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Entertaining the thought of drinking vs. Cravings?


Entertaining the thought of drinking vs. Cravings?

Old 11-19-2016, 11:44 AM
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Entertaining the thought of drinking vs. Cravings?

One in the same? Is there are difference?
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:48 AM
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i guess it depends on how strong the pull is to go drink. 5+ years sober I still have thoughts of drinking now and then but theres no like real pull behind it. Where as earlier in sobriety it was a fight to resist that thought. I'd say the ones i had earlier in sorbiety that "pull" that "fight" that i had to contend with was more of a crave. Where as now its just like thoughts but no realy pull or battle that comes along with them. that being said I dont really crave it anymore now. But i do sitll think about it once in a while.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:47 PM
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Where you are in your recovery...I'd say very little difference.
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:39 PM
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Depends what entertaining the thought means, I guess. If it means just thinking about drinking, as a passing thought that you don't pay attention to, the old addict voice whispering in your ear, then yes, I think there's quite a difference. If it means you're on the cusp of caving in to a strong urge to drink, then maybe not. I still rarely get the old addict voice whisperings at almost 6 years in, but it's a once a year thing, always in response to some new environment I haven't dealt with yet in sobriety, and I fully expect to get occasional thoughts like that for the rest of my life. But that's not a craving, which I've certainly had in the past, it's just a passing thought.
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Old 11-19-2016, 03:02 PM
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Seems like semantics. I would personally reserve 'craving' for feelings of physical distress over desiring something. And that probably 'entertaining the thought' would frequently lead to craving, regardless of the activity. It's like looking where you want to go when you're driving... you tend to do the things you're contemplating, the longer you contemplate, the more likely you are to do it.

They used to say all the time on this forum 'play the tape forward.' Unfortunately that has a kind of self-reinforcing, self-fulfilling prophecy effect to it. It's better not to think about things you don't want to do, and if you need a reality check, just read the sad stories on this forum. I would say it's a lot more harmful to imagine yourself doing something you don't want to do, than it is to relate to another human being who has been through something you don't want to go through. Just that one step removed changes a lot.
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Old 11-19-2016, 03:53 PM
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When I was drinking I would say "yes" there is a distinction. I constantly entertained the thought of a drink (for whatever reason). But I craved a drink during the couple benders I had because I think I was becoming physically addicted.

I'm just thankful that everyone here that had been sober for some time was honest with me and told me the whole thing would die down after awhile. They were right.
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Old 11-19-2016, 03:58 PM
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In my experience, entertaining the thought of drinking was really a craving in disguise. Like the flick of a switch, the thought of drinking would quickly turn into a decision to drink.

Maybe once I'm past early recovery there will be more of a distinction.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:09 PM
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A craving so powerful it was beyond my ability to control always kicked in after the first drink. It was the result of the presence of alcohol in my system. Typically I could not stop until I was too sick to continue, after about four days. Then it would take about three days for the alcohol to get out of my system. After that the craving could not happen so in theory I should be able to stay stopped.

This craving is apparently the result of the way an alcoholic liver metabolises alcohol and does not occur in ordinary drinkers.

Thoughts of drinking are a different thing altogether. If a concious thought occurs and it is countered by sane logical thought (play the tape etc) or action, call someone and talk it through, it shows that there is a defence against the first drink, and things ought to be ok.

The obsession of the mind is a different ball game. Insidious, subtle and cunning it quietly puts forward the thought "that this time it will be ok". Little casual harmless thoughts, "I'll be able to have one" "Just one I've earned it", "My friend offered me a drink, it would be rude not to accept" and so on. The very real reasons for not taking the fatal first drink do not come to mind, or if they do they are easily dismissed.

When the mind is in this state, the insanity of the first drink has returned. It doesn't occur to call or play the tape through etc because it has already been decided that "one won't hurt". It is interesting to read "I am back posts". I don't think I have seen a single one describing a huge battle with cravings before picking up the first drink. Usually there is some trivial excuse "my car broke down", or "my dog got sick". Sometimes the excuse not trivial, but it still does not stack up as a reason to drink.

Quite often the poster will say they really don't know why they got started again. That was my experience.
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:20 PM
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For me this time of year is triggering a lot of food/alcohol memories for me. I can't go into a store with out seeing food displays that make me want to buy my favorites to drink and for cooking.

I have been good about ignoring them. But they are there.
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