Terrible cravings and a step forward

Yesterday afternoon, at 5.24pm, I texted my husband and said I’d like wine that evening. I was experiencing an intense craving, I was absolutely sure I would drink some wine, and I felt as though it was the most important thing for me to do. He replied saying he didn’t think it was a good idea mid-week. I then made a chicken pie, took the children to their piano lessons, and by the time I got home, the craving had passed. But I was amazed at how powerful it was. I literally had to squash it down, force myself to do something else until it went away.

I know these cravings are normal. And I know I keep putting myself back into the cravings pit because every time I do a few sober days and then drink again, the cravings return with a vengeance. So I must must must push through these early days.

Sitting listening to the children’s piano scales, I imagined what would happen if I drank that wine. I imagined my husband not joining in, and my drinking a few glasses and being back at Day 1. I imagined gulping the wine, hiding how much I’d had, feeling grim.

Day 3 today. It’s like wading through treacle. My small step forward is that I have made an appointment to go and see someone about this; it’s not for a while, but it’s in the diary.

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12 thoughts on “Terrible cravings and a step forward”

  1. That’s a great step forward. Be aware that therapy (if that’s your appointment) might scatter your pieces before bringing them back together. Going inwards is tough. Keep going, okay?

    1. I agree totally, it’s a HUGE step forward, and the going inward thing is very tough. Feeling your feelings instead of numbing them with booze can leave you feeling very raw and vulnerable. It may be very tempting to go back to the old way of drinking over the pain rather than just feeling it and dealing with it. A lot of us drinkers have challenges with this. Just be aware that things may hit you and cravings may get more intense as the alcohol brain seeks to numb the pain you’re digging up in your session. When you’re thinking “Therapy should make this better, not worse,” realize that you ARE making it better. In fact, the more your boozy brain wants to climb into a wine bottle after your session, the more good you’ve actually done for yourself.

  2. Hi Annie, I’ve been reading your blog for a while but this is the first time I’ve commented. Well done for Day 3. I can sense how hard it is for you but you’re still trying and that’s the main thing. I’m so pleased to hear that you’ve made an appointment to talk to someone. It sounds like it could be a really important tool in your sober toolbox! I’m on Day 33 but I can really relate to a lot of your thought processes, thinking about the future etc. I’m reading Allen Carr’s “The Easy Way to Control Alcohol” at the moment and that’s helping to change the way I think about drinking. I’m also thinking of this as living a different life – not worse, just different. I’ve also tried to replace my drinking habit with new healthier habits, like running and meditation and it’s helping because I’m really feeling the benefits physically and mentally. It sounds like you have a busy life anyway, but I just wanted to share what’s working for me. I have also only been out socially if I really have to (just two meals out and a big family meal). These times are the hardest for me because I was a social drinker and I would rather not go out at the moment and build up some sober momentum. I hope that Day 3 will be easier for you. I just wanted you to know that I’m rooting for you!

  3. You did great! You were mindful of your desire to drink, you followed it through to the end in your mind and chose not to! When those cravings hit, there’s no room for wishy-washy-ness. I had a mantra in the early days that really helped… I just said to myself “I will not drink. Not today.” I started out every day saying that to myself, and any time that craving came, I repeated it. I’m 192 days in now, but I do remember how hard those cravings were. You armor up every day with your intentions, and you use your weapons of mindfulness (knowing why you want to drink) and your tools to distract yourself. In time, the cravings will get less and less and it becomes easier. That doesn’t mean you can ever let your guard down. I still have to remind myself sometimes that “I will not drink. Not today.” Keep fighting through it.
    Don’t. Give. Up.

  4. It’s funny how cravings do pass, though, when you do something else instead. The feeling can be so intense – and then, when you change tack and get distracted, the moment seems to just pass. I must remember that…

  5. Day four here…hasn’t been terrible but oh how afraid I am of the weekend….that’s when I would always cave….trying to plan some healthy things to look forward to and non/normie drinkers to be around.

  6. Dear Anne, I completely empathise. My cravings are so strong sometimes that I feel as if I have been taken over by a demon. You did very well to distract yourself. ‘Wading through treacle’ is a great analogy. Hang on in there. We can beat the cravings. x

  7. Hi Annie!
    When I first tried to get sober I had really bad cravings.
    I couldn’t get through them for awhile.
    They finally diminished.
    Does your doctor know you are struggling?
    I am happy I have a good therapist.
    Just today.
    Hugs,
    Wendy

  8. Annie, i have said this to you before. it is harder those first few days than the rest of the journey in a lot of ways. if you can push through them it does actually get easier. if you can do a heap of day ones, (the hardest ones) you can do 100. honest!!!!!!
    Lisa

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