You would think I’d be getting used to this, but Sunday evening and the cravings and doubts are worse than ever. It’s incredible. I made it through Friday night, Saturday night…but instead of feeling elated and proud, I feel oddly frightened, as though by doing this, by committing to it in some way, I am going down a path where I can’t turn back.
In short, I feel rubbish. I’m sitting at my desk, trying to work, as I have a lot to get done, and my mind is all over the place. I can’t concentrate.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH.
I don’t drink. I don’t drink. I don’t drink. So why do I want a huge glass of wine? Why do I want to hide from myself like this?
13 thoughts on “Those cravings”
Annie dear, you are expecting yourself to be magically cured for a (almost) lifetime addiction in just over a week? That is crazy thinking. You are going to have good days and bad days — forever. Your cravings for wine will fade, but your bunions might start hurting. This is life. Ups and downs.
I was going to comment on your last post, which, in essence, asked “will this last forever, this elation” and I find my comment is the same for this post, which asked, “will it last forever, this horrible anxiety and craving?” The answer is no. And the answer is also: This is not a productive line of inquiry — not for staying sober, not for living a happy life.
One of the huge problems all alcoholics have is that we are TERRIBLE at living in the current moment. We have trained ourselves to cover anything that’s happening now — be it joy or anxiety or tiredness or irritation — with a glass of wine. We are constantly reliving the past (oh why did I drink so much and start yelling at my husband last night?) and worrying about or projecting into the future (I will, for the rest of my life, be a craving-wracked, miserable nondrinker). That is why “one day at a time” is such an important mantra for us. Until we learn to be where we are — the good and the bad — we will constantly be drinking down the anxiety and regret that dwelling in the past and the future cause.
Read these words and think: “I feel oddly frightened, as though by doing this, by committing to it in some way, I am going down a path where I can’t turn back.” You can never turn back, no matter what path you choose. You can never re-do what’s gone (if you could, I think I might go for a do-over of about 2011-2014). And as for the future, each morning I wake up thinking, today I will live a conscious, sober life. But I know I have a choice. I could wake up and say, today I’m gonna down a fifth of vodka. I can always go back, as can you (what do you think, by declaring you are trying to get sober, the wine shops will all close? The bars?). But do you want to? Read what you have written about what the drinking life has been like for you lately. Is it that appealing?
You don’t have to figure it all out right this second. The cravings are a combination of strong mental conditioning and physical addiction, and doing a deep analysis of them isn’t going to make them any easier. Don’t kick yourself for having them — everyone does, as you well know. And it takes more than a week for them to dissipate. Don’t kick yourself for not having it all figured out right this second. Give yourself a big internal hug and lots of compassion for how tough this is, because it is. Mourn a bit for the fancy-pants party-girl drinking self that you never really had and never can (sorry, she’s a fiction). And don’t drink.
Awesome answer. Loving, but real.
Thank you for this, I know it’s not written for me, but it applies to me. Great advice.
Day 9 Annie, tomorrow you will be day 10, eat something sugary, have a nice cup of tea, feel proud! Look at your children, give them a hug. I felt the same as you a few Sunday’s ago, I started drinking at 4, carried on all evening, played games with the kids with a glass in my hand, can’t remember going to bed. Got up in the night with palpitations, went to the loo and fell smack bang on my face. The next morning my children got up to a mum covered in blood with a massively swollen face, black eyes. I have a scar now. That is what alcohol does, the opposite of what you’re dreaming it does. Take care, I’m rooting for you x
Hi Annie, what you are feeling is normal. It will pass. These cravings and feelings will come and go over the next few weeks. The cravings do get less and less as time goes on. But I know exactly how you are feeling. When you are in the middle of a craving, you really believe all the emotions and thoughts you are thinking. If you can get past the craving you will see it for what it is, just the addiction talking, not the real you.
You know it’s impossible to go back to normal drinking. You will regret it, be full of guilt and remorse and start the cycle of stopping/starting all over again. You can do this!
Hugs. Noddy x
Hi Annie. Could you try reframing the ‘no turning back’ thought? Yes you are free to turn back at any time you want but you know which hell hole that road leads to so for today you are going forwaeds down a new road. Take care x
Hi Annie- this is very hard, that’s why you are feeling like this. Addiction is a real monster. But if you starve it, it will die down. It’s the only way.
Have you checked out Hip Sobriety school and resources? She has some great blog posts. She runs an online course too that might be something you could get into… http://www.thehipsobrietyproject.com
You can do this Annie!
Stay strong. Imagine how much harder your first day back at work will be with a hangover.
I can’t actually remember feeling more up to a return to work after the Easter holidays. Rested and clearheaded, we will be completely up to it 🙂 tea and chocolate for me. I hope you can stick it out too Annie. Day ten tomorrow. Double figures xx
When you wake up tomorrow, sober, organised , rested, proud and into double digits, this small meh period will be totally worthwhile . And the meh bits come round less often but the good stuff never goes away x
I too follow the Hip Sobriety Project. Holly also does podcasts whice are very helpful..
Keep going Annie. You don’t want to go back to the way you were before. Sober is so much better. A x
It helps me to remember that the cause of the jumbled thinking and the depression is the alcohol. That’s why it is so insidious. It creates a muddled brain and low moods that make drinking seem like the answer. It’s a perfect trap. Your brain has to heal enough to feel “normal” again. We heavy drinkers don’t remember what normal is like, but you will! You can become optimistic and zanily happy again, just like when you were six years old. Don’t you want to give that little girl a chance? ; )
You will probably continue to have those thoughts of drinking for awhile, but they will fade away. Give it time. You must go through it to come out on the other side a new person. Aways remember the drinking won’t help. You will just wake up the next morning feeling guiltier than ever. Instead, I’ll bet you woke up feeling proud this morning! keep going!