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Cravings versus . . .

Old 02-02-2016, 04:16 AM
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Cravings versus . . .

Just a question I keep running into as I read all of these threads: Does anyone else feel like they don't CRAVE per se? Or maybe that's the wrong way to state it. By the way, I'm not shaming anyone by any stretch.

I don't feel like I crave the drink at this point. I stick to low-end vodka because it's cheap and, in fact, the nausea makes it so that I can barely drink the first few anymore without mixing it and icing it. I used to drink it straight, with a chaser, no issue. Now I gag and retch. I don't even crave the euphoria (well, I'm sure I do actually, but that's not the primary thing even). My "craving" is escaping from being inside my own head and relaxing.

I've always had a certain amount of shame around drinking, being the son of alcoholics who swore he'd never touch the stuff. Between that an always being introverted, I've always tended towards drinking alone and relaxing with social media, video games, movies, etc (things I can still enjoy without alcohol, but not as much anymore) and then just falling asleep instead of tossing and turning for an hour or two. Years ago, I told a therapist about my drinking and he suggested it was more about self-medicating my sleep issues, but I wasn't fully honest with him either. What the drinking has always done for me has more been stopping my damned head from obsessing and overthinking and being restless . . . and now, of course, it's far, far worse when I don't drink thanks to all of the drinking.

I don't especially like the drink. I don't hear ice cubes going into a glass and start thinking about drinking. I have a hard time being sober just because of being me and being in my own head. I've never been hung over really, I drink tons of water and outside of being a little groggy or that headache that one time, I've never felt what most people go through and say: "I'll never do THAT again". Still, I've woke up so many times saying: "I don't want to do this anymore, let's stop doing this", and then by the afternoon I'm feeling like: "I don't want to think or feel any more today".

I'm sure I'm not the only one, I know I'm not, but I had to throw this out there to hear from people who use substances to get away. I'd love to hear any tips for planning on sobriety when we feel this way.
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:40 AM
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"My "craving" is escaping from being inside my own head and relaxing."

"What the drinking has always done for me has more been stopping my damned head from obsessing and overthinking and being restless . . . and now, of course, it's far, far worse when I don't drink thanks to all of the drinking."

'I've woke up so many times saying: "I don't want to do this anymore, let's stop doing this", and then by the afternoon I'm feeling like: "I don't want to think or feel any more today".'


Those three quotes were me.

If you are still drinking, then you just aren't acknowledging your cravings, you are feeding them the alcohol.....

It is when we are sober and can't stay stopped because we keep drinking.....that is the craziness we do! Alcohol treats my alcoholism, my selfishness, self-centeredness, and my self loathing. When I am sober, I need something else to treat my alcoholism and when I can't find it, I drink again.

I also had to stop that restlessness and irritability when I had no alcohol. The steps of AA worked for me along with SR (here), other people use other methods.
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:46 AM
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Depends what "craving" means to you.

"I don't want to think or feel any more today."

That's pretty much what was going on in my head when I had a craving. I wanted/needed to alter my mood.

To me, a craving is where I just have to have something.

There's all kinds of tips on here, just read around or someone will post some links for you. In my case, I had find a way to change the way I looked at life so I wouldn't be wanting to escape it all the time.
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:48 AM
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Exactly. Toward the end I'd pour the wine in a glass and the smell would make my throat close up. Then I'd force down the first glass, knowing the second glass would go down more easily. And then by the third, I'd be in "attempting to control mode." Many times I could quit at three, or even two. Sometimes I wouldn't stop until four or five. Some times I'd start with a beer instead, even though I don't like it, because it went down easier.

So, yes, I know exactly what you mean. The last two years for us have been horribly stressful...finances, my husband's business, three of our dogs dying, my mother in and out of the hospital, 110" of snow, shingles, from which I still have pain and eyesight problems six months later, a random IRS tax audit....bla bla bla.

So I know only a couple of stress relievers and booze was by far the quickest. The problem is, resiliency dissolves in ethanol, so I was making it worse by making it temporarily "better."

I went from wanting it to needing it to requiring it, but do I crave it now, at one month sober? No. But I'd love to be able to unclench for a while.
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:56 AM
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Fair enough sugarbear, there's truth enough to that. I am still drinking. I'm working up the courage to call the doctor for an appointment in . . . ohhhh, ten minutes. Resisting the urge to just toss back a few more and go back to sleep.

I just mean the "cravings" for me were never about the feel or the taste or the sounds or the surroundings as much as it seems like it is for a lot of people. It's all internal, and how do you get away from that?! I have been sober for months at a time before, and it was naturally a struggle, but it was always struggling to get through something that triggered me to use again. Semantics maybe. Just trying to start and figure this out so that maybe I can make a real effort this time.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:12 AM
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There's a book by Annie Grace called, "This Naked Mind" that I read before my start date this time. It takes all of the intangible stuff ("semantics" as you said), puts it to one side, and addresses the core issue of alcohol: it's a highly addictive chemical that is implicated in over 50 medical problems (it's a Class One carcinogen) and is aggressively marketed in every way possible by an industry that profits hugely mostly off problem drinkers, like us.

You might want to take a look?
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ariesagain View Post
Exactly. Toward the end I'd pour the wine in a glass and the smell would make my throat close up. Then I'd force down the first glass, knowing the second glass would go down more easily. And then by the third, I'd be in "attempting to control mode."
Yep, exactly. I came to dislike it toward the end of my drinking career as well.

