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Experiencing addictive cravings and trying to withstand all the temptation they bring with them can be overwhelming and destabilizing, to say the least. We feel so strongly tempted by our drugs of choice that we feel as though we need them. We think there’s no way we can manage without them. We feel totally consumed by our addictive urges and compulsions. We feel overpowered by them. We tend to focus on these cravings as one of the biggest challenges in our recovery, one of the most dangerous threats to our sobriety. We often don’t realize that our addictive cravings can actually represent something much deeper.

Unresolved Issues and Unhealed Parts of Ourselves

For many of us, our cravings serve as distractions from the healing we have yet to do. When we aren’t confronting these unhealed parts of ourselves along with the unresolved issues we’ve been avoiding, we can be overwhelmed by cravings that feel insatiable. When we’re afraid to address our pain, our fears, and the traumatic experiences we’ve been through, the cravings can become even more overpowering. Most of our focus, our time, and energy go to trying to offset our addictive urges, cravings, and compulsions. We try to figure out ways to manage them when they arise and to prevent them from reappearing. While this is important work to do, we also want to look at what our cravings are actually distracting us from.

Distracting Ourselves From Our Subconscious Pain 

When we have a craving that feels so all-consuming it won’t leave us alone, it’s often our body’s, and our thinking mind’s, attempt to distract us from the pain we still have yet to heal subconsciously. Consciously, all we can think about is how tempted we feel to use our drug of choice, how overpowering and overwhelming our cravings are, and how much we feel we can’t withstand them. Subconsciously, we’re still contending with layers of unhealed issues that are all fighting for our attention and begging to be addressed so that we can really heal.

Responding to Our Cravings With Mindfulness

When a craving hits, we tend to panic about how we’re going to respond to it. We worry that we’re going to give into it. We’re frustrated and disappointed at the thought of relapsing. We have strong emotional reactions to our cravings that are full of shame, self-deprecation, and anxiety. What if we took some time to get quiet instead, whenever cravings hit? What if we chose to meditate, repeat some calming affirmations, or do some tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique)? What if we did some journaling around all the emotions that were arising for us? There’s a good possibility we’d be able to move through the craving and successfully keep ourselves away from our drug of choice, reminding ourselves that the craving is actually a distraction from a deeper issue that needs to be examined.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-823-5463 today for more information.