The Craving, Pt. 2

Ten days after the last craving ravaged my brain, another struck last night.

It began with a blow to my self-esteem. Someone else out there has been doing energy research longer than I have, possibly better than I have, and with more celebrity endorsements (I have zero, so that wasn’t difficult).

The more I scanned this site (, the more depressed I became. “100% science-backed”? “Zero gimmicks or B.S.”? My research is science-based, and I certainly don’t want to use gimmicks or bs. Has someone beaten me to the punch?

My heart plummeted in my chest. The wind went out of my sails. The twin tigers, Fear and Doubt, began to circle my confidence as it crouched in a dark corner of my mind. Was this all for naught? Had I just made a fool of myself in front of my friends (again)? Was I stupidly reinventing the wheel?

The craving crept into my teeth. It always begins with the teeth, for some reason. They began to silently jangle deep in the roots, as though someone was juicing them with low voltage. zzzzzzzzzap Get a drink. zzzzzzzzzzzzzap You don’t need this crap. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzap Take the night off.

Suddenly, the last three months of sobriety felt like a mountaintop upon which I teetered precariously, exposed to a cold, harsh world of glaring sunlight and cutting winds. What the hell was I doing up here? I could fall! I would fall – it was just a matter of time. Maybe…maybe, I should fall…

Maybe I belonged down below. Maybe this rarified air of clean living wasn’t for me. Maybe a nice, warm, dark, cozy cave at the bottom of the mountain would be safer than this hard, cold, bright peak. Maybe I deserved to be at the bottom.

Who the heck was I fooling anyway? My father is an alcoholic. My mother is an alcoholic. All my grandparents were, as far as I knew. I’m trying to fight a genetic trait as powerful and certain as the law of gravity. Might as well enjoy it!

Before I knew it, I was planning when and where I would pick up a bottle of my favorite liquor after work. When did I go from craving to planning?! It was mental whiplash.

Then I remembered, I just beat this. Didn’t I write an entire blog post about it? Why aren’t I practicing what I preach?

So I went back and actually ready my own blog post. It felt weirdly meta, like a reverse ‘dear younger me’. But I was desperate.

Here is what I culled from it:

  1. Remember that you are physically and mentally capable of getting past this urge. You have done it before. This isn’t hopeless or a foregone conclusion. It’s a movie where you can still hold out hope for the hero.
  2. Remind yourself how long you have made it this far. Don’t break that streak. You don’t want to start over again. As arbitrary as it sounds, those numbers matter. You are building a better life, one day at a time.
  3. Just breathe. This fight is hard, and sometimes the only thing you have energy is for is to breathe. That’s good. It’s all you have to do. Just focus on your breath for as long as you can. It will soothe you.
  4. Remember that 90% of this fight is mental. It’s all in your head. So all you have to do is change your mind. And you can change your mind any time you want. You can do this. It isn’t impossible.
  5. Write down how you are feeling, what caused it, and why you want to drink. Would it solve anything? Play the tape forward. How would you feel tomorrow? Imagine yourself waking up in the morning, hungover, disappointed your streak is over, and without any solution to the problem that caused you to drink in the first place.
  6. Now go play a game. Read a book. Watch a TV show. Get your mind off of this. You haven’t made any plans to break your streak. Reward yourself with a bath and an audiobook or dessert and a movie. Just get out of your own head.
  7. Some time later, reflect on how you feel. How strange was that momentary craving? What worked for you in getting past it? Create your own playlist like this and write it down somewhere that will help you get past the next craving (because there will be one).

Good luck! I hope this helped.

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