But the bottom line is, if we're drinking, we're drinking. As far as I know, it still takes hard work, planning, and moxie to kick it even if we're starting to develop an aversion to it -- which I theorize is just our bodies starting to beg for mercy.

Good news: At least for me, now that I'm sober my distaste for it is helping me stay that way. I am SO relieved not to have to swallow that rotgut anymore!

The work then becomes finding what we WILL do, and what we DO like. Nature and alcohol despise a void. Idleness and boredom leave the door wide open.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:24 AM
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My cravings I think related to the fact that I romanticized my relationship with wine. It was wine with a nice dinner, wine in front of the fire, wine to relax at night...

Now I am trying to think of wine as a sociopathic ex, seems great on a surface level, and looks great on the outside. However, it will being me anxiety, and I will wake up feeling awful.

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Old 02-02-2016, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by sugarbear1 View Post
If you are still drinking, then you just aren't acknowledging your cravings, you are feeding them the alcohol.....
^This
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by UhZoomZip View Post
I'm sure I'm not the only one, I know I'm not, but I had to throw this out there to hear from people who use substances to get away. I'd love to hear any tips for planning on sobriety when we feel this way.
You'll need to proactively plan other ways of getting away and also develop good self-talk to use on yourself when you're feeling like you need to escape.

About the uncomfortable feelings, come up with some phrases you can say to yourself and/or them when you feel like you want to drink. I hate the smushy word "affirmations," but call them whatever you like. And as you probably know, a lot of those uncomfortable feelings are physiological in nature -- caused by alcohol! After a little sober time, anxiety, depression, boredom, restlessness, insomnia, etc improve!!!

And start experimenting A LOT with other ways to escape. Can't emphasize this enough. Gotta do this because if you just let the drinking time become a void with nothing to do, odds are booze is gonna creep back in. NOTE: Most of your initial experiments for new escapes may flop. But the point is to keep doing them, keep trying new things because they at least fill the time until you find the right one.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:06 AM
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Yup, retching indeed with the first few, then they went down easier. This was my body ( liver) screaming " No, I have yet to metabolize the last round--- gimme a break here. I'm only one liver....the only one ya got!" No real craving while I was following my schedule and feeding the beast. At 8 hrs w/out I would get more no matter what----That is craving.
Benzo's ease wd's. Call a doc and get outpatient. Get an accountability partner.
Or....Admit yourself for 3 days of detox.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:38 AM
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I would gag and sometimes throw up before I even cracked the can of beer I was about to drink. It was a mental thing. I would sit in my truck in a home improvement store getting about 3 or 4 in me before I could function.

Darn sure do not miss that. I have not had any craving these past 30 some days really. I felt horrible the first week but I had a prescription to a benzo that helped me. Now I am almost off that under the advise and supervision of a doctor.

As was said, if you are still drinking then .. um .. I don't what to say other than it seems a good time for you quit .. maybe see a doctor or other professionals for some advise.

Good luck with it.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:40 AM
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As I went from stage 2 to stage 3 alcoholism the obsession to drink became more pervasive.

This is a pretty good concise recap of stage 3

End Stage Alcoholism.
As alcoholism progresses, the alcoholic has become obsessed with drinking to the exclusion of nearly everything else. Everyone can tell there's a major problem. During the late alcoholism stages, the mental and physical health of the alcoholic are seriously deteriorating. Many of the body's organs have been damaged which lowers resistance to disease. Relationships at home or socially may have been severely damaged, and there can be mounting financial and legal problems due to the alcoholic's powerlessness over alcohol.
Every alcoholic will suffer from malnutrition. Alcohol in large amounts interferes with the digestion process and the passage of nutrients from the intestines into the bloodstream. Liver function has been damaged, further limiting the conversion of nutrients into a usable form that the body can assimilate. The damaged cells are not receiving the needed nutrients, they cannot repair themselves and the damage continues. Nutritional deficiencies cause a host of related problems to become worse. For example, a vitamin B-1 deficiency common in alcoholics can result in loss of mental alertness and appetite, fatigue, confusion and emotional instability.
And if the alcoholic continues drinking, alcohol will cause the death of the alcoholic in one way or another. From suicide, accidents and related injuries to direct damage to the body's organs and systems, death will likely be the final outcome of end stage alcoholism.
Are there warning signs of alcoholism? Yes! Understand the signs and symptoms that indicate that alcohol consumption is becoming or is already a problem. There are resources available in a variety of ways to help deal with alcoholism stages and the serious consequences of this disease.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:46 AM
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Just started my car to go see my doctor, but it doesn't sound like she'll prescribe me librium like I'd hoped. We shall see.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:03 AM
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We're in your pocket. You got this!
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:43 AM
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Listen to your Dr be open & honest & see how it goes no expectations

meetings really help whether 12 step or Secular or even online meetings

SR has online meetings every Tuesday & Friday in chat @ 9pm EST

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ful-links.html
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:57 AM
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Well, I'm waiting on a call from an inpatient detox for my intake. I hope I can get a bed tomorrow.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:17 AM
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I can relate to feeling uncomfortable and discontent. Today is day five for me free of opiates. I'm not working right now so im horribly bored and from what I see that's not a good thing. I'm determined to get it right this time because I'm tired of being broke, miserable and scared. Good luck with detox.....anything is better than being trapped in the cycle of addiction.
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