Strategies for avoiding cravings……

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3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #20558

    Participant

    I’m not sure if the cravings are for the alcohol or just the habit I’ve formed…..get off work, drive home, open the front door, take the dogs out, bring the dogs in…take out the preferred wine glass and pour wine. Like the last time I tried this, I now go through all of the same steps except now I pour sparkling water in that preferred wine glass and the craving goes away. I think I will continue that process. I will also avoid the wine/beer sections of the grocery stores and I will avoid one store where I have to walk past the wine as soon as I walk in….. I also made a list of the things I can do with the money that I usually spend on alcohol and just this moment thought that I will take the usual alcohol money in a jar, watch it grow by the day and then do something good with it at the end of each 30 day period!
    One goal I have is to walk in to those same stores and not even notice the alcohol sections!!
    Sending good energy to everyone tonight!

  • #20560

    Participant

    Hi christenej,
    Your strength is giving me strength. You are me! In fact, that’s how I felt the first evening, back on January 1, when I sat and read and read as many posts as I could. Everyone was me! I marveled at it.
    I bought a case of “Bai Bubbles Variety Pack” at our local Costco. My ingrained habit was to sip while preparing the evening meal. Now I’ll sip one of these and I’m fine! What if often times people are simply thirsty? And don’t need alc at all to quench their desire for something. I love sparkling drinks, either these or seltzer. They give me a pleasure, but none of the horrible side effects alc is giving me these days. Enjoy your beautiful day!
    -K

  • #20566

    Participant

    I have wondered that too…about what if people just needed to replace the alcohol with something else…. I know there’s a difference between being physically addicted and having a habit (that’s one reason I am anti-AA!!) so I would assume that just changing the habit will work for some people!! For you it’s been since January!! WOO HOO!!!!! Good for you!!

  • #20568

    Participant

    I also have been enjoying very much a cup or tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate. I have to be careful, though, to make sure I’m not taking too much chocolate. So far, I am able to be mindful about how much.
    This is a good place to tell what happened when I reached day 44 around Valentine’s Day which also happened to be my 20th wedding anniversary this year. I tried some wine but took one more than I should have and had a little black out. Nothing bad happened, thank God, but I don’t like that any more. Then tried again to see if I could moderate with rum & coke, and once again took more than I would have liked. I slept really horribly. So, the next morning I poured out the whole bottle down the sink! And it was one of those big bottles, 2 Liters (?) That was a first, and I’m glad I did it. Now I’m back to my very good nights’ sleep and beautiful mornings again.
    Pray God, I stay the course.
    I think I’m on day 32 or 33, second round, of alc-free.

  • #20577

    Participant

    I’m right there with you! I started the 30DSS the last time with the thought that I could be a “normal” drinker and did okay ..at first…. it only took a few short weeks before I was back to 3 or 4 glasses (or more if I didn’t have to work the next day!) of something alcoholic every evening… this time I’m doing it with never drinking again in mind… I’m on day 5 sober but staying on day 4 in the program a bit longer…. that whole forgive myself thing is a bit much!!

  • #20581

    Participant

    I am having a very hard today. It has been since Friday March 30th 2018 since I had a drink. Today is my 8th day sober and I’m struggling. My husband will be gone all day and that gives me a great excuse to drink. I just listened to the time travel technique again and it helps. That future drunk self scares the crap out of me. I keep imagining myself puffy with excruciating pain in my liver. I’m trying to imagine what happened to my liver and it keeps me from relapsing. We’re remodeling the upstairs bathroom so that will keep me partially busy today. I think I will google photos of livers infected with cirrhosis if the temptation becomes too strong. Lately I’ve been picking up extra hours to suppress the urge but I want a day off to relax. Ugh!

    • #20585

      Participant

      Hey Janedoe54!! Most of us on here can “feel your pain!” What helps me when I have cravings may sound simplistic but, so far, it’s been working. I don’t know what your drink of choice was but mine was wine…so I still go through the motions of drinking from my favorite wine glass using sparkling water (even flavored…lemon/lime or orange are my favorites) instead of the wine. I also have a favorite mixed drink glass and I use it sometimes too. For some reason, going through the motions of pouring that drink but pouring the sparkling water instead of the alcohol works for me. I sure wish I could give you more words of wisdom in your journey…. it can be a struggle but it is a struggle you can win!
      Sending you love and healing light….

  • #20604

    Participant

    Thank you but unfortunately I’m back at day 2.

