Cravings…Still ?

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I haven’t had cravings for alcohol for a long time. Since about four weeks in, I have had very occasional, fleeting thoughts about what it would be like to have a glass of wine but nothing more. Until last week that is.

Since last Wednesday or Thursday I have found myself really wanting a drink. It seems to happen on my journey home from work which is when I used to stop off for supplies and at home in the early evening – my prime drinking time. On Friday evening I told Mr So that I really fancied a glass of wine and he didn’t seem at all concerned. He observed that lots of people would be having a drink on a Friday night and what I was feeling was normal. For a brief moment I thought he was going to suggest popping out to get a bottle but he didn’t. Mr So doesn’t miss drinking one jot although he does drink quite a lot of alcohol free beer which gives him the taste he enjoyed. For me it was never really about the taste – it was the effect that I was after. It wouldn’t occur to Mr So to buy a bottle of wine for me and if by chance the idea did occur to him, it’s not something he would seriously consider.

When I went to the supermarket on Saturday I thought about what it would feel like to open a bottle of wine and glug it down. I could imagine the taste and the smell and the head softening sensation of that first drink. Thinking about it now my mouth is watering. An involuntary action over which I have no control. I don’t like it.

I am almost 300 days sober. I wasn’t expecting this. I haven’t heard of anyone else experiencing cravings this far in so what’s going on? I have been looking back at my diary from last year – just an appointments diary showing what I was doing rather than a full blown account of my day to day existence. I can see that lots of the pages have stickers on them – this is something I did when I was trying to moderate. On days when I was successful, I would give myself a sticker. Generally stickers come in groups of 3 or 4 with lengthy stickerless gaps in between. Sometimes I adopted a traffic light system so that I got a sticker every day, the colours of which would depend on whether I drank and if so, how much. I got a lot of red and amber stickers.

My diary also shows that at this time last year I had lots going on at work and at home. At work I was headed unbeknown into an incident where something very traumatic happened on a project I was working on. It had a profound effect on me and as a consequence, my drinking spiralled even further out of control. This time last year, although I didn’t know it, I was heading fast for my “rock bottom.”

So perhaps the cravings are to do with how I am feeling when I think back to this time last year. Although I haven’t consciously been thinking about it and didn’t identify a pattern until I looked at my diary, I am sure that in my subconscious somewhere all those thoughts and feelings are bobbing around and resurfacing from time to time. Especially about the incident at work. Perhaps when I get past the anniversary of what happened and reach my soberversary I will be in a better to place to put all that behind me and look to the future with more focus.

XX

 

3 thoughts on “Cravings…Still ?

  1. Hi Tori,

    Thanks for your honesty and also well done on your insights too, very introspective and awesome that you can challenge your thinking when these cravings appear.

    It got me thinking to when I initially sobered up in 2010, I’d been sober for 20 months and like you, started having these thoughts. After a few days I was concerned enough to call my Sponsor who, 6 years sober, told me “Amanda, why would you not have these thoughts from time to time, regardless of how strong you are in your sober recovery. Your drinking days will always be in your subconscious, no matter how much time elapses from that last drunk, it is your fear that is allowing it to resurface though and that is totally natural and necessary from time to time”. In summary she went on to explain, using her own sobriety and that of her own Sponsor who was 20 years sober that fear is a natural survival instinct and to back this up with scientific research using examples, that forget about drinking for one moment, we all experience accidents, incidents of fear and hopelessness and not being able to fix something bad, and where our safety and personal wellbeing has been challenged, our subconscious will, from time to time, replay this unforgivingly, to caution us of the consequences we face should we decide to reinvent that scene, in short pick up again, the replay will typically include a rerun of events, like what you experienced in the supermarket with a physical reaction like mouth watering, but this is normal and fortunately rare, it’s what you do with that thought that counts. My sponsor then relived a story about a bad pedestrian traffic accident that she witnessed several years ago, one that she very occasionally relives especially when she drives past that spot, it reminds her of the consequences of stepping off the curb whilst talking on your phone, fatal!

    Your subconscious will remind you from time to time and, much like how dreams unfold, sometimes you just can’t follow the chain reaction you just know that you’re grateful it was just a dream.

    X

  2. Hi Tori…I am almost 1 year sober. I do have cravings sometimes, but they are not like they were in the beginning. Except..I had a lot of them during my first sober holiday season and my sweet dad just passed away and while at a break from his bedside I wanted a drink so very badly. The craving was just like it was when I first quit. It made me realize that I am NOT in the clear. At almost a year sober that craving hit me like a bomb! In thinking about it, I think I really wanted to numb myself. I am so happy I didn’t as I got to be in the moment with my dad. But, damn that craving was STRONG!!! So, I imagine they will come again. I think part of the work of getting sober is in figuring out a new way to cope when those cravings hit, being it good or bad times! xo

  3. Tori,
    Most people I meet, myself included, have cravings once in awhile.
    I still have them from time to time, after 2 years.
    But they are so different.
    They are more whispers, or mild thoughts.
    Just know these are normal, will get better, and do NOT listen to them.
    Big Hugs,
    xo
    Wendy

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