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Cravings - Three Months - Will they ever stop?

Old 10-18-2009, 10:08 PM
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Cravings - Three Months - Will they ever stop?

This is the first time Iíve been at this site and I'm looking for some support. I'm 40 and have been drinking since I was 14. Over the course of 20 years my drinking habits increased to the point last summer where I drank every night usually four sometimes eight glasses of wine or liquor. Fortunately, I have been lucky and have been able to maintain all my responsibilities without any problems. I have a good job and consider myself to be successful in it and Iím close with my wife and two teenage children (married for 19 years). I guess you could say Iím the typical closet drinker keeping my drinking habits secret to everyone. I did go to my family doctor in January and I opened up to him. He put me on an anti-depressant which seemed to help me but I continued to try to moderate my drinking instead of quitting completely.

On July 23, 2009 I woke up with a massive hangover after drinking three bottles of red wine by myself. It was at that moment that I accepted my condition 100% - I AM AN ALCOHOLIC. I made the decision to stop once and for all. I sat down with my wife and told her how scared I was that I was unable to control my drinking. She has supported me fully and since that day, no alcohol has entered our house. I went cold turkey and will celebrate month three next Thursday.

Hereís where I could use some feedback from othersÖ Iím finding that instead of getting easier like I hoped it would, the last two weeks have been almost as hard at the first two weeks. I find myself craving alcohol so badly that every ounce of my being wants it. Stress is definitely a trigger for me so on especially tough days at work, my evenings can be excruciating as I sit and think about how good it would be if I could only cop a little buzz. Itís been so bad the last few days that Iím finding myself questioning the benefits of sobriety! If this is what my life is going to be like for the next 20 years, Iíd rather die a drunk! Will these cravings ever go away!!

Going to AA is not an option as I live in a pretty small community and Iím not ready to share my condition with others.

Do any of you have any advice?
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:23 PM
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Hi Wally and welcome! I only have a few days of sobriety so I shouldn't be shelling out advice, however, I have been working on sobriety since June and have a few tricks up my sleeve that have worked for me re: cravings. I just posted that I don't get cravings anymore....

The first thing I notice is that you said you are sitting around after work. Bad idea. That is when I used to drink, too, sitting around relaxing after work. Get out of that habit. I like to run and have found that whenever I get that "happy hour/after work mentality" all stressed out from the day, I need to go put on my running clothes, get my ipod and get out the door for a run. The cravings would invariably pass this way. If you don't like running, try substituting something physical that you do like.

Another trick up my sleeve is to catch the craving before the low blood sugar time of the day hits. Have a snack and non-alcoholic drink BEFORE it's too late. It can sometimes really do the trick.

I have to say also that AA has been a big help to me in the past few days since I have been going to meetings. It's a great support system if and when you decide you could use some face to face help. I know it's a scary thought to go. But the people are more than welcoming to new comers, so there's really nothing to be afraid of there.

Congrats on your 3 months!!! I think it was a good decision to come on here and post.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:25 PM
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I've found for myself that I generally can't take away something that I relied on as my medicine for

comfort
peace of mind
anxiety
anger
boredom
excitement
feeling too sad
feeling too happy
feeling alone
being nervous around others
feeling apart
feeling empty
feeling
not feeling

for almost 20 years without replacing it with something else. I always thought for all that time that alcohol was my problem, only to find out that it was the solution to my problem, and that without it, I had a bigger problem. Problem was, now alcohol was my problem.

I tried to think my way out of it, but as you can see it's a circular logic problem, so again -- problem.

When I was ready to stop going in circles and was really ready to not just quit but not be insane, I used the program of AA.

Problem solved.

If I could offer up something else I would, but I would be being disingenuous, because after trying everything else under the sun it's the only thing that worked.

I would think if keeping a secret was worth excruciating evenings. Mine were so excruciating both drunk and dry I was ready to do anything.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:28 PM
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same planet...different world
 
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Welcome to SR, and to Sobriety!

The alone-ness you wrote about it why sites like SR are truly a gift.

I've made fast friends here, and thoroughly enjoyed myself and their company.
I hope the same for you.

Please go over to the Alcoholism forums and look up the sticky 'Under The Influence' you might find some information there that will help. Here at SR, you'll find a wealth of information, and support there's a TON of wisdom here!

As far as the cravings thing goes, people get 'triggered' (prepare yourself to learn a whole vocabulary of recovery words and their unique meanings) by events, people, locations, even smells. COuld be something as simple as a football game (we've even got threads on that topic somewhere in either alcoholism forum or the newcomers) or as complex as losing a job or a loved one.

Again, welcome aboard!
I'm sure others will be along to help you feel welcome and get oriented!
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:54 PM
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..welcome wal..3 months is great..
..however,the thirst is still there!..because of certain 'triggers'..
..such as boredom,pressure,routine etc.etc..

