taken all three of these things for me on some days... it's been an extremely tough battle for me, and I look forward to working on the 12 steps, which are said to completely eliminate the alcohol cravings and obsession.

We understand what you are going through, deanac... keep posting here!
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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things I try to do when i'm having an urge:

I'll have a pop and some chocolate
-STOP and breathe
-call a friend
-go to a resturant and just be around people and eat alone
-Write, write write write
-do anything to try to get out of myself ( ask others questijons about theirselves and listen to the answers, be busy for a while cleaning or throwing away material stuff in my life--this kind've symbolized taking inventory, Help or do something kind for someone)
-Meditate, walk, pray
-listen to music or a self help tape
-take a hot bath or shower

thanks for helping me stay conscious of my plan to deal with urges if one strikes me today
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