Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Coping with Cravings in Recovery

cravings in recovery
Cravings are part of early recovery; learning to cope with them in healthy ways is instrumental. If you are in your first year of sobriety, then you are fully aware of what it feels like to crave drugs and alcohol. The temptation to use is a common occurrence that is challenging to escape at times. However, there are many things you can do to lessen their frequency and manage them when they arise. 

Many of our readers have undergone detox and treatment, but are still on shaky ground. Some of you have gone into sober living for extra support to strengthen your program. Perhaps you are residing in a transitional living home now? If so, then you made a sound choice and one that could make all the difference.

Relapse is most common in the first year of recovery. The mind and body are still healing, and working a program is still relatively foreign to you. In treatment, you experienced cravings, but you were in a safe environment amongst supportive counselors and peers. Now that you are out of treatment, you have to put what you learned in practice.

Undoubtedly, you learned some tools for avoiding triggers and coping with cravings while in treatment. You know that they can pop up out of nowhere seemingly, but they tend to dissipate relatively quickly. Still, it's essential to take action to protect your program when unwanted urges come up.

Dealing with Cravings in Recovery

There are several healthy things you can do when you experience a desire to drink or drug. First, call someone in your support network or speak to peer in your sober living. Second, get yourself to a meeting as soon as possible; it will place you in a safe space and give you a forum to share how you are feeling.

Naturally, you may not always be able to get to a meeting for support, and if you do not live in a sober living home, then you may not have a close ally nearby. It's uncommon, but let's imagine that you can't reach anyone over the phone (remember there are 24-hour support lines for people in recovery). Fortunately, there are several methods of abating your cravings on your own such as meditation.

Meditation is a simple technique for clearing your mind and grounding yourself. There isn't one way to meditate, so find what works for you; there are many resources online that can help guide you in the practice. Anything you can do to ground yourself, such as breathing exercises, will counter a craving.

The critical thing to remember when dealing with cravings is that they are temporary. With that in mind, it's best to prioritize distracting yourself when facing the urge to use. Reading your Big Book or any piece of literature can help take your mind off of drugs and alcohol. Turn on the television or, better yet, take a walk. Nature has a cleansing effect on one's psyche.

As long as your choice of distraction is healthy, you are heading in the right direction. Lastly, one of the most effective ways to combat a craving is by playing the tape forward. Think about what will happen if you act on the urge to use, and you will quickly realize that it's hardly worth jeopardizing all your hard work.

Structured Sober Living in Southern California

HAUS Recovery is a co-ed sober living facility located in beautiful Santa Monica, California. Our team of dedicated counselors and addiction specialists can help you or a loved one maintain a program of recovery and acquire the skills needed to make positive changes last.

We are committed to making our clients feel safe, grounded, and accepted. Please contact us today to learn more about our structured sober living.

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