1198664 tn?1368647812

What do YOU do to stop your cravings?

When they hit what are some good techniques to overcome them?  As of now I am not going to meeting or anything so I am looking for some methods maybe people have learned. They are pretty bad right now on day 9. They hav been since about day 7 actually. This generally where i lose it about this long into recovery. I cannot do it this time ii can't take anymore. But it's all I dreamed about all night, I woke up all through the night just jonesing to take some perc's or something. And now they are hitting again hard. And there is NO reason for it!  I have no pain ight now. This is mind over matter I just need to know how to distract myself from this or I am going to end up, no...I can't even imagine it :(
15 Responses
Avatar universal
You need to get into aftercare. look up a meeting in your area and go. also ask your doc to refer you to a therapist who specializes in addiction. I also thought i could do thi alone and relapsed several weeks into recovery. You sound like you've done this a few times. Nothing changes if nothing changes. You need to take a NEW approach to this as your old approaches aren't working out. BEFORE you give in to your addiction try some aftercare. If there are no meetings in your area today try to get out and get some excercise, go see a non using friend, walk your dog, go swimming, join a gym and do a workout..basically anything you enjoy doing to get your mind off it. But really, you should look into aftercare. Anyone I've seen on here with a decent amount of clean time have all done some form of aftercare. You have broken the physical addiction and your dealing with the mental crap which in my opinion is far worse. You need help to stay clean and should seek it out right away. Congrats on 9 days free of the devil pills!! Now, protect those 9 days with everything you got and get some aftercare.
Avatar universal
Just remember... you CAN do it. Don't let the disease defeat your wilpower. I know it isn't easy but I also know that it is possible. Things that I have found to be good distractions are MUSIC for sure, friends that dont use, movies, and PRAYER. The cravings will subside, maybe just for today, and they will return again tommorow and even next week, but if you are able to calm the beast and stay clean, the payoff of a sober life is much more great than that of a few hours being high.  
1218318 tn?1266808601
to answer your question; I'm into AFTERCARE. I get with other addicts in recovery on a regular basis. My life depends on it - but that's just me.
1198664 tn?1368647812
Thanks. I just took a shower a will try to do some work for a bit. A dog walk in a bit is something else I will do and have done the past 2 days. But I am not exagerating by saying getting through thus today is going to every bloody ounce of strength (that is already diminished ) to get through this today without popping something. Feels like I have  PAWS already. Can that stuff happen as early as 8 days into being clean?
Avatar universal
It sure can, with me there was never a ''pink cloud'' it was grind all the way through and a fight all the way through. I endured almost a month of it and failed to get aftercare. I ended up relapsing and found out the hard way that this addiction is bigger then me and I need all the help I can get in staying clean. Now I'm back to square one and starting over. Thats why I stressed aftercare so much in my post. I honestly think if I had gotten it sooner I wouldn't be starting over again. Please look into aftercare and line something up for yourself. It can make all the difference.