    • #20605

      Participant

      Don’t despair @janedoe54.
      As the late Marshall Rosenberg who coined the term NVC, Non Violent Communication, also known as Compassionate Communication , said,
      “Every time I mess up is a chance to practice. ”
      You might want to skip to Day 14. The Bonus Solution which is The Relapse Solution has some encouraging words on this situation!
      Onward, Sina

  • #20620

    Participant

    Hi everyone. Finding inspiration in your posts! To be honest, this is probably the 9th time I have tried to start this program. I did it once all the way through about 2 years ago, but I wasn’t able to make it stick after that. Damn it. I just realized it has been 2 years. Shit. What have I done with that time. Oh well. I am trying again. I try not to be to hard on myself because at least I am trying. I could give up. I have given up before. I know where that leads. Trying is always better than nothing.

    Anyway, I did a hypnosis on youtube yesterday. I feel like it helped. But more than that I am feeling confident this time around. I feel like I have so much energy. The weird part is I really feel the universe rewarding me for doing well and (I don’t want to say punishing) showing me some harsh truths when I don’t. Every time I let go of my bad habits and dig into the good side of my life positive opportunities seem to magically present themselves. When I don’t things seem to go wrong.

    I also am really basking in the energy I have when I get a good nights sleep. Man the last month or so I have been waking up in the middle of the night many times, not able to sleep, feeling sick (of course because I am hung over) and when I wake up just doing the bare minimum to get through the day. Ugh. So awful. I can’t believe I would give up this feeling. But I have in the past. and I know that regressing is just one split second decision away. That is so scary to me. But the good news is every split second I get the opportunity to choose to thrive!

    • #20626

      Participant

      Janedoe54,
      Of course you can, your strength comes through in your words! You’ve got this!

      Christenej

      • #20628

        Participant

        Thank you! I wish you success at your journey!

  • #20624

    Participant

    Hello everyone, I’m on day 4 and I feel like I’m going to make it this time. I relapsed last Friday and had a drink and a half (only because I spilled the second drink). I felt horrible all night literally. I had a splitting headache that finally got me out of bed at 4am. I sat on the recliner and took some tylenol. I also made several trips to the bathroom all night not vomiting the other end. Needlesstosay it was a horrible experience. Not worth the slight buzz I got for a few hours. But on the bright side, it was a good experience for me. What happens to me when I drink has been confirmed yet again. My body doesn’t want it. I need to stop permanently forever and I think I can do it this time.

    • #20627

      Participant

      Exactly @janedoe54. Our ‘reptilian ” brain will continue despite all knowledge to the detriment. It’s up to our higher selves to take control.
      I’m grateful you are feeling strong!
      Onward. Sina

  • #20666

    Participant

    This is my first post and my Day 3. I had planned for today to be my ‘quit date’ since yesterday was my birthday, but I actually made it through yesterday without a drink! I’ve felt pretty good today, but I know there will be tough days ahead. The last time I tried to quit, I had five good days then was simply overwhelmed on day six and started drinking again. I am hopeful that the solutions in the program will help during the tough times. My biggest challenge is overcoming the inner monologue that tends to tell me I can drink if I go a few days without doing so. No matter my intentions, I tend to ramp right back up to where I was before within a couple of days. My strategies presently include journaling near the end of the work day, right before I typically start drinking, then once I get home to go for a run. I need to replace the cue/reward cycle with healthy habits. I’m still contemplating whether adding AA or some form of therapy would be beneficial. I am growing more convinced that having others to talk to in-person will be helpful.

  • #20668

    Participant

    This is my first post too and my Day 3. It has been so helpful to read about others and thinking that they are so similar to me. I have my good days and then fall back into the bad habits again. Have this talk with myself about 4:00 every afternoon about which sports bar I am going to go to. Have to battle that and been doing so for 30+ years. I quit smoking many years ago and sometimes still get the urge. Whenever I got the urge I always acknowledged it by saying to myself: “Boy I would like to have a cigarette right now, but I won’t.” It always seemed to help that I confronted it and told myself that even though I want one I won’t have one.

  • #20802

    Participant

    For everyone struggling with cravings here is a list of a few supplements I have bought that have worked for me:

    1. Kudzu Root (found on amazon) is a Chinese root that has proven to reduce the cravings of alcohol.
    2. Multivitamins especially B Vitamins
    3. Niacin
    4. Milk Thistle (my favorite) to cleanse and help the liver. I take 1000 mgs daily.
    5. Sobrenix is something I found on amazon that comes in a vile and a dropper. 1-2 droppers a day seems to do the trick. It is basically a combination of what I listed above but liquid absorbs faster then say a pill so when having a craving you squirt it in your mouth.

    Also I have read online that BCCAs also help reduce cravings. I buy Xtend watermelon flavor. Its sweet and helps with the craving of sugar that is in alcohol.

    Hope this helps and sending good vibes to all of you!

