How To Reduce Alcohol Cravings
Getting sober after a lifelong battle with alcohol is a massive accomplishment, and not one that everyone gets to celebrate. If this is you, you know the challenges that need to be overcome in order to get to where you are today, and you know what kind of challenges others face as they start or continue their journey.
If you are coming out of recovery, you know that being in recovery is a lifelong process, not one that can be forgotten about and then picked up when convenient. This means making daily habits that help reinforce your decision to stay sober. Alcohol cravings are one of the harder things to overcome. They are something that comes from inside of you, they feel like they can’t be controlled. While you might have everything on the outside taken care of you might feel helpless because of the mental turmoil that you have to face trying to deal with your own alcohol cravings.
This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Thankfully there has been much study into what starts an alcohol craving and there are simple steps that you can take to help get yourself in the best mindset to overcome these cravings.
Alcohol use disorder
Alcohol use disorder is one disease of many that can be treated but not cured. This is what makes being someone in recovery so difficult. It’s not just a decision that must be made daily, but hourly, every minute. For a recovering addict, every decision needs to be made with their disease in mind.
This doesn’t mean life has to be lived under a rock, however. It does mean that one should know what makes their cravings worse and what to do when experiencing a craving. So without further adieu, let’s look into some concrete ways that you can reduce your alcohol cravings.
Know your triggers
Alcohol cravings don’t spring up out of nowhere. They come from a specific moment, something that reminds your brain of the need or the substance that you’re trying to avoid. These triggers can be broad or specific. The broad ones can be hard to avoid, but they generally can be easier to stop yourself in the moment. These triggers can also be easier to re-associate. Specific ones are more tricky, and can lead to more dangerous situations. Recognize these triggers and do your best to avoid all situations surrounding them.
Take a moment and think about what makes you want to drink. Is it some specific stress in your life? Work? Maybe a family member that doesn’t stop bothering you? Whatever it might be, be honest with yourself, recognize it and build a plan to try and cut these triggers down.
This could mean pretty radical changes in your day to day life. That’s okay – and those around you that understand your pursuit should be doing their best to support you in any way that they can. This might be hard for you, but realize that this is saving your life and will be the best for you in the end.
Avoid Risky Situations
Your recovery is in your own hands. Remember that. Someone else does not govern your life, and therefore you get the opportunity to say no to things that you think would put you in a compromising position. Maybe your good friend that you haven’t seen in a while invites you out to a bar? This might be a really tempting situation – but that doesn’t mean that you have to throw your entire life away for one night. Remember that while you control your life, you are at the mercy of the situations that you put yourself in.
Keep A “Cravings” Log
Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t really know their triggers right away. Identifying triggers can be hard, and even if you find one or two, that doesn’t mean that you’ve found all of them or even a significant amount. Keeping a cravings log will help you understand yourself better and get a chance to really get to the bottom of your cravings.
From this point, you can start making concrete plans on how to avoid these cravings and try to plan your day around previous days that were better, and learn from the days that were worse.
Call Your Sponsor
This is something that someone in recovery should always be doing. Calling a sponsor will help center yourself especially in times of cravings. The bigger picture can so easily slip away from us in times of weakness, knowing this and having a plan ready to call your sponsor will give you more opportunities for success in your pursuit for permanent sobriety.
Nobody is stronger than their surroundings. We are all at the mercy of the things that go on around us. You are made up of the things that you let yourself consume, and while it might seem like much of what you are consuming is not optional, in reality it really might be. Realize that every situation is a test – a chance for success or a chance for failure. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you can fail, learn to thrive in your element.
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol use disease, please reach out to us at ecosoberhouse.com. We have the tools and are ready to help anyone that reaches out. Your life matters, and you can do so much with a sober life. Take the first step today, right now!