This blog is over six years old. I have never gone back and erased old posts. I have edited a few of them, editing out information that could have been used to identify me or my family. I have edited out a few things that were a bit too specific about my family. Funny, I have left all my guts hanging all over the place for all eternity here.
I get comments on some of my more heavily hit posts from years past. Most are from people who do not like AA. I used to post them, but I have decided there is enough negative stuff on the internet about AA, it doesn't need to be on my blog, so I delete.
Recently I got a comment from someone who had many negative things to say, but it seemed his bottom line complaint about AA was that it taught you nothing about how to handle cravings. I have mulled that over for weeks now. And then someone at work talked to me about a medication her daughter has been prescribed and is taking for her alcohol cravings. (The same medication I was taking for migraine prevention, which made me so ill... and is not FDA approved for alcohol cravings.)
Early on in sobriety, I decided that I was never going to be an expert about alcoholism, I wasn't going to learn about brain chemistry and other things that people like to talk about. That is fine for them, but it is not germane to my recovery.
But this talk about cravings has really taken me back to very basic facts about alcoholism...
There is a physical aspect of alcoholism, of course. Some of us (like me) drink to the point that we become alcohol addicts. Some of us don't. Alcoholism has nothing to do with the amount that we drink, but its effect on us. Obviously, if you have had enough alcohol in your system to be addicted to it, there will be a physical withdrawal. There are 600,000 experts out there willing to take your money to get you over this physical withdrawal, I won't get into that. I know that I sweated it out at home, and I am grateful for that. (And for all I may write here, this is what people will see and comment on - "oh you don't understand!" but I think I do understand... but shouldn't argue this point, as it is pointless. I am sharing my experience here - and you can't argue with that.)
But once you get over that physical withdrawal, what you have left to deal with is your mind. The strange mental twist that tells you it will be OK to have a drink this time, that this time it will be different. That is not a craving. That is alcoholic insanity. As far as I know, there is no medication to treat this.
But there is an entire program called Alcoholics Anonymous that will virtually eliminate this strange thinking that will lead us back to a drink which may lead us to our very death. That is why we don't teach you how to handle your cravings... they are gone after a few days. Replaced either by a way of life that is conducive to sobriety, or by alcoholic insanity that leads you back to a drink. Take your pick.
"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he or any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power. " Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 43