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Old 09-01-2013, 09:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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CarolD's tips for cravings


CarolD was one of my dearest friends here and a woman I respected.

When she passed she had over 20 years of recovery, and she leaves a great legacy here, not only in the many forums she modded, but in Newcomers forums too...

Here's a cobbled together post of some of her tips to deal with cravings

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolD
Lots of recent threads about cravings...here is what
worked for me in early sobriety.

Sharing from my files with hope it helps someone....

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 sleep better...toss down a drink.

These can be avoided by changing 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 water ...brushed my teeth
went for a walk...danced around the room...ate Lifesavers

My doctor said I did not require meds for de toxing...but agreed that
I could follow a healthy eating plan for hypoglycemia instead.

I used the one in 'Under The Influence" by Milam and Ketcham.
I consider this helped with cravings.

I was also taking a multi vitamin and a B 12

I re connected with God....very comforting for me....I prayed often...still do..

I also attended AA daily...walked often....cut out caffeine...
I quit hanging out in bars and with drinkers..
instead I made new friends in AA who shared my new goals.

Within 2 weeks my cravings lessened immensely... in both
intensity and duration

By 2 months they vanished
Have not returned in 20 years..

Shared with the hope that some of y'all will use any and all
of my experience to continue or find your way in to recovery.

Yes....you too can win over alcohol..
Please feel free to add your own tips and suggestions for dealing with cravings from your own experience

D
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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this technique helped me:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...e-surfing.html

D
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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'Playing the tape through to the end'....
__________________________________________

If I had invented it I would have written a book
I wish I could remember who introduced the concept to me here, but I can't.

I was never very good with consequences - I was always a right now guy and screw it...sort it out tomorrow.

It's probably not the best strategy to take when what you're doing is destroying you.

Playing the tape through to the end - pushing past the rosy glow of 'wouldn't a few drinks be great' and remembering what really happened all those times I thought a 'few drinks' might be good - really has saved me more than a few times...and having my old posts here (along with everyone elses) to read has helped too.

D
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Dee, CarolD was one of the first people I posted with on SR. We became friends. We did PM messages and connected. That is a great tribute. And great advice for posters.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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HALT

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolD
In AA we have a tip.
Try to remember to H.A.L.T.

Don't let yourself become overly
Hungry....Angry...Lonely...Tired
Those will make it easier to go back to drinking.

Because my drinking had caused situational depression
I added an S....for Sad.
SHALT

ok that's enough outa me...over to you guys

D
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think in the early days it's important we become aware of our sneaky alkie brains glorifying drinking, only focusing on the buzz not the huge downers like sickness , hangovers , sweats , emotional instabillity , loss of control of bodily and emotional function .

Then horrifying staying sober rather than focusing on the wonderful benifits .

When my brain things of drinking as positive i challenge myself to come up with two negatives . when my brain thinks sobrity negatively one time i challenge myself to think of two positives ...

I hope you get the idea ... eventually the internal chatter of my brain automaticly includes the positive affirmations of sobriety and the negative ones of booze .

Bestwishes, m
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So sorry to hear she passed although I didn't know her. Long live her legacy to SR

I am pretty sure I have diabetes--recent diagnosis--not sure how I will deal with sugar cravings
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When I relapsed last May, I wrote myself a letter and held back nothing. I described how I was feeling in great detail. As it was a relapse, I'd already started to feel the benefits and knew it was possible to feel a whole lot better.

It is heartbreaking to read now. One day I might post it.

If I ever got to that point in the early days where I seriously thought drinking was a good idea, (and believe me it did happen!), I would take it out and read it. It stopped me in my tracks.

Reading the letter, posting on SR and asking for help, and going to a meeting. A triple whammy....that has kept me sober.
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Drinking will kill me. If I start thinking any differently, it's a lie.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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In early recovery I used to walk my dogs any time I got cravings to drink. They liked all the walks and I stayed sober.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My tool for cravings was just not to drink. I would have intense urges and I would just try my best to distract myself with something else, and eventually it would pass. I had moments where I was absolutely convinced drinking was the only option and minutes later I would be laughing about it and incredibly happy that I didn't drink. Cravings really only last a short time.