    Dan

  • #118702

    Participant

    I am on Day 3. On Day 1 I stopped drinking. Day 2 was really rough. And as far my action plan goes, all I’ve done is come home and drink La Croix instead of wine. I’m even a little afraid of drinking it out of a wine glass. But, I’m thinking I might try drinking from some kind of special glass that isn’t usually for alcohol. The only other thing I’ve done is do my 30 Day tasks when I would usually start drinking after work and go to bed really early. A lot of my reason for sleeping is that I have felt so awful. I’m feeling better and better, though. I know I can do this. I have stopped twice before for two or three months. What I tend to do once I feel better physically is forget how awful things get if I drink and how afraid I am of being a drunk old woman. (I’m 55 now) This time I’m not even considering drinking moderately later. I think that I can’t drink moderately. Just like I couldn’t smoke moderately. And I kicked that years ago after trying several times. I do need to think of more action plan steps on what I’m going to do if/when a craving hits. Exercise won’t help me because I hate that about as much as I hate craving a drink. Not sure what to do…

  • #118703

    Participant

    Welcome aboard the Sober Coaster @just_margie !
    So glad you are here among Fellow Sobriety Seekers.
    What has worked for me is to re establish some activities I used to love in my younger days. I have started to read Novels again! I’m tutoring myself in a new craft which is possible by viewing YouTube tutorials, something only possible I recent years.
    I’m excited to report the world gets bigger and more life affirming every day! I’m 67 years YOUNG!
    ONWARD. Sina

    • #118705

      Participant

      Thanks so much for the encouragement! These are great ideas. It’s good to hear such an excited voice about sobriety. Having a little chamomile tea and hoping for a good night’s sleep. Have a great evening!

    • #118922

      Participant

      I am on Day One, for the 6th time. It took me 6 serious tries to stop smoking (25 years ago) so I figure maybe 6 is my lucky number. It’s been the same process with stopping wine as stopping smoking: I do fine quitting for a while, then figure “just one” won’t hurt, and within a week I’m right back to where I started. You’d think I’d learn! Well, maybe I have. Going back to Day One over and over is ridiculous; the first days are always the hardest. I know from the many breaks from drinking I’ve taken over the years that it gets easier and easier as a mindset takes hold. (I’m 76, so I’ve taken lots of on-the-wagon breaks during my past 50 years of drinking wine.) …. I find reading the Forum really helpful. As one contributor said, you’re like me and that makes me feel less alone. My mantra throughout the day is “I’m a non-drinker! Hooray! I’m free from alcohol! Hooray!” I love not drinking.

  • #118706

    Participant

    Oh! And I did find a hypnosis/meditation by Andrew Johnson to quit drinking. It’s very calming and reinforcing. I would recommend it. Found it on the Apple App store.

  • #119026

    Participant

    Day 3 for me, for the first time. I just found this program about a month ago and picked my start date (last Tuesday) for when I’d actually pick up the book and give it a try. Not too bad so far; I really wanted a beer last night, but just opted to not instead. I keep saying out-loud that I am 100% committed and so my decision has already been made.
    My witching hour has been when I start making dinner. Sometimes I’d plan something really elaborate, meaning I could start on the wine at 3 pm, but I bet you can guess how that usually turned out. So I’m still planning our dinners, but with lots of prep work to keep my hands and mind busy. I also liked to sit up in bed with a glass or 3 of wine, so instead now, I’m reading tomorrow’s chapter of the 30 Day in the evening and re-reading it and doing the work in the morning.
    I’m feeling pretty good about all this so far. I work at home (I’m writing my PhD dissertation) and my husband is a very light-if-at-all drinker, so don’t have lots of social temptations during the week, and the friend I travel with on most weekends is 14 years sober, so that will help. But they’re both used to me drinking a lot of wine, so that might get interesting as this proceeds.
    onward!

    • #119029

      Participant

      Welcome aboard the Sober Coaster a wild ride well worth the price of admission @mollygirl!
      Sounds like you’re off to a great start! Onward! Sina

    • #119031

      Participant

      Good job, Mollygirl! Day 10 here and I’m feeling really positive. I know how the cooking with a glass of wine in your hand goes. I’ve been doing it for years. I’m doing what I did when I quit smoking… mixing it up a little. I bought a new cutting board and I’m using a discard bowl instead of making several trips to the trashcan. Just changing the way I usually do things in the kitchen. Cooking new things. More grains and fruits. Anything to make it different. And if I don’t feel like cooking or doing anything at all, I don’t! I go to bed early and meditate. All the best on your journey! It’s a strange new world. I’ve formed my whole adult life drinking. I’m interested to see myself in another 20 days, six months, a year… Here’s to the new life!