Btw, the dog never got walked so much when I was detoxing, lol. I found the fresh air, walking and excercise helped get my mind off it. Also went swimming a lot. There is a pool near me and they keep the water nice and warm. You might want to try that. The water is very soothing, well it was for me. But really try and get some aftercare asap. That can be the key to maintaining your new lease on life.
1198664 tn?1368647812
I know but man I am just not ready to do the n/a yet. I almost thought about it last night but I wasn't even close to doing it. I think I could do a therapist though, as long as I found one that accepted good looks as a payment lol. It bites being broke right now, kind of limits me. I honestly believe I will be riding about a 60% chance of failure ALL DAY today :(. And like it or not this board is really the only after care I have right now so I'll try to make the best of it. I'll be trying to fight this on my own, reading and posting throughout. For today this is what I have chosen. You are all great on here.
Avatar universal
I agree with the majority. Aftercare is the ONLY way. You need to be able to share with others and let others share with you. The interaction will do a great deal of good with helping you along in recovery. Hey, I'm a 22 year old addict, and I feel terrible because of that. I know that the first step is half the battle... and being almost thru 2 days clean (out of a two year addiction) is a pretty damn good accomplishment for me. The second half will be getting my a$$ into meetings ASAP and learning about my disease and how to overcome it. Stay strong and deeply consider doing 90 in 90. (90 meetings in 90 days) because I sure know I will.
Avatar universal
When the urge comes I remember this and after a while with practice it comes automatically..... This is pasted from someone else I just wrote and VERY powerful info on how the mind/memory works against us with substance addiction.....It's the risk of re-lapse of opiates that you need to be very concerned about as over time the mind naturally minimizes traumatic experiences (withdrawal) and remmembers or enhances the pleasurable experiences (opiate high) etc. The memory of 'natural' bad experiences in life are minimized over time so that we are able to move forward with new experiences in life but this works opposite or against us with addiction. When the memory of the painful experience of withdrawal fades, our mind 'tricks' us into thinking something like "Hey, I've been really good and clean for a while so a couple here or there would be ok cause I'm no longer an addict and I can 'manage' a pill or two once in a while". This is the brain forgetting the pain and seeking the pleasure again. This is similar to people re-entering abusive relationships with people or drugs. It would be good to write a note about this to yourself and WHEN  'Mr. Tricky' comes knocking at your minds door with a couple Percocet in his hand, promise to read the note, take deep breaths, relax and your ability to say no will be greater. It would also help to take a photo of yourself looking terrible during withdraw and put it with the note, this will help minimize the brains ability to forget the pain and bring it front and center again. We swear we'll never forget this hell but we automatically do, it's built it programming and we must do everything thing we can to defeat this 'amnesia' process in regards to substance abuse. Relying on aftercare with others is very helpful but it can fade and may not always be there everyday. Your very own 'inner mind' aftercare can be very powerful also, with notes/pictures, you just have to commit to reading/viewing them when the urge comes, and come it will. Best to you and your new clean life, good for you !!
Avatar universal
Hey you need to take your thoughts captive and analyze them is this rashanel thinking? or is it the addict in me? first its a thought then the thought becomes an obsession
then the obsession becomes an action you need to break your train of thought
there are many ways to do this first distract yourself with something you like doing
get out and go for a walk or work out lissen to some music anything to get your mind off using...usually if you do that the cravings only last a 1/2hr or so and it will help get you by...but the big thing is aftercare you dont want to throw away your sobriety so eazely
so get out to an N/A meeting today you will find other people battling the same demons and it helps to be able to talk about it...try praying if you believe in God it helps me a lot just dont give in your stronger then you think you just need to start thinking about something else...good luck and God bless....Gnarly    
Avatar universal
If you follow the amino acid protocol you should find that your cravings become very mild or non-existent.  Worked for me.
Avatar universal
It worries me that you have pills in the house...it's never good to have them around...and you know this as it was brought up before.

But that doesn't answer your question about the cravings...you need to use your brain to stop them cold and not think about them. It's not easy but it gets easier...

When I get a rare craving it's very strong and I hate it. I tell someone immediately...that someone is the ONLY person who knows of my addiction and can always scare the craving away for me. This person is also part of my aftercare.

Stay strong and don't let the whispers get to you.

Vicki    xo
Avatar universal
This is an article I posted several days ago that has been VERY helpful for me - maybe you can find something in it that helps you. I wish you the very best...

Most people in the very earliest days of addiction recovery experience cravings. It is a common experience in addiction recovery. Alcohol or other drug (AOD) cravings do not mean that you are not working a good program of recovery. With continued abstinence over time, cravings will be reduced in intensity and duration. Eventually, cravings may disappear altogether. To reduce the impact of alcohol/drug cravings, it is appropriate very early on, to identify the "when", "who", "where", "what" factors in triggers for cravings. Ask yourself the following questions:

"When am I most likely to have cravings?"
"Who am I most likely to be around when I have cravings"
"Where am I most likely to be when I have cravings?"
"What kinds of things am I doing when I have cravings?"
"What kinds of things am I thinking when I have cravings?"
"What kinds of things am I feeling when I have cravings?"

Identifying these factors can help you avoid some triggers. Identifying these craving cues can also help you develop a plan to manage and reduce the impact of the ones you cannot avoid. Techniques for coping with cravings and being able to maintain your sobriety in the face of those cravings are listed here:  

1. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, leave. Get out of there. Fast.  You don't have to make any excuses or apologize; just leave.

2. Use distraction as a tool. Find something else to do--something to occupy your thoughts, time, behavior. Distract yourself with a new (or old) hobby like knitting, cross-word puzzles, reading, anything that does not involve cues for cravings.

