Cravings (Day 5)

Free Lake and Mountain Stock Photo

I chose the above picture for a sense of calm, something to look at while I’m writing about today’s TAE topic: cravings. Because just the word, “cravings,” sends off a trigger ALERT in my head. Funny, right? Ah… but the truth.

So, yep, Annie Grace talked about what cravings actually are and how we can effectively combat them. Essentially a thought pops into our brain (cue, trigger), and we get a “feeling,” which if not tamped off leads to the craving. Cravings can be felt physically. Perhaps you get a knot in your stomach or your chest hurts, maybe your jaw sort of clenches or a headache blooms at your temples. Annie said that when we notice that we’re having a craving, we should sit with this feeling. Observe it like an outsider. Get curious. We should ask ourselves what we were thinking at that exact moment, what evoked the feeling that led to the craving. Maybe we could even journal it out, she suggested.

To not cave to them, she said we first need to know that they WILL pass. Cravings typically last only 15 to 20 minutes. We’re to ask ourselves what is the trade off? Do we want to face (and conquer) this short, uncomfortable time period, or do we want to deal with the horrible aftermath if we cave–the hours of feeling like crap in the middle-of-the-night when we come down off our high? That, my friends, is THE question to ask yourself before you decide to take your first sip. Is it really worth it?

Lots of times I try to just block the negative effects of alcohol from my mind. I focus only on the good. The fun at hand. The entertainment factor. I DON’T picture what is to come once I go to bed. I have that first drink, feel the first stirrings of a buzz, and I keep drinking, keep shooting for that “elevated” feeling, and keep pushing back thoughts of what I’m actually doing to my body and brain. What I’m doing to my next day, how I’m puncturing my energy like a balloon, how I’m guaranteeing myself that I won’t get everything accomplished on my “to-do” list, nor have much fun with my family.

So, yep, the next time a craving comes calling, I’m going to picture it as a boat (maybe like the one in this picture), and I will sail it off into the lake, alone. I will NOT let it take me along for a ride. I have better things to do with my time. I want to feel at peace.

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