First, we’re hit with this overwhelming Urge to drink. It’s worse and more intense than being thirsty for a glass of water. Non alcoholics can’t relate to just how powerful this Urge is because there’s not a thing like it on the planet. It’s a stand alone sensation. The only sensation that is worthy of being compared to this Urge is the itch we get from a nice red mosquito bite. Remember those? They itch so fucking badly we want to scream. The itch is so LOUD to us that the idea of ignoring it is laughable. Everyone scratches their mosquito bites. We don’t even have to think about it.
Well – alcoholics who want to get sober cannot allow themselves to scratch the itch of “Gimme A Drink” and it is just as loud and obnoxious and irritating and ITCHY and mind-consuming as a mosquito bite. They’re beyond INTENSE!
So – what the fuck are we supposed to do to get through this Urge? A lot of folks relapse. It’s just too intense to ignore. I know I scratched mine for decades! I scratched that bitch with a big ol’ bottle of vodka and some cranberry juice or a bottle of wine. But the thing is – the urge to drink – like an itchy mosquito bite – dies down. It doesn’t last. That said – the more energy we offer it by allowing ourselves to become consumed by it, the bigger problem we’re going to have. This is where the importance of learning to distract ourselves comes in.
It’s during the itch – the great Urge – that we have to distract ourselves with whatever we can until it passes. Period. We might have to clean the house – again – or go take a walk, or go take a nap, or call someone, or make something for dinner and pop it in the fridge, or paint our nails, or paint the living room, or head to the garage and tinker with shit, or build a cat tree, or – – – yada yada yada. Do what it takes – just stay away from your car. The temptation to head to a liquor store can be too tempting for some during this time.
Freeing oneself from the Octopus clutches – arms, arms, arms, everywhere -of addiction can be tormenting and crazy frustrating, but it is possible. We have to get creative, maybe spend a lot of time in bed hiding, and stay diligent. We do whatever we have to – whatever comes to mind. It’s different for everyone.
Here’s what I’ve come to believe – the Universe has an investment in us because we are part OF IT. We’re not doing it any favors when we’re so fucked up we can’t avoid walls. So when you’re trying to get sober and an idea seems to pop into your head out of nowhere (one that doesn’t involve drinking) you might want to just ask yourself where DID that idea come from? And you might just want to jump on board – even if you’ve never done it or said it or thought about it before. If you knew everything and had your shit all together – you wouldn’t be in the mess you’re in in the first place. Right? Listen to the ideas or Sirens that pop into your head. Dismiss the dangerous ones, but give the rest a chance.
You put yourself in the position to create your sobriety by deciding that you wanted to get sober – so get busy creating it. 😀