3. Have a harmless temporary substitute available. Substitutes that do not involve other chemicals, or obsessive compulsive behaviors can be used in a pinch. Substitutes like candy, trail mix, gum, stirring straws may help. Substitutes like sex, spending, gambling, may be tendency toward cross-addictions and should be avoided.

4. Reach out to others. Call someone that supports your not drinking/using. Call your accountability partners. Call someone in AA/NA, your spouse, your sibling, anyone that will encourage you to not use. Have a phone list, where you can go down the list calling in the reinforcements to help you resist cravings before you use. Have a list so that someone will always be available. Keep calling until you get the support you need.

5. Keep an ongoing list of reasons why you want to quit using. Post it around the house. Recite the reasons that you decided to quit drinking/using in the first place. Some people find it helpful to have a "reasons for quitting" list in their wallet. Others find it helpful to have "reasons for quitting" list posted around the house and in the automobile.

6. Keep an ongoing gratitude list. Add to it when craving. Add the positive benefits that you have derived from not drinking/using that day, week, or month.

7. Challenge your distorted thinking processes. Identify any positive expectations that you may be harboring about using, and tell yourself the truth about what happened in the past when you used. Remind yourself why you decided to quit in the first place. Challenge the expectation that the chemical will have a positive effect, that it will do for you what you want it to. Tell yourself the truth about what the chemical did "to" you, rather than "for" you.

8. Challenge any self-pitying self-talk that you may have about "having to give up the chemical". Remind yourself of the negatives that you are "giving up" by quitting. Replace thoughts of loss with affirmations of positive choices to re-gain control of your life and your happiness by eliminating the source of the problem.

9. Think through the first drink/drug into the negative consequences. Remind yourself that you cannot have "just one" and that the negative consequences are sure to follow.

10. Use prayer to resist cravings.

11. Make a list of the roles that the chemical played in your life. Identify at least three healthy alternatives as replacements. Think about what you want the chemical to do now. Use the healthy alternatives instead.

12. Write a letter to someone you love and explain to them why you are not using.

13. Use thought stopping techniques to combat compulsive thoughts about using. An example might be to visualize a stop sign, or rubbing a rubber band on your wrist to ground you in the here and now. If you keep seeing the chemical in your mind's eye, visualize a skull and cross bones superimposed over it.

14. If your defenses kick in and you are thinking that you can use some other drug besides your most recent drug of choice, tell yourself the truth, that it's all the same thing.

15. Pull out your desire chip from AA or your NA key chain and rub it.

16. Read recovery literature; go to a meeting.

17. Combat each craving, one at a time, one day at a time, or if necessary, one hour or minute at a time. Do what you have to do resist the craving and not use.  

Keep reminding yourself that the craving will go away if you don't use. Also remind yourself that you don't have to quit forever, just this one day, or one hour, or one minute. Then the next day, hour, or minute, decide to stay sober another day, hour, or minute. The cravings will pass, and one day you will have a lot of minutes, hours, and days, months, and years, back to back, when you have been, and are, clean and sober.

To give credit where credit is due - this article was written by Peggy Ferguson
222369 tn?1274474635
Here's some numbers for you. The chance of long term recovery with an inpatient rehab is around 15 percent. That's the top of the line defense against this disease. The numbers go down for outpatient rehab. Outpatient rehab, and the ones that do it alone goes up when you add aftercare (namely 90 meetings in 90 days). The chances of long term recovery with no aftercare at all is practically zero. My group at my rehab had 16 people in it. 10 have returned to active addiction. One of those is dead. Of the 6, three of us have not relapsed and are coming up on one year. The other three have relapsed at varying times but are back in the program. The odds are already stacked against you. I've already lost one dear friend from my rehab group. At least increase your chances and get into aftercare. A minimal chance is better than no chance at all.
1198664 tn?1368647812
Well looks like I am going to make it today :)
I forced myself to work Then went on a nice long dog walk. feel a lot better now. I have never experienced anything like today and last night. All I did was wake up actually trembling and shaking for a "fix"! It was nuts! And I could not shake it until that walk. Those posts above are GREAT! I am going to read them every day if I have to. I just want you ALL to know that what you posted made a huge difference today. :)
1218318 tn?1266808601
I love my "dog walks", our dog loves them too! While on a dog walk a while back I saw a great bumper sticker:
In the end, everything will be alright.
If everything isn't all right, it isn't the end yet.
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