..find out what is your trigger and find a plan to adjust..not easy at first
but gets better with time and advice from SR..
.nice to meet you...Oz..
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:20 PM
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Welcome, Wally.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:06 AM
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Hi Wally

Welcome to SR:-)
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:12 AM
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heya...welcome to SR...

i'm on day eight of quitting smoking weed..and this is my second day that I gave up sigarettes...However I have experience with periods of some months of sobriety and that provided me with tools to deal with cravings.

- my number 1 favorite: powernapping...max. 30 minutes others you'll stay groggy for several hours...this often helps me a great day in early recovery/detox...I read the following somewere: If a dog is sick it'll sleep till it get's better...
- excersising/taking a walk/go for a bikeride with mp3 player plugged in...helps your body to make 'happy hormones'
- sugar!!! but then I mean honey...that is healthy sugar that your body can easily digest..try fresh green tea (calms nerves, but picks you up too) with one or two big table spoons of honey
- watch your cafaine intake...not too much cause it makes your adrenaline level rise too much that causes stress....and stress causes cravings
- try some breathing excersising and if youre up for it meditation (personally I think meditation is the best way to become aware and change mental conditions)..

good luck!
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:59 AM
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Welcome to our recovery community....

I think there are 2 types of cravings
perhaps a mixture?

One type is more a habit than physical.

You drive home and your car steers into your
favorite bar or package store.
You come home tired...sit in "your: chair and
want the usual comfort of a glass/can in hand.
To sleeep better...toss down a drink.

These can be avoided by changeing your routine

Drive a different route
Change the furniture around..sit in a different place.
Fix a glass of anything non alcoholic.

If you drink booze from a can...use a glass
If you did drink from a glass...use a mug

I did time my cravings in early sobriety.
Mine were 5 to 7 minutes in duration.
seemed forever...but that was false.

I took action....drank cold watter ...brushed my teeth
went for a walk...danced around the room...ate Lifesavers

I was also taking a multi vitamin and a B Complex
I was following an eating plan for hypoglycemia
I attended AA daily.

Within 2 weeks they lessened immensley... in both
intensity and duration By 2 months they vanished....

Congratulations on your decision to quit
Blessings to you and your family
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:12 AM
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:13 AM
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Welcome Wally,

I've been sober since August of 2008. It was definitely true for me that just because I survived the first 2 weeks ok, that didn't make the period at 2-3 months easier. Alcohol had been such a big part of my life, and my coping mechanisms, that there was a big void when I stopped drinking, filling in that void took a while.

If you can find other people in your area who have been through the same thing, you might want to talk to them. For me at least, knowing that I was not alone and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel made things bearable...
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:55 AM
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My suggestion???? Go to AA. I just started this whole I am an alcoholic ordeal. And yes. it f sucks. The reason I like AA? Because you feel understood and loved and supported. They won't tell you hat to do or not to do. But you will be with many others who feel exactly as you do. It's like when your wife was pregnant. It was fun to talk about it with others, but the only people who understood were the other husbands of pregnant women. Just go once and see what you think. Keep in mind. All the people you will see there are on the same boat as you. NO JUDGEMENTS
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:07 AM
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there is a world of difference between merely being 'sober', and being in recovery.

I don't participate in AA, but a lot of people use it for a recovery program. What is your recovery plan? What help have you had? If you just take away the alcohol, only a tiny bit is resolved.. the rest that's left will (in my opinion) not go away on it's own. I found that seeing an addictions counselor a couple times a week helped me unlock the rest, tremendously, and taught me how to LIVE sober, instead of merely surviving without alcohol.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:09 AM
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Cravings are something Dr. Bob, one of the co-founders of AA, lived with almost daily until his death. Still, he remained sober. Others, like Bill W.....and me...........were relieved of cravings from the outset of their recovery. All I can say is that I think it's a "God thing". I would have had no earthly idea how to relieve myself of craving alcohol- and was shocked when it happened for me. Shocked and oh so grateful. That said, I was willing to go to any lengths, any lengths, to stop drinking. That meant there was nothing I wouldn't do to be relieved of my obsession. I believe that that very willingness had something to do with the loss of cravings. So I guess I'd ask you if you are willing to do anything.....or not.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:00 AM
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one day at a time

Hello,

I am new and have been sober only for a little while, only thing I can tell you is what is working for me.

I go to AA meetings, I try to go to 4 to 5 meetings in a week. I am married and have kids so time is of premium. So, either I go to noon meeting that I can make it at lunch time or 8.30pm meetings.

Also, don't think about quitting for a long time, just think that I am not going to drink today. When you see other people drinking, say thank I don't have to drink anymore.

Go to gym and do a bunch of cardio (have you heared of runners high?), it will give you a good buzz and no depression or hangover.

Good luck.

Jay
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