Cindy, for me, effort and time eliminated the obsession and cravings I had for alcohol. I had spent years planning to keep my alcohol stash supplied with at least three day’s of bottles. The idea of not having alcohol was unthinkable. If I found myself without my best friend, vodka, the cravings would hit hard.
In treatment, I learned and began to live the first three steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. When I finally admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that a power greater than me could restore me to sanity and that turning my will and life over to that higher power lead to sobriety, the cravings disappeared.
In fact, the obsession and cravings disappeared so quickly and quietly, that I didn’t realize it for several days. I find that if I do stop living the first three steps, I can feel the twinges of cravings returning. Living those steps quickly squashes any hint of craving.
As for the triggers, early on in my sobriety, I avoided any and all situations that could trigger my desire to drink. I know what those triggers are; I think we all do, if we are honest. I needed to stay away from those triggers early on. Now, I am able to recognize a trigger for what it is and either deal with it in a sane and sober way or I leave the trigger.
If the trigger is an emotional situation, I’ve learned that reacting to a short-term emotion (they really are all short-term compared to not being sober) with a long term decision (drinking) doesn’t solve anything. I can wait out the short-term emotion. I can’t wait out an unmanageable life or, ultimately, death.
I’d recommend going back through the first three steps with your sponsor; even if you are working on another step. If you don’t have a sponsor, get to a meeting and find that person that will help you. If that isn’t possible, call your nearest Intergroup office and ask for help.
Please know that I’m pulling for you to get rid of the cravings and have a sane and sober life. It’s more than just possible, it’s there for the taking. The beauty of the AA program is the folks who went before us have paved a path for us to sobriety. We don’t have to invent our own means of getting sober; we just have to follow the path already laid out.
“Keep coming back” and let us know how you are doing. Others will learn from you and your experiences. Tom G.