Early on though I used chocolate.

And like Carol I changed my routine a lot. I shopped in different places, ate different food, cooked more. I don't drink from cans anymore either. Even small changes to my daily routine made a massive difference to my mindset.

I found a lot of my cravings were connected to the first time I did something sober too, like the first time I went to a concert, the first sunny day. Usually recognising this was enough to abate the craving, and the second time it wasn't an issue
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Dee. Very nice of you to put that together. I was just thinking of Carol recently and wanted to mention her in something I was thinking of posting.

She is still much missed.
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1 John 1:5 God is light

God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I think cravings are the hardest thing about giving up drinking so your post and Carol's tips will always be relevant. I addition to what you outlined, I found taking 5 deep mindful breaths relaxed me enough to banish the cravings.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Cravings, or mental blank spot of my addiction, whatever it was...I allowed it to have control last night. I went by the liquour store and picked up a half pint to hide and drink in the wee hours while my family was asleep. I started to drink it at 4 AM, then all the prayers I have made, and all the AA input I have been getting, came to me. I poured it out as a Drink Offering, and immediately I got the incredible feeling that God was doing for me what I could NOT do for myself. I posted this in the Christian forum here, and when I read this post it reminded me that with God's help, and my commitment, this addiction can be overcome. Thanks for the tips on dealing with the Cravings'.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
'Playing the tape through to the end'....
__________________________________________

If I had invented it I would have written a book
I wish I could remember who introduced the concept to me here, but I can't.

I was never very good with consequences - I was always a right now guy and screw it...sort it out tomorrow.

It's probably not the best strategy to take when what you're doing is destroying you.

Playing the tape through to the end - pushing past the rosy glow of 'wouldn't a few drinks be great' and remembering what really happened all those times I thought a 'few drinks' might be good - really has saved me more than a few times...and having my old posts here (along with everyone elses) to read has helped too.

D
That's the one I use, Dee. Thanks for the reminder and thanks for keeping Carol's name alive...she really helped me and countless others here.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
'Playing the tape through to the end'....
__________________________________________

If I had invented it I would have written a book
I wish I could remember who introduced the concept to me here, but I can't.

I was never very good with consequences - I was always a right now guy and screw it...sort it out tomorrow.

It's probably not the best strategy to take when what you're doing is destroying you.

Playing the tape through to the end - pushing past the rosy glow of 'wouldn't a few drinks be great' and remembering what really happened all those times I thought a 'few drinks' might be good - really has saved me more than a few times...and having my old posts here (along with everyone elses) to read has helped too.

D
Hi Dee,
Today is my Day 14! About a week or so ago, I was triggered into having "just one" glass of wine. I thought about what would most likely happen if I had that one glass of wine and concluded that "it was not pretty".

Someone pointed out that I had just "thought the drink through". I didn't know there was a name for that thought process until it was pointed out to me. Now, I do it all the time. The more I think the drink through the less I want one. Thanks for this post!!
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I find with a craving I need to get my mind focused on something else. Reading, cleaning, working on needlework or quilting, getting outside and going for a walk, going to the grocery store to buy something healthy and fun to eat, going to a meeting, getting on SR, filing that huge stack of paperwork/bills that have been accumulating....anything to kill time.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks for reposting this Dee!
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Sometimes easier said than done, but the happiest and most content I am in sobriety is when I'm fully accepting of the fact that there is no circumstance under which I can drink (or smoke a cigarette!).
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Cleaning just has to be a major focus for me - I'm actively doing something - I see the results - and it gives me thinking time but not the intense type because I've another focus at the same time lol
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thank you for re-posting these very excellent tips.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:48 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes also eating cinnamon balances sugar levels and eating dark chocolate can keep cravings at bay
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