  • #119033

    Participant

    haha just_margie! I don’t want to be the drunk old woman either, at a whopping 52.

    The thing I’ve noticed just in the last two nights is that I sleep through the night. Crazy! I just had a hip replaced 6 weeks ago, and for the prior year, I was able to brush off the waking up at 2 AM due to hip pain, which was certainly part of it, but a bigger part was the damn wine wearing off and waking me up so that I couldn’t go back to sleep. The hip is so much better now, and for at least my first two AF nights in a row in probably 10 years, I slept right through.

    • #119034

      Participant

      Good for you, Mollygirl! I wish I was sleeping all the way through the night. I really can’t remember the last time that happened. I’m still waking up all night, several times. I just try not to worry about it or I’ll never get back to sleep. I did sleep a lot deeper though last night. So, hopefully, that’s a good sign!

  • #119144

    Participant

    I am really struggling to break my evening habit. I can be 110 percent on board all day, but when 5:00 rolls around it’s like this other persona takes over my body. I just can’t shake the urges. I need help!! What are your best strategies?

    • #119145

      Participant

      Hi @iambrianmn. Have a plan in place BEFORE “Decision fatigue” (ph 151-152) sets in. “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
      It is TOUGH at times!!! Some programs refer to what you describe as the “Alcoholic Voice ” (AV). Some talk to that voice and even name it! IE, “The Brat”.
      Keep on, even if you have slips. The only way you can truly fail is to give up!
      Onward, Sina

  • #119291

    Participant

    I had my first craving on my way home from a conference yesterday. I told myself, “why don’t you just stop and buy a small box of wine? You can stop there.” Of course, the other side of my brain said, “Dream on darling! You NEVER stop when you are supposed to.” So, I thought about what might satisfy my craving, and my mind said “a chocolate bar”. “Ok, mind,” I said, “let’s give it a try!” It worked, and I was please to know that there is a part of my brain that is smarter than the part that drives me to drink. Like others, I’ve found coffee helps too. I’ve also gone back to doing my yoga, and that has probably been the biggest help. Will see how it works next time I get a craving.

  • #119315

    Participant

    Thanks for the sugggestions! I have been going strong for a while now. I have been meditating when I get home and going through my before me (which helps me remember that an innocent little drink is never ends up innocent) and my vision statement. So far that has been helping me stay straight. Also I have been loosing weight so it reminds me not to throw away my progress.

  • #119339

    Participant

    Hello everyone! @iambriamn @santosha23 @sinaqueena @just_maggie @mollygirl @betsy3333
    Day 5 (part III) for me. The 1st week is always a BIOTCH! Why would I ever start again?
    I think that (& my liver pain) will prevent me from going down the slippery slope.
    For cravings I take Acamprosate & Xanax the 1st 3 days as I am also a hypocondriac (sp?) & think I will get DTs.
    Then I switch to GABA supplements, L-Tyrosine, B1, D3, GLA & DHA, plus relaxing teas, Zenify & Just Chill plus magnesium drinks.
    I started listening to a Sublimator App to reprogram my subconscience (sp?) while I sleep.
    The anxiety dissipates after 3 days but the sweatiness/feeling hot still lingers for a while – also random headaches (but not as bad as hangovers….).
    Reading your posts help.
    I also do audio books in the car – 30 Day Sobriety Solution on the way to work & something different on the way home. Lately been listening to Russel Brand’s “Recovery” which is both deep & hilarious.

  • #119496

    Participant

    I’m on day 9, and I believe that you need to replace the habit with something. I live in the state of Florida in one of the most prestigious areas and there is a plethora of restaurants, dancing, activities and lots of people coming here for vacation and drinking is very prominent and acceptable. Although I wasn’t a crazy drinker, mostly wine at dinner and sometimes at lunch with friends, I just got tired of it and wanted to be healthier and see how different I would be abstaining from drinking. I am very health conscience, lead a very healthy lifestyle and have organic teas, healthy shakes, organic foods, supplements, exercise, etc. So what I noticed is that I needed to figure out what drink I could have when I went out with friends/events. So, I will order a non-alcoholic beer, or have sparkling water with mint and lime for now with an iced tea or water with lemon. It is helping! I also have a cup of cacao bliss at night with a small piece of dark chocolate (92-99%). I don’t have the cravings! The more I read about the negative effects of alcohol, the more I hate it. Now I watch my friends who are drinking repeat themselves, slur their words and half the time don’t remember what we’ve talked about. I do not want to be like that! Although I’m a little lethargic at times because of detoxing, I am feeling a lot freer, happy, more creative and excited to see the changes ahead! Hope I’ve helped someone!

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