Craving Assistance Tool Box
Craving Assistance Toolbox
Welcome to the Craving Toolbox. These are a series of articles that will help you if you are struggling with overcoming a craving. They are the main points of chapters 3,4,5 in the Habit Challenge Workbook. We have them on the App so you can have them wherever you are.
Keeping On Track
Things to do for yourself
Cut out stimulants
Get professional emotional support and understanding
Go to a support group meeting
Call A Sponsor or trusted friend
Practice Spiritual Disciplines
Things Not To Do
Keeping too busy
Numb the alarm – We can use pill, sex, alcohol, events all sorts of addictions to take us away from our problems.
Become helpless and depressed
Depression won’t solve our problem. If it lingers seek professional help so you can begin to “live again” and change those nagging false beliefs and predictions that have you in a tailspin. You are worth the investment!
Why Can’t I Just Stop?
Our emotions keeps us hooked
No matter what addiction whether it is sugar, cigarettes, drugs or alcohol, gambling, porn somewhere deep down we are attempting to regulate our emotions. Fear, sorrow, need for comfort, need for acceptance, need to escape pressures. The emotions build and we feel a need to ESCAPE. We become triggered and off we go. It becomes the path of least resistance.
Addiction is a lie
Haven’t you noticed? Addiction is a liar! It promises relief, solutions, happiness and wellbeing, but it does none of that. It is only relieving its own symptoms. That is right. An addiction creates its own need for more, starting the addiction cycle all over again. Don’t let this point go past you. Addiction has a rebound effect and a lot of what we feel we need the addiction for is in reality the need to quiet its own symptoms!!! It is like a scab where every time it itches we scratch it and pick on it. It has to heal again it itches all over. What is the real problem? Is it the original scrape and scab or the scratching and picking? At this point it is the scratching and picking. If we stop it will heal.
WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO THIS DILEMMA, THIS VICIOUS CYCLE?
The answer is not using!!! There is no gain in using. It is a false notion. There are better ways to solve the original problems you had. Also, the withdrawal effects will subside if you let them! You will be amazed at how the tension and other symptoms your addiction was solving go away when you stop using as well. You can do this. You can ride the discomfort from detox and withdrawal out if you are willing to try. Of course, detoxing from some alcohol and some street and pharmaceutical drugs can be dangerous. You should check with your Doctor before trying to stop so you can avoid any complications, or better yet go to hospital that does medical detox. Don’t let this deter you. After it is all said and done, you will be glad you stopped.
What are the FALSE reasons that you use?
I call these false reasons because although they seem real letigiimate reasons for continuing our habits, the reason it works is because it is stopping the dopamine signals demanding that we participate. It we stop our habit, they problem will subside or be handled in a more productive manner.
It relaxes me (releases tension)
It comforts me
Get’s me going
Helps me deal with my problems
Makes me socially acceptable
Helps me socially loosen up
Only time I can numb out relieving emotional pain
Makes me cool
The truth is… YOU CAN STOP. You don’t need you habit to fulfill any of these needs. When you stop your habit you will find that these needs will diminish, and when they do occur there are other legitimate ways to solve the issues. There is no good reason to continue. Decide today to get off the merry-go-round and get the help you need.
What to Do about Down-time Temptations
For many of us down-time can play havoc on our discipline, temptations, habit control and triggers.
How do we fight temptations during our downtime?
1. Believe, that we don’t need this!
We don’t need this opiate fix to survive, to be happy, to feel fulfilled. (It feels that way, but we are not going to die!!!)
2. It is a false alarm, faulty wiring!
Feel the anticipation and tell it is faulty wiring and you DO NOT NEED IT. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DIE!!!
3. Substitute satisfaction and comfort for excitement
We think it is comfort but it is not. It is short lived excitement that leaves us wanting more. What really satisfies and excites you? What do you like to watch or read? What kind of games do you like? What hobbies would you like to start? The best way to beat an addiction is to find something that can distract you long enough for any urge to dissipate.
4. Keep in front of you the WHY????
I don’t want to be that guy!
I want to be this guy!
5. Become more social
Isolation is a bad idea. There are many kinds of groups or places you could go. Health club, church function, meetings, dancing, reading groups, hobby groups.
6. Call someone who can listen
Do you have a sponsor or someone who could take a phone call from you? Someone who you can tell about your boredom and they will listen? Communicating will help it pass. Being heard will comfort you and cause the uneasiness to go away.
7. Extinguish its power
Each day you resist it gets easier, it loses its power.
Imagine a wrestling match where if you can keep from losing you will get stronger each round and they get weaker. All you have to do is keep from getting it.
8. Systematically win the race
Do it in baby steps. Start with 3 days. Think of it as a fast. You can do it. Then go to a detox. Then lifestyle. The plan below will take you through the 60 Day Challenge.
Start with a 3 Day Fast - One way to start is to think of a fast. Millions of people fast a day without food, just liquids. Many have done three days. I have done it and it is not that hard. If you can give up food for three days perhaps you can give up your habit for the same amount of time! This is a great start. It will be a huge motivator and emotionally a much easier way to start off changing habits.
7 Day Detox – This is the next 7 days. It is a deliberate choice to purge your system. You want to plan the evenings and have things around you that will help you change. Good book, listen to our program. Go to meetings. Reset your environment -take away the temptations. Substitution a better way. You want to clean out your mind.
Use PreLive and powerfully visualize new habits
Realize it is faulty wiring
Practice emotional reminders – “I don’t want to be that guy”, “I want to be that guy.” “I’m not going to die
Use the Spiritual Help (See the Spiritual Resources)
18 Day Reprogram – 18 days plus This is where we start to feel different and learn what it means to be who you really are.
32 Day Maintenance – 32 days – This is where you continue on doing this until it becomes fully natural