You can’t do big things if you’re distracted by small things, it has been said. You can’t act on your cravings if you are distracted by many different small things. It is difficult to focus on cravings when you are distracted and staying busy with activities in life. Your cravings could be happening out of boredom, out of emotional reaction, or happening just because your brain is processing some toxins or old cravings. Staying busy keeps your mind busy. You put your focus toward other things, which have different kinds of rewards, and put your attention elsewhere. Isolating and trying to just fight your way through cravings is a difficult challenge. All you can focus on is your cravings and how badly you don’t want to use. “White knuckling” it can be a horrendous experience, and it just doesn’t have to happen. Here are some more ways to stay busy and survive cravings.
Go To Meetings
Go to one. Go to three. Go to four. Go to as many meetings as you can stand in a day. Everyone who attends recovery meetings has experience symptoms of withdrawal and cravings which can feel unbearable. They know how it feels to be where you are and they also know how to get through it. At every meeting, share about your experience. The more you talk about the cravings, the more you will realize it is a normal part of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. You’ll likely find that many different people reach out to you to help you stay busy. People might take you to coffee, take you to lunch, or just take you shopping on their errands with them. When you stay in “the middle of the herd” and let the herd distract you, you are less likely to give into cravings.
Remember The “Suchness”
Cravings are part of the “suchness” of the disease of addiction and alcoholism. Cravings happen. If cravings didn’t happen, addiction wouldn’t be addiction. If you weren’t experiencing cravings, you might not be fully chemically dependent upon drugs and alcohol. People who abuse drugs and alcohol can experience cravings, but rarely in the gut wrenching, obsessive way addicts and alcoholics do. When cravings happen, don’t get scared and wonder why. It is helpful to investigate what might be triggering your cravings. It isn’t helpful to think cravings shouldn’t be happening. Cravings are part of addiction. You are an addict in recovery for addiction. Cravings are going to happen. You don’t have to relapse.
You can find the freedom and hope of recovery in your life offered by abstinence. Recovery is about progress, not perfection. One day at a time, patients in our treatment programs at Design For Change are finding refuge from addiction, taking the actionable changes they need to start anew. For information, call us today at (877) 267-3646.