The topic for this week is dealing with cravings.
I guess it happens to all of us, especially if we happen to be around people getting high. I was at a concert recently in a small, crowded venue, and there were a lot of people getting high. Now, I’ve been sober for more than 7 years, but I won’t lie to you: It occurred to me for a moment how nice it would be to have one little hit, just to add a little something to how the music sounds.
So here’s what I did: I had a little conversation with myself that went like this: “Paul, it makes perfect send you’d want to get high. You had some good times doing that, and live music was one of your favorite things to mix with weed. No doubt, one little hit might be fun for a moment, BUT — what happens after that? What happen when you have a hit? Or a sip of that tasty beer they’re all having? Are you a guy who can have just one? No? Well, that’s okay, at least you know that. You smoked your share of pot, and then some, and now you have made up your mind not to do it anymore. Not even one little hit, because for you, there’s no such thing. What we’re really talking about here is not one little hit, but a whole bag, all the time, all by yourself. I know you don’t want that! So enjoy the music, wish these folks the best, and be grateful these little cravings don’t come along too often, and that you have a better way of dealing with them than before.”
In this case, in addition to that little voice, I also had a lot of examples around me of what I look like when I use: people stumbling around, acting the fool, making stupid noises, and generally being pathetic. Doesn’t look like fun to me anymore. Looks kind of sad, actually.
So how do you deal with cravings?
I really relate to this story.
I have 15 days of being smoke free today. Another defect of characture biting the dust. But O the cravings at times. So very strong.
However the talking to self and trying to convince self to stay free doesn’t really work for me.
So far, when a craving tears at my flesh and I get antsy, I change what it is that I am doing. Say that I am here writing you and a craving hits me really strong, I will get up, go outside, look up in the heavens, breath deeply fresh air into my lungs. Come back inside and finish my letter. Now that works for me.
Another issue like you have. I have a friend that has a great blues band. He is a recovering addict and alcoholic too. When he and the band hits town, I attempt to go when I can. now, this is always a bar type setting with booze and drugs flowing like you mentioned in your story.
I have found what works for me is that I not go alone. That I take a friend two, three, or four that also has sobriety that wants to go.
We chat recovery talk during the breaks or just voice about the ignorant situations that surround us. We chat with the band a bit and my friend. We leave.
I also select carefully whom I ask to go. I know my friends well enough to know who is struggeling, who is spiritually sound. I never ask the struggeler to go. I did at first when I started, but found that my motive to get them out of a depressed way by having some fun, was an actual death march to them.
Congrats on 15 days! Sounds like you’re doing a great job of putting sobriety first, which is all-important.